On April the 2nd we started a fundraising effort to help us get moved into The Shire by the end of the month. Our goal is $8,000, which will enable is to move in and get started on developing the farm. We are creating a system with the farm that will help us to rescue more children and give them hopeful futures.
What we need you to do today, right now if you can, is to share our campaign. You can send it to folks via email, Facebook, Twitter, and even talk about it face to face or on the phone. If you follow the link below you can find tools for sharing on the campaign page itself. (Just click on the image. The sharing tools on the campaign page are just below the video.)
Thank you. The more we get the word out the better. We can't do this alone. Also if you haven't made a donation yet please consider doing so.
We went out to celebrate Kate's 39th birthday last night with friends who are leaving Kenya to move back home. We had a lovely time, and Kate was able to eat jumbo (real jumbo) shrimp. One aspect of being a missionary is that people are always coming into and going out of your life. You get used to it after awhile, and learn to appreciate the season they are with you.
Another reality of life for us is fundraising. In the past we shunned it, or at least approached it wearing rubber gloves. We have changed our approach over the past few years and are embracing, or at least learning to, this part of our lives. Honestly it is wonderful and uplifting to know that there are folks out there willing, and who do so each and every month, to help us live and care for these children.
Fundraising is a part of our lives, but so is sustainability. Which I mean that we have to also find ways to generate income locally for the project. Not an easy task, but we believe that agriculture is the key for A Future and a Hope. Even if we fail to sell our food on the market, we have food. Currently we spend about 43% of incoming donations on food. The Shire will enable us to drastically reduce that percentage freeing up cash for other needs.
We will be moving, 'shifting' as they say here in Kenya, to The Shire by the end of this month if all goes according to plan. The Prancing Pony (our barn which will serve as a temporary house for us) is not completely finished, but is livable. One thing living in Kenya has taught us is how to live without ameneties such as running water. We will move in and continue development of The Shire while living there.
This current fundraising campaign is to help enable us to continue that development and make the transition smoother and quicker. Please consider helping out with the campaign, and share it everywhere you can think of.
I am not going to make any excuses for the lack of posts over the past few weeks. Instead I will share with you our latest family photo:
What a bunch of kids. It has been a blessing being a part of their lives, and seeing the transformation from hopelessness to a hope filled future. These guys are why we are here, and make the effort more than worth it.
Here is another family shot:
If you have not done so yet why not head on over to our Facebook page and click on the like button? It not only strokes our egos, but can help to raise awareness of what we are doing. (Here’s the link.)
Our artist friend Kent Burgess of The Ways of the Garden is holding a raffle for one of his pieces. The proceeds are benefiting us at A Future and a Hope.
The raffle ticket is $10, with the prize having a value of $125. I hope you will consider buying a ticket and helping us out. Just follow the link below:
I am not sure if I found 2013 to be a likable year or not. Up and down, left then right, the year seemed out to get me one day, and ready to bless me the next. Unfortunately most of the "negatives" of the year cannot be posted on the Internet, but that will not stop me from creating a bullet list of mostly positive happenings:
There you have it my summary for 2013. Sometime in the next few days I will post a financial summary for the year, and we will talk about our plans for 2014.
Here at the house we rent in Nakuru we have approximately 20,000 liters storage capacity for water. Which is a decent amount of water to have on hand. Tanks are a necessity because the tap is not always on. The water company pumps water to us a few hours a day, every other day, once a week, or whenever they feel like it. Really there does not seem to be any rhyme or reason behind the pumping schedule. We have tried to decipher the thinking behind it, but just cannot. So we catch the water when it comes.
When you take in 9 additional children one of the first things you realize is that they need lots of water. Especially when you take those children and teach them to bathe everyday, or at least as often as possible. Toilets get flushed many times each day. Water is drunk almost nonstop throughout the waking hours. Many, many, let me say that again, many loads of laundry need to be washed and rinsed. Like I said, we need lots of water.
Once we move out to The Shire our water supply will be less certain and smaller than here in town. Hence our need to be creative with our water supply and storage. We will have access to water piped from a nearby well. This water comes with very little pressure. We plan on putting a tank in the ground near the pipe so the water will be able to trickle in and fill the tank. That water will then be pumped up the hill a bit and used in the house. We will also collect rain water and try to tap a spring up on our hill. The waste water, grey water, from the house will be recycled and used in the garden. Toilets will be dry composting in the house, and we are digging a pit latrine outside.
Water is something I used to take for granted back in Port Arthur Texas, but now appreciate the effort it takes to get the substance into my house.
December is supposed to be the month where we try and take the pace of our lives down a notch. The girls all go off visiting relatives and or friends, and we schedule as few events as possible for the month. Unfortunately it seems like we have been very busy this month, despite the girls being away from home.
We are building the barn/house on The Shire which requires constant input and consideration. Perhaps a bit of bad timing on our part, but we are eager to get the building up so we can move out there as soon as possible.
Seems like we have been visiting lots of friends and they have been visiting us as well. In fact Lonnie Hatfield along with his wife, Patti, and a few other friends are here working on the nursery school. Good to see them, even if it does add to our busyness.
Maybe we can slow down tomorrow?