We have recently returned from a month in Kenya where we spent eleven days at Riziki. What made it extra special this time was that the children were on school holidays so we spent a lot of time with them.
After a long period of drought and high temperatures the rains arrived shortly before we did. It was great to watch crops growing again – a real blessing after months of having to buy vegetables AND water.
Julius has had further laser surgery on his eye and can now drive short distances – the outlook seems positive. We took him north to Marigat one day to buy grafted mango trees to add to our orchard. Our oldest boy, Collins, is passionate about the gardens and is inspiring the younger boys to take an interest. They love to show us what they are doing in the garden. They have had the first crop of peanuts and the cassava was amazingly tasty. Cassava tends to be grown as an emergency drought crop but it was very good to eat after being lightly boiled.
Another day we went into Nakuru with Julius to purchase the agricultural chopper, courtesy of Franciscan Aid. This took most of the day with protracted discussions over price and the fitting of improved wheels – very different from purchasing on-line! The owner of the business came out to Riziki to demonstrate the machine. Moses’ face was sheer wonderment and his thanks was very effusive. The machine will save a lot of time and considerable physical labour as it prepares cattle food.
Liz, with support from friends at two of the Nakuru churches, runs a day of children’s church three times a year to which around 200 children from the surrounding area come to Riziki. It was good to be present for this and see so many young people having a very special day– we feel that outreach is an important part of Riziki’s ministry to the local community.
A Riziki friend had noticed our wood store was very low and arranged for a donation. We were very surprised when a large lorry loaded with offcuts of timber arrived, with enough firewood to last a year. Several bags of good used clothing were also donated.
There has been encouraging evidence of local support for Riziki through Liz’s church friends – A lot of new school books were donated, without being requested. Schools expect you to buy new editions of books each year, even to the extent of the latest edition of logarithm tables.
We had taken colouring books with us and on a very wet afternoon the children produced some amazing pictures and a banner. They seem to love art work of all kinds.
On the Sunday we were at Riziki the children of the local church were leading the morning service. Not only that but they were expected to clean the church two days beforehand – done happily and willingly.
One of our boys, Dominic, read the lesson and 11yr old Neema preached in Swahili on Proverbs 6 v 16-29. From the reaction of the congregation it was clear she did extremely well without any prior adult help. Later, over lunch she preached to us in English! Neema also told us of her hopes for the future:- she wants to go to Bible College, open her own Christian music and dance business and hopes to build a church! After the service there was an auction of gifts brought by the congregation as their offerings. Diana started by bidding successfully for a chicken. This was followed by eggs, seed potatoes and butter beans which were soon planted in the shamba.
On alternate Sunday afternoons Liz counsels the children dealing with the problems they encounter, for example, peer pressure at school.
We were happy to meet Benson, the chairman of the board, over coffee in Nakuru. He assured us of his support and respect for Riziki and he visits whenever he can.
The children regularly say ‘thank you’ for the opportunities they have. They are happy, care for each other and are hopeful for the future. Ian & Diana
We are very grateful to all our supporters for what they are able to give and would be delighted to supply relevant information to anyone else who wishes to donate regularly, or occasionally, to Riziki.
Gaggia Caffe Shop, based in Elland has a feature on Riziki on their website. This can be accessed on www.gaggiacaffe.tv.
Our own Riziki website is accessed on http://www.riziki.org.uk.