Thursday, April 2, 2020

KISII REPORT - FACE MASKS OR FOOD?

It was a week ago that I wrote on this blog page about the visit to
the orphanage from the Ministry of Health, who told the church leadership that because of the covid virus threat, the children were sleeping too close together and that the orphanage staff would have to provide better sleeping arrangements for them.

Good advice perhaps, but it also involves some difficult choices. Of course we have no extra buildings where they can sleep, and neither do we have sufficient mattresses and blankets. But that is not the worst of it—the orphanage was also out of food.
 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

KISII ORPHANAGE - IN KISII TOWN

This series of Kisii Orphanage posts is a recollection of entries from my journal when I visited the Log Church and Orphanage of Kenya for the first time.
To retain the continuity of the journal, please scroll down to the entry entitled How it All Began, and work your way up, reading each post that begins with Kisii Orphanage.
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Journal Entry – November 19, 2017 (morning)
 

This morning I awoke in Kisii town. After we left the church last night, the same group of men who had brought me from Nairobi accompanied me to the hotel that they had arranged for me.
 
One of these men of course is the pastor Joel. Another is also a pastor of the church. His name is Vincent, but it took me some time before I actually figured out what his name was, since the “n” sound is very different in Swahili. He pronounces his name something like Vinecent.
 
 
The third man was the driver Amos. He owned the car and was a taxi driver. It would be Amos who was to pick me up every day and bring me to the church.
 
The front of  my hotel
The hotel where I am staying is in Kisii town proper. We had actually passed through this town on the way to the church, but the church is a half an hour or more beyond it on a dirt road that leads up into the hills.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

KISII ORPHANAGE - "OUR DADDY HAS COME!"

This series of Kisii Orphanage posts is a recollection of entries
 from my journal when I visited the Log Church and Orphanage of Kenya for the first time.
To retain the continuity of the journal, please scroll down to the entry entitled How it All Began, and work your way up, reading each post that begins with Kisii Orphanage.
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“Our daddy has come!”
It was after the newly formed church in Kenya made the
decision to become the Log Church of Kenya that Pastor Joel began to refer to me as “daddy,” and to Vivian as “mummy.” It was also after he had written to me that they as the leadership of their church had chosen me to be their mentor.

I frankly wished that he would not have started calling me “daddy.” It seemed overly intimate to me.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

KISII ORPHANAGE- THROUGH THE GREAT RIFT VALLEY TO KISII

This series of Kisii Orphanage posts is a recollection of entries from my journal when I visited the Log Church and Orphanage of Kenya for the first time.
To retain the continuity of the journal, please scroll down to the entry entitled How it All Began, and work your way up, reading each post that begins with Kisii Orphanage.
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Journal Entry – November 18, 2017 


This morning I am awaiting the arrival of Pastor Joel. I am fairly certain that he will come, because since my arrival in Kenya, I have talked with him a few times on the phone.

Nevertheless, I cannot seem to progress beyond the feeling that this entire trip is all one big journey of folly. What man in his right mind would go off and do such a thing as I am doing at this present moment?

If I had been seeking an adventure – then perhaps.

If some mission organization had first made a study of the area and its needs, and then had asked me to go – perhaps also then.
 

Saturday, March 28, 2020

KISII ORPHANAGE - PRAYERS TO HITLER

This series of Kisii Orphanage posts is a recollection of entries from my journal when I visited the Log Church and Orphanage of Kenya for the first time.
To retain the continuity of the journal, please scroll down to the entry entitled How it All Began, and work your way up, reading each post that begins with Kisii Orphanage.
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Journal Entry – November 17, 2017

This morning I spoke to Joel on the phone. Tomorrow he will be making the seven hour plus trip to Nairobi. The plan is that tomorrow after he arrives, we will go together to Kisii. He tells me that the church is actually not located in the city itself, but about a half an hour out of town in a tea growing region.

These are some of the tea gardens near the orphanage
I took this photo later
The tea growing region sounds nice. I should feel right at home.

Today was a very quiet one for me. I took another walk around the area of the hotel and got lost once, but managed to find my way back. I was looking for some kind of market, but there is apparently none within walking distance—at least none that I could find.

I did spend some more time at the park that I mentioned yesterday. It is an unkempt area with the grass unmowed and the benches broken, but it is nice nonetheless. There is a wooded area with a well-worn path through it.

I met many students on the path, all carrying books and who seemed to be in a bit of a hurry to get someplace. I did not speak to any of them, but most smiled and nodded when I met them as we passed. My assumption is that they were off to class someplace.

In the wooded area there was a little creek banked by tall trees and vines—and monkeys, many monkeys. I am not a great lover of monkeys due to several disagreeable experiences with them when I was living in India. But these seemed quite cute, at least as viewed from a distance.

I stood on the bridge and watched them play like small children in the creek. They chased each other around through the water and up the bank, then scurry up a tree, jump to a vine and back to the creek. Cute, but I still don’t trust them. 


Prayers to Hitler

Last night in the outside dining area at the hotel I was having a coffee when two westerners sat down at the table next to me. The tables are small and quite close to one another, so after friendly greetings, we began having light conversation.

Friday, March 27, 2020

KISII REPORT - "SOCIAL DISTANCING" COMES TO THE ORPHANAGE

(I am taking a break for telling the story of my first days of being involved with the Log Church Orphanage to give a report on what is happening today.
So from November of 2017, we now jump ahead to March of 2020)
 
How do you do “social distancing” when you sleep 4 to a bunk?
(That’s 2 on top and 2 on the bottom). That’s the situation right now at our orphanage. Like most of the rest of the world, Kenya is also enacting the social distancing policy.
Because of Covid 19 and the new distancing requirements, the orphanage was visited by the health inspector who came with new instructions from the Office of Health. The inspector told the church leadership that the children are no longer to sleep in the same beds. The new requirements must be put in place. The children are now to spread out in the room as much as possible, putting separate mattresses on the floor.
 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

KISII ORPHANAGE - I ARRIVE IN KENYA

(If you have not already read them, in order to preserve the continuity of these writings, please scroll down and begin reading with How it All Began, and make your way upward.
Remember that these are written in the “historical present” sense, meaning that I am not in Kenya now, on March 26, 2020, but I arrived on the date below, November 15, 2017. But I am writing as if it were happening now)  

Journal Entry – November 15, 2017

All that I had written above in the previous post concerning my trip to Ethiopia
took place last March and April. It is now the 15th of November, a mere seven months later. Right now however, that trip to seems like another lifetime to me.

I wrote yesterday while sitting under the clock of the silent worker at the Amsterdam airport, who dutifully erased and painted the new clock hand at  each minute. But today I am in Kenya. I arrived in the middle of the night to the airport in Nairobi. By the time I made it through immigration and customs at the airport, it was about 1:00 AM. It was with some trepidation that I walked outside of the airport terminal.

Would I find a taxi driver holding up a placard with my name written on it? In preparation for the trip, I had first tried to reserve a taxi through this hotel, but the website seemed not to work properly. I did receive some kind of cryptic confirmation that gave me hope that I may have a room, but none at all concerning the taxi.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

KISII ORPHANAGE - THE COSTA RICAN CONNECTION

Please read first in order, How it All Began,
The Collapsed Latrine, My First Trip to Africa
 
(The following is written sitting near the manual clock in the Amsterdam airport)

Back in 1995, Vivian and I were living in Costa Rica while we
were attending a Spanish language school. It was there we were learning the language before we were to later move to Venezuela. It was also there where we became friends with a family from California, and who were going through the same language training.

Through the years we more-or-less lost track of our friends, but I had learned that for reasons unknown to me, after a few years of working in Central America, they ended up working in an orphanage in Kenya (of all places). Besides that, as I looked at the map of Kenya, their city seemed to be about an hour or a little more away from where Joel’s city was.

I found their contact information on their mission’s internet site and wrote to them.

“Are you still in Kenya?”

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

KISII ORPHANAGE - MY FIRST TRIP TO AFRICA

(Please read first the two previous posts - How it All Began, followed by The Collapsed Latrine)


At some point between yesterday’s journal entry and today’s, I seem to have gained a day—or maybe lost a day. I’m not sure which.

Anyway, my phone says that it is the 14th of November today instead of the 13th.

As a stopover on my way to Kenya, I am presently in the airport in Amsterdam. They have the coolest wall clock here that I have ever seen. It is not a digital-type clock, but one with an hour and minute hand. It is perhaps eight or nine feet in diameter, and the face of the clock of frosted glass. But the most striking aspect of this clock is that there is a man standing behind the glass. His image somewhat obscured or blurry because of the unclear nature of the glass, but there he is, standing in full height.

I should add that the man is not actually standing, because at every minute he erases the minute hand and paints a new one—except he advances it one minute. He sometimes has time to be still and rest for a couple of seconds, but very soon he is back at it, removing the old minute hand and painting a new one.

Monday, March 23, 2020

KISII ORHPAHAGE - THE COLLAPSED LATRINE

(Read first previous post - How It All Began)

Journal Entry – November 11, 2017

Joel’s next letter, the one following the desperate plea for food, was just a note. Keep in mind; this was a letter from last March. It was an additional appeal and read like this:

March 9, 2017
Daddy, Mummy and Church,
Greetings in Jesus name,
kindly Daddy help the children under our care who have stayed without taking food this is the second day. Kindly help we are starving greatly. Help us with what is at your hand it will save life.
Thanks
Yours Son Joel 

I responded in this way:

Sunday, March 22, 2020

KISII ORPHANAGE - HOW IT ALL BEGAN

INTRODUCTION
 
The coronavirus has hit our lifestyles hard, even if it has not
perhaps yet affected our personal health. Nevertheless, we have been strongly advised (even banned) to avoid large gatherings (defined as 10 or more), so we as the Log Church cannot meet in our normal fashion.
So in lieu of that, I will be posting this series about our connection with beginning the Log Church Orphanage of Kenya, explaining how and why we are involved. It may not have been your choice to be involved with this orphanage, but neither was it mine. If you read you will understand.
I have often been asked how we can know God’s desire for our lives—what we are to do. “How am I to know God’s will for my life?”
If nothing else, this series will at least give an example of how God led me in this particular case, and how I was finally convinced that it was the will of God for me to begin to be involved with this work so far off on the other side of the globe.
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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

CORONAVIRUS - WHAT I TOLD MY CHURCH SINCE WE CANNOT MEET

Dear Church,
  
Watching the channel 12 news this morning, I see that governor
Evers has just announce a ban on gatherings of 10 or more.

Seeing that this is the case, I do not see how it is possible to have church on Sunday, or if it would even be responsible of us to do so.

For more than a week, I have been wondering about the possibility that this might happen, and thinking about what we could do instead.

 
As those of you who were in church last Sunday already know, for the next Sunday I was planning on beginning on telling the story about how and WHY I began to be involved with beginning the orphanage in Kenya.

 
Since we cannot meet as we normally do, I will instead put this on my blog page (www.donaldrhody.com) so that you can read it there. In some ways, it may even be better this way since I can include photos when appropriate, and you do not have to feel obligated look at my face!—and you can read it in your pajamas!!!

 
Also I wanted to tell you that since ours is a church with many older adults who perhaps should not go out, I will volunteer to run any errands for you, like picking up groceries for instance. I am also an older adult, but God has gifted me with a strong immune system, made stronger by living and working in many third-world countries. I am, however, more concerned about Vivian with her compromised respiratory system, so this offer may change if conditions change.

Let me know, and we can stay in touch.

Also let me know if there are others that are not on this email list who would like to know.

Love and prayers, Pastor Don
www.donaldrhody.com