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October 2012
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Entries from November 2012

First 5 goals

Just thought I’d try to pull all of you into our heads so you can get an idea of what’s buzzing around in there concerning our goals for the land and for A Future and a Hope.

1.  First, we want to go out to the land and make a level place for the car to pull in so we can park it on the land safely.

2. The second thing we want to do is finish fencing and make it secure. So far, we’ve done the front portion of the land and about 100 ft up the sides. We have a proper iron gate, too! We’ll get pictures soon. We have the sides and back yet to fence.

3. Water tanks. We’ll try to get tanks in the ground so we can begin collecting and storing the municipal water that’s already available on the land. We’ll need it for the building process and for farming.

4. We want to do some clearing of shrubs on the land and build a fire break between the hillside and the area where the housing will be. This is just a safety thing since farmers in the area often times burn their farms nearby.

5. Already we’ve been planning where we want things, but in this step, we’ll work on a more detailed building plan, and layout for the land, and start the process of getting a house out there!


Longing

Hey guys, tell me, what your thoughts are concerning our campaign for a car? I mean, I feel like it's a bother to ask folks for help, but I also know that a second car is a must. I don't want folks to think I'm ungrateful. Instead, it's quite the opposite. I have this amazing, beautiful piece of land that I LONG to be on, to develop, to see, to get our kids out on and then even more kids in the future, and yet, I can't even go out there for fear of getting stuck during a rain. Not only are we unable to get to the land during the rains, but even IF we could, Johnny would be in the village where our land is all day, and I'll need to do all the running around and ferrying children to and from school, grocery buying, etc. here in Nakuru. W/out a car, that'll be impossible. I'm not trying to whine, I'm just trying to explain why NOW of all times we are asking for help. We are so grateful. Very Very grateful. Humbly from the bottom of our hearts.


Quiet

All the orphan no more girls have left to go and visit what relatives they have left. (Friends for a couple of them, they unfortunately have no family to visit or at least no safe family.) Which means that for a few days the decibel levels in our house go down a notch or two. It’s as close to quiet as we can get around here, and we’re happy to have at least a little reduction in the noise for a moment.

Certainly we will miss the girls, but we do stay in contact with them. Plus it is only temporary. Before we know the volume will be back up to 11.


It's gonna take 4WD to get our dream rolling!

"Sometimes the road gets bumpy, but with the help of friends, we can always make it through..."

Kate Brooks

Our fundraising campaign for a 4WD vehicle is still going on. In fact there is only 11 days left in it, and we still need 8,000 dollars.

We have been able to identify several vehicles in that price range. As soon as we have the cash here in Nakuru we will be able to buy a more reliable car. 

The roads up to the new property are rough, and will only be worse in the rainy season. Starting in January I will need to go up there almost everyday once we begin construction. Getting a 4WD car will help with that.

Please consider giving. Here is the link:

http://igg.me/p/277232?a=910796

 


Black Friday, a Missionary’s Worst Enemy

Every year, Thanksgiving Day comes around, and we give thanks for the myriad blessings in our lives. We get together with family, some of whom we have not seen for the whole of the year, and gorge ourselves on great holiday foods. Good times. It is also when our minds begin to turn to the Christmas season. Actually, retailers and marketers force our minds to the Christmas season. To be honest, I wouldn’t think of Christmas till the 24th if it were not for marketers. None the less, the atmosphere changes, and the pressure begins.

Black Friday. That day of the year when you cannot find a parking space no matter how far from the door you go. The day after Thanksgiving when retailers would have us all in their places of business instead of at home enjoying the extra long weekend. They have tricked us into believing that elbowing our way through the crowds for a once in a year deal is actually fun, beneficial, and even keeping with the Christmas Spirit. The day when greed gets the best of us.

Kate and I have come to think of Black Friday as our enemy. How can people be expected to remember missionaries in Kenya when they must go out and buy that latest IPad, Nintendo U, blue ray player, computer, clothes, and all the other gift items this year? There is a sense of great satisfaction in paying much less for something. You actually get to hold it, caress it, use it, and discard it. Proof of your frugality, fruit of your early morning wake up call, justification for the charge, exists in your hands after shopping on Black Friday.

Giving to us just doesn’t produce the same results. All the fruit of your gift is enjoyed on this side. We see the hungry fed; the naked clothed; the sick cared for; the lonely, distraught, dying embraced. You cannot. We get to hug, kiss, and otherwise love on these orphans-no-more. We see first hand the changes wrought in their lives. We glimpse the hope they now have in their futures. You can only do so vicariously through us.

Yet we cannot experience this without you. We need donors. Simple. To save these children we must have money, and that money must come from donors.

Which is why Black Friday is our enemy. Not Christmas, not gift giving, not the holiday season, but the excess that Black Friday represents, that it encourages. When the deal is too good to pass up, and when there are multiple deals too good to pass up, there tends to be nothing left over at the end of the day.

Obviously, this is not a rant intended to stop you from participating in Black Friday. If I had wanted to guilt you out of shopping that day I would have posted this on Friday or Thursday. Many of you already shun the shopping day, and give us hope. No, this is not about shaming anyone, but just an expression of our frustration.


Growing Pains

Emma Caite, our 5 year old, has had the most trouble with growing pains of any of our children. She has had days where the pain is just too much and all she can do is cry, and beg for medicine. (She loves medicine for some reason. Most children hate taking their medicine, but not her. She literally will beg for it.)

I am experiencing much the same thing in the ministry, albiet in a more metaphorical sense. 

We feel driven, compelled, and destined to help care for more of Kenya's abandoned/left behind people. It is like God has placed in us a love that cannot stop. Not that we are super or heroes or anything like that, but more akin to overflowing vessels that need a place to direct the excess that has been poured in us. 

The only solution is to grow. We needed a bigger space, a piece of land to grow food on, and thanks to the generosity of close to 200 people, we now have that space. (We will be sharing some ideas on developing that space soon. Be sure to join our email newsletter to be in on the discussion and exchange of ideas.)

This will mean more kids, more widows, more workers, more missionaries, more and more and more and more. I think you get the idea. We will have to polish our communication somewhat. Become more consistent. Follow more rules. We must reach out to more people. Why? Because it will take more resources, ideas, prayer, and love to bring a future and a hope to more people.

Of course we will remain who we are, or at least try to be true to who we are. Yet everything changes.

A Future and a Hope was Kate and I. It is now grown beyond our wildest dreams, and I realize we cannot do it alone. Obviously we need donors, who make our lives possible. We need ideas, advice, help, and encouragement. In other words we need you. 

This is an official invitation for you to get involved with A Future and a Hope. I have no clue what that means for you, but there is no reason you can't figure it out. 

A place to start may be to be involved financially. We need money. Utilitiy bills are coming due, children need to travel to visit relatives during this school holiday, the bio family would like a week in Nairobi (we don't want to miss The Hobbit,) we need to eat, dress, and all the other things that are not free in life. We also have just started a new campain to raise money for a vehicle. Check out this link. http://igg.me/p/277232?a=910796

After that how you are involved is up to you. This is bigger than Kate and I, and we welcome your input.