Saturday, April 30, 2011
Some of you know a bit about the project Pick a Pocket supports in Mombasa, Kenya. This pre-school is run by a local woman (and good friend) Christine Opereh. We showed up on a Sunday to pay a visit. It was during our vacation week in Kenya so we did not intend on seeing the children, but only wanted to bless Mrs. Opereh with a few supplies for the kids. On our walk to the building with Christine we were greeted by a dozen or so children with faces brightly lit as they got a glimpse at their favorite teacher. It was Sunday and even though there was no class to be had, about 20 of her students caught word she was there and showed up on the steps to greet us. They recited the alphabet and a few songs in English for their new American friends. We got a tour of the one-room building and interviewed her to see what her next steps and needs were.
The pre-school was established to give street children the chance at an education. It is specifically for street kids who have AIDS/HIV. Christine had a dream to start her own school for children who suffer from this disease and had no chance at getting an education. Almost 3 years ago she saved enough money to establish a plan with a small one-room schoolhouse and a few volunteers from her own family. Today there are about 40 kids who attend classes on a daily basis. Because of Kenyan law, every child must have their own books, uniform, and supplies.
Because the children come from families with little to no income, their supplies must come from outside support, or from the pocket of Christine herself. I was able to give $100 to help pay for three children to buy uniforms and to go towards a fund supplying each student with their very own backpack. I know it wasn't much, but I know a little help, encouragment, and prayer can go a long way.
The schools' biggest need at the moment is funding to buy private land and a building. It would only take about $25,000 USD to get this started, and would also allow Christine to have one less worry of rent each month. Pick a Pocket hopes to continue to support these children and to spread the word about small things being done by local people with a huge heart.
"We can do no great things, only small things with great love." - Mother Teresa
Sunday, April 24, 2011
It's not Africa unless you find yourself on a bus crambed full of people, starring into the eyes of an innocent chicken in the lap of the woman next to you while holding a box carried onto the bus by an elderly woman. This box probably contains her office: a jebula (Ethiopian coffee pot) perhaps, or maybe ambasha (traditional bread), or the fixings for her and her daughters Easter feast of dorrowet and injera (chicken with sauce).
Celebration, joy, and mourning are in the air as we come to the close of Christianity's most important holiday: Easter. With a bit (okay a ton) of relief there is no such thing as a sly pink Easter bunny in these parts, I rest in knowing that because of today I am saved. Easter is only about the sacrafice, pain, suffering, and redemption in the life and resurection of our Christ. It's always seemed to me (in America) that the most important day in everyone's life has sadly (no, devestatingly) turned into another day of superficial stuff without substance. I believe the more I'm away from my country, the more it sickens me to see just how much we have wrong.
It's good friday and were laying everything down at the cross...
Jesus mission was to restore us back to what we were created to be. He is the meaning of prefix: putting things back to where they once stood. Restoring returning repenting reviving.