Jambo everybody!

I hope this finds you all happy and healthy! Here at the children’s home, we are doing well! Malaria cases have been few in number, although as we wait for the rains, that is likely to change. We are starting to have a few sprinkles here and there, but the real rains haven’t yet come. All of our neighbors have plowed their shambas (farms) and are now waiting for the rains so that they can plant maize. 

We have also plowed and are waiting to plant, but we will only plant a small amount of maize, to eat fresh as a special treat. Most of our farm will be utilized to grow sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, millet, tomatoes, pumpkin and other squashes. We are also very blessed to be able to grow food all year long because we can irrigate, using water recycled at our sewer treatment plant. But during rainy season, the abundance is amazing!

Our sweet boy, Gaven, has been placed with a wonderful family! I am so happy that the culture is changing toward adoption being an accepted way of growing a family! Gaven, as the only son, will inherit the family land. His new parents are able to give him a good education and hope for a bright future! Please pray for great bonding to take place between Gaven and his parents!

A very healthy baby girl, Praise, joined us for a short time. She had been removed from the custody of her mentally unstable mother, as there was reason to believe that her mom might harm her. Fortunately, a maternal aunt and her husband stepped forward to foster Baby Praise! We are all so happy for her! We do our best to provide as much of a family atmosphere as is possible, but there is no denying the fact that when a child has the opportunity to grow up in a nuclear family, that is usually best.

Another baby girl, Susie, also joined our In Step family! Susie is a beautiful girl with a dazzling smile, but unfortunately, she has a ton of health issues. She has cerebral palsy so she lives at Stepping Stones (our center for kids with disabilities), but she also came with extreme malnourishment, pneumonia and a serious infection in her blood stream. She is improving slowly… some days she seems more energetic and smiley than other days. The doctor has ordered an echocardiogram as a precaution. Despite all of her challenges, she is getting stronger by the day and eating better than when she first arrived. She likes to sit in the baby walker and is even figuring out that if she kicks her leg, the walker moves a bit! 

A few weeks ago, the borehole pump stopped working! We all went into immediate crisis mode… 250+ people on campus and no water pumping! There was some water in the tanks, which had been pumped before the pump stopped working. There was also some rain water stored in our recently installed rain harvesting tanks. I called a meeting of the kids and staff to tell them what was going on and ask them to limit their water usage as much as possible. The kids jumped up and down cheering when I told them not to do laundry and to only take one bath per day! LOL!

Jeff was gone to the states because of a family emergency, so the water crisis was pretty much on volunteer Terry Kiser’s shoulders. Terry had his guys stop construction, which uses a ton of water, and work on the borehole instead. They pulled the pump, which is not an easy thing to do, and saw the problem immediately! The pump was heavily silted so the parts couldn’t move and do their job.

They flushed the pump and got it all cleaned out and working again, but the borehole itself also needed to be flushed and that couldn’t be done for a few days! A few days doesn’t sound too bad, but it’s a long time when you have so many people needing water and none is available! We use a LOT of water around here… we pump around 4,000 gallons per day from the borehole plus we use around 2,000 gallons of water from the sewer treatment plant (used for watering crops, washing clothes and mopping floors)… and that doesn’t count the water needed when we have construction going on! The rain water harvesting system is a huge help, but only when it’s raining!

After a few days, the rig showed up to flush the borehole and get everything working again. I was never so happy to see water! Oh the things we tend to take for granted!

The water guys made a few recommendations like adding some pea gravel around the casings, having them come back after a few days to see how much water the borehole is producing, etc. We did everything they recommended, except one thing which we couldn’t afford at the moment. That is to switch to a 1,000 liter per hour pump, instead of continuing with the 2,000 liter per hour one that we are presently using. This would also require installing a different control panel. 

The total needed to make this change, which should help regulate the pumping so the pump isn’t having to work so hard, would cost $1,000. After spending $1,300 to flush the hole, we just couldn’t quite manage the new pump. If you are interested in helping with this, please contact the Rehema for Kids office (509) 405-8677. Thanks so much!

We are actively praying and looking for long-term missionaries to join our team, here in Kenya! If you know anyone who is looking for a place to serve, especially in (but not limited to) the following areas: agriculture, dairy farming, occupational therapy, primary school teacher, special education teacher, social work, counselling, child development… I’m probably forgetting something so if you have a skill you would like to offer, we can certainly discuss it!

I want to close by asking you to please be praying for our Class 8 students, who are about to take their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams. This is an extremely important exam as it will determine where they will be able to attend high school! (Here in Kenya, a student must be invited to attend a high school. The kids who do the best in the exams, are invited to the highest performing schools.)

Thanks so much for always taking the time to read my very long letters! I do appreciate it! Thanks also for being part of our team through prayers, words of encouragement, visiting, supporting financially, etc. We could do nothing without your willingness to answer God’s call!

Thanks so much for always taking the time to read my very long letters! I do appreciate it! Thanks also for being part of our team through prayers, words of encouragement, visiting, supporting financially, etc. We could do nothing without your willingness to answer God’s call!

GIGATT (God is Good All the Time)!

Mama Carla

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