Partners and Friends,
I began the last email by stating that we would get back into a regular pattern of sending out these updates, and I now realize that it has been nearly 4 months since we sent one! We, once again, apologize for the delay. My graduate school courses are providing an abundant source of knowledge and growth, but it has come with tremendous demands. My most recent course was extremely demanding, but I am encouraged that my current one is much more manageable. All that to say, I have found time to write something that isn’t for a class!
2018 has been a great year for us, so far, but is moving along so quickly. It is hard for us to believe that Sophie is nearly finished with second grade, and Ethan will soon move on to 1st grade! This year they have continued to grow in their interests and in developing their personalities. Sophie has a strong sense of compassion and justice, and Ethan is extremely thoughtful, kind-hearted and generous, though they are trying to figure out how to apply these traits to one another on a regular basis! Sophie continues to love learning to play the piano, gymnastics, and reading. Ethan most enjoys soccer, Star Wars, super heroes, and getting as dirty as possible. They both love camping and hiking, but they don’t really have a choice on this one…it is a family requirement.
Jessica and I are both doing well. She continues to thrive in her role at Rosslyn Academy, as well as providing tremendous support and insight into our work. On March 26, we celebrated our 13th Anniversary, and as far as I can tell, we are both still happily married.
We will be coming to the States for a few weeks in June/July for my Masters program, but I will be spending the majority of it on the Eastern University campus in Pennsylvania. I will have a few days with family before class begins, and a few days after, when we are hoping my sister will be visiting so that we can see her and meet our new nephew, Asher (born January 20). Our plan was for me to come for my courses, but to bring the kids for a “bonus” visit with grandparents. However, Jessica’s parents thought this plan was incomplete, so they have offered to bring her home as well! So it looks like Jess and the kids will have a mini-vacation in the US…..while I am slaving away in class. We have gotten used to only coming home every couple of years, but we are so thankful for this small bonus trip so that we can see family.
Aunt Jenn’s Surprise Visit
Jessica’s sister, Jennifer, surprised the kids with a visit during their Spring Break. They were so excited to wake up to find her sitting in the living room.
People to People and Ministry
Northern Kenya Visit
Jamie traveled to Northern Kenya to visit the People to People NK feeding programs, in Lokichoggio and Kakuma Refugee Camp. In Lokichoggio, we were able to distribute over 100 mosquito nets in an effort to prevent malaria contraction among the children. We were also able to share a meal with over 200 people in the community. This feeding program feeds over 100 children every Sunday. They face many challenges in this region, including food insecurity, lack of assess to water, frequent drought, lack of education and diseases, so we hope to be able to increase feeding to at least 2 days per week, and more if possible.
The feeding program in Kakuma Refugee camp happens every Sunday in Locharidome, a poor and arid area just on the outskirts of the camp. The children in Locharidome are mostly abandoned and are extremely vulnerable. They depend on the weekly meals for survival. Of course, one meal a week isn’t enough. We also hope to increase the feedings at this site to at least 2 days per week. This program is operated by an incredible woman named Veridiana, a refugee from the DRC, and her team. They sacrifice their own time and resources to feed, teach, and instruct these children. We are honored to partner with her.
If you are interested in supporting these feeding projects. You can make a contribution here: Ministry Support (choose “Ministry” account in drop down menu)
Hosanna Dairy Project
Hosanna is home to 65 orphaned children, and is one of our partner orphanages that we work with in a variety of ways. They have had a successful dairy project over the last several years that has provided both milk and income to the home. However, their current cows have gotten older and are not producing as much as they used to.
Thanks to the generosity of supporters, we were able to purchase a new heifer recently. She is a holstein breed, and is named “The Sherif.” She is pregnant and should give birth in the next two months. We are hoping for a female birth so that she can be raised as another producer. If a male is born, he will be sold.
Once she starts producing, we have been told to expect anywhere from 25-40 liters of milk per day. Some will be used for consumption for the children, the rest will be sold for profit and for feeding costs. The current rate in this area is 40/- a liter (40cents). This project is going to make the orphanage a decent income, as well as save a lot of money since milk will be provided.
Creation Care Conference
In February Jamie attended a Care of Creation Conference with our partner from Tana River, Bocha. This conference provided education and training in conservation agricultural practices. These practices will help Bocha sustain the agricultural projects in the villages in Tana River, maximize crop yields, while conserving water and healing and restoring the soil. We are excited to see the positive effects of these practices. My hope is to send more of our partners (that are interested) to these conferences in the future.
Jamie has had several opportunities to speak recently. These included Calvary Worship Center, St. Julian’s Centre, Locharidome IPHC, and Rosslyn Academy Elementary’s Spiritual Emphasis Week.
May is going to be a busy month for us. We will be visiting all of our partner People to People programs to get updates on the 171 sponsored children in Kenya. Jamie will also be traveling to Tana River County to visit the three village well/farm projects that have been started, to initiate a small micro-finance program for some community members, and to spend time with our partners there.
- That we would love God and others as He loves us, and that we will be faithful in all the areas that He is calling us.
- For continued direction and wisdom in our work.
- For our marriage to grow stronger every day.
- For Sophie and Ethan…that they will feel a meaningful connection to our ministry and that they both will grow to love and follow Jesus.
- For the Nation of Kenya, and the individuals, ministries, and churches we support.
- For our extended families as they live life without us and the kids.
- For good health, safety and protection.