Dear Family and Friends,
This letter is written with sincere thanks for all the support that was given for the trip to the African Inland Church Katisaa in Machakos Kenya. Eight of us left on June 17th and all of us returned safe, sound and BLESSED on July 3rd. We took about 800 pounds of Medical and Theology Textbooks, presents for church leaders, Youth Choir T-shirts, yarn for the Women’s knitting group, 6 Prayer Shawls, 50 handmade wash cloths, medical equipment, clothes and shoes for the orphans and widows, 450 dental/school kits and 150 pairs of glasses. The 10,000$ that we brought with us is being used to pay for a well at the church and to continue building the church.
When the church was started in 2007, they were just digging the 7 foot foundation with flip flops on their feet, shovels, wheelbarrows, a water leveler, a plumb bob, an old measuring tape and an oxcart bringing in water all on 3$ a day. Despite the fact that building costs have gone up to three times the original price, the church is now 2 ½ stories high and has a newly poured balcony. More than the building however, is the fact that the church has grown from 150 people in one service to 400 in the Kamba service, 100 in the English service and 200 kids in Sunday School. The church, both the old metal siding church and the new building in construction, is now the hub of a number of church and community activities.
These includes a large youth group, Sunday School service for 1st through 12th grade, a large Christian Women’s group, four different choirs (a widow’s choir that was competing in a regional meeting, a Youth Dance Choir, an Adult choir, a Women’s choir) and the famous AIC Katisaa Soccer team.
-While we were there they started work on the well and dug by hand to at about 20 feet. -Neal (“Babu Fundi” which means “Grandpa- Builder” in Swahili), Ian Ashley and a youthful Kamba workers built a Picnic Shelter. This will serve as a gracious space for them to meet under and break bread together.
- Katrina, Sheryl, Ashley We saw about 320 people including the church members, community members, children from the Manza Primary School and even some patients from as far as 50 miles away. Marty and Skye worked with our local interpreters and distributed about 150 glasses during the clinic hours.
-Under the leadership of Marty we visited a Nursery School and Manza Primary School. During our visit to Manza we had an assembly for 400 and then distributed the Dental/School kits to each of the kids in grade 1-8 in their classrooms while we admired their schoolwork. The kids ages 2-15 always greeted us with music and smiles, Skye played games with some classes outside and Marty encourage the teachers.
-The AIC Katisaa knitting group that has expanded from three in 2007 to about 30 this year actually skped the founder of North Christian Church’s Prayer Shawl Ministry, Lesli Lanteigne. They all held up their unique creations for Lesli to admire. _Ashley and Ian met with about 20 Youth on the final Sunday for an informal question and answer exchange about peer pressure and Christian values.
-Joshua and the Building Committee met with the Architect, Eric Loki from Nairobi to talk about the next steps in the construction.
Once again we appreciated your support, whether it was through your prayers, money or gifts. More than our appreciation however, was the connection and love that the people of the church at AIC Katisaa felt from you. God’s word to the world is one with God’s work in the world and you have helped spread both. If you want to join us in 2013 start saving about 100$ a month and then in September of 2012 we will get the preliminary list of people together. We make the travel arrangements with a group that works exclusively with Missionaries so the cost is substantially cheaper. If anyone wants to continue the work at the church between now and 2013, please make check out North Christian Church 850 Tipton Lane Columbus, IN 47201 with memo line to read AIC Katisaa. We deposit the money directly into Barclays Bank in Machakos and the Building Committee of ten elders disperses the money as needed. At this point they still need about 60,000.00$ to complete the church. Once again thank-you and may God richly bless you.
Ashley Burtin, Sheryl Elston, Joshua Kiilu Katrina, Ian and Skye McGillivary, Neal Whitson, and Marty Winslow