Imagine, after several months of building a relationship with unreached tribal people and having just started witnessing about Jesus’ love, you find no one has showed up for your group. Did you do something wrong? Were these not the people the Lord wanted you to share with? You can only imagine the thoughts that might run through your mind.
The reality is that there is no water! In East Pokot, Kenya, rain is like gold. The majority of the people are pastoralists who raise cattle, and without water there is no food for the animals, or the people. The only recourse these people have is to move on. Often times the animals die and families are left destitute – women are left to care for small children while the men leave with the animals to find water and grazing. The impact of this one weather condition creates many challenges to both the physical and spiritual health of the people.
The Chemolingot orphanage compound is concerned for the lives of the children and the community as well as the souls of all of East Pokot. Their mission is “to provide a transformational child care centre in spearheading quality child wellbeing in equipping them with knowledge, practical Christian moral values necessary for the service of God and humanity within the context of Biblical Christianity.” This remote area faces many challenges, most predicated upon the drought conditions and extreme heat that evaporates any water that may exist.
Currently a bore hole is in the process of being dug at the orphanage which will bring some relief to this condition, but like other bore holes, it will be strained by the needs of the community at large, which often causes damage to the system. In order to limit the traffic to the well, it is necessary to fence the perimeter of the compound. This is needed for the protection of the children as well. Currently there is only one other well that is functioning in the area, and it is being overused. Schools and medical facilities are closing due to the acute water shortage.
The orphanage is blessed to have a semi-permanent church sponsored school with 3 teachers and some volunteers. This is a blessing for the young people as they are able to get a quality education even in the harshest of conditions where many other children living with their families are not. The children also benefit from a fine Christian example, and increased image in their communities and safety and stability in a life that for many consists of constant moving and uncertainty. These children are being reached with the Gospel while so many others are losing out due to the harsh climate and struggle to even exist. In light of the challenges to the pastoralists, the orphanage wants to begin a vocational training program which will give the children skills that are not as dependent upon the weather and agriculture.
The orphanage is far from paradise, conditions there are hard also, but there is a hope and a plan for the future, and that hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ and his promise to supply all our needs. His love is felt with each and every milestone the orphanage reaches. There are many more things that need to be accomplished – a permanent school, another dormitory for both the boys and the girls, another latrine, the fencing of the compound and the completion of the well, but these things are in the Lord’s timing. Beyond these immediate needs there are plans for the future which the Lord has given to the administrators – these plans include incorporating more community activities to bring more people to the Lord. Please pray for the work in East Pokot, for the people who do not know the Lord and who seldom get to hear because they are always on the move and for the completion of the many projects. Give praise that the Lord has blessed you with water, free-running and clean within your homes. Praise Him that you do not have to walk on foot in blazing heat to find your next meal, and most of all give Him thanks for His death on the cross that we might have eternal life with Him.