If you remember, last August you helped me raise money to help get orphans off the ground and into some beds. We purchased the bed frames but have been unable to purchase all the mattresses, since money given through Facebook takes 60-75 days to be processed and sent. I was able to send money last week and here is the report from Pastor Francis:
As soon as the rest of the money arrives, we will take care of those other mattresses and blankets. Thank you for helping to make this possible, but keep in mind that the children have ongoing needs. Please contribute today toward their health and welfare by giving through my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. Thank you and God bless you for your compassion toward these children.
It's the beginning of September and school fees are due in Kenya. Here is what we need and here is what I have:
- EOTOO Tuition for six orphans: need $1,775, have $1075
- Little Mary's tuition: need $600, have $300
- Upako Teacher's Salaries: need $625, have $100
- Little Felix school fees: need $200, have $200
- Banana library: need $900, have $0
That makes a total needed of $2,425. It is not unusual for contributions to drop off after we raised so much for the orphan's beds and library needs in August. If you can help with this current need, please give today, either through my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. On behalf of our orphans and partners in Kenya, thank you!
My first visit to Kenya in more than a year gave me a chance to catch up with our partners and get updates on the various projects with which we have been involved. One of them was the brick-making business we helped establish for Pastor Francis and Upako Centre. I was delighted to find out how well the business is doing and how much it is helping them with their 23 orphans and school operation. Here is Francis' report:
The one brick making machine is now supporting part of the orphans feeding program and this is very helpful. We hire out the machine to local people in the community for a fee but we also produce quality bricks (when the machine is not hired) and sell in small quantities. This is a good project and we will [eventually] expand and add more machines. God bless our donors. Francis.
It has been a great 10 days for me here in Kenya. I have been able to accomplish so much with the Lord's help and I have another three full days to go. Thank you for your prayers and assistance. Here is a summary of my time so far.
- I trained 435 leaders in the Bomet and Longisa Areas of the Africa Gospel Church. I provided a set of notes, lunch, and a tea break for all those who participated at a cost of $2,000, which included a new video projector that I donated to the Longisa Area for their use. My subject matter was a two-day seminar in each area on the Price of Leadership, in which we covered subjects like goals, purpose, time management, servant leadership, and personal development.
- I visited with my friend Pastor David Koech at Kenduiwo Orphans home to pray for the 54 orphans (18 more were away at school) under his care and to talk to him about some long-range projects that will help relieve the pressure on him, his family, and his churches as they seek to care for those 72 children. I left $200 for the children.
- I preached at Harvest Centre Fellowship and the title of my message was "Clash of Kingdoms." I simply discussed the reality of the war we are in between the kingdom of light and darkness and our need to participate in seeing the fullness of our victory in Christ achieved.
- This coming week, I will visit our library in Banana, our school in Upako, and conduct some training for a group of lawyer and social worker friends here in Nairobi. I delivered money to the leadership in Banana for library furnishings ($1,700) and to Upako for the beds for 26 orphans ($2,700), which are being constructed and should be ready this week. I will post pictures when I have them.
I am now in need of the bedding to go with the beds, so I am asking you to give toward this project to get the kids off the ground and into a bed. You can give through my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. Thank you and God bless you on behalf of the children and our partners here in Kenya for all your help!
This is just a short note to thank you for your help in making my trip to Kenya possible. I delivered the money for the beds to Pastor Francis and Lillian, money to Pastor Peter for library equipment, and the new projector to Pastor David Koech and will begin training leaders today for the next four days. Now we need to work on the bedding to go with the beds for 26 orphans! I know I have asked you for much recently, and if it wasn't urgent, I would not ask. If you haven't given already, please consider doing so, using my website or send a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. Let's trust the Lord together for another miracle.
As you know, our container landed in Kenya and the resources have been distributed to the joy of all who received. The children in this video are elated to receive some books. When a child doesn't own anything, even the smallest gift can seem huge. Some of the children you see in this video and picture are orphans and tonight they will sleep on the ground, the concrete to be more specific, with only a thin mat for comfort. I am asking you to help me help them get some bunk beds.
My goal is to raise $3,900 by the time I depart on Thursday, July 26 for their beds and for our library needs. $850 has already come in but I need your help to reach the entire goal. You can give through my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882.
I am not being overly dramatic when I tell you of this need. Recently, there were heavy rains and the children had nowhere to sleep after the flooding. It is time I help get them off the floor and on to a mattress. Do what you can and together we will trust the Lord to put these children to bed soon.
I am pleased to report that after still more trials and tribulations, the long-awaited container has been delivered and some of the resources have been picked up and delivered to our partners. What kind of trials did we endure
- We were "fined" $920 for an inspection certificate that expired before we could ship. The reason we could not ship in February or March was due to the weather (we had one pickup within the inspection time limit that had to be cancelled due to ice).
- Due to new regulations, everything in the container had to be removed and then reloaded. This meant that our 17 pallets, which were shrink wrapped, had to be torn apart and many of the boxes opened for inspection. Then everything was loaded back into the container for delivery, but not according to the color code on the boxes. In other words, everything got mixed up. The boxes were not resealed. We were informed that even if we had shipped within the certificate time limit, this same procedure would have been followed, which begs the question: Why did I pay $250 on this end for an inspection that was still going to require an inspection in Kenya?
- The container was delivered and had to be unloaded well into the night hour.
- Upon unpacking, we discovered that 16 of our computers and 20 computer chargers had mysteriously disappeared.
- I sent $900 this past week to help get the boxes where they need to be. This was for local truck rental and loading costs.
- Meanwhile, I am still "offloading" the 2,100 pair of shoes, 16 bicycles, and six desks that the Kenyan officials refused to allow us to ship as informed during our U.S. inspection,
What a learning experience this has been, and truthfully, I don't think we will sponsor another container. It is time to refocus on some other needs that our partners have, and that is what I want to mention as we close this report.
The orphans at Upako are still sleeping on the floor of the school on mats. We have raised $300 for their bunk beds in the past, but I want to raise another $2,200 before I depart on July 26 to fund this need.
Then our library is in need of shelves, chairs, and tables at a cost of $1,700 (see the conditions of our chairs in the pic to the right; we had chairs to send but were prevented by the Kenyan officials). I would also like to have that before I go.
Therefore, I am announcing a campaign to raise $3,900 by the time I depart on July 26. I cannot do this without your help. You can give using the link on my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. If you would like to issue a challenge grant that would match contributions dollor for dollar, please let me know and I will get the word out.
Thank you for your help and let's help the orphans and children now that the container project is complete. They need our ongoing support and I know you won't let them down. Thank you, and God bless you!
I thought we had a confirmed pickup date for our Kenya-bound container last Friday. I paid $5,000 to the shipping company who then worked with a trucking company to schedule a pick up. That date and time had to be coordinated with a friend who was arranging a forklift to be present when the truck with the container arrived. All was coordinated until we received 10 inches of snow here last Wednesday, at which time the trucking company cancelled the pickup. Then the trucking company called on Thursday to inform me that they had changed their mind and could come on Friday at 2 PM for our scheduled pickup.
Unfortunately, I had released the help and the forklift and could not get them back in time. Now we have to wait till the week of April 2 to start the process all over again, and that involves the shipping company, the trucking company, the warehouse where the boxes are stored, my friend, and my friend's forklift connection. This is a perfect description of how this entire process has gone since last September when we first began the procedure to ship the container. Stay tuned for an update.
(You can click on any picture to enlarge.)
I received an email from Pastor David Koech asking help in securing a small tractor to help with water transport. It will also provide a means of support when they rent the tractor out. I have asked for a confirmation of what he needs, which at this point I think is $500-$700. If you can give to this cause, please do so through my website or by sending a check. Info to do that is below.
Here is the latest update from Pastor Francis:
Last Saturday, we took a big step closer to seeing our long-awaited container getting off to Kenya. We had 15 volunteers, most of them from Light of Life Rescue Mission here in Pittsburgh, show up to empty and consolidate the boxes in our four storage units. We then packed them on two trucks to take to the Light of Life warehouse. There we sorted them by color (they are going to six different locations in Kenya) on 17 pallets and then wrapped them in shrink wrap.
Now I am waiting for word from Missionary Freight Expediters of how much it will cost to ship a 40-foot container through the shipping lines with which they work. We are back to a 40-foot container instead of a 20-footer since it will be less complicated to pack a container with more space.
I spent $400 on Saturday on gas, tolls, and truck rental. When added to the $1,000 invested in boxes and tape, $500 on pallets and shrink wrap, and at least $4,000 on storage rental, we have invested about $6,000 so far in the project. I am guessing that it will require about $13,000 to ship.
That leads to the question: Is it worth it to spend all that money on used computers, 27,000 books, and boxes of educational supplies.
The short answer is yes.
Our partners in Kenya would never be able to find or pay for educational supplies. What worth can be placed on a young person leafing through a book and reading or seeing something that will change his or her life? What price can we put on a church having a community library to attract people from the community where the students can find a predictable environment to study, with textbooks and computers? We take for granted all those things, but they are rare in Kenya, and we are making a difference through the centers we have established. This container will only add to the impact we are having.
I am attaching below the fundraising letter I sent to my mailing list last week. I need your help to replenish my finances once this container is off to Kenya. If you have never given to my ministry before, this would be a good time to do so. Please read the letter and then give using Paypal on my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. Thank you and please pray that we receive a favorable quote on the shipment and that it clears customs easily. Thank you and God bless you!