Thirteen Years

In a few days we will have lived in Kenya for thirteen years. We landed in Nairobi as a family on January 17, 2005, and have been living out our adventure ever since. We have undergone quite a few changes and grown tremendously since that day. I suppose the biggest change has been the additions. When we deplaned we touched Kenyan soil with three little Americans. There are now three more biological children (who are both American and Kenyan) and nine Kenyan girls that have been added to our "little" family. Three plus three and nine more equals, a whole bunch. 
Kate and I have grown as individuals and as a couple. In fact, I believe that that personal growth makes the marriage possible. Stagnation in one or both parties cannot be a good thing. We will celebrate our twenty-third wedding anniversary next month, and speaking for myself I look forward to many more to come. 
Over the next few days I will take us back to see where we have come from then look at where we are and finish with where we are going. In the meantime let us look at a few photos and a video or two of the first month in Kenya:
I did not find many pictures of Kate and myself but did find this cute one of Kate on the phone in the George Bush Intercontinental Airport
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She was negotiating luggage prices with our travel agent and British Air. Thankfully she managed to get them to honor their original agreement and saved us several hundreds of dollars.
Here is Makena and Butterfly playing in the airport:
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Butterfly was eighteen months old but pretty big. She filled out the baby cot in the airplane pretty well.
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Andrew enjoyed trying out all the amenities on offer and always knew the location and condition of the toilet. 
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Upon arrival immediately the children found all the animals so amazing and wonderful.
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Love Andrew's boots in the above picture.
There were many struggles that the children either did not know about or just were not as concerned about as much as mom and dad were. Thankfully we made it through them and these children have grown up into beautiful young people. 


So many things are going on. My mind is going one-hundred miles an hour. It's kind of nice to be busy, but hectic at the same time.

I find myself waking up at 4 am already planning my next day. It's also a great time to spend talking to my Dad (God) about stuff going on. It's the only time things are semi quiet around here, although, lately, I've been hearing RATS crawling around in the night!

Well, half of our girls finished school today and the other half (the older ones go to a different school) close tomorrow. Johnny (he's in the air as you read this) comes home Thursday, so we are busy trying to finish up some things before he arrives.

Thank you for continually being a part of what we do by reading our blog posts.

Soon enough, you won't have to hear from me so much, and Johnny will be back writing articles and getting in his 'routine.'

I have enjoyed this time, honestly. It's been a nice challenge to be handling everything. It's also great to get out of the house on a regular basis doing 'Johnny's duties,' but it has been difficult as well since I am teaching school at home at the same time. We will be glad to have Johnny back, and perhaps I'll try to carry more of the load while he's here in the future.

Kate cropped Thumbnail Web view ~Kate Brooks

Co-founder of A Future and a Hope

Home for Orphans in Nakuru, Kenya East Africa

Good-bye, Hello

Johnny flies out this evening of November 18th from Kentucky and returns home to me on the morning of the  20th.

It's a long journey, but gratefully it's nothing compared to the days of Columbus!

I will only be a little anxious for a few hours compared to what the wives of those brave men who sailed across oceans in the days of exploration must've been for their husbands. Months of wonder and then no way to know for sure if they made it!

I am so grateful for email. I love it that Johnny can tell me when he's landed in each airport. We can even chat though we are oceans apart!

dot matrix printerGotta admit, I love technology.

I remember when I was in 8th grade, we had a color dot-matrix printer, and I don't remember if we had windows yet or not, but my dad was overjoyed over his ability to get the news that was less than 5 minutes old. We had our first taste of the Internet.

Things have come a long way since then.

Speaking of a long way, Johnny is traveling a long way, he's been gone almost 2 months, and despite being able to chat with Johnny through messenger, I still miss him. Glad he's coming home.

Kate cropped smaller  Small Web view ~Kate Brooks

Co-founder of A Future and a Hope

Home for orphans in Nakuru, Kenya East Africa

On the road again...

autumn road Thanks Willie, for that beautiful song... and yes, Johnny is back on the road again. He has been driving a full day (yesterday) and will continue on ahead to Kentucky today (Nov 14th).

Then it's pack his bags and home to me!

We are really looking forward to his return. It's amazing how much our girls need their 'Daddy's' influence. Balance is a wonderful thing.

Please continue to pray for him as he drives across the country. I think he is in MS now and will arrive in KY this evening.2008-4-29 034 Thumbnail Web view

~Kate Brooks

Co-founder of A Future and a Hope

Home for orphans in Nakuru, Kenya E Africa

The last leg

running gingerbread manJohnny is on the last leg of his trip. Only ten more days and he will be home with me and well, US! We all miss him. I must say, having instant messaging has made it so much easier. We've chatted almost every evening so it's been quite easy for me, actually. I think it was much more difficult for him to be away since he doesn't have the kids with him to keep him company as I do.

Johnny is in Cut-n-Shoot Texas visiting his family and doing a meeting there. He'll be in the Golden Triangle area on the evening of the 12th, the 13th and then off to Kentucky on the 14th. He'll speak in Kentucky on the 16th I think, then fly home on the 17th and arrive here on the 20th! WHEW!

We want to say a special thank you to all of you who hosted Johnny at your homes or in a hotel. I personally want to say thank you for feeding him and taking care of him!

We are so grateful for you continued generosity, support, and concern for those who are less fortunate than you.

Thank you. His trip is not yet over, so please continue to lift him up in prayer and those here in Kenya as well.

Kate cropped smaller  Small Web view ~Kate Brooks

A Future and a Hope

home for orphaned girls in Kenya

Baa Baa White Sheep

whitesheepBeing a missionary is fun, but it's not always easy.

I have lived in Kenya for over 5 years now (if you count our year in '97), and still to this day people gawk at me as if I'm a 'freak,' because I have white skin.

People get so excited when they see a white person that they forget, I am JUST THAT, a white PERSON. I have feelings, too!

Just today a lady screamed with a loud shrill pitch while pointing her finger at me, her mouth wide opened as I drove past, "Ooooooh! Mazungu!" (Oh! A Brittish! [which I am not]) I hate being pointed at and shouted at as if I'm an animal or something bazaar to look at.

So I just pointed and shouted right back, "Oh! Mkenya!" (Oh! A Kenyan!)

She just stared at me in shock. Yes folks, white people speak, too.

Thought you ought to know.

Perhaps being the black sheep would actually be easier?

Kate cropped Thumbnail Web view  ~Kate Brooks Co-founder of A Future and a Hope

Home for orphans in Nakuru, Kenya East Africa

Johnny's Schedule

gingerbread manHey y'all! I'm posting 2 articles today, so scroll on down for another new one.

I just wanted you to know that Johnny is in Texas right now (South East). So if you want to talk with him or  host a small gathering in your home so you can see pictures of what we are doing here in Kenya, give him a call 1-270-363-0154 or email him at [email protected].

He'll be leaving Texas on October 30th for Arizona, then on to California, and returning to South East Texas on November 6th and will be there through the 17th. After that, he'll be driving to Tennessee, and then flyin' home to ME! :)

So there ya have it! Try to catch him if you can!Kate cropped smaller  Small Web view


Kate Brooks Co-founder of A Future and a Hope~

Home for orphans in Nakuru, Kenya, East Africa

Her First Sentence!

emma croppedOur darling daughter, Emma Caite, is just 1 1/2 years old. She utters beautiful words out of her mouth all of the  time, but today, for the first time, she put together a complete sentence!

Before I tell you this beautiful collaboration of words, you must first get a little history and idea of Kenyan culture. If not, then her first sentence will scare you to pieces!

HISTORY:  Every morning and every afternoon, we drive to and from school with the girls in our large Nissan van. On the highway are cows, sheep, goats, pigs, dogs, and LOTS of bicycle riders driving in the road carrying their children or other people to and from various places amidst speeding vans, cars, and lorries.

The highway is narrow, full of pot holes, and has a bumpy dirt shoulder. When a bicycle is on the road with two cars passing each other, the cyclist and his passenger are in serious danger. The crazy part is that no matter how many times I honk my horn suggesting the cyclist move on to the shoulder, he refuses.

Finally, one morning after a near miss when a bodaboda (bike taxi) decided not to move off the highway and onto the shoulder after loud hooting from my horn, while I was squeezed by on-coming traffic, I shouted out of the window "Chunga! We utakufa!" In English:  Be careful, your gonna get killed! Now the girls caught on because they thought it was hilarious. They started saying it to cyclists who refuse to guard their life by moving on to the shoulder when cars are passing.

So now you know Emma's first sentence. This morning she shouted, "We utakufa!" (You are going to die!)

Just what I need my daughter telling people!

2008-4-29 034 Thumbnail Web view ~Kate Brooks co-founder of A Future and a Hope

Home for orphans in Nakuru, Kenya, East Africa

We Found it!

acacia treeOver the past few years, Johnny and I have always kept our eyes opened for the place where we can build future  homes for orphans with house parents. A place large enough to have a garden that can feed all of us especially when money is tight. A place that has enough water for a large number of people and enough space to add small homes for single mothers and for those in the late stages of HIV/AIDS so they can be surrounded by those who can love them and also not have to worry about rent. It needs to have a house already on it so we could move there with our kids and oversee everything.

Finding such a place in an overcrowded country is nearly impossible. Land is expensive and hard to come by. But just a few weeks ago, out of the blue, a friend came by and said, "Kate, our ministry is selling the Rescue Center. It's 5 1/2 acres of land with a house, a multipurpose hall, and a very productive water well. You should look at it."

My eyes lit up. I just knew this was a divine opportunity. I told Johnny about it, but he didn't want to even look at it because we didn't have any money to buy it. I told him that we should just look at it in faith. There's no harm in looking!

So I looked at the property and took some photos of it. You can check them out if you like here. It's got everything we need for where we are now and lots of room to expand into where we want to be in the future.

After talking to Johnny about the property, someone offered to buy Johnny an air ticket to the USA to help us spread the word about what we are doing here in Kenya!

We are very excited, and we believe God is opening doors for us to help even more people than we currently reach.

Please be in prayer about this. I know that God is more than able to make a way!

Kate cropped Thumbnail Web view  ~Kate Brooks

Co-founder of A Future and a Hope

Home for orphans in Nakuru, Kenya, East Africa