We've had so much fun with our school kids this term! It began in January, when Strathallan School in Scotland sent money for uniforms and lunch. The kids all had tailor made uniforms and looked great and the teachers reported that attendance and concentration had increased noticeably since all the children were getting a proper meal at lunch time.
In February the fun continued when Stuart and Glenys came to visit. They managed to sneak 6 pots of powdered paint through customs as well as a load of other goodies for the kids. The children have been loving them and whenever we carry them down (we're taking it there bit by bit), they go wild! It's a great opportunity for them to be creative too, an opportunity that many children who grow up in poverty don't get.
The cherry on the cake was last Thursday when we got to take them on an end of term trip to a big Arboretum. We packed donuts, beans and chapatis; squeezed the kids into a minibus and went on our way. We had so much fun! They sang, played football, went on an adventure walk and we finished the day with a picnic/meal.
Thanks to all who have supported us so far this year. Some of you have given us the finances to make it possible, others have donated toys and books and still others have come to volunteer; we appreciate you all!
I recently had the pleasure of re-visiting my Masai friends in a town called Bissil. it was great to catch up and to see how their progressing, here's some of the things they've been able to do since my last visit in August 2013:
1. rescue more girls. on the day I visited I was introduced to 4 girls who had been rescued in the two weeks previous to that. one of the girls had actually ran away while her wedding was taking place and the wedding carried on until they noticed that she wasn't around. more and more Masai families are getting to know the risks of fgm and early marriage, but there are always those who are resistant to change. Pr Joseph and his team are working hard to provide a safe place for the girls who are still at risks of such practices.
2. completion of the first building towards a rescue center. I was so happy to see the building finished at last! one room is being used as an office and in the other their offering a sowing course to women to teach them a skill which they can work with.
it was so nice to see their work growing and I felt good knowing that me and you were a part of it too!
Sorry it's been a while since my last blog; but fear not, things have been going well and I'll begin by updating you about Blessed Academy...
Only a few weeks ago did we start our feeding program to give our 30 pupils a decent lunch each school day. It's been going great and the teachers have told us that the kids are performing much better in school since getting a proper lunch. We've continued with the porridge too, which they now take in the morning. The kids are so keen to have their porridge in the morning that some of them come to school half an hour before opening time, just to make sure that they won't miss out!
As if that wasn't exciting enough, we were also able to get uniforms for all of our school kids. The kids were full of excitement as their measurements were taken and two weeks later there was even more excitement as each one tried on their new, tailor made uniforms! A few of them needed tweaking here and there and Glenys got right to work with her thread and needle to get one or two dresses into shape.
We send out a big thank you to Strathallan School who raised the money for the lunches and uniforms; you've touched the lives of these children and all the fund-raising you've done is much appreciated by us, our pupils and our teachers!
On top of that, we had a nice couple of weeks with Glenys and Stuart who came to visit us from my UK Church, Towy Community Church. They came loaded with paints, fleeces, and other things towards our work here. We give the both of you a big thank you too, and watch out for the next blog where there will be pics of us putting these fab gifts into use!
Today a prayer was answered as we did something which we haven't been able to do until now: provide our school children with a proper meal for lunch! With a HUGE THANKS to Strathallan School who have provided us with enough money to give the pupils lunch for the whole year, we were able to give them a meal with the confidence that it won't just been for 1 day or 1 week, but that this will last the whole year.
As I sat there and watched them eat I felt my eyes tearing up, knowing the difference this will make to some of these children. However, I managed to keep the tears back as I wondered about how to explain to a 4 year old why I'm crying while their getting food, hehe! It was so great to see this day.
But the crazy thing is, when I sat down and calculated around how much it should cost each week, it came to around KSH3,000 (less than 25 pounds). That's not just for 1 child, that's how much it costs to feed all 30 pupils and the staff a decent meal each day for the whole week (well Monday-Friday). I don't really know where I'm going with this, but I guess the point is, if you want to make a difference in someone's life, you can do it. It only takes a little sacrifice to go a long way.
Food for thought! Be blessed ><>
this year has started with a bang with Always Enough street ministry!
on our first meeting of the year with the street mum's we went expecting 5 or 6 of the women to turn up; 25 women came eager to hear what we had in store for the new year! we've been talking with them the whole month about change and yesterday 6 of the women gave their lives to Jesus and became Christian's! on top of that, 2 of the women have decided to leave the streets and will be joining others at a rehabilitation. there they will receive counseling and learn skills which will help them to stay off the streets once their done with rehab.
it's also been exciting to spend one day a week at the rehab and to see the women change before my very eyes! you can see them making cards in the pictures above and a selection of their handiwork.
please pray that this year will continue the way it has started with many street mums leaving the streets. also pray as we target a new 'base' (where a group of street boys and women stay) to reach out to, that God will use us to show them His love and for safety and wisdom.
last week was 'back to school' week here in Kenya and the beginning of a new school year. we opened our pre-school alongside the others and we were happy to welcome our kids back for another school year.
to our surprise, when lox checked in on registry day he found all the children from last year who were supposed to go on to primary school!! we managed to get them registered at a nearby school where we'll be able to keep a watch on their progress and where they'll be in class together.
however, the little ones for pre- school also came and we registered 22 kids for this year. we were also able to give some Muslim children the opportunity to be in our pre-school. they are often rejected from schools because of their religion, but we see it as an opportunity to show them the love of Jesus and to be a witness to their families.
there's a few things we'd like to do this year:
let us know your thoughts!
God bless ><>
E-mails are great, parcels are fun, but nothing can beat a visit from home! on the 2nd of Jan at 9pm me and lox made our way to the airport and waited excitedly until mum and dad appeared through the arrivals. we exchanged our first hugs since March 2012 along with smiles and flowers!
One day, when i was still fresh and new to Kenya, we planned to go to a primary school to teach some of the girls about sexual health and purity. We went into Kibera and on our way to the school, dark clouds started forming in the sky. The Kenyans looked at them nervously and started to say something about them in Kiswahili (I didn't know much of the language back then). We kept going until we reached the school. Our team leader went to the office, and 2 minutes later returned to say that the school was closing now, we'll need to come back another day. On our way back, I managed to butt into the fast-flowing Swahili conversation and ask why the kids were being sent home. "Rain" came the simple response.
In Kibera, there's mud everywhere, mud roads, mud houses, kids playing in mud... and when it rains, it becomes one big mud bath. And so, to prevent the kids getting hurt in the slippery chaos, they send them home early. And in the morning, if there's been a lot of rain, the kids will wait a few hours for the roads to dry out before they go to school. Of course, this can reduce the amount of hours our children are getting taught, especially during the rainy season. So, we asked 'what can we do so that our kids can still come to school and go home after school when there's rain?' And I was met with another simple reply: wellies.
When Nienka and Becky, friends from Holland, asked what they can do to help the school, Lox mentioned the rain and wellies idea and they (with support from their friends back in Holland) kindly raised money so that our school pupils can wear wellies when it rains. Another problem solved!
Last Saturday 70 girls from Kibera gathered in a school hall for our ‘Young ladies day’. Ladies from Kenya, Holland and the UK joined together to teach these girls about issues that affect each one of them such as relationships, sexual abuse and who they are in Christ. The main attraction of the day was distributing re-useable sanitary towels. If you’ve grown up in the western world then you may think that re-using a sanitary towel sounds disgusting, however if your options are using is a dirty cloth, staying at home or, in some cases, using cow manure, re-usable towels begin to look like a better option, a much better option. The organization who designed the towels put a lot of research into them to make sure that they have the best material which is comfortable, lasts for 1 year and is disposed of through burning (it doesn’t give out harmful smoke). Editor, who works for the company, kept the girls entertained for an hour showing them exactly how to look after their towels and how to best wash them so that they can be clean and last for the year. The day was a success with each girl receiving not only sanitary towels for the year but also lessons for life!
My expired visa meant that we had to get out of East Africa before it can be renewed, and seeing as we had to go all that way, we thought, why not make the most of it and take a break!? So, here's some of our highlights from out week in Ethiopia:
It seemed like almost all visitors to Ethiopia used private taxis instead of the local bus system, but us being us, we decided to go along with the locals; after a few days we realised why tourists avoid them... We were on a bus where the seats were already taken when a group of old ladies got on and some young men politely got up and allowed them to take their seats. However, one young man wasn't so polite and decided to pick-pocket one of the ladies. Another man saw and began yelling at the thief and slapping him! When the other men around realised what had happened, they also joined in with the yelling and slapping until the bus got to the next stop where he was thrown out. Then the conductor went after him and asked for the fare! I couldn't help but giggling to myself at all the commotion and i hope that thief learnt his lesson!
Ordering food was an interesting game! We went to a town called Ziway and one morning decided to go to a small local cafe for breakfast. Lox already had in mind what he wanted and ordered 'fish blub-blub'. The waiter said 'yes, no problem'. So i went on to order some eggs and local 'injera'. Again the waiter said 'no problem' and went on his way. Around 10 minutes later he came back with a big plate of fish and i asked again about the egg of which he replied 'no problem' and then went to sit down for some coffee... I guess that's all the English he knew! Another day, Lox asked for some sauce for his food, and about 20 mins later when we were about to leave, a waiter comes out with a bowl of soup for him! After a couple of attempts we took to ordering whatever we wanted and eating whatever we ended up getting!!
We enjoyed our week in Ethiopia, we made good friends, ate good food and laughed many laughs; what more could we ask for!?
Welcome to my blog! In case you didn't already know, I'm Ruth. In 2010 I graduated from University and before I even had time to settle down and get a job I felt a tug on my heart to go to Kenya for a few years to help in any way I could. When I arrived it was love at first sight; I loved the more relaxed way of life, the way Kenyans would laugh at EVERYTHING and the way people would put people first. On my first day there I also met Lox, a tall, dark & handsome African man who had the same passions in life as me and the more we worked & laughed together the more we fell in love & after a couple of years of dating we tied the knot & got married. Now I live, work, eat & sleep Kenya. It's great to be able to help those who are in some ways less fortunate than me but amazingly I always feel that I'm the one who gets blessed and learns so much from the people I try to help and from everything I do. Enjoy my blogs which give you a taste of this crazy yet wonderful life I lead.