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Entries from January 2009

Business Etiquette

Usually, when one calls a plumber, he comes with the all the tools necessary to do his job. Right?

Here in Kenya, that is not necessarily the case.

Take for example the lovely lady who comes to do our girls' hair. She knows that the girls' hair is impossible to  braid unless she first blow dries it. Does she bring her blow dryer? Never. She also knows that she needs string to tie the ends of the hair. Does she bring black string? Of course not, I mean, why should she? Perhaps because she can lose her job if she doesn't produce customer satisfaction by having the necessary tools to perform it. But for some reason this doesn't even cross her mind.wrench

Lets take the plumber who came to my house yesterday. As he was looking at one of our plumbing issues, he looks over at me and asks, "Do you have a wrench?"

Thought:  Do I look like a plumber? (of course, I gave him a wrench)

Or the carpet cleaner guy who asked if I had a brush he could use to scrub the carpet, and the carpenter who came to fix something and borrowed my nails, screw drivers, saw, and hammer.

This is common here in Kenya. Our mechanic asks to borrow our spanners or our pliers.

Basic tools which one would expect a laborer to have are not a necessity here it seems.

A carpenter once brought a piece of furniture to my house which wibbled & wobbled from side to side. I asked him if he owned a level so he could make things 'even.' His expression said, "Why would I own a level?" as he proceed to saw off a bit of the furniture's legs one-by-one until he got it just right.

Johnny and I were thinking, perhaps we should teach a 'Business Etiquette' class or something in that nature to help these folks just think along the lines of customer satisfaction and the reasons for having the tools handy. Perhaps?

Kate Brooks ~Kate Brooks

Co-founder of A Future and a Hope

A very busy day...

Johnny is in Nairobi picking up Lonnie Hatfield as you may have read. So I thought I'd tell you how my day has been and will be.

This morning my little ones decided to wake up at 4:11 am. I heard squeals and giggles before the sun marked the beginning of a new day. I've been up for almost four hours, and it's not even 8 am yet. :)

I have a child home (Grace age 14) with the chicken pox, and I am wondering how I'm going to prevent the other dozen kids from getting it, or better yet, how am I going to cope with a dozen sick children in about 2 weeks?

I currently am typing this article with only 15 minutes to spare before I start teaching my History class for home school.

Lonnie will be arriving today with Johnny.

James, Sally, Shem, Meg, & Tom are supposed to move in today, and I have a plumber coming along with the landlord and the previous tenants who are doing a 'walk through' so they can get their deposit back.

My mechanic should be coming with my car today. Plus, I have a missionary friend who has some visitors who'd like to see our home and what we do today as well....

All while I am teaching school, taking care of a newly turned 2 yr old Emma and a teen with chicken pox.

Can it be done?

I hope so! This article is finished with 5 minutes to spare! Yeah!

Kate cropped smaller  Small Web view ~Kate Brooks

co-founder of A Future and a Hope

Important Visitor

I am heading to Nairobi in a couple of hours to pick up Babu Lonnie. A team member from Kentucky, who will be spending some time with us here in Nakuru,  Kenya.


Babu is the senior member of our team. He brings his years of experience, skills, and most importantly his big heart. He blogs at


johnny's head new




Johnny Brooks, who isn't feeling like traveling to Nairobi, but Babu is probably worth it.

Hybrid Language

Johnny recently posted on speaking in a language you understand. Well, this article isn't about that. In fact, you probably wouldn't understand the language I am talking about in this article at all.

I thought some of you who enjoy languages might like to know that my kids (all 12 of them plus my friend's daughter Mercy making 13) speak in a hybrid language. It is a combination of Kiswahili and English.

It's quite interesting to listen to. It's kind of like a compromise between the two dominant languages in our home.

I could give you some examples here, but I have a feeling that you wouldn't understand them very well, but for the fun of it, here it goes:

Mimi ni nataka ku cheza game na we we. In English: I want to play a game with you.

Unataka ku chakua thingy hi? In English: Do you want to take this thingy?

There are plenty more examples where those came from. I'm curious to see how this turns out when all my kids mouthare grown, both the American/Africans & the Africans.

Even the English I am teaching my Kenyan kids is different from the English their peers, teachers, and other Kenyans speak. For example, they usually speak in half thoughts. I will ask, "Do you want some sugar with your tea?" The answer that comes back to me is:

I want.   or

I have.

Ok those are complete sentences, because there is a subject and a verb, but not a complete thought. I always reply, "You want what?" or "You have what?"

I force them to say, "I want some." or "I have some." Or better yet, "I want some sugar, please." etc...

The real conflict comes when my bio-kids start speaking with a 'lazy' tongue. It's a battle I am fighting, but both sides are learning slowly by slowly.

Language is a beautiful gift! So I will persevere in my plight.

Kate cropped Thumbnail Web view ~Kate Brooks

Co-founder of A Future and a Hope

Following the Leader, the Leader, the Leader.......

I think this little ditty is from Peter Pan , maybe.. not sure, but that is what was going through my mind and heart as I woke up today. 

Lately, God has been teaching us how to hear and walk by His Spirit more and more. Yesterday, He led me to this passage:

Joshua 3:3-4

3 "Commanding the people: When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God being borne by the Levitical priests, set out from where you are and follow it. 4.....That you may know the way you are to go, for you have not passed this way before."

The ark was where the presence and spirit of the Lord resided; the law was in there too.  It also reminds me of the verse about God writing the law on  our hearts now. 

We are to be led by God's spirit in all we think say and do- every decision small and great.  This is a new way that we are not in the habit of doing.  We are not to lean on our own understanding or reasoning (  should not be the source of our decision-making.)   "In all our ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths."   And," My ways are not your ways, nor my thoughts, your thoughts."   But the question is, what are "our ways?"  What are the ways and patterns in which we handle disagreements?  What are the ways we worry and doubt, and get in fear.  What are the subtle ways we manipulate our kids and spouse to do what we want , the way we want?  Guilt trips, pouting, rudeness, anger, bribing, threatening.  And why? Because we don't trust God.  That is a spirit of fear and witchcraft, my friend. 

But there is good news!  There is hope!(spouses cheer...) Listen and follow the spirit every moment ( especially when you are about  to say something that you know will make your spouse mad!) Then obey.  That is how we abide in the Spirit- and will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh!

In Him,


25 First Lines

Rodney, of, fame. Had an interesting blog post where he listed the first line of the last 25 songs played on his Ipod. Now I don't have an Ipod, but I do use Itunes to listen to music on my computer. I thought it would be interesting to see what would happen if I did the same.

  1. The devil's head is along the highway
  2. When I was a boy on my daddy's knee thats when he said these words to me, said listen to what I'm gonna tell you son, and you can help the world go round.
  3. If I plant a tree today.
  4. Yeah. Lord I barely feel alive doing nine to five.
  5. Honey, It's been a long time coming
  6. You are the Ancient One
  7. ooooh oh ooooh OH!
  8. Take all your medicine it's gonna make you well.
  9. Mama take this badge from me
  10. Sipping whiskey from a paper cup.
  11. Time keeps moving on, Friends they turn away, Lordy Lord.
  12. (instrumental)
  13. Outstretched neck you flirt with your eyes.
  14. Alice is a drag queen
  15. (instrumental)
  16. I'm sick and tired of watching over you.
  17. Me and my brother went to Russia
  18. You came into my life, you took me off the shelf
  19. Some say he was an outlaw that he roamed across the land with a band of unschooled ruffians
  20. I was born and raised an orphan in a land that once was free
  21. Alice is a drag queen
  22. When you first left me I was wanting more
  23. it’s natural, it’s a release
  24. Hey guys! Hey what! You know we are in the studio with Kemper Krab of Archangel?
  25. Three letter word. It rules the Earth.

Whew. That took longer than I expected, and it doesn't seem to have much meaning.


johnny's head new






Johnny Brooks, a music lover.


I just sent this out to our email list. If you can help we appreciate it. If not we understand.


It would appear that we are not immune from economic downturns anymore than the next guy is. Not that we assumed we would be safe, yet we hoped to weather the storm better than we have been.

Our income has taken a severe blow since October of last year. Fund raising has always been our weakness. Not that we have not had funds given to us, just that we are not very good at asking for them.

I hope this is not a sign of a lack of faith on our part, but we needed to make a special request. I need approximately an additional $2,200 U.S. dollars right now to make up for lost income. This is in addition to what our regular donors give.

This $2,200 will pay all our girl’s school fees, plus four others that we sponsor. It will buy school uniforms and shoes for them as well. It will pay the rent next month. It will pay the final electricity bill at the previous house. It will feed a family of three (all of whom are HIV +) for a month. It will move another family to our new location. It will pay the January rent on the office.

We are asking you to consider giving a onetime gift to help us overcome this hurdle. I realize that the future is uncertain, and that giving to us may not be the highest priority. Yet sometimes we have to take risks in order to help those who need help.

Those of you who have already given this month, or you regularly give to us, please don’t take this as pressure to give more. If you can, then wonderful, but if you cannot give more, we understand. Every day I have to tell someone that I do not have the means to help them, I understand the limits that we all have on our lives.

If you have never given before, then please consider taking this opportunity to do so.

I need these additional funds as soon as possible. If you can make checks out to Kenya Fund and mail them to:

713 West First Street

Beaver Dam, KY 42320

Or use and send your gift to [email protected]

Thanks for your consideration, and if asking for help is offensive in any way we apologize. Hopefully we will not make too big of a habit of this.


Johnny and Kate Brooks