Saturday, July 30, 2011

Urgent need!!!

Hello all!

Turkana is always a very dry area.  We don't get much rain, but we haven't gotten good rain for a couple of years now.  If you have been watching the news, you have heard about the worst drought in 60 years in Somalia.  A lot of attention is being given to those who are traveling long distances to reach help in Kenya.  Even so, Kenya's northern region itself is part of that same drought.  Turkana is also part of that region.  The above link is to a news report from a Kenyan TV station aired a couple of days ago.

I have been getting a lot of requests lately for food.  I know it is the normal drought time, so I expected this.  However, there are so many more requests than normal.  I am currently in Nairobi for some meetings and not at home.  We are getting some dismal reports from the people who work with my teammates, Gene and Melba Morden.  This is from a prayer request that Gene sent out last night.

"John Kibet said two people died in Nakurio from starvation yesterday while a news crew was gathering information.  John also said he saw starving people in Kangirisae this week when he was there.  (Two areas where CMF works)  There have been three nights of news on the starving people of Turkana.  Stories such as mothers boiling rocks and continuing to add water and telling their children it is not done yet until the children finally fall asleep.  Some said they would begin eating the dying soon.  A group of CEO's formed a fund to assist with relief food and Kenyan's donated 20 MM Ksh in the first 48 hours.  Several people we talked to said they are appalled.  Our CMF bank manager and our personal rep are planning a trip to see it first hand and help out.  So pray for Turkana and wisdom in dealing with the situation."

I am requesting that everyone who reads this will pray seriously for the hungry and even dying people of Turkana.  Please also pray for me and my CMF teammates as we seek wisdom in trying to figure out how we can help.  If you want to help with money, please send funds to CMF account #712000 (Kenya famine relief) through the mailing address (P.O. Box 501020, Indpls., IN 46250) or give online at  

Please change the missionary/project name found in the personal information section to say #712000 Kenya famine relief.  

I don't usually ask for money on this blog.  I just cannot sit by and watch the people around me die from hunger when I know that my friends at home and even I, myself, take food for granted.  So, I am asking for help.  I will return to Turkana on August 15th from my meetings.  I pray that God will work mightily through you and me to help his Turkana children.

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July in Kenya

Hello all!

Today has been a fun day.  I do miss the fun activities that take place all over the States for this holiday.  Even so, I was still able to celebrate the day here in a small way.

My English class started today.  So, I made a cake, took decorations to class and taught a little bit about the holiday to my Kenyan students.  I sang the Star Spangled Banner, My country tis of thee, and America the beautiful to them.  They had the words and tried to join in a bit.  I explained that the national anthem was written about a battle and the fact that the flag was still there meant that we hadn't lost :).

I asked them to sing their national anthem as well.  They managed to stumble through the Swahili version which is pretty good for people who live in the middle of nowhere and don't hear their anthem all that much.  There is also an English version of the anthem.  I had a couple of Turkana friends who have gone to school come in and write the English words on the board for us and we tried to sing it.  I know the tune, but didn't do so well at matching the words to the tune.  Oh well, at least we tried :).  My students enjoyed this beginning to our class.  They usually have some sort of test on Monday afternoons to start the class.  So, cake and songs were much more fun :).
Kenyan national anthem - it might be a bit messed up as they did it from memory and seemed confused.
After my class, I invited myself to my teammates' house for dinner.  They have some visitors.  So, I took my decorations and helped them decorate the table.  I also decorated their cake for them like the one I did for my class.  We had potato salad, baked beans, homemade buns and hamburgers.  It was a real treat and fun to spend the evening with fellow Americans!  So, even though there were no fireworks, we still had a fun day.  I hope you also had a good holiday.

not bad for improvised decorations :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Literacy Teacher training workshop


Last week, I held a literacy teacher training workshop.  I had 31 teachers come to be trained in teaching people how to read and write the Turkana language.  The training was held in Turkana so I had a little help from two friends in the teaching.  I did teach in Turkana, but sometimes slipped into English and then one of these two would translate for me.  They also helped in the teaching.  Simon and Sammy are their names.

We taught them about how teaching adults is different from teaching children.  We taught them the importance of using the same words to teach each new lesson.  They had to practice this "patter" all week and then take a test on Friday.  They had to tell me the 7 steps of teaching a literacy lesson and then teach a lesson.  It took all morning to get all 31 tested, but in the end we had 29 who passed the final test.  Two didn't quite have the patter correct so I encouraged them to keep working at it and hope that they will do so.

For each lesson they have to go through the 7 steps.  Step 1 is to teach the picture words.  Step 2 is to have students find the picture words all over the board or in the book.  Step 3 is to teach the words and word parts on the boxes.  Step 4 is to teach flashcards - so the students aren't memorizing the location of words on a page and not really reading :).  Step 5 is to teach the sentences of the lesson.  Step 6 is to teach the Bible passage for each lesson and Step 7 is to teach writing.  We had one day that had a lot of practice time.  That is the only day that I had time to take some pictures.

So, here are a few pictures showing these teachers practicing teaching a literacy lesson.  I hope you enjoy them!  Next week I have another English class.  So, I am switching gears this weekend and getting ready for that.  Have a great July 4th week!

teaching the Bible

Getting help from teacher Simon

teaching the boxes

 I had a little trouble getting these pictures to go where I wanted them.  Anyway, here are a few.
teaching the steps

practice teaching writing