The beginning of each month is a bit hectic for us, that is when we pay most of our staff. In Kenya they seem to like to be paid once a month verses weekly. It can be frustrating transferring money and getting it withdrawn because we use a service that sets limits on how much we can move around per day per phone line. Even though it often feels like we are jumping through hoops to get money from America and into the hands of our employees, it is also a reminder of the impact this project has. It usually takes us 2 days, sometimes 3 to get everyone paid. This month it was 3 due to days off and limits on what we could transfer and withdraw in one day.
We talk a lot about the kids in our home, the school we opened at the beginning of this year and the children in our village, but we also have 35 adults that we get to work with. 30 of them come from within walking distance of Mercy Ministries. That is 34 families (we have 1 husband and wife team working with us) that have been impacted by the work you are helping support here. 35 parents are now able to pay school fees, feed their family and provide things that weren't always possible before. This job also helps create stability that hasn't always been there. That is huge for our small village! In addition to 35 employees we have 9 people that we purchase various foods and other necessities from on a weekly basis. God willing this is just the beginning for the small village of Kaya.
Our staff is quite amazing if I do say so myself. We have an amazing social worker (Dottie) who constantly goes above and beyond for our kids and other kids. We have a team of 3 drivers who will drive our motorbikes just about anywhere we ask them to without batting an eye. They recently picked us up in Uganda and drove us home because I couldn't make myself get into another public transport vehicle, I almost cried tears of relief when I saw them. These guys are like our sons. We have a kitchen team that served over 42,550 meals in June and July 😮. Over fourty-two thousand five hundred fifty meals in 2 months 😮😮. A team of 9 security guards keeps those that are supposed to be in, in and the ones who are to be out, out 24/7. We have 3 amazingly patient and loving women who help care for the younger kids and babies in our home. We recently added a licensed counselor to our team and a lady who comes in the evening for a couple of hours to tackle the dinner dishes. The lady (Irene) that washes dishes has 3 children who attend our school (we met them and learned of their situation through the feeding program) and I'm excited to be able to employ her even if only part time because I know it is helping her provide for her children. As finances allow I would love to be able to move her to full time because I know raising 4 children on a single part-time income isn't easy.
So far we've been able to help 2 of our employees go back to school to further their education. Pastor Leonard (and 3 other pastors Jeff works with) is attending KReST (Kisumu Reformed School of Theology) where he will graduate with a bachelor's degree in theology in 4 years. After the first couple of months it became obvious that the men attending KReST needed some type of computer class so Jeff sent the 4 of them to a nearby town so they could learn to use the computer. Our assistant teacher wanted to go to school to be a certified teacher, but couldn't afford it before working at Mercy Christian Academy. With him now having a job and a little help from Mercy Ministries he has been able to enroll in college so he can get his teaching certificate.
I just wanted to take a few minutes to share another area of the work being done here. It is easy to focus on the kids and meeting their needs, but we also have a full staff. I say full, but we could easily add 5 more people and still have room for more. There is a LOT of work to be done here and in God's time it will get done. For now we do what we can and wait on Him to show us what's next and to provide.
Thank you for your prayers and support of this ministry. While we aren't a huge ministry the impact this ministry is having in the small village of Kaya is huge.