Feed The Hungry is sponsoring a feeding program for children and helping the community to build a school for those children of the area. Currently the school meets in three “classrooms” that are made from dried bush stems – but FTH is helping them to build a nice four room school house with a teacher’s quarters. The foundation is laid, and the sand and gravel have been secured with a few new bricks to continue the work.
We were met by the community, dancing and singing! It was eye-opening to be in Turkana for the first time, and see the people we are ministering to frequently. (Bishop Javan the distribution contact for Northwestern Kenya for Feed the Hungry. The vision of FTH is to feed the body, soul, and spirit. But they feel the best way to witness in these situations is through nationals. Where I come in is that we are offering training in Ematsayi Mission for people called to full time ministry, and we are looking to train people from this area to be a witness and start churches in these villages.)
We took a lot of pictures, and I spoke to many young people individually with the help of my lousy Kiswahili and a young man who did understand my English just a bit. One young man spoke to me and said that he felt God was calling him to start a work in the area, and wanted to know if he could apply to attend our Bible School. I took his contact, and will try to work with him.
Something I learned today – hunger is real. I spoke with the chairman of the school in Edo who tells that he and his family often go for a few days with no food. If after a few days they can find nothing, they may “bleed” a goat for blood to drink, and upon occasion will roast goat meat to eat. Since goats are their livelihood, they have to be very hungry to kill a goat. For the most part, they will gather small fruits that they will boil and eat – I tasted two of them while I was there – the one was very small…even smaller than a blueberry, and had a pit in the center. The other was about the size of a blueberry, but the outer shell had to come off, and then it could be cooked to eat. Both were quite bitter – although the first one was a bit sweet. How people could sustain on these fruits is amazing to me…certainly there is hunger in this place!
The Chairman of the school too us to his home, where we saw his bedroom, living room, kitchen, store and corral where the goats are kept at night. I was told that the goats can be eaten by both Hyena’s or by leopards that come from the hills. (Is it bad that I thought it would be cool to see a leopard or hyena?) Each “room” of the dwelling is a separate “building.” I was a bit confused – I thought one of the rooms was the bedroom as there were mats on the floor – but turns out the bedrooms had no mats, they just sleep in the dust…the mats were places where they can sit in their sitting room – and where they eat their meals.
The conditions these people live in are so primitive…they are truly hungry, truly in need, and truly ready to receive the good news of Jesus Christ! I did have one young man come to me after we distributed food asking if he could somehow join our Bible school. By faith, I told him if he could get to Kakamega, I would make sure he was taken care of. Thank you so much for helping us be a witness to these people! In this area, only 1% of the population is evangelical – and probably most of them are in town, not in the bush. To be a witness in the bush, in the small villages will make such a great impact! Together we really DO make the difference.