This village is a poor one, without running water or electricity where the villagers rely on rain to make their living as subsistence farmers. The nearest large water supply is the Mariara River about eleven miles from the village. A few years ago, the villagers approached a group of highly educated native sons and asked them for help. As a result, The Njuthine Kenya Small Scale Water Irrigation Committee was formed. The committee drafted a plan for a $220,000 buried pipeline across private property and obtained government approval and landowner permission. Alas, government approval does not mean government funding in Kenya. Undaunted, the villagers began raising the money for the irrigation project themselves. The villagers contribute what money they can, and every able person in the village provides the labor – men, women and children. They completed the first step of the project – the intake valve at the river – and laid the pipeline to the village. HPPC has come along side this valiant effort with financial contributions.
What are we going to do there?
This trip began as a Vision Trip where we planned to observe the irrigation project, to meet with the people involved in the project and to evaluate the potential for future partnership. While that was the main goal, the trips have developed into so much more. When we go to Kenya we will meet with The Njuthine Small Scale Water Irrigation Project Committee, local government and church officials, community members and see the irrigation project firsthand by working on the pipeline itself. Because bringing a water source to this community will eventually bring income, two of our team members will be teaching a Crown Ministry introductory course to Presbyterian Church East Africa pastors and lay leaders as well as pastors of the other denominations in the village. In addition, group members meet with the women of the village to discuss micro-enterprise possibilities, like making and selling native crafts, that could help raise money for the pipeline project and provide increased income for them in the future.
We also take school supplies to the 400-500 elementary-aged students and medical supplies for the village dispensary (which is owned by the Presbyterian Church East Africa), and AIDs education and prevention materials.
Anyone with a “call” to missions is welcomed to attend. Our trips are scheduled the 1st Sunday in August and we are usually back on the 10th day. We have housewives, fathers, mothers, grandparents, nurses, health care workers, engineers, directors etc….some with no skills, but all with a call to serve. Our presence, information and supplies we share with our Kenyan brothers and sisters truly transforms.
How is this trip a Mission Trip?
Most of the members of The Njuthine Kenya Small Scale Water Irrigation Committee belong to the Presbyterian Church East Africa and serve on the committees for the Water project, school and/or health clinic and are committed Christians who are reaching out to their own community in the name of Christ. Our partnership allows us to further demonstrate the Love of Christ to people who have gone without adequate food and clean water for generations. The addition of Crown Ministry, micro-enterprise training, delivery of school and medical supplies as well as sex education, AIDs and prevention materials allows us to be a part of a biblically based economic, spiritual, and educational transformation that is underway in the village of Njuthine.
Blessings and Surprises along the way.
As you can see, God has provided us with an incredible teams and abundant ministry opportunities. So far, our biggest blessing and biggest surprise is one in the same. The villagers of Njuthine have truly embraced our trips. Over 80 Presbyterian Church East Africa and other denominational leaders have participated in the Crown Ministry Introductory Course, 240 women attended the native craft/micro-enterprise seminar, over 600 people attended the community meeting and we have worked side by side with 380 people at the irrigation work-site alone! The Clinic is complete, up and running 5 days a week….but still in the need for medication. The school is prospering with more students than ever, some actually graduating onto higher education but funds still needed to assist with this. Along with the expansion of the classrooms, desks, chairs and material, the school has also expanded with the addition of a kitchen and wood burning stoves…..much improved over cooking in the outdoors over homemade fires and large cauldrons. Now that the school and the clinic have electricity, our hope for the future is computers and more scholarship funds for students at the school and for the clinic to have medical equipment for a birthing center and surgical room. The villagers are actually producing more and different crops than ever before. Some are growing as much as 5 different vegetables and have included livestock now that the irrigation is complete.