My last blog offered my thanks for the incredible outpouring of support for people in Pokot. After I posted it, I got this new information from them. The map above will help you understand some of the details here. The drought and starvation are going on across the entire top of Kenya from Wajir to West Pokot. Our efforts are in the northern area of West Pokot, and the people we work with from Global Hope are based in Isiolo to the east.
This is from Michael Wafula, who is the President of IGEM (International Gospel Equipping Ministry), and the overseer of our efforts in Kenya. This is his report.
We were the only pioneers in this place when we started going to Pokot twenty-five years ago. Then, the people were nomadic as they had been for thousands of years, moving one place to another searching for food and green pasture with a lot of suffering due to disease and starvation.
Historically there is little water in this region, many using urine from cows, milk, and blood from animals for drinking. They depended on the River Suam, which is almost 5 days walk. People came with their cattle from different parts all over the region. On the way, some of the animals would die, and even when they reached the river, it often took three days to get their animals a drink due to congestion. Because of this hardship, the Moran (youths) would raid their neighbors in the Turkana, Karamojong, and Bariongo regions to steal their cattle. Security was nonexistent, and it was considered a danger zone. There was no communication, no roads or anything else so the government could not be involved. These people lived on their own life, believing in their god of the mountain.
We want to give God all Glory, Honor, and praise. He is a loving Father who covers the multitudes of our sin. When I compare the provision which God has provided for more than seven years of touching the lives of this people and transforming the villages and the community, I know this is the fulfillment of Isaiah 43:18-21 for them:
Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.
Now, we are seeing the tremendous wonders of God in this place. Roads are being constructed, and pathways in the bush created. We are now able to interact with people who were not able to communicate with this. This is the mighty work of the Lord.
Due to the wells you helped us drill, water is available and the mastered seeds you helped us give out, are growing new crops. For the first time in their history, they are learning to do agriculture, to produce their own food. Though there might not be enough to feed everybody yet, no one is dying in those villages where we are currently working. No cattle will die for lack of water. The people no longer need to migrate.
I saw these people are reaching their Canaan, and the days are coming where food and water will not be the problem. This is a rescue, and it is but for a short moment. This is a horrible year all over the area. Millions of people are starving countrywide, even in Kitale where we live. It is planting season now, but nobody has planted because there is no rain. Those who planted last month have watched their crops wither. This lack of rain extends all over East and Central Africa to lack rain. It has never happened before, so pray with us. We don’t know what is taking place and what could happen tomorrow.
We thank God for our president and the government of Kenya who have tried their level best to donate relief and water to the affected people but remember the need here is overwhelming. More than were counties were affected. UN, Red Cross, churches, and individuals have been forced to be involved in helping the situation where they can. We have tried to ask those organizations for help, but their answer is for us to do what you can to help since they have nothing to spare.
Our work here is just a compassionate heart to the community. We didn’t know that other tribe would hear and come to interrupt what we have already planned. The reason I have stayed in the area is because of the pain we were feeling, and we just wanted to cook for them and share the gospel of Christ, helping them feel happy even if they are hungry.
Your help along with the team has saved the lives of many people.
This is what the money you’ve sent us has done for a forgotten people. I hope you sense God’s joy at your being part of this work of grace and salvation that he is doing. Over two million dollars to date have been spent on behalf of these people in Pokot, and other needs further south in the Kitale region to help with widows and orphans.
Obviously, we have not heard the last of this need, and the food we provided will only last for two months. We continue to send more every month than we receive in contributions. Your help is appreciated more than you know. All contributions are tax-deductible in the US. And, 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. Please see our Donation 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.