Phil’s April, 2016 trip to Kenya

It was a cool day in Houston when I left for Kenya on 3 April, heading to Paris where I would meet up with my friend Matt, and then on to Nairobi where we would spend the night before heading out to our Children’s Home at Haven on the Hill.

As is typically the case, there was much work, including repairs, to be done and a limited time in which to accomplish the work. The boys, except for Hezekiel, would be out of school during term break. Kelvin and Godfrey arrived from their schools soon after we arrived.

Agenda
After spending time greeting the boys and the Haven family, we set to work on completing several tasks that were lined up. The major tasks, all equally important, were to 1) Finish the kitchen building and move all the cooking operations to it. 2) Inspect and move our supplies and tools into the new Storage Building. 3) Prepare the soil and install some new playground items. 4) Spend time fathering, loving and nurturing the boys.

Playground expansion

Location for the additional playground equipment.
Location for the additional playground equipment.

We hired a contractor to level the soil for the playground expansion. That was the easy part. This was done within three days.

 

 

 

Storage Building
To prepare the storage building and tool room for receiving the items to be stored there, we

The boys are always eager to help.
The boys are always eager to help.

 

Racks built along the wall to organize storage items.
Racks built along the wall to organize storage items.

first had to build racks to hold and organize pipes, lumber, metal and other materials. We also had to fabricate shelves to organize some of the smaller items and to drill holes in the stone walls to hang other items.

 

Kitchen
Before we could move into the kitchen, the installation of the Jikos (cookers) had to be completed. There were several issues and obstacles which had to be overcome by us working with Allan from

Connecting the Biogas feed to the Jikos.
Connecting the Biogas feed to the Jikos.
We built the storage bin at the bottom.
We built the storage bin at the bottom.

 

Cooking in the new kitchen.
Cooking in the new kitchen.

Jikocraft, the Jiko provider. Also, we had to build a table (storage bin) for produce in the storage area of the kitchen. All of this had to be done in time for the kitchen workers to establish somewhat of a daily rhythm before we left. We moved all of the kitchen activities into the new building on 15 April and we are very pleased with the new arrangement. The staff enjoy the additional space and the atmosphere and the Jikos are very fuel efficient in their consumption of Biogas and firewood.

Helpers
The boys are bundles of energy and adventures eager to happen. They swarmed us as we were working, each one lending a “helping hand”. We had to limit the

1604-Ayub Plumbing (2)-Compressed
Ayub helping with a plumbing repair.

number of helpers, usually to three or four, in order to get any work done and, at the same time, try to ensure that each of the older boys got a chance to help at something, whether it be carrying something, fetching something or someone, or holding boards in place. Kelvin helped install the security camera in the kitchen. When managed appropriately, the boys are a tremendous help.

Time with the Haven family
Throughout our visits, I always try to take the boys on at least one “Safari”,

On Safari with the boys.
On Safari with the boys.
At the local hotel

whether it is to the rocks at the river, to the next village for chai and Mandazis, or just for a journey up the road to a neighbor’s house.

Singing praises to the Lord.

Night time is our opportunity to interface more with the boys and visit, play, share pictures and stories, sing and dance with them and father them. Friday night is our Praise Night and Saturday night is our Bible Study night.

Wrap-up
It is obvious that God’s hand is on our trips to Kenya and this time was no exception. Soon, on 17 April, after handling hundreds of details, Matt preaching at a local church, and me preaching at the same church the next Sunday after seeing Matt off four days earlier, it was time to return to the US.

Returning from Haven is always more of an adjustment than returning to Haven. This time, I arrived at the tail end of a flash flood, just as the rain was abating. Janice had to take an alternative route to get to the airport, but on the return, we were able to take a more direct route, all without going through high water. After re-entering the US, it is always a sprint to wrap-up numerous types of documentation, including this post, while the details are still fresh in memory, followed by a mini-marathon preparing for the next trip. Thank you all for your prayers and support. May our God richly bless you!
For Jesus…Phil

Back from Kenya

Janice and I are back from our latest trip to Kenya!. After this type of trip it takes some days to unpack, process and rename pictures and videos, input expenditure receipts and more, all the while trying to get an adequate amount of rest and, oh yes, returning to my regular job.

The trip was full of activity of construction, repairs interfacing with the mission team of 27 people who were at Haven on the Hill with us and ministering to the community. Check out www.throughthestorm.org and www.facebook.com/HavenOntheHill regularly for more information about the trip and also to sign up for our newsletter email updates.

Phil

Preparation

Hello All,

The day for us to leave for Kenya is quickly approaching. Janice and I are excited about seeing our Haven family again and working with the Inheritance World Ministries team. The next few days will be spent praying, packing  and wrapping up numerous details including mundane tasks such as charging batteries.

Look for more updates when we get back – and please pray for safety for the team and for many souls to be saved.

For Jesus, Phil