Tuesday, March 28, 2023


After our strenuous football game (see the post below), there was no time to rest. We drove back to the orphanage where Vivian was to have a class with the girls, and I with the boys.

Vivian had a larger assignment for her class, since she had some specific teachings that she wanted to bring to the girls. She handed out wonderful provisions for all the girls for their personal use. These items were made by the ladies of a church in Western South Dakota, Vivian’s childhood church.

I had my class with the boys
in the lunch hall
I simply wanted time to talk with the boys and to begin to get to know them better, as well as giving them the opportunity to get to know me.

After I told the boys a little about myself, I opened the time up for questions. I recall from the very first time that I was in Kenya, when I had several meetings with some pastors and having them ask me questions. It was an interesting and enjoyable time. I never knew what kind of questions to expect, and neither did I from these boys.

At first, there was just silence, as one would expect with boys that age. But then one of the older boys opened up.

“Do you shave the sides of your face, or does your beard only grow on your chin?” he asked me.

I have what I think is called a goatee beard, and it never occurred to me that kids would wonder about this kind of thing. I think that I, and now Larry, are the only white people most of these boys have ever seen. Why would they expect we would be the same as the men in their country?

“I shave the sides only, but Larry shaves his whole beard.

“How old are you?”


“How did you manage to reach such an old age?”

“By the grace of God,” I replied.

Afterwards, Vivian looked up what the expected life span is in Kenya. It is in the early 60’s. I expect up in the area of the orphanage, where life is hard and nutrition is often lacking, the life span is much less. I am sure that these boys were amazed at the athleticism that I showed on the football field at such an old age.

“What is the discipline used in schools in America?”

Vivian's Evangelism Class
I told them that in these days physical discipline is rare, and if a teacher so much as gives a high school kid even a small shove, he should expect a visit from the police.

All the boys cheered at this. They thought that it was great!

But I told them that it was not all a good thing. Because of these extremely harsh rules against the teachers, discipline and the behavior of the kids in the schools in America is appalling compared to Kenyan schools. The kids here in Kenya are so well behaved that my butler Larry is convinced that politeness is in their genes, Of course we know it comes from a proper training. The difficult thing is to come to a proper balance in discipline.

I asked them how their teachers discipline them in school. I received a one-word answer.


Vivian's class with the girls

So my class went until it was time to gather in the church. Vivian then had some lessons in evangelism for all the children. She told them things that she had learned that had been helpful to her when telling others about Jesus.

After that, Vivian along with a Pastors Joel and Vincent handed out personal cards containing small gifts from yet another of our

childhood churches, this is one my boyhood church in Northern Wisconsin.

All the kids received a card that also contained gifts

I have been so glad that Vivian has finally been able to come and share some of the things that she has wanted so long to share with the kids, and to have the opportunity to meet everyone and connect with them. She even told that this was one of the most meaningful mission experiences that she has ever had.

Saturday was our day with the children. I took a picture of each child wearing their name tags, so that we can get to connect their faces with their names. These are all really good kids. It has always been my prayer that we lose not one of them to the world, and so far my prayers seem to have been answered. It is simply a pleasure to get to know them.

We thank you for your prayers for each one.

Monday, March 27, 2023

KISII 2023 - DAY 12.1: THE MATCH

It was a day that began with football (soccer). It was Saturday, so the kids had a day off of school. They walked a short distance to a local community field and began their play before we arrived by car from the hotel.

When we came, the older boys were playing and the girls and younger boys were waiting on the sidelines for their turn on the pitch (as it is called). It was their turn next—the girls against the younger boys. I don’t know any scores. I don’t know who won.

But I do know that there were often extra players on the field—four footed ones. The cows wandered around. I once saw a
cow give the ball not too bad of a kick.

I was sitting on the sidelines with a couple of pastors.

Half kidding, I said to Pastor Douglas that the pastors should challenge the boys to a match. I actually did not think that he would take the idea and run with it, since none of us were dressed for sport. But he took me

seriously and began counting how many pastors we could find there, including Larry and myself. He came up with eleven—enough for a match.

“That’s good, but I get to be the goal keeper,” I said.

Douglas also quickly claimed his own relatively less tiring position: “And I will be the referee!”

So it was the pastors against the boys.

“Two 30-minute halves,” Douglas yelled. He didn’t care. He was just the referee.

“No,” I replied. “Two 10-minute halves.”

Douglas then compromised, “Two 15-minute halves.”

“No,” I replied. “Two 10-minute halves.”

I don’t actually know what time Douglas settled on, but the halves seemed much longer than 10 minutes to me.

 My job was to stand in front of the goal and keep the ball from entering. Thankfully, nearly every time the ball came close to my area, my friend Douglas called “offsides” on one of the boys.

Free kick for me.

I do not know much about this kind of football and I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as offsides, but I was glad to find out there was this penalty, and that Douglas was helping me out by watching

The final score at the end of the time was 0-0—something that seems almost typical for football. It then came down to penalty kicks. Five players from each team had a chance to kick the ball into the goal.

The boys used their regular goalie. For our side, Hesborn (the guy that can jump five feet high), asked me if I wanted him to substitute.

I quickly agreed. “Substitute goal keeper!” I yelled.

Kick after kick failed—either missed or blocked. At the end of the five from each team, the score remained 0-0.

Three more from each team. After the first two kicked, still 0-0. The boys sent up their last kicker. Blocked by Hesborn!

The very last kicker was to be me. I did not know I would be the one to attempt the kick until the moment came. Trying to calm my beating heart, I stepped up to the ball.

Now… I used to be the player on our high-school football team who would do the kicking (American football), but something has happened to my kicking abilities in the some 53 years since that time. When I stepped up to the ball, I could feel the pressure. Beads of sweat began running down my forehead.

I kicked my mightiest kick! The ball dribbled and bounced on its way to the goal. I hoped that it would make it all the way there. Then it began to look like it indeed had enough speed, but the goalie was right in front, ready to stop it.

But then, almost miraculously, he fell in the opposite direction and my ball went through the goal posts! Goooaaaalll! The team of pastors won!

Do you think that the goalie took that fall on purpose? Did he purposely throw the game? Do you think that the boys dialed back their playing abilities for the entire game so that the old guys could feel good? Those questions will remain unanswered, but I prefer to think that it was our superior playing abilities and training that won the game for us.

But the day was only beginning. The main part of the day was yet to come. I was glad that I had not exerted myself too much during the game. Larry on the other hand, my butler Larry, was right in the thick of things. He said that he had never played this game before, but he is displaying an early talent.

Too much here to talk about all that happened the rest of the day. It looks like I will have to continue these posts for a while after we return home.

Saturday, March 25, 2023


Last Sunday at the Nyakembene church, Vivian talked me into singing a duet with her. She wanted to share some music with the people—one that she and I could sing together. The song of course was in English, and there is no good way to translate the song as we sang it, so she asked Pastor Vincent if he could translate the words into the local language of Ekegusii before we began.

“You do not need to translate every word,” she told him, “Just so that the people know what the song is about.”

But Vincent does not do things in halves. He, along with his assistant pastor Moses, began by translating the title, followed by saying who the composer was and who wrote the lyrics. They then proceeded to translate every single word or every verse, as well as the chorus—the chorus not just once, but every time it is repeated between the stanzas.

By the time he reached the final chorus, instead of translating it, the two men simply began singing the chorus in English: “Bless the Lord O my soul, O—o my soul. Worship His holy name…”

The song was “10,000 Reasons,” and it turns out it was not a new song for the people at all. Since the two men knew the song, we asked them to sing with us, and by the time we reached the final chorus, half of the congregation was also singing with us.

This coming Sunday at the Matagaro church Vivian wants us to sing another song. I’m not sure what song she is choosing, but the other day when we were at the orphanage, we heard song leader Isaac playing the keyboard in the church building, so we walked over to see him. Vivian thought that it might be a good idea to go through a song with him so that perhaps he could play for us while we sang.

She sat down to the keyboard and began playing something, and soon about a half a dozen other boys came into the church, gathered around, and instantly a jam session began.

“Do you know how to play a praise song,” Isaac asked Vivian.

Well, we thought that they were all praise songs, but here they apparently make a distinction between praise songs and worship

songs. Worship songs are the slower and meditative songs, and the praise songs…the praise songs are those songs that make you want to dance!

The boy Justus sat down to the key board, began playing a praise song, and immediately the half dozen boys began to keep time by moving their hands, their arms, and then their entire bodies.

“We praise you Lord,” Isaac sang out.

(Sorry that I cannot upload the videos)

“When we dance we praise you Lord!”

The boys then stooped down low and sang, “We go lowa (lower), lowa, we go lowa, lowa, lowa.”

Then as they began to stand,  they sang, “We go higha (higher), higha, higha, higha, higha!”

The standing then becomes dancing as they step in rhythm, following the directions that

Isaac sings in the song.

At one point they begin jumping. “We jump and praise you Lord!”

One young man by the name of Hesborn jumps incredibly high. “I can jump this high,” he told me while holding his hand about head-height.

I have tried to explain before how joyful the worship services are here, but there is no way to explain it without having experienced it. 

This Sunday we look forward to another at the Matagaro Church. It will be on our last day here in Kisii.


Friday, March 24, 2023


When we drove into the school yard of the primary school named “Kimai,” the kids were on break. They have a very large school yard and playground. There are more than 600 kids in the school. They were not all out on the grounds at that time, but younger kids were, and when Amos drove into the yard and they saw us inside the car, they all became very excited and began rushing up to us.

“Mzungo,” they called out. The word means white person. I have been to this school twice before in the past, but I believe that we are the only white people most of them have ever seen.

“They are so happy to see you,” Amos said.

He slowed to less than a crawl and even called out the window for the children to be careful, but finally he came to a complete stop and told us that he did not dare to continue. All 600 students may not have been on the playground at that time, but when we opened the car doors and stepped out, it seemed as if they were. 

I have never received a welcome as exuberant as that one. The door on the side of the van was a sliding one. If it was not, if it was a normal door, I would have had great difficulty in opening it. Kids were cheering and crowding around. They all wanted us to touch them and shake their hands.

“They are so happy to see you,” Amos said again. “They never have white people visit here, and you are the only white people that they have ever seen!”

I tried to touch every child and to hold every little hand, but it is difficult to know if I was successful. They wanted not only to touch us, but they wanted to feel our hair.

This made “Mum Vivian” with her long gray hair very popular. She was so careful to brush it nicely as we drove to the school, but that last minute primping in the car was for nothing. All primping was instantly ruined when she stepped out of the door. 

It all may sound a little weird and a little like a rock star walking through a crowd of adoring fans, but that was not at all the atmosphere. These were children who were overflowing not with some sort of “rock star idol worship,” but with a happy welcome.

Slowly we made our way to the head mistress’s office. She is a jolly lady with a motherly or grandmotherly nature. It is her last

year before retirement. I had the opportunity to thank her for educating the children who we send to her school and to pray for her and the children of the school.

We also visited the Ryanakwara Primary School where we also have several children attending. The kids were in class when we arrived, so our welcome was more subdued, but no less warm.

As at Kimai, we were welcomed into the headmistress’s office. This lady has also been in her position for many years, and in fact was a teacher when Pastor Joel was in primary school. She showed us Joel Ombati’s name on the list of the “Top Students of the Year” for the year 2007. The last time that I was there three years ago, she told me that even when Joel was in primary school, the others would call him “pastor.”

“It is the call of God,” Joel told me when I mentioned this to him.

In Ryanakwara, we were able to visit some of the classes and meet several teachers. I prayed for the children in each classroom and also for the teacher. In one of the classes a boy was asked to give me a greeting. Very shyly, he stood up and with a very soft voice

said his welcome. I had to bend my ear close to him to be able to hear. The children here are so well-behaved and so humble, but they love our touch and our hugs.

It is truly a blessing for us to be here. We have these people in our hearts—these people whom we before had not known and who we had no idea that we would ever know.

Our days here are filled with many wonderful things. This trip to visit the school is only one of the blessings that we received today. Every day is the same and I am only able tell of a few of the many experiences that we are having. Perhaps at some point I will be able to write about some others, but now I simply need to get some sleep.


Wednesday, March 22, 2023


The rains here have now seemed to begin in earnest. A couple of nights ago it rained violently all night, as well as most of yesterday. Last night was not quite so rainy, and for today we had many dry hours, even with sunshine. But late this afternoon as we were driving back to the hotel, it again rained very hard for about an hour.

As I write now it is about 8:30 PM. I again am hearing rolling thunder and seeing flashes of lightning outside. It is a lot of rain, but the people here are happy, because before these rains, they have been in a drought since November.

At the orphanage, our “water harvesting” system is working full-time. This is the system that we have put in place at least one-year ago. We have put in rain gutters for the dormitory building as well as the kitchen and the dining buildings. 

All of this water is channeled into a large water tank.

There is also an auxiliary tank that is used for irrigating the garden.
The water from the tanks provide water also for the dormitory and the kitchen. When Kenya is in a drought, the tanks can be filled by tanker truck, but this rain to us is like money in the bank, since each time a truck comes to fill our tanks, it costs about $75.


On our first day here at the orphanage, we toured the construction progress of the school building. It probably is understandable why I wanted to do this, since this is the latest project that we have begun. But focusing on buildings and on tangible things that we can physically measure and touch is easy, and it is often quite gratifying, because we can often see daily progress. Nevertheless, we understand that these tangible structures are mere means to an end.

The lives of these children that the Lord has placed in our hands are of course our true concern, and the highest aspect of that concern is that each one becomes faithful servants of God.  Buildings of steel and concrete last a few years only, but what we build for God in the lives of these children will last an eternity.

But in this age, the physical and the spiritual are in some ways interrelated. It would be hypocritical of us to think that we can care for the spiritual lives of these children if we had no regard for the physical well-being.

Jesus himself showed us this numerous times, but probably best illustrated at one point in his ministry when for three days as he sat on a mountain, where “large crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind,

the crippled, the mute, and many others, and laid them at his feet, and he healed them.”

Then, when it came time when the great crowd of some 4,000 people to leave, he called his disciples to him and said to them, “I have compassion for this crowd, because they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may faint along the way.” (From Matthew 15).

So it is at the orphanage that we are concerned for every physical need of the children as well as the spiritual. Food, in fact is the greatest cost in maintaining the needs of the children and the helpers. We are grateful for the staff, who work very hard in providing meals every day for a total of about 75 people, including the children of the orphanage, and also the staff itself along with their own children. 

The primary cooks are two servants of God by the names of Isaac and Edna. They provide very healthy and nourishing meals when they have the foods from which to make them.

The facilities in which they prepare this daily mountain of food my seem rudimentary to us, and indeed they are, but they are much improved over what I saw on my previous visits. On those visits, they were still using the “three rock system” of cooking, which is basically placing three rocks onto which the cook can place a large pot, and then building a fire underneath. It’s basically a campfire.

It burns a lot of wood and, because during the rains it has to be done inside a structure of
some kind, produces a very smokey and unhealthy atmosphere. Many women here actually have respiratory difficulties because of this.
On that last visit in 2019, I had brought with me plans to build a simple rocket stove that requires almost no money to build, is very efficient in the use of wood, and sends the smoke outside the building. Not too many months after I returned to America after that visit, Joel sent me photos of the stove that they had made. They now have two of these stoves in their new kitchen facilities. They are working very nice, and they are saving us money in the orphanage because of the more efficient use of wood.

Also constructed since my last visit is the dining hall where the children can eat. This simple structure has been helpful for not only eating during rainy weather, but also for completing their school work.


Monday, March 20, 2023


After an absolutely full and busy day on Sunday, we slept very soundly last night. This morning (Monday), we had a quiet morning when I was able to catch up on some of the finance accounting. I wanted to do that before Pastor Joel came later so that I could go over some things with him.

Both Joel and Amos arrived about noon, after a meeting between Joel and myself, all five of us then headed out in Amos’ car south, toward Narok County. This is the land of the Maasai tribe. The countryside is very different than where we are near Kisii town. The land opens up into broad fields and pastures. Indeed, the Maasai are famous for their large herds of cows and goats

It is also the land of lions, leopards and other wild cats, and what is called the African wild dog, which although it is of the canine family, is not a true dog. It is an animal that is unique in the world to sub-Sahara Africa. These animals are large, run in packs, have their own specialized hunting technique, and have a hypercarnivorous diet. They will kill antelope by running them down to exhaustion.

Because of this, the men of the Masaii will always be seen carrying a stick and a knife. It
has become part of their character. It is like a cowboy putting on his hat and gun when he goes out in the morning.

I did happen to have a jack-knife in my pocket, but we encountered no lions or wild dogs. We instead were greeted by four of the cutest little girls that I have ever seen (excluding my own granddaughters). They came up to us in the marketplace. When we put out our hands, they very shyly came up to

us so that we could touch them and shake their hands.

In that same marketplace there was a man with a little plot where he grew kale. I did not know that this plant grows to at least the height of a man. As it grows, the bottom leaves are harvested, leaving the top to continue to grow.

I guess the afternoon was like a tourist afternoon. It was nice and relaxing, and educational.


Nyakembene. It is a word that seemed to take me a long time to remember and pronounce. It is the name of a remote town of Kisii county and the location of the church that was planted by the Log Church in Matagaro. Matagaro is actually where the first Log Church and where our orphanage is located. It is all within Kisii county, but both some distance from Kisii town.

Yesterday morning, Vivian and I and Larry took the hour and a half ride along with Pastor Joel and Amos, the driver and my friend from my other previous visits. Amos has a car and drove us to church we were to visit.

The visit to the Nyakembene church was actually one of my main goals in returning to
Kenya. Some time before my most recent visit here, the church in Matagaro had begun this new church in Nyakembene, but I was not able to go there at that time. Then, on the final Sunday of that visit, several brothers and sisters walked the 4½ hours to reach Matagaro to join us in worship.

It was during that service that, to my great surprise, the church in Nyakembene gave me a beautiful soapstone-carved figure of an African dove. Soapstone carving is the craft of that small town, and they have artisans there.

Because of the distance, we arrived late. But even though we were late, there were others from Matagaro who were not. Several of the older orphan children along with some of the staff of the orphanage had gotten up early and walked the same 4½ to join us in Nyakembene. They did not walk by road, but on trails through the mountains and hills. There is no direct road that connect the two locations, since the terrain is extremely rugged.

The location of Nyakembene is even more remote than Matagaro. We drove over very rocky and rough roads—the kind “off roaders” like to drive. But Amos managed to climb over the rocks on the road very well in his front-wheel drive small van. I have previously written of the driving skills of Amos in mud, and now I see it also in rocky terrain.

After many miles of these roads at the speed of perhaps 5 miles per hour, we finally arrived at the church quite a lot later than we wanted. Nevertheless, the people had stayed, singing and worshiping as they waited.

I was the “messenger” for the service, meaning that I was to bring the word of God. I had a sermon prepared of course, because I had expected this to be the case. But I was so happy that a couple of days ago, Pastor Joel had also asked Vivian to share a talk for the kids of the church. However, it was really to be for all of the people, since all were present.

She gave a very nice message that had to do with thanking God for everything that comes upon us in our lives, including those things that we consider the “bad things.” She told of a time in our family when we were struggling with a severe health problem in one of our boys when he was only a few years old. We took him to several doctors, and nothing anyone did or suggested that we do helped.

During this time she was reading the account in the Bible of the time when Jesus commanded the waves and the winds to stop when the disciples were fearful, she said that during those years as she prayed, her prayer was with fear of the situation, and she felt as if the waves kept on hitting her and hitting her with “No answers,” “No answers.”

One day, after about a year and a half since the situation began, God said to her, “I allowed this sickness in your boy. Can you thank me for it? Can you thank me for this sickness?”

Of course, this was a very difficult thing to do. She could immediately do so. However, after a day or two thinking about it and an act of her will, she at last told God, “Thank you that you sent this upon our son.  I trust you because I am in the boat with you, Jesus.”

That white "dress" is actually the podium.

This was hard to do, but she did it and continued to thank God for this sickness. For about 5 months or so she continued to thank him without seeing any real change in our son’s health.

Then one day, our of the blue, our little boy, then 4½ years old, came up to her and said in his little voice, “Mommy, today my problem is over.”

She actually did not think much of it at the time, thinking that perhaps he was only having a good day.

But I had been doing my own praying. Like my wife, my day was also occupied thinking and praying for my son. That same day I remember distinctly because I was on a job, driving our truck to pick up some lumber and praying. As I was praying, I had a very clear and definitive sense that my boy was healed, that “his problem is over.”

The first thing that I did when I got home was to go in and tell Vivian what God had said to me. She looked at me with wide eyes and said, “You won’t believe what our boy said to me today…”

Pray without ceasing, and in all things give thanks.


Saturday, March 18, 2023


Today was the day of the grand birthday party. We had meat and beans, soda, and cake—just right for a birthday menu.

Before the meal began, Pastor Vincent gave a very nice welcome greeting, saying that we are today celebrating the day that each one of us was born.  He quoted King David, who said:

You formed my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works, and I know this very well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all my days were written in Your book and ordained for me. (Psalm 139:13-16)

 Vincent also read what the prophet Jeremiah wrote about his own experience: “The word of the LORD came to me, saying: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’”

I can imagine that these words were especially meaningful to the children had been rejected at a very young age by their own parents and to those who had lived for years looking for someone to feed them or living out of garbage heaps.

I then shared how as a little boy on a small farm, I could have never have imagined that when I would grow to be an old man, God would tap me on the shoulder and tell me that I still had a purpose in my later years and that he was sending me to Kenya. Neither do any of them know all that God has planned for them.

Vivian introduced herself as their “Mum Vivian,” and shared with them the importance of continuing to grow in their walk with God. They must learn the habit of saying “Yes” to God, she said. As they grow physically, so must they grow spiritually.

This also was a good illustration, for many of them have grown a couple of feet in height since I saw them when I visited the very first time in 2017. It is so nice also to see how these children have grown very firm in the commitment to God.

I had a good conversation in perfect English with that little boy who told me on the first visit, “Sir,

we would like a ball that we can kick.” He wants now to be a pastor. I am also told that he has turned into quite a footballer.

One girl who is in her last year of secondary school is also preparing to serve God. This girl I also remember from the first year. She had memorized entire chapters of the Bible in English and often led the congregation in the singing and in dance. She is still doing it.

There are so many examples. It is perhaps wrong of me to mention only two, but the stories of what has become of the children in the past 5 or 6 years are so many.

Then came the time in the program for the cutting of the cake. Three cakes had been prepared, beautifully decorated. One was made in the shape of the Bible and had the words “You are loved by God, loved by the people of the church, Your USA family loves you,” written on it.

Vivian and I and Larry were seated behind the cakes, and facing the crowd in front of us. I whispered to Vivian that I did not see how there

would be enough for the about 250 people present.

Besides the Bible cake, there was another baked in the shape of some kind of tall tower. Vivian and I also whispered back and forth about how they were to cut such a cake without having it fall in the dirt.

We did not know that when the moment came, it was to be we who would do the cutting. Thankfully, one of the older girls from the orphanage in was actually in charge. We were merely the “ceremonial cutters” of the cake. Then two or three girls cut them into smaller pieces and put them on plates.

Larry, always “Jeeves the butler,” asked me, “Do we get to pass them out.”

“I don’t know Larry,” I told him. “I usually just wait until I am told what to do.”

But much the my butler’s delight, we carried the plates around for all to have a piece.

The children were served first because they were sitting in front. Each politely took a single piece of cake from the plate. Seated way in the back of the party tents was a group of adults whom I did not know. I would guess that they were not necessarily members of the church, but people from the town. They looked like a little food would do them good.

When I went to serve them, they did not take a single piece, but their hand was able to be put around several pieces. I know that they were hungry, and coming for the cake was important to them.

I think everyone there must have received a piece, but the three cakes quickly disappeared. After the cake came the main meal. This is how I have always thought birthday parties should proceed—cake first, then, if you still have room to eat, perhaps a little healthy food.

Vivian and I and butler Larry served. The idea was Vivian’s. She had provided name tags for the orphans so that they could write their names on them, and when we served them, we would be able to learn their names.

A good idea, but like many good ideas, when it comes down to the actual implementation of the idea, it turns out it only had limited success. Our faces were mostly down as we performed the task of serving, and we had little time to see each child, much less try and decipher their writing. With some of them we did.

But the party was not yet over. Now came the time for the popping of the balloons. The children ran around competing for the chance to do a popping. Through it all, no one got hurt.

And this noise signaled the official end of the grand party. It was one that these children will remember for a lifetime.