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Pastor Edward teaches us about Pokot, Kenya.

Posted by Maureen Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Yesterday at our Jacob's Well staff meeting, we were honored by the presence of Edward Simuye from Nairobi, Kenya. Some of our pastors who visited Uganda and Kenya this past spring met Edward at a conference there. Edward is the pastor of City Harvest Church in Nairobi, which does amazing things in the community of Nairobi and surrounding. They have HIV/AIDS testing stations available to people living in the slum of Kibera, provide support groups for those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, provide micro-financing to those in need of loans to start small businesses, and finally assist in the drilling of water wells for communities without access to clean water.

This is where Jacob's Well comes in--for Advent this year, we're participating in a campaign called Advent Conspiracy. The idea is that if at Christmas we are celebrating Christ's birth, since we can't necessarily give Him birthday gifts, why don't we give gifts to those that He would give to? Namely, the poor and needy. So, people at JW are attempting to decrease their gift giving this year--whether they give less gifts, or just give them differently (as in hand-made or time spent together). Then, they are saving the money they would normally spend on gifts and donating it to a specific water well project that JW is partnering with in Northern Kenya.

Which brings me to my next point: Pokot, in Northwestern Kenya. Edward told us a beautiful story of a group among the Pokot people, who are notorious in Kenya for being savages and raiders. I can't get into all the details in one blog post alone, but all to say that some members of this people group have turned from their constant intent to kill others for food and livestock, and recognized that if they have clean water access in their communities, it would help them to provide for themselves instead. Consequently, they are the people for whom our donations will be providing the means to dig clean water wells!

It was a great day spent with Edward. I was able to talk with him about Toby's Kenyan adventures, my intent to visit in the next year, and some of the research I've been doing in grad school this semester regarding women farmers in Kenya.

The thing that was the most refreshing and encouraging was to see an African man whose family and entire congregation has the intent and the resources to help their own country. Africans helping Africans is how this beautiful continent will truly develop and become healthy.Here's one of Toby's photos from Korr, Kenya. Whoa.