Kenya Journal August 2022 Edition 10
FIELD OF DREAMS – God has a farm in Africa…
Saturday, August 27, 2022—Kitale, Kenya
You will have to forgive my not-so-subtle theft of titles from two of myfavorite movies. Honestly, as Pastor Richard and I walked the 100 acres of farm land that God has provided, I couldn’t help myself.
“Is this heaven?”
No, it’s Kitale.
Only a wealthy man owns 100 or more acres in Kenya. The market price for one acre of prime farmland is $20,000 +. But then, God has plenty!
I smiled as Richard told me how the profits from the new farm are providing tuition for nearly 30 orphans/street children who are now attending college. You must know, we never thought of college when we started feeding a handful of street kids from the nearby Kipsongo slum nearly 18 years ago. If we had thought forward, we would have realized that we were creating a monster that would demand to be fed. And honestly, sometimes it feels like a monster each month as we pray in your support to meet our budget of feeding, clothing, and educating all the kids God has entrusted to us. But, every month is comes in. We have never missed a month of feeding kids in any of our six feeding stations in Kenya and Tanzania. And now, you can add college tuition to that praise report.
Richard and Hellen are spiritual entrepreneurs. They are constantly getting inspired ideas for how they can creatively finance what seems impossible on the surface. I can think of no less than a dozen small enterprises they have started and maintained to supplement the amazing gifts of you and our other partners and supporters.
This afternoon I visited the Seeds High School. The administration building and new classroom block has now been completed. In that building is a the new science and Chemistry lab, a new library, staff offices and four large, airy classrooms.
Across the way stand the new staff housing apartments. And beyond that, the new boys dorm. Every time I visit this ministry I am in awe of all God is doing and providing. He attracts ministries and teams from all over the world to come see what He is doing here in Kitale. Once you see it, your heart is compelled to be a part of this amazing God-project. And we (you and I) are a significant part of what God is doing on this plot of land in the middle of a cornfield.
As I spoke to the High School students this afternoon, I was overwhelmed by the countenance on their faces. Slum kids don’t usually look you in the eye. They certainly don’t sing worship at the top of their lungs. Eyes bright. Faces smiling. Confidence that causes them to extend their hand for shaking. Conversation that is direct and engaging. Only God can change a child trained by want to stare at the ground into the teenagers I saw at Seeds today!
As I type, I am in my room at the new Jopendwin Rehema House. The latest inspiration for Richard and Hellen. A beautiful old mansion built during the British colonization was purchased by Richard and Hellen at an almost gift price. They have added a three story multi-condo unit behind the house. The grounds are breathtaking with mature flowers and landscaping. Monkeys scampered across the manicured lawn and African songbirds serenade me while I type. A hot shower from an overheard rain head awaits me tonight. The finest mattress in Kenya lies on my bed. I anticipate sending this journal out over the high speed WiFi installed for the guests. The staff comes from church members and former orphans and students of Seeds ministry. Over 12 permanent jobs created for the community. The income from this guest house is funneled back into the multifaceted ministry that disposes of funds like a black hole.
I am contrasting that with the first night I stayed in Kitale over 16 year ago. I arrived late on a Saturday evening and Pastor Richard checked me into the “seediest” hotel I think I have ever stayed in. The windows in my room were broken. I dared not get into the nasty bathtub. And, I think I only slept a couple of hours that night as the tavern on my floor thumped and bumped me to sleep.
This guest house tonight is a true oasis. I could keep writing for pages, but I doubt you have the time to keep reading. Let’s just say, God is showing up and showing out in Kitale/Mt. Elgon!
Tomorrow is Sunday. I preach at Richard’s church in Kitale. Then, it’s on to the local hotel swimming pool for a joint baptism service of three of his churches. After a late lunch, I will spend a couple of hours with the leadership from those churches. And tomorrow night? I doubt I will need any sleeping aids. But, it might take a while to doze off from the adrenaline rush of the day. I am in awe at God’s provision and creativity in this ministry. I am more in awe that He has invited me to join Him in His work here.
Thanks for sending me and joining me in this God-adventure.
Because you send, I continue to go.