Judi & Terry’s News from Kenya – January 2020
Things to Celebrate:
It’s now almost eighteen years since we were led by God to Kosele, to visit and care for widows and orphans … a work that began in half a dozen very small, very simple buildings with no electricity and no water, and which provided a home for seventeen 5 to 6 yr old orphans and a nursery class for them and an additional 15 day scholars. In those eighteen years, God has been faithful and provided the finances and the people who have helped us to build a primary school and a high school for the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people in our area. This year the High School achieved its best results ever, placing the school in position one amongst the eleven in our zone and number 3 out of 43 High Schools in our district, ahead of many long established government schools and many fee paying private academies. It was a great way to finish 2019 and a huge encouragement to all of our teachers and students.
Oh happy day! Alphonce, 18 years after joining us as a 2yr old, making his own decision to follow Jesus!
The culture and the experience of young people in Kosele today is very different to what it was eighteen years ago. People’s homes are still very basic with no running water and no sanitation. Most families still experience very real poverty, subsistence farmers are struggling to overcome the challenges of very real climate change, families are dependent on income from very poorly paid casual labour or irregular payments sent by relatives working in the cities (most of them also dependent upon informal work.) Many of the older members of the community mix their traditional ancestral beliefs with either very legalistic Christian beliefs or with Christian cults who practice the belief that anyone can call himself a holy man or prophet and he or she can identify the person/s responsible for death or other misfortunes within your family and put a curse upon them … for a price. The young people, reaching a level of education that now exceeds the level of education of their parents or guardians, find it easy to dismiss Christianity based on what they have seen and heard at home and in their communities. At the same time they are being massively impacted by social media (very few can afford their own phone but most can afford to buy a sim card and a little credit and find a friend who will allow them to use theirs.) They now find themselves in a relatively new youth culture where they are encouraged, just as much as young people are anywhere, to desire the things that their parents cannot afford to provide and to be tempted to experiment with the YOLO (You Only Live Once) lifestyle.
2019 Form 4's in serious study ahead of their KCSE exam
Right now we still have the freedom in both schools, to very openly share our faith and to take lots of opportunities to share a Biblical world view in many different contexts. Some of the young people who have come through our home and/or through our schools have made their decisions and come to faith in Christ. Others have been more resistant, less willing to trust anyone and more easily tempted by their unbelieving peers and/or exploited by older people in the community. In addition to the eternal consequences of rejecting God and his ways is witnessing the heartbreaking consequences of so many young teenage pregnancies and history repeating itself with small children growing up without both or even one of their parents (it is also becoming common for young girls to disappear into the bigger towns and cities and abandon the child to their elderly parent or grandparent.) Consequently, we see history repeating itself as another generation grows up father-less or even knowing no parent. This year we hope to be able to equip and strengthen more of our young disciples to be the vessels that will be able to reach their peers through good relationships and strong friendships. As Hope & Kindness family we also need every one of us to become more serious about our commitment to individual and corporate prayer to break what feels like a curse on this community and ask God again … to begin with us, to give us His heart for one another and for our wider community and for His Holy Spirit to move and do the same in the homes and families around us.
(1 Co_13:1-2) Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
Kosele is a very rural location but it has a LOT of NOISE … we don’t want to become just an additional NOISE!
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Judi and Terry