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Entries from August 2015

Campaign closed

For those of you who are following our blog and perhaps missed our facebook posts, our campaign ended today, midnight pacific time which was 10 am Kenyan time.


We thought the campaign was over, and we were still far from our goal.


But people out there had different pans.


Even though our campaign closed a few hours ago, we received a message from folks who still wanted to give.


We now have $29,332 out of $30,000!


We are still in awe of the generousity of so many people who love and support what we do.


Keep following us as we post updates, and you will see exactly what is happening with the funds that came in!


It will take two or three weeks for Indie to release the funds to our account. In the mean time, once the donations that came in directly through paypal and check arrive, we will get started with changing our barn into a home and all the other projects on The Shire at A Future and a Hope!



It's not 'cool'

My daughter Emma Caite, age 8 1/2, was trying to make a new friend and had invited her age mate to come over one day. Upon entering our house, the girl quickly scrunched up her nose, pulled on her mother's arm stood on tiptoe, and whispered in her mother's ear, 'Mom, they don't have a floor. It's DIRT.'

Needless to say, she did not spend the night, and has not returned.

This was one of many incendents where our rugged living conditions have prevented guests from staying.

I told Emma Caite today, 'Guess what? When we get a floor and a bath tub, you can invite your friends over again!' She was so excited about the notion.

We still have 4 days left to meet our goal which will give us a floor, a bath, and more. We have 52% of what we need to bring us a bit more out of the Dark Ages. You can help:



Familiarity with our campaign process

Recently, a friend of mine wanted to give to the campaign. She was nervous about doing it so I thought I should walk folks through what they will see and do. It is as easy as clicking, signing in with FB, and paying with a secure server. Indiegogo is trustworthy and has ALWAYS given us the donations after a campaign.

First go to our campaign page here:

After clicking 'Contribute Now,' you will receive this page:

Next, put in your donation amount (middle of the page), then at the bottom 'contact information' just click 'continue with Facebook.'

There is no harm in logging in with Facebook. It is the easiest option, and they do NOT post on your page nor mess with your facebook account.

After this step, you can give with a credit card or paypal. That choice is yours and finish up from there! It is pretty easy!

I hope this helps make the giving process a bit less daunting and easy for you.

We have only 6 days left. Our goals are to put a floor in our barn and make it more like a home since we feel we will be living in it more long term. We want to add plumbing from our water tanks to the house so we don't have to carry it in buckets. We would like more water storage tanks. We included solar panels and batteries in the budget as well as all kinds of things we need to finish the Earthbag house! Plus, we have a midwife scheduled to come this December, and her airfare is included in this campaign as well!

Any questions, just ask!




Defying the Odds

Something that overjoys my heart--

Johnny and I and our project A Future and a Hope, being that we are NOT an institution nor backed by one, means that we are being supported by SO many individual people-- people of all walks, and it is like a dream come true.

We are defying the odds. You are a part of this, proving that even through virtual relationships, we can all come together for a common purpose! Thank you for helping our family!

We have only a few days left to reach our goal to bring us to the place where we can complete all of the projects projected for A Future and a Hope in 2015!

What we need from those of you who have already given is encouragement and help in spreading our cause.

If you have a blog, perhaps consider sharing about us. Or maybe sending out an email? Or maybe use the photo below as your profile picture on FB for the next couple of days? Just trying to be creative. We do not do traditional fundraising. We do not travel back to the USA to speak to institutions nor to people to raise awareness. Just sharing about our life on our blog, newsletters, and FB and the occasional campaign is our fundraising.

Thank you for caring for what we do and being a part! Together we are making ripples in the world producing long term changes in how orphan care can be done, inspiring the individual that s/he can make a difference.


This is our campaign quick link:




Girls Practicing a Kamba Folk Song

The girls in secondary school spent the last few days in Kisumu for a singing competition. Kate managed to capture a few seconds of practice on video:


We have posted about why we do this a few times recently, but this is another demonstration of why. Freedom to sing, go on school trips, and act goofy. Hard to recreate in an institution, but not that hard in a family setting. 


Sarah Wants to Leave the Dark Ages


After we purchased The Shire and put up a fence (half the land,) and built a little hut I (Johnny) started to push for an early move in date. I wanted to be on the farm in order to start developing it without the hour commute or sleeping in tents.

When The Prancing Pony (our current home) was nearly finished I suggested we move in. No electricity, no running water, and worse of all no floor. 

Having never lived without a floor I didn't realize how difficult it actually would be. The dust is killer. Poor little ~Eowyn keeps stubbing her toes. I cannot walk around in socks at the end of the day. 

Not that I am complaining, well not complaining too much. We started saving money as soon as we moved in, which in some months (like this one) is fantastic. Development became easier as we are here twenty-four hours a day, and we are able to participate in the work more.

Still a floor, more electricity, and a bathroom would be nice. 


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We are running a fund raising campaign at the moment and several new folks have come into contact with us. So maybe it is time for one of those "why do we do this?" posts?

That is both an easy to answer question and not so easy one at the same time.

Easy part: Children, all children, deserve to grow up in a home. A home with family who loves them. A home where family cares for their needs. A home where they are safe. A home where they can be who they were created to be. A home that provides hope in the future. 

Easy enough to explain. The children deserve the life we are providing for them. We believe it is our responsibility to work towards providing these children with a future and a hope.

The harder part of the why question is, why us? Why does it have to be Kate and Johnny in Kenya caring for orphaned/abandoned Kenyan children?

Honestly I am not sure why it has to be us, and some days I really wonder, "Why me?" 

I suppose the best way to explain it is that I took the following passage from the Bible seriously:

 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:40)

Several years have passed since I read that and found the inspiration to move to Kenya with Kate and our children. Much has changed since then, yet one thing has remained constant. I believe that we are to be here in Kenya helping orphaned/abandoned children find family. That is our destiny. Our fate in life.

The majority of orphaned and vulnerable children here in Kenya do not have anyone willing to make sacrifices on their behalf. There is no foster care system. The government run orphanages, which there are few, are terrible places. Many of the private run homes are horrible as well. Even the "nice" missionary run homes are still institutions designed to corral as many orphans as possible in as little space as possible using as little money as possible.

We took in nine girls more than seven years ago. Nine girls who had no one who was willing to care for them. We did not know them. We are not related by blood, culture, or even language. Yet when we learned of their stories we could not turn them away. 

Each of those girls was destined for a life of servitude as maids (called house girls or house help here in Kenya.) In fact the majority of them were maids before coming to our house. Working all day long for little or no pay. In constant danger of molestation by the man of the house or his friends. Zero freedom, no hope, and absolutely no human dignity.

Which is why we do what we do. We believe that children, all children deserve a Future and a Hope.