Monday, 8 August 2016

The myth of African time...

The myth declares that everything moves at a slower pace in Kenya. That doesn't seem to be my experience so far. My plan was to make Sunday a quiet day, knowing that the week ahead is likely to be busy. God's plan was somewhat different!
I began with an early trip down to Nakumatt to withdraw more money from the cash point and to hand the deposit for the sewing machines to Christopher. I asked him to try to arrange delivery of the machines for Thursday. An hour after returning to Severin I had a phone call from Christopher, telling me that the shop wanted to deliver the machines today. That threw me into a bit of a spin, but eventually (and after more phone calls) we agreed that they could be delivered to Casuarina House between four and five that afternoon, by which time I would have finished the other meeting I had scheduled.
At 1.30 I set out by tuktuk to Utange, where I was due to meet Juma and his family. Juma was already waiting for me when I arrived and we had a very enjoyable walk through Utange to his home. There I met his lovely family, who were so welcoming and friendly - and complimented me on my Swahili (which is very limited!) while trying to teach me some more.

I saw his mama's stall and heard her plans to add cereals to the vegetables she already sells.

I also met his sister and saw her salon, and talked with her about what she needs in order to grow her business.

We then walked back to Casuarina and Juma spoke with Festus about where to buy cereals and the prices charged. On my arrival, house mum Caroline announced that she had something to show me and took me to the office where I found that some of the sewing machines had already been delivered! That was so exciting. When Christopher returned he told me the story.
Christopher went in to Mombasa on my behalf to look for the machines on Friday. He went first to a shop he knew, but they had stopped selling sewing machines. He told me how he prayed and set out to find another shop. When he got there he found that they had only one machine and were not intending to get more in because of the expense. He asked the shop keeper to tell him where he could buy several machines and was directed to a third shop. When he enquirer there, they did have some machines but they were expensive. So Christopher set out again, and came upon a fourth shop. He was welcomed at the door by one of the employees, who woke the owner. Christopher explained what he was looking for and the owner explained that he did have the machines, at a reduced price.
When Christopher returned this morning with the deposit, the owner was overjoyed. He immediately went to pay his rent with some of the money and was able to pay his workers their wages. He told Christopher that he had been praying about the shop but then fell asleep, and when he woke, Christopher was there. The family are Muslims, and Christopher was able to explain to them that we are Christians and that he felt God had led him to that shop. The owner insisted on immediately available checking, individually, each of the machines before bringing out the first batch to Casuarina. Hence, when I arrived, the six machines were there.
I had a very encouraging chat with Festus and Caroline, who said that what I am doing is the right thing for the women of the village - giving them a tool with which they can earn an income.  I explained about my hope to bring money into the village through some of the women making things to sell to tourist, and then helping them to have ways of sharing the money around the village.  I also told them about my early picture of women sitting round the field at Utange Baptist Church and tourists coming to buy from them.  Festus particularly really caught this vision; I pray it may come to reality.


  1. What an amazing story. God is SO good and you are obedient and therefore getting blessed. Love reading your blog,beats east enders!! X