“You have changed the lives of people who could not be able to feel or experience such great love… ” You can read more in the letter below, but first let me set the stage.
If you keep up with this blog, you know that we accidentally stumbled into a huge need in Africa. And I mean stumbled. We didn’t begin as a missions organization and don’t consider ourselves one now even though 66% of our expenses this year have gone to Kenya because of an amazing series of events. If you want the backstory on our work in this part of Kenya, you can read this blog that gives a short view of God’s work in linking us up with their need, and people in the U.S. who are ready to us help meet it. It’s an amazing story of God putting pieces together while we simply responded to what God had in front of us. Not only did we get linked to some believers around Kitale who suffered tremendously in the tribal violence post-election violence of 2008, but through them to an even more impoverished group of 120,000 in Pokot whose nomadic economy had shut down two years ago due to a prolonged drought. They were dying of malnutrition and disease and there was no government presence or NGOs in that region to help them. Truly they were a forgotten people.
So we helped them with food, medical, and water for six months, then a year ago began a five-year strategy designed to help these villagers take ownership of their own future and work together to employ their creativity and local available resources to address for water, food, health, education, and income generation. We are one year into a million dollar process to help those villages build an economy that is sustainable and easily shared with others nearby. We just received a glowing report from the folks at Global Hope Network who have a project nearby and have been incredibly helpful in training the Kenyans we know to implement this strategy in Pokot. We have four full-time trainers from those villages who are in turn coaching the villagers. Everything we do involves 50% sweat equity on their part to 50% resources from us.
Admittedly it has been scary to send so much money overseas and trust that it is being used for the purposes for which it has been given. We don’t have a presence there to administrate the fund but are working with local Kenyans. Fortunately God has given us enough personal relationship there to take the risk, but it is an outstanding joy to get outside verification that the project is in great shape and on target to complete in five years. My heart has overflowed with gratefulness this past weekend looking over all God has done her and the gentle way he invited us into this huge need simply by the power of love. We fell in love with some people, who fell in love with some other people, and sharing their need touched many of you to help us provide the donations necessary for this process. Within three days of us sensing God wanted us to target one million dollars to help them, one group in Texas called to say They’d contribute half of that.
Here are some excerpts from the recent reports and you can we will also post photos below:
“Your men seem to be starting to grasp and teach the fundamental ideas that it’s about how much the village can do, not how much the donors can do. They saw the start of several good low-cost efforts by the village to transform their condition.”
The communities are being taught about health care, e.g causes of Malaria and prevention measures, Typhoid and Marasmus, Kwashiokor, cholera , Tracoma and others . in summary almost all Diseases are caused by dirty environment and poor hygiene, in this lesson he put more emphasizes on constructing toilet, pits and utensil rags, washing hands before eating and on side of malaria, he said that the villagers/community need to be taught the need for clearing bushes and drive the stagnant water to prevent the mosquito from laying eggs / larva. He added that pregnant women and children should sleep in treated mosquito nets, it’s the work of the committee to have one voice and go to the health office and ask for the nets. They did. They also got solar power added to there school room from the government,, so they are learning to make their needs known and draw from other resources.
The also visit the toilet constructions. They said the toilets are good and will help prevent and reduce the cause of cholera, worms, tapeworms, ring worms and typhoid and other disease. Our coaching team are teaching and training the community on health issues and are doing a good job.
Their current need now is to build a small irrigation system so the well can water the crops they are starting to grow for their own food.
The team from Global Hope went to the villages ands saw the work and they were very happy and joyful as our teachers. They were happy to see toilets, utensil rag and other things, which are good for the health of the community, they encouraged us to keep it up and comment that we are doing well. They saw that we are in a pretty good process to complete this project in five years.
We also learned many things which we help the community to be self-sustaining. Through coaching and educating the community on health and business as well as development,they will be transformed to a better future, hence fighting poverty among the community. We also learn that when the community come together to identify their Health and spiritual needs and then organize to meet there needs. Apart from that we learn that the community to develop and the need to be solved we must see and find the available materials and facilities –to make it not expensive. We also learn different types of sickness and how we can prevent, since most of the sickness from the community come as a result of poor hygiene. So the community to prevent it , they must wash hands before eating , drinking clean water and they must be clean, in addition to that we learn that some of the sickness is a result of poor feeding and diet , they said that especially the breastfeeding mom and the children they must at least eat three food group, eg a) Body building food ( b) Energy giving food (c) protective food , this food group is challenge to other families , but during the training session as they ask question we find that it is not difficult since most of the nutrition are available in the community but it is just understanding.
The first training has really help us to distribute the funds effectively compared to the previous time when we had not have the knowledge of holding the community, since the previous time we were using a lot of funds but now we are doing 50% by 50% which is not expensive as before –we thank God for using you to connect us with GHNI (Brother Wubshet and Habiba) this two people has become a great blessing to our community here.
And after all of this I received a letter of thanks for the work God has done here. I know it is aimed at me, but it is really intended for all of you who have prayed for these Kenyans, holding them in your heart as well as those who have given money to help us meet this need:
Greetings in the most powerful name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you very much for your great sacrifice that we may able to learn more and acquire more skills and experience. We marvel at how God used Lifestream as a mustard seed to us here and it has become a great blessing to thousand of our brothers and sisters through touching life and imparting the life of Christ as we start with Living Loved Children Care Centre. Many lives has been changed forever and some are now working helping there relatives, this is so great to us. Some of the student who have joined university and collages are seeing there dream are coming true through this compassion ministry. Wayne you may not know since you are far away but the prayers you receive from every individual here it has become the smoke of cloud before the throne of the Almighty daily.
You have changed the lives of people who could not be able to feel or experience such great love, many religion are here but what we have learned through you and Global Hope is really amazing. It has come as a surprise, the growth of this work beyond our imagination. Even we didn’t expect that you would extend care for years. We thought that may be it will end up in one year. But since the needs are great you didn’t want to leave them on the way but to extend the support so that they may be able to stand for themselves. Actually the extension of five year for these four villages will leave this village with self-sustainable and transformation to many people forever.
They have experienced what mankind has never thought about them since they were from the bushes. Remember since we started working in this village they have never quit or migrated like they have before. They have settled getting and accessing there resources nearby. When you go to the village now the old people and the brestfeeding mom has get good health and the death rate has decreased and the outbreak of diseases has also reduced even more. On the training side it has really helped us and we have now the new experience now how to use simple and available materials for development Through our coaching and the committee and community has the vision and know that they are the owners of the project, so they can support and protect it.
It is now so easily than the way we started doing for the first time. Because they were looking to us as the people who bring the solution to the community. But now they see that the solution is through God and themselves. This is so great. So we appreciate the people from Global Hope who have helped us with this experience and skills. We had with very wonderful time with Global hope coach. This time they have added the material that they feel that it will help us in future to train and add more skills and knowledge to extend more training to the committee and the community. We thank you also for helping us to buy new tires and service the vehicle and also for paying our expenses during training and expenses for the Global Hope instructors.
Brother Michael Wafula
This has all been such an incredible experience, and we have done very little here except to love the people God put in front of us and it took us to places we would never have considered. As we began to help where we could, others piled on to add to that help and what a story this has be come. Yes, there have been times of frustration–feeling overwhelmed and completely out of our element, but God kept opening doors just when we needed them. I’m dumbfounded every time I think about what a small connection point has accomplished in the world and how readers of this website and listeners to our podcast at The God Journey, jumped in with such joy. Whenever I think of all this my heart is overwhelmed with awe at the great work and planning of our God to take some people in the West and connect them with a growing need in Africa that we were not even aware of. He knit the pieces together and it has become an amazing story of the way God can work. All we need to do is follow him as best we know how.
The need continues here and if you have some extra funds that can help them you can direct it through Lifestream as contributions are tax-deductible in the US. As always, every dollar you send goes to the need in Kenya. We do not (nor do they) take out any administrative or money transfer fees. If you would like to be part of this to support these brothers and sisters and see the gospel grow in this part of Africa, 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 Newbury Rd Ste 1 • Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.