In early July, a Lighthouse Trails missionary family traveled to Kenya to work along side our Bryce Home pastors and families for 6-9 months. This young family prayed for God’s guidance in making their decision to go be with our Bryce families for this extended period of time. With monthly support raised from their own friends and family, John, Shannan, and their three children are excited for this opportunity to serve the Lord. Under the guidance of Roger Oakland from Understand the Times, the family will be helping with the Bryce Homes SBO (Small Business Opportunity) program, which is a way for the Bryce families to become more self-sufficient (allowing UTT to develop new Bryce Homes in Kenya). By being there for several months, the family will also be able to help identify areas that the Bryce Home program in Kenya can be even more effective. Plus, there are several projects that John and Shannan would like to assist with while they are there.
We hope you enjoy the slideshow below, which highlights the first week of the family’s time in Kenya with the Bryce Homes. Please pray for them during these next several months. Pray for their safety, health, and strength. And may the Lord bless them and the work of their hands throughout their stay in Kenya. We believe this family will be a blessing to our brothers and sisters in Kenya, and we also believe our kindhearted and wise Bryce pastors and families will be a blessing to them. If you would like to read more about the Bryce Homes in Kenya, or if you would like to help support the program, please go to Understand the Times website. The Bryce Homes in Kenya program is supported solely by UTT and LT readers. If you have any questions, you can call Lighthouse Trails at 866-876-3910. Below the slideshow, we thought you might like to read a message from John, describing their first visit to some of the Bryce Homes after arriving in Kenya.
Yesterday we left the house at 7 am and saw children walking to school or getting rides on pikipikis (motorbike taxis), men already working, women opening up their shops or bringing their goods to the market to sell. All dressed as if they were on their way to a board meeting. We left as the sun began showing its face thru the banana leaves and left a golden glare on the maize. We drove to a super remote village that can be reached after driving an hour on paved roads then another 2 hours on the roughest of rough dirt roads.
Along the way, we heard men and children yell “mazungu!” which means white person or white at heart and children waved and smiled. At last we reached the first Bryce Home to deliver food with the pastors to all the widows in their program.
It was great to see what they have been given, like a home with cement floors, an indoor kitchen, and a separate latrine (with a sitting toilet, not a squatty potty) with a shower room. When you read shower room, please don’t picture an American shower room. It is simply just a room where you would bring a bucket of water and soap to wash yourself then get dressed in. These ladies are so thankful for what they have been given and were excited to invite us in to have a seat.
Our kids had fun holding goats and chickens and meeting new faces but then were super stoked when a family presented a chicken to Trent. It seems like boys are revered here more than girls, and Trent is loving it. As the day went on, we went on dirt roads for hours, and we met 9 families altogether and were blown away when each member of our family was given a chicken and all we brought was mazungus and candy. That’s right we were given a blessing and chickens!
So we had 5 chickens with their legs tied together on the floor of the matatu as we bounced our way home on every back road known to mankind. What stood out to us was the generosity of these families and the fact that these pastors do this 11-hour journey monthly. Then I realized that it is almost impossible to be self-sufficient in such a rural area [there is no electricity in this particular region where several of the Bryce families live]. Some needs I saw were the lack of shoes for some of the kids (a teenager asked me for mine), and I noticed some toddlers with distended bellies. I think some of those little ones were actually the neighbor kids who came to see the mazungus, but it was pretty eye-opening. We left the house that morning just a family of five wanting to see how the rest of the world lives and returned home as blessed chicken farmers. The kids want to keep them all as pets or layers, but Evaline [Pastor Achilla’s daughter] (our 21-year-old Kenyan “daughter”) wants them all for dinner. Sevan’s lil chicken either got taken by a dog, or it pecked its string off its leg and walked away. We chose the latter conclusion to tell Sevan the next morning.
John, Shannan, and the kids