The girls in secondary school spent the last few days in Kisumu for a singing competition. Kate managed to capture a few seconds of practice on video:
We have posted about why we do this a few times recently, but this is another demonstration of why. Freedom to sing, go on school trips, and act goofy. Hard to recreate in an institution, but not that hard in a family setting.
After we purchased The Shire and put up a fence (half the land,) and built a little hut I (Johnny) started to push for an early move in date. I wanted to be on the farm in order to start developing it without the hour commute or sleeping in tents.
When The Prancing Pony (our current home) was nearly finished I suggested we move in. No electricity, no running water, and worse of all no floor.
Having never lived without a floor I didn't realize how difficult it actually would be. The dust is killer. Poor little ~Eowyn keeps stubbing her toes. I cannot walk around in socks at the end of the day.
Not that I am complaining, well not complaining too much. We started saving money as soon as we moved in, which in some months (like this one) is fantastic. Development became easier as we are here twenty-four hours a day, and we are able to participate in the work more.
Still a floor, more electricity, and a bathroom would be nice.
We are running a fund raising campaign at the moment and several new folks have come into contact with us. So maybe it is time for one of those "why do we do this?" posts?
That is both an easy to answer question and not so easy one at the same time.
Easy part: Children, all children, deserve to grow up in a home. A home with family who loves them. A home where family cares for their needs. A home where they are safe. A home where they can be who they were created to be. A home that provides hope in the future.
Easy enough to explain. The children deserve the life we are providing for them. We believe it is our responsibility to work towards providing these children with a future and a hope.
The harder part of the why question is, why us? Why does it have to be Kate and Johnny in Kenya caring for orphaned/abandoned Kenyan children?
Honestly I am not sure why it has to be us, and some days I really wonder, "Why me?"
I suppose the best way to explain it is that I took the following passage from the Bible seriously:
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:40)
Several years have passed since I read that and found the inspiration to move to Kenya with Kate and our children. Much has changed since then, yet one thing has remained constant. I believe that we are to be here in Kenya helping orphaned/abandoned children find family. That is our destiny. Our fate in life.
The majority of orphaned and vulnerable children here in Kenya do not have anyone willing to make sacrifices on their behalf. There is no foster care system. The government run orphanages, which there are few, are terrible places. Many of the private run homes are horrible as well. Even the "nice" missionary run homes are still institutions designed to corral as many orphans as possible in as little space as possible using as little money as possible.
We took in nine girls more than seven years ago. Nine girls who had no one who was willing to care for them. We did not know them. We are not related by blood, culture, or even language. Yet when we learned of their stories we could not turn them away.
Each of those girls was destined for a life of servitude as maids (called house girls or house help here in Kenya.) In fact the majority of them were maids before coming to our house. Working all day long for little or no pay. In constant danger of molestation by the man of the house or his friends. Zero freedom, no hope, and absolutely no human dignity.
Which is why we do what we do. We believe that children, all children deserve a Future and a Hope.
Part of our Out of the Dark Ages fund raising campaign is increasing our solar power for The Prancing Pony (the barn which is currently serving as our home.) Currently our setup just does not give us enough juice, and we would like to add to it.
When we moved off grid, not because we hate electricity but there is simply no connection here, we decided to go the solar route. Kate nor I had any clue to how the whole energy from the sun thing worked, but we know how to use Google, and now have a rudimentary understanding. Unfortunately our lack of experience led us to buy a set up that was just too small for our needs. However my computer experience led us to purchase a setup that was up gradable. So we can add panels and batteries.
The girls, and us two boys, would be grateful if you could help us to double our solar energy setup. The girls mostly because they could have light in the wee hours of the morning as they prepare for school. Imagine being a teenage girl who cannot see her face in the mirror before heading off to school. Shudder.
Follow this link to participate in the fund raiser, and spread the word to your friends, relatives, and groups.
The results of our poll are in and the fundraising campaign is now named Out of the Dark Ages. As of last night (Kenyan time) the campaign is live. You, and all your friends, can now contribute and help us come Out of the Dark Ages.