7th Update from Connie
It is early Saturday morning and the team is preparing to leave for a camp to provide medical care and sports evangelism. .
Yesterday we safely arrived in Eldoret and found all the people from the first camp had been moved to the camp at Show Ground which is an outdoor event stadium like Turner Field. We went to Show Ground and found the Kenya Red Cross in charge of the camp. What we saw and learned was amazing on many levels. There is a tent city set up where 10,500 people are living. We met with a young man Anthony who was in charge. We toured the distribution site and met with the lead psychologist from Nairobi and also met with the medical team. Every family had a tent, mosqito net, cooking pot, blankets and cooking fat. And they had established safe water including the way it was distributed to the people. They had a list of 79 children displaced from their families and a system for reconnecting them. Unicef is arriving today with schools in a box and school starts Monday. They didn’t need any food, blankets, etc. that we brought but they did need one thing we had – soccer balls! They only had one soccer ball and it had just busted.
We met with Pastor Erastus who is the GOA pastor that is still here. We went to his church but did not stop as it didn’t seem wise to get off the bus. His church stands untouched by the burning surrounded by burnt houses and buisnesses. He has two children of his own and has taken in 4 orphans. He has tremendous needs as he tries to reach out to help in this community. I pesonally found myself overwhelmed at what he is dealing with and I asked myself would I be able to function and have any hope if I was in his situation. Is my faith as big as his. Do I believe my God is as big as this pastor believes his God is. All I could do is do what I should do was to allow Jane and pastor Muturi to assess his needs. If I support GOA then they can support this pastor.
It seems God gave us Njokie to bring us the laughter we need each night when we debrief. Last night Njokie told us of meeting a woman in the camp who was making and selling chapatis! And Njolie bought one – and said they were very good. The woman had sold 50 chapatis that day. Imagine being that innovative that instead of just waiting for help this woman ask “what can I do” and she figured out how to create a small buisness. The reason we all laughed is as a team we decided not to have buy the packed lunch yesterday to save funds so we were teasing Njokie that she found food in a Displaced Person Camp and when another team member went to buy one she found out Njokie had bought the last one!
One of our team members who work in Msamaria saw her sister yesterday. Her sister and brother are displaced from their home that was burned.
Last night at debriefing the team talked about how the Red Cross have five paid staff but have mobilized hundreds of well-trained volunteers to respond to this crisis. They are an excellent example of accomplishing a lot with few people.
The team was given the opportunity of opting out for the camp we were going to today and the team made the decision to go or not go as a team. Every person voted the team would go.
Thank you for caring, for reading these updates and for your prayers for peace and healing in Kenya,