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May 2011

Entries from April 2011

April’s Email

I recently sent out the monthly email. In case you missed it here it is:

 

You know how you come to the end of a month and sometimes it’s like; “Wow. That month flew by so fast. Where did the days go?” and other times it’s like; “My god that month was so long. I can’t believe I made it to the end of it.” My feelings for April are the latter sentiment.

April was too busy of a month. Usually when school is out we have time to chill and just recoup, but this past month has been a ‘go, go, go’ kind of month.

The nursery school buildings are finished, or at least they have walls and roofs. Right now the fundi (craftsman) is plastering the walls, installing doors and windows, and will soon finish the floors. After that we have to finish up the electricity hook up, work on some plumbing, finish the playground/community park, and do all the decorating.

Speaking of school, the children will be heading back in a week. Everyone is doing o.k. in school and hopefully will continue on that tract. One of our goals with the orphan-care project is to create a space where the children have a chance to not only attend school, but to do as well as they can. We believe this will go a long way towards giving them a hope in their futures.

We pray that your May goes better than our April did, and we hope ours does as well.

From Kenya,

Johnny and Kate Brooks

www.afutureandahope.com

To make a financial gift make checks out to Kenya Fund and mail to:

713 West First Street
Beaver Dam, KY 42320
U.S.A.

Or use PayPal


Teresa

I don’t know if you know Teresa’s story…

First, let me tell you, she is one amazing kid! She has been the sweetest most adaptable girl in our family since moving in with us a little less than a year ago.

We had 12 children (8 orphans and 5 bio), which was our maximum. It’s the MOST we wanted in our home in order to keep some resemblance of a normal family. (This number doesn’t include Ben’s 2 daughters who also live here).

With that said, we weren’t LOOKING for any more girls to add to our dynamic! In fact, we were happy. We had 3 yrs under our belt as a family with most of the girls. Most of the kinks were worked out. Things were running pretty smoothly…

Then Ben, (he helps us in the community), came to us and said that there was a ten year old girl whose parents died a while back, and was now living with a lady as a house help. Not only that, but the lady has been BEATING her. (We are talking child-abuse style). Just that morning, she was beaten for drinking half a glass of milk because she was so hungry…

I immediately knew Teresa was supposed to move in with us. I didn’t take time to ask Johnny or God or anyone. I just KNEW it was the right thing to do.

That evening, we accepted the most amazing young girl into our family as our own. Her name is Teresa Awour.

I say all of this because, yesterday, after a visit with a ‘barely' living sister, Teresa came home. She asked to visit her sister for only a few days.

When Lonnie went to pick her up with Ben, they found MY Teresa outside selling ‘mandazi!’ (They are like a fried bread). She hadn’t eaten much herself during her stay. Her sister is very cruel and isn’t well…

Teresa is my hero. She came home with a smile on her face and love in her heart.

I’m so glad to have her home.

~KateIMG_0020


Nairobi?

It’s April, which means we are off for this month.

April is almost over. We have 11 days left of our ‘summer holiday.’

We were able to send some of the girls to their Aunts’ houses. Some chose not to go, and others have no relatives.

Then we have the bio-kids who also want to do something. Since our Wii broke the week before Lonnie came with Andrew’s new Super Mario Bro. game, he’s yet to try it out. Which, as polite and uncomplaining as Andrew is (trust me, he’s amazing), I know he was looking forward to playing it. I feel a bit sorry for him and even the girls who are cooped up at home all day. Andrew’s done well riding his bike, reading, and playing with his sisters, but all of them are asking to take an overnight trip to Nairobi to visit the ‘Big City.’

I’m not sure we’ll be able to make it happen with only 11 days left, but I’m hoping we can pull it off some how.

Some good news; however, is that we received $300 in donations for Menstrual cups. I made the order yesterday and hope to get them in the mail in a couple of weeks! I am so thankful to those of you who had compassion on these women.

I look forward to distributing them and educating the women here on how to use them. I’m hoping this will bring joy to many ladies!


Coming to Pass..

We are building a nursery school in Kiondo, Lanet. (Just down the highway a bit from Nakuru.) A little playground is part of the school.

Building a community park in Kiondo has been a dream of mine and Ali’s for several years now. I’m proud to say that that dream is coming true.

We will of course have slides, swings, and other stuff for the little kids at the school. Playtime and exercise are a healthy part of education.

After school hours and on the weekend the playground will be open to the community. We are putting in a half basketball court and a volley ball court.

Who knows we might organize a league or something?

Future playground in Kiondo, Lanet Kenya

Soon and very soon we will see a basketball court……


There will be blood.

I live in a house with 17 girls (not counting our 2 female staff members). With that said, there will be blood.

Period.

Or I should say periodS. Now don’t run away, because I need your help with something.

In fact I want to tell you a little secret. There’s this cool thing called a menstrual cup. Have you ever heard of one?

It’s a life saver, and a planet saver! Basically it’s a silicone cup (depending on brand) that is used kind of like a tampon—only it’s amazing because it doesn’t have to be checked every time you go to the loo. In fact, it stays put for 12 hours just fine. Then at the end of the day, just dump it out, rinse it, put it back in again. There is no absorption, so it’s not bad for your body and can’t cause TSS. It’s CLEAN! Plus there is no need for finding toilet paper to wrap up a tampon or a pad and then find a trash can, etc… (those are all impossible to find here in Kenyan public toilets). It saves the environment from being filled with disposable feminine products that lay around for 500 years or so…

I said all this to say, here in Kenya so many women are using RAGS. Literally. They are making a bloody mess! With the taboo around periods, so many girls and women are too embarrassed to actually buy pads, IF they can afford them. Plus, poverty is an issue. We deal with women who can’t afford to buy monthly products so an alternative is needed.

Menstrual cups are great. There, I said it. It’s a one time purchase and lasts 10 years, or 15 years, or until you lose it, or hit menopause.

Where do you come in on this? Well, I’ve been contacting ‘cup’ companies trying to see if they’ll donate some to the community to help these women.

The average cup costs around $35 each. It’s a one time purchase; however, I found a company that will reduce the price to $10 each if we promise to distribute them to needy women.

So, there ya have it. I would like to order a bunch of cups (5 for the girls who’ve started in our home) plus a good number more to distribute through our community work.

If you are interested in helping, shoot me an email: back2kenya@gmail.com or designate a donation. Thanks so much!

For more information on ‘cups’ check out these sites:

http://www.lunette.com/

http://www.ladycup.eu/
http://www.femmecup.com/benefits.html


Staying in Touch

It’s a been a rainy day here in Nakuru, which is not a bad thing. Good for the farmers and my lawn. Though I am feeling a bit cold (fighting whatever virus is making it’s way through our family.) Good evening for a movie or a few t.v. shows.

Want to remind everyone of the ways in which you can reach us here in Nakuru, Kenya:

Via this here blog. Just add a comment and we will reply.

Via email: afutureandahope@gmail.com for me (Johnny) and back2kenya@gmail.com for Kate

Via Facebook: www.facebook.com/johnnybrooks and www.facebook.com/kate34

Via Skype: I am johnny-brooks (send me a note that you want to connect on Skype. I don’t keep it on all the time.) Kate is purechristianity

Via telephone: Our country code is 254 then for me 723 743 212 and Kate is 723 687 644

Via the post office: Our Kenyan address is:

P.O. Box 2974
Nakuru 20100
Kenya

U.S. address for donations is:

Kenya Fund
713 West First Street
Beaver Dam, KY 42320

 

I think that about covers it.


With a Little Help

Today was the final day of our contract with the crew at the new nursery school. They were to build the foundation, walls, and put up the roof. That crew accomplished that and in record setting time. (Or at least it seemed quick to me.)

Now until we are able to raise more money we will pause in the construction.

We need approximately $1,500 (U.S. dollars) to purchase the doors and windows, install them, plaster the walls, and take care of a few other issues.

Once that is finished we will need to have electricity hooked up, and furniture built. (Water is already on the property.)

If you would like to help us checks can be written out to Kenya Fund and mailed to:

713 West First Street
Beaver Dam, KY 42320

Or via Paypal using back2kenya@yahoo.com or afutureandahope@gmail.com

Just include a note that it is for the school and we will see to it that is how the funds are used.

Of course we still need help with all the other stuff going on; housing, feeding all these children, assisting the sick and poor in the community, and so on.

I cannot promise anything in return for your gift, but I will promise we will do everything in our power to take care of the “least of these,” and demonstrate the love of God to those who have been abandoned by our world.

Johnny Brooks and `Eowyn at nursery school