Visiting Homes in Ilula

Boda boda is a Kiswahili term for bicycle taxi. We had the pleasure of riding boda boda with Pastor Oliver to visit some of homes in his church area.

As we rode through the village, children chased us, pointing and laughing. It is not often that they see wzungo in their village.

The first home we visited belonged to Beatrice (Mama Selfi). Beatrice has six children and one grandchild. They live in this two room house made of mud and dung. Her husband is in jail for brewing. They must pay rent for this house and the property is small. They have a small well for water and a garden that produces a small amount of vegetables.

One room is a smoke filled kitchen and the other room, approximately 6X8 feet, is where they all sleep. We were invited into the small room to pray for her and her family. Amy invited Beatrice to come to Pastor Oliver's church on Sunday. She also shared how other brewers she had met through ELI had found better ways to support their families.

This is the home of Paul and Pauline Tibet. Paul is Pastor Oliver's assistant at the church. Paul also is employed at the Hotel Serigua in Eldoret. They own livestock and are blessed with four children who attend the nearby school. We had Chai at their home.

Pauline shared the story of how she met her husband. She had prayed to God that if He gave her a good husband, then she would believe in Him and follow His Word. Then she met Paul. Paul was in the choir and she loved the way he sang.

The baby's name is Eunice. This couple had decorated the interior walls of their mud/dung home with bamboo matting. It was small but nice. Though they had little, you could feel the hope in their home.

This is their older daughter. You can see part of their garden in the background.

Is this Kevin?

Is this the "house of joy? ... with the baby cow?

...With the big house next door?

We gave our boda boda drivers a rest and walked through some of the muddier roadways.

This is Lina. She moved to Ilula recently after her husband passed away. She has a brother-in-law who lives nearby. Lina works for a local flower grower and rents two rooms out to help support her family.

Damarees is a widow. She had three sons who have all passed away. The wives of her sons all live with her along with her grandchildren. Damarees' home is larger than some of the other homes we visited and she has a large field where she grows corn. While we were in her home, I noticed the photos she had on wall. I am sure this woman has some wonderful stories to share. Damarees was not feeling well when we visited. Pray for her health.

There are a few stores along some of the dirt roads. I even saw a pharmacy.

It is believed that prayer in ones home is fruitful so we entered each home, sometimes squeezing tightly to fit, and prayed according to their requests. For some reason, the Kenyans believe that our prayers are special because we come from what they see as a powerful nation. This was humbling. The faith of most of the Kenyans we met seemed stronger than my own. I have hope but not in the face of the poverty we encountered.

The last home we visited belonged to Pastor Oliver Tanui and his wife Salina (baba and mama Gloria). Mixed into the group are my team members and some folks who are living with Pastor Oliver along with a couple of neighbors. Their home was made of brick and was a very busy household.

This is the road that runs adjacent to where we stayed in Ilula.

Our team dwindled back in smaller clusters, a few left behind gabbing at Pastor Oliver's house.

My boda boda for the day is in the middle... the young man with the blue t-shirt. He raced with one of the other guys on the last leg of our trip back to the training camp. It was fun.

Jayne Hayes

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

-- James 1:27

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One of the school's just let out.

Some of the children are following us.