e-Bulletin No.18 September 2019

In the last two bulletins, I have been informing you about our current transition period to make the Resource Centre a self-supporting project. We now have our two Title Deeds naming Peacemakers Community based Organisation as the absolute owners of the land and its assets. All of our facilities on-site are now up and running to develop our commercial projects.

May I take this opportunity to invite you to come to Kenya, maybe en route to a safari, or otherwise, to stay in our beautiful Resource Centre and experience the real Kenyan way of life. Our centre is deliberately built in a poor rural area, endeavouring to create a better standard of life to the local communities. We will, of course, continue to work in the mission field of teaching and training while, at the same time, bringing employment and casual labour to the local people, as they serve you through the commercial side.

Take a look at “Peacemakers’ Homestead”, or this Air B&B link, for our accommodation ‘on-site’ in Embu County, Kenya. You will see Isaac and Christine who are the co-hosts and now husband and wife, ready to welcome you! Christine is Peacemakers’ Director on-site and Isaac, the Projects’ Development Manager. We currently have five bedrooms but we are looking to increase that capacity. We will be ready on October 1st to take your bookings for an overnight stay or longer. Isaac can also help you organise your visit and walks on Mt. Kenya and is even available to escort you, if you wish. We can also offer to meet you at the airport in Nairobi to guide you on your way to visit us.

 

If you have the desire to work voluntarily within the local community, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me about the range of activities you may be interested in. It will be a very rewarding experience as so many of our volunteers over the years have found; email: Brenda Marshall

We were so blessed by the donation from the Richard Taylor family in Swansea, for the purchase of a solar panel to power a water pump which would irrigate the shamba and tree nursery and for the cleaning of the animal sheds. The solar pump continues to improve our sustainability and save us so much money on electricity bills. They also kindly donated money for 11 Bibles and 5 water filters!

We are truly thrilled and blessed. They also sponsored one room to be painted ready for drugs counselling sessions.

At last, the chicken-shed, named after our Australian visitor, is in full swing and people are coming to buy the chicks at 1 month or older; the price goes up according to length of stay at the Cameron chickhouse. This is a great project. It is so profitable and Cameron has helped us enormously to focus on sustainable activities.

We were happy to have a visit from the Embassy of Ireland again this month, to monitor our progress and use of the piggery, greenhouse and incubator. They were so happy! We are praying they will allow us to apply for funding to put soil bags into the greenhouse so that we can overcome the challenge of the wilt!

The solar lights in the house are working well and have reduced our bill dramatically, although we are still waiting for Kenya Power to install a tokens meter for sockets use. Isaac Munene continues to manage our development and to acquire the best quality and deals for all our needs. His heart remains fixed on our total success.

I was so blessed at my grandson Nathan’s marriage to Debbie this summer, by the interest shown in our Charity Peacemakers by some of the guests. Nathan and Debbie decided to get married in May at the most beautiful venue named ‘Abbazia di San Galgano’ in Northern Italy. After the actual marriage in the ruins of the Abbey, we had the reception in the adjacent buildings.

During the groom’s speech, his guests rallied round and had a wager as to how long his speech would be (2 minutes?… maybe a little longer with thanking everybody for coming). No, Nathan excelled himself by having something special to say about most of the guests present, including a mention about the work of Peacemakers in Kenya. One of his friends, Tom Mills and his wife (who were the professional photographers at the wedding), actually won the wager by being the nearest in guessing 26 minutes. I don’t know whether he had some inside Information or not but was duly presented with the winnings of £125.00.

During the evening celebrations Tom and Sarah came to me and donated the £125 to Peacemakers, to meet whatever need I chose in Kenya. Also, another couple,Sheridan and his wife Georgiana who are lawyers, wish to visit our Resource Centre some time next year while holidaying. They love Kenya and wish to photograph the wild life and serve the community with their skills. Lastly, another Uni friend of Nathan’s, Sherri, wants to find out more information about us, to pass on to friends who are already working in Kenya. Maybe there will be some ‘networking’ with them in the future.

I have already transferred the £125.00 across to Kenya and bought a Battery for our solar panels, so thank you Tom and Sarah, your generosity has already made a great difference to the sustained running of Peacemakers Kenya.

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I just want you all to know, that this work and development has only happened because of your faithfulness and support over the many years. Please continue to pray for us and the ongoing work of the Lord at Peacemakers in Kenya.
With Love and Appreciation,
Brenda.

e-Bulletin No.17 March 2019

I’m pleased at last to be able to inform you that we are moving into the next stage of our commercial development, and to report that the Peacemakers’ deeds have been registered in the new name of Peacemakers CBO (Community Based Organisation).

I want to acknowledge and thank Pastor Sammy, Grace Kaumer and Lucy Njiru for standing in the offices of acting trustees over the past few years. We are now at the stage of getting a management team together to be responsible for the various projects that are already underway. Christine has given a report of some of the activity at the present time.

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Peacemakers Kenya, March 2019.

Last night, we had the first rainfall in months. We have been trudging in thick dust and my hair was stained orange from the red-soil. Our bore hole is empty; the shamba is dry. Today has been hot again but people are thanking God for the looming clouds and the promise of the long-awaited arrival of the March rains. There has been the usual frantic diversion from all other activities other than preparing the plots for planting.

Since January, we have been trying to do some urgent necessary repairs on the site and in the house. The house needs a fair amount of painting and refurbishment as we are trying to make it smarter for accommodating guests. There are currently 5 bedrooms (see the Air B&B website for Peacemakers homestead) and we are creating another one by re-locating the library. The dust has been sweeping in relentlessly through the windows and under the doors. We have yet to complete putting locks on every guest door but we have made a new front door which is more secure than the last. Each room needs furnishing with a simple clothes storage place; each sink needs a good plumber; each light fitting needs replacing.

George, the German Shepherd no. 2 grew so fast that he could not share with his uncle, Jack, so Wahome the carpenter made him his own kennel.  It took nights for me to persuade him to get inside! Along with a local mongrel, Suki, the three dogs make excellent night watchmen, barking in chorus when they hear a strange noise in the night. We have also installed security cameras.

My oldest pet, Gus the cat has been joined by tiny tabby Yvette, bought really to chase away the rats from the chicken shed. In fact, we have had to demolish one shed in favour of a new structure with a solid floor. We cannot afford to lose chicks from predatory animals as we so want the poultry project to be successful.When Cameron came last November, he agreed with Isaac which projects should be concentrated on. Cameron left us with an investment for the chicks. So the chicken shed will soon be officially opened as “Cameron House”. Doesn’t it look smart?

Three new piglets arrived 2 weeks ago, chasing behind the previous litter of four. Isaac has bought a new boar with the proceeds to avoid inbreeding.

We still only have one male goat, William, seen her kissing with Suki.

Our cow Mpwenda looks huge but has still not produced…

The whole of the old piglet houses needs renovating for surplus pigs and extra goats, in time.

The greenhouse has suffered from wilt so we need to find a sponsor for soil bags to get back onto our red and yellow peppers project. Meanwhile, we will plant managu (nightshade) which are delicious indigenous greens inside. We have had no water to irrigate and plant our tree nursery. We were thrilled therefore to get a donation from the Richard Taylor Foundation for a solar water pump; to be installed in the next week… just in time to make the most of the rain.

We have been struggling to pay extortionate electricity bills hence our aim is to cut off from mains power. KPL (Kenya Power and Lighting) has the monopoly for supply throughout Kenya. I have spent so much time complaining about high bills like everybody else… We have an outstanding accumulated bill of around £390, they say, and before we are allowed to cut off their supply we have to wait until we can install solar panels.

I stay and live on site in the house. There is a youth called Sam who sleeps in the clinic as he has no family member to house him. During the weekdays, we have Wanjiko to cook and help me clean, Shadrack the computer trainer who also cuts the hedges; Dennis who looks after the livestock. Gitonga works on the tree nursery but helps with everything, Lutigia, alias  Songo, digs like a machine, helps with the animals or building tasks; Murimi helps to clean the chickens, sheep and goat. The latter three are mentally and physically challenged.

We continue to host community groups and training. We take bookings for church groups and others retreats and social functions. We have had a steady flow of people both young and old to do computer packages. Next week, our friend Fanta’s daughter is one year old so he has his thanksgiving celebration here with the current and former M.Ps and 7 Members of the County Assembly as guests. We have to call in extra cooks and helpers for such occasions.

We had a meeting to dissolve the former trustees and are waiting for the Lord to raise up a mission led team, committed to the Peacemakers mission. So currently, we are operating under the covering of Sammy Gitungu. In the last prayer time, we drew up a list of 19 people to invite to come to pray for the way forward. We also value your continued prayers. We need the Holy Spirit to stir up Peacemakers to come to our monthly prayer meetings. We are praying that God will continue to bless us and help us prosper to fulfil His plans.

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You can see from the report the progress that we’ve made but we still have costs to meet. So, if you feel led in any way to support the various needs we have, particularly in managing the electricity and installation of the solar panels, that would be absolutely fantastic. The easiest way to send your donation, however big or small, is to the Peacemakers’ account using our Donation Form  , Standing order mandate  or in the post to my home address and I will transfer it across to Kenya.

Love and appreciation as always, Brenda.

e-bulletin no.16 December 2018

⭐️ Christian Greetings to ALL PEACEMAKERS⭐️

⭐️Be encouraged to walk out of the shadows and darkness of this world to follow the STAR of LIGHT and PEACE as the shepherds did long ago and who DID find what they were searching for: unconditional LOVE and a sense of belonging. ⭐️

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Peacemakers -e-bulletin no.16 December 2018

Like any changes you have to make in life, it’s difficult to accept and adjust to a new way. Peacemakers are not exempt from this experience either. It has been a difficult transition period for us but with God’s help we are moving in the right direction. ⭐️

We are now closing down the old way of management and starting up a new more homely environment with a commercial edge at our Resource Centre in Kenya. ⭐️ It has always been the intention to advertise the venue and facilities for hire in order to fund and maintain the Centre and provide support to our activities and the surrounding communities. The aim being, to make the project self -sufficient.

We plan to provide, what we are calling the Peacemakers Homestead, which will be accommodation with food, for visitors to enjoy within the grounds of the Resource Centre and for them to see first- hand how Kenyans live. ⭐️This beautiful venue will also be available to hire for weddings, conferences and training courses, plus for a short holiday ‘stay’ on the way to safari.

⭐️ Cameron Millikan, a dear Australian friend who had been working in London, volunteered to help us and visited the project for two weeks on his way home to Australia. He was able to create a new web-site in Kenya and has helped promote our name and purposes on the internet including plans and advertising for the new ‘Homestead’ project. ⭐️I can now tell you that the new email address is peacemakers.homestead.kenya@gmail.com and to view the website, click here: https://peacemakers-homestead-kenya.business.site/

Peacemakers will still be very active within the original vision at home and abroad, consolidating relationships with local ministers and stakeholders. We will now have to proceed to register and licence this new business venture with the Kenyan Government. ⭐️ We will remain a non-profit making organisation with our income used to fund the Resource Centre, provide wages for the new staff and to continue our on-going support to the vulnerable in the community.

⭐️ Meanwhile I would like to thank you for your continued prayerful and financial support and would ask if you could help in a small way to contribute towards the costs of the furnishings for our accommodation units and the licences we need to get us started on this new road. ⭐️

It is a very troubled world we live in but I and the Peacemakers Team would like to extend the Peace and Love that Jesus brings when we seek Him.⭐️

May you and your families have a Joyful Christmas and a Prosperous New Year 🎄❄️

With love from

Brenda

Peacemakers: e-link Bulletin No.15 May 2018

A  Volunteer In Kenya!

Three years on and a return visit to Peacemakers Kenya …. wow what a difference!
It was truly amazing to see all that had happened and the huge progress that is making such an impact on the local community : the computer room in regular use,

the library stocked with a fantastic selection of books and resources, and the ever expanding “farm”, with livestock, an incubator for chicken production and the wonderful greenhouse producing yet more plants for selling on.

It was especially exciting to see how successful the impressive café is proving. Now up and running and supporting the community with superb hospitality and such impressive food that even the guests who had rented it for the day asked to take any spare food home with them !

What hadn’t changed of course was the warm welcome, the gratitude and friendliness of the Kenyan people, young and old, where the sun shone out from their very souls.

This time my visit was predominantly to support the local schools with “Purposeful Play”, inspired by Brenda`s daughter, Kim. I was lucky enough to visit three local settings where I was able to demonstrate the importance of play to support physical development, particularly with the youngest children in Nursery and Reception classes. Not only did the children have great fun but the adults definitely did as well ! These play resources can now be borrowed from the Peacemakers` Resource Centre whenever desired, and enjoyed for many years to come.

It is with huge thanks to friends and family who supported my fundraising that not only was I able to take out a fantastic range of resources but I was also able to give money to fund the construction of a more stable and secure driveway down onto the site. This means that they have now accessibility for all. This is especially important to the visitors who arriving by wheelchair, found the route down to the worship hall, resource area and café impossible. How amazing was it that within hours of handing over the money, lovely Zongo and team were preparing the driveway and within days it had been completed !!

Provision for all, including the more vulnerable allows Peacemakers to reach far into the community, to touch the lives of so many people. Visiting families with clothes, supporting with medical needs and all with the cheerful anticipation that the steadfast truck may just need a little hand now and then !

None of this would have been made possible without the support and dedication of Brenda, working tirelessly here in the UK. And of course, to lovely Chrissie and her wonderful “right hand man”, Isaac; it is with such heart-felt thanks that my love goes out to them and all the wonderful team out in Kenya. Thank you for your incredible hospitality and supporting everything I achieved.

Some how humour and God`s love gets them through each and every day and each and every challenge !

I have returned with such very special memories and feel truly honoured that I could spend just a short while with them.
Thank you again Peacemakers; thank you Kenya !
Liz Darlington x