The funeral of Patrick Kavungura Nyaga.

Patrick Kavungura NyagaPatrick Nyaga (Kavungura) died on February 15th at the Kenyatta Hospital, Nairobi. He died following an operation to correct a blocked vein, a burst vein and a non functioning valve. He had already had a minor surgery on a hole in the heart that week. The cost of the operations came to half a million Kenya shillings (about £45,000); it was a huge sum for the family to collect during those last few days. They took loans and gathered gifts from well-wishers and family members.

The day before, he talked to his son, Eric, to say he had already been a good soldier with God’s help; he raised his arms wide to Heaven and praised God for being with him throughout his life. But the shock for Harriet was immense when he did not recover from the operation. She kept telling him to wake up even after she had signed the papers for the mortuary. She had been advised that it was a simple procedure. But it was God’s plan to call him that day. When somebody dies, the local community gathers each day to have evening prayers at the home of the deceased and to start a collection for funeral expenses; everybody feels part of the family’s grieving. Early on Friday 21st February, my pickup, carrying the camera man headed the cortege of cars, the Hospital hearse and those who had travelled up from Nairobi. We had tied red ribbons on our vehicles; then made our way slowly through the town and up to our village. As we approached our site, the hearse was playing triumphal hymns and sounding its horn. There was already a great crowd streaming though the gateway. The coffin was placed in the centre of the prayer House on a long bench as it is customary for the body to be viewed. The queue stretched back up the drive but there was a sound of glorious singing from the many pastors and church leaders there that stood as one great choir around the edge of the prayer house, surrounding the coffin. I followed in line, being now used to this ordeal of looking through the small glass window which reveals the dear face of the deceased. Many ladies were overcome and carried out, weeping. I found the singing very uplifting, confirming the passing of one who had gone to live with his Lord and Savior.

The coffin was then carried to the field and was laid on a bier shaded by a marquee for a while. There were three large tents shading the mourners but hundreds sat under the scarce tree and banana palm shade. It was estimated that there were over 1200 people there to give their respects. Next comes the interminable photo- session. Harriet stood bravely as group upon group joined her for the official photos. This took over one hour in the scorching sunlight. After this came the valedictory speeches from colleagues, church and family members, the eulogy, which mentioned how much he had loved and served Peacemakers…and then the preaching of the Word by Moses, preceded by a speech from Bishop Salesio. 

Salesio spoke of his shock to lose his dear friend and how many people might say this or that about him but that the results of the faithful man were obvious and he had been a loyal and faithful soldier to the last. Moses preached about how God has an assignment for each of us on earth and that when it is completed, we are called. So, to take heart that Patrick had completed the work assigned to him to do and that it was his time to go. He urged us to know God’s plan for us, what work we had to do, to serve Him until the day we are called. There were some African songs and dances from family members and church groups, then a grand collection into the African baskets. Then after a time of prayer, the coffin passed through our shamba to the adjoining land, belonging to Kavungura’s.

Mourners were fewer by this time as the space at the home was congested. Again, there was a long sermon and many hymns at the grave, which had been dug that morning near to the house. The same youth who had dug the grave traditionally replace the soil on top of the coffin and the family laid their wreaths there. It had now taken 7 hours to this time. Those who remained were then fed with rice and stew, before leaving for their homes. It was quite an emotional day, as the whole community and Peacemakers have lost a teacher, a preacher, a seeker of the lost, a helper of the addicted, an advocate and intermediary, a dear husband, father friend and brother in the Lord.

                                        Chrissie.

e-link bulletin No.3 Feb 2014

SAD NEWS from Kenya: Patrick Kavungura Nyaga, a key man in the formation and development of the Peacemakers project died a few days ago Patrick Kavungura Nyagafrom a heart condition. We are all terribly saddened by this and send our deepest sympathies to his wife Harriett and the extended family. Anyone wishing to send a tribute to Patrick’s life please contact Brenda who will forward it to Chrissie who will be representing Peacemakers at his funeral. If you feel to contribute in any way to his family, please forward your gifts to Brenda. A tribute to Patrick and his work for Peacemakers will be produced later and posted on the website for everybody to read.

Sponsored Run: Just a quick reminder that the half marathon run is this coming Sunday23rd Feb. It’s the first one ever held at Hampton court. Jess Walker is running for Peacemakers and will be wearing the t-shirt shown below, so that people will recognise him amongst the 1500 competitors running.  A sponsorship form is available to download from here. Please try and help Jess raise as much money as possible for the Peacemakers Projects in Kenya.Jess for actiont-shirt front

The HIV women’s group that meet regularly at our place are looking for ways to have projects to support their income. They have thought of selling cakes, a chicken or pig project, making traditional baskets or flower arrangements. We have registered them as a group and they were thrilled to receive, gym-shoes for their children, water – guard and some maize. They are now eligible to seek for a joint loan. They are called “Way Forward” self-help group.

 Funding; we are also anxiously waiting for news from Comic Relief about our application for funding.

 Snippets from Kenya. We have continued to repair some of the house to make it habitable and are now blessed by restored electricity and plumbing to the main part. We have not touched the rear of the house where the fire started and although it looks sad, we believe it will rise again. At least the covering is waterproof as this season has been a real test! We have worked hard on guttering and pipes to harvest the torrents of water which has, in the past been eroding the soil and washing away our driveway. We are also constructing two ponds to slow down the flow off the roof and divert it to a pipe. We hope to solve the problem and also gain the knowledge of how to save water for irrigation.

 Recent visits from Sandra Colman, Joan Rushton, Caroline Hutchings and Matthew Birtwhistle have brought such joy and encouragement. They brought lots of useful items. Joan did not suffer too many torrential rains, thankfully, and, for the first time in four visits, managed to see Mount Kenya. She used to time her visit in cloudy June. The wait was worth it! The snow-capped mountain looked stunning! The rain is deafening on the tin roof at night. I was dismayed at the deluge last Friday as we had put up the tent-shade the night before a wedding. It was a sorry sight at 5 am in the morning. Mud across the field from flooded banks and a heap of canvas. However…all credit to our workers! The shade was up again by 10 am, fixed and ready for the joyous occasion. We have another 2 weddings this month. The Kenyans are so surprising!

 Car Repairs; I still use Njagi, a young Runyenjes mechanic, to care for any car problems. His roadside patch was moved recently to a site 100 metres away on the other side of a disused petrol station to make way for a new building started just two months ago. It was huge! Four storeys high and impressive sweeping steps, flanked by colonnades. It was to house a national bank and many other businesses. This is the new developing Kenya. We were amazed at how quickly it went up but flabbergasted to hear it all fell down at night last week- in one big heap. Sadly, the night watchman lost his life.

I was also fascinated to watch a man near the bus stage fashion me a rubber bush for my shock absorber recently. A stack of bald tyres await their slaughter date. His ramshackle stall is festooned in rubber strips that are normally used for strapping luggage to the motorbikes or fill the cracks in chicken sheds or a thousand other uses.

 

e-link bulletin No.2 Dec. 2013

dr1   Xmas   dr1

It’s the time of the year when we think about giving gifts to others who are less fortunate than ourselves.

  • The most precious gift you can receive is the ‘Gift of Life’
  • The most precious gift YOU can give is to save somebody’s ‘Life’
  • How can we do this?  Read on:
Thanks Jess and good luck!

Thanks Jess and good luck!

Sponsored Run: Jess, a friend of Peacemakers is planning to run a half marathon to raise funds for us. He’s an English teacher in Hertfordshire and will participate in an organised event for some 1500 runners at Hampton Court on 23rd February 2014. The distance is 13.5 miles and a sponsorship form is available here. The money raised will be used to provide mosquito nets and malarial medication in response to the sad death from malaria of the 19 year old Kenyan Samson Musoyka which we reported in our October bulletin.                                        

 

The resource centre is currently hired-out for teaching, conferences and a wide range of events involving the local community.

The Committee are looking at plans to develop new projects on site including a Restaurant, Bakery and more Traditional Houses to accommodate friends and visitors of Peacemakers. In the light of lives lost to malaria, the second phase hopes to provide a medical clinic offering emergency malaria support and other medical needs.

We have started a ‘Building Fund’ and our target for the above external building work is £19,000.00

Malaria nets save lives.

Mosquito nets save lives.

 

Peacemakers has an anonymous sponsor who has thrown out a challenge to all our friends.  For every child, youth and adult who donates £5.00 to ‘Save a Life’ this Christmas, the sponsor will donate £1 to the Building Fund.  The £5.00 will buy a family size Mosquito Net and malarial medication for one person.  One thousand £5.00 donors = £1,000.00 from our sponsor towards building a Clinic; Guaranteed.

Invitation to new young Fund Raisers: Brenda’s seven year old great nephew sold some of his clothes and toys on eBay to help feed the starving children in Kenya.  He is hoping to set a trend and encourage other young people to do the same and sell some of their unwanted toys.  If you do want to join this scheme please contact Brenda on 01920 830317 and your achievement will be rewarded with a Certificate.

Opportunities for Student placements are being explored at the Runyenjes Resource Centre for 2014 gap year or other students to visit and work with the Peacemakers’ Project Director Christine.  This is a great chance to become actively involved with the local Kenyan community.  School teaching, basic health care, Drugs Awareness, Food Hygiene, care of animals, woodworking skills and general building work are just some of the areas in which visitors can be involved whether for a few weeks or months.  Accommodation will be provided free, but each volunteer will have to cover the cost of their flight, transport to site from Nairobi, food and spending money.

Further details from Brenda Marshall 01920 830317.

Local Contact: George Kamau has responded by email after finding Peacemakers on the internet and offered his support.  Amazingly he lives in Runyenjes just down the road from the Resource Centre and has visited our site.  He has just finished his degree at Moi University and awaiting his results and is very happy to serve the Community working alongside other volunteers.  A young Australian graduate Matthew finishing studies in Milan has also expressed a desire to spend some time working in the Kenyan Community; it would be great if the two could work on a project together early next year.  The door is open to all who would like to serve in this way, using their talents and skills.

Students from UK lending a helping hand!

Students from UK lending a helping hand!

 

We had a real set back in the summer of 2012 when Kisimani House was gutted by fire and Isaac our Foreman died, but I can truthfully say that we have turned a corner and are very hopeful in seeing Kisimani completely restored and other workshops, clinic etc. built in 2014/15.

Thank you once again for being so faithful in your giving and support of our Fund Raising Events in 2013.  We are hoping for a team of volunteers to visit Kenya throughout the year and get involved practically and spiritually.  You know the old saying “Many hands make light work”, it’s very true and at the same time having fun doing it and working together – working towards the same goal of making a better place to live in for the local communities.

You will find great blessing in this as you bless others.  The rewards come from giving. 

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY  from Peacemakers’ Team  And a Prosperous New Year for the Kenyans.

Every Blessing from Brenda

e-link bulletin No.1 Oct. 2013

Busy Summer:  Chrissie returned to Kenya from the UK in July and was immediately immersed in building work and organising visitors to the Resource Centre site. Since her return the grills and window frames have been repaired, glass fitted in most windows in Kisimani House and 8 doors remade.

Mazera stones were laid to the kitchen and in front of the Prayer House, the kitchen was repainted and cabinets repaired/replaced. The fire damaged internal walls have been cleaned and painted white. The plumbing is almost complete, with all materials purchased and phase-1 of the electrics and other maintenance work done.

Visitors from UK: included Toni (a teacher at Ardeley School) and husband Aaron Minson who stayed a week.  Aaron worked on mapping the site using Google and planning for the future restaurant and costing’s for a cyber café, which is hoped to start next year.  Aaron also knew, being a surfer, how to clean the bath with wet and dry sandpaper and Vim.

PM-Art 

 

Sandra Colman stayed for two and half weeks and helped with computer work, planning, sorting, cleaning and of course art classes!

 

 

 

 

 

Funds Used All the £2210 raised for specified uses and collected from donations by a very energetic Chrissie during her home visit have been put to good use. In addition to the above work to KIsimani House, the cooker and other kitchen equipment has been provided.  The £500 raised at the Mohan restaurant get together in June and the £470 raised at the open day at Brenda’s in July have gone into general funds for the local community, buying materials and maintenance of the Resource Centre.

School Sponsors Individual sponsors are supporting the handicapped and destitute children at the local Junior and Secondary Schools by the payment of boarding fees and provision of a ‘starter pack’. This includes the basics i.e. pens, pencils, toothbrush/paste, soap, Vaseline as a moisturiser and a calculator for the older students.

TWAM A UK organisation which provides second hand tools restored to new has recently provided two sewing machines, a carpenter’s kit and a leather worker’s kit which Chrissie collected after a 10 hour drive to the Kenyan border. We only pay transport costs. The tools were excellent.

 

PM-Kenya

Please advise Brenda of any thoughts or ideas you may have.  All donations and funds raised are welcome.  We have minimal overheads since all the team members are volunteers.

 

Gift Aid:  It is of great advantage to Peacemakers if donations can be gift-aided.  You need to be a UK taxpayer, see HERE for details.

Funding Needs: Significant funding is still needed to restore Kisimani House and toilets and we are seeking help from Kenyan Business Houses I.e. Kenya Power, Sarfaricom etc. Help is sought from UK sponsors and individuals to build the restaurant, cyber café, bakery and clinic. This will help create more income on-site.  Chrissie’s car needs a lot of maintenance work i.e. welding etc. and new tyres.  This vehicle is a very essential part in the running of the site, being a work horse to transport people, the hiring out of chairs and other equipment to different venues from our site plus the delivery of building materials.

Meanwhile all building work will have to cease while funds are being raised.

The Kitchen Table Trust is being approached for support for HIV Women’s Group and their work with widows.

 

Shopping List:  The particular needs at the moment are, water filters £45.00 each (to provide clean water to homes and schools). School starter packs £20.00. Mosquito nets £5.00 each (Malaria is still the highest killer in Kenya). Flip flops to provide protection from  ‘jiggers’ (a Chigoe flea that lives in the soil) (£10 for 3 pairs)

"Jigger worms" a flea with awful consiquences!

“Jigger” a flea with awful consequences!

 

PM-feet2

young or old, bare feet makes you vulnerable.

PM-jiggers

What “Jiggers” can do and more!

 

Breaking News:  Sadly we have just heard of the death of Samson Musyoka, one of our sponsored students.  He died of cerebral malaria last week at the age of 19.  After not treating his incessant headache he was in agony by week 2 and felt his head was bursting with pain, turning him delirious. He was a bright student and had all sorts of plans for the future and wanted to study law. Deaths like this could be avoided if only there was free medication. It is therefore appropriate to add to our shopping list the following:

Malaria medicine:  1 dose £2.00, Cerebral Malaria pills- £18.00. This is the reason we wish to build a Clinic in the next building phase and hopefully hold an emergency stock of medicines run by a qualified pharmacist.

Samson’s funeral was on the 19th October, any contribution to the cost of this would ease the financial burden on the family as his only close surviving relative is his disabled sister.