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Entries from April 2010

Bed Bugs

bed bugYesterday I purchased insecticides and Ben went out to one of the slums here in Nakuru to try and eradicate a bed bug infestation in two homes. If you have never encountered these little pests, you may not appreciate the seriousness of an infestation. Bed bugs do not transmit any diseases that we know of, but they are pests nonetheless. 

The bites are irritating. We once had a problem of our own, and I remember the itching to be extreme. My skin’s reaction to the bites made it difficult to concentrate, sleep, or just be comfortable. In other words the bugs are a pain and need to be dealt with.Doom

Our normal response to annoying or potentially dangerous insects is a product called Doom. However these bugs seem impervious to it. Or at least can hide from it. Solution? A more powerful bug spray.

Benard MsanduBen and I purchased some at a local chemist that specializes in animal medicine, and Ben went to spraying.

We will know in a couple of days if we have been successful in routing the enemy or not. Till then I hope the children in those homes can at least experience a good nights sleep.


Quote of the Week

Religious lie #212 is, "If we won't, he can't," and it underlies so many of the ways we motivate people and make them feel responsible. While that may lead people to work hard to do something great for God it only leads to the disillusioned hopes of self-effort, especially when we think ourselves successful.

Wayne Jacobsen    Bodylife Articles, How Do I…? March 2010


Mowin'

Johnny says he is too tired from mowing the lawn to write an article today. Just thought everyone should know.

I'm not sure what the excuse was for yesterday or the day before, <chuckle>, but I definitely was slacking in the writing department as well.

Today's topic is 'Kenya' so you may be interested to know that here in Nakuru, the really nice neighborhoods where the posh folks live, actually have the WORST roads. They aren't even paved and are full of pot holes. If you go to the middle class area of Nakuru, the roads are paved.

Perhaps it's because the wealthy all own 4 wheel SUVs? (Don't you love my assumptions?)

Well, incase you were wondering, our NEWEST vehicle is 20 years old (the Camry), and our Van is 25 years old. Because of the rains, our roads have worsened, and we've actually had to do quite a number of repairs on our vehicles.

Well, that's my tidbit for today...

~Kate

Ps
Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the roads here to share.


Indecision (Guest Posting)

Fig tree Paul Harvey is famous in American radio for sharing a tidbit of news and then giving the listener “the rest of the story” or the background information that helps a person better understand what’s really going on and take some of the “spin” away that popular media give a story.

This piece of literature came from a source I do not recommend and so won’t mention the author but I will say that sometimes a cow lays a patti over a diamond.  (That’s an original quote of mine, just now, by the way. )  And so, I found this diamond in a cow patti,:  so to speak, during English literature class:

“I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

The Paul Harvey in the story is that this exerpt had an affect on me that was not the intent of the author, if you were to read the whole book I found it in.  However, this portion challenged me to not be indecisive.  More closely, it challenged me to be courageous. 

—————–

German fast facts for the week:

1.  Germans are much more quiet, still, and disciplined, as a whole, than Americans.  For example, you can be riding on a train full of Germans and hear a pin drop.  They don’t feel the need to constantly fidget, sprawl out in their seats, talk really loud, or blast thier music in their ear phones.  There are rare exceptions. 

2.  Germans do not say anything when you sneeze.  I sometimes say “God bless you” out loud but nothing happens, at least from them.  I may sometimes say “Gott segnet Sie” (all nouns are always capitalized, BTW) which means the same thing.  However, I do not think they have this custom of saying “God bless you,” when someone sneezes.  Must have come from elsewhere in the World.

3.  Driving and talking on the cell phone is illegal everywhere.  I see many Germans doing it anyway, overall.

4.  Drinking alcohol in public is NOT illegal.  You will see folks drinking a beer outside together, at the bus station, walking along and drinking, on the train drinking or celebrating and singing out loud in the train station and drinking if they won a soccer game, called “football” here.  The trick is that it is not taboo to drink.  Persons are generally much more responsible with it here also.  Like cell phone use while driving, however, drinking and driving IS illegal and I do NOT see any Germans doing that. 

-James D of Germany


We Are Adopted

I was skimming through Ephesians chapter one in the Bible this afternoon, and the word adoption stood out to me.

I’ve been thinking of family a lot lately. Not just my biological family, but the extended family we have here in Kenya.

We have actually adopted into our family several different folks. Not all of them necessarily appreciate this adoption, nor seem to understand the lengths we will go to love them. Yet nonetheless to Kate and I they are our family.

Seems to be the same way with me and God’s family. I don’t always appreciate the fact that he has adopted me. In fact sometimes I wish He would leave me alone. Yet there are times, and I’m hoping those times increase in frequency, that I do appreciate this embrace.

I’m appreciating it today. Which totally doesn’t make any sense, seeing as to how I have too much stress right now. (Stress caused by me following my Father in Heaven and His son Jesus, so technically I should be angry at the two.)

I am at peace with the life I have. I think mostly because I am at peace with my place in His family. I am at peace with my work of increasing that family by caring for orphaned/abandoned children and other oppressed people here in Nakuru, Kenya.


Quote of the Week

 

 1God, I'm not trying to rule the roost, I don't want to be king of the mountain.
   I haven't meddled where I have no business
      or fantasized grandiose plans.

 2 I've kept my feet on the ground,
      I've cultivated a quiet heart.
   Like a baby content in its mother's arms,
      my soul is a baby content.

 3 Wait, Israel, for God. Wait with hope.
      Hope now; hope always! (Psalm 131, The Message)


The Strange Ways of Kenyans

Some of you may remember that a few days ago I posted on Face Book that we were enrolling a young woman into catering school. (www.facebook.com/johnnybrooks) I believed, and she seemed to believe as well, that this was a way to help her make a living in this world. Perhaps even escape poverty and provide for her future family.

When we met her there was still a few months before the school began. The relative she was living with at the time, can’t remember if it was a sister or a an aunt, kicked her out of the house. So we helped the young lady travel back to her rural home to stay with other relatives till the school opened.

It’s now time to begin the class, and so Ben traveled to her rural home. What he found astonished me. In the month and a half since going home, she has gotten married and pregnant. I was shocked, though after more than five years here you would think these things wouldn’t be so jaw dropping in nature to me anymore.

I still don’t understand the logic behind it, and most likely never will. I mean not only is she pregnant and married, but she is the husband’s third wife. Not that he has been married two other times and is now remarried, no he is married to three women at the same time.

I don’t have any problem with polygamy, yet in her situation, it was just the wrong choice. Her husband is just as poor as she is, and not only does she have her own child on the way, but she is caring for some of his other children now.

Sigh. I admit we failed this young woman. Though I would never have guessed she would get married while staying at her rural home for a month and a half. Still if we would have had a place for her in Nakuru, we might have avoided this situation.

One day I’ll find a way to use hindsight beforehand.


School is just Around the Corner

School will be starting soon. I hope the children all enjoyed the month off. They were able to get out of the house for a couple of weeks at least, and we were able to spend a night in Nairobi. Actually has been a nice and relaxing month.

That’s pretty much over now, as we prepare for school.

Of course our biggest pressing need is money to pay the school fees. I also have a couple of pairs of shoes to buy, and we need at least one, maybe two uniforms for the boy’s home.

Also means three months of having to wake up early in the morning to drive the girls to school. Sigh. I am so not a morning person.


Family is the Only Way

I am becoming more and more convinced at the passing of each day, that the only institution that can solve the problems of our world today, is not really an institution at all. Family is the answer to what ills us.

A healthy and loving family produces children who become healthy and loving adults.

Certainly not all families are healthy and loving, but surely the ones that are can take up the slack? Or love can find it’s way to the offspring of those unhappy unions and transform them.

Family is what we are doing here in Kenya. Not only with the orphans, but with others in the community.

There are challenges. Not many folks get my idea that it is the right thing, in deed it is what followers of Jesus should be doing, to take care of people who are no blood relation to you. In deed it is hard most of the time to get them to care for blood relatives.

Yet programs do not bring lasting change. Religious obligation does not bring lasting change. Good deeds do not bring lasting change.

Instead it is family. Family sticks with you no matter what, when others give up after one or two tries. Family sees lasting change, since it refuses to give up.

The creator of the cosmos has adopted us into His family. It’s time we realize that adoption is the best way to change the world.