Roberta's Update - July 2016
Dear family and friends, The big excitement here in Sakwa is the big yellow machine grading the main road through this village. People come up to the road to watch and the pupils at school line the fence and stand by the gate to watch the machine go back and forth moving dirt and rocks. We are hoping the work gets done and the road is hardened before too much rain comes to spoil the work. This will be a major improvement for this area, not because we have a lot of traffic, because we don’t, only an occasional car or two. Mainly we have small motorbikes called piki pikis or boda bodas that carry people or goods for a fee. I'm not sure why this road out in our remote rural village is being improved, but whatever the reason, we are thankful.
The first phase of our new school is open! Desks, blackboards (yes, they still exist and are being used!), textbooks, supplies, chairs, tables, and more were carried down the road to our new school on June 6th. We had a prayer day the next day for all pupils and some of the local pastors. We sat under the trees on the back of our property, near the river for this event. We sang, had greetings, prayers, and a sermon all to give thanks and to bless our new building. I got to share some of the history of buying land and then the building.
It has taken several years to complete this phase, but it is a beautiful building, very well constructed, with big rooms. There is lots of grassy area for the pupils to run and play and room for us to build other buildings over time. Though the first six rooms—the ground floor—do not have plastered floors and walls, paint, electricity, and window panes, they are finished enough, along with the toilets, for us to use them. The new school is the upper primary with classrooms for Standards 4-8 and an office. The old school, or lower primary, houses the early education classes, Standards 1-3, and an office. The next phase of construction is to build a second floor on this building. When building, we did all the necessary things to be able to build up when funds are raised. The second floor will have eight rooms—six classrooms, a computer lab, and a library. We are so thankful to have come this far! God has blessed us with good land to buy and now the first part of our permanent school. Bwana asifiwe/praise the Lord!
I have a big problem. But it's a good problem! There are so many coming to Friday Night Fellowship at my house, that I don't have enough chairs or tables! I do a lesson and activity for children the first half hour and one night we had 35 children here. Then, when the grown-ups come, we have had 50 or more in my sitting room. I have moved the furniture and bought some more chairs to see how we can all fit. I don't know if the children come for the activity and/or for the tea and mandazi, but I do know they receive a time of Bible earning, fellowship, and worship. Like I said, it is a good problem. I have had many struggles in the two months since I returned to Kenya from the USA. I have unexpectedly run out of cooking gas, had no water in the tank that supplies the house (twice), and a crown came off a tooth. These were minor compared to having my email and Facebook accounts hacked! It took nine days to get this issue settled. I traveled to a nearby city to get help, but there were riots downtown and I was unable to get help. Then I had an IT come to my house, but the internet was so slow that we were not able to do much. Finally, I went to the nearest town with good internet and got help. I had to change both accounts and even had to prove that I am myself by sending a photo of myself holding my identification. All this to say my new email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org and my Facebook account is Roberta Peterson. Please add and “friend” these accounts and share this information with people who may not have it. Oh, and the dentist—I didn't know what to expect as I went to a walk-in clinic, but the dentist was very nice and did a great job. He even invited me to come back, but I hope I don't have to do that! All in all, things are going well and moving forward. Thank you for your support and encouragement. Please remember to pray for me as I live and serve in rural Kenya. Receiving far more than I ever asked or imagined, Roberta Roberta M. Peterson Hope Africa Ministries, Inc. "Providing help and hope through missions and ministry."