For the last three years, people have donated books, shoes (for men, women, and children), school supplies, desks, bicycles, Bibles, puppets, toys, and other odds and ends. The time has come to ship the container so that our friends in Kenya can enjoy and utilize what has been given. That shipment will require money to send, by my best estimate around $15,000 of which I have $5,000.
We have upgraded to a 40-foot container to accommodate the 700 boxes (in 2014, we sent 290 boxes in a 20-foot container, pictured below right) that are in three warehouses (like the one pictured at right), for which we have paid $400 per month. Those 700 boxes contain:
- 25,000 library books (fiction, nonfiction, reference, textbooks)
- 2.500 pairs of shoes
- tons of school supplies
- 75 laptop computers
- 35 bicycles
- 10 desks
My son (pictured right) sorted, trashed what could not be sent, packed, labeled, coded, sealed, and arranged the last 500 boxes (like the ones pictured left - click to enlarge) in three warehouses with little help from anyone. He has lived and labored over this project for the last year as a volunteer, serving the Lord and the people of Kenya. The work isn't over yet, for we will have to find volunteers to help us pack the container the day it arrives, come rain or shine.
In addition to supplementing the libraries we already have, we will establish at least three new libraries out of this shipment - and knowing how resourceful Kenyans are, it will probably be more than three. Why are we doing this and why is this project worthy of your financial support? Here are a few reasons:
- If we are going to fight poverty, we must support the people not only with food, but with educational opportunities. Where there is a library, local leaders report that boredom goes down, which means that drug abuse and teen pregnancy also decrease.
- The libraries provide a place to study away from the limitations of their homes, which often do not have electricity or a quiet place to study.
- The libraries become hubs of learning. Our library in Banana has an art and music school, as well as a hair salon where ladies learn cosmetology as well as earn money providing hairdressing services.
The library project started at the behest of a cabinet official in Kenya, who said to me, "Help us start libraries. Our people are bored and have nothing to read." I found that to be true, and that is why we are doing what we do. The picture at left (click to enlarge) is a new school the government built in a village. What you see is the library, and the school has 600 children! Compare the picture at left with the picture of our new library in Banana with Pastor Peter (right below).
Now I need your help. I need to raise the money to finish the task we started. You can give through my website or by sending a tax-deductible check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. This has turned into a huge project, but I know God is able to fund the work and expedite the process of shipping and clearing customs.
This truly is a faith shipment, for I have no foundations, churches, or organizations who support this work. We are doing this because we have seen firsthand the impact that the libraries have made in the communities and schools where they exist. We have given ourselves to the work because this is doing something for the poor for which they cannot repay us or you. We are doing this because we know God has led us to do it.
Won't you stand with us, my son and I and the other supporters who have given resources, time, and money? More importantly, won't you help all the youth and adults who will benefit from what is in this container? I pray you will find it in your heart to do so. Thank you and God bless you.