Teleios Ministry

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Thursday: Happy Day and Happy Night

April 2007 the first phase and floor of Happy Day Academy was finished.  May 2007, the first term of Happy Day Academy opened in the new facilities.   The dream that began years before finally came about.  I can still remember where I was when Bernard shared his wife, Mary's dream of Happy Day Academy.  Mary told me Thursday morning she could not believe where it is today.   

Thursday morning, Mary and I stood on the newly completed third and final floor of Happy Day Academy.   Mary was filled with emotion as we talked about the move from the renovated animal stall and house to the new facilities six years ago.   Today, the construction part of the vision is complete (well, those of you who know Mary know there are a few small things to be finished.  It took almost three years to get permission to build Happy Day way back in 2004-2006.    Today it is home to 215 students.   The highest level is standard 6 (6th grade).  Over the next two years the academic level will be complete with Standard 8.   This spring, Happy Day Academy began fully registered and licensed as a nursery, kindergarten, and primary school.   Today was truly a special day for Mary and for me. 

Happy Day is more than a learning center for children.   Mary has mentored and taught young women and men how to truly teach with excellence these young people.   She continues to develop the future teachers at Happy Day.   Within the next two years, enrollment will exceed 250 students. 

This is Teleios Ministry.   God-given visions becoming present day realities.  

After we left Happy, Bernard and I had tea with Robert and Lucy at their home.  See the February blog for more info on this dynamic ministry couple.

Then, we had lunch at the Kentmere Club.   There we saw old friends with a lot of hand slapping/shaking, hugs, and just catching up on life.   It was a special time when we praised God together for answering our prayers regarding the peace of the Kenyan elections. 

After the Kentmere Club we went to pick up Carol at her school on the other side of Nairobi.   On our way back, I saw the most amazing and unbelievable sight.   We are in the middle of rush hour traffic.  Buses full beyond capacity coming and going.  People walking everywhere on the side of the road, in the road, across the road.   Suddenly, traffic came to a complete stop.   There was a "comedian" as Bernard called him on a bicycle with Kenyan flags.   He had traffic stopped while he entertained them with bicycle tricks.  Seriously, rush hour and people are all in the street, giving this guy money to do tricks with traffic jammed to a stop.   His great trip, riding up and down the road doing a very long wheelie.   I could not believe it.   When I come to Kenya, I always see something that I never thought that I would see.  As we worked our way pass the entertainer, traffic was backed up on the other side of the road forever.   Amazing what you see in Kenya.

I included the picture of three very special young women.   Shirley and Carol Kabaru (Bernard and Mary's daughters) and Cynthia (their adopted daughter).   We first met Cynthia at the very first Koinonia Holiday Bible Camp.   I taught her in the youth class.  She has extended family but has really lived with Bernard and Mary as their daughter.    I am so proud of her.  She has worked very hard and this week she began the Bachelor's degree program at the university.   I am really proud of her.  Teleios Partners have had a part in her success over the years through teaching, praying, and giving. 
Carol is doing great in a new school that uses an accelerated program.   She hopes to finish high school by April 2015.   This summer she was selected to compete in an Pan-African Conference in music and sports.   Shirley is doing great in her Human Anatomy and Biological Laboratory degree at Kenyatta University.   Shirley we have known since she was one, Carol since she was one, and Cynthia for the past seven years.   When I am in town we always go out to wherever they want to go.   We had a great night at a local Chinese restaurant--they are big on chicken wings. 

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Wednesday: Gatunguru Planning for Holiday Bible Camp Dec. 30-Jan. 3

Bernard and I left the Westwood Hotel, Nyeri, headed to meet with Pastor Peter and the Gatunguru Holiday Bible Camp team to finalize and go over the plans for the December 30-January 3 camp.   When we arrived at Gatunguru we were met by Pastor Peter’s mom.    She did not wait for a picture to capture how much she and Peter look alike.  

Peter showed us the current phase of construction and the newly completed Bible School (Educational) Building.   The Gatunguru Bible School now has 13 who are participating—local pastors and church leaders.   He also went over the planned construction.   


We got down to the business at hand of finalizing plans for the Holiday Bible Camp.   At first, the Gatunguru team said that the camp would have 150.   Two years ago, we were told 100 maximum and we ended up with almost 300.   So, they began to count just the church children and youth.   There are 150 children and 60 teenagers who attend the area churches.   That gave us 210.  All are expected to participate.   They also want to open it up to area children.   Peter said, “if we open it up to all the community there will be 600.”   This is a real struggle of how to handle this.   November 2011 we had to turn away over 300 children.   The answer the Gatunguru team came up with is that everyone who comes on opening day, Monday, December 30 is in.  After Monday, they will close the registration of new children.   After listening to them, I think we will plan for around 300.   WE NEED HELP! 

The Holiday Bible Camp is an exciting and very effective ministry for the church.   The Teleios Ministry/Gatunguru partnership has three objectives: 1. To disciple children and teenagers as followers of Jesus Christ and to reach out to others in Him.  2. To train church children’s leaders so that they can do their on Bible camps in the future.  This year a group from other churches is coming to see how a Bible Camp is done.  3. To enhance the unity among the churches of the Gatunguru area that have been started by the church. 

This has been one of the most effective partnership models for Teleios Ministry and our Kenyan partner, Bernard Kabaru Mwangi.   Jesus said, “look at the fields they are white to harvest.  Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the field.”    Join us in prayer for those serving in Gatunguru at the end of this year.  

The children in the picture are having lunch breakfast at the Gatunguru church kindergarten. 

Gatunguru is in the heart of tea growing area.   The setting is beautiful with the green tea fields, banana trees, and mango trees.   Included is a picture of downtown Gatunguru.      

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Tuesday: Bernard and Mary's Dream

I am in Kenya now with Bernard and Mary Kabaru and their daughters, Shirley and Carol.   Today, Bernard and I headed out to see newly purposed property for a very big vision.   The property is located about 45 minutes west/northwest of Nyeri.    The views of Mt. Kenya and the Aberdare Mountains are beautiful.   The property sits between the two mountain ranges at 6,300 feet above sea level.   This is the rainy season so everything is green.    The property is in a semi-arid area.   The property consists of two plots of about 8 acres each.    I have included a few photos to give you an idea of the property. 

The dream is in our newly printed newsletter.   Since I am in Kenya, I am not sure if it has been received yet, but here is the big dream. 

On this site, Bernard and Mary want to develop a home for children, a secondary school, a guesthouse to use for training and for marriage retreats, and a farm to provide for sustainability.    The vision will take years to complete, but, finally, the dream has become a reality. 
When we arrived on the property and began to check the property map against what was there, things did not seem to add up.   We met a local man working on the road.   He proved to be a God-send.   He told us all about the area.   Also, he was a best friend of Mary Kabaru’s cousins.   Cus stayed with us all the day.   We obtained a local surveyor to measure and mark the properties.    You will love this, we used aloe plants to make the corner spots.    The aloe plants are big.    Also, while we were measuring the property, at one end of the property we met a neighbor.   Come to find out where his property ended and Bernard’s property began was a distance of about 10-12 feet.   So, the neighbor and Bernard agreed right on the spot to split the difference with each getting 6 more feet of property.   It’s all legal since we had the surveyor there.   

Again, the views from the property are spectacular and beautiful.   Unfortunately, the battery on my camera died and I left the extra back at my room.   We saw zebra, gazelle, and antelope grazing as we drove to and from the property.   Also, there are two major national parks very close and two private ranches that allow viewing of elephants, giraffe, rhinos, lions, leopards, cheetah, etc.   This is a great location.  

Next step is to fence the property and see about the viability of a water well.   There is a water line near the property, but the water is limited to one day a week and even then there's not much water.    A power line is not far from the property and should come to the property eventually.   
This was a exciting day as a long dreamed dream for Bernard and Mary  became “actual” as Bernard said.  

Tomorrow I meet with our partners in the December 30-January 3 Gatunguru Holiday Bible Camp.  Please join us in prayer as we prepare for the camp and for those who want to go with us to participate in this exciting work with children and children’s leaders. 

Friday, May 03, 2013

Thursday: Chicken Shelves and Debating

Our adventures today were divided up in completely different areas.  This morning Mpeli and Neema had to rush to the hospital because Stephen, DBLCH worker, was worse from malaria and in very serious condition.   They spent most of the morning with Stephen and his family.  

After they returned from the hospital, Mpeli, Sadiki, and I went to the farm to put in laying shelves in the chicken barn.   In Tanzania, they put sawdust on the floor of the chicken barn and the chicken lay eggs on the floor.   I shared with them a “new idea” of putting in shelves for the chicken to sit on.   This was an adaptation of the chicken coops of my Marion County, South Carolina, childhood.   My grandparents’ and our chickens always had high-rise setting areas.   We used available materials and purchased some timber to make a stone and timber high-rise chicken sitting shelves.   Mpeli also brought some sugar cane for planting because the DBLCH children love sugar cane.   Kairo and Guiness (farm helpers) picked pumpkin greens for the children.   Right now the farm is in transition.  A new variety of corn allows for early harvest—probably next month.   Already a crop of beans has been harvested.  Peanuts followed them in the same field.   A lot of tomatoes are planted.   I messed up in taking a few pictures—pictures of us eating bush burgers will have to wait until I return home.   One of the women, Mary Fidelis, is an excellent example of the women of the Kidetete village.  Mary opened up a “restaurant” to serve tea, snacks, and items that she has cooked.   She also is gathering firewood which she sold to DBLCH.   She also served as local nurse today.   Two children got in a fight and one of them was hit with a small rock.   The top of his head was bleeding.   Mpeli got him to Mama Fidelis and she doctored on him.  He was smiling and sitting with other children at Mama Fidelis’ snack and tea bar. 


At the bar was Wal-mart on wheels.   One man there had his bicycle loaded down with everything from clothes to pans.   He rides to the villages selling things off his bicycle.  He was a customer of Mama Fidelis’ tree-shaded tea and snack bar.


After we visited the farm and had an afternoon snack of peanuts and coffee,  I listened to a debate in English by some of the DBLCH children.   They debated which was more important - money or education.  The top argument in the debate was, “I read, read, read in the evening.  I go to school and the first thing the teacher asks for is money.   So, money must be more important than education. “   NO ONE helped them with the debate.   Considering the youngest debater was six years old, the children did an excellent job.    Neema has started the debate system to improve their English.  This way they are learning to think in English, not just learn words.  


After the debate, we had our worship service.   The children sang and sang tonight.   Each of their choirs sang.   Four of the young people gave their testimonies, Teresa, Aleena, Agnes, and Doreen (formerly Halima).  Doreen shared how she thanked God because when she came to DBLCH she could not read or write.   That was seven years ago.   She gave her testimony partly in English.   What is amazing is that she skipped a grade on her seven-year journey to be a top student. 

Mpeli and Neema have asked that we find someone in the USA to come and teach English to the children beginning September 1.    In order for the children to move on in their education (especially those graduating from Secondary School) they have to improve their English.   Please pray for the person or persons God is calling.   Teaching will involve writing, reading, and conversational English.  

I had to share with you a picture of Winnie (2 yrs), DrJFloydie (2 yrs), and Tunda (6 yrs).

Thursday, May 02, 2013

May 1 Workers' Day and Farm Day

Wednesday, May 1, is Workers’ Day.  So, all the children were out of school.   The young men of DBLCH took the opportunity to wash their clothes - Chris, Leonard, and Alyn (Agrey and Maka had already finished).   Neema and the others still prefer to cook some things outside on charcoal clay burners.   Also, later in the day, Mboka was scraping a coconut.   Neema demonstrated how it works.   You can’t see but Neema is sitting on a folding wooden stool.   On one end is a round metal blade that has small saw-like teeth.   She scrapes the coconut white on the blade for grated coconut.   This is an amazingly creative tool. 
While on food, Chef Samweli, Mpeli and Neema’s youngest son, prepared his own creation.  A modern man, he used the stove inside.   First he prepared a roux out of tomatos, spices, carrots, onions, and peppers.   Then he added ground meat.   The result was very tasty, especially with chapatti.    Mpeli and Neema are teaching all the children how to do everything.   The boys are learning to cook and wash. 
Our project for today was to visit the farm and to look at where the Secondary School will be built, to pray together on that spot, see the animals and new barn, and the crops.   The pictures are of one of the calves born this year.   We have had two out of three calves survive.  Two of the three cows have survived.  Currently we are selling 6 liters of milk per day in addition to the milk the children receive at the Children’s Home.  Already, a crop of beans have been produced on the farm.   Then, where the beans were a crop of peanuts has been planted.   In the garden area, new banana trees are coming up, and tomatoes, onions, and greens have been planted.   The farm has also produced a few oranges.  
We can’t seem to downsize our pigs.   We have five new piglets.   Currently we have 11 goats.   Also, we have about 40 local chickens that are producing eggs.   Kairo is waiting on 80 “Malawi chicks” to be delivered.   These are being produced for meat for the Children’s Home and for selling.   Already, a contract has been made to use the eggs from the new chickens to produce more of the Malawi chickens to sell.   The farm continues to expand.  
Two critical needs are the development of an irrigation system and a flood management system during the rainy season.  
On the human interest side, I have shared how Workers' Day was spent by Kathryn (Neema’s niece who is living with them now), Nicole (the child of a friendswho is going to school in Iringa and lives with Mpeli and Neema), and Huruma (one of the DBLCH staff).   They are weaving Nicole’s hair.   I was shocked to see that Nicole has very short hair and “fake” hair was being weaved to make the long weaves.   The end result was this star looking hair.   Nicole explained the star was to dry the hair after she had put hot water on it.   Mpeli could not stand the star and insisted Nicole braid the weave.  This was really funny hearing Mpeli talk about this.   
At worship with the children, we had a great time singing and dancing.  I really enjoyed Winnie, the toddler who is dancing on the video.   I included a short clip (no singing, just so you could enjoy this with the children/young people).