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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas From Mission:180!

Merry Christmas from all of us at Mission:180! We are so blessed to have friends, supporters and family like all of you who make what we do here in Kenya possible. Your financial support, prayers, kind messages via email, SMS, Facebook etc, help to keep us going. You never know how your message, your contribution, your prayers will impact us and encourage us.  They always seem to arrive at just the right moment, not only to meet a need but to put a smile on our faces as we are once again reminded that we are loved and supported back home!

This Christmas the gift we are most grateful for is you! Each and very one of you! You are making an IMPACT with your generosity, and you are helping us to keep on keeping on with all of your encouragement!

Please take a few moments to watch the video below. You will see each and every family we were able to help this year during our "Hamper Of Hope" Christmas campaign!

video


Its never too late to become a part of our financial support team! If you want to give a regular contribution, see the subscribe button on this page and follow the directions! If Pay Pal is not your preferred way to give, drop me an email and I will help you get set-up!

If you wish to make a one time donation, click the donate button to use Pay Pal, or send a cheque to our Saskatoon SK. address, 1505 Jackson Ave. Saskatoon SK, S7H 2N1

Its also not too late to give a very needy family in Kenya a "Hamper Of Hope". While our Christmas campaign is the biggest one in our calendar year, the program is available all year long! Just drop us a line and we will connect you and your giving to a family in desperate need!

Email us here: jason@mission180.ca or jennifer@mission180.ca

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND MAY 2014 BE YOUR BEST YEAR YET!!!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Our Biggest News EVER!!! Meet Baby Marjorie!


It has been 4 years since Jennifer and I knew we were supposed to be here in Kenya.  We have been here since December 2010 full time. We have struggled, cried, pushed and pulled our way along with the encouragement, prayer support, and financial support of friends and family, and today, October 17, 2013, the dream became a reality!

Yesterday we had a very important meeting with some government officials out at our project. We needed their approval to open the doors and actually take in the babies we are so anxious to rescue! We know they are out there waiting, needing our help, and we needed that approval. We have been praying for the little people we have not yet even met yet. By the time the meeting/inspection was winding down, we had our long awaited approval. WE ARE READY TO RESCUE BABIES!!!!

Early this morning we got the call we have been waiting for! 14 hours after receiving our approval we were asked to pick up a baby who had been abandoned on the side of the road! We rushed to the police station to pick up a beautiful baby girl.

My emotions are raw as a write this, because our excitement at realizing the dream of actually doing what we are called here to do is tempered by the terrible circumstances these little ones come into the world under.

MEET BABY MARJORIE!!


We named her after a very dear friend of Jennifer and I,
and a great friend of Mission:180.  She has visited us here,
and she loves the Maasai people as much as she is loved by them!

Baby Marjorie arriving home after a very rude welcome to the planet!
Jennifer and I holding this little miracle! Words cannot convey
the emotions of this moment.


Jennifer is a natural! A long awaited snuggle!



Marjorie meets her house mother
and our nurse, Alice!



Snug and warm in her new bed!

Marjorie's story:  Baby Marjorie was born sometime last night. Her mother, for whatever reason, (we must NOT judge these mothers, their circumstances are beyond anything we will ever experience in the west), put her into a plastic shopping bag, still attached to the placenta, and tied the bag and discarded her on the side of the road.  She was found very cold and wet at 4:00 AM and taken to the police station in the area!! When we got to her she was crying loudly, very hungry and very much in need of some love and care. She was filthy, with scratches from the road, gravel and stones stuck to her little body.  We rushed her to her new home where we got her cleaned up, warmly dressed and fed. What A Day!


My heart nearly exploded as I held her and tried to pray for her through my tears.

So much planning, so much preparation, so much work to raise the budget to be able to do this.....so many emotions flooded in as all the hard work to get to this point all melted away at the absolute JOY of being able to IMPACT HER LIFE! Now a whole new kind of work begins!

So, as you read this, please know we cannot operate this Infant Rescue Centre/Children's home without you! We need your support, and we are so grateful for it! If you are already one of our regular supporters, thank you! If you do not either sponsor a child, or participate in our regular budget, please consider becoming a member of our financial partnership team! We need your help. Currently the general budget is almost $1,000.00 per month short to meet the needs of all we are doing here.

MONTHLY SUPPORT:
To be a part of our monthly support, please send me an email, jason@mission180.ca and we will get you started, or set yourself up through PayPal by clicking the buttons at the top right hand side of this blog.

BABY SPONSORSHIP:

We know the approximate cost to have an infant in long term residential care, and we have broken this up into 4 sponsorship slots of $40.00. If you have ever considered sponsoring a child in a desperately needy situation, may I suggest NOW IS THE TIME!!! We will keep you so connected to how your contributions are making an IMPACT in the life of a little person in Kenya! While Baby Marjorie is already fully sponsored, we will most certainly have others very soon! We need great Canadian people to sign up to help us help them!

One more time, we want to say THANK-YOU!!! We are so excited here to be realizing this dream, seeing it come true before  our eyes, and we cannot do it without your help! So, THANK-YOU!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Mission:180's 2013 Christmas Gift Giving Options


It is only the end of September but we here at Mission:180 Kenya are already gearing up for the Christmas season.  We are very excited to announce our annual "Christmas Gift Giving Options" for the current year!!

This Christmas season we would like to present you with these options to help you give back:


Hampers of Hope

A Christmas hamper is not only a gift of food; it's a gift of HOPE!  It's a gift that says someone cares about us!

The cost of the hamper is $70 Canadian and is broken down as follows:
                $65 for food items in hamper
                $5 cost of delivering hamper (fuel)




Each hamper will contain 137 pounds of staple foods made up of the following:
                2 - 2kg bags of Home Baking Flour 
                2 - 5kg bags of Rice
                2 - 2kg bags of Sugar

                3 - 10kg bags of Maize Flour

                10 - 1kg bags of Wairimu Beans or Nyayo Beans
                1 - 500 gram bag of Tea
                1 - 2kg tub of Cooking Fat
                1 – 1kg bag of salt
                1 – 800 gram Laundry/Dish soap

This is enough food to feed a family of four to six people for up to 10 weeks.  By donating a hamper, it not only provides much needed physical sustenance but also hope and encouragement that somewhere there are people who know about them and their situation, and who care enough to give generously to help them.   




 


It is our goal that by mid December each hamper donor will receive an email from Jennifer with pictures and a short bio of the family that received your hamper.  If your payment is delayed your hamper might not be able to be delivered in time for Christmas.  If this is the case you will receive an email telling you that a hamper has sponsored by you or on behalf of you and that the details of the family that received it will follow in January once it has been delivered.



If you would like to be a part of this program and purchase a Christmas Hamper as a gift for yourself or on behalf of someone else, please email Jennifer at jennifer@mission180.ca

Please ensure that you send an email to Jennifer to indicate how many hampers you would like to donate BEFORE you send payment.

Payment options are cheque or PayPal though our website at www.mission180.cabut please note that any payments made through PayPal will need to have a $2 transaction fee added to it.

                Paying by cheque - $70.00
                Paying by PayPal - $72 .00

Mission:180 will issue receipts for all hampers in early 2014.  

Final cut off for hampers will be November 15th.


Infant Formula
For a donation of $35.00 you can purchase 4 cans of infant formula for our Forever Homes.  We are hoping to have babies in our first home by the end of October as we are currently in the final stages of acquiring our license from the Kenyan government.  If you would like to sponsor infant formula this Christmas please email Jennifer at jennifer@mission180.ca for further details.


Furniture for House #2
We are nearing completion of our 2nd Infant Rescue Home and will soon need to furnish it with everything.  The cost to furnish an entire house is approximately $5,000.00.  If you would like to make a donation towards the cost to furnish the home please email Jennifer at jennifer@mission180.ca and I can provide you with further details.


Mission:180’s General Budget
We are always in need of donors for our general operating budget.  This budget funds everything we do in Kenya with the exception of the Hamper of Hope project.  The big projects that are funded through our general budget are the “Community Water Project” where we provide clean drinking water to 1,500 people and 3,500 animals EVERYDAY and our “Forever Homes” which will rescue 8 abandoned babies per home.  A one-time donation or pledged monthly giving can be set up to be automatically withdrawn from your bank account, through PayPal by going to our blog at www.m180.blogspot.com or of course by sending a cheque to our Saskatoon office.  Email me at jennifer@mission180.ca if you require further information.















Thursday, 5 September 2013

House #2 Begins + New Staff And Great Progress!

We are beyond excited to announce that Mission:180's 2nd "Forever Home" has broken ground as of September 2nd! We are very excited to be able to begin this next phase of building for house #2.  Because all the funds are in place, the construction will start and finish in one push.  We estimate the building will be complete by late October, and depending on finances it will be furnished and ready for occupancy as early as mid November.
Thank goodness for diggers!
The hole is all dug up!
The rooms outlined in chalk to begin
the foundation work.













What does that mean for Mission:180 in Kenya?  It means that it is quite plausible to have as many as 16 children in our care at our big project, Mission:180's Children's Homes, known here in Canada as "Forever Homes" by mid December!

How can we accomplish this successfully?   First and foremost, Mission:180 is a faith based organisation, and we believe it is God's purpose for us to be here doing this work! So the only way we accomplish anything is with His help, provision and guidance. Secondly we accomplish all of these things with the help of people like you who pray for us as we work here in Kenya and those of you who give generously to this cause either by pledged giving or with one time contributions to projects and special needs when they arise. 

A quick overview from December 15, 2010 (the date we arrived in Kenya) until now!
We have worked hard to:
  • Gain our work visa's and "Alien Resident" status. 
  • To establish Mission:180 Ministries as a fully registered Non-Governmental Organisation in Kenya.  
  • We are now well into the process of acquiring our certification to become a registered children's charity in Kenya.   
  • We have acquired 16 acres of land beside the beautiful Ngong Hills on the edge of The Great Rift Valley. 
  • We have built 1 home and have secured the funding for the 2nd home.
  • We have established a community water project, where we provide clean and safe drinking water to 1,500 people and 3,500 animals EVERYDAY! 
  • We have established a long term sustainable food relief program we call "Hampers of Hope".
  •  And now finally we are ready to open the doors on the big reason we are here, which is to rescue abandoned infants and orphans from certain death and or a life of certain destitution and abject poverty and at the same time employ local widows redeeming them from a life of community dependence and poverty and giving them purpose and a place to belong. 

Meet The Kenya Field Team:
We are required to have a certain level of staffing to be able to provide long term child care. Not only do we need two staff on duty 24/7, 365 in each home we also need the following team members to make sure we are operating according to the rules and guidelines set out by the government ministry in charge of children's welfare in Kenya.

1. Social Worker: 
We have hired Lucy in a full time role. She brings 6 years of experience and and excellent education in the filed of Social Work to the team. She is a great team player with a pleasant demeanor, strong character and work ethic.
Lucy our very capable Social Worker
2. Nure and Health Care Manager:
We have hired Alice in a full time role as well. Alice has over 35 years experience in the field of nursing and comes to us with a bachelors degree as well as certificates in ongoing training and professional development. She is an overqualified and joy-filled addition to our team!  Alice will also be the house mother for house #1!
Alice the excellent and compassionate nurse!
Although not required, we know we need the following staff to make our work successful and healthy in Kenya.

1.On Site Directors: We have hired a husband and wife team, Simon and Agnes to work as our "on site" directors and managers. Their role is to manage the day to day operations of Mission:180's Children's Homes on the ground at the property.
Simon and Agnes, On Site Directors.
They are our eyes and ears there when we are not there and they work under the supervision of Jennifer and I to make sure policies are developed, implemented and adhered to while at the same time providing support and direction to the staff as needed around the clock because they actually live on the property. They will also be responsible for the spiritual care and well being as well as development of the children and staff. We have known Simon and Agnes since 2008, and we know them to be people of deep faith, high integrity, and they have a real love for children!

Jeremy and Jason at the gate of our property in Kenya.  

2. Water Project Manager & Community Liaison: Jeremy manages the water project and maintains the borehole (well) and the generator.  He also serves as our direct connection to the local Maasai community, ensuring we have a good and healthy relationship with our wonderful community and that they feel attached to and a part of our project. He connects us with the community leaders and that is how we are able to make sure our food relief program, "Hampers of Hope", is helping the most needy people in the community.
Jeremy has four years of post secondary education
in the fields of project management and community development and also in nursing. He is an outgoing, friendly and skilled communicator.


These are truly exciting times for Mission:180 in Kenya. We are about to see a dream come into reality, and we are about to begin bringing help, literally life and hope for a future to some of the most needy people, not only in Kenya, but in the world in general.

We can't do this without your help!! Thank-you so much for being a part of team Mission:180! You can continue to help in several ways:

1. Like us on Facebook!  (that was easy)

2. Tell people about Mission:180 and our work, even direct them to our website and this blog.

3. If you don't already do so, consider sponsoring our work financially.  You can give to our general budget or you can help sponsor a "House-Mom" or sponsor a child. Sponsorship's are broken up into four (4) $40.00 per month increments.  The actual cost to keep a child in residential care in Kenya is around $160.00 per month. So that means that you will be sharing your sponsored child with 3 others.  You can be a part of our pledged monthly giving through Paypal or through your bank account.  Send us an email, jason@mission180.ca, or jennifer@mission180.ca and we will get you started.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post, and for staying connected and informed about Mission:180.  We are so grateful for all the support and encouragement we receive from our friends and family back in Canada.  this literally makes it possible for us to continue our work in Kenya.


Monday, 5 August 2013

BIG NEWS! HOUSE # 1 IS FINISHED!!!


Exciting News From Mission:180




Its been a long time coming, but after much work, much prayer, and much help from Canada, Mission:180's first of 12 Forever Homes is complete!

Mission:180's first completed "Forever Home".


We have stayed out there one night to get the feel of things and it was great. The house looks awesome, and everything works well.  It's the only house in the area with running water and that is fully wired for electricity. Of course, we are still waiting on the The Kenya Light and Power Company to deliver power to the property and that area in general, but we know it works because we have a generator! For now we run the generator in the evening till we go to sleep when we stay there.

We are so grateful to all of our supporters who partnered with us to make this home a reality! Thank-you feels like it rings hollow, because it cannot begin to express our gratitude!

The video below shows the journey from start to finish in the construction of House # 1, as well as makes brief mention of all those who gave towards the construction costs.


We are also working on furnishing the house. We have quotes from various furniture vendors and we have so far received just under half of the $5,000.00 we estimate it will cost to fully equip the house for childcare and habitation.  If you would like to help us get this house fully furnished, feel free to make a contribution through PAYPAL or by sending a cheque to our mailing address, 1505 Jackson Ave, Saskatoon SK, S7H 2N1. Just make a note either way to let us know that the funds are for furnishing the home!

One of the requirements to be able to open the doors and start functioning as a child care provider in Kenya is that we must have a social worker on staff.  After a long day of interviewing many good candidates we have hired the person we believe is best suited to this position. Meet Lucy! She comes to us with a great education, strong recommendations and years of experience as a social worker in children's homes in Kenya.
Lucy, Mission:180's first Social Worker


As we look to the near future, we are very excited as we see a dream and vision begin to take shape with more and more detail. We are very close to being able to rescue infants and children with extreme needs who desperately need the help and the family Mission:180 will be able to provide them because of the generous support of many Canadians who believe in this cause and mission!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Awesome guests from Canada, and When It Rains It Pours......

June 11 2013

This is a two part newsletter/blog.

Part 1. Awesome Guests From Canada: 
Its like Christmas when guests arrive, they bring treats
from Canada!
I had the privilege recently of going to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to pick up three young ladies from Saskatoon who used to attend the youth group I pastored. This does my heart good! What a joy to see them, to hear how they are doing, and to watch them in action as they work along side us in this ministry to very needy Kenyan families.

Day one its straight to work!







And work we have! These amazing young ladies raised funds for over 80 "Hampers Of Hope". We have put them to work getting the materials, putting them together, loading them into the vehicles, and then very very long days of driving out in the back country off roading to deliver them. Last week we logged over 60 hours of work in a 5 day week.  So, its not all fun and games, but it is fun! These ladies have a strong work ethic, and amazing compassion for the people we minister to. Their visit not only helps us do our work, they have encouraged us and put new and strong wind into our tired sails!
Hamper ingredients now fully sorted!
We work hard around here!


Jennifer with one of the many many children we
 encounter every day. 





















Part 2. A & B. When It Rains....It Pours! 
A.Here comes the Rain.
On Sunday, June 2nd, we got up and got ready for church. We had a very busy day planned. First church, then a quick lunch on the way to drop Joshua off at youth camp, followed by shopping for more "Hamper Of Hope" deliveries.
 Then we had very busy week planned, one that required two vehicles to accomplish all of our tasks.
We left the house at 9:45 am. and headed for church. 5 minutes into that drive, we had a major collision with another vehicle. I was forced off the road at approx. 50 KM per hour, narrowly missing a "Duka" (roadside shop), and completely wiped out a power pole. Thankfully,no one was hurt in either vehicle, nor were there any pedestrians hurt. The elderly German lady explained her actions this way. "Normally I look that way before I come out onto the road, but today is Sunday and I decided not to look."  Seems logical to me.
Waiting for the police. We pay for roadside
security for times just like this!
I had to bend some pieces by hand
to make it drivable.
Front end damage! See where we hit
 the Mercedes?
After making sure everyone was okay, we contacted our security provider to come and keep watch over us while we waited for the police. Not long after the impact, the "ambulance chasers" came out of the wood work. Some young thugs with clubs approached our vehicle and demanded we take a university aged girl to hospital, claiming we had hit her and hurt her. Neither vehicle in this accident came anywhere near her or any pedestrians.  I had already spoken to her, and she told me and our security team that she was fine, uninjured and well. We dealt with the thugs, and kept waiting.
Where we hit the power pole after hitting the
other car.
After about an hour the police finally made it to the scene. They took stock of things, immediately saw the fault was with the other driver, (this dear, poor old lady was very shaken up, I felt really bad for her), and arranged to have the vehicles moved. No sooner had the police arrived, when low and behold, the young lady who was uninjured moments before developed a severe limp and claimed to have "internal" injuries. Her Aunt had arrived, and was coaching her in how to get money out of foreigners. This is one foreigner who was paying nothing!!! The Auntie came over to me and actually said with a Cheshire grin on her face, "She is a university student, and now YOU are going to pay for her schooling"!!! Welcome to Kenya! What a fiasco. Long story short, eventually her mother showed up and forced her to be honest. But not before causing us some major inconvenience.
Now the insurance battle ensues!!! These are the times when Canada is missed the most!

B. That part was just the rain, now for the pouring rain.
On Monday we headed out to deliver more "Hampers Of Hope", out in the Rift Valley close to our bigger project located at Kona Baridi. We had a great day, and all was going well.
The picture doesn't do it justice, I am about to drive through
a steep dried river bed.

This is one tough Toyota. But this country, and our work
is really hard on vehicles!
 We were finished our work and heading home, up a steep twisty road, when out of nowhere the engine on our Toyota Hilux Surf died! Gave up the ghost! Not revive-able! Toast. Kaput-ski! Dead as a door nail! Kabissa! Taking quick stock of the situation, I sent Jennifer and the ladies back to Nairobi while I waited for a rescue vehicle to come and tow my poor Toyota to our trusted shop back in town. I waited. I called KAA (Kenya Auto-mobile Association) a number of times, the sun went down (not a good scenario), and I waited some more. This started at 3:00. I did not get home till 10:00 pm. Good times! I got the report from our mechanic the next day. The entire engine has to be rebuilt. When it rains, it pours. Here in Kenya, it rains harder than anywhere I have ever been.   Both literally and figuratively.

Having said all of that, things are going well here in Nairobi and beyond as we serve the poorest of the poor people of Kenya. We are not deterred by the above mentioned events. Its just stuff, God provided it, and He will take of the details.  He always does.
Rather we are encouraged by the progress we have been able to make. Its only through God's direction, and the prayers of you our co-workers in Canada and beyond that we are able to do anything.  We give Him all the Glory.
Your continued encouraging emails, your Facebook comments and the way you share about our work on Facebook and other social media, (or even over coffee at Tim's or Stars), and your continued response to our work with your generous financial contributions, all of these things encourage us and keep us going.

If you feel so compelled, these recent vehicle "incidents", have caused some tension in the budget department, and we could use some help! We have incurred an extra $5000.00 above what we expected for vehicle maintenance and repairs. If you feel led to help us, we would be very grateful. Either by cheque or PayPal, or, just mark somehow that this is a special gift for Mission:180's vehicle situation.

Thanks for all your help, thanks for keeping up with us on the Blog and Facebook! We cant do this without you, and we wouldn't want to!









Monday, 6 May 2013

We go "No Roading"

So, I just wanted to post a quick note after today's trip into the "Great Rift Valley". We went to the home of a family with eleven children.
We brought them some much needed food and visited in their home, and then went on our merry way.
This post is actually about the great lengths we go to just to reach these homes.
We don't go off-roading. Most of the so called "roads" we drive on day in and day out around Nairobi would be considered off roading in Canada. No, what we do I prefer to call "no roading". We go places no vehicle has ever been. Most of the time it's bouncy and fun. But sometimes, it's risky. We risk getting really badly stuck, and we risk damaging the vehicles.
The trick is good maintenance, good tires, and plenty of prayer!

Now you know a little bit more about some of our day to day work. It includes a lot of interesting driving.

The green vehicle pictured below is our Mistubishi Pajero Exceed.
The silver one is called a Toyota Hilux Surf. (In Canada its called a Toyota 4Runner). One the photos below shows Jennifer and our Maasai employee Jeremy having lunch out in a remote location during a long day out in Maasai-land.
Jeremy is our "Community Liason" and "Water Project Manager".

We are so grateful for our vehicles. We can't do our work without them. Thanks to all of our generous donors, we have been able to purchase and operate these "tools for the job".

Thank-you!!!





Monday, 29 April 2013


Here is a short video about Mission:180's 
main project in Kenya, our forever homes!


video

Monday, 22 April 2013

BIG NEWS FROM KENYA!!!

It's been several weeks but it's time for some news about Mission:180 Kenya.  Two very exciting events have taken place over the past several weeks and we want to let you know all about it! Then a little bit of news about the past month and a half.


First, here is our REALLY BIG NEWS!!!


The exterior as it appears right now.
Stay tuned for an update in a few weeks!
Bus Driver......move that bus!
1. Two weeks ago Mission:180 received one of our largest single donations to date, $22,000.00 specifically earmarked for the completion of House #1! It was the exact amount we needed to make House #1 ready to move in to!  We are so encouraged and blessed by outpourings of generosity like this as people back home in Canada respond to the needs here and Mission:180's work towards addressing those needs. Construction has resumed, and the finishing work has  begun.  Wiring the house for electricity, plumbing, tiling, interior painting, exterior painting, etc.  
The finishing work on the interior is
underway.

We were on the property today choosing paint colors and tiling for back-splashes and flooring.  Its very exciting to be able to move forward with the final push. Now that the first house will be complete soon we are also beginning the task of furnishing and staffing the home so we can be ready to rescue abandoned infants.


2. On April 18 we received the following e-mail.  Here's an excerpt: 
"I am pleased to inform you that the NGO's Co-ordination Board has approved the application for registration of "Mission:180 Ministries" as an NGO."
We have been involved in an almost year long process to get this designation here in Kenya! In case you don't know, NGO stands for "Non-Governmental Organization". We are now a fully registered international charity in Kenya. This is a BIG deal and a major accomplishment! We are very happy to have reached this milestone in our work here in Kenya!
Our certificate of registration as an
International NGO.

Of course, every milestone of growth comes with work! More details to be covered, more steps to be taken, and forward momentum to be maintained!
This now makes Mission:180 a legal entity in Kenya.  It gives us the ability to bank and carry out other essential business transactions here.  It also makes it possible for us to begin the long process of becoming a registered child care provider.

All this good news puts more wind in our sails and encourages us to push on with all that we are called to Kenya to accomplish!

A quick word about our financial situation:  We have been experiencing some significant increases in our general budget expenses.  Growth, as it turns out, is expensive! We need to quickly find another $1,000.00 per month in pledged giving to even out the budget and stay out of the red! If you don't already support Mission:180's general budget with a monthly pledged amount, would you consider making a pledge? Our general budget is what keeps us moving and allows us to remain in Kenya doing what we do! Without it, we can't continue at the pace and size we are currently doing things. If you want to make a one time donation, that is always gratefully accepted as well. To give via Paypal please see the link on this page.  To give by automatically debiting your bank account, please email me at the following address, jason@mission180.ca, and I will help you get that set up.


A little bit the last two months for Mission:180 in Kenya:


President Uhuru Kenyatta.  His name
means "freedom".

March was a momentous and historic month for the nation of Kenya. They have elected their fourth president since becoming a nation.  Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya's first president, Jomo Kenyatta, was elected by a very narrow margin. 50.07% to be precise. His main opponent contested the vote, suggesting ballot rigging and poor counting.  It went directly to the supreme court, where the election results were deemed to be accurate and the new president was inaugurated several days later. It was a tense time here and all expats (foreigners) were prepared for violence and major service disruptions.  Thankfully peace ruled the day, with some minor exceptions.  The new constitution was put to the test, and from the outside looking in, all seems to have worked out.  It is now back to business as usual here in Kenya.


An upside down Matatu, a 14
passenger public transit bus.  He tried
to cross a washed out bridge, the results
were deadly.
We are now in the season known as the "long rains".  It's an appropriate title! It rains every day, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.  But it POURS every night! As of this writing, 63 people have died in flooding and landslides.  Many in vehicles washed away as Matatu (public service vehicles, 14 passenger buses) drivers will do anything to keep moving and make money.  This week Kenya power has received 208,000 complaints of power outages which is up from 94,000 this time last year. We have had power outages every night. The lights flicker and we all know what is about to happen.  Our longest stretch without power at one time so far this rainy season was 36 hours. We are blessed to have a solar back-up system that will power the whole house for 6-8 hours at a time. If that fails, we have a gas generator.  However, gas is not free, sunshine (when you can get it) is, so we have to ration the generator use!

Throughout all this we have been working on our various projects. We have been delivering "Hampers of Hope", our food relief program, running our community water project and we have been busy with meetings, staffing issues, fundraising (it never ends), and dealing with the bureaucracy that is the Kenya Government.

Once again we want to say thanks to all who encourage us and to those who give generously to the work we are doing.  Without you we can't keep going.  THANK-YOU!!!


Sunday, 17 February 2013

February 2013

Jennifer and a young widow and one of her 8 children.
She was thrilled to receive a gift of food that day.
Hello friends and followers of Mission:180 and the Sheppard's in Kenya.
It's been just over a month since we last posted and it's time for an update on what is happening and what we have been up to!

Our latest dwelling place! We like it!
Since our last post we have experienced some significant changes in our living arrangements. We have moved, or as our friends here in Kenya put it, we have "shifted". The home we lived in for one year had significant issues, a big one being the very leaky roof. Consequently the home developed black mold and this was making us sick. Another issue was poor security on the perimeter of the yard. This was making us increasingly uncomfortable as we approach a time of uncertainty and historically unstable national elections. So we made the move to a safer, newer home.  It was a tough decision but one we had to make.

The driveway with our two tough SUV's. 
As we cruise into 2013, this first month and a half has been filled with one of my favourite things......paperwork! Let's be honest and get real here, without Jennifer's brains the numbers would never get crunched. In frequent communication with our Canadian team-mate Nancy, Jennifer has poured hours into the fiscal year end and organizing files and pictures and hamper reports etc. I am so grateful for a partner in life and ministry who is so gifted in the things that make me dizzy!

As well as all of that, we are in the looooooong process of getting Mission:180 registered as an International NGO in Kenya. ("NGO" stands for "Non-Governmental Organization"). This is a very important step for us here as it makes Mission:180 a recognized legal entity with an identity in Kenya.
Some new friends from Canada who came along to
help one day.  Thanks Randy and Cathy!

New shoes! A BIG deal!
In the midst of these things we continue to operate our food relief program "Hampers of Hope". While the Christmas season is the busiest time of year for this program, we offer this program all year long.  The needs never go away and many of you continue to give towards this program throughout the year for special occasions and gifts for friends and loved ones.





To those of you reading this who already regularly contribute to our work in Kenya, we want to say again how grateful we are for your continued support. Without your generosity, we cannot do what we do. To everyone who donates to the programs and special projects, we say thank-you!

For us it's a major honor and privilege to live and serve in Kenya. The needs are huge, and the sheer size of the poverty and destitution is often overwhelming.  When it starts to seem like sooooo much, that's when we remind ourselves of our own motto, "Impacting One Life At A Time", and we press on doing what we can with what we have! Thanks for the part you play in helping us do what we do!

Delivering more than just food, that's why we call them
"Hampers Of Hope"