Carl Burkybile, Director of Agriculture traveled to Kenya for 3 weeks in June and July. His following thoughts and reflections are encouraging.
I met Erastus Kavuti in 1989 when he was in the Kenyan Air Force. As Erastus would say God brought us together. Neither of us had any idea what would take place in the next 20 years. This month I went half way around the world for the 8th time in 15 years. I feel like I have a second family in Kenya. My Kenyan name, Mutua, means come to stay. I always look forward to being re-united with the loving caring people I know in Kenya.
In the last 20 years 10 congregations have been established with over 300 Christians. We have helped build church buildings, dug wells, started a mobile medical clinic, provided medical supplies, educated children, and taught new ways to farm. We are currently providing support for 10 preachers, a medical missionary, and a community development director. We have trained Bible class teachers, well drillers, and farmers. We have provided Bibles, Bible class materials, medical supplies, farming supplies, used clothes, school supplies, well drilling equipment, etc. We have established sewing coops, soap making coops, and farming coops. We have started people in business with rabbits, chickens, and milk goats. We help people help themselves.
My work with the Kenyan people has reaffirmed for me the source of true happiness. How can these people to are living with the hardships of drought and famine have a smile? Why don’t they just give up? During our 2009 visit many of them haven’t seen rain in 3 years. I see little children happy to get a cup of porridge make from corn meal and water. In the dry season many people eat one meal a day of maize and beans. Women and children walk up to 12 miles a day to get a supply of water for their family. Many people survive day to day and go to bed hungry. They are not blessed with much in the way of “things”. Few people have electricity, running water, or indoor plumbing. They are not focused on their struggles. Their joy and happiness comes from relationships… with other people and with God. They have an eternal focus. They inspire our Caring for Kenya and Healing Hands International organizations to a level of higher service for the Lord. I always tell people who make the trip to Kenya that it will change their life. Our work with the Kenyan mission effort has taught us the power of prayer, perseverance, and patience. Our faith and trust in God have increased. God has “used us in this mission effort” and he has “used the mission effort in us”. As we grow closer to God we more fully understand the importance of loving and serving God’s people.
Many people I know will never meet these Kenyan people that I have grown to love. When I leave Kenya they say “bye, bye, my brother … until we meet again … whether in this world or the world above”. May we all look forward to meeting in that world above.
Carl Burkybile and Ebenezer Udofia are doing incredible work. Find out more about the food sustainability program or sponsor a family garden for just $50!