Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast"

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hi Everyone,
This is a quick note to let you know how things are going with building. I went to Kayole yesterday to see how the school is coming along. The men were busy and had the classrooms laid out and a roof on. Joshephat said everything was going as planned except he needed more tin for a toilet. Today I got a email from Josh saying he would like to donate some money so we'll use it for the toilets. I hope Josh isn't offended knowing his money is going for the toilet, but it's pretty important.  Now the only thing needing financing is the cement for the floors. This is something that can be done one classroom at a time as fund becomes available.  I offered to help with construction but things are done differently here. There's a lot of cheap labor and the 'carpenters' are the ones who have the 'tools'.  I use the words CARPENTERS & TOOL loosely. Of course power tools are unheard of but what they do with what they have is truly amazing. For example, the ladders are spindly poles nailed together-certainly wouldn't pass a safety inspection. 

The major problem now is dealing with corruption. Joshephat said a city officials came by again yesterday and try to extort money. It's like the policemen Paula, Dan and I encountered in Zimbabwe. They threatened to throw us in the back of the truck and take us to jail if we didn't give them US dollars. I was proud of Joshephat for standing up to them.  He actually put the fear into them by threatened to report them to the anti-corruption commission. Corruption has become such a way of life that those who are involved in it don't even see it as stealing. This new anti-corruption commission is helping somewhat. Fortunately, the people are getting fed up. 

A personal example of the daily corruption faced in Kenya: Yesterday I got on the matatu bus to go to Kayole and when I got off at the intersection of Jogoo Road to transfer,  I pulled a bunch of coins from my pocket and counted out the fare, 20 shillings (there are two guys on the matatu-one drives and the other takes fares and calls out the stops). Well, the guy who takes the fares got greedy. He said he needed 50 more shillings. On principle,  I told him that I wasn't paying a shilling extra because I had been riding the route for almost three years and knew the fare. However, he didn't budge and insisted that before I could get off I had to give him another 50 shillings. He stood in front of me and blocked my exit and we passed my stop. I told him that he could take me all the way downtown and back but I wasn't giving him one extra shilling. 

Fortunately the driver saw that I meant business so he let me out and I had to get another bus back. You're probably thinking, "why didn't you just give him the extra  50 shillings?"  Because I see this as trying to steal from me and the amount wasn't important. This is just one of the little things that keep life here exciting.
I would like to say again, thank you to everyone who have given to help build the school.  You have helped to improve the lives of some VERY SPECIAL school children, teachers, headmasters and Crossroads Africa Bible College students.
Thanks, Stan