Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Students at the Reading Center

The Dream Has Come True!

Starting in February 2010, Medical Camps were held in the Library. The space was transformed from a place to read books to a place to receive dental, eye and medical care, to receive reading and prescription glasses, to be tested for HIV/Aids, glucose, and malaria, and to receive prescribed medications.  

In March, 2014,  Lynn traveled by herself to Kenya, and she found how the Reading Centre is being used when we AREN'T there having a Medical Camp taking over the Reading Centre. The pictures below show students from a nearby school, brought by their teacher to do homework and study. The students  were there for over an hour and never made a sound! They were taking their studies seriously and it was awesome to see!

Different classes come on different days and times.  When Lynn spoke to one of the teachers he told her how wonderful a resource this place is for the community. 

What a rare and exciting treat to see the students in the Amani Reading Centre!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

July 2015: Hello From Africa

Saturday, July 25:   We are home safe and sound!

Here are some pictures from our days at Dago the last 3 days before leaving for Masai Mara and home:
Dago! Eating our meals outside was wonderful.
At the Dago Dala Hera Children's Centre (orphanage) taking a turn stirring the food cooking for the girls on an open fire.

Serving lunch to the girls.
The kids checking out the white skin!

Home visit in Dago village. This man and his wife lived in a tiny mud hut...and their main problem was that they were so hungry.
We went to the village market and bought dry fish, beans, lentils, rice, onion, and tomatoes for 4 families.
...and carried the food back to their homes.
Patrick's mom, Pamela (on the right), led the way.
We quickly learned how to get fresh water for washing.  
Checking in people to be tested for reading glasses.
Interviewing girls at the orphanage for potential sponsors.

Taking pictures of children in the pre school for potential sponsors.
Sometimes a child becomes attached to one of us. The feeling was mutual!
The beach balls we brought were a big hit. Lots of laughing that broke down barriers. Suddenly we were teammates!

We left Nairobi night.  We were in the airport when President Obama arrived, and watched Air Force One roll by the terminal.  It was fun being there with the Kenyan people who were watching the historic event, as the first sitting president arrived in their country.

All are home safely, and another Kenya mission trip has been completed.  Another wonderful team did so much, side by side with our Kenya partners.  God is so good.

Thank you again for your donations and your prayers! Love you all!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July 2014 Trip: A Letter of Gratitude

Dear Aldersgate Members and Friends,

Jambo!  Your 2014 Kenya Mission Team arrived back in the states safely last week, and we are healthy, happy and grateful.
The first thing I want to do on behalf of the team, as well as the Kenyans we worked with and served, is to thank you so much for your support and prayers before and during the trip. Thank you for your generosity both financially and by giving many things for us to take with us to Kenya.

It wouldn't be possible to hold the yearly medical camps without money to purchase meds and equipment, pay small stipends to our helpers, pay for our dentist's services and dental equipment rental, pay for the eye testing equipment rental.

You made it possible for us to give out reading glasses, prescription glasses, vitamins, anti inflammatories, antibiotics, school supplies, pens and pencils, stickers, fabric bags, shirts, antacids and eyedrops, along with many meds that were purchased in Kenya.  

You made it possible for us to give hand written notes to people who came to the Medical Camp, and also to those in Riakong'a Church who had recently lost loved ones,  

You made it possible for one young man who came to us shaking in pain, with tears in his eyes saying "I don't know what's the matter"  to leave 15 minutes later pain free.  His infected tooth had been extracted and he was given antibiotics.  

You made it possible for a man to come holding a torn off piece of paper with writing on it to exclaim excitedly "yesterday I could not see; today I can read!"  And he proceeded to read for us the words on the scrap of paper.

The stories are endless. 

An email came from Peter's brother Clement today. Clement planned and helped oversee the Medical Camp.   "Greeting to all and may God bless you. We are proud of you."

Finally, I would like to share what I wrote on Facebook last week:

As this year's Kenya mission trip draws to a close, I want to take a minute to express my deep gratitude to all those who have made our Kenyan partnership possible during the past 10 years! First of all, of course Peter Mageto and his family who were in Evansville for 3 years, and impacted so many of us.. Peter shared his dream of having a library in his village where he never had a book; 4 Signature School students took that dream and made it become a reality: Sarah Moore, David Moore, Catherine Forston, Elizabeth Korb Bareman. Thank you for beginning the story! 

Thanks to the wonderful people of Aldersgate United Methodist Church who kept the story alive with financial support, with time, service and donations of items that we took with us.

Thanks to those who traveled to Kenya over the past 8 years to help with the Amani Reading Centre and with the Medical Camps: Catherine Forston, David Forston, Jacque Hardin, Karin Heinicke, Sarah Leider, Alex McCool, Ken Montgomery, Katrina Drew, Pat Miller, Amanda Michel, Fran Vix, Carol Watson, Georgia Anderson, Joyce Eskridge, Karen Eskridge, R Michelle Galen Cabrera, Renee Galen, Allison Jacobs, Amy Wogen, Lee Shepherd, Elizabeth Korb Bareman, Collyn Graves Capp, Stephanie Riebe, Wendy Fodstad, Vicki Lynn Brewer, Connor Costello, Cheryl Gearhart, Erin Gearhart, Bryan Lynch, Jake Miller, Bethanne Martin Nazareth, Megan Whitt, Amy Covington, Chris Miles, Claire Elise Miles, Laura Reid, Lynda Reid, Valarie Call Thompson, Alyssa Brandenstein, Mike Shelton, Annie Roberts, Nancy Woodruff,Wendi Slentz, Susan and Len Eastwood, Sarah Eastwood, Tom and Janet Smith, Bill and Chat Coble.

Thanks to our Kenyan friends who have served with us - Peter Mageto, Clement Maiko, Ronald Baba ArisaMonubi Aunda,Jevason Okeri, Irene KemuntoTiberius Mwenesi, Nancy Maiko,Mrp Paul, Isaiah Oduor, George Odoyo, Duncan and Pamela Odoyo, Edwin Odoyo, Edwin OyugiRael AundaArisa Micah, Augustus, Evans, Francis, Big Moses, Phillip, Ben Ben, Muteti, Nemuel, Augustus, Clifford, Judson, and so many more. Thanks to Patrick and Susan Odoyo for connecting us to Dago. Thanks to Diane Hamrick for helping me along the way.

 You all and the roles you played will never be forgotten.

And so, dear Aldersgate members and friends: Grace and peace to all. Thank you for being a blessing to those in a little corner of the world - one which has been given to us as a gift to care for and encourage.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

July 2014 Trip: Team Members

Our Team!

Alyssa Brandenstein, (Indiana)  Lynn Renne, (Indiana)   Annie Roberts (Indiana) , Mike Shelton (Virginia), Wendy Slentz (North Carolina), Nancy Woodruff (Idaho)

Monday, June 9, 2014

June 2014: Mercy Center Kenya Update

Dear Donors to the Mercy Centre - Kenya project:

Thank you for your support and prayers for the Mercy Centre.  I am excited to share pictures from Lynn's trip to Kenya in March 2014.  Lynn spent time at the Mercy Centre with Alice and her students as well as Julius, the contractor overseeing the improvements at the preschool.  

Below are pictures that Lynn took while at Mercy Centre to show the buildings and grounds prior to the projects starting.  They help to understand the condition of the facilities prior to improvements being made.  Julius is making the bricks by hand from the soil in Kenya that will be used for the perimeter wall and preschool walls to protect the students and facilities.  Construction on the roof, walls and flooring were scheduled to start during the recent school break so that the students would not be attending school in a construction zone.  

I have been overwhelmed with the generosity and support for these projects. Here is the good news: $6226 has been raised toward the $7901 needed. This leaves us with  just $1675 left to reach the goal! Please feel free to forward this email to people who might be interested in this project.   

I know that Alice and the children at the Mercy Centre are grateful and excited to have a safe and healthy environment in which to learn.

Laura Reid

'Before' pictures:

Julius, construction manager, talking about the project with Alice Kamau, head of Mercy Center pre-school.

The roof will be re-configured so that rain water will drain toward the property on the left, and into their water collection tanks. This will provide rainwater for drinking, cooking beans, and washing.

Here are the steps for making bricks: 

Brick making machine.

Julius and one of the bricks he made.

We will have more updates to share from our visits next month! The Mercy Centre children and Alice thank you!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July 2013 Trip: Medical Camp

Jambo from Kenya!
It is Friday already!  We are all still very happy and healthy! Lots of Kenyan and American laughter, hugs, handshakes. We have seen over 300 people in an organized, stress-free manner thanks to
Clement, Peter's brother, who is here overseeing everything!  Someone from Riakong'a Church has taken this role each year.

The team is amazing- everyone has learned the different stations, so there is lots of moving around to experience each area.
The people love our attempts to speak Kisii, the local language! We can now say "Biorore" and "Biomono" as "How are you" and "Fine"
Amy wants to tell you she has conquered some fears, Chwe all have learned a lot, Valarie says to tell you she's no longer "Monica", that she misses you but that this is a really rewarding experience 

From Kenya -
Mungu Awabariki  -  God bless all of you! Thank you for all you have done to make this possible through donations and continuing prayers!
Giving gifts sponsored children to Willy Tanui, head of Nakuru office of Childcare Worldwide. 
Our Kenyan-American team just before the Medical Camp opened. Riakong's Methodist (the church Peter Mageto started in the village when he was a young man) and Aldersgate are partnering in this mission.
Claire loving on the children.
Lynda giving out reading glasses.
Laura giving physical therapy exercises.
Valarie testing for prescription glasses and...
...checking people in.
Amy counting pills.
Jevason from Riakong's Church looking at the Gideon Bibles donated by Aldersgate members. He said, "This is wonderful. God bless you so much."
This pasted waited a year to receive this new NIV Study Bible given by an Aldersgate member. He is so grateful!
Lynn checking in on Lucy, her brother, and mother.
Chris, our pharmacist, filling prescriptions.
We all love being with these people! Look at the side of the chair - it says "Aldersgate." The Aldersgate Endowment Fund allowed all the tables and chairs to be built.
Peter's brother, Clement, in charge!
Native dancing was entertainment at the Borabu Thursday night - several on our team danced with them!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 2013 Trip: Nakuru Pre-School


Jambo from Kenya!

We have been here 4 days now, and are all healthy and happy.  We arrived in Nairobi night, and despite coming in on several airlines with unusual connections,  all our luggage arrived with us! We each had 2 huge bags filled with donations of medical and educational supplies, gifts and our own clothes. morning we went to a wonderful church service at Lavington United, a large church where Peter is now lead pastor, and then went to the Mageto's home for a meal before going to Nakuru. 

We came here to Peter's home village Tuesday, where we are now holding our second day of Medical Camp.  We have a wonderful team, all working together beautifully.
The Kenyans are so very grateful for this medical camp - the medicine, eyeglasses, love shown -
and in turn we are receiving so much from the strength, hospitality and kindness  of these Kenyans...some of the poorest of the poor.
Hopefully we can download more pictures tomorrow!

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!

Mercy Pre-School in Nakuru:

Laura showing children their picture.
Chris befriended Audea, a little girl paralyzed from the waist down since birth.

Claire showing a card made by a student at Dexter Elementary in Evansville.