Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Plans for 2014

Hello friends,

I hope you've all been doing well and keeping warm.

Since I last posted here it has been cold with a light snow fall some of which remains on the floor of my patio. It is rather early for us to have snow. Normally we have rain at this time of year but in late Fall we've been having a lot of sunshine and cold weather. It warms up when the rains fall.

A typical Kenyan village hut.

I have been under the weather again. I seem to be under the weather a lot during our rainy season. I get very tired and my body seems to be "fighting" off  a cold all the time. At least this year I haven't felt cold indoors as I often do and I'm so grateful for that. I'm working on improving my circulation and I think it's working.  One big noticeable difference is that my lower limbs aren't numb and cold as they usually are (more about all this in a future post).

I'm gearing up for Christmas both here and for sending Christmas cheer to Kenyans.  I've been discussing my ideas with my friends as to what we can do for the people in one village near Kericho and for internally displaced peoples in a small IDP camp.

My friend said that for 500 shillings (about $6.50 Canadian), we can buy rice, cooking oil & flour so that the people can make chapati (a type of Indian flat bread). This is the normal diet of the villagers. The hard part is they cannot always afford to eat a meal each and every day.  There are approximately 50 families in this one church in the village that  I would like to help. Total - $350.

These village ladies were so happy with the food supply on one of my Kenyan visits.

It would be nice to add a bit more money ($50)  so that some candy or sweets and sodas can be purchased. My friends could then call all the villagers together after church or on another day and distributes the food to the villagers in one central location.  The extra funds will provide a bit of a party/celebration.  Whether I can host a small party like this remains to be seen. TOTAL $400.

Children everywhere love a small treat especially when it is rare.
I also want to give about 10,000 shillings (approximately $130 Canadian) to a woman name Grace. She looks after about 20 orphans on her family compound.  She does it out of the goodness of her heart through her own funds as well as on land she has donated.  She has enormous needs for food and a better  dwelling for the children.  I can't help with the dwelling but I can help a bit with food this Christmas.  The funds will cover  3-4 weeks of very basic food needs. TOTAL NEED $130.

When I got to Kenya there were so many women that wanted to meet. Before arriving in Kenya my friends in Kenya helped coordinate the building of new jiko stoves for each household.

Last, but not least, are the Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs). They need many things.  My friend tells me that the ladies in particular need sanitary and hygiene products.  There is no water at the camp but there are latrines so disposable products need to be purchased.  These kinds of things are a real luxury for women and girls in so many Kenyan communities. Lack of such supplies affects girls and their education because they have to stay home at that time of the month. It also affects women who are often the sole economic providers for their families.  It will cost about $200 minimum to provide one or two month supplies for the girls and women in the camp.

This is one example of the difficult conditions of IDPs. It really is important to try and help them.

It would be good to provide the IDPs with a bit of food too. There are 28 families in the small IDP camp.  If we provide the same food as for the villagers, it will cost approximately $181.00. Canadian. It would also cost a modest sum to pay for fuel for those who will transport the goods to the camp ($13.00)  TOTAL $394.

The photo above shows the distribution to the IDP camp in Christmas 2013. You can see that some of them are so joyful.
I don't actually know if I can fund all the needs I've described but I would sure like to try.

I will simply ask each of you to pray for these needs to be met.

Some difficult decisions may need to be made about what can be funded and what can't. It is hard to make such decisions when you see the true needs that exist.

I'm hoping to an post a report here about the distributions once they are made. Timing for that will be closer to Christmas.

Decorations I made for mail exchange last year with Tammy in Texas.

In the meantime, I am preparing to visit my mom at Christmas and have a lot to do before then. Several family members will be joining me for the out of town journey. We expect to have a good time and my mother is looking forward to the visits.

Do any of you send cards anymore? I've cut way back. This year I'm not sure I'm organized enough to send cards on time.

My friend, her sister and I will attend one of the free showings of the Annual Singing Christmas Tree this year. This extremely popular concert is  performed by the good people of the Broadway Church in the city.


God bless you as you begin to prepare for your Christmas.

If anyone reading this wants to contribute to the needs I've described in Kenya, please let me know.

Stay safe and stay warm. 


Joanne Noragon said...

I do hope you and the family have a joyous Christmas. Say hello to your Mother from me.

Diane said...

We never send cards any more except to a couple of elderly friends who do not have a computer. The money we save is sent to Life Boats a charity that my father always supported so I feel that is the one I should support as well. They send volunteers out in horrendous weather to save others so it is a worthy cause. Have a great week Diane

Cynthia said...

Those are wonderful ideas for Christmas giving. I like your crochet wreath ornaments and love the snow falling in your last photo. It looks like the view from my house these days.

emilyclare said...

Sorry to hear you've not been feeling your best - the cold really does run our bodies down. Your generous giving is beautiful and inspiring - we like to take Christmas as a reminder to give to those who need most. And what delightful handmade decorations - very clever :) xx Emily

John's Island said...

Hi Joyful, I love these post where you tell us about the lives of these families in Africa. In reflecting on this post I am struck by how much the luck of where a person is born will affect their possibilities in life. We are so lucky to have been born here in North America where the opportunities are so much greater. Honestly, I don’t think I have much standing to be one to say Thank You for your efforts, but they are wonderful. Thank you for sharing your blog. I trust God will bless you. John PS I love your new header photo! Please keep us posted on your Christmas preparations!

Joyful said...

John you are absolutely correct in noting that where a person is born will affect their possibilities in life. I thank God every day for my blessings and that I was born in Canada. Having been to places like Kenya, Mexico etc., it helps me appreciate so much more what I do have. I appreciate all your support. My purpose in posting about missions is to inspire others to help in Kenya. I'm glad you like the new header. It was hard for me to find it in my archives. LOL

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