Rags to Riches Kenya PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pastor Ray   

 

As a church we are most happy to support this ministry and view Peter and Linda as people of integrity.

 

The following is their latest report.

To view some pictures from Rags to Riches in Kenya click IMAGES

 

2009 Message from Rags to Riches

Dear friends,

Its raining cats and dogs. That's the good news from Kenya! The first three months of the year are so difficult for everyone there as the heat builds and builds and this year the temperatures have soared, burning everything to a crisp; but at last the rain clouds have come and the weather has broken, I can picture it now, everyone, (well the women anyway!) with a jembe in their hand digging the land and getting in their maize and spuds. You may well have heard that there is expected to be a food shortage in Kenya in the next few months until the harvest in September, last autumn's short rains failed in many parts of the country and displaced people in the more remote areas were unable to get back in safety to their farms and plant. As a result food aid is flowing into Mombassa from all over the world, Somali pirates permitting! Shortages of basic foodstuffs are already becoming apparent as are the continued price rises. As if things are not difficult enough it now seems pretty clear that certain highly placed politicians inside the government have been manipulating the supply of food to their own financial advantage. Unfortunately it now seems clear that whilst the powers that be have bowed to international pressure and decided to live together in the government, nothing has really changed. The general view seems to be that the bigwigs are serving out their time in the present coalition government, waiting for a decisive result in the next general elections. Once again the citizens of Kenya find their hopes dashed as they face the daunting task of just getting by.

The work in Hilton has also undergone a certain amount of administrative change. We have let our church Pastor pursue his own ministry as it had become clear that his commitment to the project had diminished and his real desire was to branch out on his own. In fact the change has come as a relief to the rest of the team who are delighted that our administrator, Josephine and her husband, Silas, both of whom have served as Pastors before, have been appointed as co pastors of the Hilton church. Things are now more settled and we are happily free of the clash of perspectives between church and charitable work. The church had fallen on difficult times latterly, but we are happy to report that it has once again become a centre of hope for that community and for the many children whom we work with. Josephine is so well known and loved and we are confident that she, together with her husband, will offer the leadership that the projects require.

We have also reduced the number of churches which we continue to guide and assist. We are now only involved with two of the churches which we planted around Nakuru, along with the Hilton church, the other three have gone their own way. Likewise we have trimmed the work of the teaching team under Pastor Samuel which continues the training of church leaders that Peter organised and was so involved in. In a time when everyone is feeling the pinch we have decided to concentrate almost all our resources on the work of our team in Hilton.

We are delighted that despite the occasional shortages we have been able to meet all our basic goals. This year we spent approximately £500 on new shoes and uniform for all our primary school children, we continue to feed them every school lunchtime, look after their medical care and to offer active oversight on their home life, in their crowded little rooms on the edge of the dumpsite. The children have all settled back into school, interrupted by a teachers strike in February, and they have just finished the first term. Two of our children finished primary school last year, Mary and Joseph. We were disappointed that Mary didn't put in the necessary work and scored very badly in the final exams, thus forgoing her secondary school place. We are working with her now as she considers various training options. Joseph however lived up to his potential, applying himself and scoring well. We had promised him the chance to break away from the slum with a place at boarding school and it was with considerable joy that we were able to find the finance necessary to pay his first term's fees, kit him out in his new uniform and send him off. He has had a great time and it looks as though he will do well. We have 2 more boys boarding, Richard and Anthony, they are in year 2, they also returned to school thanks to their personal sponsors. They have also continued to apply themselves and are maturing into sensible young men. Finally there is Catherine, she is now 20 and seems to have been in school forever, she has only two terms until graduation. She has always excelled at school and she should graduate towards the top of her year. She has great plans for university, for which she will probably be eligible, however our project only extends as far as secondary school, so we shall have to think and pray hard about her next step.

The dear old grannies still battle on. They continue to meet every week to knit and chat and share lunch. Their piggies are pregnant again and they(the grannies) have opened a shop built into the wall of the church compound where they sell charcoal. We also assist them as much as we can with their health needs and are able to meet most of the emergencies as they arise.

The new playground equipment is a big hit with the local kids, about 150 of them, who turn up for food, games, songs and an encouraging word on Saturdays. This is also a time when the team can keep a general eye on the children's welfare and identify any crisis that we might be able to act on.

Neither Linda or Peter have visited since last December and we do hope that circumstances will allow for Linda to get there soon. She has not been back to Kenya for a year and a half. Last time she left when the bullets were flying and the highway was barricaded. If she is able to get over she will be sending out an update as soon as she gets back.

For those of you who follow our own movements, let me just add that we are both well and busy here in Central Portugal getting the house and grounds ready for retreat guests in 2010. Spring has been wonderful, although the last few days have brought the first rain in two months.

With our thanks and appreciation as always for your invaluable assistance. 

Peter and Linda and all the team in Kenya.