For many years, I lived on the streets of Nairobi. I was a Rastafarian deeply involved in drugs, alcohol, and the criminal life. Our gang used to mug people at night. In Kenya, when a criminal is caught by a crowd, he is usually subjected to “mob justice”. He can be beaten to death, lynched, or soaked in gasoline and set on fire. I was caught and “mob justiced” four times, each time barely escaping with my life. I buried several of my friends who were killed by mob justice.
Monday, September 16, 2013
Anthony and Cindi Holland have been missionaries in Kenya for 13 years. They teach a course in foundational doctrine in such a way that the students of their course are trained to teach the same course. For the first week of school Anthony and Cindi came to UMS to teach the students.
Starting in this way has several advantages. First of all, Anthony and Cindi have worked in an African setting for many years. They helped advise us on the best ways of running a school Secondly, when the students at UMS become missionaries, they will need to be teaching courses in basic Christian doctrine, and this course gives them a tool that they can use. Finally and most important, this course helps the students to better understand the foundational doctrines of Christianity, ensuring that we will be building on a good foundation.
We are in the process of completing phase one of construction at UMS. Phase one included the construction of a makuti multi purpose hall, a stone wall surrounding the entire property, a septic system that can supply all present and future needs of the school, the construction of public toilets, the development of a reliable water supply for the school, and the remodeling of a house for the students to live in. Most of these projects are completed, although the school still owes a substantial amount of money to the builder.
Here is the stone wall that surrounds the property. It is made out of stones imported from Ukumbani, a days journey away, because the local stones are soft and porous. Such a wall might seem like a luxury, but it is very necessary for the purposes of the school. It brings peace with the neighbors, and gives a sense of security and privacy for the students of the school. It is an attractive wall, strongly built.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Maybe you remember this house which bordered the plot of UMS. The former owner had some problems, and was selling the iron sheets, windows, doors and timbers piece by piece. We decided to buy the house and use it for a student dorm.
Here is the same house after Mbali's construction team worked on it. It still needs some finishing touches, but it is turning out nicely.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
The coast of Kenya has a hot climate. Because of this, we decided that our first building should be a makuti multi-purpose hall. This open-style hall stays cool even in the hot climate. There is usually a breeze blowing through it. We are using this hall for many purposes. Right now most of the school's activities are taking place in this hall. Students eat their meals here, pray here, and study here. It is also their classroom. In the future, we will use it for conferences, and will start a church here to minister to the surrounding community. We modeled this hall after a beautiful hall that one of the beach hotels had built. It is not quite finished, but it has already been a blessing.
Friday, September 13, 2013
A school needs water. As we researched the problem of water supply, we received estimates of $25000 to dig a deep borehole that could provide the school with an adequate supply of water. Next to the school there is a fairly shallow, hand dug well but we were assured that it couldn't supply enough water to supply the school. We purchased the small plot that contained this well.
Mbali had his workers deepen this hand dug well by about ten feet. When they did, they discovered a plentiful supply of clean water, enough to supply the entire school. The water problem was solved for less than $2000, including the cost of building a small water tower and installing a water tank.
|Raising the water tank|