Whats essential to you?

Hi folks sorry I haven’t written since we got back from Kenya. We arrived back into Heathrow to find a very strange scene…… an almost empty airport! Never the less we decided to go into self isolation for seven days just because we had been exposed to lots of people on an aeroplane…….. little did we know that nearly four weeks later we would still be in isolation. We found ourselves at least 2 hours away from family, over 70 years old and asthmatic. Bit of a challenge, as we had been away for nearly three weeks the cupboard was bare! Not even a dried up piece of cheese in the fridge. We tried to do our first ever supermarket shop on line, easy to shop, not easy to get a slot. We reached the stage where we had to let people help us, not a place we had ever been before. Thankfully eventually Waitrose came up trumps, and the exciting day dawned when food would be delivered. I was so looking forward to cheese on toast….. no cheese! John was looking forward to a lager in the garden…… no lager!

Why am I telling you all of this, well because it is in such stark contrast to what our beautiful friends in the rural Kenyan villages are experiencing. For two weeks we had been teaching in three different villages. All three are experiencing poverty that makes you weep, children are malnourished, families are too poor to send them to school, the clinic facilities are at least two hours walk away. Even if you can get to the clinic the nurse won’t be able to give you any medicines, she doesn’t have any. Lots of people have respiratory disease, not helped by the climate, or the cooking on a wood fire in enclosed spaces. The only things you have to eat are what you can grow, and you know that the locust swarms are in the area.

My scene of empty food cupboards and an empty fridge is not like theirs is it. I have money so I can via telephone or online, order food and many other things. I can turn a tap on and drink water. I can safely use a toilet which is in my own house, and I can easily wash my hands. I don’t have to collect wood for a fire, I just turn the cooker on. So if authority or common sense tells me I need to isolate, it will be to keep me safe.

In Kenya as they are told to isolate, to practice social distancing, life becomes even more fragile. If they go out and catch the disease there will be no, or very little hope of a hospital bed, never mind a ventilator……. if they stay in many will starve to death. It puts me missing cheese into perspective doesn’t it.

How can we help? We can send money to enable families to buy bags of maize and beans, this will keep them alive. John & I usually love to go into a cafe for a latte and maybe a cheeky piece of cake…… even if we only donated what we would spend on that a month it would feed a family. On http://www.pottersheart.org we have a donate button anything you can give will help.

Thank you so much

Linden & John xx

Over whelming poverty.

I’ve been pondering on our work last week in the village of Kamng’ei. We knew life was tough there, and sadly we are used to seeing poverty but this is on another level.   When we arrived the students eyes were hopeless, worn down and worn out. Many haven’t even got any land, they have to walk over 2 kilometres to get water. Each family needs at least 8 x 20 litre Jerry cans a day, that’s 40 Kenyan Shillings which not everyone has. There are many children, and a lot are malnourished, and some have kwashiorkor (wet malnutrition). One little one was so malnourished she didn’t have the strength to cry….. it’s heart breaking. We had a lovely young man called Robert in the training, he has glaucoma…… already blind in one eye. He needs eye drops for the rest of his life but to him there is no way to achieve this, so he will lose his sight. We met his beautiful wife and their new baby Sam, the baby was dedicated in church on Sunday.  (See photo below)
When we had finished a Community Liebust and two days of training, a fragile hope had returned to them, armed with new ideas for farming, basic health and hygiene teaching, and much needed teaching on relationships and family planning, this little band of 20 students are determined to make a difference in this place. They too have decided to form a PottersHeart Kamng’ei Community Teaching Team, knowing that we will commit to at least five visits to continue the teaching them.

Yesterday an 8 month old baby died on arrival to the hospital from simple diarrhoea and for the want of rehydration. Life is so tough. Please stand with us in being able to teach, train, and release potential in these people. We hope you will pray with us. X

 

When time means nothing

Yesterday I chatted with the most amazing CuCu (Grandmother). She is clearly a very old lady but doesn’t know how old she is, when asked she thinks she is somewhere between 80 and 100 years! She has worked on her Shamba (small holding) all her life, and still does. She had walked to the training,  when asked how far that was she said “a walk”. I asked her how long it took, she told me time was unnecessary, if you need to get somewhere you just walk until you arrive!

We loved it that the class all really respected her. What this lady says goes, and her message is love and peace between the tribes, she was so thankful for our teaching on forgiveness.F462B249-C1BD-4EF6-9CAA-2871DE93C3A2

Smashing through barriers!

Wow today has been amazing. We were welcome by the sight of our ‘made with love’ colourful bunting from Beaminster and Lincoln. Also beautiful balloons donated by PottersHeart Birmingham…. all looking so lovely in the church.

We’ve covered hard topics today…. starting with a Community Liebust. What a joy to see so many lies ousted and to see the students chase hypocrisy, failure to thrive, unbelief, tribalism, addiction and idolatry out of the community.

We then taught on relationships covering wife beating, rape in marriage and so much more. The day ended with separate sessions for the men and women.

We left with them asking for more on this tomorrow…… there is never enough time!!!

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Kenya here we come!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breakthroughs and barriers!

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.

Linden x

 

20 year old girl fights for her dream

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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.

Linden x

 

 

Lack of education scandal

 

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. 😪

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Joy in Kianjoya

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 😢