Sunday, July 19, 2009

Drought in East Pokot

drought conditions in East Pokot

Saturday, at 6:30 AM Joe, Molly, Daniel, Victor, Jennifer and I left for East Pokot. Before leaving town we picked up Theresa, a pastor who sold her home in the US and moved to Nakuru in December.

We went to East Pokot to visit Pastor Chochoi and his wife, Nelly, who operate a home for 50 girls. Many of the tribes in Kenya do female circumcision/mutilization and forced marriages. Often girls 15 years old (or younger) are forced to marry 50 or 60 year old men. They are essentially sold for a dowry. The Cana Girls Rescue Home takes in girls some as young as 8 or 9 who have run away to escape these horrid customs.

East Pokot is about 100 miles north of Nakuru. The drive started on a rough, paved-but-potholed road and after we crossed the equator it went down hill from there. The last 30-40 miles there was no pavement, no gravel, just dirt and rocks. The climate and vegetation also got more rugged as we traveled north, from a fairly temperate climate here in Nakuru to semi-arid and then arid. The East Pokot area is desert, similar to what you’d find in Arizona. The area is so dry, they can’t grow any crops.

Continue reading Drought in East Pokot


Paul and Jen with a massive flock of pelicans and flamingos on Lake Nakuru

Today Jennifer, Molly, Daniel, and I did a safari in Lake Nakuru National Park. The animals are most active early in the morning, so that meant leaving the house at 6:30 AM. It was a fantastic experience! We got right up close to lots of beautiful wildlife and got to see some spectacular vistas.

Because I am very tired this evening and we are heading out at 6:30 AM tomorrow to serve some folks in another community I’m going to let the photos speak for themselves. I do have one brief story, though, which you can read if you scroll all the way to the end of this post

Continue reading Safari

Amazing Community


This morning we drove to the rural village of Kabarak. This village had lots of problems with alcoholism and prostitution, but about a year ago All Nations Church, the church in Nakuru that Joe and Molly are a part of, planted a church in Kabarak. The church building that was constructed not only serves as a place of worship but also as a nursery school and a community center. The church has become the heart of the village and the transformation has been remarkable.

As a rural community they rely on agriculture to survive. The last couple of years have been very dry, and this year again the rainy season has been short. Crops are failing and many of the people in the village are hungry.

We arrived and went into the church building where about 40 children under the age of 6 and 40 adults had gathered. We were welcomed warmly, and a group of the children sang a song for us. By the way, you know you’re in a rural church when you glance outside and see cows strolling two feet away from the window. Anyways…

Continue reading Amazing Community

The Beautiful and the Not-So-Beautiful

people and pigs picking through garbage at the landfill

We started this morning by going to the infamous landfill. I say infamous because I’ve been told about it by Joe and Molly as well as Douglas (senior pastor of my church) and Chris (worship leader of my church) when they went to Kenya earlier this year, and I’ve seen some pictures. There is an entire community of people who live on the local landfill. I don’t mean near it or next to it, but literally on top of it.

The Not-So-Beautiful

Walking up the hill of garbage on our way to the landfill community was just surreal. It was not far from what I expected but it was still difficult to believe it was real even though I was seeing it with my own eyes.

Continue reading The Beautiful and the Not-So-Beautiful


boys playing soccer at the school(Apologies again for some of the low-quality pics, as several were ripped from our low-quality video as we tried to be as inconspicuous as possible taking pictures in some sensitive settings.)

We started this morning by visiting a local school. The school has about 600 students ranging from what would be about 1st through 8th grade in the US. We brought with us about a dozen soccer balls and some shoes and socks. When we arrived, there was a group of about 30 boys running around on a soccer field kicking around a plastic bag. As Joe pumped up a soccer ball, several other groups of students noticed the ball and started excitedly jumping up and down. Joe shanked, er, I mean punted the ball out to the boys on the soccer field and they just went crazy for it.

And things at the school only got better from there…

Continue reading Intense

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Typical Day for Us


Today was our first full day in Kenya. We woke up to a cool but sunny day. After breakfast and getting a tour from Molly of the grounds Joe, Molly, Jennifer, Victor, and I set off on our first adventure.

Victor is a Kenyan, about 30 years old, and lives with his wife in a small house on the same property as Joe and Molly. He’s an accountant by trade, but has been working more or less as the general contractor for the orphanage, hiring workers, ordering materials, making sure the work is done right. He also has a wonderful love for God and other people. He’s a month away from graduating from Bible college. He does a lot of other ministry work with the Bails and his real passion is for counseling people.


Our first stop today was to help a boy named Samuel…
Continue reading A Typical Day for Us

A Tour of the Bails’


I mentioned before that I wanted to give you a tour of Joe and Molly’s place. I think one of the fears people have of going on a trip like this is fear of what their living conditions will be like. You go in with so many stereotypes and preconceived notions of what things will be like. Many of them simply are not accurate.

The equator runs right through Kenya. Equator = hot and humid, right? I’ve also seen plenty of pictures of the Serengeti – vast plains of flat grassland, so I figured that’s how most of Kenya would be. But that’s not accurate at all. Nakuru is at an elevation of about 7,000 feet above sea level. That’s higher than the Mile High city of Denver.

Continue reading A Tour of the Bails’

We Made it!

arrivalOur trip from Tampa to Nakuru couldn’t have been better.

Our first flight left Tampa at 3:30 PM Saturday and arrived in Detroit at 6:15. We had just a hour layover in Detroit, so by the time we found the gate for our next flight (which they had moved without notice) most people had already boarded. The flight from Detroit to Amsterdam was about 7 hours. It arrived in Amsterdam at 9 AM their time, which was 3 AM to us. Again we had only about an hour layover in Amsterdam before our flight for Nairobi took off. But everything went smoothly and we made it through customs/check in just before they started boarding.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Africa Update

Made it to Amsterdam. So far, so good...