by Len Cooper
Eph 2:10 NKJV - For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Over and over again we hauled bags of dirt ranging from 40 to 60lbs to a pit about 300 yards away from the school. We have been helping clear a location that a new classroom could be built. Currently, classes are combined for lack of space making instruction difficult for teachers. Each walk from the construction location to the debris pit is full of sites, sounds, and smells. We are greeted by small children "how aRe yoU?" (emphasis added). We see animals everywhere: goats, cats, dogs, pigs, and chickens and some creatures for which I have no name. We cross a narrow alley on the way to the pit, avoiding corrugated steel roofs sticking out into the alley with the bags slung over are shoulders. Along the way we jump 4 refuse streams. The children are not only kind in their greetings but also come up to you to give hugs and handshakes. There is garbage everywhere on the ground. However, you find the mothers sweeping their portion of the alley to keep a cleaner place for their children. Some of the smaller children just stop and squat wherever to "take care of business". We carefully dodge hot little charcoal buckets used for cooking. This is our walk from the construction site to the pit.
What is striking is how hard the Kenyans can work. Some of the local men carry the load of three of our bags. The children from the school volunteer at their break time and carry one of our size bags being much smaller than us. I am also struck by the strength of our older lady team members, age 65 plus, who time after time carry a bag to the pit.
Yesterday marked the end of hauling dirt. Today real construction is underway. There are scarce tools, but knowledge among the local men of how to make a building happen with with just hands, an ax, and a shovel.
With this hauling work, I think we all finally joined the time zone in Kenya and are sleeping through stretches of the night.
We also are getting to know the children in the classrooms. Some are presenting lessons about reading ... some are telling about their fields of study and work in the United States ... others are sharing music and craft-making with the children and women.
The teachers at Anajali work long 12 hour days from 6am to 6pm and their emphasis is still the children. They do well engaging the students with limited teaching resources. Yesterday was very hot, and we are in the middle of what seems to be a drought. Dust blows everywhere in the hot sun, and these teachers do not know material comfort or much of what we call "personal space".
God gives us the privilege to walk with others in their work here. Signing off now to get my stuff ready for another day.