Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Business Trip to Kenya Day 2

Our day started with a fabulous breakfast of boiled eggs, toast with peanut butter, and tomatoes! And of course I had my delicious Java House espresso already brewing with 2 cups before breakfast. So even though we didn’t sleep that well the night before the coffee and eggs made up for it. 

After Breakfast we sorted shoes for our home visits, for the boys at Haven and for the girls home Joy Blessed. Whew!  With that done and some time before lunch I wanted to visit Naomi Albert, the boys tutor at Haven before they were all enrolled in the private school they are currently attending. It is a great school but because of the hours and boys getting home around 6pm Naomi was no longer needed. She started her own business selling arrow root which I love sliced thin and fried like chips. She lives about a 15-20 minute walk from Haven down the left side of the valley. After several ups and downs we made it to her house, but she wasn’t home. We were able to speak to her brother and get her a message that we had come for a visit and we wanted to buy some arrow roots from her. When we got back I also sent her a message on Facebook to let her know. She faithfully responded and planned to come see us the next day.

Then we prepared for our visits to Rose, the lady whose shop is directly across from Haven on the Hill. She had faithfully sewn the girls’ uniforms for us each year at $7 each. She makes each one of these dresses by the measurements she takes from the girls. Then the machine she uses is foot powered, meaning she has to press her foot repeatedly to make each individual stitch. Why you ask? Well she doesn’t have electricity at her shop, and even if she did the electricity is dirty and is known to go out for an average of 4 hours a day at random times. On the plus side there is a lot less error in a machine that only does one basic stitch.

On the way to Haven yesterday, Elizabeth and I had started the conversation about the quality of the jumpers/sweaters we were getting each year. Because they were hand done and single loom they would snag easily and then unravel. For the price and the amount of labor that went into them the Henry Mutega shop we bought the shirts and shorts at, let me see the 3 different qualities of jumpers/sweaters. Then because I really didn’t want to promise our business there, she kept dropping the price to get our business. Being quiet paid off; she gave me an amazing price of 500Ksh or $5 each!!! This is $2 less than what we had been paying for a less quality sweater. So I bought one as a sample to see if we could get the same price and quality from the lady in the village who has made them for us in the past. We want to be able to bless several local businesses with business to spread the wealth around. So later that day after we visited Rose and she agreed to make the dresses and get measurements, we left and head to see Fidelis, the lady who makes the jumpers. I showed her the jumper and the receipt for the price the shop in town was going to give us and I still wanted to give Fidelis business so I had decided to let her make the girls’ jumpers even if we couldn’t get the same price if we could get the same quality, because I didn’t want the girls to have a lesser quality sweater. Well after some talking back and forth with Beatrice helping me explain the deal we were given in town for the boys’ sweaters, she agreed to give us the same price and kept the sweater to match the color and quality for the girls. Whew! God worked that out for us. So we left Fidelis’s and headed back to Haven where we were greeted on our way by many of the little school children we’ve come to know and love from Nduchi! Many of them had on their backpacks we gave them last year and several had on the new school uniforms. The uniforms were still in good shape, but many of the jumpers had snags. This made my heart sad and happy at the same time that we just negotiated for a better quality sweaters for the new school. Next year, God willing, I would like to bless the kids at Nduchi with a better quality jumper. Anyone want to just go all in and give $1,500? This would cover the cost of new jumper/sweaters for the children at Nduchi. Well, I’m throwing it out there, because if you don’t ask you can’t receive and our God is able to give more than we could even imagine. 

With day 2 of business completed we made it back to Haven to discuss plans for Saturday to visit the girls’ home Joy Blessed with Elizabeth, who worked as our coordinator for the trips and went as our communicator. The boys arrived a little afterward to play and hang out with us until dinner. That night we were blessed beyond our imaginations with the boys and Haven singing and dancing their hearts out to our Savior Jesus Christ. This worship experience is better than any revival you’ve ever been to. The praises from the children are genuine. It’s a completely different feeling than Sunday morning worship because this was unscheduled and just a time to praise and thank God for all He had done. It was what worship is truly about: I’m coming back to the heart of worship where it is all about you Jesus.

When I’m on the mountain in Kenya, it is a mountain top experience and I feel closer to God even though He never leaves me. I invited Him in to be my Savior many years ago. But, I’m the one with the busy life, so busy sometimes that I forget to praise Him when I wake up and I may go several hours without praying to Him and thanking Him for something. Yes, I always have my Jesus Jams on in the morning and get this praise time in, but I wonder if this is more of a habit than an act of conscience praise. If this continues I can let being busy replace my prayers and worship, so it becomes me that has stepped away. I always wonder how this happens, how we let our lives and the things get in the way of the personal time with our Savior. So right now let’s praise and thank Him for this day, for His unfailing love, and His Mercy, because He is always there with His arms open wide ready to begin again.


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