St Peter's Life-Line

Supporting St Peter's Schools and Community in Kajuki, Kenya.  

A remote, rural and desperately poor community.

“Our core vision is to Embrace, Educate, Equip and Empower the next generation.”

http://www.stpeterslifeline.org.uk/

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR TO HELP PLEASE EMAILenquiry@stpeterslifeline.org.uk

TO DONATE PLEASE CLICK HEREDONATIONS 


 

ST PETER’S LIFE-LINE – FIRST FRIDAY PRAYERS – 5th JULY 2019

 

“Together in prayer – Umoja kwa maombi, building a community of Love”

 

The news of the month, and indeed the year, is that our gravity-fed water supply system, via a 3km underground pipeline upstream from the adjacent river – constructed in the most challenging of circumstances (mostly underground rocks!) – is now delivering water aplenty 24/7/365 to the St Peter’s school and next door secondary school compounds – truly a once-distant dream come good! This system is completely sustainable, and our deepest gratitude goes to the Pickwell Foundation for funding this project. The days of kids trudging down to the river every day to haul water up to the school in containers for their washing, and the days of expensive, temperamental, noisy and manpower-intense petrol engine pumping to the school’s main tanks – are all over. There will also be enough water to irrigate the adjacent school fields to grow food for our schools, and thereby mitigate our food bills – particularly in current circumstances of food shortages and high prices.

 

News of our Hidden Ones is spreading! The Catholic Sisters at Meru town have given boarding scholarships at their school to the two sisters of our beautiful Doreen, who has severe cerebral palsy (see pics at email). This will give her Mum more time to care for Doreen at home, and to get her into the Clinic more frequently for treatment.

 

As we prayerfully wait in hope of a grant from Festival Medical Services, we are starting to review all our disabled ones to identify and prioritise those whom we believe we can refer on to specialists to seek advice and prognoses for further remedial treatment, or appropriate medical interventions. We have also started our planned, supplemented feeding programme for the very malnourished.

 

We are (cautiously!) exploring the possibility of using menstrual silicone cups (Ruby/Mooncups) as a truly sustainable solution to period poverty. It all hinges on whether the ladies of this tribe – who generally have an aversion to human blood as a curse – will in principle accept them. In the meantime, efforts to find a way round the prohibitive taxes that could be levied against our sanpad factory waiting to be shipped from Southampton, continue.

 

Loans were given to 91 women of our micro finance scheme, bringing the total of loans since we started to 2,687. This project continues to flourish, with many of the women's businesses growing, and many new ladies starting up.

 

With a very generous individual donation, we were able to give our three schools a feeding funding supplement to keep them on ‘full rations’ for the rest of term.

 

Our Butleigh Primary school Leavers proudly displayed our St Peter’s School banner, alongside theirs, at the Leavers’ Service at Wells Cathedral. Children caring about children.

 

I visited Puriton Primary school, Somerset, twinned with our parish school Our Lady of Consolation, to pass on the work sent from all the Classes at OLC, as well as have an in depth session with Year 2s, who are doing Kenya as their project, and a hilarious, practical session of ‘Strictly Come Tribal Dancing’ with Years 5 & 6!

Children learning about children.

 

There are still places available at our Curry Night, being held at the Fetcham Tandoori, Leatherhead on 22nd July. Please could I ask all those who may have friends in striking distance to blast out an invitation to them? This is a very symbolic event where with one meal we (in my case, over-) fill our Western tums with delicious curry – the proceeds, if we have a full house, will give 45 children lunch for a WHOLE school year! The flyer is attached at the email. Many thanks.

  

Steve Curtis is at it again! He’s running his little body ragged over a 24 hour period on a Thunder Run on 21/22nd July at Catton Park, Walton-on-Trent – this is his heroic response to raise supplementary funds to keep our primary school lunchtime feeding scheme going at full rations!

Details at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/steve-curtis11 If you could please spread this about on your social media, it will bring in those pennies!

 

Lord, as we now turn our face towards Yours, let time stand still in our busy lives. We take a moment to seek You, to talk to You, to listen to You. Lord God, by Your Holy Spirit, we ask that You inspire us to open our minds and hearts to Your loving attention. Let us meet with You now in prayer.

 

“Called to liberty…”

   My brothers, you were called, as you know, to liberty; but be careful, or this liberty will provide an opening in self-indulgence. Serve one another, rather, in the works of love, since the whole of the Law is summarised in a single command: Love your neighbour as yourself. If you go snapping at each other and tearing each other to pieces, you had better watch or you will destroy the whole community.

   Let me put it like this: if you are guided by the Spirit you will be in no danger over yielding to self-indulgence, since self-indulgence is the opposite of the Spirit, the Spirit is totally against such a thing, and it is precisely because the two are so opposed that you do not always carry out your good intentions. If you are led by the Spirit, no law can touch you.                                         Ga 5:13-18

 

“Your love is eternal.”

   When I am so convinced about some negative aspect of my life, I sometimes sink into despair. I must put my trust in your love and abandon myself to you.

   When I am so convinced about some negative aspect of another’s life, I am sometimes inclined to detest them and to stay away from them.

   Then, I must stop to contemplate your love for me. Why do you love me, Lord, when I feel disdain and disgust for my brothers and sisters?

   Give me the courage to see things as you see them, Lord, and to love unconditionally. Only then will true communion be realised.

   Often, behind a façade of courtesy and attentiveness there exists a hidden dissension, which weakens communion and renders it insincere.

   Lord, you are infinite patience.

   You are limitless understanding.

   Your love is eternal.

Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan (d2002) was imprisoned by the Vietnamese regime for thirteen years

 

The Lord who gives…

It is he who keeps faith for ever, who is just to those who are oppressed.

   It is he who gives bread to the hungry, the Lord, who sets prisoners free.

It is the Lord who gives sight to the blind, who raises up those who are bowed down,

   the Lord, who protects the stranger and upholds the widow and orphan.   Ps145

 

We give thanks and praise, and glory to God for…

The successful delivery of our water supply system

The Catholic Sisters of Meru for their generosity

The continuing success of the micro finance scheme

All our donors, and particularly Pickwell Foundation

Children wanting to learn about, and help, other children

 

We pray for…

A funding grant from FMS for our disabled

Successful research in the use of silicone cups

Expedited, tax-free action for our sanpad goods

Food provision for this suffering area and for our schools

Urgent need for more funding

Our Butleigh and Puriton primary school leavers

Steve, as he maxes his physical effort to raise food funds!

A full house at the Fetcham Tandoori

 

This has taught us love – that he gave up his life for us.

1Jn 3:16


ST PETER’S LIFE-LINE – FIRST FRIDAY PRAYERS – 7th JUNE 2019

 

“Together in prayer – Umoja kwa maombi, building a community of Love”

 

With four of our supporters we had a very busy and fruitful visit to St Peter’s in May.

 

Jan and Jenny, who have been twice before, sourced and presented many relevant books for all ages, and a handsome set of shelves made by our Polytech boys, to St Peter’s school, as the nucleus of the school library, which they will maintain and ‘grow’. Jules, accompanied by Jon, is one of our very ardent supporters, with a particular interest for the disabled, and raises funds for us through Pocket Money Fights Poverty and her Warfield church, (appropriately!) St Peter’s.

 

What I was looking forward to with eager anticipation was seeing in action for the first time our newly founded Clinic in full swing. I was not disappointed! Initially, there was a gathering of about 63 disabled children under 15, with their carers, of which I was glad to see some ‘new faces’ – the word is still getting around!

 

I was very impressed by the way Pamela, our full-time Occupational Therapist, and her helper Christine, were running the Clinic, giving lengthy, caring and very professional treatment to the kids. Every time I visited, the Clinic was invariably full, with people waiting patiently. The biggest joy was seeing visible improvement to some of these kids – particularly the cerebral palsy cases, and babies catching up their milestones. However, this joy was tinged with sadness, too – some children here are very poorly indeed. We will endeavour to refer cases to specialists for assessment, and if affordable, procure relevant treatment/operations. Some of these children are also very seriously malnourished, and this is something we are addressing urgently, with specialist advice and treatment.

 

We all attended a Centre gathering of micro finance ladies, learning about their businesses, as well as attending a Management Board meeting. The success of this scheme is reflected in the amount taken in from repaid loans and savings from a routine gathering of all five Centres – some £14,000. Lifting families out of poverty.

 

I attended and spoke at two of our regular community forums on FGM – where arguments and counter arguments are made passionately and without let! There are still some hotspots of resistance, but we do know that through our persistent and well structured programme throughout the year, that we are winning!

Men do attend this event – adding to the ferocity of debate – and many men spoke up against FGM.

 

I was very impressed by the work done by the water engineers and their workforce in building the 3km underground pipeline, and associated infrastructure, for our 24/7/365 water supply and irrigation project to St Peter’s and next-door secondary school. They faced formidable boulders en route, and still have just one more rock formation to blast, before completion, in a few short weeks.

 

Still no visible progress in our attempts to reduce proposed import and VAT taxations on our sanitary pad micro-factory, still awaiting shipment from Southampton. Efforts continue, but ‘pole pole’!

 

I visited our primary schools’ lunchtime feeding programme – where we are providing – despite a huge hike in food prices – a daily lunch to over 1,500 kids in seven local primary schools. Even more needed, and effective in this period of food shortages.

 

I delivered posters, poems, drawings and stories from our two Somerset school – Butleigh and Puriton to their respective twinned schools, St Peter’s and Our Lady of Consolation, now being displayed and studied with interest – and have brought back their return offerings. Children learning from children.

 

I visited and spoke to our sponsored secondary school students in their various schools – about whom sponsors will hear in due course.

 

The prospect of a harvest is minimal – it did not rain at all during our visit in May, and, in Fr Frankline’s words “Since you left nothing, except for the last two days, we had some showers down here, but many farms have

already surrendered. Our situation on food and other sustenance is more threatening than any other time before. I foresee closure of St. Peter's institution prematurely due to financial constraint and especially food. Thank God we are expecting around 25 to 30 bags of maize from our farm at Ntumbara [the drip feed and irrigation scheme that we funded] which is not yet ready – it needs around 3 weeks - we thank God for this”. These people face a long period of hardship until they can start planting again in anticipation of the rains in October/November.

 

As part of a new initiative – ‘Horizons’ – I took seven students (some of whom we sponsor) from various local schools, with a member of staff, on a three day trip to Nairobi – to widen these guys’ horizons – some of whom have never been out of their tribal area. In a varied programme: Marcella, our university sponsored student, gave a conducted tour, giving a personal and inspiring insight into uni life; we had a tour of the Kibera slums, and saw the work of the amazing Jane Anyango who mentors young women at risk; were given a tour of the National Museum by a friend of mine, who gave marvellous, relevant contexts; a guided tour of Parliament; and visited an Animal Orphanage. Eyes, horizons and ambitions opened wide!

 

Lord, as we now turn our face towards Yours, let time stand still in our busy lives. We take a moment to seek You, to talk to You, to listen to You. Lord God, by Your Holy Spirit, we ask that You inspire us to open our minds and hearts to Your loving attention. Let us meet with You now in prayer.

 

The Advocate…

 

   “And my word is not my own: it is the word of the one who sent me. I have said these things to you while still with you; but the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you”.                              Jn 14:25,26

 

“…holy surprise…”

 

   The Spirit descends on those gathered together in a small room and breaks the doors wide open. We are reminded that practising resurrection is not for ourselves alone, but on behalf of a wider community. Not only for those with whom we attend church services, but beyond to the ones who sit at the furthest margins of our awareness. Pentecost is a story of the courage that comes from breaking established boundaries.

   We may limit our vision through cynicism, but equally through certainty or cleverness. Sometimes we fear doubt so much that we allow it to make our thoughts rigid, we choose certainties and then never make space for the Spirit to break those open or apart. The things we feel sure that God does not care about may be precisely the source of healing for a broken world.

   Life isn't about knowing with more and more certainty. Life is about moving more deeply into the mystery of things. If when Pentecost arrives you do not find yourself perplexed or amazed, consider releasing the tight grip of your certain thoughts and make space for holy surprise.                  Christine Valters Paintner

 

Pentecost Day

 

   When Pentecost Day came round, they had all met in one room, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.                                            Ac 2:1-4

 

We give thanks and praise, and glory to God for…

 

Our lovely visit in May

The successful operation of our Clinic

Positive action against FGM

The continuing success of the micro finance scheme

The progress of the water project

Children learning from children

The successful Nairobi visit

 

We pray for…

 

Continuing progress in treating our disabled and malnourished

Expedited, tax-free action for our sanpad goods

Food provision for this suffering area and for our schools

Success of the water project

Urgent need for more funding

 

Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.

cf Ps 104:30


 Ewis, aged 17, cerebral palsy, severely malnourished at 2.3 stone

Ewis  

Posters from Somerset

Posters from Somerset

Excitement at the New Library

Excitement at the New Library

Nairobi Visit

Nairobi Visit

Gathering of Disabled Families

Gathering of Disabled Families


ST PETER’S LIFE-LINE – FIRST FRIDAY PRAYERS – 4th May 2019

 

“Together in prayer – Umoja kwa maombi, building a community of Love”

 

The day after our prayer request went out to you for rain… yes… it rained! And has continued to do so on and off, but needs to continue if there’s any hope of a harvest in July/August. So although the rains have come, families still have to eke out what they had left from the last, not-so-good harvest.

 

Efforts continue on both our fronts – Amy Peake’s, and ours – to try and find a way to get our sanpads micro- factory into Kenya without succumbing to swingeing import taxes and VAT. Fr Frankline had a meeting with the County Governor, who knows us and our work, and also met with his Bishop to see what approach can be made from that direction.

 

Loans were made to another 96 ladies, bringing the total of loans made to 2,596! The average size of each loan has increased significantly from the modest £80 in those early, exploratory days, to £290. A sure sign of the increasing success and confidence of this scheme. The associated savings scheme has much improved our business model, with loans now being given with savings as collateral. And… still only one defaulter on loans – where originally we had factored in a 10% default (ie 260!) rate, yet another sign as to how committed these ladies are to their businesses as a way of lifting their families out of poverty.

 

One of our sponsored secondary school pupils, Jackline, has been ill for some time (details unknown), and we will fund any specialist treatment, as required.

 

St Mary’s, Glastonbury, and Headley with Boxhill parishes both put on Lent lunches, raising much needed funds to maintain our primary schools’ lunch time feeding programme – more vital than ever to bring hungry kids into school.

 

Our twinned Somerset schools – Butleigh with St Peter’s, and Puriton with Our Lady of Consolation, have been making heroic fund-raising efforts to keep our primary school lunchtime feeding scheme going. Puriton with a range of activities, and Butleigh pupils putting on, totally of their own volition, planning and execution, a lively circus performance. We have many aims to fulfil for the St Peter’s community, and apart from our major aim in UK of raising funds to meet these aims, I would happily top that by seeing children in this country catching the passion, and doing something positive for their not-so-fortunate peers in Kajuki.

 

Whilst the rains are a very welcome ‘blessing to the fields’ – not so for the roads! Veronica delivered the bulk food to our seven primary schools, and in her words, “It was a challenge... From flooded rivers with swept away bridges to getting stuck in the mud for hours. All the same I thank God we have delivered all of it on time”.

 

David, and four supporters, are visiting St Peter’s in May. Two of them, Jenny and Jan, are working very hard to provide and establish a library for St Peter’s.

 

Ben Durbin, a supporter from Eternity Bullbrook, one of the Warfield churches, combined a Nairobi business trip with a brief visit to St Peter’s. He made some useful observations, and we have been posting his reflections on our Facebook Page. But his summary perfectly sums up our own thoughts on our visitors to St Peter’s:

 

“Growing up when I heard about people making trips to low income countries, I heard of the idea that the purpose of such trips is not to make a difference where are you going, but it’s really about your own transformation. At the time I never really understood this. But increasingly now I do, and this trip has really sealed the deal. There are so many skilled, hard-working people who need work that pays and gives purpose, that for me to visit and try to displace this labour makes no sense at all. But for me to get to know them, and to love and encourage them, and to better understand their lives and be inspired to work in other ways to improve their circumstances and bless them using the skills and resources God has given me - that makes much more sense!”

 Lord, as we now turn our face towards Yours, let time stand still in our busy lives. We take a moment to seek You, to talk to You, to listen to You. Lord God, by Your Holy Spirit, we ask that You inspire us to open our minds and hearts to Your loving attention. Let us meet with You now in prayer.

 

Ascension:

    Jesus said to his disciples: “You see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to this. And now I am sending down to you what the Father has promised. Stay in the city then, until you are clothed with the power from on high.”

   Then he took them out as far as the outskirts of Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. Now as he blessed them, he withdrew from them and was carried up to heaven. They worshipped him and then went back to Jerusalem full of joy; and they were continually in the Temple praising God.         Lk 24:46-53

 

“Let us glorify…”

    Having blessed them…. he was carried up unto heaven, that he might share the Father’s throne even with the flesh that was united unto him. And this was the new pathway that the Word made for us when he appeared in human form; and hereafter in due time he will come again in the glory of his Father with the angels, and will take us up to be with him.

   Let us glorify, therefore, him who being God the Word became man for our sakes; who suffered willingly in the flesh, and arose from the dead, and abolished corruption; who was taken up, and hereafter shall come with great glory to judge the living and the dead, and to give it to everyone according to their deeds; by whom and with whom to God the Father be glory and power with the Spirit, unto ages of ages. Amen.

    St Cyril of Alexandria (d444)

 We give thanks and praise, and glory to God for…

Rain!

The ongoing progress of the micro finance scheme

Lent lunches!

Children catching the vision

Safe and timely delivery of schools’ food

Ben’s visit

 

We pray for…

More Rain!

Expedited, tax-free action for our sanpad goods

Jackline’s recovery from illness

Continued provision of funds to meet our needs

Safe travels and Spirit-led interactions for David and guests

 

Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you,

a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you.

Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.

You heard me say: ‘I am going away and shall return’.

Jn 14:27-28


ST PETER’S LIFE-LINE – FIRST FRIDAY PRAYERS – 5th April 2019

 

“Together in prayer – Umoja kwa maombi, building a community of Love”

 

Schools broke up on 29 Mar for Easter holidays. Sadly, as drought grips this area again, many of these children will return to homes with little or no food, with their next square meal probably being the first day of next term, 28 Apr. The knock-on effect is a rise in food prices, which puts the budget of our primary school feeding programme under severe pressure. There is a small relief though: our 2-acre drip feed scheme continues to produce crops to supply our schools.

 

To our massive disappointment and dismay, we have had to put on hold the shipping of our sanitary pad container of equipment and materials to Kenya, as we discovered that we would be liable to swingeing Import taxes and VAT, which a. we are unable to afford, and, b. our donors wish only to help the needy women of Kajuki, not the needy revenues of the Kenya government!  Amy, our dynamic and determined partner, who is driving this project for us, has good contacts with UN Women UK, who have promised to see what they can influence for us. I will also be working my contacts in Kenya.

 

The water project, to supply 24/7 water to St Peter’s and the next-door secondary school, despite having massive rocks to remove from the 3K pipeline’s route, is progressing well, with the intake having been completed, and pipe laying starting next week. We plan on irrigating up to 5 acres of adjacent school fields to grow food crops, which will further mitigate the termly school food bills.

 

All the ladies suffering from fistula that we can locate in our area have now undergone the reparative operation to give them their lives back! As this is such a significant and simple ‘life improver’, we will now seek to spread our fistula net wider, to other parishes.

 

Our local primary schools’ programme of interaction on FGM culminated in March with gatherings of all the schools involved for a day’s celebration, and education, on children’s’ rights, consolidating what they learned in Jan & Feb through lots of singing, dancing, drama and poetry – and a tummy busting lunch for all!

 

Ben, one of our Warfield supporters, is combining business with pleasure, by making a visit to St Peter’s whilst  on a business trip to Nairobi.

 

The routine treatment and pastoral care of our disabled ones is progressing well.

 

As I plough through the many payments made over the year to claim our Gift Aid, I thank you all individually each time with so much gratitude, as I record your names and your donations. You are the unsung heroes, without whom we just could not do our routine business, which gives us the confidence to break new ground in support of our beloved community. You are never taken for granted.

 

We had an amazing cruising holidays from Miami to Los Angeles via the Panama Canal!

 

Lord, as we now turn our face towards Yours, let time stand still in our busy lives. We take a moment to seek You, to talk to You, to listen to You. Lord God, by Your Holy Spirit, we ask that You inspire us to open our minds and hearts to Your loving attention. Let us meet with You now in prayer.

 

“…darkness came…”

It was now about the sixth hour and the sun’s light failed, so that darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. The veil of the Sanctuary was torn right down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice saying, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” With these words he breathed his last.         Lk 23:44-46

  

“…he must rise…”

So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first; he bent down and saw the linen cloths on the ground but did not go in. Simon Peter who was following now came up, went right into the tomb, saw the linen cloths on the ground, and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths, but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed. Till this moment they had failed to understand the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from the dead.       Jn 20:3-9

 

Meditation: “It is I”

“It is I,” says the Christ,

“I am he who destroys death,

and triumphs over the enemy,

and crushes Hades,

and binds the strong man,

and bears humanity off to heavenly heights.”

“It is I,” says the Christ.

“So come all families of people,

adulterated with sin,

and receive forgiveness of sins.

For I am your freedom.

I am the Passover of salvation,

I am the lamb slaughtered for you,

I am your ransom,

I am your life,

I am your light,

I am your salvation,

I am your resurrection,

I am your King.

I shall raise you up by my right hand,

I will lead you to the heights of heaven,

there shall I show you the everlasting Father.”                    

St Melito of Sardis (c 180)

 

“Open the gates…”

Open to me the gates of holiness:

I will enter and give thanks.

This is the Lord’s own gate

Where the just may enter.

I will thank you for you have answered

And you are my savior. Ps 117:19-21

 

We give thanks and praise, and glory to God for…

A fruitful term completed, and holidays!

Progress of the water supply project

Fistula ladies having back their lives

The message preventing FGM continuing to get through

Treatment of our disabled ones

You, our ever-faithful prayer warriors and donors!

 

We pray for…

Rain, Rain, Rain!

Expedited, tax-free action for our sanpad goods

Ben’s visit

Continued provision of funds to meet our needs

 

Jesus was not the hapless victim of a Roman execution; he was a victim of love.

His life was not taken; it was given.

Scott Hahn


ST PETER’S LIFE-LINE – FIRST FRIDAY PRAYERS – 1st March 2019

 

“Together in prayer – Umoja kwa maombi, and building a community of Love”

 

February has been quiet as our schools and projects get on with their business.

 

Another 87 loans have been made to our micro finance ladies, bringing the total of loans made to 2,500!

This initiative is gradually changing the micro-economic and social dynamic in this community - over 1,300 women are participating and running their own successful businesses. Empowering women. Lifting families out of poverty.

 

Some our sponsored secondary school pupils have now left school after taking their National exams. We have an intake of new pupils, mainly into Form 1 to whom the precious gift of further education will be given. Through donors’ generosity we are currently sponsoring 48 orphaned or impoverished children through primary education, 15 thru secondary, 4 thru tertiary, and one young lady thru university.

 

Construction of the water supply project to St Peter’s is making good progress.

 

Export clearance for our sanitary pad factory is still agonisingly slow: as in Amy’s words, “We are still learning – the hard and slow way!” (Brexit’s got nothing on this!).

 

Veronica attended the Timeless Women’s conference in Nairobi – a significant gathering of the shakers and movers in Africa who are driving forward initiatives to empower women within their communities.

 

We collaborated in a large gathering at a local primary school to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM – the message is beginning to be made louder, and getting through clearer!

 

With our new and total commitment to the Hidden Ones, funding is tight, but God’s Providence has always met our needs. We keep seeking those doors to knock on…

 

Children caring for children… young Noushi, a keen ballet pupil who follows our fortunes on her Mum’s Facebook, made cup cakes many, and sold them at her ballet classes, raising a delicious £60:58!

St Peter’s Life-Line is going on holiday! We are going on an exciting cruise from Miami to Los Angeles via the Panama Canal and other stops in between to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary and Ros’ X0th birthday! So we will be ‘off the air’ between 27 Feb and 19 Mar.

 

Lord, as we now turn our face towards Yours, let time stand still in our busy lives. We take a moment to seek You, to talk to You, to listen to You. Lord God, by Your Holy Spirit, we ask that You inspire us to open our minds and hearts to Your loving attention. Let us meet with You now in prayer.

 

“Love…”

 Jesus said to his disciples: “If you love those who love you, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks can you expect? For even sinners do that much. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners lend to sinners to get back the same amount. Instead, love your enemies and do good, and lend without any hope of return. You will have a great reward and you will be sons of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves: grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap: because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.                                             Lk 31:16-20, 24-25, 31-32

 

“Love is…”

 Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. Love does not come to an end. In short, there are three things that last: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.               1 Co 13:4-8, 13

Meditation: The “Hymn to Love

  St Paul’s “hymn to love” in the 13th chapter of his First Letter to the Corinthians is one of the most magnificent passages in the literature of the world. St Thomas Aquinas clarified that Love is willing the good of the other. It is desiring, not one’s own good by means of another (the typical move of clever sinners), but the good of the other as other. It is to escape from the black hole of egotistic preoccupation, and to want, really want, what is best for one’s neighbour.

   Once we understand this, St Paul’s words become especially luminous. The one who loves is “patient”, precisely because he is not concerned about his own boredom or frustration. He’s willing to wait. The one who loves is not “jealous”, for she positively rejoices in the achievements of the other. The one who loves does not “brood over injury”, for he looks to the future good of his friend, and not his own wounded past. The one who loves “bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things” for her own discomfort, and the achievement of her own plans are not of paramount importance, but what will benefit the one she loves.

   In describing love, Saint Paul is not merely expatiating on sublime human achievement. Instead, he is telling us, ultimately, what God is like, for God is love. Precisely because God is perfect, he has no self-interest. He has, quite literally, nothing to gain. And therefore, every move that he makes vis-à-vis creation is an act of love, willing to the good of the other. When we act in accordance with love, we are not simply being ethically upright. Rather, we are becoming partakers of the divine nature.                 Robert Barron

Thus, in conforming myself to your perfect desires and not to the inclinations of this present age, I shall become more like you, and in loving you with my whole heart, I shall be transformed into you, since love transforms us into the very object that we love.                                         Hyacinthe-Marie Cormier

 

We give thanks and praise, and glory to God for…

Continuing fruits of the micro finance scheme

Continuing progress of the water supply project

The fruits of the Timeless Women Conference

Positive progress in the battle against FGM

Children caring for children

David & Ros’ Golden wedding!

 

We pray for…

Patience for export clearance for our san pad factory

All new pupils joining us

Continued provision of funds to meet our needs

Continuing and progressive healing of our Hidden Ones

Let your face shine on your servant.

Save me in your merciful love.

Ps 30:16


ST PETER’S LIFE-LINE – FIRST FRIDAY PRAYERS – 1st February 2019

“Together in prayer – Umoja kwa maombi, and building a community of Love”

Term is now underway. We have taken on some new needy primary and secondary pupils, for which relevant sponsors will soon be informed, when we’ve had a final sort-out.

Our one big step of faith has rewarded us with one big step for the St Peter’s community. Our Therapy Clinic is now operational, and Pamela, our Occupational Therapist is beginning to provide individual programmes of regular treatment for our disabled children. She will be assisted by one of our Form 4 leavers from secondary school, whom we have employed to help lift patients, entertain the children, look after parents and generally keep the Clinic running smoothly.

Big steps have also been taken by four of our disabled children: Evalyne (11) who was born blind, is now at a specialist school, receiving education for the first time in her life; Isaac (13) who has dwarfism and was unable to make the long walk to his local primary school, has now happily settled in as a boarder at St Peter’s; Tysy (6) a bright little button with brittle bone disease, and longing to go to school, is now at St Peter’s, proudly wearing her uniform, and using the wheel chair with her full-time carer; and, Evangeline (20) with scoliosis, and who is determined not to let her disability get in her way, has started at a Polytech doing a tailoring and knitting course.

Next door to the Clinic is our first dedicated St Peter’s Life-Line office – much to Veronica’s delight!

Our programme to eliminate FGM starts its annual cycle again – with our teams visiting selected local primary schools and starting up and running children’s rights awareness clubs, which the schools will operate once every week, with the children of the senior classes gathering to learn about and celebrate their rights. This element of the programme is a great success in imbuing in children the courage to say NO! to FGM when the time comes for their so-called circumcision ritual.

Final processing of equipment and materials for our sanitary pad factory to be despatched to Kenya continues, as we now turn our minds to constructing the simple facility at St Peter’s in which our ladies will manufacture the low/no cost sanitary pads.

The gravity-fed water project delivering a constant supply of water to St Peter’s and the adjoining secondary school from the nearby river, has now started construction, with the intake 3kms upstream being built.

Sadly, our bid to DfID was not accepted, but our primary school feeding programme continues, with over 1,500 primary school children at 7 primary schools receiving a hot, nutritious daily lunch (we were hoping to double this number!).

Plans for 2019 for our continuing twinning with Butleigh and Puriton Primary schools are being hatched, to keep our schools’ strong links going. Children learning about, and helping children.

The harvest resulting from the last rains has not been very productive, and there will be food shortages again. Our drip feed irrigation scheme has continued to prove invaluable, with a crop of maize being available to supplement our schools’ feeding requirements.

Our amazing partner charity, Pocket Money Fights Poverty, in conjunction with St Peter's church, Warfield have raised the fantastic total of £2,690! £1,440 will give a quality primary education to 8 orphans/impoverished children for the whole of 2019; £600 will go to equipping our Clinic for the disabled children; £300 will go for treatment of the two brothers suffering from terminal muscular dystrophy; £300 will go towards 6 months’ salary for Tysy's carer - the little girl with brittle bone disease - to be able to attend school for the first time in her life; £50 towards crayons, paper, books, toys for children attending the Clinic.

 

A new Assistant Priest, Fr Peter Nthiga has taken up his appointment at St Peter’s. We give great thanks to Fr Gervasio, the former Assistant, for his support to our work, as he takes up his new post as a Parish priest.

Building our community of Love.

Lord, as we now turn our face towards Yours, let time stand still in our busy lives. We take a moment to seek You, to talk to You, to listen to You. Lord God, by Your Holy Spirit, we ask that You inspire us to open our minds and hearts to Your loving attention. Let us meet with You now in prayer.

Meditation: Knowing God’s Love

  Almost always when we talk about prayer we are thinking of something we do, and, from that standpoint, questions, problems, confusion, discouragement, illusions multiply. For me, it is of fundamental importance to correct this view. Our Christian knowledge assures us that prayer is essentially what God does, how God addresses us, looks at us. It is not primarily something we are doing to God, something we are giving to God, but what God is doing for us. And what God is doing for us is giving us the divine self in love.

  Surely the central message is of the unconditional love of God for us, for each one of us: God, the unutterable, incomprehensible Mystery, the Reality of all reality, the Life of all life. And this means that this divine love desires to communicate its holy self to us. Nothing less! This is God’s irrevocable will and purpose; it is the reason why everything that is, is, and why each of us exists. We are here to receive this ineffable, all-transforming, all beatifying love. To really know this means living that knowledge, and living out of it. It means that our way of looking at things, our attitudes, our actions, arise from this knowledge. Ruth Burrows

Perfect Fulfilment

  God would not be so unjust as to forget all you have done, the love that you have for his name, or the services you have done, and are still doing, for the saints. Our one desire is that everyone of you should go on showing the same earnestness to the end, to the perfect fulfilment of our hopes, never growing careless, but imitating those who have the faith and the perseverance to inherit the promises.   1 He 6:10-12

Love is a sweet tyranny, and one who loves has no other language, ever ancient and ever new, which in thousands of years has not lost its perennial freshness and which always has a never-fading youthfulness on the lips of the One who loves.    Luis Maria Martinez

We give thanks and praise, and glory to God for…

The opening and start of the Clinic

Those disabled children we have been able to send to schools

Pocket Money Fights Poverty and St Peter’s church Warfield for their generous hearts

Fr Gervasio and his work at St Peter’s

We pray for…

Funding to expand our primary schools’ feeding programme

Continuing enrichment from our primary schools’ twinning programme

Provision of adequate, affordable food

Fr Peter, as he takes up his new post at St Peter’s

Successful delivery of the water project

Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour; that is why it is the answer to every one of the commandments. Rm 13:10


ST PETER’S LIFE-LINE – FIRST FRIDAY PRAYERS – 4th January 2019

“Together in prayer – Umoja kwa maombi, and building a community of Love”

 

2018 – Happenings:

 

We dished up a total of 325,950 lunches to over 1,500 kids in 7 local government primary schools during the school year. This daily lunch has brought kids into school who would otherwise just not have the energy to make the long walk every day - let alone learn during a full-on school day.  Attendance rates have risen and stabilised, and year-on-year, overall academic standards have visibly improved in these schools.

 

491 loans were made to ladies in our micro finance scheme, bringing the total of loans made to 2,413. Some of their businesses are so successful as to allow them to send their kids to secondary school - building the next generation. Some ladies have had second or third loans to keep pace with their businesses' growth. Our associated savings scheme, a concept hitherto completely inaccessible, is significant, and now a factor in us being able to lend with financial collateral. These ladies continue to show total commitment to the scheme, and focused dedication to their businesses. And... the whole thing is now fully sustainable - job done!

 

We ran our annual programme to eliminate FGM, starting in 6 local primary schools, forming and operating children's rights awareness clubs. We staged 8 x day-long community forums - debating the issues; then an intensive one-to-one recruiting drive inviting girls to attend our one-week, residential Alternative Rite of Passage (ARP) in Dec - at which we plan on 200 attending - this year 300 girls graduated - Result!

With well over 2,000 girls now graduated and saying NO! – FGM will be a thing of the past within this generation.

 

In supporting education and our parish schools, we funded 48 orphan and impoverished children through primary school, 16 in secondary school, 2 in tertiary education, and 1 thru university, with 3 already having graduated. We built one classroom, a toilet block, minor projects, as well as providing goats, shoes, clothes, desks, emergency feeding, knitted woollies, and many Chupa Chups...

 

This was the year we discovered the ‘Hidden Ones’ – those disabled children regarded as cursed, and kept completely out of sight. Through our extensive church and micro finance network we persuaded these families to bring their children to us for registering and medical assessment. So far 114 have registered, some children with severe disability. We have engaged the full-time services of an Occupational Therapist – Pamela – who is at present visiting these children, and putting together individual care plans. Our refurbished out-of-use dormitory at St Peter’s will soon be in action as a Clinic and Social Centre for these families.

 

Alongside the disabled children we also identified 14 ladies suffering from the awful, isolating condition of fistula. 6 have so far have been taken to Nairobi and had their fistula repaired – giving them their lives back.

 

We have had such a generous response from individuals, churches and organisations during the year, and from our Christmas Appeal, all of which is so affirming, and gives us such encouragement to tackle the projects placed in front of us with confidence.

 

Our schools’ twinning with Butleigh Primary and Puriton Primary continues to strengthen the bonds between these children so far apart from each other in many ways. It is so heartening to see the desire of the UK kids to help those in Kenya in a very practical way through their own fund-raising efforts, as well as their desire to understand and learn about each other more. Children caring for children.

 

2019 – Looking ahead:

 

The continuing funding of education at all levels of the orphans and impoverished.

The continuing support and development of our parish schools.

 

The setting-up of our sanitary pad factory at St Peter’s so that we can make this much needed commodity as affordable and available as possible to the many women in the area.

 

The continuous and reliable provision of plentiful water to the St Peter’s and next-door secondary school compounds, as well as irrigating up to 5 acres of adjacent fields to grow food for the schools.

 

Continuing our successful programme to eliminate FGM until this foul scourge is a thing of the past.

 

Providing lunch to those hundreds of primary school kids – improving their health, academic standards and their prospects. We still await a decision from DfID over our grant application to double the existing programme.

 

The continuing growth of the micro finance and savings schemes – lifting more families out of poverty.

 

The individual treatment and holistic care of our Hidden Ones, and their full assimilation and acceptance into the community at large.

 

Building our community of Love.

 

Lord, as we now turn our face towards Yours, let time stand still in our busy lives. We take a moment to seek You, to talk to You, to listen to You. Lord God, by Your Holy Spirit, we ask that You inspire us to open our minds and hearts to Your loving attention. Let us meet with You now in prayer.

 

“Be joyful…”

Always be joyful, then, in the Lord; I repeat, be joyful. Let your good sense be obvious to everybody. The Lord is near. Never worry about anything; but tell God of your desires of every kind in prayer and petition, shot through with gratitude, and the peace of God which is beyond our understanding will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, let your hearts be filled with everything that is true, everything that is honourable, everything that is upright and pure, everything that we love and admire – with whatever is good and praiseworthy. Keep doing everything you learned from me and were told by me and have heard or seen me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.                                           Ph 4:4-9

 

Meditation: The Wisdom of God…

   The wisdom of God… is the expression of intelligence and mercy with which God accomplishes his plan. In the end, events will render justice to this wisdom. And her children – those who have known how to enter the plan of God – will bear witness to it.

   It is true that, to our way of thinking, this wisdom does not seem too readily apparent. Actually, the world appears to lack wisdom, to be governed by chance; it does not show forth the work of an intelligent and merciful God. That is the most common objection we encounter. And we too can be bewildered by the way things happen. But this is true only until the time when we penetrate more deeply into reality, and place our confidence in the words of Jesus. Then we will discover that in the midst of all these apparent detours, the plan is being carried out: a plan guided by a wisdom infinitely superior to our own, a plan in which we can justifiably place our complete confidence

   This, the children of wisdom will testify to, by acknowledging that they acted correctly one day in placing their confidence in God’s plan, in abiding by the delays, in letting themselves being guided by this wisdom, even though they were puzzled by its ways.                              

Jean Danielou

 

The Father’s Love

Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us, by letting us be called God’s children; and that is what we are. Because the world refused to acknowledge him, therefore it does not acknowledge us. My dear people, we are already the children of God but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed we shall be like him because we shall see him as he really is.                 1 Jn 3:1,2

 

Christmas Prayer

   O Emmanuel, may the assurance of your unfailing Presence be for me the source of unending peace. May I never fear my weakness, my inadequacy, or my imperfection. Rather, as I gaze with faith, hope, and love upon

your incarnate littleness, may I love my own littleness, for God is with us. Endow my life with a holy wonder that leads me ever more deeply into the Mystery of Redemption and the meaning of my vocation and destiny.

   May your Presence, Prince of Peace, bless the world with peace, the poor with care and prosperity, the despairing with hope and confidence, the grieving with comfort and gladness, the oppressed with freedom and deliverance, the suffering with solace and relief. Loving Jesus, you are the only real joy of every human heart. I place all my trust in you.                           

Peter John Cameron

 

We give thanks and praise, and glory to God for…

 All that was achieved in 2018

All those who have unstintingly given of their time and treasure

Our staff, and community leaders

 

We pray for…

 A good start to the academic and working year

The successful sustenance and growth of all our projects

The Wisdom of God

Love

 

God’s grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race Ti 2:11


ST PETER’S LIFE-LINE – FIRST FRIDAY PRAYERS – 7th DECEMBER 2018

“Together in prayer – Umoja kwa maombi, and building a community of love”

 

The headline this month, is that after long and frustrating bureaucratic delays, we have finally secured approval from the Water Authority to proceed with our project. This will be a game-changer, supplying 24/7 by gravity feed from the river, water to the St Peter’s compound and the secondary school next door. It should also provide sufficient for us to irrigate up to 5 acres of adjacent church fields to grow food for the school. Gone will be the days of our pupils making the long trudge every day to get water from the river, and the expensive, polluting petrol engine pumping. All totally sustainable and very eco-friendly. Our deepest thanks to the Pickwell Foundation for funding this project.

 

We had a most joyous occasion at St Peter’s, when the Naval family – who had heard about the ‘Hidden Ones’, came up from Nairobi on 1st December, and presented 22 wheelchairs to a gathering of parents with their disabled children! This has now given these kids mobility, and a great opportunity for them to meet and mingle with the community at large.

 

The rains held back to the extent that the initial sowing of crops did not have a chance. But a late onset has prompted the massive and expensive task of replanting, and hope for some sort of a harvest.

 

We took six ladies suffering from obstetric fistula on the long journey to Nairobi, to have the operation to repair their fistula. All were successful, and all these ladies have now been given their lives back! After the op, it was lovely to see Regina, who suffered from double incontinence, smiling widely for the first time since I met her!

 

Ros Kearney, raising funds for the fistula ladies, made a heroic attempt to complete the grueling 170km Etape cycling event Down Under. In her words, "Sadly, Mt Kosciuszko defeated me, with the prospect of 2-3 hr climb into a headwind at +30C, and my legs were cramping up. I just couldn't do it!! I'm so sorry, I thought about your ladies, and it helped me tremendously en route...". To which our response: "No worries at all, Ros! It was a heroic effort, and the taking part and giving it your all for others, is ALL that counts!" Her pain was our gain: an astounding £800 of her £900 target raised… so far!

 

Young Jack from Butleigh Primary School, twinned with St Peter's, raised a sterling £17.01 from selling some of his toys and his granny's chutney, and donating some of the money he earns helping his Mum on her egg round. His thoughtful and caring effort is sufficient to give lunch to a primary school child for a WHOLE school year (205 days), plus a few platefuls extra. He has given a very special meaning to the spirit of Christmas!

 

We have been making Christmas Appeals to raise funds for our campaign against FGM and for the Hidden Ones. Still ongoing, but we have had a most heartening response.

 

Amy Peake is still battling with the onerous task of obtaining ISO certification and other clearances for export of our containerised sanitary pad factory to Kenya and Kajuki.

 

Our one-week, residential Alternative Rite of Passage (ARP) will be held at St Peter’s from 9 – 15 Dec. Here we mirror the tribal custom of taking the girls into seclusion during this the ‘circumcision’ season – but to educate, and not mutilate! They will receive expert instruction on all aspects of how to live as modern young women, and empowering them to say NO! to FGM, and arranged, early marriage, and to look forward to opening their horizons wide with a secondary education…. and well beyond!

 

We are still piloting the surgical circumcision of boys, with five currently recovering at St Peter’s, to take them out of the misogynistic attitude prevailing when they are ritually circumcised in their villages.

 

We have quite a few applications for grants in the pipeline – one so far for FGM has been turned down. We STILL await with bated breath for the outcome of our grant to DfID, to give lunch to 3,000 kids at local primary schools for the next three years – a quantum leap to what we are doing now! Please keep storming heaven for this!

 

Lord, as we now turn our face towards Yours, let time stand still in our busy lives. We take a moment to seek You, to talk to You, to listen to You. Lord God, by Your Holy Spirit, we ask that You inspire us to open our minds and hearts to Your loving attention. Let us meet with You now in prayer.

 

The Word was made flesh

 

   In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came to be, not one thing had its being but through him. All that came to be had life in him and that life was the light of men, a light that shines in the dark, a light that darkness could not overpower.

   The Word was made flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.                                   Jn1:1-5, 14

 

Meditation: Child of Bethlehem

 

   In the Child of Bethlehem, God comes to meet us, and make us active sharers in the life around us. He offers himself to us, so that we can take him into our arms, lift him and embrace him. So that in him we will not be afraid to take into our arms, raise up and embrace the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the imprisoned…

   In this Child, God invites us to be messengers of hope. He invites us to become sentinels for all of those bowed down by the despair born of encountering so many closed doors. In this Child, God makes us agents of his love.

   Moved by the joy of this gift, Little Child of Bethlehem, we ask that your crying may shake us from our indifference and open our eyes to those who are suffering. May your tenderness awaken our sensitivity and recognise our call to see you in all those who arrive in our cities, in our histories, in our lives. May your revolutionary tenderness persuade us to feel our call to be agents of the hope and tenderness of our people.

Pope Francis

 

Christmas Prayer

 

   O Emmanuel, may the assurance of your unfailing Presence be for me the source of unending peace. May I never fear my weakness, my inadequacy, or my imperfection. Rather, as I gaze with faith, hope, and love upon

your incarnate littleness, may I love my own littleness, for God is with us. Endow my life with a holy wonder that leads me ever more deeply into the Mystery of Redemption and the meaning of my vocation and destiny.

   May your Presence, Prince of Peace, bless the world with peace, the poor with care and prosperity, the despairing with hope and confidence, the grieving with comfort and gladness, the oppressed with freedom and deliverance, the suffering with solace and relief. Loving Jesus, you are the only real joy of every human heart. I place all my trust in you.                         

   Peter John Cameron

  

We give thanks and praise, and glory to God for…

Approval of the water project

The generosity of the Raval family

Onset of rains

Successful fistula operations

Ros Kearney & her fundraising

Young Jack, and all children who care

Donors to the Christmas Appeal

The coming of the Christ Child!!

 

We pray for…

Successful construction of the water-supply pipeline

Ongoing rains and hope for a harvest

Final clearance for our sanitary pad container

A good attendance and successful girls’ ARP

Ongoing progress to develop the boys’ circumcision

Successful grant applications and further funding opportunities

 

Light shines forth for the just and joy for the upright of heart.

   Rejoice, you just, in the Lord; give glory to his holy name.

Ps 97:11,12


                                                SPLL Christmas 18       Christmas at St Peter's


ST PETER’S LIFE-LINE – FIRST FRIDAY PRAYERS – 9th NOVEMBER 2018

“Together in prayer – Umoja kwa maombi, and building a community of love”

I had the most fulfilling, yet challenging visit this time.

Schools in Kenya have their long holidays leading up to Christmas, and also end their academic year, so our schools’ Graduation Day was held on 23 Oct, a joyful, family occasion with all children celebrating their moving on. But… it is a sobering fact that many of these children will spend their holidays doing family work – grazing livestock, fetching water, and tilling and weeding their fields.

The rains have started in Kenya, but nothing substantial in Kajuki yet. For this subsistence economy rain = food!

I attended, with St Peter’s school children, a National Holiday celebration held in Kajuki. I had the opportunity to address the assembled throng, whilst perchance comforting a cerebral palsy child. Holding that child, I stood before the crowd and VIPs and made an impassioned plea that she was not an item of shame and shun, but a person who needs welcoming, embracing and loving by the community.

We took the Class 8 students – who were about to take their final National Exams, for their farewell feast at a nearishby resort with swimming pool. A treat and novel experience for all those kids, who surprised me by demonstrating their swimming skills self-taught in the river near the school – albeit with a lot of misdirected, very energetic and not very elegant splashing and shrieking!

Our Disability Action Plan (DAP) – to tackle the 114 or so ‘hidden ones’ – is beginning to take off. We have refurbished a redundant dormitory at St Peter’s as a family treatment clinic and social centre, and to include next door, our first dedicated St Peter’s Life-Line office! We have engaged the full time services of a fully qualified Occupational therapist, to start treating our disabled ones. This was a lovely ‘Godincidence’ – Pamela was one of the medics who helped assess our ‘hidden ones’, and has just finished her internship at a local hospital, and was starting to look for employment! We hope to bring all of the disabled into St Peter’s every week, not only for treatment, but to socialise, eat, and get used to being ‘out in the open’.

I had the joy, privilege and heartbreak of meeting some of these disabled kids and their families, some with such severe disabilities as to wreak despair as to what can be done – other than start pouring out love in much abundance. Some we were able to offer solutions straight away: 11 year old Evalyne we will fund and send to a specialist blind school; 13 year old Isaac, with very stunted growth, but lively and intelligent, we will take as a boarder at St Peter’s; 21 old Evangeline, with a severely deformed spine, but mobile and ambitious to get on in life, we will fund for a Secretarial Course at a Technical College.

I will make no bones about it: there is a formidable challenge in providing adequate funding for this ambitious programme to run… and succeed. If any of you have any fundraising ideas (or inclinations!), please let me know. I am always willing to come and talk to gatherings, with some powerful and moving video clips to show. For my part, I will continue to push every button in sight to gain access to funding, including a letter to Prince Harry, who as the recently appointed Captain General Royal Marines, is now a fellow Marine!

I also met 2 ladies suffering from the awful condition of obstetric fistula – one was 65 year old Regina, who has given birth 10 times, of which only five children survived, and of which her last-born involved an agonising 3 day birth, causing double and permanent incontinence. But, as you will hear later, this will all change!

I visited two government primary schools on our lunchtime feeding programme, where it was so heartening to see these kids looking healthy and full of energy. At one of these schools we distributed lovely, colourful dresses, knitwear and shorts made and dispatched to us from UK by the lovely charity Little Dresses to Africa  (http://www.littledressesforafrica.org ). The kids thought Christmas had come twice in one day!

102 loans totaling 2.2M KShs (approx £17,500) were made to the micro finance ladies, making a total of 2,234 loans made since starting this extraordinarily successful scheme. I also had the joy of attending their AGM, with over 700 ladies gathered to collect their dividends on their savings, and generally have a good old celebration and natter!

I spent 3 days in Nairobi, accompanied by Veronica, to make various calls on movers and shakers in the Kenyan orbit, mostly involved in women’s and girls’ rights and empowerment. One of our visits was to the Kibera slum, which included an interesting walkabout!

I wanted particularly to visit the hospital in Nairobi, Jamaa Mission hospital, to talk to the team involved in reversing obstetric fistula. They could not have been more helpful. The gynecological surgeon explained that the process lasted about an hour, being performed under an epidural, with about a week’s recovery. The most surprising and welcome news was that they will do the operation for free – funded by a US charity! All we had to fund was the travel to and from Kajuki for our 14 or so (so far) ladies. This process is starting right away with 6 ladies being transported to Nairobi shortly for their operstion. These ladies will at last get their lives back!

Final documentation is still under way to ensure smooth passage of our sanitary pad container into Kenya.

I visited the Water Authority HQ in Meru with Fr Frankline to attend as ‘concerned benefactor’, but still bureaucracy intervenes. The water officials visited Kajuki – and hopefully give final approval.

In promoting and reinforcing our twinning with two of our schools with the two primary schools in Somerset (Butleigh and Puriton) we not only exchanged posters, pictures and poems between the schools, but four sweaters each, with children at each school in both countries being allowed to wear their twin school’s sweater during school time, as a treat.

Our massive gratitude to Richard, and everyone else from Warfield’s Eternity Bullbrook church, who did daft things during October in their Month of Plenty Appeal. An amazing £1,525 (£1,827 with GA) was raised, a handsome contribution to our lunchtime feeding scheme.

Ros, my comrade-in-arms Down Under, is also enduring vicious magpie attacks during her training periods to raise funds for supporting expenses involved in our fistula and disability programme https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/rosalindkearney1

We have quite a few applications for grants in the pipeline. We still await with baited breath for the outcome of our grant to DfID, to give lunch to 3,000 kids at local primary schools for the next three years – a quantum leap to what we are doing now! Please keep storming heaven for this!

In our campaign against FGM we are still in the phase when our teams go round communities and personally invite girls to attend our one week, residential Alternative Rite of Passage (ARP) held in Dec. We need funding for this event - £4,800 required.

Lord, as we now turn our face towards Yours, let time stand still in our busy lives. We take a moment to seek You, to talk to You, to listen to You. Lord God, by Your Holy Spirit, we ask that You inspire us to open our minds and hearts to Your loving attention. Let us meet with You now in prayer.

The first of all commandments: 

One of the scribes came up to Jesus and put a question to him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these”.                                 Mk 12:28-31

 “Nothing can ever come between us…”

For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power or height or depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.                                                                                                                                     Ro 8:38,39

Meditation: Let us build that community of love…

God is love, and love can only be realised and expressed in relationship: the give-and-take of love.  Julian of Norwich said there is in God, “a desire, a longing, and a thirst from the beginning,” and this longing is for relationship.  With you.  God, if not loving you and if not loved by you, is somehow incomplete. Jesus says, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.” (Jn 15:9) The God whom Jesus calls “Father” loves us – loves you – just as the Father loves Jesus.  You are loved that much! You have been created by God with love, for love, to love.  It’s of your essence.  Love makes you real.

   I wonder how you hear this. Do you nod or shrug or shake your head? Some of us—many of us—might discover some resistance within our own souls at the promise of God’s love. We think, ‘God doesn’t love me, couldn’t love me, can only partly love me, cannot completely love me.’  But in that assumption we are thinking only about ourselves.  Think of God. You have probably known the best of times and worst of times, and sometimes the muddle in the middle.  God is well apprised of your goings-on.  You do not have to change to know the love of God, but the love of God will change you, will make you real. God’s relationship with you is one-of-a-kind, beloved that you are.  There’s no one like you.  You make God’s day.  This is God’s love on God’s terms.  Nothing, nothing, nothing will ever separate you from the love of God. You need only say “yes” to that.

   We read, “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God . . . if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.” (1 Jn 4:7) We are created to be in relationship: with God and with one another. Our attention and care to reordering our time has the goal of freeing us up to deepen and thrive in our relationships. Jesus shows us that to be human is to love: “Love one another” is his parting command to the community he drew around him. Beloved, let us love one another. Make time to love.                                                                                                                          ssje.org

 

We give thanks and praise, and glory to God for…

The end of the academic year and moving on

Celebrating with Cl 8

Opportunities to affirm love for the disabled

The successful start of the DAP

The gift of Pamela

Meeting and sharing the pain of the disabled

Little Dresses to Africa

The success of the micro finance scheme

Fruits of visits to other organisations and people

Free fistula operations and the dedicated team

Our primary schools’ twinning

All our fundraisers – particularly Richard and Ros at this time

A very fruitful visit by David

 

We pray for…

Rains!

Successful grant applications and further funding opportunities

Continuing momentum of DAP and successful fistula operations

Progress on sanitary pad and water schemes

Funding for our ARP

Many young women accepting our invitation for the ARP

He has put into my heart a marvellous love for the faithful ones who dwell in his land. Ps 16:2

1: Always good to see these guys - always smiling! 2: With cerebral palsy child at National Day celebrations, Kajuki - addressing VIPs and crowd (behind me). 3: Beautiful Natasha - being treated for her cerebral palsy. 4: Little Dresses to Africa! 5: Spotted at Graduation Day! 6: Meeting the hidden ones, and having a boogie with Victor! 7: Micro finance AGM; 8 & 9: Sweater swaps - Butleigh & St Peter’s, and, Puriton and Our Lady of Consolation. 10: A stroll in Kibera Town… 11: The fistula team at Jamaa - our Veronica, Ward Sister, Dr Stephen gynaecologist, hospital psychologist, latest patient - Grace, lovely Masai lady, and… Matron Frederick! 

SPLL Nov 18 1  SPLL Nov 18 2 SPLL Nov 18 3 SPLL Nov 18 4 SPLL Nov 18 5 SPLL Nov 18 6

SPLL Nov 18 7 SPLL Nov 18 8SPLL Nov 18 9

SPLL Nov 18 10  SPLL Nov 18 11


COMING TO KAJUKI

Margaret & Bill Donnelly, St Andrew’s Church, Box Hill and Christine & Pip Burley, St Mary’s Church, Headley

We had gone to see the work being done which has been supported by all your UK contributions to St Peter’s Life-Line - the small personally run charity founded by David Baldwin, an ex-Royal Marines officer and committed Christian.

  The visit started at the local St Peter’s Primary School, where incredibly focused boarding pupils were spending their Saturday morning in study time – amazingly well behaved children aged from five to thirteen were busy at their books, with almost no immediate supervision from the teaching staff – imagine that in England!

  We were shown around by not only Katherine, the very proud young head teacher, but also by Jacqueline and Isaac, the head boy and girl respectively – and no lack of ambition there, as he plans to be an international pilot whilst she sees herself as a world famous cardiologist – and we believe that will happen!

  The school facilities are inevitably rudimentary and bare by British standards – but all the school fees, desks, books and lunchtime food provision that SPLL supports were making a real difference. More investment will be still needed for some of the dormitories, water storage and toilet facilities here, but these are already on stream for some of the other local schools that SPPL provides support for.  

  From the calm of children’s studies, and accompanied by Father Frankline , we moved onto the chaos (to the uneducated eye) of the local market in the nearby County Town of Kathwana with sheltered stalls, or small lock-up shops for the more successful entrepreneurs. Everything was on sale, from shoes to goats, from peas to clothing repairs – with many stalls being run by the Micro-Finance small business initiative ladies that SPLL had provided the initial loans for.

  We met many more of these young (and not so young) business women the next day when we went to their monthly get together after their local church services. In small groups, they kept a strict record of their loans, repayments and any additional savings, under a broader leadership committee – both a humbling and an inspiring experience, as these ladies were creating the means to take their children through to secondary school and college level education from a background of semi-illiteracy themselves.

  With a little more “sales and marketing” advice, these start-up businesses can become the economic foundation for the whole community in the near future.

  The bumpiest ride of all was reserved for the road up to the local Mission hospital, run by three Convent Sisters under Father Emilio’s guidance .  If you were not sick when you set out, you would certainly have very bad backs by the time you got to the hospital – maybe that was why we saw so many freshly born babies in the children’s wards! Again a very good basic facility to start from, but still needing professional as well as financial support to develop its operational practices.

  Sunday morning Mass in the local church, led with both seriousness and humour by Father Frankline (with 28 other churches and prayer houses also under his leadership!) was a wide community event, with (mainly) ladies and children walking in from miles around, and singing hymns vociferously in African rhythms. It was followed by visits to other local churches, to see the SPLL investments there, in school buildings, irrigation areas, and toilet facilities – even when one of the church rooms was in effect an open “wattle and daub” mud hut.

  Again huge aspirations and intent, with firm local organisation and governance, simply needing just a little more guidance and financial pump priming.


  As well as meeting local children and adults, we had time to talk with the priests and committee chairpersons leading this community, to understand what was possible with the society and the resources available, and the political and governmental constraints that can impede grander plans – eg to repair the roads to an adequate standard, to provide buildings, teachers and equipment for improved schooling, or to stamp out any corruption that might be siphoned off from important investments.

  Overall, we found that the monies raised by St Peter’s Life-Line here in England are being very effectively used for the important projects in and around Kajuki that they have been allocated towards but, as always, there is so much more to do, and only limited leadership time and capability to make it happen!

  So our message remains - please start or keep giving to St Peter’s Life-Line and its people of the Kajuki district – your support is much needed and is being well applied to real life local challenges, and is needed both now and into the near future.

  The Charity takes no overheads, expenses or other costs.  All donations go directly to the projects.

 

Kajuki 1Kajuki 2


ST PETER’S LIFE-LINE – FIRST FRIDAY PRAYERS – 5th October 2018

 

“Together in prayer – Umoja kwa maombi, and building a community of love”

 

Richard, from Eternity Bullbrook, one of our supporting Warfield churches, is encouraging a ‘month of silliness’ amongst their congregation to raise funds for our primary schools’ lunchtime feeding programme. For during our ‘month of plenty’ in this country, as our abundant harvests come in, there is still a need to provide a meal each day for hungry school kids out there, to fill their tummies and brains! But don’t leave it all to Eternity Bullbrook – feel free to do something totally daft (or give something up in lieu) to see if you can give a child a lunch for a whole school year - £15 only! Do let us know, with pictures! Details at: https://mydonate.bt.com/events/monthofplenty2018/475419

 

To us, the most inspiring of fund raising efforts are when children catch the vision, and do something positive to help their less fortunate peers. The Butleigh primary school fund raising committee held a planning meeting at the start of term, and have come up with another fiendish plan to hold parents’ purses to ransom! And at the other end of the world, in Sydney, Maya and Bella, raised an amazing £85 from the sale of the cakes made at their very own ‘Great Ozzy Bake-Off’! Children helping children.

 

Something serious is obviously stirring Down Under, as another of our supporters, Ros, is going to tackle the  170kms ‘Tour de France Down Under’ on 1st December, to raise funds for obstetric fistula. Although a challenge in itself, apparently the biggest threat is warding off the hostile attacking magpies during her training sessions. But as a former British Army officer – no problem – tin hat and flak jacket to the fore! Details at: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/rosalindkearney1

 

David is visiting St Peter’s from 17 – 30 October. Apart from much business at Kajuki, we are also making contact with some amazing ladies in Nairobi, involved mainly in women and girls’ charities working in the slums of Kibera.

 

Our equipment for our sanitary pad ‘factory’ has now been manufactured, and is on its way to Southampton Docks. Soon, we hope to purchase all the necessary materials to make 200,000 sanitary pads, where it will all be put in a container and shipped to Kenya.

 

We have quite a few applications for grants in the pipeline. We still await with baited breath for the outcome of our grant to DfID, to give lunch to 3,000 kids at local primary schools for the next three years – a quantum leap to what we are doing now! Please storm heaven for this!

 

In our campaign against FGM we now enter the phase when our teams go round communities and personally invite girls to attend our one week, residential Alternative Rite of Passage (ARP) held in Dec. With momentum gathering over the years, many girls, and some parents are willing, but there are still areas of resistance which will need patience, persistence and prayers. We need funding for this event - £4,800 required.

 

Our discrete survey within the community of those unfortunate women suffering in silence from obstetric fistula continues. So far 13 ladies have been identified – we know there are more out there – in Veronica’s words, “Yes, it is slow progress. The stigma is huge. They will come out eventually”. We hope to be making contact with the fistula surgery specialists in Nairobi during David’s visit, to plan the way ahead to set these women free through corrective surgery.

 

And so…. Fr Frankline’s frustrating wait for the outcome of his court case goes on… At the last hearing he was told by the magistrate that ‘the judgement was not ready’ – no reason given. “We keep on praying for patience. Thank you all for standing by me. God bless you abundantly”. His next hearing is TODAY, 5 Oct, please cover him in prayer.

  

Lord, as we now turn our face towards Yours, let time stand still in our busy lives. We take a moment to seek You, to talk to You, to listen to You. Lord God, by Your Holy Spirit, we ask that You inspire us to open our minds and hearts to Your loving attention. Let us meet with You now in prayer.

 

Sowing and reaping…

   Thin sowing means thin reaping; the more you sow, the more you reap. Each one should give what he has decided in his own mind, not grudgingly or because he is made to, for God loves a cheerful giver. And there is no limit to the blessings which God can send you – he will make sure that you will always have all you need for yourselves in every possible circumstance, and still have something to spare for all sorts of good works. As Scripture says: He was free in almsgiving, and gave to the poor: his good deeds will never be forgotten. The one who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide you with all the seed you want and make the harvest of your good deeds a larger one.                                  2 Co 9:6-10

 

Meditation: “Broken…”

   The Farmer comes in from the barn, leaves a bucket from the hen house at the back door with his boots. I can hear him washing up that the mudroom’s porcelain sink. He steps into the kitchen. I look up from the dishes. He’s seen it already. The man can read my eyes better than he reads the skies. Sometimes all our unspoken broken speaks louder than anything we could ever say. He reads my slow breaking over the kids lightning bolt news and all my not-enoughness that I can’t even grope through the pain to find words for.

   He pulls me into himself, enfolds me. And then, into the quiet, he says it’s so soft I almost miss it, what I have held on to more than a thousand times since.

   “You know – everything all across this farm says the same thing, you know that, right?” He waits till I let him look me in the eye, let him look into me and all this fracturing. “The seed breaks to give us the wheat. The soil breaks to give us the crop, the sky breaks to give us the rain, the wheat breaks to give us the bread. And the bread breaks to give us the feast. There was once even an alabaster jar that broke to give him all the glory.”

   He looks right through the cracks of me. He smells of the barn and the dirt and the sky, and he’s carrying something of the maple trees at the edge of the woods – carrying old light. He says it slowly, like he means it: “Never be afraid of being a broken thing.”                             Ann Voskamp

 

“A grain of wheat…”

   Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you, most solemnly, unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest. Anyone who loves his life loses it; anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for the eternal life. If a man serves me, he must follow me; wherever I am, my servant will be there too. If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.”             Jn 12:24-26

 

We give thanks and praise, and glory to God for…

 

The courage of those women declaring fistula

All our fundraisers

Children caring for children

The coming together of our san pad factory

 

We pray for…

 

Safe travels and Spirit-led events & meetings for David

Many applicants for our Dec ARP

Funding for our ARP

Successful bid applications, particularly DfID

Progress with our sanitary pad scheme

Justice for Fr Frankline’s court case

 

Let the favour of the Lord be upon us: give success to the work of our hand. Ps 90:17


Proceeds from the HARVEST SUPPER at HEADLEY VILLAGE HALL on TUESDAY 3RD OCTOBER AT 7PM will be sent to St Peter's Life-Line. 


Sadly David Baldwin is unable to join us for the Harvest Supper, but has sent us the letter below:

Dear Parishioners of St Mary’s and St Andrew’s,

 

I’m very sorry that I am unable to be with you  for your Harvest Supper, but I’m certainly with you in spirit!

Since we last met, there has been much very encouraging progress in all aspects of our support to the St Peter’s parish community.

 

Schools: Our four parish schools (which when we started was just one small primary school, St Peter’s), are now burgeoning with 700 plus pupils, all providing a quality primary education. Our contribution this year has been the building of four classrooms, and a small toilet block, by way of capital works. Our current numbers funding orphan and impoverished children through education are: 49 primary, 16 secondary, 3 tertiary and 3 university students – all paid for by faithful donations from you, our supporters.

 

FGM: our annual programme to eliminate the foul scourge of FGM continues. Over 1,700 young women have attended our Alternative Rite of Passage over the years, and we will be holding another of these one-week residential gatherings of young women at St Peter’s, seeking freedom and empowerment to have a say how they live their lives as they approach womanhood. Next year we will be concentrating on those communities who are still resistant to our message. We are winning.

 

Micro finance and savings: this scheme has been an outstanding success, with women starting up their own businesses through the loans given to them – with over 1,300 women participating, through the 1,700 loans made. We have also included a savings scheme for these ladies, where for the first time in their lives, they have something to ‘fall back on’ in time of need, or to indulge! The scheme is now fully sustainable, and will continue to grow organically, without any further input from us, apart from the satisfaction of seeing all these happy ladies, as they go about their businesses!

  

Primary school feeding scheme: the area has been through a very tough time over the months, with one harvest completely failing (as widely publicised in the press), and the latest only producing a limited  result, so hunger still stalks the land.

We have provided a hot, tummy-busting lunch for over 1,100 kids in six government primary schools this year (the kids at our own schools are very well fed!), which has had the expected result of bringing in many more children who otherwise would not have the energy or motivation to walk the long distances into school, thereby raising and stabilising attendance rates. The completely unexpected and other amazing outcome was the visible raising of academic standards in all these schools – as measured by national exam results and scores! We hope and pray that not only can we continue this scheme in 2018, but increase numbers to at least 1,500.

 

I was recently contrasting the hundreds of acres of the lush, green, tall maize crop down here in Somerset, of which ironically goes to feed livestock, to the mean, withered and scorched crops that I saw in and around Kajuki on my last visit – meant to feed human beings.

 

Water and irrigation: the supply of water has always been a problem here. There is an intermittent, low pressure and highly unreliable public supply to St Peter’s, so the main provision to our big storage tanks is by pumping from the nearby river (expensive, time consuming and very un-ecofriendly), or of course the time-honoured method of the kids going down to the river to lug their water back to school. We commissioned an engineering survey to provide gravity-fed water from the river, which will not only provide sufficient for domestic use for St Peter’s, but also the government secondary school next door… AND sufficient to irrigate up to 5 acres of crop fields that belong to the school – a very significant game-changer. A charitable foundation has granted us the £14,000 to build this in April next year. Sustainable and Green. However the perennial problem of provision of clean drinking water remains… but, we pray… one day…

 

More irrigation: at another of our school’s locations, which is very close to a river, we have initiated a professionally engineered drip-feed irrigation scheme, currently and successfully irrigating 1 acre. In Fr Frankline’s words:

 

“In our prayers, we thank God for the irrigation project which has picked up very well. Everyone on the vicinity is marveling at what their eyes can't believe. Today kids from all our schools will eat greens from our farm as a welcome gesture. They are very scarce currently. I feel very encouraged, and ready for the second portion for a bigger endeavour. We are getting somewhere in this David”.

The ‘second portion’ is the second acre, of which preparation is underway, and has been funded specifically by one of our lovely donors.

 

I am planning on visiting at the end of October to say farewell to our Year 8 primary school students who will be leaving primary school after their national exams, and attend the AGM of the micro finance ladies, as well as doing the rounds of all our projects and people.

 

We thank you so much for your faithful support to these faithful people, to whom you give so much – not only materially, but in your prayers – and that all gives them the precious gift of hope.

 

Enjoy your rich fellowship in Our Lord – and your meal!

 

God bless,

 

David Baldwin





St Peter's Life-Line is a small grass roots charity, with the passion and vision to make a big difference, where 100% of donations reach the school and community. St Peter's Life-Line partners with St Peter's primary school and community in Kajuki, Kenya, by helping to lift a community out of desperate poverty, through education, micro finance, empowering girls, feeding programmes, clean water, sanitation and the prevention of disease. The charity aims to bring Hope Through Education and a more secure future.

St Peter's School was established in 2006 by a young, dynamic priest, Fr Joe. The school is in Kajuki, situated near the foot of Mt Kenya, in the South Meru District. It is a harsh, semi-arid part of Kenya, and is home to some 40,000 people.

In January 2013 St Peter's school has 344 pupils, of which 150 live at the school during term time (many whom are orphans, vulnerable or very poor children within the parish).  Its new sister school, our Lady of Consolation has 118 pupils and the Sacred Heart nursery school has 28 pupils.

The school has no formal Government or Church support – it has to find its own means. The aim of the school is to bring in children from all around the parish, from whatever faith or none, whose parents cannot even afford the meagre costs (books, uniform, food) of sending them to local government primary schools.

St Peter's Life-Line was started in the summer of 2009 after hearing cries of desperation from the founders, during a famine period and in the violent aftermath of the Kenyan elections of 2008.

The aims within the school are to raise funds for priority capital projects, the feeding programme, school fees and salaries. The charity also funds the incredible life saving and life changing programme which fights against Female Genital Mutilation and new for 2012 they have created and established a micro finance programme for women within the community.  Donors also have the opportunity to provide funds for other, smaller items which are urgently needed. St Peter's Life-Line aims to work in a sustainable manner, helping to bring long lasting legacy. Wherever possible, items are bought locally or nationally to further aid the economy of Kenya and the local people.

St Peter's Life-Line believes that every child has the right to receive a primary education, (as set out in Article 28, The Convention on the Rights of the child, UNICEF) and that poverty should not prevent that from happening. They have seen the HOPE that education can bring to individuals and families helping to give them a more secure future to families who are trapped in the cycle of poverty.


ST PETER’S LIFE-LINE – FIRST FRIDAY PRAYERS – 7th July 2017

 

“Together in prayer – Umoja kwa maombi”

 

I took the opportunity between my wife, Ros’, hip operations, to make a short-notice visit to St Peter’s, and have just returned after a wonderful 10 day visit.

 

The fickle rains again petered out, so the maize harvest has largely failed, but there is some consolation in the production of the faster, lower growing crops such as sorghum, millet, peas and greeny grams. As ever, it is a situation that we will keep a constant watch over.

 

In connection with this scenario, the government has designated our area (Ngambang’gombe) a separate sub-district which will now qualify as a ‘hardship area’, and subject to some government relief.

 

In a very full programme I visited our schools, had the chance to talk and engage with teachers and children, and again marvel at their ambition to better their lives through education. I saw all our sponsored Transforming Lives primary school pupils (total 47), who as ever expressed their gratitude for your support.

 

I interviewed all our secondary school sponsored pupils (total 18), and will forward individual  letters of thanks and their report forms to sponsors in due course.

 

I spent an interesting morning with our Project Director, Veronica, exploring the business and practical case for bee keeping and honey production as a micro finance activities for our ladies. Very promising, and we will investigate further. We are also exploring the not-often-spoke-about provision of affordable sanitary wear for women, again as a community service and/or micro finance prospect.

 

I visited two community forums organised by Veronica, fiercely debating the issues of FGM. There are still some communities who insist on clinging to the culture of female circumcision, but encouraged by the successes we have experienced elsewhere, we are confident that with persistent education and discussion, this cruel practice will be eliminated.

 

I visited two government primary schools (out of six, where we are feeding 1,111 children) where our lunchtime feeding programme is running. Seeing these children with full tummies and bags of energy was so encouraging. One head teacher showed me proof positive that academic achievement was also being raised in her school with the Mean Score of Class 8 in their national exam rising to 234/500 in Dec 2016 from 223 in 2015 before the programme started, and I know this is similar with the other schools. I would love to add at least another 500 children to the programme for 2018, but at present we have no funds in prospect to feed any of the schools (approx £22,500 needed!).

 

I attended a meeting with the formidable ladies of the micro finance Management Board, and as ever I was very encouraged and impressed with the growth and progress of this very successful scheme. As usual I was put against the wall to part with more funds for particular purposes – I try to resist….

 

One of our lovely donors insisted that we give our schools a ‘special treat’ – which we did by having a gathering at St Peter’s of our four schools (over 700 kids) to partake in a magnificent feast, with, on the menu, a cow, masses of rice and heaps of veggies! All schools put on songs and dances, and we partied for most of the day! It was a treat – a true family gathering without any VIPs to impress, or programme to try and hold to. We also formally exchanged banners between our newly twinned schools – Our Lady of Consolation, Kathwana, and Puriton Primary, Somerset.

 

I made one of my regular visits to Rita, the amazing Italian lady in a nearby mission station, who has devoted her life to raising orphan children in the children’s home that she built and operates.

  

There are many, many cases of heartbreak in this community. I met Winnie, a young mum with 6 children. Her father had disowned her, and her husband committed suicide as a result of a family feud. She is suffering from breast cancer, for which she had an operation, but was unable to pay the bill. She was discharged from hospital, and there has been no follow-up action such as biopsy reports or ongoing treatment. Her community is giving her what support they can, but she is living hand to mouth, as she is unable to do any heavy work,

which women do to earn some money. We will directly and practically support Winnie as best we can, as

directed by Fr Frankline. One immediate way is to take on one of her sons – Peter – a lovely, bright lad, as one of our Transforming Lives pupils, where he will board at St Peter’s and be looked after.

 

On my return an email awaited me from the Trustees of the Pickwell Foundation  (http://www.thepickwellfoundation.org.uk ) informing me of our successful bid for £14,000 for our water supply scheme to St Peter’s. Another amazing miracle, demonstrating the power of prayer!

 

Doreen, the school and parish administrator, has recovered from her recent illnesses.

 

Fr Frankline is due in court for another hearing today (Friday) regarding his traffic accident.

 

So far, the lead-up to the elections (8 Aug) has been peaceful.

 

News of my visit will go up on over the next days on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/St-Peters-Life-Line-328519129029/); those who don’t have (or don’t want!) a Fb account, you can see these posts on our website: http://www.stpeterslifeline.org.uk/news/ - scroll down the box below ‘Latest news from the St Peter’s community’.

 

Lord, as we now turn our face towards Yours, let time stand still in our busy lives. We take a moment to seek You, to talk to You, to listen to You. Lord God, by Your Holy Spirit, we ask that You inspire us to open our minds and hearts to Your loving attention. Let us meet with You now in prayer.

 

“And when you pray…”

 And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them; I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you pray, go to your private room, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.  Mt 6:5,6

 

Meditation: “…let him see you…”

Another reason for our presenting ourselves before God is to speak to him, and hear him speak to us by his inspirations and the interior movement of his grace. And one of these two benefits can never fail us in prayer. If we can speak to our Lord, let us speak, let us praise him, let us listen to him. If we cannot speak to him because we are hoarse, let us stay nevertheless in his presence and do him reverence. He will see us there; he will be pleased with our patience; and he will look with favour on our loving silence.

Whenever, then, you come near to our Lord, speak to him if you can. If you cannot, remain there, let him see you, and do not trouble yourself about anything else.                         Jean-Nicolas Grou (d1803)

 

 “God is great…”

 Let there be rejoicing and gladness

for all who seek you.

Let them say forever: God is great,”

who love your saving help.  Ps 70:5

 

We give thanks and praise for…

Safe travels and marvellous encounters during David’s visit

All our donors who give so generously

Progress on eliminating FGM

The benefits of the current primary schools’ feeding programme

Being recognized as a hardship area

Our very special schools’ treat

The Pickwell Foundation grant for our water project

Rita and her gift of love and care for her orphans

Doreen’s healing

 

We pray for…

Provision of sufficient food

Continuing development of micro finance projects

Ongoing successful elimination of FGM

Successful interaction between our newly twinned schools

Healing for Winnie and provision for her family

Justice at Fr Frankline’s next court hearing

Continuing peaceful lead-up to the elections

 

 

Anyone who humbles himself will be exalted. Mt 23:12


FIRST FRIDAY PRAYERS – 5 MAY 2017

 

“Together in prayer – Umoja kwa maombi”

 

This month, as we see the close of Eastertide approaching, we celebrate the conclusive act of Jesus’ ministry on earth with His Ascension in to heaven.

 

As you all know, we had an astounding response to our Dosh4Nosh appeal, and were able to meet all our hopes and aspirations for feeding our St Peter’s community during this difficult time – meeting last term’s food debt, feeding families during the school holidays and boosting the food budget ready to face next term.

 

Despite the feeding programme, many children will be very glad to get back to school this month, knowing that their tummies will be kept full every day!

 

Although there has been some rain reported in the area it needs to persist to bring in a full harvest come August. I have been tracking the weather forecasts there on an App – and the rain clouds seem to keep stubbornly away from Tharaka!

 

Our programme to eliminate FGM continues this month with the start of community forums, where robust debates take place with community members – fuelled by a hearty lunch that we provide! Many of the more conservative members and elder women are gradually coming round to recognising the realities of the awful health and social consequences of FGM to their girls.

 

Our proposed water irrigation scheme is out to experts in this country for evaluation and comment.

 

Another 97 loans were made to our micro finance ladies – bringing the total now to 1,605 loans made. Amazing! We are also taking on another lady to help with the growing administrative load of our FGM, micro finance, and primary schools’ feeding programme – healthy growth!

 

Our separate, primary schools’ feeding programme, feeding over 1,000 children at six government schools, will recommence at start of term, much to the relief of parents – and kids – at those schools! Although sufficient stocks for next term are already in place, we will need funding for the Christmas term.

 

Lord, as we now turn our face towards Yours, let time stand still in our busy lives. We take a moment to seek You, to talk to You, to listen to You. Lord God, by Your Holy Spirit, we ask that You inspire us to open our minds and hearts to Your loving attention. Let us meet with You now in prayer.

 

Bread to eat

 “That”, said Moses to them, “is the bread the Lord gives you to eat. This is the Lord’s command: everyone must gather enough of it for his needs, one omer a head, according to the number of persons in your families. Each of you will gather for those who share his tent.”                                   Ex 16:15

 

“I saved you…”

Ring out your joy to God our strength,

shout in triumph to the God of Jacob.

Raise a song and sound the timbrel,

the sweet-sounding harp and the lute.

 

A voice I did not know said to me:

“I freed your shoulder from the burden;

 your hands were freed from the load.

You called in distress and I saved you”. Ps 81:1-3,5-7

 

Meditation: Seek the Lord

 “Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping.” (Jn 20:11)

With Mary, we may seek the Lord, weeping when he is not to be found – in prayer, in worship, in our daily round of activities – only to come upon him in the most unexpected of places and discover that he has been there all along. It was we who did not recognise him. As he promised, our risen Lord is with us always.

 

“I am with you always…”

 The eleven disciples set out for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated. Jesus came up and spoke to them. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you.

And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time”.                          Mt 28:16-20

 

We give thanks and praise for…

 

Our very generous donors

Provision of food to families most in need

The start of the rains

The success of our team battling the scourge of FGM

The continuing healthy and fruitful growth of the micro finance scheme

 

We pray for…

 

Continuing rain, rain, rain!

Continuing clarity to the community over consequences of FGM

Successful grant applications for ARP and water provision

Continuing blessings on our supporters for their kindness and generosity

The means to meet the challenges of this term

A blessing on all teachers, staff and pupils at our four schools for the start of term

 

“Now as he blessed them, he withdrew from them and was carried up to heaven”. Lk 24:51

 

Many of you have listened to David Baldwin talk about the work undertaken by St Peter's Life-Line at our Harvest suppers over the past few years. As a parish we are proud to help this small, grass roots charity educate and feed to young people in this desperately poor semi arid region in Kajuki, Kenya.

 

Drought disaster in this region is not 'news' anymore, but David has written that the current water shortage has caused a huge increase in the cost of providing a hot meal once a day for the 700 students at four schools (Please see David's email dated 21st February below). Fr Frankline is almost at breaking point. 

 

A portable water pump has been donated to support the irrigation scheme near the Sacred Heart School, but until the next seasonal rains arrive in April/May, additional funds are needed to maintain the food budget.

 


HOW CAN WE HELP? 


Donate directly through their donation page: https://mydonate.bt.com/donation/start.html?charity=75087


David sent us the pictures below.

On the left, one family's crop terrace during drought. On the right, the same terrace after rain.


Kajuki Drought Terraces            St Peters Lifeline Terraces after Rain  


Fr Frankline surveying the school crops, withered and dying.


Fr Frankline Surveying the Crops






 

Below is the email from David and Susie, outlining the current desperate situation in Kajuki:

21 February 2017

Dear Lovely Supporters All,

 

I had an email from Fr Frankline a couple of days ago telling me of problems that are besetting him "almost to breaking point" - a couple being transportation problems of day scholars to school who live some distance away, with our faithful minibus now in terminal decline, and failure in his efforts to try and encourage one of our sponsored tertiary students to take her studies seriously, and us, sadly, having to discontinue her sponsorship. However his biggest concern is feeding the kids at our four schools (over 700) over this and next term, now that shortage of food prices are rocketing in the face of the severe drought gripping this area.

 

In his words: “The climatic condition has deteriorated terribly. Food prices have hiked enormously. I was studying the budget and I’m so scared of the survival of these two terms before there is a harvest.” I heard this just before I heard news that the Kenya government has declared a drought disaster in the affected ares (ours being one).

 

The next seasonal rains are not due until Apr/May, for a harvest in Jul/Aug - if they come. In amongst all the bombardment of other daily news, we read and hear about ongoing droughts (and now the awful famines not so far from us in S Sudan) in a rather detached way. But for us, these are real people whom we know personally and love, and it affects us personally. This of course, is nothing new in this area - and is why we initially engaged with St Peter’s by throwing that life-line to save them, at that time, from closure.

 

I have sent some immediate aid - £500 to boost the food budget, but if it goes anything like the last time they suffered severe drought conditions we had to raise about £5,000 over the period to maintain a full and healthy diet for our kids. On social, and other media we will be launching a “Dosh for Nosh" appeal.

 

In the longer term two generous donors have given sufficient to buy a portable water pump (£1,600) to start an irrigation scheme on fertile fields adjacent to one of our schools (Sacred Heart), that are now available for this use, and are very close to a river. This should give some degree of food security and cushion to the cash budget.

 

This is by way of an update. I am always very reluctant indeed to ask of you who are already so committed to our community. So I hope you don’t find it totally disingenuous of me just to say that only if you feel moved to give anything, no matter how small, it is easily done from our donation page: https://mydonate.bt.com/donation/start.html?charity=75087

 

I am in constant touch with Fr Frankline, and I know he is so grateful for the prayers, support and encouragement that he is, and will be given, by you all.

 

If you do have any queries, please do get back in touch,

 

As ever,

 

David & Susie



Below is a letter from David, following his recent visit to Kajuki and receipt of our Harvest Donations:

                                                                                                                                 13 Oct 16

Dear Lovely Supporters from Headley and Box Hill,

I am writing to thank you all so very much for your amazing donations to St Peter’s Life-Line from your Harvest Supper!

Having just returned from my visit out to St Peter’s I was able to see, for the first time, our primary schools lunchtime feeding programme in action, with the 740 or so children at 5 local government primary schools. It was clearly evident from all concerned, how appreciative they all are of this initiative. I heard of a comment from one person, “How is it that a complete stranger can come along and feed our children – we are so grateful”.

Your donation has given great encouragement for us to increase our programme by at least one other school for next year, and after I’ve done a few more sums (and said some more prayers!) we might be able to increase to yet another school - making a total of 7, with over 1,000 children. Please pray too!

It was extremely hot, dry and very dusty out there. There are obvious food shortages generally, and food is expensive. Most of the planting has been done as they wait expectantly for the coming rains at the end of the month. They really need a good harvest come Jan/Feb next year.

All other projects are thriving – the four schools we support, the anti-FGM initiative that we run, and the continually burgeoning micro finance scheme – thanks be to God!

Asenteni sana tena – many thanks once again!

Blessings, as ever, David


St Peter's Lifeline School Pupil         St Peters Children

Grain St Peters   Lunch St Peters