Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hello From Nairobi - December 2007

Over here, they say ‘Jambo’

It’s been two weeks and I'm doing fine. So far, I traveled to the northern desert and made sure that they installed the water treatment system for Turbi, a small town near Ethiopia. It sure was sad to hear the story.

In the spring of 2006, the neighboring tribe attacked Turbi, starting at the elementary school. Over 25 kids were killed by machine gun fire, especially the 7th and 8th grade boys. It wasn’t really clear if the boys were trying to defend the school or if they were targeted. The raiders swept into town and killed a total of 75 people before the local townspeople got organized and drove them off. The government rebuilt the school and the new school motto (see photo) is: ‘Endure the Pain to Embrace the Gain’

It was sad to visualize all of the pain and killing. I got choked up as I took the pictures of the school and the kids. I tried to reach out to the kids by spending time with them, flying a kite, etc.

We finished installing the first water-treatment unit, but we’re still waiting on parts for the second unit. I am going to try to find a way to get the unit installed next week. Either way, I plan to travel home starting December 18th.

Thanks so much for your prayers.

God bless you – so that you can be a blessing to others during this Christmas season.


God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.

It's real encouraging to see all the answers to prayers for this project. Here's a few answered prayers:

- The first water-treatment unit was put together when I got to Kenya and the vendor pulled a senior technician off his vacation and sent him and jr. tech to Turbi to install the reverse osmosis unit.

- I rode with the technicians, Guy and Archer. There were three of us in a small Toyota Hilux. All three of us sat in the front seat for the 13 hour drive to Marsabit. It took so long because the small truck was low to the ground and we couldn't go fast over the washboard roads. - plus time to change the flat tire (the jack was in the tool box under the entire load).

- The small truck unsuitable to drive to Turbi so I decided to hire a lorry to haul the supplies and water tanks (see picture)

- God provided a guardian angel through a 'chance' meeting in Marsabit. I was coming out of the local cafe for breakfast and I started talking to one of the local guys. Long story short: he worked for a church-planting ngo and he introduced me to Joseph, the pastor planting an evangelical church in Turbi. Joseph introduced me to the former District Counselor and the Chief (both of whom happened to be in Marsabit). The counselor found a lorry driver, arranged the price and we got loaded.

- I took Joseph and his partner to the Bible Society and offered to buy Joseph several bibles for his church. Joseph and his partner told me that they were on the way to Moyale to graduate 59 pastors. I felt convicted to buy bibles for these new pastors so I asked if they had bibles. 'No'. So I bought bibles (and study guides) for these new pastors and some for Joseph. I really didn't expect anything in return. End of story? "No." Joseph was so touched by my gesture of giving the bibles, that he spent the next four days working with us in Turbi, helping us organize the project. He was a HUGE help.

- The original generator at the site doesn't work. About a month ago, the chief borrowed a trailer-mounted generator, but that didn't work either. The technicians got the trailer-mounted generator working, but the battery didn't work. So, Joseph and I went to the local army/police camp and talked them into 'loaning us a battery'. The army guys adopted us, especially after they found out that we were providing drinking water. So, they came over to our site several times to check our progress and to make sure we didn't need anything. (I bought a good, replacement battery when I got to Marsabit and arranged with the former District Counselor to have it taken to the Turbi well.)

- The water treatment unit was installed and worked well (dropped the TDS from 4050 mg/l to 370). BUT, we were getting ready to close up and a plastic clamp broke on the sand filter. We tried to fix it, but the super glue wouldn't hold and reducing the pressure didn't help. So, we shut it down, locked it up. We will send replacement part when they install the second unit.

- On Sunday morning, we were still in Turbi, no vehicle and we needed to get to Marsabit. God provided another guardian angel. As it turns out, Kenya’s president was in a nearby town on Saturday. On Sunday morning, several vehicles came through Turbi on the way to Marsabit. I pleaded our case with one of the drivers and he agreed to take me, the heavy tool box and one of the tech's from D&S. Wouldn't you know it - they were CID security cops on assignment to protect the president. I couldn't ask for better security.

- As it turns out, we stopped a couple of times on the drive back to Nairobi, but this time, we were helping others: a petrol tanker that lost it's spare tire from the pony trailer - busting the discharge valve and spraying gas everywhere (The technicians offered advice, but the drivers were trying to plug the pipe with clothes and plastic bags. We didn't help with the gas, but we did find the tire and returned it to them). Later we found a Suziki SUV that broke all of it's engine mounts on the road going to Marsabit, within 50 km of Isiolo. - bad, bad road for a little vehicle.

It hasn't been an easy trip and I have enough scars and sunburn to show it, plus 35 hours riding cramped into the front seat with two guys and no a/c, no shocks, and washboard roads.

Our next step is to ship/install the RO unit in Bubisa. Right now, there are still some missing parts. Some of the parts are due to arrive early next week but some of the parts aren’t scheduled until the end of the week and that means I’ll go home without the project finished. Please pray for wisdom, through Christ Jesus.

We serve a great God. Answered prayers have been a HUGE encouragement on this trip. Please keep praying for us.


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