WARNING: I’m about to share my deepest, darkest secret

Well, it might not be my deepest, darkest secret, but it is something I don’t really like to talk about with others.
Finances.

Leaving Korea was something Sam and I both felt it was time to do; although, we have not had a consistent, paying job since then.  There are a couple people driving bodas (small motorcycles used by people like taxis) who give us money every week.  We have gotten the truck to buy and sell produce, but with the accident, we have not started to make money yet.

I’m going to give you a breakdown of how we spend money on a monthly basis.
As you’re reading these numbers, keep in mind that our current monthly commitment for donations we receive is around $800.

Sending 11 kids to school is not cheap.  Between their school fees, uniforms, shoes, and school supplies, it is roughly $500 a month.

Utilities are about $170 a month.

We buy some things in bulk, including rice, maize flour, wheat flour, sugar, oil, beans, laundry soap, and charcoal.  These are about $300 every month to month and a half.


Can you imagine hand-washing this much laundry every week?

 

The produce, seasonings, and other sauce components used in daily cooking are roughly $95 for the month.

There are miscellaneous expenses such as car repairs, house repairs, and medical bills for the kids.  Monthly, these expenses can be upwards of $500.

We have been developing our land here at the house, as this is the starting place of CITY.  One goal for CITY is to eventually be self-sustaining.  That has to start somewhere, right?!
Well, as the number of people and animals has gotten bigger, our compound can’t handle it as well.  We have been building a new place for some of the boys the animals to stay.


the other part of our land with a small garden, pig pen, and the house in progress

 

When God called us to start CITY, we knew it would not be easy.  We knew we would have to take big steps in faith, trusting God to provide the resources.
As it goes with starting many things, it takes a lot of resources, mostly money, up front to get things running.  In some ways, it seems like we are slowly starting CITY: working on paying off the land and planning for the school.  In reality though, it hasn’t been a slow start, as we have a busy compound and over 10 kids living with us already.


the girls (two are away in boarding)

 


the boys (one more not pictured)

 

If you noticed the numbers, we need to spend more a month than what has been committed.  God has been incredibly faithful in making ends meet each month.
Would you like to be a part of what we are doing, providing hope to the next generation?
Click HERE to learn how you can support us financially.

Webale nnyo (thank you very much) for joining us on this journey!

 

If you have any questions or want more details, please feel free to contact me.

 

much love!

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birthday happenings

Yesterday, was my birthday.
If you don’t know how old I turned, feel fee to make a guess.
I’ll give you a hint, I’m older than I look:)

 

My day was a bit more exciting than the non-plans I had made!
I was treated to a special breakfast of eggs, guacamole, fried cassava, and a latte.
In the afternoon, Sam took me out to a garden.  We walked around the water, saw monkeys, and ate delicious food.


at the garden

 


our fish and chips (we also had some goat)

 

When we arrived home, Erin was busy making me snickerdoodles and an apple crisp.
I was so surprised!


delicious birthday desserts

 

After dinner was finished, the kids danced in with a plate of the cookies and their presents.  One by one, they danced up to present me with the gifts.  The finale of the dancing, was Sam dancing in with Maddie in a bucket.

 

not the best pic…Maddie enjoying her ride

 

Overall, a great birthday, with a lot of laughter.

 

much love!

11 weeks

Tuesday night, our baby girl turned 11 weeks old.
On one hand, that seems so small; on the other, a lot can happen in that amount of time.

Madison has grown; not only in size, but also in what she does.
She still does not like to sleep very much. She smiles, laughs, “talks,” and even can hold her head up when on her tummy. Her greatest talent may be how well she can take medicine from a spoon!


eating, one of her favorite activities

 


getting ready for the big fight

 

The kids finished the first term of the school year, had their holiday (between-term vacation), and have started the second term. During the holiday, they each had a holiday packet of worksheets to complete before returning to school. They also had chores around the house and taking care of the animals. Some of the boys even helped with the brick making for a few days.


after immunizing the baby chicks

 

Well, for me, these 11 weeks have been very eventful, and uneventful, at the same time. After Madison was born, life around the house and how I spend my time changed.  Madison has been a gigantic part of my day and night; especially as she has been in a huge, “I love mommy” phase for a few weeks now.

About six weeks ago, I had emergency surgery to remove/drain an abscess.  The recovery was supposed to take about a week, but ended up taking over four weeks.

Some other happenings in the past 11 weeks:
We bought a truck.  This is mostly used for hauling produce from a village to sell elsewhere.  The truck has made a number of trips to the village.  One time though, it tipped over and was out of commission for almost three weeks, as it was being fixed.


the day it came “home”

As for the CITY land, we had some troubles (blog with more info coming soon:)
During these 11 weeks, we regained access to the land and have come closer to paying it off.

I have been learning how to use my time, as best as I can with a newborn who does not like to sleep.  Hopefully, this means I will be able to keep you better updated with what is going on here and with CITY!

 

much love

One additional thing: as of yesterday, we have running water!  I was able to take my first shower and flush the toilet in the bathroom!

 

life changes

In case you didn’t know, I was pregnant.
That was, until four weeks ago.
At 9:50pm, on Tuesday, March 13th, Madison Jane was born.


cute since day one:)

 

In the past four weeks, she has not only brought us so much joy, but also changed our day-to-day life, in a pretty big way.


getting ready to leave the hospital

 

She may be the newest and smallest member of our family, but she seems to fit right in.


just some fun bunny pictures for Easter

 


one more picture for good measure

 

much love!

 

a day in the life

In order for you to get a good picture of what our life looks like here, ideally, I would describe a typical day.  Unfortunately, there isn’t really a typical day for me to tell you about.  Maybe that, in and of itself, gives you a little idea of our life here – unpredictable and always changing.

The number of kids in our house has fluctuated a bit, since I arrived at the beginning of December.  A couple have left, a couple have gone to school (and board there), and a few have been added to our household.  As of now, there are 10 nursery, primary, and secondary students eating and sleeping under our roof.


the boys of the house on Christmas

 


the girls of the house on Christmas

 

Who are these kids?  Well they call Sam and I, daddy and mummy.  We take them as our own; although some still have a parent or grandparent.  They have been entrusted into our care.

In addition to the kids, there are some grown boys who live here and help in various ways, Erin, who came to help with CITY, and another lady who helps and is a mom to two of the boys.
In total, there are 17 people sleeping here, at least for the time being.


some of the kids removing dried corn from the cob

 

Morning usually starts fairly early around here, whether we wake up by alarm, rooster crowing, or goats making noises.  Our compound is full of sounds as the kids clean and prepare for the day.  Eggs are collected from the chickens a few times a day, and the goats are taken out to graze.


have you ever seen a triple bunk bed?
we have 4 sets:)

 

After school, there is more cleaning, dishes, washing of clothes, and homework.  Erin and I try to make ourselves available to help any of the kids with their homework.

If this doesn’t sound busy enough, there are a number of things going on outside our compound that we are busy with.  Working on the land, making bricks to use for building, looking for a truck to buy, getting supplies and food for everyone, doctors’ visits, and meeting with different people.


we try to keep some food and supplies in bulk, to save as we cook and take care of everyone.

 


this stack of bricks is almost ready to be fired

 

Why do I share all this with you?  Well, there’s a few reasons.
– I have been asked by a few people about “our kids” and what life looks like here.
 – Sam and I have started CITY, and want you to know what it is like.  For now, we have started with these kids God has given us.
 – To ask for your prayer and financial support.  As we continue to look for money to pay for the land and build a school, we need to pay for school fees, feeding, and upkeep.  We are also very seriously, looking at buying a truck.  This truck would not only save us money as we build and do work; we can have an income through people renting the truck and dealing in produce.

Please, feel free to ask me any questions about what we are doing.  Sam and I are happy to share about all we are doing and let you know more about our kids, our life here, and our plans.

CLICK HERE to support us through a tax-free donation.  We would love for you to join us on this journey!

 

much love!

 

land update

Thank you so much to all who have given financially and to those who have been praying.  It’s exciting to see God move: finding the land and for money to start coming in so we can finish purchasing it.


taken while visiting the land

 

Throughout November and December, CITY received about $5,675
We will be putting all this towards the remaining balance of what we owe for the land.

Please, if you would like to help us finish paying off the balance, we would be grateful.
Here, you can find out how to send money.

Happy New Year, 2018!
May 2018 be a great year for all of us!

 

much love!

finding land

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving!
It is so nice to be with family and eating turkey for the first time in a few years.

What is Sam looking for as he searches for land to build our school?
-close to town
-flat
-easy to expand in the future
-cheap

Well, this week, Sam has found land that fits that description, and more!
We are able to get the land title, which means we will have full ownership of the land!

It is two acres.  Not only is it a good price; we can make a downpayment, then make payments to finish.
Sam has already put a commitment payment in, saying that we will be making a bigger payment by next week.

 

 

 

We are so excited by this!
We need your help, though.

The land is 90,000,000 shillings, which is about $25,000.
The money we have raised through CITY is about 50,000,000 shillings (about $13,700).

In order to make the downpayment, so we don’t lose the land, we have had to dip into our personal account.
To finish purchasing the land, we need about $11,000 (which is 50,000,000 shillings).

I know around the holidays, money can be tight; but we ask you to please join us on this exciting journey of starting our school.
To make a tax-deductible donation, please click here.

 

much love!