Greetings from Kenya in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Ahadi boys have now finished their school year and are happy to have some free time. Three of our older boys
(two of whom finished high school and sat for their end of high school exams) will go for a 3-week training and ministry camp at Diguna that will help them solidify their faith in Jesus Christ, and then they will get involved in some ministry activities. After Christmas break, one of them will return to Ahadi to serve as our Junior Staff as he thinks about what college to attend; one will go to live and help out with an auntie, and one will return to his final year of high school. The other 9 Ahadi older teens will then attend one week of camp at Diguna, then go to visit a relative. When they return from camp, it will be the turn of the 15 primary school boys to go. We are including the two neighbour kids whose school fees we began paying for. THANK YOU FOR THOSE WHO CONTRIBUTED TO AHADI FAMILY, MAKING IT POSSIBLE FOR ALL THESE BOYS TO GO TO CAMP! Please pray for them as they visit with relatives who sometimes find it challenging to have them around.
We began the month with the sad news that our Ahadi alumnus, Gilbert Ngaira (whom I mentioned in our update last month) and his wife lost their sweet new-born baby girl, Wendy Ayana Ngaira, only 12 days after she joined their
family, from suspected neonatal sepsis (blood infection). The Ahadi alumni postponed their reunion which was scheduled for the day of the funeral, and 14 of them came to the burial to show their love and support. Gilbert and Mary sang at the service a song that Gilbert had composed shortly after the baby’s birth, about God’s love for us, even when we fall. We thank God for the strength and comfort he gave this young couple to face this sad time. The photo shows Mary in the black and white dress next to Gilbert in a blue jacket, surrounded by Ahadi alumni and their pastor in orange and his wife in purple. There were hundreds of other friends who came to show support.
We are thankful that the rains have now begun, and we are harvesting water off both the Ahadi house and greenhouse roofs, which will cut our water bill. The grocer whom we were so grateful for, has not been faithful in paying on time for the tomatoes he has taken, so we are now selling to neighbours as well. The price for tomatoes also dropped to half of what it was last month because tomatoes were in abundance. Now that rains have started, however, we have been told that tomato prices will rise again because tomatoes don’t do as well in the rains, so will be scarcer.
Our chickens are multiplying. Lots of eggs are now hatching, and more hens are now laying, so by January, we will probably have around 200 chickens (many of them quite tiny at that point). Soon, they will meet our monthly need of chickens to eat and have some to sell, too. They are partly free-range, so they take longer to mature than the ones that stay in cages their whole life, but they are the preferred chicken by many Kenyans and bring a higher price, too.
Our board has approved a new board member, Rev. Steven Nduto, who is head chaplain at Daystar University. He and his wife grew up in a children’s home, so are uniquely qualified from this experience, and they have a passion for assisting us to be the best. They know many of the pitfalls that children’s homes often fall into and will be on the lookout for us not to do the same. They also have 3 boys of their own so are used to the boy-child.
We have chosen a lawyer and have begun the process to register as a trust and a corporate body (which is the next legal step necessary after registering as a trust). Though my husband, Jon, and I are handing over much of the management of Ahadi, in anticipation of our return to the US in May 2016, we will remain as trustees and stay very much in touch through e-mails and Google Drive, as well as annual trips to Kenya to observe and help in any way possible. Another board member and neighbour, Christine Karimi, who is serving as board treasurer will also join us as a trustee.
Board members are reviewing and revising sketches of an additional building for staff and boys who are in boarding schools but come to Ahadi for short times. We have received several donations that will make it possible to begin construction as soon as we decide on the final drawings and get necessary town approvals.
We had mentioned our desire to get people involved with Ahadi who will be Friends of Ahadi Family Kenya, by assisting in a variety of ways. We are thankful for the response from a Kenyan pastor and his wife who are willing to taketo their home, the abandoned boys who don’t have relatives to visit during school breaks. Their own 2 daughters are grown and working in the US. One of them was a former roommate of the daughter of the Hehn’s who always manage the Boston Marathon fund-raiser. We encourage others who are local farmers or shop owners to donate or give discounts on food items from their farms, stationery items, clothing, household furnishings, etc. so that we can save money on our operating expenses, and on the new construction. One shop owner gave us a discount on new blankets that we bought from her, and in the past, a discount on mattresses and other household items. A neighbour, in the past, gave us a discount on hardware items.We are also grateful for those who show their friendship to Ahadi Family by making monetary donations.
Bakari was academically challenged and couldn’t seem to even finish primary school. We hired a tutor for him and another older Ahadi boy who couldn’t function in a traditional classroom, and they were thus prepared to take the national exam given at the end of the 8th year of primary school. Bakari then tried once again in a classroom, and again couldn’t cope, but he had a passion for helping those infected with HIV/AIDS. He managed to land a job in a clinic in Nairobi, doing just that and they were so impressed with him that they helped him get accepted for some training that Ahadi paid for. He soon began to realize that he would never get beyond an entry level position because he hadn’t gone to high school, so he asked to attend classes in Adult Education and eventually sat for the end of high school exam and managed to just pass. That opened up doors for him because of his reputation as a very caring and good worker, and he is now working for the Ministry of Health, though he hasn’t been paid because of government mismanagement. As he looked back on his life as one of 12 children in a family where the dad was sickly and didn’t have steady work, he had to shake his head in disbelief at what God had made possible for him to do through Ahadi. His perseverance in spite of great odds make us proud of him. This photo was taken last week when he stopped by our home to say thank you.