Sorry it has been a while since you last heard a project update from us on here. Last you heard, we had received our certificate as a registered organization called Urathi Wa Yohana. We have been working on many details behind the scenes over the last several months. Some of those things have been with the ACP board, while others have been with our local Urathi Wa Yohana board. We were planning to hire house parents and custom home builders and have an opening ceremony in April when we hit a roadblock.
As we continue to deal with roadblocks and setbacks, I have been working closely with our local UWY board, helping them understand more about the day to day operations. You see, our ultimate goal is to completely release all operations to the local board so that the project is completely run by Kenyans. So we have been meeting together to understand everything there is to know about the project here.
We continue in the application process for opening the children’s home to orphans. The registration certificate we received back in March was only a type of business registration that basically allows us to operate, acquire a tax ID number, pay employees, etc. The registration process we are going for now is with the children’s department to allow us to take in orphans. There is a lot involved in this application process with quite a long checklist of items to submit with the application.
We finally have everything that is required on our part to submit this application, and things are now in the hands of the local government. We have had our health department inspection, and it went very well. There were only 2 minor things for us to change, and we have already made those changes.
The next step includes our District Children’s Office organizing a group called the Area Advisory Council that consists of representatives from other various departments within the government. They will come and visit the property, and then make a recommendation to the National Council for us to be registered as a children’s home.
We don’t know how long this process will take, but we are being told that we should have our visitors from the Area Advisory Council this week. As you can see, things don’t always move quickly in Kenya. “No hurry in Kenya” is a common phrase (except when it comes to driving). Something that might take a couple of days or even just hours in the U.S. has taken us many months here. The good news is once we have the approval from the National Council, there should be nothing else holding us back from bringing children into the home.
We would appreciate your prayers as we are moving into this critical phase of the project. Prayers for favor with the government as well as prayers for patience for all of us. If there is only one thing the Lord wanted to teach me in our experience as missionaries in Kenya, for sure it would be patience. I was not much of a patient guy before leaving the U.S., and I’m quite sure I still have a lot of room for growth in this area, but I know that it has been a huge lesson learned. There are certainly other lessons the Lord is teaching along this journey, but patience is certainly the biggest.