Today I found myself in awe of the SOHI (Spring of Hope) team and their work. I heard before the trip of what they were doing down here in Kenya, but it’s almost like the kids on the side of the road in awe of the people in the van yelling over and over again “mzungas, mzungas! (white people white people)”, you just don’t understand it until you see it.
We started our morning at the Chief of South Kanyaluo’s compound to go over how SOHI’s work is being implemented into the community and discuss further ways in which SOHI can continue to encourage and support them in sustaining their farms, schools, and sand filters being purchased for homes. This was my first eye opening experience of how much God has been working through SOHI and the fruit of its labor. The selfless and tender heartedness towards these communities from David, Steve, Steve, Michael, Elijah, Joseph, and so on are honestly breathtaking and makes me want to live my life in a way that honors God and honors others like they do. It is truly and honor to hear and see their visions come to life. The Chief was very appreciative of the work SOHI has put in and wants to continue to partner his community and SOHI in the future.
After we went to two Chiefs compounds (the second Chief was Chief of East Kanyaluo’s), we went to the Onga’ng primary and secondary schools to visit with the children and check in on the new (3 week old) latrine facilities that have been built by SOHI. We were welcomed by song, dance, and a cute little skit put on by the primary students, and the team received appreciation letters from the students and staff for the bathrooms. They explained the hardship they experienced before having sanitary latrines, and how much of a difference these new bathrooms, in just 3 weeks, have made an improvement on the students health, education, and attendance at school.
(Below are the before and after latrine facilities at the primary school)
We then walked over to the secondary school where we met the teachers and students and they also expressed their appreciation for their new latrines. They sang and danced and presented appreciation letters to the team. We then split up into girls and boys, and had a Q&A. I honestly didn’t know what to expect from these girls and what kinds of questions they would ask. But man, if anything I wasn’t prepared for these types! It made my heart sink for their lack of education in important topics, and the lack of resources they have. I am not going to go too much into detail, but they had questions involving sex before marriage, abortion, pregnancy, menstrual cycles (and begging for us to send over the proper materials needed for their cycles- because right now they either miss school during that time or use ripped up clothing), and so on. I think we were all taken back by the questions, but also understood that we would probably be asking these questions too if we weren’t provided the educational resources we have. Some we had answers for, and some we stumbled over our words. But in the end we laid our hands over these beautiful, curious, brave, hard working, wonderful ladies and prayed for God to work in their lives, to heal their hearts, and to allow His love and grace to overflow their souls. David and Travis spoke the boys of the secondary school and field a variety of questions as well.
We ended our day at the SOHI compound where we were briefed with how to make the sand filters (which we will be doing tomorrow), met some of the farmers that are learning how to implement Farming God’s Way into their farms, and toured David’s farm that consisted of soy beans, papaya, bananas, tomatoes, onions, passion fruit, and corn.
To be a fly on the wall during these special times where we hear testimonies about how much God has worked through SOHI to provide clean drinking water through the sand filters to homes, education in new farming techniques, water pans, and sanitary latrines has allowed me to see God first hand. I feel incredibly blessed to know the hearts of this team and the people I have met who have been impacted by their work.
Today was a blessing.
-SOHI Kenya Vision Trip Team, Anna Denham