It has been awhile since I’ve updated people on Kenya. While I don’t talk about it much, I have spent about a quarter of my time this year just working out what we can do in Pokot and what God wants us to do. I don’t want readers of the blog to feel badgered by their need, but it is something I have lived with every day this year. I don’t feel like I have a lot of wisdom here, and Lifestream certainly is not a missions organization, even though 85% of our budget last year went into Kenya. This is a labor of love, because God related us to some people in Kenya who stumbled upon some other people in greater need than they were and had hearts to love and care for them. We are just following the nudges God gives us and the wisdom he has provided through more experienced people to help the brothers and sisters in West Pokot, one of three impoverished counties in the north of Kenya and a prime target for terrorist groups fomenting unrest in the region. By God’s grace we’ve been able to help one of these counties whose nomadic economy melted down in a prolonged drought. We have brought food, water, medicine, education and the Gospel into this region through our friends from further south in Kenya who are sacrificing their own needs to help with those who have even less. (If you want to read the whole story, click here.)
In the last month we have drilled two new wells, bringing water as close as we can to each of the villages. We are not planning on drilling any more. But we have helped to train a team of four coaches who can help the villages work for their own solutions to these ongoing needs by using readily-available, local, low-tech resources to address the most significant need in their village. The hope is that in five years they can address those needs themselves by utilizing 50% of their won sweat equity and 50% outside resource. We’ve committed one million dollars to this effort over the next 7 years, when our involvement in Kenya will end. So every thing we do has to be with an eye to sustainability after that time. We have already been given a gift of $500,000 toward this goal and are confident Father will provide the remaining through people who want to share with these people. We are using that money to increase their health, education, and micro-financed loans to create enterprises that will generate jobs and resource for these communities.
So we have drilled three new wells, have trained coaches and are providing for them while they work with the villages, and also provide food directly to widows and breast-feeding moms who have no resource at this point. In the pictures below you can see some of this taking place. This is a recent report from the front lines:
We arrived well in Kitale and everything in the ground is well, starting from water, businesses, dispensary and the school. The villagers are happy to be involved in their development through the committees and our coaching team who were so committed to see that the lives of our Brothers and sisters are transformed from one form to another.
The villagers and the committees are happy to start the business, as well as getting water in the nearby place. On loans we have covered around 18 people who are now doing business of different type, that is one group and eight people. Regarding the food donation we purchase it and take it to the food committees to give it to the old aged and breastfeeding mom, everyone were having a smile to receive food, it is our prayers that by helping them with soft loans the issues of food donation will be reducing gradually with time till we will just remain with very week old aged people. So we shall make sure every months we do it, so that we can complete every at least to start something for the living.
The poor are being served, the widows and nursing moms can eat, and water is flowing in the region. I am grateful for all of these things, and that what is going on physically is also reflected in what is going on spiritually. Into these parched souls the gospel of grace is also nourishing their hearts. They have responded with open hearts to the gospel as it is being demonstrated and proclaimed among them. The bulk of this work has been done by the brothers and sisters I met in Kenya a few years ago. While this entire process has exhausted me at times, in others it causes my heart to explode with gratefulness to God that he positioned us to help people in great need.
Obviously there are continuing needs here. If your heart is moved to help us, please see our Sharing With the World page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560-1 Newbury Rd #313 • Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.
A new well for people who have beenwalking 26 km one way to get water
Rigging up the delivery system for the new water
The children rejoice when the well struck water
Food is being distributed to the elderly and nursing moms who have no resource