The Boston Marathon Fund-raiser was a huge success, and Cara Hehn was happy to run for us. We reached our goal of $5,000 (Kes. 415,000) and then some for school fees. PRAISE THE LORD. Here is a photo of Cara at the half-way point. It was rainy and chilly the day of the race, but she still managed to finish the marathon in 3 hours 39 minutes. She is in the midst of Doctoral studies with lots of assignments due, and now will move to Charleston, SC for an internship this week. So for her to take out time to run for Ahadi Family Kenya was really a sacrifice. May God reward her big time.
A greenhouse kit we have been waiting for so long was finally delivered (we changed companies and actually got a better deal for a lesser price), and it was just set up a few days ago. Now, our people will be trained, and the caretaker will create the beds, and we will plant the seeds and get started. It uses a drip-irrigation system and they provided 500 metres of piping for drip irrigation in the field next to the greeenhouse. World Vision uses their kits, too. The plastic “roofing” on our greenhouse has aluminium in it to reflect the hot sun in the daytime and work as a thermal blanket to keep out the cold at night. So, we will soon embark on “new territory” as our people learn the fine points of greenhouse gardening, starting with tomatoes which is a staple here in Kenya, used in nearly every meal. We are thankful that one of our board members, Christine Karim, who is also our Ahadi neighbour, has greenhouses so we can learn from her experiences, good and bad, as well as benefit from the training provided by the company as part of their deal. The walls and ends of the greenhouse are fine net to enable the wind to blow through (instead of picking up the greenhouse and taking off with it, which happened with one of Christine’s greenhouses—not from the same company.) It is 8×15 metres.
We also were able to buy a new laptop for the office, and new sitting room couches, and fix some plumbing problems in bathrooms and kitchen, including getting some instant shower heaters. These items, along with the greenhouse, were made possible by a donation from Orphan’s Joy who wanted us to upgrade our living conditions. We thank God for their generosity, and look forward to doing even more improvements with the remaining donation. One of our board members is a former bank employee, and thanks to her advice, the donation is getting good interest while we proceed to spend it.
April showers bring spring flowers even in Kenya where we have begun rainy season, and in our case, muddy season. It takes a little longer to get to Ahadi because of needing to go around a longer route, but we are managing.Some of the neighbors have been contributing to bringing in better soil to put on the roads, especially where the soil is black and slippery. We are waiting to hear how much we should contribute.
Most of the boys have someone to visit over the school break which is 2-4 weeks in April, depending on their class in school. Getting them ready for break meant checking to see if they had enough “home clothes” (not uniforms), play shoes, and doing a much larger shopping to send them with groceries to help their relatives keep up with their appetites. We also have a new boy, an orphan, who was deserted at a truck stop by his big brother who was tired of trying to take care of him.We have 4 boys staying at our house because they didn’t have a relative to visit, and one of our board members has taken an Ahadi boy as well. In the photo, they have hiked to the top of a nearby granite quarry near where Jon and I live.Today, we took 2 of them to see their sisters in a children’s home for all girls about 45 minutes’ drive away. We believe it’s important for siblings to keep track of one another, and when possible be in the same children’s home.
God answered our prayers by providing a new house-parent, just in the nick of time. I “happened” to be talking to him when he was on his way to work on construction at ourneighbor’s house, and I asked him if he knew of anyone who could be our houseparent. He said he would love to do it! He loves children, and he and his wife, who were unable to have children of their own, have adopted 3 children and taken in another 5, most of whom are now grown-up. The Ahadi boys are happy to have a father figure in their lives, and we are off to a great start. He is able to stay with his own family 2 days per week.
CASE IN POINT
Ian and Francis, Ahadi age-mates of Victor (in black t-shirt),came with us to visit him atthe U-turn for Christ rehab centre at the base of the Ngong Hills last week. He was happy to see us, share what he has been learning from scripture, play a little chess, chat, and enjoy the chicken stew we brought. He is halfway through a 2-month long program and feels that he is making good progress in learning how not to look to drugs but to look to Jesus when he is discouraged. Victor has been a part of the Ahadi family since he was about 8 years old, and his mother was dying of cancer. He never knew a father. His only relatives are steeped in drugs, and one uncle he used to visit was murdered a couple of years ago. While in university, he started hanging out with neighbors who also used drugs and alcohol, and soon his studies were suffering, all of his upkeep money was wasted, and he began stealing to survive. Pray for him as he commits to “knowing” what pleases Christ, and “no-ing” drugs. We are still waiting for the decision of the disciplinary committee at the university he was attending, to know if he can resume his studies there. It is to his advantage that he realized his need to get into a rehab facility and willing went.