a Future and a Hope

Day 12

You do not actually have to see Kate in person to contribute. You can give other ways as well:

You can use Paypal. Send to [email protected]

You can write a check out to A Future and a Hope, and mail it to:

A Future and a Hope
c/o Bob Humphrey
7909 Walerga Rd STE 112-141
Antelope, CA 95843

Our friend and team member Bob will bank the money and it will be available for our use here in Kenya.

You can also use the app called Wave. (My number is 0723743212)

 


Day 11

For the eleventh day of Kate's absence, I thought it would be good to remind you of the wishlist. We do not visit the U.S. that often so bringing back a few items is high on the priority list. Also feel free to be creative and contribute things not on the list, but consider that Kate has to be able to pack it and bring it back with her. Also, let me know when you purchase something so it can be crossed off the list.

Here we go:


Day 6

British airOn the sixth day Kate, Makena, and Starlette traveled from London to Houston. Quite a long trip. They arrived fine and were picked up at the airport and taken to Nederland, Texas. They plan on resting up for a few days and then the whirlwind tour of America begins in earnest. 

Texas

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, those of us left at The Shire had a quiet Sunday. Lazing around, listening to music, and watching a bit of television in the evening. Plenty of thinking and meditating time.

I spent some time with a passage from Matthew chapter twenty-five. I know I quote and talk about it often but it is worthwhile. Take a moment to read it yourself:

34-36 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’

37-40 “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’

This particular passage heavily influenced how I chose to live out my faith. Back before we moved to Kenya I found myself becoming distant from the way faith was being practiced in our church. Simply attending a religious meeting on Sunday and Wednesday, reading the Bible occasionally, and praying were not enough. (Especially after reading the Bible and seeing a different way promoted in the text like the one above.) I started looking for ways to actually practice my Christianity. 

Many years later I find myself still on the lookout for faith practice moments. I, along with my wife Kate, have actually done all the things mentioned in the story of the sheep and goats, and still do them on a regular basis with your help of course. We are not yet weary. In looking for those moments to live out faith we came upon another opportunity, horse therapy for disabled children here in Kenya. These children are some of the least in our community and we are reaching out to them.

This is one of the things Kate is fundraising for while in the U.S. Keeping horses requires effort and food. Getting the children here is another expense, and so on and so on. These children are worth the effort, and it is a great way to practice some faith. 

Matthew-25-40-101216


Day 5

Saturday. Another run of the mill day here at The Shire. It is normally the day we would do the therapy sessions with the children and horses, but it is paused while Kate is away. To grow beyond where we are with this program there needs to be more qualified people to help, and more volunteers as well. This is one of the goals for 2019. In the meantime, Butterfly is helping take care of the horses and is exercising them.

Kate, Makena, and Starlette began their journey from England to Texas, albeit a few hours late due to a delayed flight. 

Here they are chilling out waiting for the gate to be opened:

Airport delay

Gate is open and now they board:

Airport delay 2

The Great American Adventure begins on Day 6. In the meantime don't forget about the wishlist:

 

Nintendo Joy-Con (L/R) Would like 2 sets
OXO Good Grips Silicone/Stainless Steel Tub Stopper
maple flavor
nyquil
children's fever/pain/allergy meds
Flintstones Children's Complete Chewable Multivitamin
Zahler Flax Seed Oil
grownup vitamins
Gillette Venus Women's Original
Strathmore Series 400 Sketch Pads 9 in. x 12 in. - pad of 100 (as many as possible)
Bad Byron's Butt Rub
Ultimate Ears UE Boom 2 Brainfreeze Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
pool noodles
frisbees
Dodge balls
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
CO-Z Bee Smoker
A4 Portable LED Light Box
hair clips
watches
Christmas ornaments!
Steve Jackson Games Munchkin Deluxe
Reese's peanut butter cups
jodphurs size 27 waist
Microsoft Surface Pro (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB) – Newest Version
Microsoft Certified Surface Pen, Stylus Pens with 4096 Pressure Sensitivity
Huawei MateBook X Pro
penny Whistles
lady p or shewee
sheet music for flute and piano
unlocked cell phones (current)
ipad
boots size 8.5
hair feathers and hair beads

polymer clay

 

Here is a link to a Google Doc containing the list and many links to Amazon:

Wishlist

Don't forget to let me know if you buy something off the list so I can remove it from the list.

 


Day 4

The fourth day that Kate, Makena, and Starlette have been gone went off without a hitch. Pigs were fed, cows fed, rabbits fed, dogs fed, cats fed, chickens fed, horses fed, and the children were fed. Everyone ate. In fact, because we are short three people we stretched burrito night out over three meals, and I still gave the pigs some beans. There are only so many times one can eat beans in a row. 

Kate had a gathering in England and hung out with some folks there. 

Kate barrows

Kate barrows 2

Day 5 will see them flying to Texas. I pray the trip goes well, especially for Starlette who has no experience with these long flights. 


Day 3

The third day of Kate's absence was more eventful, or at least busy than day 2. Kate and Makena went to visit Northbrook Metropolitan College where Makena is considering starting her higher education career. She had an informal interview and was told that based on her portfolio she would be accepted. Congratulations to Makena. There are still hurdles to overcome for this to work out, but the first step is done.

Makena and kate school

Back on the home front, I hung out with a friend who's wife just passed away from cancer. She was our friend as well and we are missing her. I was asked to officiate the funeral and have been working on that with the family. Sad, but I am glad we can be here for each other. 

Here is a newly updated wish list. Don't forget to let me know what you have bought or are buying so I can remove it from the list:

Nintendo Joy-Con (L/R) Would like 2 sets
OXO Good Grips Silicone/Stainless Steel Tub Stopper
maple flavor
nyquil
children's fever/pain/allergy meds
Flintstones Children's Complete Chewable Multivitamin
Zahler Flax Seed Oil
grownup vitamins
Gillette Venus Women's Original
Strathmore Series 400 Sketch Pads 9 in. x 12 in. - pad of 100 (as many as possible)
Bad Byron's Butt Rub
Ultimate Ears UE Boom 2 Brainfreeze Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
pool noodles
frisbees
Dodge balls
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
CO-Z Bee Smoker
A4 Portable LED Light Box
hair clips
watches
Christmas ornaments!
Steve Jackson Games Munchkin Deluxe
Reese's peanut butter cups
jodphurs size 27 waist
Microsoft Surface Pro (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB) – Newest Version
Microsoft Certified Surface Pen, Stylus Pens with 4096 Pressure Sensitivity
Huawei MateBook X Pro
penny Whistles
lady p or shewee
sheet music for flute and piano
unlocked cell phones (current)
ipad
boots size 8.5
hair feathers and hair beads
polymer clay

Link to Google Document which includes Amazon links for many items:

Wishlist


Day 2

The second day without Kate was rather uneventful. Don't get me wrong I do appreciate quiet, mundane days, but they are just not exciting to write about. 

Life continues on on The Shire, and Kate, Makena, and Starlette had fun visiting with friends in England. I heard they went to the beach. I cooked for the children, and they continued with their schooling.  

I warned you it was boring, nice and quiet. 

 

Here is Starlette enjoying a book with Matthew Barrow

 Here is something Kate posted on Facebook:

Put yourself in my shoes...

People going out of their way to see you, make you feel comfortable, feed you, and give to you...

It is really difficult to receive these acts of kindness...

I am struggling. I really am.

People are good, kind, and amazing...

Believing in one's self that we have value is SO HARD. Who knew this would be as difficult as it is?

 

Don't forget about the wishlist. If you are going to buy something from the list please let me know. They can only carry so much stuff back without spending tons of money on excess luggage. When someone buys the item I will remove it and update the list. Thanks. Without further ado here is the list:

Nintendo Joy-Con (L/R) Would like 2 sets
OXO Good Grips Silicone/Stainless Steel Tub Stopper
maple flavor
nyquil
children's fever/pain/allergy meds
Flintstones Children's Complete Chewable Multivitamin
Zahler Flax Seed Oil
grownup vitamins
Gillette Venus Women's Original
saddle pads
good saddles
bareback pad
brush boots for horses
grooming kits
Strathmore Series 400 Sketch Pads 9 in. x 12 in. - pad of 100 (as many as possible)
Bad Byron's Butt Rub
Ultimate Ears UE Boom 2 Brainfreeze Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
pool noodles
bridles
frisbees
Dodge balls
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
CO-Z Bee Smoker
A4 Portable LED Light Box
western saddle
hair clips
watches
Christmas ornaments!
lead ropes
Steve Jackson Games Munchkin Deluxe
bow and arrows
rope halters
Reese's peanut butter cups
jodphurs size 27 waist
Microsoft Surface Pro (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB) – Newest Version
Microsoft Certified Surface Pen, Stylus Pens with 4096 Pressure Sensitivity
Huawei MateBook X Pro
penny Whistles
lady p or shewee
recurve bow
sheet music for flute and piano
unlocked cell phones (current)
ipad
blender jar
boots size 8.5
hair feathers and hair beads
polymer clay
side reins
small saddle for star
Western saddle plus blankets
16.5 inch English saddle
stirrup leathers
safety stirrups in various sizes
reins

And here is a link to the Google document which includes links to Amazon for many of these items:

Wishlist

 


Day 1

Yesterday was our first day without Kate, Makena, and Starlette. They are now safely in England visiting friends and Makena will be visiting an art school while there. They will fly off to the U.S.A. in a few days. In the meantime life continues here on The Shire in Kenya.

First of all, I received a call from Edith's principal at her school. He told me Edith had problems with her shoes and I needed to come to pick her up and get new shoes. So I set off to Nakuru town with Butterfly, Emma, and Eowyn in tow. Butterfly had not seen Edith in a few months due to being off in Nanyuki and so was looking forward to seeing Edith.

We picked her up from Shinners Girl's School and headed to the mall. Twenty dollars later she had new shoes and was ready to return to school. However, we were not ready for her to go back just yet.

We did a bit of shopping and had pizza and french fries for lunch. We then stopped at The Cheese Palace (yep that is its name) for cheese and ice cream. (We didn't eat them together the cheese is for burrito night on Thursday.) We dropped Edith back at school and came home.

So far so good. Butterfly is helping with the horses, which she normally does, but she is doing a bit more to make up for Kate's absence. Emma and Eowyn are pretty much continuing their lives normally. (Though Eowyn did sleep in Kate's spot in the bed.)

We talked to Kate via Facebook Messenger video last night. Our connection was not great but she and the other two seem to be well and having a good time. They already have visited a few friends who have moved from Kenya to the U.K.

Wonder what day 2 has in store for them and for us back here on The Shire?


Busy Month, Busy week

20180827_135501
taking the girls shopping for school supplies with puppy in tow!

School fees are paid for this term. Edith and BT are in high schools both are boarding, and we also sponsor a third orphan for whom this is the final term of high school. Then Sarah M is finishing her culinary practicals for her cooking school, also paid. The older girls are living their lives and doing well. Grace is almost 24 years old now, in a customary marriage, and expecting a baby in January! So I guess I'll be a grandma soon!

Andrew is finishing his time in Oregon and will be traveling with my dad down the west through Yellow Stone and seeing a bit of the USA before settling in Texas where he will decide if he wants to attend school or continue working. He already has jobs lined up, and it is exciting to see him growing into a man!

Makena, Starry, and I are traveling to England at the beginning of October to visit a school for Makena and to visit some friends, then on to Texas, California, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania (visit another school), Arkansas, back to Texas, then back to Kenya.

 I am planning a women's health educational meeting for Wednesday. Both men and women will be there. This will be the first time for me to speak to the men at the same time! I will be distributing over 40 menstrual cups. Each cup is $39.48, but I am asking each person give $5/cup so that only the folks who really are keen to use it will take it. I have learned that when I pass them out freely, they are not as respected and valued. This is my first attempt at actually charging a small fee for them. I hope I am doing the right thing! We must live and learn as we go along.

P1380241 (2)Our Horsepower program is doing well. We have 5 horses going now! We still need stables and fencing, etc... but that will come in time. This month is jam packed with school, meeting, horsepower... not to mention, I am trying to sell 9 Great Dane puppies and find homes for 9 kittens, too! So far, I have managed to sell a few puppies and find homes for 8 kittens. They all live with us until the 19th so it is pretty manic around here!

As you may know, we are still trying to raise travel money so I can visit people in the US. We need $1,924 to reach our goal. Our biggest issue is that when we do these kinds of fundraisers, some folks who give regularly toward our project decide to divert their normal gift to the designated item, in this case, airfare, so that means we struggle on the normal monthly stuff... With that said, August and September have been difficult. We are butchering rabbits and pigs to feed the carnivores (including dogs, cats, and humans). We don't have much to eat in the garden, really. We can only eat so much kale and sweet potatoes... but we are grateful for those things! But in all of these things, we are so grateful to just be ALIVE doing what we love. The rewards are so beautiful smiles, lots of giggles, happy hearts, proud parents, and so much more...

I think during my USA trip, my hope is to raise awareness of what we are doing in Kenya and how unique it is. The only horse therapy programs in Kenya I know of are ours and one other in Nairobi. . Kenya is around the same size as Texas, but our population is DOUBLE. In Texas, over 87 Horse therapy programs are listed on Google. Who knows how many more there are that weren't listed in that search. Imagine double the population in Kenya and only TWO Equine therapy programs... Needless to say, we don't lack for children with needs.