By Understand the Times and Lighthouse Trails
We are happy to report that all of the twenty-four Bryce Homes in Kenya now have water filtration systems. Understand the Times began to place water filtration units in each Bryce Home in June after Roger Oakland, founder and director of Understand the Times, returned from visiting the homes this past spring. Many of the children and widows were suffering with disease and sickness because of unclean and contaminated water. In a June report, Roger explained:
[I]t became apparent that one of the greatest needs for our widows and their families was water—both uncontaminated drinking water and water for other basic needs (bathing, washing clothing, etc.). Where our families live in a remote area, they are required to walk long distances to get water from streams, ponds, or community boreholes and then carry the water in five-gallon pails back to their houses. Not only is there the problem of the water source being a long distance away, such water also contains many pathogens that are the cause of serious life-threatening diseases.
Understand the Times was able to obtain water filtration systems from a company called Sawyer that provides such filters to many organizations that help the poor around the world. The Sawyer filters are inexpensive yet durable and easy to use. Thanks to Understand the Times and Lighthouse Trails readers, we have been able to purchase enough systems so that each of the Bryce Homes in Kenya have one. In addition to the water filtration systems, the families will all be receiving a water collection system as we have mentioned in the past. Some of the families already have them, and we hope all the families will have them soon. This allows for the collection of rain water that can be used for drinking, bathing, cooking, and personal hygiene.
SMALL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY (SBO)
We are also pleased to report that all of the Bryce Home widows now are participating in the Small Business Opportunity (SBO) program started by UTT. The small home-based businesses are up and running. As we have explained in other reports, UTT gives each widow $75 as a start up amount. She, in turn, buys raw materials or finished goods that she sells. Florence 2, the overseer of the project (and one of the Bryce widows), checks in regularly with each widow to talk about the progress and to remind the widows to save enough of their earnings to turn around and buy more material or product. The testimonies coming in from the widows have been wonderful. Each of them is testifying how this and the other Bryce Home projects have changed their entire family life. And best of all, when we hear these testimonies, they give the glory and thanks to God.
SOLAR PANEL FOR PASTOR ACHILLA
We are grateful for some special donations that came in that helped to pay for a new solar panel system for Pastor Achilla’s house. The decision was made to purchase the system after he had gone without electricity for several weeks, making extreme hardship not just for his family but also for the Bryce Home project. Being as Pastor Achilla is the head director of the program, it is essential that he be able to use his computer and also have light in his home. During any given week, many people come by Pastor Achilla’s house for some kind of assistance or to have a meal. We have found Pastor Achilla to be a very kind and giving man, and we are glad we were able to help set him up with solar energy. As God provides, we would like to see all of the Bryce Homes have solar panels in the future. Currently, most of them do not have any form of electrical or solar power.
VITAMIN C AND EBOLA
As you can imagine, many of the Bryce Home families suffer from poor health. Most of the widows became widowed after their husbands died of AIDS. Needless to say, some of the Bryce Home widows (and children too) have HIV. For privacy sake, we don’t mention which ones do, but even if that wasn’t an issue, there is the ongoing threat of disease and sickness to all of the families. After hearing that Vitamin C could possibly help those with Ebola, we decided to try to make sure that the Bryce Home families each had a small stock of Vitamin C if they became sick with Ebola or other similar diseases. While we know that this is not a sure cure, it is an affordable and easy-to-obtain substance that can help improve the overall health and immune system.
Please join us in prayer as we ask the Lord for wisdom and guidance in moving into the next stages of development for the Bryce Homes in Kenya. It was just about 3 years ago that the project was launched after Roger Oakland made a trip to Kenya where he saw the tremendous and dire need in the lives of these Christian families in Kenya. Since then, twenty-four families have become Bryce Homes in Kenya. New houses have been built, clothes and bedding purchased, family agriculture developed, latrines have been built, cookstoves and stove pipes installed in all the new homes, and much more. And best of all, the widows and children are being taught the Word of God by Pastor Achilla, Pastor Nelson, and other area pastors who have discernment; and many in the community are turning to the Lord in seeing His goodness and mercy. What many of them are saying now is, “God has not forgotten us.”
For those who may not realize it, this project is supported solely by UTT and LT readers. If you would like to help support these dear families, click here to go to the Understand the Times website. Also recently we posted a short piece answering some questions about the program. You can read that piece below. Also check out our newest slideshow (see below) for recent photos of the Bryce Homes in Kenya. And thank you for your prayers and support.
FIVE THINGS YOU MIGHT BE WONDERING
1. Does the Bryce Home project have a U.S. building that it must maintain?
Answer: No, there are no U.S. overhead building costs whatsoever.
2. Does the Bryce Home project have a staff it must pay?
Answer: The pastors in Kenya who run the program are compensated for their time, but there is no paid staff in the U.S. or Canada.
3. How much of the donations from Lighthouse Trails and Understand the Times go directly to the Christians in Kenya who are in the Bryce Home project?
Answer: 100% of the donations received.
4. How much accountability is there in the Bryce Home project?
Answer: Roger Oakland, director of Understand the Times and founder of the Bryce Homes International, travels to Kenya once or twice a year where he meets with the three Kenyan men (Pastor Achilla, Pastor Nelson, and Walter) who are running the program from Kenya. He also meets with each Bryce Home family during these visits. In addition, both he and the editors at Lighthouse Trails have regular communication through the year.
5. Is there an emphasis on teaching the Word of God to the Bryce Home widows and children?
Answer: Definitely. While the program does put donations toward practical needs such as housing, food, clothing, water purification, latrines, standard education for the children, and start up money for agriculture and other businesses for the widows, there is regular instruction in the Word of God presented by Pastor Achilla, Pastor Nelson, Pastor Lawrence, and Pastor Daniel.