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:


Dear Pastor Joel,
My heart is saddened in hearing of your troubles. I am so very sorry for the difficult situation in which you find yourselves and also the children. The aid that I can give you this moment is to cry with you to the Lord, that He would supply your need.
You are in my prayers always.
May the Lord show Himself strong to all of you.
Pastor Donald 

Despite my refusal to send money, I did cry out to the Lord. I literally cried out. If what Joel told me was true (and I had a growing conviction that it was true), then these people were also truly suffering.

I do not know how they made it through that present crisis. He did not explain. But soon to follow was another letter, this one quite lengthy. That letter began: 

March 13, 2017
Dear Beloved Daddy, Mummy and church,

Greetings in Jesus name, we thank God for grace of sharing and giving us favor to finish our service yesterday well, we prayed for you and for the victory to rest upon your life.

We thank God again for this great time to share by His grace. Thanks to God for the love that we were not valued we human race but bought us by the blood of His son Jesus Christ and for the work cross.

The Kenya church is moving forward and we press on looking to the author and the finisher of our faith. We are always joyful because who started this good work will give strength to stand anything that will come on the way. Continue remembering this congregation in Kenya. 

The letter ended with references from First Corinthians 15 and Psalm 34:

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (beloved keep the race, the reward and crown waits for you in heaven) let your treasure be in heaven  where it will not perish.

We pray the presence of God to be manifested in your midst, sick to healed, delivered and mores souls be added to God’s family. Thanks 

            God bless you as we look forward hearing from you. Continue remembering us. Psalms 34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 

Yours in Christ service Pastor Joel  

Journal Entry – November 12, 2017

It was some days later when I received this letter: 

March 23, 2017
Dear Beloved Daddy, Mummy and Church 

Greetings in Jesus name, thanks for your prayers. Surely am sorry to report to you that the toilet/latrine we were using on the church collapsed yesterday on our service time and left 2 children who were using the toilet during that time of collapse, with injuries.

The children were attended in hospitals. This did not let our service not finish well, as the officer of health came to us and told us within five day we have new toilet or else our service will be disrupted.

Pastor and Church, pray with us and stand with us. The church is in trouble because of this health facilities. We so unfortunately report to you that in our country we usually build the toilet separate from the church building. We build the toilet and because of the minor earthquake it collapsed. But the house of God is strong as its standard. Pastor and Church, from the little we have we need to build this toilet, and church has offered their labour.

We were told by the officer of health is good for us to continue service and fix the toilet as soon as possible within 5 days as they said.
Pastor and Church members comes from distance and cannot go their home for toilet use. This forced us to have this toilet on church ground but unfortunately it has collapsed; now we are seeking God and your help to fix this toilet and use it.

            **********************************************

By this time I am thinking, “Perhaps the Lord actually is trying to get my attention. These are brothers and sisters who are suffering. Some of them are children!”
Along with the letter that explained the situation with the latrine, Joel also sent me a list of the materials that the church would need to purchase:

Cement 20 Bags =Ksh.19, 000
Rentals 12 pcs =ksh. 9,560 (which I later found out was their word for re-bar)
Labour (will be offered by the church)
Personnel money =Ksh.12,400=
Doors are available
Sandy 1 lorry =Ksh.16,000
Put in terms of American dollars, in total it came to about $689. 

In closing Joel said this:

We are seeking God to provide, Please help as the lord will provide, we trust together we can. Not our wish this to happen, but we trust God will raise the standard of our church and we will not remain in lack.
God will send his help to come out of this situation. Thanks for all your love and concern to us. Kindly help as the lord will provide to rebuild this toilet.

********************************** 

I have decided that I must go to Kenya. It has been almost a year since God first began to speak to me about this work. He will not let me rest.

The old English poet (Francis Thompson) called the Spirit of God, “The Hound of Heaven,” constantly and unhurriedly pursuing until you submit to what he is calling you to do.

That is what God did with mealways on my tail about this work in Kenya, not giving me a moment of peace about this. The work would not leave my mind.


Tomorrow morning I am to begin my long journey to visit the church and the beginnings of the orphanage in Kenya. I frankly do not know what to expect, except that this will be a difficult trip. My mind is full of uncertainty.

I have arranged a hotel in Nairobi, but even that was with some difficulties, and I am not sure if the room is actually reserved. The confirmation that I received online was not as confirming as I thought that it should be.

I have also arranged for a taxi to meet me at the airport. But the website did not work properly, so I do not know if I shall find one waiting for me.

I have never been to that city or that country. I do not know anyone there, and in all candor, the person who is supposed to contact me may not even exist. “Pastor Joel” is supposed to be coming in a day or so from Kisii, which is far to the west in Kenya, but I have to ask myself what I will do if he does not show. After all of the deliberations and thoughts back and forth that I have had with myself, in the end it may turn out he is simply a scammer.

In all honesty, I may well be acting a fool. I may be nothing more than the naïve and foolish mark of a rather well-orchestrated internet scam. I have to come to that admission.

I need to be honest with myself and admit that everyone who afterwards hears about what I have done may well find my experience all a good source of laughter and derision.

“He’s flown off to Kenya like a teen-aged girl chasing an internet dream—an old man who we should perhaps put away in a home.”

What drives me forth is not common sense. If I were to act with pure reason, I would just stay home. But human reason alone is not the most important motivation in this. What motivates me to continue is that I have a history with the Lord. God has had me do foolish things in the past—at least foolish in the eyes of “sensible” people. My life has actually been filled with these types of experiences.

My philosophy in living has long been this: “When God asks me to do something, I try to say ‘yes.’”

I have not always been true to this philosophy, but I can say that I think that I usually have been—and I have seen God has always been faithful.

If I am to be a fool—then I will be a fool for the Lord.

As I told Vivian one morning shortly before I began planning this trip, “I have to go to Kenya. I cannot continue my life and pretend that God is not calling me to this task. I at least need to check it out.”

In a couple days, I will find out.

(to be continued tomorrow or the next day)


 

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