Newsletter – Our news for 2016 up to Easter
This newsletter was supposed to come with our wishes of a very Happy Easter to you all as we remember the significance of the empty cross and the empty grave at this time of year. Although late this theme is still very much central to our faith and very relevant!
We have had a busy couple of months since we returned to Kenya in January, and as it were hit the ground running with work.
Roger has only managed one visit to Kisumu but it was encouraging to go at a time when everything was green after late rains, and to catch up on all that had been happening while we were away. We are very encouraged by the growing interest in our teaching, though challenged on how to reach more people. We are still very short on funding but are able to follow up on what has been started and continue to promote our core teaching. We desire to train more people on being good stewards of God’s world!
Financial Help / Fundraising
As we are short on funding we would like to take this opportunity to ask for assistance. If anyone is in a position to help us in fundraising or has contacts with trusts who may be willing to support REAP, please get in contact with us. Maybe someone would like to run a marathon for REAP or organise a fund raising event. We need to look at new ways of increasing our income if we are to continue with what we are doing.
Trip to Turkana
The first day back in the office Roger received a phone call asking if he would be willing to do an evaluation on a midwifery training school for South Sudanese girls. This is a project he had been involved with before so they were keen to get the continuity, and was happy to accept it. It has been good to be involved again in a project based on South Sudan even if the visit was only to Northern Kenya where the school has been relocated.
The fighting that broke out over two years ago particularly devastated the area where the school was located in Unity State. As a result the Presbyterian Relief and Development Agency (PRDA) decided to relocate to Lokichoggio in Northern Kenya. It is a testimony to the hard work and dedication of all involved that they will soon be graduating 20 enrolled midwives with a strong sense of service and self worth from the school. It was a pleasure to once again be involved in this type of work. The picture shows a focus group with some of the graduates from the school.
After two weeks in Northern Kenya we had an ECHO symposium on good practices for pastoral area. Roger was asked to give a presentation and Jos was also able to attend. The presentation was on a topic that I have given much thought to in the past, but not much recently. I gave a presentation on how we need to understand the clash of worldviews between agricultural and pastoral peoples if we are to help with transformation. I based this partly on the experience we have had in Mundri over the last few years, and also what it means to love our neighbour when he or she is from a very different culture. God understands things in ways we sometimes find very difficult. It was good once again to be involved in such teaching and to have good interaction with others during the symposium.
Natural Medicines Seminar
We had to return to Nairobi immediately after the symposium without going on the field trip as two days later we started our Natural Medicines Seminar. We had had a good number of people showing interest, but unfortunately more than half of them cancelled within the last week. As a result we had a much smaller group, but made up for in the quality of participation. Jos was able to join as a participant this time, so is fully up with the teaching. The seminar covers the normal teaching that we give, but every time we find new insights and feedback. We had plenty of opportunity to discuss issues relating to Creation Care and teaching through the church as we had a varied group of Christians from different backgrounds. The picture shows a practical session on making ointments
Kisumu Building Project
Meanwhile in Kisumu George and Rosalia have been able to move the building forward and the doors and windows have all been installed and the building is now secure and usable though finishing touches are still needed. They are waiting for my input on my next visit early next month, and we hope then to be able to start making good use of it. We are getting more visitors to the farm and we hope that the building will add value to those who visit as we are always keen to share our holistic approach. We believe the garden is showing good production and many of the wonders of God’s creation in the way we approach things.
Mama Kezia Nursery School
Things in Mundri are beginning to improve now. The road has opened so it is no longer completely cut off and medical and other help is possible. People have begun returning to the town and the schools have opened. Mama Kezia Nursery School was able to open again about three weeks ago with about 35 pupils, though others are still returning and the school is filling up again.
We left one set of grandchildren in England, to have the other two, Naomi and Faith, waiting for us here in Nairobi. We have had a full house with Grace and Emmanuel, and Naomi and Faith with us as they are unable to be in South Sudan. They will be going to England next month for three months home assignment and then the house will no doubt seem very quiet!
Becca is well settled into her university course, and is keeping abreast of her studies. She has been with Jenny and Tich over Easter. It is good to be able to talk to them all on Skype and to follow the development of the children.
We want to give thanks to all those who remember us in prayer, and we are very aware of the importance of this, as we look back and see God’s hand in leading and providing:
- We PRAISE God that we have adjusted to being back after the time we had in England, and for having time with the other part of our family.
- Our work permit is in for renewal and seems to be taking a long time to be processed. Please PRAY that this may soon be out so we can continue in confidence.
- Please continue to PRAY for Becca in university as her exams are coming up, but her thoughts are already focusing on coming to Kenya for the summer.
- Please continue to PRAY for new sources of funding so we can continue with the work and expand to new areas. Please PRAY for our wisdom in this.
- Please PRAY for the REAP team, for good health and safety as they are involved in travelling and training.
- We continue to seek PRAYER for South Sudan; that real peace that is dealing with the causes of the fighting may prevail. Please PRAY especially for the situation in Mundri and for Manny and Grace and the family as they decide on how best to move forward while in UK.
- Please continue to PRAY that the process we are involved in with others may wake the church to our responsibility for our Father’s property in relation to the environment, and for concerted effort as we seek to spread the message. Please also PRAY that the holistic message we teach may get across and those we work with may see their responsibility to God in all they do.