Jambo everyone!

Sorry I’m a bit late with this update! I have been under the weather with malaria, which comes with different symptoms and challenges with each bout. This particular strain has been mainly fatigue and brain-fog, thus the lack of being able to pull my thoughts together enough to give you guys an update.

Despite all of that, there has still been plenty going on around the In Step campus! School is on break for a month, so the kids are around all day every day (which also makes sitting down and actually getting something done, even more of a challenge)! We try to keep their schedule full during break, to limit idleness…. which can lead to mischief! 

Every morning, kids do chores like helping in the kitchen, cleaning, laundry (by hand), working in the farm, grazing the cows, playing with the Stepping Stones kids, etc. This not only keeps them occupied, it also teaches them life skills! In the future, there won’t always be aunties around to wash their clothes and cook their food…..or even grow their food for that matter!

After lunch, they all participate in a pre-planned activity. It could be playing soccer, arts and crafts, guidance and counseling sessions, talent show, cooking, drama, safari (going for a walk), etc. This keeps them busy until almost supper time! It’s all hands on deck and everyone on their toes, during school break!

I have mentioned in a previous update about our Sunday afternoon outings. This round of outings we are going with groups of kids to what is called The Conservancy, where they can see animals, play on a playground, go on a nature walk and ride in a canoe. We end the day with chips (French fries) and soda. Well, this is the first time that we were able to let Purity join us, and boy did she have a blast!  

For those of you who don’t know Purity, she is a lovely seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from Cerebral Palsy. Intellectually, she is fine, but physically, she is extremely challenged. We try to include her in as many of the big kids’ activities as possible, but it’s not always easy in a country where wheelchair accessibility is pretty much non-existent

In fact, even around campus, it’s a challenge! She has a big track chair to get her from building to building, but that chair is too big (and quite dangerous) to be trying to use indoors. Also, it’s impossible to load it up into the truck to go anywhere off campus, so for the outing, we rigged up a transport chair to get her through the day. 

I won’t get into the comedy of errors (my foot getting run over while trying to navigate up a bumpy, muddy hill with Jeff lifting the front of the chair and me and Beth Ann trying to balance the back….looking around for a stranger to help Jeff lift Purity’s chair – with her in it) into the back of the truck….the wheelchair ramp at the restaurant that only went up the first set of stairs, causing us to have to lift her chair up the second set….her getting car sick….and oh so much more!), but let’s just say she’s still talking about her wonderful day!

Speaking of wheelchairs…. most of you who are on Facebook already know our exciting news about an organization called Wheelchairs for Kenya (an off-shoot of Joni and Friends), donating new chairs for our Stepping Stones (center for kids with disabilities) kids! What a blessing and what a wonderful couple of days it was!

All of our kids were in great need of new chairs! They had grown out of their old ones, which had been recovered and repaired multiple times! We were always trying new straps and cushions and different ways of trying to give them proper support. Some of them had grown so tall that their feet were dragging the ground and the footrests had long been gone (there was no way to keep their feet on the footrests anyway). Purity’s right arm has a mind of its own and would miraculously fly out of the strap and rub on the tire. I think you get the picture!

Then, on Tuesday last week, the knights in shining armor showed up for our disabled kids! With them, they brought all new wheelchairs! All day Wednesday, they carefully assembled chairs and custom-fit them to each kid! Proper straps and supports! Attachable tables! Properly fitted headrests and footrests! It was just so overwhelmingly wonderful!

After all the kids were in their new chairs, we had a party to celebrate this blessed miracle!  Lots of singing and dancing and whooping and hollering! (If you’re on FB, check out the Rehema for Kids page for lots of live videos of the party!) Of course, we had to have biscuits (cookies) and juice-cola (kool-aid)….nothing like a good sugar high before bedtime! It was a day we will remember for a long time to come!

Another bit of exciting news is the re-covering of our old greenhouses. South Hills Church of Kennewick, WA, has been a wonderful support to us for many years! Every year, they send a team (a highlight of our year, by the way) and fund a much-needed project! This year, the team is coming in October to build two brand-new greenhouses! But, besides that, they also raised the funds to recover the ones we already had, which were pretty much unusable anymore. As I’ve probably mentioned before, we try to grow as much of our own food as possible.  Having these greenhouses up and running again is a huge blessing! (SHC, Kenyans don’t typically eat raw vegetables, but we’ll try to have fresh lettuce aplenty for those of you visiting in October!)

Well, thanks for once again listening to my ramblings! It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway), words cannot fully express our gratitude to each and every one of you who stand with us and the kids in so many ways! Prayer! Financial support! Notes of encouragement! Sharing FB posts! And so much more! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

GIGATT (God is Good All the Time)!

Mama Carla

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