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July 2019 Newsletter

The following is my July newsletter which I am sending out right now:


20190701_075145
Johnny Brooks
Here's the thing, I do not know what to write in this newsletter. Do I share my feelings about the massive changes that have taken place in my life? This e-mail hardly seems like the right place for that. Do I share with you, my subscribers, the fear I have in making wrong decisions for the future? Again this monthly update for A Future and a Hope just does not seem like the appropriate venue to express those emotions. Can I express the regret I feel for decisions made decades ago? I think not. What about the hope I feel for the future? Or the sense of freedom that I now have in my life?
 
No this letter is meant to inform you of what is going on with the work here in Kenya.
 
A Future and a Hope still has children in school. In fact I spoke with Edith, who is at a boarding school in Nakuru, on the phone a couple of days ago. She called because she needed some school supplies, but the very first thing Edith asked me was, "Is it still boring there?" Which is Edith speak for "I miss my sisters who are in the U.S. right now." As do I. The seem to be having a good time, despite the requirement to wear shoes everywhere they go.
 
The Shire, the almost twelve acres of land I am living on right now, is lush and deeply green from the rain that it has been receiving. Despite that the weather man predicts that it is not enough rain and as a result we may have crop failures in parts of the country. It is hard to despair of that amidst all this greenery, and of course the weather man has been wrong before.
 
I wan to take the time to thank those donors who have stuck with me during these radical changes. Your hard earned money has enabled me to continue on here in Kenya. Several donors elected to move on after Kate's video and our split, which I can hardly blame them for. I am not sure how to go about adding new donors, but I have faith in what I am doing and in the one whom I follow.
 
Once again thank you to those of you still here. Not just those who give money, but the ones following my journey as well. Your prayers, messages, packages, gifts, and thoughts all have had a huge impact on many many people over the past fifteen years.
 
Here's to the future.

20190718_152222Collard greens, I harvested a couple of bunches and gave them to a couple of herdsmen. Not sure they were very excited seeing as to how this is a relatively cheap food here in Kenya and when a white man drives up on a motorcycles and asks you if he can give you something, well sukuma (collard greens) was probably not high on the list of expectations. 
 

I could use your help, specifically your financial help. Funding has taken a dive and I need to restock the house (in preparation for the school holiday coming up,) feed animals, and continue to help the poor and sick in the wider community. Please consider sending a donation my way, every bit counts and makes a huge difference. You can send via PayPal using [email protected] or send a check to :


A Future and a Hope
7286 N. Birdsong Ln
Prescott Valley, AZ 86315

Please note this is a new address as Bob, who handles the banking for us, has moved from California to Arizona. 

Thank you for all your help.


Easter

I hope you all had a fun and contemplative Easter weekend. We spent the weekend at home and enjoyed grilled pork for Easter Sunday, some homemade chocolate eggs, and an egg hunt. Not overly exciting, but plenty of opportunity for meditating on resurrection and it's place in our lives.

He said, “Don’t be afraid. I know you’re looking for Jesus the Nazarene, the One they nailed on the cross. He’s been raised up; he’s here no longer. You can see for yourselves that the place is empty. Now—on your way. Tell his disciples and Peter that he is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You’ll see him there, exactly as he said.” Mark 16:6-7

There is another passage, but I cannot remember where off the top of my head, that speaks of that same resurrection power that Jesus used to come back, residing in us. We possess the ability to resurrect. Now since I have never witnessed someone bringing themselves back to life after death, I will be taking this metaphorically. Which to me is just as powerful, actually maybe more so. I have always appreciated the power of story and faith more than facts and evidence.

With all that is going on in our lives right now I admit to finding it difficult to hope in resurrection or to find it's power residing in me. There is much uncertainty swirling in the future of our family. I do not have answers for what will be three, six, or eight months from now. 

I spent much of Saturday thinking on the darkest emotions and thoughts that have been attempting to surface in my head over the past months. I just let them bubble up to the surface and proceeded to meditate on them. Looked at them from one side, then another, flipped them over and took a look at the underbelly, and when Saturday was finished I was able to expose those thoughts and feelings to the power of resurrection. 

I am a practical minded person. I spend most of my time in the here and now not up in the spiritual realms. I believe in the spiritual, it just does not have much place in my day to day life. Yet there are moments in the year when I embrace the spiritual whole heartily, Easter weekend is one of those times. The spirit of resurrection had an impact on me and all my festering thoughts and emotions. Cleansing so to speak my mind. 

I feel whole and right.

I am still sad that Kate and I are no more and still feel some trepidation towards the future. Yet hope has returned. Faith can be a wondrous healer.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Empty-tomb


Monthly Supporters

Hey guys, I know we hardly write blogs (not even sure blogging is still relevant), and I hope to change this. In fact, I hope to start a new blog with a different title, and I'll get into all of that another time!

We recently lost one of our biggest monthly donors because they felt lead by God to donate elsewhere. I get it, and I understand that what we do in Kenya is not for every one, nor do we expect people to give for the full duration of our work. Those folks helped us through SO MUCH, and they were a huge support over the years. Sometimes one must make a change. It is so important to follow one's heart.

 So at the moment, we are down a sizable amount, and we are needing help finding folks to help us fill this gap!! Don't worry if your gift is only $5 or $10 or whatever... any will do. Seriously. A bale of hay for the horses is $3 a day. If you could help with that, that would be great. Seriously. ANY amount.

Would you consider supporting us monthly? We are a project that you can actually talk to. I am an individual, not an institution. I am ME. I help children, women, single moms, etc... I am conscious of the environment, and I hope to be an encourager to those who feel as if they want to do more with their lives. YOU. CAN. DO. IT.  

If you'd like to give monthly, you can visit Paypal.com and donate to [email protected] or use the following form:

 

You can also make 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

We also use the Wave app to receive money and one could send via Western Union or MoneyGram


Days 32 to 36

Some photos from Kate:

Starlette playing in vermontStarlette playing with big blocks in Vermont

  ApplesThey visited an apple farm.

Kate in tophatApparently, they visited a hat store as well.

Lindt chocolateKate's favorite chocolate, Lindt.

Kate horse racing signThe lovely Kate


Day 31

Kate, Makena, and Starlette are in Schuylerville, New York. All I know about Schuylerville is that it is a village in Saratoga County and it is the site where the British surrendered during the Battle of Saratoga. Kate seems happy enough to be going to this village:

Kate and bill

On the way Starlette had her first McDonalds experience:

 

 


Day 24 to 30

The past six days here on The Shire have been pretty mundane days. They have been busy days, but nothing out of the ordinary or exciting has happened. We continue to care for the animals, develop the farm, and work with the horses. My (Johnny's) workload has increased due to Kate's absence which keeps me busy for most of the day. It does not leave much time for writing, thinking, and communicating. 

Kate, Makena, and Starlette are currently in Connecticut. They are enjoying the company and fresh air. Starlette is having a bit of a tough time with all the time changes, but she is full of smiles and giggles during our video calls.

Three more weeks.

 


Day 23

Happy birthday Makena!

18 bacon

Bacon breakfast for her 18th birthday.

Trip to craft store

A trip to the craft store on her 18th birthday.

Cheetah

She got to visit Cat Haven. Makena has wanted to go there for several years now.

Petting a cheetah

Petting a cheetah. Pretty cool.

Sleeping warrior painting

The mountain in this painting hanging in Cat Haven is part of our view here on The Shire.

Feeding a cougar

Makena feed a cougar.

Birthday donuts

Surprise birthday donuts.

 


Days 20 to 22

Yesterday was Halloween. I am not that much into Halloween, nor is it a big deal or really any deal here in Kenya, but the kids and I ate candy while watching Hocus Pocus. Not a bad way to spend the evening. I did manage to cook chicken tikka for dinner with sausage. It was while eating dinner we realized that I did not cook any veggies at all. Weird. Today will be full of vegetables to make up for that oversight. 

Hocus pocus

Kate, Makena, and Starlette are still in California. I was only able to speak briefly with Kate on Halloween morning, so I am not sure what they did or are doing. 

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