Update 3 about Kenyan and Ugandan Child Missions under Covid19.

A month ago I reported that the plan was for schools to open on a limited basis on June 2nd.  Not only did that not happen but a new plan has not been established.  Schools, both government and private have been ordered to continue to pay teachers.  I would expect many private schools to fail and close.  Promise Primary, being sponsored by Mission Servants Ministry has been able to pay the teachers and use the store of maize grain that was intended for Term I for needy families and teachers in the area.

The economy however is hit hard in Africa and the poor are struggling in a big way.  There is no ability to work during shut down and no government assistance.  People are without food and in trouble.  The good news remains that the number of reported cases of COVID19 and deaths are not high in Kenya and very low in Uganda.  Uganda still claims zero deaths.  Of course we can’t plan our usual July/August trip to visit the homes due to the pandemic.  Our prayers are for a January trip to be possible.

The kids that are stationed with extended family during shut down are visited and needs addressed.

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Usually food is left with them.  Roughly 15 kids are staying at the CRM home since it is safest for them, many of them enjoy learning craft skills while on shut down….

We did take advantage of most of the kids being away to upgrade the cooking stoves.  The old stoves were cracked, had broken parts, hot, inefficient with wood, smoked a lot, and were too large.  We replaced them with 4 smaller units with precision fitting pots and an outside grill.

Look for another update in July.  Thank you for your continued support and prayers.

 

Community Bridge Project in Kenya. Finished just in time!

A project alliance between the Lyavo community leaders, Lyavo Bible Church, Bridgeway Hope Academy, and Mission Servants Ministry began in January and a bridge was conceived, designed, and built in time for the new flooding this April.  A meeting was held during the January Mission Trip 29 and the idea to love the community with a bridge project was met with great enthusiasm.  MSM previously sponsored two other bridges for this community.

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It has been a very wet year in Western Kenya going back to mid 2019.  Flooding continues to be a problem even recently.  Last year, the heaviest used of 3 bridges that allowed people, bicycles and motorbikes to cross a small flooding prone river to get to the school and church, washed away.  MSM built the other two above the high flood mark 1/2 and 1 km away from this one.  This bridge was a simple log bridge set on the dirt banks of the river. 

The design plan for this bridge was to have the span surface be at least 1 foot above the previous high water mark, massive concrete footers at each end, a mid stream support, long approach ramps that extend past the mud, and use materials that prevent decay for a long lasting solution.  The implementation plan was for all labor to be provided by the local community and church and the funds for materials by MSM.  Construction expertise was provided by Pastor Ken of the church, a concrete builder by trade.  It was completed in 3 months…an incredible job and great example of Community/Ministry Partnership.  A bridge, literally and figuratively.

What follows is a series of photos in sequence on how this bridge was built.  The cost to MSM to help make this important community loving project happen was less than $2,000.  Praise Jesus.  Thank you all for your support and prayers.

86831386_227002621803103_4161506263928143872_oHIKX647286731941_227002311803134_3601884476369534976_oBICZ9977SLHX7536IPHC1856WhatsApp Image 2020-03-07 at 3.14.18 AMWhatsApp Image 2020-03-07 at 3.15.20 AMWhatsApp Image 2020-03-07 at 3.15.57 AMGCNS8495WhatsApp Image 2020-03-18 at 9.07.47 AMWhatsApp Image 2020-03-18 at 9.08.49 AMWhatsApp Image 2020-03-18 at 9.09.29 AMWhatsApp Image 2020-03-27 at 5.35.34 AMWhatsApp Image 2020-04-29 at 2.14.51 PM

Update about Kenyan and Ugandan Child Missions under Covid19 Threat.

Nearly every corner of the world changed dramatically in early 2020 with the rapid spread of Covid19.  Most countries have responded with travel restrictions, shut downs, and quarantines.  East Africa did as well.  The regions around the children missions funded by MSM are a world of centralized (roadside and trading center) commerce, public transportation, no freezers or refrigeration, often barter commerce, large schools, few government support/welfare programs, and very very few hospitals and medical facilities.

Where many of us enjoy personal vehicles, ability to work at home, on-line schooling, Amazon delivery, government assistance (stimulus checks, unemployment, SBA loans, etc.) and food pick-up options.  People in rural areas of Africa are experiencing food shortages and high prices and lack of work and commerce.

Here are specific updates on the children that are MSM sponsored, funded, educated, and cared for at Child Redeemed Mission Home, Promise Primary School, Rock View Primary School, Lord’s Servants Home, and Bridgeway Hope Academy.  Following government rules:

  • The schools have been closed beginning in the end of March which includes PP, RVPS, BHA and all High Schools the kids attend.
  • Teachers salaries have been reduced but supported as much as possible.
  • The churches at LSH and CRM have suspended worship.
  • The children at LSH have all been able to be placed in homes of extended families.
  • All but 12 of high risk children at CRM have been placed in homes of extended families.
  • Shut down and shut in rules will remain in effect until at least May 5 when updates are expected.  Schools have tentative plans to reopen in June.

This situation is a serious cause for struggling in an already day to day existence for most people.  I have simplified things quite a bit and our prayers are needed.  I do find it interesting to think that we are all in the same STORM.  However, we are not all in the same boat.  May God have mercy on those of us affected most harshly.

On the positive side, several projects that were funded and begun in February have able to be completed or nearly so.  Updates on these to follow.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.  Here are a group of the 12 from CRM and a song they made up during quarantine to praise Jesus.

 

Trip 30 to Uganda

9 of the 10 of us (Aaron left two days ago) and our 36 bags with over 1,000 pounds of tools, medicine, clothes, soccer cleats, Bibles, Jesus Film projector, audio Bibles, and other supplies, started out at Charlotte Airport at 4:00 am this morning.

The first crisis of the trip was a failed zipper on our largest duffel bag. A number of not great options rolled through my mind. No problem….we have Chandler, an Eagle Scout with spare paracord and pocket knife in his bag to check. The duffle was made of ripstop fabric so we stitched it closed. Hope the security check is OK with it.

We are excited to see the kids and the community and be inside God’s plan for this trip. Thank you for your prayers.