Sunday, February 17, 2019

RUTH THE MOABITESS— FOCUSED ON BLESSING

In the Old Testament book of Ruth we have the story of two widows. Like the book of Judges, we do not know for certain who wrote this book, but also like the book of Judges, it is widely believed that it was the prophet Samuel.

Whoever the true author of the book of Ruth was, and if it was indeed the same person that wrote Judges, I am sure it was a pleasure for him to close that book and move on to the story of Ruth.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

KISII REPORT- IT IS NOT ALL JUST BRINGING DRESSES FOR CUTE LITTLE GIRLS

It would be nice if my involvement with the orphanage in Kisii was all bringing new dresses for cute little girls, but unfortunately, the reality is much different.

We presently are facing several difficulties, the most urgent of which is food. The difficulty with this right now is that there is none.

I did not specifically ask Joel this time, but on the previous occasion when they had gone without food for almost a week, I asked him if they had had nothing at all to eat during those days. He told me that they did have some corn meal and they have water, with which they made a kind of watery porridge to have once a day. I do not know what it is now, only that the children are going to bed without having eaten.

The food reality is that it daily takes $150-$200 to feed and provide other daily requirements for the children and the orphanage staff, of whom there are about a half a dozen adults. This is every day.

“It seems like a lot,” you say?
It is a lot, but that is the reality.

Another reality is that, as encouraging as it was for me to see the dormitory coming along so well, the building is still not ready to be occupied. If we are going to have the children sleeping there when the rains begin, we need to be able to continue working. Right now it is at a standstill, since we have no funds.

The next step is to plaster inside and out. The plastering is for much more than just aesthetics, since on the inside, the plaster makes it possible to keep the rooms clean. Outside, the plastering keeps the rains from seeping into the joints and causing structural problems.

The floor also needs to be resurfaced. It already is hardened from the mixing of the concrete when they prepared it for the brick mortar and beams. They mixed the concrete by hand on the floor. It is level and it is somewhat even, but it is not smooth. It needs to have a coating.

On the ground outside the perimeter of the building, we need to put a hard surface as well to keep the entire ground from becoming constant mud during the daily rains.

The cost of all of this work is about $2000.

This is the next step for the dormitory. There are several others as well. Among these are finishing the toilets, which the health and sanitation department of Kenya tells us needs to be a flush system with a holding tank.

This of course requires the plumbing and tank itself, but also a cistern, since there is no well.
 
I will write about all of these additional dormitory costs in future posts, but the rains will begin possibly later next month, so we need to get moving.

Another reality is the schooling for the children. For the 42 students, this totals to approximately $1000 per month for the nine months of the school year.

“Our Father in heaven, please provide the daily bread for these, your children. This is the most critical need right now. Also please provide for the continuation and completion of the dormitory before the rains begin.”

Monday, February 11, 2019

KISII REPORT--A NEW DRESS FOR VIVIAN

I was a bit hesitant about bringing the little dress to the orphanage in Kenya. Someone from our church had given it to me to bring, but it seemed a bit too fancy. And I only had one. I did not have one for every girl in the orphanage, and I did not want to create envy among the children.

I told this to the lady who gave the dress to me to bring for the orphans. Nevertheless, there was something about the spirit in which she gave it that caused me to want to take the dress along with me. I did so on this last trip.

Somewhat timidly, I showed the dress to Pastor Joel. I explained to him the situation, and simply told him that I did not know what to do with the dress, so I was giving it to him to decide.

The following day, Pastor Joel told me that when they had met as the staff of the orphanage, they talked about it. “We decided to give the dress to Vivian,” he told me.

I do not know the reasons that they decided in this way. When I gave the dress to Joel, I did not give him any preference of what they should do. I was just glad to hand off this dilemma to someone else.

The people do know that Vivian is also the name of my wife, whom they call their “Mum,” but they told me that this was not the reason. I also had told Joel that it was not my Vivian who had given me the dress, but someone else from our church. I frankly do not think it had anything to do with the name, but I did not ask questions. It was their decision.

Later that day when all the children had gathered after school, and before the crowd of all the children, two of the pastors made a presentation of this gift to little Vivian. Every gift seems to be given in this way. They make a little performance of bestowment when they are given. This one was a new dress for Vivian Mosoti.

I later thanked the pastors for doing this, and then I confided in them the same doubts that I had expressed to the woman from our church.

“I did not want to create envy among the children,” I said to them.

“What is envy?” Pastor Joel asked.

“Envy is when one child receives something that the other children wish they had, and they begin to resent the one who did receive it.”

Joel gave a little laugh. “Oh, that happens in the world,” he responded. “But it does not happen in the church.”

I thought to myself but did not say out loud, “You do not know the church in America.”
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You can learn your life lessons from preachers with huge churches and even bigger homes, if you like—the ones who have gone to school for effective communication.

I still prefer to learn mine from the humble of the earth.

“But the humble will inherit the land, and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.” Psalm 37:11

Sunday, February 10, 2019

HOW TO WALK BY FAITH

“…For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

These are the words of the Apostle Paul in describing the Christian life. We often hear about “living a life of faith” as well as “walking by faith.” We are fond of calling ourselves, “people of faith.” These are all very pious sounding words, but sometimes we do not really understand what it means to walk by faith.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

WHY I WENT TO KENYA (conclusion)

You will notice that the title of this final installment of this series of posts is slightly different than the rest. Instead of saying, “Why Am I Going to Kenya,” it says, “Why I Went to Kenya. It in the past tense, because I returned home last night. Vivian drove down to the Central Wisconsin Airport to pick me up.

It was not until I arrived at Chicago that I remembered that this Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday here in the United States. Everyone was talking about it at the airport—either about that or about trying to find a flight home. So many flights had been cancelled in the previous days due to the record cold temperatures that everything was backed up.

I don’t care about the Super Bowl this year. You might accuse me by saying that it is because the Packers are not in it, and that admittedly may be part of it. If they were playing, I would have more interest. But that is not all of it. Even when my state’s home team still had hopes of post-regular season possibilities, my interest in the season had waned down toward zero.

During the past several decades, the sports industry, just like the music industry and the movie/television industry, has been elevated to a level in our society that it does not deserve.
 
This is made evident by the fact that the most well-know stars of these fields have become the spokes-people of our culture on almost any subject. When an opinion is needed on world affairs, a cultural shift in society, or even about what is right and wrong, it is to the sports stars, the movie stars, and the rock stars that we turn.

Increasingly, I am tiring of all of it. These are not the people that I care to have shape my opinion on anything. All three of the afore-mentioned industries are entertainment industries, and they are little more than that. The place of their professions in society is not to guide us into higher levels of thinking, but simply to provide diversion for us for a few moments—that’s it!

Perhaps it is possible for them to produce shows and music that have somewhat higher values, but while they have excelled at computer driven graphics and recording technology in order to better amuse us, they have remained primitive in  the more redeeming qualities.

In general, these industries that are mainly meant to entertain have outgrown themselves in levels of importance because our society has diminished itself in its ability to think critically. We have come to believe if someone has the ability to give us a few moments of amusement, then they are worthy to lead us in every aspect of life.

Freshly back from my time with the people of the Log Church of Kenya, this contrast of priorities of life hit me hard. These people of Kisii, who despite the fact that they themselves are among the most needy of the earth, have still opened up their lives to provide food, shelter, and a supportive community for the orphans of their area.

These are the kinds of people whom I would rather shape my world view.

“The Bible instructs us to care for the orphans and the widows,” the three pastors of the church told me in a meeting one day. “We decided to begin with the orphans, because they have the biggest needs in our area.”

Pastors Douglas, Joel and Vincent
I have always gained the most insight into life from the lowly of the earth, and I have worked with many in many different societies. The rich and the famous have had relatively little to offer me on living a life.

Part of this comes from the fact that they usually have too high an opinion of themselves. It is the humble man and the humble woman, the ones who live life where it actually exists, who have the most to teach.

And when history has come to a close, when all the Super Bowl rings have been been burned into ash along with all the Emmys and the Oscars, it is the work accomplished in the orphanage that will remain.

Thanks for coming along with me on this journey. I will continue to write of what is happening with the orphanage—not daily, but more like weekly.
I hope you continue to follow.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

WHY I AM GOING TO KENYA (again) #12

What happens to the children once they have finished the secondary school? The next step is either “college,” or university. Preparation for these more advanced studies have been made during the four year secondary school.


During “form 2” (the sophomore year), the students begin to study subjects in which they are more likely to excel. During “form 3” (the juniors), the students are increasingly encouraged toward their abilities, and during “form 4” (seniors—you get the picture), the students are very directed toward their likely fields.

As far as I can understand, the college is somewhat like out own “technical schools,” in the United States, where the students can learn a specific skill. The skills included in this are professions such as teachers for primary schools, nurses, pharmacists, engineering, and several others.

The universities give instruction in more specialized fields, such as more advanced medical studies, teachers for secondary schools and beyond, and in fact, most of the skills taught in the colleges but at a more advanced level.


Again, the students are not completely at liberty to decide their studies. It is based upon how they scored on their exams. In many ways, the education department determines what career the student should pursue.
The orphanage currently has four students in secondary. Three are in their first year of the four-year high school, one is in her third year.

The more advanced studies also require funding, just as you would expect. If the students have done well in their secondary studies and if they have finished well in their exams, there are scholarships or other types of funds available from the government for at least part of these expenses. The students also are given on-campus work, just as universities in the US have, and this is a way that the students can fund their education.

But there is always an additional cost. The two above mentioned sources of funding are rarely enough to cover the entire cost of the education.

At the orphanage, we currently have four youths who have finished their secondary training. These four are still living at the orphanage since they have nowhere else to go, but given the very many expenses that we are currently facing in the orphanage, there are is no funding for these students. However, we praise God that they have been able to finish with their secondary training. Many children in Kenya do not.

But I have asked each of these four to write a short biography of themselves, telling of their background and hopes for the future. I am not sure when I will receive these, but when I do, I will put them up on this blog page.

I have told them that perhaps (just perhaps), God will put it in the heart of someone to help these advance into college or university.

These are the things that I have learned about the educational system here, and how it affects what we do in the orphanage.

I am beginning my journey home this evening. It has continued being extremely cold at our farm, but Vivian has worked diligently and has not only been well herself, but has kept the animals safe and healthy.

“Thank you Honey! I love you so much!”

WHY I AM GOING TO KENYA (again) #11

It costs the orphanage about $1000 per month to send all the children to school. That is a lot of money, especially to those of us who were brought up going to school where primary and high school is free of cost.

Supposedly, this should also be the case in Kenya, where the official position is that: “Primary education is free and compulsory in Kenya. Secondary education is also free, but not compulsory. ... Primary education has been free and compulsory in Kenya since 2003.”

That is the official position. The reality is much different.
There are many costs involved with providing the children with an education. The students must have their school uniforms of course, and shoes, but they also must buy their own textbooks, paper, pens, and any other costs associated with their education.

They must pay an electricity fee for the electricity they use while they are in school, and a water fee. There is a fee for the maintenance of the buildings and property, and if it is determined that a new building must be built, this is also reflected in the fees for the children.
There is even an administration fee, which I cannot understand. If there is not supposed to be a tuition, what other heading would this fall under?

Earlier in 2018, many of our children were attending a local school, which was close at hand to the orphanage. However, the government closed down that school because it was not meeting the national standards.
Perhaps they were correct in doing this, but the result has been that we have needed to send the children that were attending there to go to schools further away, and unfortunately, more expensive. There are four schools where the children attend, all of them quite a long walk from the orphanage.

Most of the primary students, for instance, walk at least a half hour in the morning to attend classes, the same distance to return to the orphanage for lunch, then again to return again to school for the afternoon, and lastly, home in the evening.

As I said in the previous post, it is no wonder that it always seems to be a Kenyan who wins the New York Marathon.

Why don’t they carry their lunch? I asked this question, and frankly, I do not think that they have considered seriously this option. Certainly there are some difficulties in this and it would mean more work on the part of the workers at the orphanage. Also, there is a question whether or not the school would allow it. But it is an option that is worth exploring further.

I also wondered the reasons why the children attend so many different schools, four it total. Schools in the area are numerous and I must say, even after asking many questions, I am still a bit confused by the working of the entire school system.

Since the school district in which the orphanage is located is so large, and the orphanage so far from the center, it makes it impossible for the children to attend the district school. It matters little, for there would be no savings in cost, and may in fact, cost more. Thus, at least here in this area, the children attend a school that the parents, or in our case the orphanage, choose and can afford.

But it actually is not as simple as that. For instance, some of the orphans already had been registered at one school when the orphanage took them in, so they are required to continue attending there until they have permission to move to a different school. The permission is not easily obtained.

Also, there is a connection with the aptitude of the student. In some of the primary schools, there is a special emphasis on one particular type of education: music and athletics, for instance. All the other basics of science and math and the rest are taught in all the schools.

The children are required to take tests throughout their education, and if these tests show that the student is particularly gifted in one field, then he or she must attend a school that specializes in that study. It is not a requirement, but it is strongly recommended.

Would it be less expensive and possible to begin a school at the orphanage?

This also was my own question when the aforementioned school close to the orphanage was forced to shut its doors, and the school costs suddenly increased for the orphanage.


Apparently, it is possible to do this, and the leadership of the church is already looking upon this as a long-term possibility, but of course there are many more necessary matters that require more immediate attention—such as food and housing.

But it is a vision. The dormitory that we are building, for instance, is being built with this in mind. The dormitory itself would not easily be able to be used as classrooms, since it will be wall-to-wall bunk beds, but the building is being built with a possibility of putting on a second story that could be used as a school.

You can see why this entire work of the orphanage is in itself like a marathon. Why did the Lord give me this work in my old age instead of in my youth?

Good question and one I have asked him several times.
Are there any of you who has more years ahead of him who would like to come alongside and run with me for awhile?

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

WHY I AM GOING TO KENYA (again) #10

I have been having a valuable time here with the church and the children in Kisii, but I must say that I do wish that I was home now.
There are record cold temperatures in Northern Wisconsin, where Vivian is taking a care of our home and animals.
I am very grateful that our oldest son Jesse is only about 3 miles down the road, and Levi is also not too far away.
Nevertheless, right now my heart is there as my constant prayer is that Vivian will be well.
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This past Sunday was the only worship service that I have been involved with on this trip, but with the Bible Conference that Pastor Joel had arranged the first time that I came more than a year ago, I already knew what the services generally are like and what to expect.

The first thing that I would say about the services is that they are greatly joyful. There is much celebration. Choirs sing. There are three of them: The children’s choir, the women’s choir, and the church choir. Each of them have at least one or two songs to give to the Lord and church.


Even their entrance is an additional song. When the pastor asks them to come and sing, they do not immediately make their way through the crowd to the front, but rather go out the back. Once organized in back of the church, they begin singing
what I will say is their “entrance song,” and with their bodies keeping time with the music as they slowly walk/dance forward, they arrange themselves when they arrive at the front. It is then that the true special songs are sung.

There is also much more special music. These are the individuals or small groups who have prepared something to sing. It is sometimes in English, sometimes in Swahili, and sometimes in Ekkegusi. The pastor has to limit these, as there always seems to be more than there is time.

But there is also always time for those who have “the gift of dance,” as they call it. These are those who have a certain inclination for expressive dancing and who always have a number to present before the Lord and the church.

There is a time for testimonies. The people themselves do not seem to me to be the type that, in their nature, always want to be in the spotlight, but they are very happy to come and tell what the Lord is doing in their lives. They like to share the miracles that had happened in their lives. In fact, there is a special time set apart for the sharing of miracles. It is when I shared with them the miraculous healing of my cancer last year.

There are two sermons. First by one of the two assistant pastors, and then by the pastor himself. This last sermon seems to be the “main sermon.”

Then there are several other elements that are scattered throughout the time, a time which, as you might suspect, is quite long. How long? I was not there for the beginning, but the service began at 8:30, and by the time it was all over, it was getting on to 2:00 in the afternoon.

Thus, the first thing that many Americans may say about the services is that they are long. But frankly, they do not seem long. There is so much happening and they are so joyful, that time seems to have little significance. That is why I chose to use the word joyful as a single word introduction instead of long.

I did not arrive until about 10:00, so I was only there for half of it or a little more. I was to be the speaker for the “main service,” and was greatly privileged to be so.

I was introduced by Pastor Vincent who applied the reading of 2 John 1:12 to my arrival: “I have many things to write you, but I would prefer not to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to come and speak with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.”

He said that every Sunday they read the things that I have written on this same blog page (or perhaps in the books that I left them last time), but now I have come to speak face to face with them.

“We are greatly privileged,” he said. “Dad has come to speak with us face to face!”

Well, I already mentioned that I was the one who was greatly privileged. I had also already prepared to read a short scripture as a greeting.

Mine was from Philippians 1: “I thank my God every time I remember you. In every prayer for all of you, I always pray with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart.”

The scripture that I read also were not just “nice words.” I meant them.
Looks like that one boy is not listening to me
Someone get that kid's name!

There was one group of people who arrived even after I, a group of people from an area named Nkumbene. They walked to church from there, which is at a distance of (are you ready for this?) 64 kilometers away!

No, I could not believe it at first either, and it is still a little difficult for me to accept, but I have asked many people and it is true that the area is that far away, and I have no reason to doubt the word of these brothers, especially since the reason that they came to the service was that the pastors from the church first went to visit them. It is one of the areas where they want to begin another church, “The Log Church of Nkumbene.”

They began walking that morning at 6:00, and it took them 4 ½ hours to arrive. I worked it out, and it averages out to be about a little more than 14 kph, or 8.8 mph. This is a Sunday morning walk to church for these people!

No wonder the Kenyans always seem to win the New York Marathon!

With them they brought a gift for me. It was another thing
that I could not believe. Why would they do this?

They brought with them a work sculpted out of soapstone. It is so beautiful! It is one of those works that you need to touch and handle to gain full appreciation for it.

An African Dove.

I was then, and still am, overwhelmed by this gift of extreme generosity.

Monday, January 28, 2019

WHY I AM GOING TO KENYA (again) #9

Food is essential for life (see post #8), but of course so is water. I also mentioned in that post that Kisii county receives at least some rain in every month of the year, and in fact, during the rainy season, it receives an excess.
But despite this, obtaining clean and healthy water is a problem not only for the orphanage, but for the entire community.

There are places in the world where there is enough steady rainfall throughout the year, that with an adequate collection system off the roofs, the people can gather enough to meet their needs. It was like that where we lived in New Zealand.

I see no reason why, during the rainy season here, this would not also work here. In fact, you do see some tanks in various places around the area just for this purpose. 

But even if this water falls from the sky in clean distilled form, it does not necessarily remain clean once it is stored in a tank. It can be treated, of course, but in the end, this system does not meet the year-around needs of this area. There are too many months with not enough rainfall.


The church and orphanage, and in fact the entire village, obtains their water from the same source. The source is from far down into a valley, where water is flowing out of an embankment. It is spring water. There are actually more than one spring around the area.
The pastors took me down to see the one where they get their water. We were down in the area to visit a school anyway, so since we were that close, it was a good opportunity to take care of this other request of mine of things that I wanted to learn about the situation.

The spring actually was much cleaner than I expected,
and people do drink it as it is. You can see Pastor Douglas doing just that. The area around the outflow has been sealed to keep out contamination, but I am told that the water is not free of contaminants. People do sometimes get sick from the microbes it contains.

But I would think that it is the bringing the water to the orphanage that must be the worst part of using this water for the orphanage. Probably the water could be treated so that it could be made pure for drinking (I do not know for certain), but the fact that it is located far down into a valley makes carrying enough water up the hill a very daunting task. I would say that the trip would be a 30-45 minute walk, mostly up a steep grade, and with a water jug either on your head or strapped to your back.

For a family, it is one thing, but for an orphanage of 42 children plus a few workers, it is something else.

The answer of course, is a well-- “bore hole” as they call them here. I once asked Joel the depth of the water table, and he replied, “Praise God, clean water can be obtained at 129 meters.”

For we metric system challenged Americans, that is about 425 feet. Actually 423 feet and 2.74 inches (I looked it up so I may as well write it down). This water table depth is according to a government survey.

I should add that this water project is not a project that God has put upon me, at least as far as I know. But several people in the US have asked me about the situation, so I wanted to find out.
This is what I found.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

THE LOG CHURCH, BUT WHICH ONE?

In the spirit of a facebook intelligence test, I offer you the following quiz. The short video below was taken in the Log Church this morning, but which one:

A: The Log Chruch of Tripoli, Wisonsin?  or,
B: The Log Church of Kisii, Kenya?

Answer the question with either A or B, but the test of your intelligence depends upon your level of certainty.

If you are 100% certain, you have an intelligence quotient of over 120
If you are 75% certain, you have an IQ between 110 and 120
If you are 50% certain, you have an IQ between 90 and 119
If you are below 50% certain, you have an IQ below 90
If you got it wrong, who is reading this for you?



Saturday, January 26, 2019

WHY I AM GOING TO KENYA (again) #8

I think that over the past few months, most of my posts on the orphanage has been concerning the construction of the dormitory for the children. This has been and continues to be a big push—to have it completed before the rains begin in March or April. We trust that God will supply what is needed to continue.

But of course, housing is not the primary necessity of life. The primary need is food, and it is actually this that requires most of the resources of the orphanage.


We sometimes have the idea that since most people in developing countries do not have much money, the food must cost much less in those places. Some foods actually do cost less, but this is by no means true with all items. 

Below I am going to list approximate costs of foods that the orphanage buys. I frankly do not know if these prices would be more or less than what you would find in your local County Market, and it may be a little difficult to make the comparison. That is because the orphanage buys most of their items in bulk if they have enough money at the time, so that they can get a better price.

1. Rice—50 kg bag (120 pounds), 7,000 Kenya Shillings (≈ $70)  This will last about 2 days

This seemed like a lot of rice to me, even to feed 50 people. It works out to about 500 grams of rice per day. But I have never been a big fan of rice, so I myself have never eaten very much of it. However, I had to look this up to see how much rice is normally eaten in rice consuming cultures. Here is what I found: 

“In countries where rice is a staple part of the diet, the World Food Programme provides, on average about 400 grams of rice per person, per day (for families, including children and adults). That is intended for two meals that include other ingredients to ensure a minimum of 2,100 kilocalories per day.“


2. Maize—90 kg bag (215 pounds—can you imagine throwing that into the back of your pickup?),
8,000 Shillings (≈ $80). This lasts 3 days and works out to about 1.4 pounds per day

3. They spend some 3,000 shillings per day on greens

4. They do not commonly have meat, but when they buy goat meat, it costs about Ks 600/kg, which works out to about $2.75/pound.



We walked down to where Pastor Joel has some land on which to grow food for his family and for the children of the orphanage. It is a quarter of an acre.
They have dedicated most of that ground to the growing of kale, which is a staple to the diet of the people here, a fact that should be much to the delight of all of you health foodies.

But lately, their kale as been suffering from drought. Joel

also showed me a plant that he said has a fungus which is affecting some of their plants. There is no reasonable way to irrigate (which you will understand when I write in a later post about the water situation), so they are completely dependent upon rainfall.


Kisii County is actually better off than many parts of Kenya, in that they normally receive at least some rain in every month. January is probably their driest month (which is why I chose this month to come), and even in the few days that I have been here, we have had a couple of little showers. They were not enough to do a lot of
good for the kale, but it was something.


Nevertheless, as they harvest the kale, they are slowly replacing it with a plant which they call kunde. I think it is the black-eyed pea. They tell me that it is more drought resistant than kale.


Other than those two plants, they have some bananas planted, and a couple of avocado trees.


Nevertheless, any way that you cut it, it is difficult to imagine being able to grow enough food on a quarter acre for 50 people, but it is another area where someone who would like to dedicate part of their life to come to live and help these people, and who was familiar with new food production methods, could do much good.

Hydroponics? Again, a ready source of water may be an inhibiting factor, but probably not unsurmountable.



Another cost factor in having food to feed the children is the cooking of it. Here, there are two factors involved: a source of wood, and an efficient stove.


They need to buy wood for cooking. A lorrie of wood costs KS 15,000 ($150) and lasts 2 or 3 months. This brings us to an efficient stove:


The stove they have is the traditional one: three rocks with a fire in the middle—a campfire.


A campfire may be fun when you are camping out in the woods, but it is not an efficient way to cook food. Most of the heat is radiated out to warm the people sitting around the campfire and telling ghost stories as the smoke dances ghostily around their head—or in this case, to the ladies almost exactly right on the equator and cooking in a small building.


The ladies do not want the heat, nor do they want to breathe in all that smoke. They only want to cook the food.


Just as in agriculture methods, there are also stoves that are both inexpensive to build and very efficient. The "Lorena" stove is one of these. I understand that an even more recent modification on this is the “Rocket Lorena” stove.



Sounds high-tech, but the stove was developed in Latin America and derives its name from Spanish, a combination of the words lodo (mud) and arena (sand). 



It is of rammed earth construction and about the only real cash outlay is for a pipe to be used as a chimney.

It is the design that is the high-tech part and which creates a very strong draft for the fire, hence the of addition of the word Rocket.

This is the effect that the flame as it shoots underneath the cooking pots. It is an efficient stove and would save a lot of money on fuel, and also the health of the women since they do not need to be inside a small building with a campfire in the middle.


But these things will not happen with someone visiting them for one week out of the year. It would take someone who has an inclination toward appropriate technology village applications, and who is willing to dedicate at the least one year to living with the people.

Is it you?

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This post is getting really long, but I have one more thing that I want to share (actually, I have a few more, but I will limit myself to just this one).


Today we had a meeting with the women leaders of the church, who told of some of the things that they would like to do for the work of the Lord.



These women, who come from families where the chief bread-winner has a wage of perhaps $2/day, spoke of how they would like to lease a bit of land where they could grow vegetables both to help feed the orphans of the church, but also to sell in the market—vegetables and napier grass.  Their purpose for selling in the market was primarily so that they can meet other women in order to tell them about Jesus.



Despite all hardships, they want to serve God instead of themselves.


WELCOME KENYA