A multi-cultural committee will meet to evaluate each individual product analysis, including Theresa’s. I look forward to meeting with Theresa to talk about the importance of tithing, a financial element she neglected to include in her plan, and to show her how she can and will be profitable by tithing off the first part of her income.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Three practice drives in Uganda and I’m taking the girls to Nakumatt today. I hope they know where they’re going. Katie is keeping me on the left and Karen is giving directions. Becky recommended assigning someone for speed bump patrol too, but I’m out of girls.
I dropped Katie off at school for a clean-up day – only one helper in the car – and made it home all by myself. I’m such a big girl now.
I’m an old pro at driving one particular path. I can get to Village, to Roslyn Academy, and to Jacaranda Creations. Just as I started to feel like I need more variety in the places I drive, off to church we went…highway and lots of road construction. I’ll never complain about Michigan road construction again (for a while). Then…the power steering and brakes went out just as we neared home (thank you, Lord). We made it, but almost took out a few posts and gates along the way. Big trucks are hard to turn and stop without power. Worked up a sweat on that one.
I hauled out my dusty old knowledge of how to jump a car battery and the dusty old jumper cables that went with it. The second car’s battery was dead. Dead beyond revival.
Just as I was wishing for a road map of Kenya like we have in the states, so that we could have a driving/sightseeing adventure, it all came to a screeching halt. Oh well, God probably protected us from something.
Friday, June 24, 2011
The Great Rift Valley is one continuous trench about 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) long. The Rift runs from northern Syria in Asia to central Mozambique in Africa. Once upon a time the earth’s crust weakened and tore apart, which created this jagged rift. The land on both sides erupted with great volcanic mountains and the valley floor sank into a low, flat plain. The Rift neatly divides Kenya down the length of the country essentially separating the East from the West. The Great Rift Valley is home to about 30 active and semi-active volcanoes and numerous hot springs.
While waiting for the girls, Don and Becky drove me just a few minutes outside Nairobi to see the Rift. Unfortunately, the day was pretty cloudy. What little I could see was beautiful. Although the site reminded me a bit of Estes Park, the size of this valley is beyond compare.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
I think the new Jacaranda office is on one of the roads near the school, although I wouldn’t bet my life on it. I met with Brenda today, the servant-leader behind the ministry. She and some other ministry-minded folks have been hoping to start a microloan service to meet the immediate and urgent needs of a few of the many people in Nairobi. Although we realize that most microloans are offered only to businesses that have already proven to be viable, they’re willing to take a few risks with start up businesses as well.
After establishing the goal as being that of teaching loan recipients some financial planning skills, we talked about our need for learning about the successes and failures of other microloan organizations. We hope to connect with experienced lenders to learn what to do and what not to do pertaining to these loans.
Several assignments were made, including assignments for me. I’m charged with reviewing an existing curriculum and concentrating that teaching into a 2 hour workshop. We’ll spend an hour reviewing the principles of business to help equip applicants to develop viable financial plans. We’ll spend the second hour reviewing the plan they develop, refining it, and talking about loan alternatives for those whose plan isn’t viable. I’ll deliver the workshop this week primarily to the initial loan applicants, but the workshop will be open to anyone wishing to apply. Finally, the applications will go to a committee who will decide whether or not to approve the loan based on the feasibility of the plan.
A few of us, including me, will provide ongoing business training to continue to equip loan recipients and applicants to understand principles of financial and business planning. I’m so excited to become part of what God is doing through Jacaranda Creations!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
So many people were disappointed that the film wasn’t shown. Sometimes they think we’re liars and trying to trick them. Please pray that the enemy would be defeated to the glory of God. Amen.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Many of us have heard that change is normal and that we should get used to it. Just about the time we get used to constant change, something changes. Some of us have even choked on a change wheel designed to “help” us through the change process.
For the women of the Nairobi slums, sometimes change doesn’t happen fast enough. When will change come to their living conditions? When will change come to the cost of school fees? When will change come to the sanitation facilities? When will change come to the lack of food on the table? You can help!
1. Take one of the Jacaranda change purses.
2. Fill it to the brim with the biggest change you can find. Ask your coworkers, talk to your neighbors, let your kids take it to school, empty the ash tray in your car, dump the Mason jar, clean under the sofa cushions, dig out the bottom of your purse. No, you don’t have to be able to zip it shut.
3. Give the change (and keep the change purse) to a woman of Jacaranda Creations.
4. Contact me for delivery and pick up.
One change purse to create positive change one woman.
If you’d like some fresh East African coffee, just send me a note and I’ll give you more details.
In the mean time, check out these links for more information about the coffee industry in East Africa.
The house was a generous gift from a Florida family and we stopped there to visit the woman known only as Fred’s mom. Henry, Gabriel and others helped to build this small house for Fred’s mom, who took five grandchildren into her original one-room home after both their parents died.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
“Turn in your Bibles to Ephesians 2:1-10.” Typically the sound of pages fluttering would fill the room. However, silence filled this small church. The group of women meeting at the Konoweka Orphans and Widows Hut are learning about entering God’s presence thanks to a set of Bible study guides donated for their use. Unfortunately, they cannot turn to the Bible verse because most don’t have a Bible where they can meet with and learn about God.
The loving folks at Beaverdam Baptist Church felt led to collect and send Bibles for these ladies and wow did they ever send Bibles. Five huge boxes arrived; each box carefully stuffed with Bibles, bookmarks, and personal notes to the ladies. I just got a message that six more boxes are on their way. What an amazing gift!
I explained to the women that these Bibles appear well-worn. In some of the Bibles the leather was cracked, the pages were written in, or the paper turned yellow. We talked about what the gift of heavily used Bibles really means. People in the United States tend to keep their Bible for a long time. They write in it, pray from it, and sometimes carry it wherever they go. They record their names, births, deaths, and other important events. These books are not just any books. What all this Bible wear means is that the most treasured items were sacrificed just for them. These Bibles had owners, they have histories, they have life.
The women debated over who would get which Bible – some loved the KJV translation, some needed the larger print, others wanted the blue Bible whose specific history was known. They hugged these Bibles to their chests like they were defending a football.
Yea God! Thank you for putting all these people in my life – Konoweka and Beaverdam.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Children scream “mzungu” and come running at me as soon as I turn the corner. Runny noses, dirty paws, coughs and all…I greet these children with hugs and cheers. We walk together – three or four tiny hands in one of each of my own hands – toward the church. Initially the children ran around the dirt-floored structure until they were shooed out by a passing adult.
Last week I began singing children’s Bible songs and we enjoyed a short time of child-like worship together before the ladies arrived. This week, the children came running as usual but instead of running crazy each child sat quietly on the bench in front of the room waiting for me to begin singing.
Eight little voices sang the Hallelujah, Praise Ye the Lord song among many other songs I scarcely recalled from my own childhood. Then, each child sang in their best little voice the song of their own choosing. Such a beautiful part of the Ugandan culture includes music and dance. One small girl had a voice that almost brought me to tears. She sang well enough but that wasn’t it. The Holy Spirit was in that particular voice. Oh my.
Once the ladies began to arrive we rounded the children into a circle and Pastor Jessica and I prayed over them. What a special gift! Dear God, please make every week before Bible study just like this one.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Betty Crocker has been tucked away in a Ziplock for several months now just collecting dust on the lower pantry shelf in the kitchen. Mom sent me two boxes of white cake mix with frosting because Lauren had a hankerin’. Lauren picked up the box while I was away and never made the cake. These boxes called to me…but the dilemma, as always, was how to cook them with only a propane gas stovetop cooker.
Eventually I got around to thinking to myself, self…how different are pancakes from cake-cake really? They can’t be that much different. I wonder if white cake in the shape of pancakes would cook in the pan properly. Hmm, pan-cakes.
I broke open the box and carefully measured the powdery mix out onto a plate-bowl. (That would be 4 cups exactly.) I chose to divide the mix into thirds because three egg whites were required and dividing eggs seemed most challenging. Then I moved 2.66 cups back into the original bag and used a clothespin to seal it from our ant friends. I divided the remaining ingredients into thirds – 1 egg white, 1/3 plus 1/3 of 1/3 cup water, and 1/3 of 1/2 cup oil.
Oil in the pan and cake mix in the pan in small pancake-cookie shapes. The cookies were a bit lighter and fluffier than pancakes but, um…they were soooooo good. Frosting topped the mix although that may come back on me later. The can seemed to have popped open like the individual size can of Pringles on an airplane. So, this frosting may have been open since January. I thought the little brown things were chocolate chips.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Whoops, a car came speeding up behind me. Which side am I supposed to move to? I started to the right then realized the mistake and moved to the left. Yep, swerving all over the road trying to figure out how to get out of the way. Watchers might have thought I’d been sipping on the local brew…until they saw I was mzungu.
I think when you drive a taxi you’re supposed to have passengers. Well, they needed the exercise.
|Closest first: Laura, Mark, Patrick (driver)|
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
The landscape changed from barren, dessert-like cover to occasional green bushes and then to full trees. The view was nothing like a forest, but it was certainly a more densely covered landscape resulting from semi-plentiful water.