Thursday, March 21, 2019

KISII REPORT - SEPTIC SYSTEM IS BEGUN


Looking at these photos, you will understand why it was necessary to get the septic system finished before the rains begin. Last season, once the rains started, it rained every day for more than three months.

No backhoe here. Just Backs
This is not a small tank they are building, and it is right under the eve of the roof. Why there? The property where the orphanage sits is so small that it is the only place available.

We are grateful to the Lord for His provision, and we are 
When I saw this photo, I thought,
"Almost finished with the hole"
one step closer to the day the children will have a safe and healthy place to sleep.

We are also trusting that by next week, we will have more progress to report on the building.
Nope, a little deeper


I would also like to report that the food store has been restocked with about $2000 worth of food. It sounds like a lot of food, and it is, but you may be surprised to learn that it will last only about three weeks. We have a lot of children to feed!
These final photos were surprising



This entire project has been a big undertaking, and we thank all who have helped. And of course, it does not end when the dormitory is completed. Vivian and I actually do not know what the future holds for us. We only know that God has called us to be a part of this work.


As you can see, walls will be re-enforced brick,
then a waterproof plaster applied

If you have not read my two posts on “Knowing the Voice of God,” I would encourage you to do so if you are wondering why we are involved. The simple answer to that question is that I am only doing it because God told me to do it.

I realize that those two posts are very long. They are the transcripts from my sermons in the Log Church for the past two weeks. If you read them, I think you may learn something about listening for the voice of God.


But if you simply do not want to read a lot but still want to know why we are involved, then just scroll down to the very end of the last post. It is there I explain our how God spoke to me and our involvement with Kenya.

 


 



Sunday, March 17, 2019

KNOWING THE VOICE OF GOD: PART TWO

How Do I Know It Is God Speaking to Me?
 
(How did I know God told me that Vivian and I were to go to Venezuela, and how did I know that we were to be involved in Kenya?
 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

KISII REPORT - TALKING DOLLAR$ AND $HILLINGS

Sometimes it is necessary. In the world which we live, good thoughts are not enough. It take Dollars and Shillings to feed the children, to enroll them and school, and as we know at the present, to build a dormitory so that they have a safe and healthy place to sleep.

When I visited the orphanage in January, the building was up and looking good, but we still lacked several components to bring it to completion. Here is the list that we came up with in conjunction with the Kenyan national health and sanitation department:

   Plastering inside, outside, floor, valandar and labour
                                                   Ksh.200,000=$2,083

   Ceiling, fiscal board and labour ksh.150, 000 =$1,562
   Septic tank, piping and labour.  Ksh.80, 500=$838
   Water tank and installation ksh.12, 000=$1,250
   Glass for windows, doors and labour ksh.70, 000=$729
   Painting and labour ksh.85, 000=$886
   Electricity wiring and labour Ksh.65, 000=$677
            Total =Ksh.770400 =$8,025.

During this entire project, with each step I have been a bit taken aback by the cost of each portion. But the costs are real. They are not inflated.

Nevertheless, I have also been taken aback (in a positive sense) to see how God has supplied for each step. We have looked only to God for provision, and he has put in the hearts of his people to help. This has been heartening to me, because although I write about what is happening at the orphanage, I make no appeals for funding. It has been the Lord who has inspired people to give.

Still, even with all of this, these final expenses seemed difficult since I knew that the rains would soon be starting in Kenya. In addition, for a period of about three weeks after I had returned from Kenya, I received no money to send, and Vivian and I had been tapped out of resources. I don’t know if I would go so far as to say I was beginning to doubt if it could be done, but I should admit that I was not far from doubting.

But of course, none of this was difficult for God. Shortly after this brief financial drought, a friend of mine sent me a check for $200 and told me that at the beginning of April, he would send another $800. Another gave me a check for $250, and another $500. There are two couples who regularly send me $50 per month, another individual who does the same, and one couple who puts $20 in the offering plate almost every Sunday for the children. Then, I received another word from someone else that they will soon be giving $1000. It is beginning to add up.

Then, in the ways of God, he is bringing about a heretofore unknown and unplanned life change for Vivian and me. If all goes as it seems it will, very soon (within the next few months), our son Matthew, his wife Sarah and their two little daughters will be selling their house in eastern Wisconsin and moving into our home here. Although Vivian and I still have some things to arrange, we will be moving into a smaller place.

This move will free up some money for us, money enough that I feel that I can commit to paying the remaining portion of the needs for the dormitory, plus pay the $3000 school bill for the children for this term, plus resupply their food pantry with another healthy stock of food.

I am troubled no more about finishing the dormitory. Just yesterday I sent $2500 so that they can begin, and I am pretty sure we can keep them supplied with funding so that the work can go on steadily until completion.

We still should have a couple of weeks before the rains, and we will pray that God will hold them off until the children have moved safely into their new dormitory.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

KNOWING THE VOICE OF GOD: PART ONE

KNOWING THE VOICE OF GOD
Are You Following the Call of God,
Or is it Merely Your Own Call to Adventure? 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Roy and Helen Approach to the Observance of Lent

The Apostle John wrote these words: 

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not from the Father but from the world. The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God remains forever. (1 John 2:15-17 BSB) 

As well as any words ever spoken or written, these words encapsulate the meaning of Ash Wednesday and of Lent.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

HANNAH, THE MOTHER OF SAMUEL--WHAT IS THE SIZE OF YOUR ROBE?

I think probably every mother, or any woman who wants to be a mother, must feel at least a little bit of empathy with the woman of this story. Her name was Hannah, and her story is this:

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

KISII REPORT--WORKING TO BEAT THE RAIN

Since we began the plans for the dormitory, it has been my prayer that we can see the children sleeping there before the rains. The rainy season last year was devastating for their health. Those rains come in about a month.

It has been wonderful to see how God has supplied to get us this far. The people of Kisii are astounded to see how the building has risen so quickly in this poor village, and we have worked closely with the health officials to make sure that we are providing a healthy situation for these children that God has put under our care.

The plastering of the walls (inside and out) has been finished. I spoke with Pastor Joel about having the orphans sleep there now (after we get glass in the windows and maybe some paint on the walls), since the children are still in those two small rooms in a rather unhealthy situation.
 
He told me that the person who owns the rooms where the children presently sleep has given one and a half free month’s rent for the children, and that the health official has advised the orphanage leaders that we finish the toilets before allowing the children to stay in the dormitory since it is all part of a healthy environment.

Perhaps his thinking is that if we do not do it before the children move in, it may not get done at all. Whatever is the thinking, it is a good idea to get them done.

Installing the toilets and septic system are a big step further for which we presently have no funds. These items will cost $2088.

In order to bring the dormitory to completion, including glass for the window frames, putting in a ceiling, painting and stringing electric lights, the total cost comes to $5932

We are trusting our God to supply all these needs. He has called us to care for these children of His, and our faith is in Him.
 
Got questions? donaldrhody@gmail.com

 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

KISII REPORT: NEXT STEP--PLASTERING

The plastering of the interior and exterior of the dormitory is now underway. We are grateful that God has provided a way for us to do this. As always, the building remains a step-by-step process as we have funds. But God has begun this work and we know that he will bring it to completion.

The plastering consists of a cement coating inside and out to provide a smooth surface. On the inside, it helps to maintain cleanliness, and on the outside, it prevents weathering.

We move ahead in faith trusting God to supply what is needed, and it is our prayer that the children will be able to move into the dormitory before the rains begin, probably later next month. 

Of course, the other needs are constantly there (food and other daily needs, and of course the school costs) but we are also trusting the Lord to supply those needs. 

The church itself continues to reach many people for the Lord, and the pastors and others often walk many miles to bring the message of salvation to the people of this, one of the poorer regions of Kenya.
 
We praise God that he has not forgotten these people, and neither will Vivian and I forget or abandon them. God has not, so how can we?

God questions concerning this work? Email me at donaldrhody@gmail.com

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.”
****************************************
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.