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An Incredible Report From West Pokot
Last month we found out about 634 families who were starving to death in the northwest regions of Kenya, which is far beyond any government services or NGO outreach. Through your generosity in prayer within two weeks we received almost $50,000 to share with them in this outreach to bring water, food, and a medical team into that region. Below is the report I received from them and pictures (below) to accompany it. It is a whale of a read! It touched me very deeply, not only by what God did there, but by what God did here to bring the resources together to help them. The challenges are great there, but the money we sent allowed some incredible volunteers to go up into that region and serve these people from a very primitive culture, not just to relieve their suffering, but help carve out a better future for them. Enjoy this! It's incredibly powerful and a wonderful insight into a very small corner of the world.
I.G.E.M, Living Loved mission camping in Northern parts of Kenya
April 14-23, 2014
We started our journey with, the convoy of vehicles, which was supported by the Kenyans volunteers. After hearing that the brothers and sisters from oversees have stretched dearly their hands towards the Kenyan families who were in need. These alerted them make them attention for what is taking place in Northern parts. We didn’t expect to be accompanied with huge number of volunteers but we didn’t expect to serve more than 12000 people.
We budgeted for 614 families and other more 231 were added walking from far different places, some of them reach in the night and some came when sick. These added to our budget and because of this we extended more days due to huge number of people.
Our doctors and nurses work tirelessly for seven days without resting; this are amazing grace. Other volunteers team were transporting maize to the villages using the bicycles. Our hiring truck for transporting food went ahead of us two days before we reach, leaded by brother Emmanuel Loriono and Brother Michael Wamukota, escorted by local security and we met when the local arrangement has been done, so it eased our work to serve them.
We depart on 14th at 03:00 a.m and we arrived on 15th in the morning, immediately we started the work for the first village and we took three days. Second we started at night and we took more three days and we went to another village again and took two days where we met other added families, in these last villages we served more and unexpected numbers of people,.
In the first trip, the road was bad and we decided to walk 15 km down the steep slope, after we reached their the local government received us in a high note. They said that it is God who visited them because no one who has done these things for them especially in this remote and interior place. No NGOs who has penetrated in these areas. We got the people camped already because they saw food before we arrived, they jumped singing and rejoicing , interpretation of their language, they sing that we have you God through your people for visiting our village. The old people were remaining in the village due to no strength and affected by hunger, we decided to send our volunteers team taking the food to the villages as you may seen in the pictures, the treatment were taking place, even during the night people are still coming. And even old people our nurses visited them in their village for treatment.
About the water we were told and we saw there is one NGO sponsored by drill water for more than 40 km from the place we were, the women can walk for that km to fetch water. We were also told, since the sun is hot in the region the women walked as a team as from 07:00p.m and return to the village 09:00 a.m in the morning, it means that two and fro they walk 80km. and they utilize the water for three days for 20L, remember one family is not having less than 15 people, it means that they cannot wash their hands using water, they cannot wash any utensil but for utensil they use animals urine, these is risks areas I never experienced in my life.
Because of these, many families died because of disease and more children affected by marasmus for the lack of food and nutrients. And when members of their family died they throw in the bushes, for three days or four wild animals e.g. hyena and wild dog eats the body. And for these reason, there is outbreak of various diseases. In those areas also there are no toilets, people just go anywhere and they don’t fear anybody or feel shame.
There is no hospital around, they rely on indigenous plants and roots, we tried to inquire if it cures but they told us, that sometimes it is risk because they can vomit and diarrhea for four days and those who succeed in that process get healed and those not they died, so we asked them how they feel about the treatment and the hospital, and they comment that they feel good. One young man who can spoke little Swahili told us that, they were counted among the animals because no one cares.
About food, we asked them how they survived in all these years. This young man makes us to laugh and he said “he read somewhere in the book of Daniel, that meshack, shadrack and Abednego survived by eating little water and millet and he added and said that Jesus man cannot lived just for the bread but just through the word of God, which means they live by the ability of the grace of God. They said again, sometimes they can boil some roots mingling with the honey and they just count a day.
About the cattle, they said that their life is the cattle, they eat blood, milk and survived on meat , and during three years back there is persistent drought many cattle died and goats, so they are blaming the drought has contributed to their trouble but we ask them, “how do you understand about God” and they said that, “they have tired about their god who doesn’t hear them and bring the rain and they said again that every year they must bring goats and cattle for sacrificial but three backs their god has not answer them, so now their congratulating the God who is called Jesus Christ because they have seen food, water and medicine from other people who came from other region came and embrace them.
One old man told the team, that he will never believe that God till he sees the flowing water, from the drying ground pointed with his staff. And said again if we get the water we will get the life to our families, animals and it will be end of our suffering. He added we will a shame their ancestors whom they have worship in Mount Kandam in all generation. We asked him how many families do you have? And he said I have five wives with more than 37 children. Have you educated your children? And said for what benefit? And he makes us to laugh, what is the school? Is the school brought water, and then if it is that I will let my children to learn.
General long-term vision for these regions:
We have more than 110 villages which have not been reached by anyone else, some they don’t want to be identify because of their external attack from the neighboring communities, because of this they suffer a lot. So if God’s open ways here’s what we hope to do:
- Wells. If these villages can get one bore hole each can serve about three hundred families
- Dispensaries. if five villages can get one dispensary it will can serve more 1500 families from one village to the other is approximately 15km away and for them these km are very near. We need to buy the drilling machine and it’s truck, compressor and all facilities belong for drilling machine. After the boreholes have been drilled, we will need to be accompanied with qualified volunteers, builders/mason. They will build the stream and fixing the pipes and water pumps in order even a small child can be able to access water easily. And after finishing one borehole we extend to another one, so the work of building the borehole will need wire mesh, pipes and iron bars, waterproof and cement. Buying the drilling it will be cheaper compared to hiring, because hiring for drilling one borehole is about 2.5m Kenyan shilling equivalent to $30,000 USD and this can be hired from NGOs and drilling company in Kenya.
- School. We have large and huge number of children in every village and remember, even the people of age 14 have not gone to school, but below 12 years it will good for them to join nursery and class one and they are ready to study.
- Toilets. We prefer if one family can get one toilet, it will be safer for them or we make for the community of three hundred families we dug 10 toilets with four doors each. And every school we dug three toilet, one for the teacher and two children.
- Development. People in these areas are still behind like early 18 century, they don’t know about development and according to geographically some of the families, their children are being identified and being educated by family members who were more civilized and we can use them to interpret to their language hire them to wducate their children, because they understand the native language and their challenges, but the site of dispensaries we can do the same and have the volunteers from other region to go and assist them
- Polytechnic. We can start the polytechnic and have sewing machine, carpentry tools, bakery items, and masonry. They are very good for handcrafting and we can make the market for other region, so that they can sale their commodities. Their young boys and girls, they are very brave to learn things, so the polytechnic can be good gift to them and this can change the old way of thinking and pursuing things to new generation.
About starting out pre-school in these regions. The first community we visited, since the land was owned by the community Elders, it is under the observation and protected by the community, so the first village , they sit on April 22, 2014 with our team representative one day before we leave to Kitale and they called the local chief government representative and they have drafted officially the agreement between IGEM and the community, they have offered to us five acres of land freely in order for us and our partnering team to set up pre-school, dispensary, Drilling water and polytechnic if necessary and all three village has done so, they wrote the agreement in Swahili language. They took us as a sign of appreciation to God, and they gave me the tradition seat as the represent of the church, according to their culture and they said that my God will be their God and our people will be their people.
They have given us the full freedom to walk in these communities in liberty and confidence. Also they have given us 20 youths to come and build relationship as well as sharing the word of God for one month and a half as from July up to the middle of August, so we request if anybody wants to share with them, through teaching materials you are free to share. All of them they know Swahili and local language; we shall be able to interpret English for them. I learned these through Brother Wayne, that it is good to build relationship with the small group and teach them, instead of huge group, I belief if we can able to stay with these young people for that moment, it will be more effective than sending the team to go and work there. Among them, six of them we gave bicycles and bibles. Our Kenyan volunteers were sympathetic after they saw, very big help you supported our brothers and sisters in these regions, the one who gave truck to carry our facilities pledged to donate sweater while other volunteers pledged to buy uniform for all pupils and they will bring these uniform in the first week of May. The told us the name of the village is called Catalasia in English is tick, which bites animals and I ask them do you like the name? they said no? They said choose the name of the village, and I renamed it Java, and they became happy about the name. One of the volunteers bought ten iron sheets as the start of the school. This is how this school was born. So as God provide the school need to be open 1May 19, 2014. So we went with three volunteers who have volunteers to teach the school, they promise to teach till we prepare the native teachers, “I ask them will you manage to stay in desperate areas? Yes. Why not! These love people and we need to feel and encouraged them that they are loved too. Apart from this three, one lady from the local area arises and says I will also assist as a teacher in this school; she is trained and qualified teacher.
We have approximated over 200 children who are ready to join the school, which will be launching officially with four teachers. Right now we need to have 100 iron sheet, 20,000 bricks, 150 bags of cements, before we drilled our borehole, we need to buy one motorbike for transport water for the school. 70 Desks and black board, textbook, exercise books, pens, pencils and other stationary, feeding program, breakfast and lunch in the evening they return back to their respective villages, and little support for the teachers and staff, dinging toilets and kitchen. The local people have agreed to provide five acres of land, they will be clearing the thorny pushes and they will be involved in construction provided they eat till the school will be finished. For all the project, if we start with the school, dispensary and drilling water, then other will follow later it will be grateful.
I am moved by how much these Kenyans who know great need are giving freely to other Kenyans more desperate than they are. I don’t know if God will provide enough resource through the people who read this page and listen to the podcast. Maybe in a network of friends and friends of friends God will allow us to tap enough resource to get some wells there as well as dispensary and schools. I have no idea what all that means yet, but I’m willing to put it before the Lord alongside my brothers and sisters and see what Father provides.
Your prayers are most welcome for the people in need and the IGEM people who are in West Pokot right now. If you can and want to help financially you can direct it through Lifestream as contributions are tax-deductible in the US. As always, every dollar you send goes to the need in Kenya. We do not (nor do they) take out any administrative or money transfer fees. If you would like to be part of this to support these brothers and sisters and see the gospel grow in this part of Africa, please see our Sharing With the World page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560 Newbury Rd Ste 1 • Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.
Here are some pictures from their outreach:
Medical station where doctors and nurses offered treatment
The joy of food reaching a distant village by bike and a woman who collapsed of dehydration and malnourishment before she could reach the staging area
The starging area for food and medical care
Some of the volunteers expressing their appreciation for those who gave money to help this happen.
Lined up for help and a woman's gratefulness
Some of the children in need of a school
Thanks to all of you who by prayer or financial gift, helped this take place. You have no idea of the lives you helped save and the joy you brought to some very desperate people.