Sue & Richard update 18th October 2017: Kware, Millicent, Magina, Elections….
We made it back to Kenya! Despite some misgivings about coming here during a time of political uncertainty (more of that later), we have seen very little sign of any trouble in the places we have been so far.
After good flights (from Southampton – so much easier than London!) followed by long queues to get out of Nairobi airport our B & B hosts picked us up as promised and took us to our comfortable lodgings. We miss Sue’s brother and family being around, but we were grateful of a safe and peaceful place to stay. We had found the place on Booking.com and only when we arrived did we discover that the place is run by a delightful, helpful Christian family, where Mama is a Church pastor. God goes before us.
We made two visits to the Kware Care Centre at Ongata Rongai in the following couple of days. The road to it is as crazy as ever – buses are particularly unpredictable…on your right, on your left, coming towards you on the wrong side of the road…we haven’t missed this aspect of life in Kenya! But as ever, we had a warm welcome from Mildred, Beth, Janice and Julius, our faithful workers at Kware; and we had time to talk to the children and sing with them. They are a lovely group of children: it’s wonderful to see those who would have had no chance in life being given that chance, and being grounded in faith in Jesus Christ.
We had an enforced delay in our planned departure from Nairobi due to a bit of a mix-up with the car insurance, so we spent Sunday at Karen Community Church, and meeting with Maurice (who used to work for Sue’s brother) and his family, and one of our sponsored lads, James, with his brother Jeff. It was good to have the unexpected opportunity to see them all.
In the evening, Millicent and Eric joined us for a short while. They had travelled to Nairobi to attend an interview at the Indian Embassy about Millicent’s visa. Millicent is tired: anyone who knew her previously would notice how she has had to slow down – she really needs this operation. On Monday we heard that she had been granted the visa. It will be issued next Monday (23rd October) and she is planning to travel to India on Tuesday 24th. Please keep her in your prayers – also Eric, who will miss her greatly but has chosen to stay here in Kenya so the children at the Care Centre don’t miss both of them. He is working hard in Millicent’s absence.
So we travelled to Magina with Eric on Monday. We thank God for a straightforward journey. The only sign of any trouble was some rocks and branches across the road just before we reached Magina – the remains of an earlier road-block by protestors. Eric said it wouldn’t have been a problem even if they had still been there because he knows everyone in the area and in any case they still respect the clergy (he was wearing his ‘dog collar’).
We met Anthony, who is doing Teacher Training at Kericho, en-route. He is a lovely young man who has a real heart for God and for other people: meeting him, knowing what a difficult background he comes from is a real encouragement that what Pamoja is doing is worthwhile.
So far our time has largely been spent recovering from the journey, getting used to the heat and humidity, and sorting out our little house. Everything takes longer when you have to heat water on a gas bottle for washing, washing-up etc etc. But we did spend a while at the School on Tuesday, meeting the new administrator, Josephine, who seems a very determined and well-organised young lady. We have also paid a couple of evening visits to the Care Centre: it’s great to renew our friendship with the children and staff there, and to meet some of the new younger children who have joined in the past year.
As far as the election goes, it’s hard to know what will happen. The opposition leader, Raila Odinga, has pulled out because the changes to the electoral commission he demanded have not happened. There will still be an election, though, as one of the candidates who polled about 1% of the vote in August is standing along with the current President, Uhuru Kenyatta. There have been protests in recent days, including some in Kisumu quite near here, which have been violent. These protests have now been called off, and Odinga says he will announce his next move on Friday, which is a National Holiday, ‘Heroes Day’. We intend to keep a low profile on Friday!
The fact is that most Kenyans simply want a peaceful life with a government that will work for everyone’s benefit, especially for the poor. They are fed up with the political squabbling and power games. They would like a government that makes getting water to all communities a priority, for example. Please continue to pray for a good resolution to the current crisis. But for us, as I sit here in our little tin hut listening to the birds and the sounds of rural life going on as it has for many years, politics seems a long way away.
Thank you for your ongoing interest and prayers. The internet is fairly buzzing along today, so hopefully I’ll be able to keep you updated as time permits.