forward in the process, but this will most likely be a project completed by small steps. We already have bricks needed for the building, plus a few other basic materials.
We would have actually been able to purchase much more of the needed building materials, but the present food/clothing/malaria crisis has taken most of the money that has been donated. We are very thankful for those who gave, since it provided much relief for the orphans.
The high food prices continue, and three of the orphans are presently in the hospital with malaria, but I would like to take this time to talk about the building that I am praying can be finished before the next rain season.
The church had in mind to build quite a large building for the girls (30 X 48), which they said would sleep up to 70 girls. They are thinking of future needs, and I don’t mind saying that it is a little frightening to me to learn that the need is this great.
Presently however, the orphanage has only 42 children—boys and girls. I suggested to Joel to partition the building so that it could house all of the orphans that are there at this time, girls on one end and boys on the other. The present situation for the boys is not much better than that of the girl’s, and I thought that this might be a
better use of the building at this
|Present Boy's Dorm|
Having very little knowledge of local customs, I suspected that there may be cultural reasons for not doing this, reasons of which I was not aware. Just as I suspected, Joel responded that he did not know if the government would allow the boys and girls to be housed in the same building, even with a solid partition. It was for “security” reasons, he said.
I then suggested two smaller buildings, with a plan for expansion when that would become necessary. More cost, but it would better meet present needs. Joel said that he would go into Kisii town to speak with the Kenyan building authorities.
|The Girls Inside Their Dorm|
I guess I do not have an outside photo of the
Girl's dorm, but it is just a corner room of the
already small mud house where the pastor lives
with his wife and two small children
The end result is that the government will allow the common housing, given certain restrictions. To build under these restrictions will also increase the cost of the original plans somewhat, but nowhere near constructing two separate buildings. Since they have not yet begun to build, nothing is lost, so we continue to move ahead in short steps.
You can see that the care of these orphaned children is a large commitment. In some quiet moments that I have, it still sometimes hits me quite hard that the Lord has put this upon me in this twilight stage of my life. It is not what I had in mind for my life and something that I ran from for about a year until I could run no more.
I see no end to this work for me—no retirement, but I must say that it is a great honor to me that the Lord would entrust this to me. Certainly there are others who are much better equipped, but I have sought to serve God through serving his church my entire adult life. I am grateful (at least in some ways) that even in my old age, he still considers me trustworthy.
It is a ministry that is so far beyond me that I actually have no hope of being able to do it. This work is so large for me that it requires a young lad’s lunch. I think I have mentioned that before, but I will explain more in the next Kisii Report.