#8 Message from Judy

Hi friends and family,

Sorry it has been so long but I never seem to be close to a computer at the right time of day.  My visit this time has been much more varied in activities with Jecinta not here. I am not just visiting the social work cases and walking hills.  I miss her terribly and everyone knows it and has helped to keep me busy.

My big concern when I came was the Mji Wa Neema.  There are only 4 children here on a daily basis and 2 are in 8th grade. Fr. Kiriti and Jecinta did not want to bring in more children. We met the chairman of the parish at Mass last Sunday and they were meeting right after Mass so he invited me to say a few words. I introduced myself and explained that I had been involved with the orphanage since ’06 and had raised money to improve the site, assist the children with their needs, plan outings, buy shoes, etc,etc.  Then I left.  The chairman contacted us and invited us to a meeting with the children’s home committee on Tues eve. Margo, Ann, the social worker for Empower the World, Agnes the social worker for the home and myself attended.  I just explained what the place and the children meant to me and what a special place it was, how well the children learned to cook, clean, take care of themselves and the smaller children.  They all consider it home and return when they have holidays even the ones in university. Margo and Ann also spoke and praised the parish for their support. Several members spoke and the group thanked us and also expressed their interest in keeping the orphanage open. They are aware of the need in the community for more children to have homes. We are to draft a vision and mission statement and present it next week.  I feel we have accomplished our goal. Now we need to convince the pastor that we need a community social worker to assist in the process and deal with the needy in the community.

We visited the home Fr. Makarios built to accommodate 40 severally abused children between the ages of 4 and 15.  He is an amazing priest from Canada who can do anything. The bishop gave him the land, they grow food, have a cow {pregnant] a school, a community health clinic, accommodations for volunteers. Of course they won’t know the success of the program until the future. He is quite a guy and has accomplished more in two years than anything else I have seen since I have been coming. If I typed faster I would describe more but I don’t have time.

We visited a site that Catherine Wanjohi is building near Fr M’s site. She has a foundation called Life Bloom, she has rescued sex workers, offered counseling training etc etc and the women are turning their lives around.  They are building a vocational school AND THE WOMEN ARE MAKING THE BRICKS.  It was amazing to see.  They are being paid for their work and are loving it.  More about that later.

The battery is low on the computer so I want to send this of off and I need to write to Ralph Vranizan,  his daughter-in-law Jennifer lost her battle to cancer.  Please pray for their family.

LOVE TO ALL,  JUDY

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