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Entries from April 2012

A little about us

Johnny and I are humbled by the donations sent to support the work we do in Kenya. The needs are many.

Thank you for being willing to help these 'orphans-no-more' and other oppressed people we reach out to.

We try to live as efficiently as possible while still providing the best care and atmosphere for these children so they can thrive and have a hope for a bright future.

A little about us:

  • We are volunteers.
  • We have no salary and do what we do out of passion and deep desire to help the needy.
  • We are supported by individuals. Get to know us! (We are on FB) 
  • We have no housing allotment.
  • We do not go on vacations. Though, admittedly, once a year we try to go to the capital city Nairobi for an overnight to get things we can't find in Nakuru and eat some yummy food!
  • We hardly ever travel outside of our home town Nakuru. Like I said, once a year if we can.
  • We don't take expensive trips back to the states to do fundraising.
  • Our home is the same home the orphans-no-more live in so we only rent one building. (Though food expenses are higher because we make nutritional food for all of us.)
  • We don't have a lot of staff.
  • We make all our foods from scratch.
  • We try to grow some of our food, albeit not very successfully yet because we live on a small plot with rocky ground.
  • We don't own fancy cars: A no-powered steering manual 1985 Nissan Van. 
  • We walk to places when we can to save on petrol.
  • We are not a huge ministry wasting money on advertisements, flyers, etc...
  • 100% of donations go directly to A Future and a Hope. (OK, if you use paypal, they have a small fee, of course, but it's not much).

If you would like to know what we do, you can check out www.afutureandahope.com

Our biggest current needs:

  • Our children all need shoes, clothes, uniforms, PE suits, school shoes, underwear. We can buy them here, but donations help!
  • We need more monthly supporters. Perhaps you would like to hold a summer BBQ and spread the word about A Future and a Hope?

Donations can be sent through PayPal to back2kenya@yahoo.com or mailed to

Kenya Fund

713 West First Street

Beaver Dam, KY 42320

 

THANK YOU!


Not even out of Kindergarten

Lately, Emma has been shouting things to me such as, "You ruined my life!" and, "You broke my heart!"

Yeah. She's FIVE. I can't imagine her when she's sixteen. <sigh>

I'm not sure why she's not like the others... But I love her. Even now as I type, I have released her from time out and suggested she goes and plays. She is beating her head against the door softly enough to not hurt, but loud enough to wake her sleeping sister. She refuses to move because I 'put her in timeout' and that is where she must stay. She can be very unreasonable.

She, Emma, requires a great deal of attention. Sometimes it's the bio-kids who are the most difficult.


The Economics of Dieting

Unfortunately our Paleo/wheat free diet has been derailed due to economics. We simply need to buy inexpensive food to be able to feed everyone. Which means more wheat, rice, and such fare on our menu.

At least Kate makes it taste good, as she is here making a herb bread.

 

Never fear we are still trying to eat as many whole foods as possible, and are looking into ways to grow more of our own.


A Meeting on the Future

Had a meeting with my lovely wife today to talk about pursuing a move to a farm. The main purpose being that we could grow more of our own food and bring the excess to the market.

We have decided to look into leasing a place, and then after we perfect our system trying to raise money to buy a place.

If you're interested here are my notes from the meeting:

 

From Evernote:

April 23 2012

Who:

Kate

Johnny

Where:

Office

 

 

Goals for acquiring a farm.

 

  • Identify potential locations
  • Plan fundraising to lease or buy farm

Identify potential locations

Should we use resources to lease or focus on buying?


Kate is concerned with owner selling property.

Advantages of Leasing

  • Can happen faster.
  • Start up cost less.
  • Easier to find a working farm to lease, I.e. with structures on it.
  • Easier to get out of.
  • Landlord has some responsibility as far as upkeep.
  • We can continue to live somewhere else and work the farm.

Disadvantages of Leasing

  • Investing in someone else's property.
  • Landlord's will is a factor in improvements.
  • Reliant on the lease.
  • Pressure of rent.

Advantages of Buying

  • Long term investment.
  • Can build what you want when you want and how you want.
  • Potential inheritance for the African children.
  • No eviction threat.
  • Can take your time building.
  • Save on rent in the long run.

Disadvantages of Buying

  • Not easy to get out of.
  • Large lump sum payment required.
  • More potential to become mired in local politics.

We Have to Make a Decision

Which path?


Begin by leasing.



No need to tell them.

I’m working on the new blog banner. As I work, I can hear laughing, giggles, some running, playing, and other ‘fun stuff.’ Edith is laughing at the top of her lungs as she squeals in delightful play with Butterfly….

…A thought popped into my head, “She has no idea how lucky she is…” as I remembered where she came from 4 1/2 years ago.

Shhh. They may have no idea how ‘good they’ve got it’ here at a Future and a Hope.

Let’s just keep it that way.

I love that I’ve created a new normal for these kids whom society rejected, no LIFE rejected. They are accepted. They are living as children SHOULD.

“Love makes a Family.”

~Kate


Dreaming

Years ago, Johnny and I had a dream to move to Africa to help those less fortunate than ourselves. In July of 2004, we started the process, and by January 2005, we took a brave step, and we did it.

Then after years of dreaming, in ‘07 we fulfilled a dream of opening a home for orphans. After traveling to the States and soliciting your help, we were able to do just that! Now we have two homes for orphans, well, orphans-no-more because they live with us as a family.

Even during those times, we dreamed of having our own land to build a home for them with a small partially sustainable farm, and even another home for another ‘family of orphans with house parents’ and so forth and so on. That dream hasn’t died, but after seven years of just dreaming, I feel it is weakened.

I know we’ve mentioned it before, and I’m not sure why I even dare mention it again except for the fact that this dream is still flourishing and spinning around in my heart. It is so real, I can already imagine and feel it, just like when I was dreaming of moving to Africa almost a decade ago….

I’m writing this because I know that the only way purchasing an acre or two of land can even be possible is if I solicit help from people. I’ve contemplated traveling back to the States to hold ‘fundraisers,’ but I CRINGE every time I even think of doing such things. The expense of traveling to the States alone makes my stomach churn. Why waste so much money when communication can all be done through today's technology? Plus, I hate fundraising. I much prefer doing what I’m good at—loving those in need. I really want to leave the fundraising to someone else, hence why I’m hoping someone reading this will jump onto the idea and do it for me.

Our situation is such that when money comes in, we use it. We spend everything. Every penny that gets donated, we use on the orphans-no-more, the community, and helping those in need. It’s just how it is. There is no extra when one’s ‘work’ is to help those in need because there are always needy folks. And we are talking about BASIC necessities. With that said, we can’t just ‘save up’ money to buy land. It’s impractical. However, IF some of you out there felt lead to help us raise money to purchase a piece of land, and you kept that money designated somewhere just for that purpose, it would make this dream possible.

I’m not sure how it can be done, honestly. I don’t even know where to begin to convince folks that by us owning a piece of earth and being able to plant, keep farm animals, build cottages on it for our little ‘families,’ and even houses for single moms and dying folks or folks who just need a safe place to live while they recover from AIDS, it would be more beneficial than renting where we are now. But I’m sure that it goes without being said.

So there ya have it. A sincere plea. I have no answers, no idea how it can be done. I do know that land is around $12,000 per acre outside of town in Nakuru, Kenya, which is a surprise to most folks, especially Texans. ;) But it would be a huge blessing and a start of a fulfilled dream for our families.