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May 2017

Library Update; Leaving for Kenya May 7

I received the following update and pictures from Pastor Peter this past week: LibraryUpdate4

Dear Dr. John

The school holiday is still ongoing and the the students are well utilizing the library. We are happy because this place have become a beacon of hope and inspiration. We are pleased that in all our libraries the students have found a safe place for study and reflection. We wish to thank all our supporters for making this possible.

Pastor Peter

I face a busy week as I get ready to go over to Kenya next Sunday. In the meantime, life and ministry continues in Kenya, and I need your help if we are to make the most of the opportunities we have there. Here are some things for you to consider:

  1. School fees are due for some of the students we sponsor. I sent $600 yesterday and will have to send more next week.
  2. The salaries for the teachers we help at Upako are due this week: $600.
  3. I have sent over $1,000 toward the leadership training I am doing in Bomet. I would love to purchase three books to give to each of the leaders, but will need another $1,100 per book to do that ($3,300 total). I have put that before the Lord and if He wants me to give books, He will provide the funds.
  4. On top of all this are my expenses to go over to Kenya to be with the leaders and other partners we have worked with over the years.

I am not nervous at all, and just wanted you to know the things that I am trusting the Lord to do in the next few days. If you can help, or would like to share in any of the specific needs listed above, please give online using my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. If you looking for a place where your gifts will make a deep impact with no overhead, then I ask you to consider this work and others like them that I am involved with in Kenya. Thank you and God bless you!


Upcoming Seminars and Trips

I depart next Sunday for Kenya, so this coming week will be a busy one for me. I have a few things going on this week that you may be interested in, so I thought I would send you this update:

  1. Next Saturday morning, May 6, I will be in Beaver Falls to conduct a breakfast workshop for the L3 Leadership Beaver County Breakfast. The address is: Champion Life Church Offices, 2601 Darlington Road, Beaver Falls, PA 15010. The cost is $10 online or $15 at the door.
  2. Next Saturday afternoon, I will be on the North Side at Allegheny Center Alliance Church, for a time and faith seminar that will focus on productivity, time management, and trusting God to do more. Attendance is free, but you must register online or by calling Julie Federer at 412.321.4333, ext 102.
  3. Don't forget about the Israel 2018 trip. You cannot wait till the last minute for this trip, since space is limited and what is not sold soon must be given back to the tourism officials. Check out the information here and then register for the trip of a lifetime. Also, take a look at the trip to Rome after Israel.
  4. I am also planning my next group trip to Kenya in February/March 2018. The first informational meeting will be on Sunday, June 25, 12:30, at ACAC on the North Side. If you are at all interested, come out to learn more about the trip at that meeting.

That's about it. Let me know if you have any questions, and I hope to see you at some or all of these special events.

 


Need Your Help; Heading to Kenya

Two weeks from today on May 7, I will be heading over to Kenya to fulfill a promise I made last year. Our team could not make the trip over to Bomet when we were there in March, and I had promised my friend David Koech that I would come back and do some leadership training for his leaders in the area some time in 2017. After going back and forth, we worked out the dates of May 10-14 for the P1200176training. Here is a picture of David and his wife Sarah from one of my visits when we presented a check to them for their orphanage that houses nearly 100 children from nursery to high school age. I am also including a picture of David standing next to the wood stove that is used to feed those 100 children (click to enlarge). They are doing a great work in addition to overseeing the many churches DSC02086in the area.

I am making a trip so soon after my last trip because of the national elections that will occur in Kenya in August. The country will be preoccupied leading up to the event, and at times conditions can be tense. Therefore, I am going over now and then will go again in October after I have visited Nigeria.

The cost for the training is $1,350 plus some books that I would like to purchase to give to the leaders, bringing the total to $2,000, which does not include my own expenses of getting over to Kenya along with housing and food expenses. While I am there, I am sure I will connect with our other partners to assess their needs and progress in the ministry.

Please consider helping me with the expenses of the leadership training next month. You can give through my website or by sending a tax-deductible contribution to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. Thank you for help, and you know I will give you a full report of my time there with the leaders who are doing such a great job and are worthy of our support. Thank you, and please be praying for my time in Kenya!


Support Your Local Teacher

Perhaps you remember last year's tragedy when Pastor Francis was awakened to find that his school UpakoTeachersthat was serving the Kawangware area had been destroyed by his landlord to make way for another building (ironically, it was torn down to make room for a church). This was a devastating blow at the time, but you generously gave $2,500 to help rebuild the school in another area.

UpakoDown9Well, I am delighted to report the truth of Romans 8:28 is still in effect in that God works for good in all things. On our visit month, we found the school to be in the best shape we have ever witnessed, with new, youthful teachers and a new spirit and vision that were palpable. The school has operated on a volunteer basis and all the teachers have taught until they found something else that paid a salary, which meant the students were adjusting to new teachers every few months.

In order to rectify this problem, I have made a StankoAcademySign
commitment to send $600 every month for teacher support. This will enable Upako to employ teachers and hold them accountable, will allow the teachers to settle into a secure position, and will give the students a chance to bond with their instructors as students are apt to do. I have already done this for March and April, and will continue to do so until the Lord directs otherwise. I am attaching a picture of the faculty from a recent visit to one of the teachers who just had a baby. One person has already pledged a monthly contribution to help with the instructor expenses.

On another note, I am proceeding with my May visit back to Kenya to conduct some leadership training with Pastor David Koech in the Bomet region. It will be a quick trip, but with my summer schedule and the August elections in Kenya, it is the only opening in my calendar that will work. I know that I am responsible for the expenses for the conference that will include books, notes, food, and refreshments. I will let you know what that the projected cost is so you can help as the Lord leads.

ContainerAnd finally, we are "inches" away from sending our container, having held it up as book contributions continue to come in. I have also ordered a supply of my own books to send over so i can set up a distribution center for sales in Kenya. All 750 of those books have to be shrink wrapped before we ship them, and that is a labor-intensive job that should be complete this week. Our goal is to have it on its way by June 1, but that will depend in part by the shipping company's inspection and pick up schedule.

I will be having my first informational meeting about the 2018 Kenya trip in late June, so be watching for the date and come if you are remotely interested in going with the team next year. But there will be much to report before then about the growing work we are doing in the great nation of Kenya, so stay tuned. There's more to come.