The People We Met
These are two very formidable men in Ilula. The one sitting on the left is Samuel Teimuge, or "Baba Kigan", who owns the original land where the Empowering Lives International training camp resides. His vision and Don Rogers' vision have merged and there is no limit to what the Lord can do using these two men. Samuel's wife is also a pillar in the community. She is principal to the elementary school next door. On Samuel's right is Pastor Oliver Tanui who leads one of the village's churches.
Pastor Oliver's church may seem humble by our standards, but God knows the hearts of men and this church is a healthy vine. The people who attend this church are not finacially well off and though they contribute support, the church is in need of basics, like paint for the wooden benches inside.
Steven Reech and his family are from Sudan. Sudan has been ravaged by a civil war since 1983. His family is preparing to return to his war-torn country to help rebuild.
His wife Elizabeth Reech survived as a child by living amongst the cattle. She and other children who had been displaced by the war lived off the milk and blood from the cattle.
Cornerstone VBS raised enough money for two of their children to attend boarding school while they are in Sudan. Sudan's infrastructure has been desolated and there are no schools there.
Abraham K-Mayem Kom is also from Sudan. He has learned a lot from Empowering Lives International and will start a training camp in Sudan. He left to return to his homeland while we were there. It was a sad day because a newly elected vice-president of Sudan and former leader of Sudan People's Liberation Army, John Garang, had recently died in a helicopter accident on July 30. John Garang was the first Christian official to be elected into a high position and this was providing a lot of hope for the Dinka (people of Southern Sudan). Abraham sang a Dinka song the night before he left. You could hear despair in the words he sang even though you could not understand the Dinka language. It reminded me of a sea shanty.
Angelina, the director of the Children's home.
My favorite buddy, Vitaline. We read books together and she and Naomi decided to translate the books into Kiswahili for their brothers and sisters who did not read English. Vitaline and Naomi are tomorrows leaders.
Dorkus Rotich is one of the parents in the Children's Center. She is married to Nelson. Nelson and Dorkus both had a heart for street children before they became parents at the Children's home. Dorkus can sing praise songs with fervor. Her heart is just huge.
The Albrights work for ELI writing grants, managing finances, and have been key players in establishing the orphanage.
Brian and Kristen are in the process of adopting Hope. They have already adopted their son, Isaiah.
Here is Isaiah at VBS with Joshua. Joshua is the older of two sons to Don and Amy Rogers. Hence, in Kiswahili, Don and Amy are called Mama Joshua and Baba Joshua. Josh speaks three languages... English, Kiswahili and English with a British accent.
Here is Joel with Pam from our team. Pam spent time in the kitchen learning how to cook some of the Kenyan food we were served. She learned how to make Chipati, Maandazi and Chai.
I spent time in the kitchen with Joel because the kitchen was a warm place to be on the cool nights.
Mama Joshua with Lois. Lois is the wife to Joel, the cook in the kitchen. We visited Lois in her home and she served us soda pop instead of Chai.
Lois' home was full of children. Dan had brought a lot of small gifts to share with the kids. Here, the guys on our team are showing them how to use yoyos.
Mama Joshua is talking to Angelina, director of the Children's Center. The young man wearing the ninampenda yesu t-shirt is Jared Ulrich. Jared is a youth pastor at his church in Arizona. He had visited the Kipkaren training center before coming to the Ilula center. Jared joined our team to assist with the 250+ children that showed up for VBS.
Angelina and Linus in front of their home. Angelina works in the ELI kitchen and Linus is one of the night watchmen.
Angelina's kitchen is typical of the kitchens we saw in Ilula.
Joel is one of three gardeners at ELI. He grows fodder for the cows and goats. He is also a ranch hand, mending fences, digging and watering etc....
This is Josephat, my driver in Nairobi. He kept me safe when I visited a clinic in the Mathele Vari slum.
home visits >