|Associated Ministries |
HOW IS IT THAT A WATER PROJECT HAS "ASSOCIATED MINISTRIES"?
My wife and I travel together. Before our coming to Kenya in September of 2006 for me to perform worker training, my wife Eleanor offered to one of our board members (a pastor) to teach a ladies' Christian seminar while I was working with a men and the board. He eagerly received the idea and told her that he would arrange the seminar to be at his church. He wanted her to speak five days in the week, all day. And that she should expect 70 to 90 ladies to attend each day. Furthermore, he told her that the the subject that he wanted her to teach on was: "How to Make Life Better for Your Husband." She responded saying that she felt that she was only up to three days a week and then she would ask GOD what to teach about. On our August 09 trip over 300 women attended each day of her first two day conference of the trip.
More details about her seminars below.
Out of this, the following ministries have developed:
SEWING MACHINE PROJECT.
Our first trip to Kakamega, Eleanor was approached by a group of widows, asking her to assist them to have a means of earning money. They requested her to raise money for sewing machines so that they could set up a sewing co-op and manufacture various items that can be sold in the local marketplace. None of the people in this area have electricity, so the sewing machines must either be treadle machines, or we would have provide a source of power. Each sewing machine can be shared by 20 or more women. In anticipation of their first sewing machine, these women organized themselves in a manner where they could bulk purchase supplies and have a common marketing site. Since one or two of them already knew how to sew, the others would learn through this program.
Ultimately, this came to the attention of an Illinois church, who provided $5000 for the expansion of this program. For each $1000, as many as 10 machines can be purchased. As a result of that endowment, we now have six sewing centers, five in Kenya, and one in Tanzania.
This work started as a result of the need to provide food for the children of one of the schools. But... there was also a need to provide food for some of the local widows as well.
With just $100, a large bag of maize (corn) seed was purchased and distributed among 13 women and widows. They took received their own homes where each planted a crop. At the time of harvest, each brought 10% of their crop to the school for the feeding of the children.
In our trips, we have observed, scurvy among some of the children. In order increase vitamin C into the children's diet, we hope in the near future to bring in tomato seed (not hybrid ... so that the tomatoes will be reproducible). Kenyans use tomatoes in their diet, but mostly in the cooked form. It is our intent that each child will have a small raw tomato as a part of his or her daily lunch.
Through an endowment from an Illinois church. We were able to acquire some land for the future expansion of one of the school, until the land is used for that purpose it is being used to raise food for the children's lunches.
In 2006, as we were preparing to ship our second drilling rig to Kenya, we discovered a ministry in Alabama, which is not far from where our drill rigs are manufactured. It is called Soles For Souls (http://www.soles4souls.org/). This ministry makes available shoes (most of which are new) in the name of Jesus Christ to people in need. From them, we obtained enough shoes for 120 children (many of whom have never had shoes) and work boots or our 30 workers (who often dig wells barefooted). It is our hope to include more shoes with each shipment that we make in the future. We gratefully appreciate the support that we received by their participation and encouragement. When the shoes were distributed in Kenya, a collection of some of the old shoes was made so that they could be brought back to Soles4Souls for use in raising support for the Ministry. In our September 2009 shipment they included 900 pair of shoes for distribution and we also had over 1500 colored tee shirts (out of date sports prints) for distribution.
Public schooling in Kenya is free for children between ages seven through eighth grade provided that the parents can pay for the books and uniforms required. In areas where we've been working many families cannot pay for PC central items. During our first trip to Kakamega Kenya area, I came across a small school where our team was hand digging a water well. 40 children were organized as a class sitting on the ground underneath the shade of a tree, while another 40 were squeezed together on benches under a makeshift shade. I had to have my wife Eleanor see this, school.
Upon our return home we shared photos of the school; and as a result ... the Sunday school children in our church collected $279.60, which was soon used to build the first classroom for 40 children and all of the desks needed for 40 children. Later, a church in Illinois, provided the funds for two more classrooms, a proper latrine, and a drilled well for the school. That church also provided the funds for land for the future expansion of the school. The pastor that started this school has now also started three more.
A second small school was recently opened at the church pastored by one of our project board members
During our subsequent return trips to Kakamega, Eleanor has made an effort to work with teachers to improve their skills. The two small schools that she's working with are free preparatory schools which teach children from age 4 through the age 7. The government has recently required teachers at those schools to be formally trained. We have been able to raise funds for the training of all four teachers at the larger these two schools. For $2000, we were able to pay the cost for two years of training for three of the teachers.
Most of the pastors, whom we have encountered in Kenya have less formal training than a typical parishioner in the United States. Often we find someone serving as a pastor who has a love of the Lord, but is not well-founded. Theologically.
One of the members of our church in California is in charge of the program that Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAS) has for the field training of Third World pastors. They have been using Internet-based training for some time and were wanting to explore an alternative. At his suggestion on our September 2008 trip we brought along with us a laptop computer and a 300 gig hard drive (loaded with many biblically based materials both in English and Swahili), some MP3 players, rechargeable batteries and solar rechargers.
Using this equipment, we now have 15 pastors meeting on a regular basis during which making they download lessons on their MP3 players for listening during the week. During their weekly meetings, they discuss the lessons of the previous week. Exchange the rechargeable batteries for fully charged batteries for their MP3 players, and update the lessons loaded thereon. This program has been well received by the local pastors. Most of whom have less formal training than a typical parishioner in the United States. Often we find someone serving as a pastor who has the love of the Lord is not well-founded. Theologically. It is our hope that through this program, that the Gospel would be more clearly, and accurately presented.
Having collected these training materials, I have a full copy of everything which has been sent and we have subsequently been sharing it with other ministries in Swahili speaking areas.
LEADING SEMINARS, MARRIAGE SEMINAR, AND EVANGELISTIC CRUSADES
When we first went to Kenya to work in the field, Eleanor felt that she wanted to do something productive so she offered to teach Christian lady seminars. She has done this on each subsequent trip as well. She teaches 3 to 4 seminars in a week. Women will walk up to two hours to get to one of her seminars; they will be there from 9:00 in the morning to 3:30 in the afternoon during which they will be fed a light lunch; and then they will walk the two hours back home. Once home, you must walk 4 to 8 miles to get water; cook, and tend to their family needs. Often we have dinner with them in their homes at night.
In 2008, at the request of one of the local pastors we put on a Christian Marriage seminar for couples. In this seminar was attended by 75 couples. We drew upon the book LOVE AND RESPECT for our material for this seminar. (It is a book that we highly recommend to any couple, in any culture or married, or about to get married.) Although the cultural differences are great (among other things, each man attending had paid many cows for his wife's hand in marriage)
In other years we have also participated in evangelistic crusades.
On each trip, we visited the Ushindi orphanage where we have delivered medicines, and recently were able to raise the funds to drill a water well for the school where the children attend.
MEDICAL CENTERS AND OTHER ACTIVITIES
In our trip of September 2008, we had a nurse from the United States with us and she and Eleanor spent a day visiting a local private hospital and two rural medical clinics. These visits resulted in a list of many needs of these facilities. One of the clinics serves over 3000 people each month, and until we subsequently installed well for it, had to use a polluted stream for its water supply. We recently brought to this clinic equipment for a delivery room, microscopes, and a centrifuge. Similarly, in the future we hope to bring in lockable cabinets for safe storage of medicines for it and a smaller clinic, which is more remote.
One of our most recent efforts is poultry farming for widdows to earn money to feed themselves and the orphans with.