First Week at Jared's Orphanage

I like Kenya. The weather is pleasant, the scenery reminds me of Arizona, there isn't too much malaria, we've already seen a variety of wildlife, and I've met some new friends. We weren't planning on lingering here for quite this long, but I'm glad things have worked out this way.

We've been here a week and a half, spending about half ourtime in Nairobi getting supplies for Sudan and running errands, and the rest at Jared's orphanage project. The orphanage is five hours west of Nairobi, on the eastern edge of the Masai Mara game preserve, near the Tanzanian border.We drove out to the project on Friday and saw two giraffes on the way! Did I mention how neat it is to be here in Kenya? :)

The Masai Development Project Orphanage

Jared's Mansion

On Sabbath we sang and hiked and rested. If I had known what we would be doing for work that week, I think I would have rested some more. I also listened to two excellent sermons by Eugene Prewitt on revival and country living. I guess we've got the country living part down, hours away from civilization in the African bush :) Sunday, after a pancake flipping contest (which Luke won handily with a neat double flip), we started work with a bang, digging the first of several ditches. Monday we scraped cement off window bars and I helped supply the masons with stones and concrete to finish the interior walls in the dormitory. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent with a pick and shovel, clearing out somemore ditches for a leach field. With all that digging, we had no problems falling asleep at night!


Wednesday evening we drove through the bush down to the Tanzanian border and saw lots of wildebeest, antelopes, dikdiks, and some zebras! Thursday we headed back to Nairobi for more errand running. We met up with some Peace Corps volunteers Thursday night for supper at an Ethiopian restaurant! I enjoyed using some of my rusty Amharic to order our food :) Friday we picked up Eric Johnston at the airport and ran some more errands. Eric is here as an SM from Southern and will be working at the orphanage and with Jared's uncle for nine months.

One of Luke's errands

On Sabbath we went to church at Maxwell Academy on the campus of the East Central Africa Division. It's interesting how similar the academy here is to academies in the States--and all the connections we had in common with the expats there. Pastor Crutcher and his wife from GCC, a family from Union Springs Academy, and some SMs from Union. Amazing how meeting friends of friends makes for such entertaining conversation :) After lunch in the cafeteria we went hiking in the Rift Valley. The geology in the Rift Valley is fascinating. It's basically a huge crack in the earth where two tectonic plates are pulling apart. Because there's so much less pressure on the crack, magma pushes up through the crust more easily. Hence all the volcanic activity along the Rift, and the presence of the mountains for us to climb. (Don't worry Mom, the ones we were on were long extinct :) Bob and Joy Butler graciously invited us to their home for supper and we spent the evening visiting with them.

The plan is to head back out to finish up a few more things at the orphanage, put in the windows, finish the leach field, and a other odds and ends, before coming back to Nairobi, purchase the last few needed supplies and leave for Sudan a week from today. We'll see how that works out!

It's good to hear from everybody back home. We're excited to see how God has worked things out for us so far. Thank you for your prayers!



  1. Living vicariously through you Joel! Many Blessings!

  2. It sounds wonderful Joel! So happy for you, and our prayers will continue that God will bless you and Luke with His presence and wisdom.

  3. Thanks for sharing all the pictures, Joel! It looks beautiful, and the wildlife sounds amazing! Sending prayers with you!

  4. Sounds like you're having an awesome time, Joel! Wow you're so close to Tanzania... you should just pop in and visit Ali while you're there! :)

  5. Glad to hear you're doing well and enjoying your yourself! Blessings...

  6. Joel, that's a good looking ditch you're digging! Looks like a LOT of work. Thanks so much for the update and pictures. Sounds like God is doing a wonderful job of answering our prayers!

  7. Hi hi hi!! I love you! Thanks for posting such a detailed blog for us to read! Guess what, I met Eugene Prewitt yesterday. He spoke here. In fact - I helped him get unlost by giving him directions by phone! lol :) :)

    Love ya!!

  8. Wow, sounds like you got right to work. Crazy how close you are to where I am! Last weekend the ADRA Tanzania director and his family drove up to Nairobi for the weekend to visit their daughters at Maxwell Academy. I'm jealous you've already seen the wildlife...

  9. Sounds like you're having a great time! If you happen to see some elephants, will you take a picture? :)

  10. What exactly is the ditch for? Looks nice anyway. Sounds like you've packed a lot into your time there.

  11. Thanks for posting! I was amazed at how black the dirt is! Looking forward to hearing more :)

  12. We're praying for you, great update!

  13. We love hearing how you're doing! Looks like you hit the ground running (digging as this case may be).

  14. Hung out with the R's, huh? I ran into two guys that were working at Maxwell when I went through four years ago at church here. Crazy. Enjoy the wilds.


Sorry - I was getting too many spam comments so I turned on moderation. As long as you're not a bot or a troll, I'll approve your comment :)