Abadare 2013

A few weekends ago we were able to get away for a much needed night away as a family and go camping. We are so grateful we have our camping gear here, and I’m slowly getting over my fear of the wild animals around us, so we are able to afford to have these times we need more often. We were able to go to Abadare National Park. It was much more beautiful than we had ever realized. It’s surrounded by breathtaking waterfalls and beautiful terrain….definitely on our list to go back to again. 

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South Sudan October, 2013

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Dear friends,

Thank you so much for your prayers for us while we were in South Sudan amongst the Toposa.   The trip was an incredible journey to be part of in so many ways.  The Toposa are a people group totally dependent on their livestock for everything, and live a very simple life seemly centuries removed from the modern culture we find our selves in now.  The beauty and the encouragement of the trip was a the partnership of like minded organization for the sake of bringing the practical gospel to the Toposa,  E3 partners a US based church planting organization has developed a team of partners of missionary pastors from Kenyan who have been working in several locations amongst the Toposa.   For the last few years they have realized one of the key ways into the peoples heart is through the livestock that provide their livelihood.   This October a team was orchestrated between a Kenyan organization called Vets With a Mission, Kenya combined together with their American affiliate Christian Veterinary Mission to provide a 6 person veterinary team to bring the gospel on the platform of animal care and treatment for the villages that the pastors were working with.   Together the different parties were a great blend of animal treatment to touch their hearts and evangelism to touch their souls.   E3 followed up the evangelism with training in audio bible storying devices, putting the word repeatedly into the hands of a people unable to access the Bible in other ways as well as three churches in the locations were planted and will be fed by the missionary pastors on the ground.   

To be part of such a mission was a joy that resonates deep in my heart.  How beautiful to watch the hope of Jesus reach to the unreached with a very practical love accompanying it.   As you continue to pray for the Toposa please pray for the pastors that have dedicated these years to reaching the people as great personal sacrifice and for the many new believers that they would be grounded in their faith.   Pray for church leaders to arise from these new churches and for the word of the Lord to taught through Bible storying through out the Toposa lands.

I have been blessed beyond measure and humbled to work alongside men and women and youth that have a burden to spread the gospel on this very fertile ground.   

Blessings and peace, Troy

 

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Learning how to use the audio bible story device.

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update…

Dear Friends,

 

We hope you are well and have been so blessed by your continued support of the ministry of Christian Veterinary Mission partnering with His Cherished Ones to support the communities surrounding Nakuru, Kenya with the practical love of the gospel. 

I wanted to update you on the upcoming projects that you could be involved with as the year draws to an end, and give you a few avenues in ways that you could support, if you feel so led.  Many of you are familiar with gift catalogs and other such opportunities to give.  For those of you in Bakersfield you may have heard of Market of Hope at Laurel Glen Bible Church this coming weekend.   This year we have the incredible opportunity to be apart of this event and allow those attending to partner with us in the project work that God has called us to here in Kenya.  

Our work continues to be multifaceted and we are excited about all of the opportunities there is to serve.   The following is a more detailed description of the four projects we are working with.

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Discipleship Materials:

Having been on the mission field for four years now,  one of the greatest need God has placed before us is to walk life with those around us to help impact their life for Christ.   Working within a squatter’s community at the edge of a dumpsite, my heart has been consistently pulled toward the men of this community. They are high school age to early thirties trying hard to walk life straight, but having the impossibly heavy weight of a hopelessness that the surrounds the dump pulling them towards the world.    Our desire is to put together a packet of material that would be easy to understand at basic education levels and form a discipleship group that would primarily meet the spiritual needs, but holistically address all aspects of their lives in order to be transformed.  The packet of materials would include a bible, notebook and study materials. As well as, photocopied notes on how to study the bible, resources on story telling the Bible and other discipleship material.   The goal is to deeply root them in their faith that they may in turn face each challenge in a way that brings honor to God.

 

 

Dairy goats for vulnerable families:

Dairy goats are God’s gift for the developing world.  A small package of nutrition and supplemental livelihood ready made for the rural, semi-rural, or mostly urban population.   It is recognized as one of the best places for resources to be spent in developing those around.   Unfortunately, in-breeding in these goats has lead to health problems and decline in milk production. Therefore, the top goats have become scarce and hard to find.   We are working with the local farmers and breeding organizations to bring back the production potential of the goats, and then source the best goats to be placed in two different programs. 

Our main goal is to provide nutrient rich milk from our goats as a supplement to the infants under our care at His Cherished Ones.   The milk that is produced from a goat is higher in fat and protein than cow’s milk, and aids in immune system function and proper growth, especially for the babies we receive that are malnourished.   Formula is an option for these babies, but the cost is much higher and we have seen from experience those who are sick improve with the goat’s milk. We are hoping to have a foundational herd of eight does to provide the needs for the babies, and to be the breeding stock for producing goats for the community around.   

As God provides, we can take these same high quality goats and build a house and place them in a needy family that can keep the goat and produce milk and offspring for their family.   If done well and the goat produces well it can sustain the milk needs of the family and the excess sold to produce an income.   The input required fit the lifestyle of a widowed grandmother who farms to support herself and her grandchildren that she has been left with.  The left over farm products, in combination with small inputs from the feed store, can be utilized in order to produce the milk.  

As a side note, we are working on bringing in genetics through AI (Artificial Insemination) from these goats to bring a higher level of production to these goats.  

 

Biogas System:

A small-scale biogas production is a technology that is greatly in need and is a great steward of the resources that we have in Kenya.    The technology takes the manure from cows, or other livestock, and collects the methane that is produced from the waste in order to harness it and use it as a general purpose fuel for cooking or heating or lighting in some capacities.   The process uses microbial digestion of the manure to produce the methane and the process also yields an incredible organic fertilizer for use in producing vegetables or crops.  

As part of a proposed dairy project for His Cherished Ones we will build a cowshed, which incorporates the biogas system in it in order to provide the cooking gas for preparing the babies meals and the fertilizer for the farm.    This would eliminate the need for other fuels, such as propane and hopefully even charcoal, which is the main source of cooking fuel in Kenya.

The biogas technology has great potential in many areas, however, the application is perfect for His Cherished Ones and the needs that coincide with the resources that are available.

Jersey Dairy Cow:

One of the joys of being a cow vet in a cow country is there are many beautiful cows to admire, but even with all the beautiful cows out there few are as beautiful as the Jersey.   The Jersey is a beautiful creation through and through; her personality is fun, structure is a small package of beauty and the milk is packed with everything good, specifically butterfat and protein exceeding that of other dairy breeds.   When it comes to supply milk for growing toddlers, this is the best we can get to help them catch the growth chart that has left most of them significantly behind.   Our plan and desire is to order two pregnant Jersey heifers to be delivered in April from an organization that’s mandate is to produce high quality dairy cows to Kenya, and they have assured us that they will reserve the cows for us.    We have planned and will construct a zero-grazing unit on the campus of His Cherished Ones, in which will provide milk year round for the babies. The excess will be sold to support the project, and also to be a blessing to our employees and neighbors who will buy from us.  

 

Each of the projects is an incredible blessing to be apart of as we look to what God is doing in the communities around Nakuru.   Please feel free to contact us if we can answer any questions or just to say hi,  we truly appreciate your support.     

 

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A new job for us….

For the past four weekends on Sunday Abraham and Joseph, or just one of them, will come over for a meal and tutoring in their school work. Troy and I have had to really brush up on our math and social studies. 🙂
We have enjoyed their company every Sunday and realized we are starting way too early on having to relearn the homework we are teaching…. it wasn’t suppose to happen for another 5-6 years with Dakota:-) haha

“my boys”

Something that happens a lot when we are downtown are street kids coming up to us asking for money and they are usually high on glue. But ever since we moved here there has always been one boy that didn’t look like a street kid and seemed like a pretty legit boy. The more we saw him and talked to him the more we heard his story…..

His name is Joseph and he lives with another boy his age in a tiny room “house”. They, Joseph and Abraham, both do not have parents and they go to the same school. Because they go to school Monday- Friday they work on Saturday’s to earn money for rent and food.

They have to walk an hour and half to town from their house. When they arrive to town they then have to look for a job and not every Saturday they will find one. When they do get a job they will work a hard, back-acing 8-hour job to earn $2! Their rent is around $25/month, which is a lot of money especially when you earn around $2 one day a week.

So another way they earn money is by asking people around town for money. They ask the locals and the tourist. And it’s awesome how God provides for them!

As time went by and the more we got to know Joseph and Abraham the more we were burdened to help them on a regular basis. So this past May we talked to them about how we will buy their food for them and they can continue to work for their rent money.

Since then our relationship with them has really developed and the more we get to know them the more we really like these boys. We like, and really admire, how they didn’t give up their hard life and ran to the streets. We liked that they go to school and work hard to pay rent. We like how they treat each other like brothers. We like how they love to hold Hope and play with Dakota and Kate. We like how they come almost every weekend and hangout with us and eat dinner with us. We like how they make it a priority to go to church every Sunday.

This week was especially fun for me. They decided to stop by on Thursday and hang out with the girls and me while Troy was at work. It was fun! They stayed for three hours. We ate lunch and talked and played. Then Abraham came over on Sunday evening and we cooked dinner together. He is a really cool kid. He likes to laugh. He doesn’t know English very well and I don’t know Swahili very well. It’s a fun combination☺ He was a very good cook. I feel like they are becoming more and more like my boys☺ Even though they are teenagers, haha.

I’m happy today, so happy…

The past month or so I am becoming more and more appreciative of the health care and hospitals in the U.S. I always knew how blessed I was to have a clean hospital or doctor office I could go to but now I have come to a deeper appreciation of what I had before.
This past month and a half I have been volunteering at the local government hospital that is down the road, PGH. I have previously talked about this hospital on my blog about what the delivery rooms are like. Even though I am not working in the delivery rooms as of now, it is still an eye opener of how things are ran in a 3rd world country.

As most of you know, I LOVE babies (I get it from my mom☺)! So when I found out PGH has a nursery (“ICU unit for babies”) I was overjoyed with the thought of serving our Father by holding the babies or helping the nurses however possible. I heard the nursery was an experience as far as topless moms walking around and how HOT the room temp was, but I didn’t think about the part of how there would be three babies in ONE incubator! There are no machines hooked up to them and there are about 25 people in the tiny nursery… mainly med. students on rounds with the doc. Usually there are babies screaming their heads off but no one to hold them, the nurses are so busy they don’t have time to stop to consol the baby so the baby will have to wait for the mom to come to nurse.

The babies are so small, the size of my hand, and so frail and so cute! I fell in LOVE!!(I can see a future adoption! Haaha) There are usually about 3 or 4 babies who do not have moms do to death or abandonment so when I am there I am bathing those babies and feeding them their formula from a spoon. As I am feeding the babies it’s such a great time of conversation with the nurses and it’s a huge load taken off of their plate.

I love how God has opened doors to allow me to serve him in the areas I love. Lord willing, on the days there will not be any babies without moms I will be able to go to the after care ward with the moms who just delivered. Many of the moms are young and don’t know how to take care of their babies, so I will be able to teach them to nurse and care for their little one.

Our girls are fun and energetic as ever! ☺ Dakota is turning 5 in July but acts like she is turning 15! She is my little mamma always asking if she can go with me to the Nursery to hold the babies. The other day she told me, “Mama, I would like to have 6 kids! But if I do I will need house help.” haha!
Kate is my little OCD girl, haha! She LOVES to wash her hands every 10 min, little exaggeration but it does seem like it’s every 10 minutes. ☺ She loves to read books and clean dishes. The other day she asked if she could help me with the dishes, when I said yes she stared to sing, “I’m happy today, so happy”. I asked her, “Why are you so happy?” she replied, “Because I get to wash the dishes!”
My little Hope is a mama’s girl. She is always on my hip or following me around the house. She LOVES to be outside, she is in her element when outside. This morning Troy said, with a suspicious smirk on his face, Hope’s personality is the most like yours, Bekah….don’t know if that was meant as a compliment or not☺ haha! She dances every time music comes on…just like a true African.

A Second Love….

Juakali is the Swahili phrase that means something like home invention or the back yard way of doing things.  I, Troy, find it in my vocabulary more and more these days as I look around and the necessity of invention.

Garden tools made of old plow discs, welders with bare wires running them, water drums made from roofing sheets.  I love the innovation that comes with this word, as it is exactly my style.  I decided when in Africa I should act as the Kenyans do, so I got out the tools and did it my self.  The result: A jeep that looks like it went the barber for a flat top and one fun day with an open aired safari.

First loves; While in the past 16 years I have been driving I have driven many different cars my first desire for a vehicle was always a Toyota pickup 1989 body style.  About 3 years before we left for Africa I bought my first love and loved it! 🙂  The separation was hard on me and as I would see the same model in Africa I wished to have it transported here.  With time the love faded and I was able to move on to the second love.

The along came the second love… with nostalgic old Africa there was instant infatuation, then when infatuation faded with the bumpy suspension, the leaky door jams and constant medical check-ups we forged on to love.   My baby, who is older than I am, is a 1970 something green land cruiser jeep, which I have adapted for use in all sorts of locations.  She hauls live animals and dead ones, vegetables and fencing posts, volleyball players and visitors, molasses and hay, interns and my cute little girls.  Every task required, she finds a way of handling.  Recently the relationships deepened even further….

Since the purchase I have always thought of removing the top and driving it with open air, but with half of it silicone to the sides and the heavy rains last year it never happened.  With no excuses left we decided that it would be the perfect double date to remove the roof, lay down the wind shield and go for safari.  So Bekah and I and Nate and Sarah, our good friends from Rohi, headed out one Saturday morning on an early game drive in the park.   After having such a great experience driving around with no top and the wind screen (shield) secured down birds circling above and wildlife all about.  We decided that we need to modify the jeep to make it pop off quick the only real concern was letting Bekah drive as she tends to play in the mud and we would have no cover from the shrapnel. (it was fun!)

Despite the concern, today we returned from the second safari adventure of the jeep, camping!  The camping was great, but the sleeping was the best!  We drove the jeep under a yellow barked acacia with a branch position perfectly to hang a mosquito net, then with our mattress tailored perfect to the roof rack we spread our sleeping bags and hit the hay on top of the jeep for a perfect nights sleep for two of us.  The next morning transformation began, the sleeping quarters tucked away we again removed the top and headed out to see a different park and again enjoy the time.  If dating builds a good relationship then we have many more adventures in store for this second love of mine:-)

 

last weekend….

We had such a wonderful weekend celebrating Christ’s resurrection with our family in Nairobi. My Aunt and Uncle and their two girls live in Nairobi as missionaries. What a blessing it is to have them 3 hours away!!!! We decided to spend the whole weekend, Friday-Monday, with them. They were so gracious to us and allowed us to stay with them for that long! 🙂 Their girls (Abby and Lilly) are so good with our girls and are ALWAYS helping out. They are so sweet with them. Abby is 13 and Lilly is 10, it’s fun watching them at their ages….developing into young ladies. Their parents are AWESOME at parenting them and I always learn so much from them. ANYWAY, the weekend was full of remembrance of what Christ has done for us, good conversations with family, relaxation, and a lot of laughter. It was nice. Much needed!

Another fun thing that happened last weekend was my baby (Hope) started walking!!!! Yeah! She is dang cute. She stands and starts going. She gets a huge grin on her face because she is so proud of herself. We are so excited for her.

Another fun thing, my mom is visiting for a few weeks. It’s been so nice to have her here. Troy and I are so grateful to have this time with her. Dakota, Kate and Hope forget they have parents when YiaYia is around, they LOVE her!

Also, Dakota lost  tooth. CRAZY! Well, she didn’t quite loose it naturally. 🙂 She was so excited to receive a gift from her Oma she started to open it with her teeth (without our knowing), she came running to me crying, “my tooth! it’s bleeding!” She was trying so hard to open her new package she loosened her tooth and that night it fell out. She was so excited it fell out because she gets a “new big tooth”, even though it might take a couple of years:-)

We hope you guys had a blessed weekend and week. Blessings!

Jiggling Cheeks…

The first night with a new puppy… the sleeplessness and potty runs have not yet set in and I cheerfully but groggily got out of bed to tend to her needs at what turned out to be 4 am.  After deciding she wanted to play and was awake for the day, I gave up on the idea of more sleep and decided that my stomach was growling.  So there I am preparing some food at 4:30 am a tad bit cold because I only have my shorts on but too lazy and preoccupied with my stomach and Amani (our puppy, which means Peace) to really want to go up stairs and get more clothes.

A hot cup a coffee snuggling with a now sleeping puppy and my bible, the morning started well.

The real high light of the morning was later after Bekah took over puppy duties and before the kids rose with a fury I was out for a morning run.  The mornings have been almost crisp and clear, which makes for a pinkish gray fog hanging over lake Nakuru until the sun breaks and pushes her way to full light.  But this morning the lake was quickly out ranked as I started climbing the hill behind our house.  I am always running the opposite of morning school kid traffic and so the occasional pod of girls or singlet kid will come toddling down the hill.  There he was a ten-year-old kid alone half jogging down the hill one hand behind his back stabilizing his bag the other swinging along side.    All I really noticed was his square cheeks giggling with each step.  His face was so cute that with every step there was a ripple that started as his chin and worked it way up the sides ending with his big lower lip bobbing right along.  He tried to smile at me but I think the weight of those cheeks was just too much to carry and only a faint grin appeared.  It was enough it made my day completely