Tuesday, February 15

An unusual gift

When I first started the work in Kenya a wise person told me to visit the homes of each of the team members and meet their families - especially their Moms. While I had met Sam's Mom I had not been to his birthplace. Sam's was the last of the core team's birthplace to visit. These visits have taken me south, north and west. This weekend Sam's prayers were answered as our mission took us to Meru - his home. We were blessed as the entire team went to see his Mom.

The PFC team with Sam's mom at his home

Sam's Mom is humble and a true servant of the Lord. She told me she gave her two boys (Sam and his brother Moses) to the Lord when they were little and has prayed daily for them. After greetings, introductions and of course photos Sam said "my Mom has a gift for you". They took me outside and presented me with a sheep. Sammy was excited as this adds to our rapidly growing "farm". It is a great honor to receive such a gift.

A photo with Sam's Mom, David the sheep and Sammy

A photo with Sam and his mom

I felt blessed and appreciated by Sam, his Mom and their family. Seeing Sam's Mom and receiving such a gift made me more determined do try to do no harm to Sam or any of the other Partners for Care staff members. All the staff are someone's child - a child they have prayed for, had hopes for and sacrificed more than we could ever know for. I pray and pledge to do my best to support these young people in ways that honor and respect their Moms.

Proud owner of a sheep who I named David after my last born,

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Monday, February 14

Kaaga Boys School - 71 say yes to Jesus

This weekend the Partners for Care team did what they do so well - spread the message of what if? their HIV/AIDS prevention message and bring people to Christ. With the 71 boys saying yes to Jesus this small team has now brought 1,902 to Christ.

This mission was at the Kaaga Boys School in Meru, Kenya. This school is the second oldest school in Kenya. Pastor Martin who traveled with us to do the preaching graduated from this school.

The Temples of Worship

The Partners for Care staff performed and the boys kept hollering "sing one more". We organized the boys into small groups so they could ask the difficult questions and learn from each other. The boys didn't want the small group time to end.

Franco conducting a group session with the students

As we had a lawyer, 2 doctors, a mass media person, and musicians on the team, they met with the senior boys so they could ask career questions - when over they followed the team to ask more questions. Sam gave his personal testimony which really impacted the boys. When he finished ALL the boys wanted to sign the commitment cars - to commit to wait until marriage, know their status and be faithful to one partner.

Sam talking to the students

Students signing commitment cards

Pastor Martin preached and told them why he had made a decision to be pure and told them why God calls them to be pure. When he made the call for Christ 71 boys said yes to Jesus. The school has a mentoring boys for the new believers so these young men will be discipled.

Pastor Martin praying for the new converts

The new converts

Grateful for the PFC team who is working to transform lives to transform a Nation,
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Friday, February 11

A great birthday

I wasn't going to tell anyone today was my birthday...but my daughter Mindy had the idea to tell everyone I know in the US and in Kenya! I have received birthday greeting from many of you. Thank you for messages, e-cards and prayers. Not only was I encouraged by all the birthday wishes, but tonight the first night of the team's weekend challenge at a boys high school 42 young men accepted Christ. That was a great birthday present!

Blessings, Connie
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Thursday, February 10

Partners for Care conducts malaria reduction outreach

Yesterday the Partners for Care team conducted a malaria reduction outreach. My role was "consultant" so I was an observer. What I observed:

1. Ground prepared
The team had selected the area they wanted to help - Marurui slum which is what the PFC team considers their Jerusalem. They met with the Area Chief to keep him informed of the plan. They identified three women who are considered leaders in this slum to lead the teams. Two of these women are part of a women's support group who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, while the other was their leader.

The team praying for the battle ahead

Women lead the way

2. Need identified
The team found there were 500 "homes" in this slum. There are 30 orphans and 830 children under the age of 5. This information they obtained from the Area Chief. They also visited the 24-hour clinic in Marurui. They found 5 out of every 15 children under five who come to the clinic have malaria.

3. Developed plan
They would deliver and hang 250 nets working in groups of three. They had organized for 7 volunteers from the University of Nairobi to join them. They would teach on malaria prevention, early detection and appropriate treatment. They would write the child's name on the nets which has shown to ensure better compliance with net use.

Volunteer from University happy to serve

4. Implemented the plan
All the volunteers were trained by PFC staff on how and what to teach about malaria. They were shown how to hang the nets and how to record and track by name, age, HIV/AIDS status and pregnancy. The team prayed together and left the what if? Changing Center with 20 nets per team, in groups of 3.

Teaching prevention

5. Results
By 1:00 pm the team had hung 49 nets. The response from the people was very touching. The pictures tell it best and can be seen on www.partnersforcare.blogspot.com. One mother told them I have lived for 7 years in this slum and you are the first to ever visit me. One 10 month baby had never slept under a net even though in the back of their house is a swamp bringing many mosquitoes. The baby had been bitten many times. The team came back together, debriefed and planned to start again today at 10:00am. They will continue their work over the next several days until they have hung 250 nets.

Hanging the nets

Putting babies under nets

6. Follow-up
The team will visit the homes where they have hung nets in about a month to check compliance with net use. They will also visit the 24 hour clinic again to see if there has been a reduction in the number of children with malaria from this slum.

Last night 49 children slept under a net preventing them from getting bit by a mosquito that could have been carrying malaria.

Family "smiles again"

This and other work happens because of the financial support of many of you for the PFC team to do the work on the ground - to help them save lives for the kingdom. It doesn't cost a lot to keep this team working - they have the passion and they are equipped.

Just a hand..

We just need to keep putting the tools in their hands to do the work - nets, computers for teaching those in the slum to better themselves, music equipment they use to both draw the people to hear the message of HIV prevention and to teach the youth to play an instrument, soccer balls, jerseys and soccer shoes to engage the youth in sports instead of idleness.

Examples of costs:

Soccer ball $12.00
Soccer shoes $20.00
Mosquito net $1.50
Rent at the what if? Life Changing Center $250.00 month
A PFC staff member $200 a month

Thankful for your support for the team on the ground and to HEART for the bednets,


PS Update - 169 nets have now been hung in Marurui slum
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Saturday, February 5

Kathi's House of Restoration

Today the PFC staff have come to Maai Mahui to help Pastor John and his wife, Mary, complete Kathi's house of Restoration. It is very exciting to be here to watch all the team helping.

Please allow me this opportunity to explain what Partners for Care is doing. Pastor John as most of you probably know has resigned from Glory Outreach Assembly. That is his choice and he has his own personal reasons for that decision which we should all respect. He still loves the children at BTD and will assist whenever requested to help with the children. Some have been asking me why PFC purchased a house across the street from BTD. As Pastor John has been hired to manage Kathi's House of Restoration this allows him and Mary to be close to the children at BTD. It takes a village to raise a child as the African saying goes. Pastor John and Mary are in the village of the children at BTD. It is good Pastor John's four children will also be neighbors to the children at BTD as they have grown together for so many years. They will be attending their same school. Moving to this location provides the least disruption for Pastor John's family. Also, Pastor John's church is in Maai Mahui. And, the HIV/AIDS infected and affected are so many here in this town. World Visio0n calls the highway that runs through here the AIDS highway as so many trucks pass through here and the truck drivers have infected the women.

Please join Pastor John and Mary in prayer and support as they reach back to continue to love the children God entrusted to them for the last 3 1/2 years and as they reach forward to help many more orphans God will bring to them.

Praying for a smooth transition for Pastor John, his wife Mary, their children and all the children at BTD,

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Wednesday, February 2

Using God's resources to do God's work

If we believe all our money and resources belong to God and we believe He is the father to the fatherless, then how do you think He wants us to use our money? As I have been involved in serving in developing Nations for many years now I have some observations.

I have observed we sometimes will spend a lot of money on doing missions and not bring about a lot of change "on the ground" but we don't spend a little amount of money when it could bring a big change "on the ground". Sometimes teams will cost $50,000 to come to Kenya but starting and supporting a girls volleyball team or a boys soccer team in a slum costs very little yet can literally change the lives of these young people.

I always wonder why so many of the world's children die from malaria when a $5.00 net can prevent malaria. I also believe if we can go to the moon, we could figure out how to put a net over every baby in the world. Covering every baby in the world with a net isn't easy to do...but how hard was it to go to the moon?

I am constantly making decisions how to use the resources God allows us to have from our donors. Feed children? Start poultry projects? Buy medicine? I take very seriously these decisions and make them with God's guidance and the guidance of the Kenyan Partners for Care staff. I am glad we in the US work as volunteers as I could not take money from the ministry. God has given me food (in fact too much food!), shelter, clothes and everything I need and much of what I thought I wanted.

This morning I was humbled when George gave me a little piece of paper with a request. He said "it is urgent". The paper read:

1 volleyball net - 3,500 KSH ($50.00)
2 volleyballs - 5,000 KSH ($75.00)

So little money but these purchases could impact 20 girls from a slum. The what if? girls volleyball team does more than play the game. They are connected to the what if? Life Changing Center where they can enroll in the Second Change Program to get their primary or secondary education, learn computers or music. They are also witnessed to and taught how to prevent HIV/AIDS by living pure for Christ. I once read "educate a girl child in africa and you change the village".

For me I can't think of anything I have or would buy that could equal the joy of seeing the lives of these girls transformed. I think God would be pleased with using His resources to transform these girls and to not just tell them of the love of Christ but to show them.

I do believe teams should come - without teams coming we wouldn't have the support of so many of our partners in the US - Bridgette, Linda, Elaine, Amy, Mindy, Pat and Craig, and too many others to list. But can we do both - invest a lot and a little?

Learning more and more everyday and grateful for God's teachings,

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