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Monday, January 30, 2012

January 30, 2012

Hi all
Hezron has reported in from Bungoma county with the plots that are in Kamukuywa.  These orchards were planted for the Pastors Augustine, Doricus, Jeremiah, and Paul.  Again some of the plots are doing well and some are not doing as well.  It is the dry season and the plants that have survived are doing very well.  We will be replacing any of the dead ones before the next rains start so the plots will be back to their original size.  As for the pictures the plants that have survived look really great.  Within a few more months we should start seeing some fruit.

Pastor Augustine and passion fruit 

Doricus and passion fruit

Pastor Jeremiah's wife and passion fruit

Pastor Paul and passion fruit

Why is it when I am in Western Kenya it rains every day and when I leave it does not rain enough?  I noticed that the posts are not up and the wire has not been run yet.  I assume that the sticks will be replaced with taller ones as the vines continue to grow to seven or eight feet.

Hezron will be reporting in soon on the other plots in Kakamega, Mumias, Kitale, and Busia.  Again please pray for my friends in Kenya and please God let it rain.

Take care and God bless


Thursday, January 26, 2012

January 26, 2012

Hi all

Just got an email from Mayor Ben in Funyula on Councilor Magangu's orchard.  As for Councilor Magangu we added an extra plot (75 seedlings?) at the last moment because the soil on his property looked very much different then the other areas we had planted.  I wanted to see how the seedling did on such rich looking soil.  Ben tells me that is is very hot and dry right now.  The Busia area is much lower in elevation (Lake Victoria) then the other areas of western Kenya so the temperature is more reflective of being on the equator.  The lack of rain is keeping the plants from growing faster.  As for the pictures he sent me they look very green and are working their way up the sticks.  These plants are about three months old and to me 8000 miles away they look healthy.

Councilor Mabangu's Passion Fruit Orchard

Good use of Kale within the orchard

Ben tells me that he was not able to visit Pastor Ososo's or Pastor Odongo's plots just yet.  As I get more pictures and reports I will keep you all informed.  I have still not heard of what happened to the widow's in Kakamega but I assume that the two plots that we had planted for them are being taken care of.  This waiting and not being in Kenya at this time is really taking it's toll on my emotions.  I feel completely helpless and the burden of possible failure(s) is almost too much to take.  There are two planting seasons in Kenya for their cash crop Maize.  We have taken one of their seasons and are now approaching the next.  I cannot think of what happens if these orchards do not produce an income for our friends in Kenya.  So if you do not mind please keep the passion fruit in your prayers.  As for me a little prayer for me won't hurt.

Take care and God bless you all.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

January 22, 2012

Hello everyone

Well I hope all of you are doing well and the new year is treating you right.  The weather here in Chicago has been pretty inconsistent.  A day ago it was 10 degrees F and tonight it is 40 degrees F.  The snow is melting and so far January has not been as bad as it could of been.  No telling what February will bring.

Bishop Hezron has and is taking to the road to check out the various orchards around Western Kenya.  Hezron has sent me some pictures (below) of a few sites in Kakamega.  Pastor Robert also sent some pictures from Bulimbo but they are too grainy to post.  Robert says the three plots in Bulimbo are doing well.  Hezron has told me that some plots are doing very well, some are doing fair, and some are struggling.  Some areas did not get the rains in November as expected and therefore did not grow as fast as planned.  We had one of the plots in Busia overflow with water and we lost quite a few seedlings.  As the week progresses I should have more details on how the other areas are doing.

Pastor Elijah Ambula's and his wife working their orchard

This picture says Kakamega Widow's plot 2 however I believe this is the 1st plot

Melissa Okaba's plot

Hezron has also told me that the Kakamega widow's have all but disappeared and John Imala is taking care of the original plot.  After they had harvested the Kale they have not been back to work the plot.  I have asked Hezron to get with Councilor Bibianna to see what is going on with the widow's.  It will be very sad indeed if they have decided to give up on this project.  Once I get more details then I will report back to you all.  Please keep these women in your prayers.  Their lives are difficult to say the least and I possibly cannot begin to comprehend what they go through.  One of our main goals is to come in and help where we can.  We need to do this without causing any harm.  Again it is very difficult for me to get a grip on this situation being 8000 miles away.  So right now I am in complete denial and can't comprehend what is happening.  These women have two orchards and the potential to have money in their pockets to feed themselves, their children, etc.  Sorry I cannot dwell on this anymore until I hear more.

As of right now my plans are to make my next mission trip to Kenya and Uganda late March or early April.  If there are larger problems that I need to deal with then maybe I will have to make a quick trip over next month. 

Take care and God bless you all, and please pray for the widow's in Kakamega.



Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January 10, 2012

Greetings and Happy New Year to you all

It has been a couple of weeks since I have last posted.  I hope everyone has gotten over the holidays and are enjoying your return to whatever is the normal routine for you.  Isn't the weather just great?  Chicago in the 50's in January who would of guessed?  Today was simply wonderful but I believe it will be short lived and old man winter will come to bite soon enough.

I haven't heard too much from Kenya on the orchards since my last post.  The first orchard planted in July passed the five month mark a few weeks ago.  The first fruits will start to trickle in within the next month or so.  After they are six to ninth months old they will start to produce more and more fruit for what we expect to be about 5 years.  The second and third years should be the best and then the yield starts to dwindle after that.  Within the next week or so I will have Bishop Hezron go out and get some pictures of the orchards.  Progress reports too.

I am presently trying to come up with my travel dates for my next visit to Kenya.  I would assume that since we planted the twenty six other orchards about 10 weeks after the first orchard in July it will be about 10 weeks after the first orchard starts harvesting fruit before the others start to harvest.  This looks to be sometime in early to mid April.  This still seems like a long time from now.  My goal is to be in Kenya a couple of weeks before the first harvesting and for a few weeks as the first harvests take place.

On this next trip I have to get into Uganda to visit the orphans that Bishop Moses of Freedom Ministries has told me about.  My heart aches that these children have to live like they do.  If we can be successful in getting widow's to be self sufficient groups then can we do it with orphans?  Out of all the money that is donated every year it is only a drop in the bucket for what is truly needed to reach all the children that are in need.  We hope to provide capital for an orphanage to venture into something that will produce an income for support and sustainability for the children.

Take care and God bless you all