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Entries from November 2008

Black Friday

Today is Black Friday, the un-official start of the Christmas holiday shopping season for our friends and family in America. We may not be in the U.S.A. right now, but we didn't want to miss out on Black Friday just because of that itty bitty detail.

After brainstorming with my extraordinarily smart wife, Kate, we have decided to offer up some Black Friday specials of our own. So here are a few shopping options for you:


This one is for all you big spenders out there, who really like to save. Imagine half off. Doesn't get any better than this.




Don't have a $100,000 to give in order to save $50,000, well check out the next offer.











You don't want to miss either of these deals. Hurry. These coupons are only valid for one day.











johnny's-head Johnny Brooks

Missionary to Nakuru, Kenya. Co-founder of A Future and a Hope, a home for girls.


*Editor's Disclaimer: These are not real coupons. If you do give $100,000, we will keep all of it. In fact we would most likely go out that very day and buy as much land as we can to house orphans and other oppressed people here in Kenya.

Thanksgiving from this side of the world

Happy Thanksgiving from Nakuru, Kenya East Africa.

Obviously Thanksgiving is an American holiday. Johnny and I give thanks in our hearts on  this day, but it's actually been years since we've celebrated it. Honestly, I think last year it completely slipped past me, remember? (posted an article about it)

It's holiday time for you folks in the USA, which means it's persevere time for us missionaries around the globe.  Money gets tight (just being honest), and we press on through trying not to think of the 'holiday spirit' and cheer folks back in the USA must be enjoying.

It's a time of only memories for us. There are no cold fronts blowing in, no change in the color of the leaves, and worst of all, no family around to spread that holiday cheer. So
I have adapted to just forget the holiday all together.

I will be thankful I don't have to fuss over turkeys and stuffing.

Johnny is upset with me for not putting together a big Thanksgiving meal with turkey and pies, but I can't do it alone. I can't prepare a huge celebration when the only people who will appreciate or understand the effort is Johnny. The point of Thanksgiving is to be thankful, and that I will be. However, the point of feasting and sweating over pies and stuffing is FAMILY.

Happy Thanksgiving Mom, Dad, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents. I love you all dearly.

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

Home for Orphans in a Nakuru, Kenya East Africa

The Dark Side

Assisting the poor is very rewarding, spiritually and emotionally. It is such a pleasure to do what God asks us to do each and everyday in our community. However there is a dark side to this job as well.

We have been assisting a group of kids in Rhonda, which is a slum estate here in Nakuru. Saturdays Ben would go to them and cook lunch, help with school uniforms, help with healthcare, and all kinds of other things. We started with a few kids, around 15 or so and eventually grew to about 140 of them.

It was our intent to target orphans, as that is our heart and mission. Some of the kids were coming and saying something like; "My mom told me to be an orphan today." Well naturally that was not going to fly, besides we do not have the budget to feed and clothe 140 kids. So Ben scales back the aid, and focuses on the orphans we felt God sent us to.

This apparently made the parents of the "convenient orphans for the day" angry. They started to spread rumors around about Ben. Rumors such as; He was a vampire sucking blood from the girls through the school uniforms he bought for them. No you did not read that sentence incorrectly, that is an actual rumor that people actually believe. These mothers who felt entitled to the help we were giving the orphans went around saying such things as, "The food Ben was feeding the orphans was just bait so he could have his wicked ways with them." Of course there are the less insane rumors, like Ben is diverting aid money to himself, etc. Now since I am the one distributing the money, I can say for sure that Ben is not diverting it for himself. I carefully monitor what happens with the resources, plus it is not enough to divert.

Let's put aside the fact that people can believe in vampire school uniforms, and just consider the fact that they would be angry that we are assisting orphans, but not their own children. I know poverty is tough, but come on have some compassion. Just a little understanding is what we ask for, yet we hardly ever get it.

Our reputation is completely shot in the community at large, mostly because we can only assist a few people. We target the lowest of the low, and folks just don't understand why. Helping the orphans in Rhonda does not benefit us in any way, according to their outlook.

Of course for us the benefits are huge and eternal. We are searching for God, and keep finding him in the lowest of places with the lowest of people. We keep finding wonderful, gracious, and beautiful people in the mud. We feel so happy and content, that losing our reputations is but a small price to pay.

Guess the dark side isn't that dark after all.

johnny's-head Johnny Brooks

Missionary to Nakuru, Kenya. Co-founder of A Future and a Hope, a home for girls.

Money Belts

"Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food."  Matthew 10:9-10

I really like how this goes in the Message:

"Don't think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don't need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light."

Challenging words to ponder, especially when you set off on a fund-raising campaign to the U.S. These words frequently crossed my mind during my recent visit to America.

I am not sure if I am getting it exactly right, but I am trying. I simply put forward the work we are doing, and let the Holy Spirit do his work. I have also come to realize that being here and loving the girls in our home, and the needy in our community is what God wants me to do. I don't need a lot of equipment other than myself.

That being said, we still need money to do the work. We need food, clothes, medicines, land to house everyone, and so on. So how do we raise the support we need?

Perhaps we need to let go of the idea we need to raise the money ourselves. God can speak to anyone at anytime to send a check to us. Now I can trust God, but can I trust you? Can I trust others to do what God asks them to do? That is a little bit harder my friends.

Trusting someone to do what God wants them to do is difficult, not because I doubt others, but I know how hard it is for me to do what God asks sometimes.

Tomorrow I will go out and do the work God has for me that day, and I know he will provide through others for that work. We have to trust God, and sometimes we have to trust each other.

johnny's-head Johnny Brooks

Missionary to Nakuru, Kenya. Co-founder of A Future and a Hope, a home for girls.

Good to be Home

I enjoyed my trip to America, but it sure is good to be home. I had not anticipated how much I would miss my family, friends, and work. Fund raising is a necessary part of what we do, though our methods are a bit different than many folks. I really felt like God spoke to me in 2004 and asked me to not fund raise in a typical manner.

I mean not to show people photos of sick and dying people, and then ask for an offering. What we do is talk with people about what we do, which is orphan care and ministry to the poor, and if they like that kind of thing then great.

Anyway it is good to be home again. I love my family, and like being here with them. Plus I have come to love Kenya. Sure we lack good quality infrastructure, no high speed Internet, no cable television, and perhaps the most terrible of all no NetFlix. Yet I love this place, and I just don't feel comfortable anywhere else.

I am thankful that God lets me live and work here in Nakuru, Kenya.


johnny's-head Johnny Brooks

Missionary to Nakuru, Kenya. Co-founder of A Future and a Hope, a home for girls.

Ape for Each Other

While watching Animal Planet the other day I heard the most amazing and profound statement which has stuck with me and so I'd like to share it with you.

A man on the show takes care of rescued Chimpanzees on his land.  He sets up elaborate play areas filled with all sorts of fun things for the Chimps to do.  They also have an outstanding selection of food to eat and a beautiful environment to live in filled with plants, trees, and lots of sunshine.  When talking about what the Chimps really need, the man said simply:

Chimp pals (2)"There's nothing better for a Chimpanzee than another Chimpanzee."

The show went on to show how much Chimps are social creatures and this and that but as I watched and as I've thought back about it, I realize how true this is for we people as well.  God desires fellowship with us.  He made us to desire companionship with Him and with each other.  Of all the best gifts we could receive, it's not gold, not comfort, not houses and electronics and all of that.  It's one another.  Of all the best gifts we can give, it's the gift of ourselves to someone all alone that's best. 

This Chimp is looking for creative ways to spend time with other lonely Chimps, pick and eat from their hair, share a banana, and any other ways of simply being together. 


It's only pretend...

andrew fixing gamecubeMy son Andrew reminds me so much of my dad.

As a child, I couldn't imagine my dad as a little boy. He just seemed so 'grown up' that the idea of him being a kid once and having a childhood was far beyond the reaches of my young imagination.

But now, I have a 10 year old son who is the spittin' image of his grandfather. His expressions and personality, his ability to retain knowledge, his passion for building things, taking things apart, his sense of direction, and LOVE of maps, and even his 'nerdiness' (sorry Dad, but it's one of my favorite traits about you!) are all things that he got from his genes.

Watching Andrew gives me insight into how my dad must've been as a child! It's amazing. Seeing my 'mini dad' pretend to sword fight or play like he's Captain Jack Sparrow made me wonder-- What did YOU pretend to be when you were a child?

I'd love for you to post your answers as comments! It would be interesting to see how much our environment plays a role in our lives as well.

I grew up hearing beautiful classical music filling the house in the mornings, and I would get dressed imagining I was a lady in the Elizabethan era or even a lady in the late 1700's.

What were YOU? Every grown up must've pretended s/he was something!

Kate cropped smaller  Small Web view~Kate Brooks

Co-founder of A Future and a Hope 

Home for Orphans in Nakuru, Kenya East Africa