Sunday, February 26, 2006


I’m typing by the light of a hurricane lamp. I went to town today to buy the lamp as well as a canister of kerosene. Our power went out sometime in the night and has not come back on all day. I’ve called Kenya Power a few times and they keep telling me, “We’re coming.” It’s now almost 8 p.m. (9pm: I'm able to send this due to Don having to send urgent messages. We cranked up the generator, connected everything to it via a step-up transformer and very long extension cords and voila! we're briefly connected to the outside world again.)

I went rock hunting today… On yesterday’s entry I wrote about the piece of land at the end of our road where people are digging out rocks. The entire piece of land seems to be rock, so the owners have someone who chops up the rock by hand, and they sell it by truckloads.

Turns out that I’ve given the lady who owns the land a ride one day on my way home, so when we (two Kenyan guys and I) pulled up to their house to ask if we may “acquire” 15 or so rocks, she said, “Go ahead. Take as many as you’d like.” She seemed to be heading out, so I offered to take her to the main road. A 3-km ride in exchange for all the rocks for my rock garden. Not bad.

We ended up taking just 7 big rocks for the time being. On Monday, John (an 18-year-old Kenyan and recent high school graduate, son of the children’s home directors—he helps me with my garden) will be mixing some compost and soil and fill in the gaps between the rocks, then plant the hardy plants I got for the rock garden. I’ll take photos and post them as soon as it’s done. We should have power by then, I’d hope!

The kids watched “Lord of the Beans” today—a VeggieTale movie. They didn’t enjoy it as much as they enjoyed Nemo, but I honestly don’t think any movie from here on forward will ever be as impactful as Nemo was for them! (If you haven’t yet, read the entry called, “Will Baba Nemo find Nemo?”)

There was also a “Church Empowerment” training today, and I sat in on a part of that. These trainings are for churches in the area. They come for a whole day, starting with devotions and worship, and then they’re taught various components of agriculture and invited to come for 3-day trainings. As I was listening to the evaluations, one man said, “Our land is much greener than yours. We have had more rain than yours. So when we arrived, I thought, ‘What would I learn here today? These people’s grass isn’t even green.’ But as you talked about the vegetable gardens and showed us how to used natural fertilizers, I realized that though we use chemicals, your gardens look much better than ours! I will go home and use what God has already given me—cow manure for fertilizer and cow ash for insecticides.”

In fact, some of that cow ash (burnt cow dung) and cow manure will be worked into my garden next week. I discovered a spot with lots of ants, and asked Josiah, one of the ELI gardeners if I should get some poison for the ants. Josiah is a brilliant guy, BTW. He just smiled and said, “No, we’ll just plant onions.” I’m learning a lot about organic gardening!

And there was the celebration of a construction worker who came to faith in Christ while working on building the children’s home. He’s been a believer and has been sober for 2 years this week, so he wanted to come back and share what God has been doing in his life.

I continue to be amazed at how God is using this ministry to change people’s lives. Whether some come to do construction or to learn agricultural skills, God seems to use these felt needs to then address the spiritual needs in their lives.

What an honor to be a part of this!

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