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Messiah Team – Day 5

Day of Rest

Sunday June 2nd 2019

KENYAN WORSHIP- a different experience.

The team started their day worshipping at the home church of LLM “Deliverance”. The service started at 8:30 with the worship team leading in song as the congregation arrived for the next ½ hour or so ; the worship team included both adults and children. Worship continued for at least one hour and 15 min. The Kenyans freedom and joy in worship was contagious and uninhabited. Most of the songs were not familiar but were easy to join in because of the repetition and being sung both in English and Swahili. I was especially moved when we started singing one of my favorites “How Great thou Art”, although it started in Swahili the music was very familiar and we were able to join in immediately. I’m not sure when the service ended but we had to leave at 12:00 because our taxi had arrived and we were expected at Graceland children’s home an annex of Living Love. The children had been waiting on our visit all week and earlier in the week sent us a note asking if we forgot about them.

Graceland children’s Home is an annex of LLM started by Mumbi who has been our gracious host while here in Ol Kalou. The children were so excited to meet us, they have never met “Mzungus” in person. Some of the children and leaders from the Sunday School joined us for lunch which was around 2:30. They prepared a feast for us, which included the Kenyans favorite on special occasions and gatherings “Chapati”, as usual the food was delicious. The children had prepared a little service for us which lasted for about an hour. The children were so excited to share with us what they have been working on all week. They started by telling us their names, what grade they were in and what they would like to be when they grew up. Most of them wanted to be doctors and engineers as well as dancers, Sargents, and teachers. After introductions the children all left and returned dancing as they re-entered. They prepared 2 dancers for us, sung a couple of songs and recited a couple of memory verses. There are 11 children at Graceland ranging in ages from 2 ½ to 10 most being 4 to 6 years of age. When the children finished they asked if we would dance with them. Some of us were happy to oblige and enjoyed learning two of the dances. I hope they don’t get published as I noticed a couple of people taking pictures and videos. All in all it was fun regardless of how rhythmless we may have been.

Mumbi then took us around the home which was just opened this past fall and has the capability to house 200 children. Her prayer is to be able to have at least 30 children in the near future, praying for clearances from the county and sponsors. She also showed us around the farm where many animals are raised to feed the children as well as provide income for the home. We returned to Mumbi’s around 5:30 where we spent the rest of the evening relaxing, playing a card game called Mao which has become a favorite of the team and chatting. 
-Mimi Heisey

Messiah Team – Day 4

Water!

Saturday, June 1 2019

Today was Madaraka Day, a Kenyan holiday where they celebrate their independence. Usually, the children go to school on Saturdays, but because of the holiday, many of the younger children had the day off. Since we were almost done setting up enough of the new solar system to test it and since the children were home, we decided to work just a partial day. In the morning, Steven, Meghan, Josh, Ruth, and myself worked on the scaffolding to secure the three wires coming from the solar panels to the beams on the roof. Meanwhile, Chris and Dereck worked on making the final connections between the pump motor and its controller. The Land Development team, JJ and Professor Heisey also made significant progress this morning, digging a trench and running the main irrigation pipe under the road and out to the fields which they will be used in.

After a short break to rest our legs and drink some of Lydia’s Chai, we finalized some of the connections in the battery room and on the roof. We then performed some final safety checks before the big moment. It was time for us to flip the two large switches in the combiner boxes to complete the circuit and start the pump for the first time. We flipped the switches then went down to the bore hole to watch as water started to come out. About two minutes later, we saw the first water flowing. We were all very excited to see our hard work paying off. There was a crack in the line leading back to the tank, but that was easily fixed by some of Living Love’s staff. The smile on Elijah’s face when water first started flowing into their tanks was priceless. We ate a late lunch, then finished up some minor tasks before heading out to play soccer with the kids.

Soccer lasted about three hours, and the team was exhausted by the end. We also got to talk to Solomon about his dreams for the future of LLM, which was nice to hear about. We ate dinner with the children around 7pm, then Steven and I decided to stay an extra half-hour to try again to get last year’s system connected to the internet. Although this attempt was not successful, we will try again on Monday. As for now, we are looking forward to the church service and tour of Mumbi’s orphanage tomorrow.

Messiah Team – Day 3

Reaching for the Sky (or at Least Pamoja Hall’s Roof)

Friday, May 31st, 2019

This morning the scaffolding finally arrived!…then we realized we didn’t have enough to reach the roof. Thankfully there was still plenty of work to be done on the roof and on the ground in Pamoja Hall. By the end of the day, more scaffolding had arrived and now we are ready to finish connecting the solar panels in the morning. 

Dereck and I (Chris) spent the day working at the other end of the system with the pump controller. With the help of Phillip and Robert, two of the Kenyan workers, we got the input and output wires both into the controller house. The last question we needed to answer was to verify which wire color coming from the generator house at the controller corresponded with which wire leaving the generator house, since the wire was spliced somewhere in the middle, With a 9-volt battery and a little creativity we were able to verify that the wire colors matched and we were good to go.

The Land Development team started working with the Kenyan workers at digging the main trench for the irrigation system. They’ve just gotten to the road; it’s a good start but there’s still a long way to go.

On a different note, this morning I went into Ol Kalou with Elijah to buy some of the components and hardware we needed. That was definitely an interesting experience. We checked three stores for some of the wire we needed to buy. The first was a supermarket similar to a store in the US. The next two were a bit different. They were small shops just off the street with as much merchandise crammed in as possible. Rather than looking for what you needed to buy, you would tell the person working at the counter and they would dig around in the dense array of products for what you needed. The man working at the third store was quite a character. He started by asking me where I was from and before long he was trying to marry me off to a Kenyan girl.

The kids got home from school early today since it’s Friday, so we had plenty of time to play with them. We had so many people playing basketball tonight we had to rotate people out to the bench to keep the court from being too crowded. Playing basketball the past few nights has been a lot of fun, but the plan for tomorrow has what I’ve been waiting for: football (soccer)!. Not only is playing soccer with the kids exciting, but we’ll also be able to get out some of the gifts we brought with us. Crammed into our luggage among drills, pipes, wire strippers, and disconnect switches, we brought soccer balls, jerseys, and socks. A useful tip for anyone traveling with checked bags and needing to meet a specific weight: one pair of soccer socks weighs 0.2 pounds. I’m sure you’ll thank me later (or not, haha).

Our big goal and hope for tomorrow morning is to finish the wiring in Pamoja Hall. There are a few other small things to finish, but that is the last main task to complete before we can flip the switch on the solar pumping system. If all goes well, there should be water flowing by tomorrow afternoon.
-Chris Benner

Messiah Team – Day 2

Sharing an update from the Messiah Team! Thank you for joining us in prayer!!

Day 2: Ahead of Schedule
Thurs, May 30th, 2019

Another productive day at LLM! We are even a little bit ahead of schedule! Here’s the rundown of tasks accomplished today:
JJ and Professor Heisey wasted no time this morning getting to work on the tank connections for irrigation system. They worked with the LLM workers to clean out the existing elevated tank, which supplies LLM’s domestic water. Then they glued several of their pipes together forming the connection between two important tanks (one elevated and one on the ground for irrigation water – see photos below).
In the afternoon, the LLM workers dug a trench. Dereck, Ruth, Meghan, Chris, Matt, Steven and Josh all had a hand in running solar wiring in this trench about 250 feet. It was an “all-hands-on-deck” couple of hours to accomplish this task! The path of the wire included an underground portion and a portion through an attic too (see photos below).
Lastly, another one of our major tasks today was connecting the solar electric system from last year to the internet. This was done so data from the system can be viewed by LLM and the Messiah Solar team more easily from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. This is also useful for the Messiah Solar team to make remote setting modifications to the system (from the USA) to help LLM maximize the life of the system.
Shifting gears…
In the late afternoon/evening we again got to play with the kids today once they got back from school. I (Steven) played about 5 basketball games with the children and was just about to fall over from being so tired! It is so much fun to be with them, joke around and observe the joy the carry in their hearts. They are thriving in so many ways, thanks to the resources the Lord has provided them through LLM and their wonderful caretakers. What a joy it is to be a part of their story! 🙂
Not only has it been a joy to be with the children, but also with staff too. For example, Mimi has had a wonderful time with the women staff in the kitchen helping to cook meals for the adults and children each day so far. Others have had conversations with staff members during dinner times and sometimes throughout the work day too. We look forward to the next few days to continue to take advantage of these opportunities to get to know them better and appreciate their faithfulness to the kids and to the Lord through their work.
Please be praying with us that the scaffolding will arrive early on Friday May 31st – we need this equipment to finish connecting the solar panels to the pump for water to start flowing. So far there have been delays, so we are not sure when this equipment will arrive. Also, fun fact! We are learning/practicing a Swahili song to sing at church on Sunday (it’s called: O Sifuni Mungu)!! Preparing for the song may also require some prayer…haha, God is good!
– Steven Carpenter

Messiah Team Has Arrived

The Messiah team has safely arrived at LLM! They had a great time with the staff and kids, and enjoyed dinner together! They have already started working on the solar and irrigation system, please join us in prayer for their safety while they build out these critical systems that will allow LLM to impact more vulnerable children in Kenya! We will be sharing their Journal entries during their time at LLM so stay tuned…

Preparing for the Messiah Team!

Praise the Lord! The solar water pump, solar panels and water storage tank have been delivered to LLM, and are ready for the 2019 Messiah Collaborative Mission Team! Please join us in prayer for safety during their travels, and God’s anointing over the entire team!! Stay tuned for updates over the coming weeks…

Mary’s New Brace

Thank you so much LLM friends for your prayer and support! Mary is doing very well, she recently was fitted with a special shoe for the next three months. She can now continue with her normal school life, the Doctor said her progress is very good.

Happy Mothers Day

Join our LLM children as they wish these wonderful and awesome ladies a very Happy Mothers Day, and for all the Mothers who support the LLM family throughout the year. Thank you for loving a nurturing our next generation as only a Mother can do!! Happy Mother’s Day!!

Party Time!

Greetings from the LLM family! The Easter Holiday was awesome, we spent quality time with our children and they had lots of fun! A number of groups visited our children during the school break, but the icing on cake was winding up the holiday by celebrating birthdays for our boys and girls, they enjoyed swimming at Cool Rivers Hotel!!