a Future and a Hope

Good People

This is the text of our recent newsletter, which if you are not currently receiving please subscribe. The video in this post I created several days before the newsletter was written, but it goes along with it well.

 

The World Is Not O.K. Right Now.

We have been reading about the shootings in the U.S. today, have read about the recent terror attack in Istanbul, and on and on and on. Houston, we have a problem.

I spent most of today mowing grass and weeding around our baby fruit trees. Plenty of time to ponder on the world and the dire straits we find ourselves in. There was plenty of brooding time, lots of chances to become down and disheartened. Ample opportunity for the total lack of control I have over any of this to grab me by the neck.

Yet I did not spend time dwelling on this negativity. I am staying informed, but I am not allowing it to dominate me. You see, I think I have found a solution for what ails us. We need more good people. We need good people to stop watching the news and to go out and do something. We need the good ones to show a better way. Violence begets violence. Love begets love, Peace begets peace. 

It is not easy, and honestly does not always thwart the violence. We took in orphaned and abandoned girls here in Kenya. Embraced them whole heartedly. Our biological children adopted them as sisters and learned the new girls language to help them feel at home. We hugged, kissed, disciplined, and tried to show the love of God to them. It worked, is working. Though not perfectly. A couple of the girls have rejected our embrace and chosen other paths. However the good that has been done outweighs any of the bad.

These girls, the majority of whom are now adults (though still in school as they missed much in the early years,) are good people. They will not take up sniper positions and shoot at some just because they are different than they are. Our girls will not hurt/kill someone they have power over. They are good.

This is the solution. We need more good people. 

We can make good people. It takes effort, love, and lots and lots and lots of time.   

 

 

 

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Remembering Why We Dig

The past couple of days I have been loading soil into a wheelbarrow and hauling it over to my raised beds. Not particularly difficult work, but tedious labor. I keep finding my mind wandering and questioning the purpose of all my digging. I am not a farmer, at least not yet. I can understand that the digging and hauling is important for the here and now. The food we will eat this season will be worth the effort, and it is rewarding labor. Yet consumption of all organic home grown food is not the end goal here on The Shire.

Enough food to share and/or market to generate income that can be used to care for more orphaned/abandoned children; that is the goal. The main thing is rescuing children. Creating opportunities where none exist. Giving the hopeless a hopeful future. Loving and being loved is our purpose.

That is why I dig. That is why I will continue to learn to farm. That is why I will try and grow pumpkins. The future of these children and the ones we have yet to save depends on the digging.


Highlights from Kate's Facebook Feed

Just in case you are not connected with Kate on Facebook here are a few highlights:

12805914_10153265076871854_413954805246675453_nBig sister kisses

 

I have never tried linking to a Facebook video, let's see what happens:

http://bit.ly/1TUk9DQ

 

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12778950_1733143780263121_7570934807239874784_o

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This is what we were doing last year at this time (carrying water), but thanks to our campaign last year, we still have a little bit of water left in our new water tanks.

And how about one more video link?:

http://bit.ly/1L6mFpr


2016

What is in store for us in 2016? 

Last year was a remarkable year for A Future and a Hope. We accomplished our goals and set out on the next phase in our journey. We put a floor in the house, expanded animal structures on the farm, sent the girls to school, feed the kids, provided health care, paid our two employees, and etc. etc.

Here are a few beginning of the year thoughts for 2016:

  • More focus on education. We firmly believe that school is one of the surest ways to remove someone from poverty and a life held captive in a slum. We would like to assist more children to be able to attend school this year.
  • Kate will continue to educate women on their bodies and options in dealing with menstruation. She is also considering expanding that education to include pregnancy and other sex related topics.
  • The farm animals will multiply again this year providing not only more food for us, but hungry people in nearby communities as well.
  • I, Johnny, would like to finish writing at least one of the books I am working on. Since moving to The Shire (our farm) I have been slack in my writing discipline. Time to finish at least one of my projects on the page.
  • Our older girls ( 21 to 18) will be experimenting with money management by living in a rented apartment off of an allowance while they attend their third year of high school. We are trying to prepare them more for a life in the world, and give them some more freedom then they can experience living in our home. The small apartment we have rented is within walking distance from us, and we will have constant interaction. 

As we roll with the punches this year the plans and thoughts will change, but that is just life. 2016 began with a bang for us with the birth of Starlette Sky Brooks, and I hope continues to be a good year.


Sign Up!

If you have not done so already, sign up for our newsletter. We try not to send it out more than once in a month, and it is usually brief. It is a good way to stay in touch with us, and can be a handy reminder to think of us. 

 

 


Last Day of November

Yesterday was my forty second birthday. I spent the day hanging out with the kids and climbing up the hillside. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday. 

The life we are currently living is not the life I imagined for  myself as a young man gazing into the future. Not at all. About the only part I got right was Kate. 

I had not imagined having children. There are now fourteen, and one on the way, in my life.

I had not imagined living in Kenya. It has now been almost eleven years here. 

I had not imagined a life without religion. I am so glad that Jesus led me to a religionless life. What freedom!

I had not imagined building a farm. There are now pigs, horses, donkeys, cows, chickens, and rabbits outside my door.

This moment, right now, it is not perfect. There are things, resources, people, and skills missing from my life. No, perfection is not a part of my life. Yet happiness is. I am happy. Happy with how things worked out. I tried out some of my imaginings on the way to forty two, none of them brought me happiness nor contentment. 

Living out my faith, my ideas, my commitments to family; these are the things that have made me happy to see birthday number forty two.

What will the future hold? Hard to say. I can imagine a future with:

More children rescued and given a hopeful future.

Our children living their lives faithful to their beliefs and convictions.

Kate.

A farm producing enough food for us and the hungry in this world.

I can imagine a better future, and hopefully just like that younger man gazing forward in time, this slightly older one will find that his future dreaming fell far short of what actually has come to be.


Another Way to Connect

Yesterday I mentioned a few ways you could connect with us here in Kasambara Kenya. Today I will mention another, financially. We are missionaries who are entirely dependent on the generosity of others. Our own money was used up years ago, and now we need people to give in order for us to continue to care for the children, and survive. 

No mission agency involved. No institutional church. Just us. What you send we get (minus what the banks take of course.)

Here is how to get funds to us:

  • Paypal. Send funds to afutureandahope@gmail.com
  • Write a check out to A Future and a Hope and send to this address:

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

 

Oops, forgot to add this random photo from this morning.

IMG_1805


Why Can't It Be Easy?

Why can't it be easy? Shouldn't one be able to take in an orphan, care for them for eight years, and all be o.k.? Sounds reasonable to me.

Alas. When it comes to children who have been traumatized nothing is easy. Feelings get locked away in deep corners of the soul. Unfortunately no matter how safe you make a place (family) some children keep those feelings bottled up. Thing is, eventually they bubble over and get on others. 

One of our children expresses this with lies. She seemingly cannot stop herself from fabricating stories. Over and over and over again. Her tales become too elaborate and fantastical to believe anymore and she alienates those around her.

I cannot divulge much here, she does have a right to privacy after all. She is no longer staying full time with us, nor even attending school. Today we do not even know why she is not going to school, nor is it likely we will ever know. Since she has attained the legal age of adulthood, there is not much we nor the police can do about her decisions. 

It is painful. She had made so much progress in the years she lived with us. Many great memories with her. Struggles with emotions, breakthroughs, relapses, and family bonding. It is tough to see a child you have grown to love, that you have rescued, that you embraced into your family, throw it all away just to be able to keep on lying. 

We do not know what the future is for this child, but we still love her. When she is ready to talk, we will be there to help find the path for her life. For now she is staying with a former teacher in Nakuru. (Not our choice as this teacher seems to be fairly immature.) One of the hardest things about taking in older girls has been that we have had to learn that there comes a point when you have to let go and hope that what you have imparted in them is enough to help them through.