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Entries from April 2008

Moving

Today we will be moving Jane (previous blog post on Jane here to a new house, or room. Well, I say we, but really it is Ben. I will be heading to Nairobi and so will miss out on all the moving action. Which is a real bummer seeing as to how this is an easy move that consists of a bed.

I know the next time someone moves I will be around and there will be heavy sofas, wardrobes, and t.v.s.

Anyway we wanted, and Jane wanted, to get away from her mother and brother. The two of them have been abusing her for some time, care nothing for her at all.

We have some friends, one of which we helped out, who were in Jane's place just a little while back. These two ladies will be caring for Jane, and cooking her up some kind of health drink concoction that they say really helps them a lot.

I will try and get some pictures of the new place as soon as possible.

 

johnny's-head Johnny Brooks

Missionary to Nakuru, Kenya. Co-founder of A Future and a Hope, a home for girls.


Eunice

I hate to start the week off with a sad story, but that is how my week is starting. In fact it is how the last week ended. I have blogged about Jane once or twice before, here and here. We paid Jane's back rent of four months for her, so the landlord would not take her mattress, which was her only possession. So she was current up to this month, in other words the house was eviction safe. So her brother moves in with his new wife, without consulting Jane or us I might add.

Eunice, Jane's brother's wife, is a young bride, very young indeed. She told us that she was 14, yes 14. Maybe she could be 16 but at any rate she is far to young to be married.

Eunice's parents died of HIV leaving her and a younger sister alone in a rural village here in Kenya. Eunice met Jane's brother (I cannot remember his name. I have actually never spoken with him before, which may be a good thing,) found Eunice in the village and told her if she would marry him he would care for her and her sister.

Unfortunately he had no means to do so. Seems he just wanted some cheap sex. Jane's mother does not like Eunice, and so would beat her and verbally abuse her.

We come into the story and find that Eunice is the only family member willing to help bathe Jane, clean the house (Jane has no control over her bladder, and adult diapers are a luxury at this point,) cook, and feed Jane. In other words Eunice was Jane's life line in the family.

We learned on Sunday that Eunice was divorced and thrown out of the house after enduring a terrible beating. We are looking for her today, and will do whatever we can to help her.

Right now we plan on moving Jane away from her family, since they are a destructive force in her life. We cannot safely bring Jane food or drugs for fear her family will take them from her. She is powerless, and needs protection. It is a possibility that Eunice can stay with Jane, but we have to locate her first.

I will keep you updated on the story as it unfolds. All of us, that includes Jane, really appreciate all the prayers and financial support that enables us to assist young women like Jane and Eunice.

 

johnny's-head Johnny Brooks

Missionary to Nakuru, Kenya. Co-founder of A Future and a Hope, a home for girls.


THE LOVE LANGUAGE CLUB

Well, it's finally begun.  Yes, the book that's sat on our shelf for over a year now is finally getting it's pages read.  Johnny has been saying how his wife has been compelling him to read this book.  Johnny, I just want you to know, man, we are going through this together now.

Yes, the book is known as "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman.  The truth is that it's high time my wife and I started making some investments into our marriage.  One way we are doing that is to finally start reading this book together on as much of a daily basis as we can.

How about you guys out there reading with the rest of us?  Is it time to work on your marriages too?  Are you a five star member of the "Five Love Languages" club?  Why not join today?


James and Heather Matthews


Picture of the Week

I know we've written several articles on little Mike. However, I've never posted a before and after picture side by side, so today I thought I'd do that so you can see the amazing difference. DSCN0756

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Above: This is a picture of Mike when we first met him in January. You can see he is trying to smile. He was so weak he couldn't stand.

Below:  This is a picture of him recently (Last month). He's a changed young man! His mom says that he runs and plays now with out getting tired!

mike

It's amazing what nutritious food, healthcare, and lots of love can do!

I wish you all could see him face to face. (Lonnie, you'll get to! You won't believe your eyes!)

 

kate's-head ~Kate Brooks

Missionary to Nakuru, Kenya and co-founder of A Future and a Hope


An interview with Andrew

MOM:  Andrew, what is your favorite thing about living in a home for girls?

ANDREW: I sometimes get to play with them. With the young ones from 10 to lower. Grace doesn't like me playing with them (the older girls).

MOM:  So you mean to tell me that Grace never lets you play? Ever?

ANDREW: Sometimes she lets me play. Most of the time she doesn't.

MOM: Can you tell me something about yourself?

ANDREW: My favorite color is black. I don't really have any favorite food. I sleep on the top bunk of a triple decker. And that's it.

MOM: That's all you can say about yourself?
ANDREW: Yes.

MOM: Don't you like minerals?

ANDREW: Ohhh, I forgot about that one.

MOM: Which is your favorite mineral
ANDREW: well, I really like diamonds though I've never really seen any.

MOM: What are some things we do to help people?
ANDREW: We feed people. We have orphans in our home.

MOM: WHAT ARE ways you help?

ANDREW: I feed the animals. There are ducks, geese, rabbits, and chickens. We have tortoises, a dog, and cats... and rats. I want to go now and get my ball.

MOM: Ok, we're done.


Itare

Johnny, Ben, and James went to Itare yesterday. Itare is a rural area on the west side of Kenya. Johnny called to inform me that they got stuck in the mud at least 3 times and passed through amazing obstacles that only God helped them through! (They are in our little Camry in the Bush during the rains- YIKES!) They are visiting a pastor there who is taking care of orphans. Please pray for their safe journey. It was their intent to return home today, but my guess is that it'll be tomorrow since they arrived there so late.

 

 

kate's-head ~Kate

Missionary to Nakuru, Kenya and co-founder of A Future and a Hope


Heartbroken

Sometimes passages from the Bible just come alive for me. I mean it's like I get transported back in time, and it is just like I am there. I can feel the emotions, my feet can feel the gravel pushing into the bottom of my soles, I can smell the odors, I am just there.

This past Sunday Ben and I went to visit some of our friends who are sick and in need of our help. We visited Jane, and a certain scene from the Gospels leapt to my heart.

Jesus was going somewhere, cannot remember off the top of my head, and he had the chance to look over the city of Jerusalem. He wept because of the suffering that was going on.

I wept because of the suffering of Jane. A 21 year old woman who is HIV positive and bedridden. She is unable to control her bladder, and so has wet herself and her bed. Neither Ben nor I pointed this out to her of course. Certainly she was aware of it and embarrassed.

We did complain bitterly to her mother, who stays nearby but cares nothing for her daughter. In fact it was Jane's mother who forced her into prostitution and so her mother caused her to contract HIV. Now she does not feed her, bathe her, make sure she gets to the clinic, or otherwise care for her daughter.

I completely understood Jesus' anguish at the sight of Jerusalem. We are now caring for Jane, and if it were not for her very complicated family situation I would have brought her home with us. Since that is not possible right now we have volunteers going each and every day to cook, bathe, and love Jane.

I assured her that we would not abandon her. Her doctor has already given up on her. He called us to tell us not to buy some expensive (at least in our Kenyan context) medication. He told us to use our money on someone else. Well we told him that Jane was worth it to us, even if she dies the day after taking the medication and all our money is wasted.

Again I understood Jesus' tears.

I told Jane that she would come out of her bed. In fact I was trying to be funny and flirtatious at the same time, when I told her that I could not take her out on a date, seeing as to how I was married, but I would take her to the best restaurant in town as soon as she was able to walk again just as a friend. She could tell by looking at me that I knew all the best places to eat. We laughed.

It was good to hear a laugh instead of tears.

Father I pray that you touch Jane and enable her to come from that bed. This prayer is a bit selfish, as I am not sure I can handle her funeral. I am tired of weeping for Jane, let us laugh more and celebrate life.

 

johnny's-head Johnny Brooks

Missionary to Nakuru, Kenya. Co-founder of A Future and a Hope, a home for girls.