Partners and Friends,
We pray that this update finds you well. Like most people these days, we are continuing to push forward, taking things a day at a time. We have entered into a slightly new season. Sophie has returned to in-person school. The Kenyan government allowed transition years to return to school, due to the National exam schedule, so Rosslyn took this opportunity to allow Grade 5 to return. She is excited to return to school and to see friends, but she is not excited about wearing a mask all day and having to stay in her desk most of the day. Ethan, of course, is disappointed. We have developed some good routines while doing on-line school from home, so he is disappointed at the prospect of being home alone for the next 6-weeks. Truthfully, we don’t know how long this will last. The Covid cases in Kenya had remained quite low, with a very low death rate, and as of August it felt as if the pandemic was nearly neutralized. However, with the loosening of restrictions, we are seeing cases reach the highest levels yet in recent weeks, and the rate of infection among tests has been going up significantly. Due to this, Kenyan schools haven’t returned in full to in-person learning as planned, and there is a good possibility the government will reinstate containment measures this week. We are waiting to see what the President will announce. We keep telling the kids….we take it a day at a time and hold it all loosely.
Overall, we are well. We were able to take a trip to the Abedares over Mashujaa Day weekend (National Kenyan Holiday celebrating national heroes). The Abedares are a highland mountain range in Central Kenya that can trick you into thinking you are in the Appalachians….(if you don’t look at the vegetation too closely). It was good for us to sit by (and play in) an ice cold river (yes, even in Kenya) and enjoy the view of rolling hills covered with tea fields. The weather was quite cold and rainy, but nothing a nice fire couldn’t help.
Recent Family Happenings
Projects and Ministry Updates
Christmas Project 2020
We are currently in the process of planning for this year’s Christmas Project. If you would like to read more about it, you can do so here: https://dunningsinkenya.com/2020/10/27/christmas-is-coming-6/
Covid Relief Distribution in Oloitokitok
Last month we were able to deliver relief food to 18 different churches in the Oloitokitok area. These communities, like many in Kenya, have been hit hard by the negative economic impacts of the pandemic. Ethan was able to join me (Jamie) on the trip, so on the way home we stopped off at Kimana Sanctuary to camp for the night. We were surprised with beautiful views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and many amazing animal encounters. Working and traveling around Kenya never disappoints.
Nakuru CMD Visit
A recent visit to Nakuru CMD was bittersweet. Tragedy stuck at Nakuru CMD last month, as a fire burned down the girls dorm. Fortunately, all of the children were in church, so no one was harmed. At this point, the cause of the fire is unknown. The girls are moving into one of the school classrooms, and we are working on making renovations so that it is a more suitable dormitory. We have a plan to replace many of the lost items as a part of this year’s Christmas project. You can read more about that project below.
Though we were sad to lose the dorm, it was good to see our recent window renovation project for the classroom building. I was also able to spend some time speaking to the children.
Hosanna Dairy Project Update
The Dairy Project at Hosanna is thriving!
Chickens and Water at St. Joyuna
Speaking of income generating projects that are thriving….the chicken project and the water kiosk at St. Joyuna are doing extremely well. We were able to provide the first round of 200 broilers, feed, and needed items to the school. The second round of 200 chicks were purchased through a micro-finance loan that we were able to offer. It takes 6 weeks for the chicks to mature and to be ready for market, so they are now able to sell 200 (at 320/-, $3.00 each) every 3 weeks! This income provides for the many needs of the school and the church. The water kiosk is also continuing to generate income while meeting the needs of the community. Due to Covid restrictions, the school is currently only allowed to have Class 4 and Class 8 in person, but they are hoping that the full school will resume in January.
Days for Girls Red Line Campaign
Our partner, Alice, hosted the Days for Girls Red Line Campaign in Nakuru last week. It was an incredible event that highlighted the great work of the enterprise: providing reusable sanitary pads to school girls, education on menstrual health and sexual reproduction, Covid response, and empowerment through employing a team of seamstresses. Jamie was proud to attend the event and speak, and it has been our honor to partner with this enterprise since it was a dream in Alice’s heart.
We continue to look for opportunities to invest in the lives of individuals and partners by investing in economic opportunities through micro-loans. We are excited to have offered several loans in the last few months, and we are encouraged by the small businesses that have been started: chicken project, cosmetics shop, produce stand, and sewing project. Covid-19 has hit small businesses especially hard, so be in prayer that these individuals will have wisdom in how they manage these businesses.
Elevated Latrine Project in Tana River
On my last visit to Tana River the elders of one of the communities we parter with expressed a huge need for elevated pit latrines for community use. The community doesn’t have access to many toilets, and the ones that do exist often overflow during rainy season flooding. So the elevated latrines were a major need. The elders, along with our partner and local missionary to the community, Lucy, made a plan for the location of elevated latrines throughout the community. In the last month, we have been able to have the first two constructed. As funds become available, we will build more.
- For a solution to Covid-19 and for Kenyan (and US/World) leadership to have wisdom to know how to move forward.
- That we would love God and others as He loves us, and that we will be faithful in all the areas that we are being called.
- 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, communities and churches that we have partnerships with.
- For our extended families as they live life without having us and the kids nearby.
- For good health, safety and protection.
Can we pray for you? Please send us your requests at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We love and appreciate you all! Your support, prayers, and encouragement mean everything to us. Thank you for partnering with us.
Grace and Peace,
Jamie, Jessica, Sophie and Ethan