Second Kenyan Update from Phil Sheldon!


Celebration Day – May 3

It was another long but great day full of memories. Getting up at 5:30am to be down at City Hall for the men’s prayer time for the city was tough but we did it. It was great to be worshipping our God as the sun was rising with many Godly men. I did admit to sneaking a peek at the internet before we left to see the preliminary election results. Of course 5:45am our time was only 10:45pm so some of the Western poling stations hadn’t even closed but already one could see the outcome.

Anyways, after our breakfast we set up in Wachira’s office which Dave and I have commandeered for the duration, but spent only a few minutes before being called to the first event of the day – the commissioning of the well at PACE and the new Pan African High School. The main service occurred in the dining room at PACE for all the students, staff and guests (including us). There were many speeches, songs by the children, introduction of the staff, guests and then the highlights – two poems were presented by students – one for the well and one for the high school. They were both very moving and I think tears were flowing. There were some great explanations as to how the well has changed lives for the children, staff and the people around PACE – in ways we didn’t even realize. Sure the obvious reasons were talked about – stopping disease (Typhoid, Colera, intestinal diseases, etc) and making sure that drinking water was always available when needed. But others dealing with cleanliness, and cleaning of clothes and cooking were also given. To these children, water is life. Much of the time was spent on this and the miracle of the well.

There is a water tap close to the office building and as the children would leave class to go to the wash room they would sneak a drink from the tap even though they would get punished if caught – not because it was wrong, it was simply that the water was not clean for drinking and caused much of the sickness. But how do you stop a child who is thirsty? Now the children can go to the tap whenever they want because of the well.

The second part of the celebration service evolved around the new Pan African High School which started in February. Only the first grade or Form 1 has been started but already 40 students will be registered and attending by the end of the month. Fifteen of these students are PACE students who we are trying to support. But the needs are there. The children talked about the fact that the PACE is an integrated school accepting students from all tribes – especially the marginalized tribes such as the Samburu, Maasai, Turkana and Poket. All children are welcomed. However most of these children come from single parent families who are able to contribute little if anything towards the child’s education costs, clothing, personal items, books, exam fees and room and board. This is what we are trying to assist PACE with.

As it was mentioned many times today, Knowledge is Power.

The new Principal of the High School Miss Jackline Mumbi introduced her staff and included our Roger in that in recognition of his teaching of French to the high School class three times a week. Roger is highly thought of and has certainly fit in.

After the singing was over and many prayers said and cake was shared by all (cake twice in three days – unheard of) – we all trooped outside for the official ribbon cutting ceremonies. Kathy cut the ribbon on the well and then she and Pat washed there hands in the water. Then we trooped down to the two room high school where Wendy and I got to cut the ribbon (The funding for the high school came from last October’s Ride for Refuge where teams from Harbour and Priory Churches rode and raised funds from sponsors.)

After that we all rode on the PACE school bus to Victory Nursery School in Maina where Pastor Francis and his wife Beth look after 100 children ages 2-1/2 to 5-1/2. It is always a highlight of the team trips. This year we were able to participate in the bread and milk program that was started by Jon Jeske last year and has already resulted in major health improvements to these young children. Milk and bread is served to them twice a week and as Pastor Francis points out, this may be the only meal these children may have this day.

This evening we all met at a downtown Nyahururu hot spot – Savanah Green – and shared a meal with all the pastors and their wives and with our teams (plus Roger). It was a great night of Swallowship and Pastor Mugo coined it and it seemed to fit.

So tonight we are busy getting ready for the Pastors and wives retreats that start on Thursday morning for 2-1/2 days. The wives are certainly excited as they will be staying at the retreat center the entire time while the Dads go home to look after the children. The only condition is that they must cook for the children. It should prove interesting as this is certainly contrary to their culture.

Well time for me to sign off. Think I’ll surf and find out the final result of the election.

Phil

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