This is the post excerpt.
It seems like such a long time since I wrote a blog, although it is only four months since we were last in Kenya. These four months have been interesting, with lots of challenges for PottersHeart…… it has been a time of prayer and reflection. Honestly there have been times during these months when we have asked the question…”What are we doing, can we really make a difference?” It is hard not to be overwhelmed with the task set before us, but we have to remember the lives that have been saved and transformed. We remember the babies that have been saved from having their uvula cut off shortly after birth, the wives that are no longer beaten and rapped, the myths about malaria and other diseases that have been dispelled, and so much more.
It is sometimes difficult to be a small player in a big field, but we also have to look at the benefits that affords us. When people donate money they know that we will be personally going into the villages, that we will be getting to know the local people, that we will have stories to tell, and photos to show right down at grass root level.
This trip will be about focussing on what we are called to do, teaching and training. Because we are in a time of succession planning we decided to take a small team, just six of us. Sadly due to illness one of our nurses had to drop out last week, and we still have one other team member not feeling well, and unsure whether she can make it. Will you join us in praying for her return to full health.
Watch this space for stories from the villages.
Love Linden x
As we draw to a close on this nearly three week trip I find myself reflecting on so many things, and so many emotions.
It has been glorious but difficult, breakthroughs and barriers……. a normal trip but on steroids!
The team have been brilliant, each one tirelessly giving out day after day. They have each flown high in their own way, and what a load of laughs we’ve had.
We have had two major hurdles to negotiate, the first being the Kenyan Power Company, who in their wisdom decided to up the quote for getting power to the bore hole by five times! This is a huge battle to fight, and we have left Paul & Jonah to try and find a way round it, very frustrating.
The second major hurdle came when we realised that Father was speaking to us about shifting our emphasis from building The Training Centre to concentrating on developing communities one by one through teaching and training. Father reminded us that His timing and our timing are often not the same. We don’t know where or when the Training Centre will be built, we await His instructions!
The land that we had to build on will still in time serve that local Community with precious water.
Now for the really glorious bit….. the teaching….. in the three separate communities we taught, we saw major breakthrough. Lots of light bulb moments about the myth that you own your wife and can do what you like with her, including beating and raping. We also had big breakthrough with dispelling the belief that parents shouldn’t speak to their children or teenagers about relationships, sex, family planning, their dreams or future. This belief has, and is causing so many problems, the teenagers are lost and without hope.
This time we taught a lot of teenagers, and saw how much we need to help this group. Part of our future fund raising will go on providing bursaries for teenagers we meet who have no hope of any kind of further education. At the moment the girls work in the fields, helping their Mothers, and helping to collect water, firewood and cook. They don’t have any money not even to buy sanitary pads, and we did a lot of teaching on making reusable pads. At heart they are no different to our teenagers, they want to go to college or university, or train to do something which will get them work. The boys do a lot of sitting around, many getting into trouble drinking home brew or smoking home grown drugs. These teenagers are the future of Kenya, what is happening to them is unjust, they are not lazy but they can’t see a way out.
Where we can help we will.
The girl in the striped top is twenty years old Peris. She dreams of being a teacher, and although she went to school when she could, and worked hard, her grades were not high enough. It was difficult but in determination she retook the last year of school, and this time achieved the grades needed for college.
Peris is from a family of 15 children, the idea of parents funding college is a non starter. All of this year Peris has been searching for a job to help her fund at least one term……. there are just no jobs around in Miti Mingi. Slowly the light of hope is dimming in her, she can’t see a future. At twenty Peris is being robbed of her dream to teach. If only we had the Youth and Adult Training Centre built we could help her. Sadly she is not alone, all around are young people with little or no hope for the future. We have to find a way to build the Centre.
Great to travel to Miti Mingi this morning and the sun was shining, although the early morning was very chilly. Every day has been torrential downpours, and we have had to pray that we could reach the teaching place in the villages. Another reason why it will be so good to get the Training Centre started. Once even part of it is built we will start doing the training there, then students can come into the centre and stay for a few days. Our dream is to have it fully fitted out with IT equipment so that we can teach the students all year round from UK, or anywhere in the world. These young people and adults so deserve the chance to have education that will equip them for a career and life in general. Interesting that in our Needs Assesment session this morning, the young people all wanted us to teach them ‘How to manage the concerns we have for the rest of our lives’, and they also wanted teaching on ‘How to deal with early marriages’.
I thought about our own children and grandchildren, and all the amazing opportunities they have for education, and the life choices they then can make. The young people here should be able to see education as their right……. I feel a huge righteous indignation on their behalf. We need help to build this centre both financial and practical.
This village is full of lovely bright young people who currently have no hope for the future. 😪
We love to be in Kianjoya, with one of our adopted sons Pastor Tall Paul. Had a great time preaching on Upendo Metameta (Love Sparkles). Then mobbed by the teenagers, such a beautiful time chatting with them all…… our team were very happy 😀❤️
We’ve been teaching there for three days. Taboos have been well aired and thankfully some broken. Full and frank discussions on marriage, FGM, mental health, addictions, women’s health, cancers, sexual health etc. These folk are like sponges and soak up the teaching.
Tomorrow is our last day with them 😢
We are a very happy team. Amazing things have happened in Ndgara, more than we dreamt of. This community has been full of violence and fear for some years. The government resettled a group from a far away place, these people came from an area of tribal fighting and killing. They arrived with nothing, the local tribe didn’t want them there, and so it started again. Every time the new people started to gather anything to call their own, a chicken, a goat or a cow, the locals came and stole them. They used weapons, causing more fear and hurt. There seemed to be no solution.
Last time we were there we asked the students if they could find it in their hearts to invite some of the other folk to our next training session. When we arrived sure enough they had done that, and they came. We taught amongst other things, on forgiveness and reconciliation, and the Holy Spirit was all over the place, it was a beautiful sight, we were in tears. Later in the day we stood with four tribes, all together worshiping and praying…….. something momentous and powerful happened there today. Transformation happened before our eyes.
All the students decided to form a group called PottersHeart Dgara, the group intend to take this teaching to the whole community and further!
We have been humbled and blessed, I’m so proud of The PottersHeart team, everyone of them gave it their all.
Our first day of teaching was pure gold……… We arrived at Ndgara, down miles of soggy wet muddy track. This is hard terrain, the land of no work, no economy and no clean water. Life is tough here. We taught here for the first time on our last trip, teaching as they requested on family planning, nutrition and hygiene. We didn’t know what to expect, had anything changed we pondered.
Father had given me a word for them based on Mathew 16v19. He was handing them all keys with which to unlock solutions to their issues. I shared this with them and then asked for feedback on last time’s teaching……… we were blown away by the response.
First Alice stood up, she had not stopped teaching, everywhere she went and to anyone who would listen. She had plunged into the family planning topic, even going with some of the ladies to The Dispensary (which is a 7 mile muddy walk) to make sure they had the contraceptive injection! Her neighbour about 22 years old already had seven children and was struggling to feed one child never mind seven.
Then Esther spoke, she had been teaching groups of people on all the topics, but concentrating on the importance of boiling water. Even in the rainy season people walk seven miles for water, but this source is shared with the animals. Esther has been very effective in explaining how this was causing the children and adults to be sick, some even dying.
Daniel was next, he told us he had nine children, the youngest about 3 years old was with him. He explained that the young one was the last because we had taught him about family planning.
We sat and wept, tears of joy. The flip charts we had left proudly pinned up on the wriggly tin wall, we were humbled and reminded that a little teaching goes such a long way, and really does transform and save lives. These folk were still living in harsh circumstances, but they now have hope for the future.
Their church is a small wriggly tin building with a mud floor, no electricity. They do have a long drop (hand dug toilet) but it is almost full, not pleasant, especially in the heat! They just haven’t got the money to build a new one. We would love to help them, if you feel moved to give a donation towards this go to http://www.pottersheart.org.
We also had a session on mental health issues and making your own sanitary pads….. but more on that tomorrow.
Please pray that the rain stops or the road will become unpassable!! Linden x