What we do best! Christmas Reflections

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

I came that they may have life and have it in abundance.”                          Jn. 3:16, 10:10

God’s sacrificial love expressed through Christ has been spreading quietly but exponentially since that first Christmas, bringing abundant life into dark places.

Our sincere thanks to you. You are part of the Christmas miracle, for far away in an impoverished and hopeless district of Kenya, your loving kindness too has been transformational, like Ebenezer Scrooge on Tiny Tim’s family after the ghosts’ visit!

Following are stories of changed lives impacting others for good through this ministry.  Congratulations! His love through you goes on and on!

Here are several different S.E.E.K. staff comments on what we are doing best at S.E.E.K., and how people’s lives are being influenced.

J.P. writes, “For quite a while I have felt that SEEK’s best and unique feature is our Environmental Camps. When we combine our talents, knowledge, professionalism, love for God and the natural and unique campus that SEEK offers, it is one of the most effective ways of not only teaching young people environmental stewardship, but pointing them to the Creator.

Curt adds, “Many of their lives have been transformed by the Word of God while attending camps. Through the wilderness trails and the many experiential learning activities, the children become more aware of their environment, and this affects how they treat it. They get three very nice meals a day and a snack, and many comment that they did not know people can eat like this. The children leave energized, and we hear from many parents that their children have been educating them at home on what they learned.”

Nick Odhiambo writes, “What we do best at SEEK is The School Environmental Clubs where pupils are trained in environmental stewardship. The way we do this is unique and found with no other organization since it is Bible Based Environmental Conservation training. I recall that when World Vision (a Christian NGO) wanted to engage school pupils in their Integrated Climate Protection Project funded by BMZ, they came to us and said that we are the only organization doing this with school children. They said they had to have us involved to ensure success!”

This project has had a great influence in the lives of the children involved and their families. A specific example is Michael Marinda in Mbita Primary School. AboychanginghisVillage croppedHis father Boaz Luke came to me to thank me for inculcating environmental stewardship in his son. He said that the boy has completely changed the attitude of the rest of his family members towards the environment and their role in caring for it! He went on to explain that the boy had taught him new ways of tree planting and care that he had never known! He said that all the trees that the boy planted at home were better that those planted by his siblings and dad. Mr. Boaz wanted to take us to his home to witness this impact but we had no time as we were already late and had to travel back to Mbita after a very successful session on alternative sources of income under Conservation.”

 

Mbita Primary School emerged the best overall club in Clubs Tree Planting Competition for this year. The unique thing about what they did was that they did their project in a very dry and bare ground to introduce shade around the school playground. In spite of the ground being very rocky, dry and bare, they went ahead and prepared holes in which they planted Albizia Coriaria (Albizia), a wide canopy tree species to provide shade that would help people who come to watch soccer games in the school playground. The procedure followed in doing this exercise was meticulous but the detail observed- taking care of rich soil needed for a good start-up and a well-planned drip kit for irrigating the planted seedlings-ensured their survival.  By the time of evaluation, all the 43 seedlings given to them were sparkling healthy.”

 

As for the Magnificent Kids Orphan Scholars  Program, Curt comments, The way school fees are provided through SEEK is different from most similar ministries. We don’t just want a kid to go to school, we want to see the family transformed. The families/guardians are required to contribute to school costs so that they can be part of the education as well. Students are required to work at the base 2 days a week while out of school so they can experience that joy of earning their fees. While at the base, they are ministered to and help each other out if one is struggling in a certain subject or area. We make visits to see their home life and meet regularly with the parent/guardian. We are excited to see the kids get an education but what excites us more is that they know they have a place where people love them unconditionally, a place to talk, and a place to see God.

 

We are proud of two of these scholars Sam Agunda, who has just graduated from Meru University in Actuarial Science and of Walter Obado who on Dec. 2nd graduated from a two year program in Agriculture at Rongo University!  Walter did so well that he will be able to finish his university full degree anywhere in Kenya.

They are both wonderful guys! We all are so proud of these magnificent scholars and giving people!

 

RE: Widows Isaiah 61 Project, J.P. reports, “Consolata Agutu, mother to 7 children has two young daughters still under her care. Consolata’s livelihood was the difficult work of pulling fishing nets from the shore.  She also made charcoal and collected and sold the tiny fish, omena. After being trained at SEEK, she has the confidence and knowledge of how to plant trees and start her own tree nursery.”

“SEEK provided her a donkey with which she now transports water for people in the village, earning enough to pay for her daughters’ school fees.  Furthermore, she is able to collect water from the Lake for her own domestic use.  SEEK was able to install her water tank and a 15-square meter enclosure for a home garden and protected area for raising tree seedlings.  When asked about her goals, she said it was to make good use of the new home garden for food. I helped her plant papaya trees a little while ago as the rains were coming.  She prefers not to spend time at the fishing village fishing or collecting fish. It is a depraved and dangerous place. She proclaims that she is born again and has dedicated her life to God, and attends a church which has also given her help.  Consolata prays that God will add more days to her life.  She and her children thank S.E.E.K. for all it has done for them.” (You enabled this all!)

 

CHRISTMAS!  A GREAT TIME FOR KIDS?  Sadly in Suba it is a time when unsupervised, parentless young people are looking for some way to celebrate.  They end up in bars, where they are given alcohol and abused in shameful ways.

 

Hezron, Mary and the youth ministry team are planning a Christmas celebration for 32 orphans—all the MKs along with other youth from the area. Hezron and team will take 15 boys for an adventure hike and an overnight on the 23rd to Rang’wa Hill in Sindo, and 17 girls will be with Mary for an overnight at the base. They will all get together December 24th for a dinner where they will discuss CPR+ (Creating Positive Relationships through Christ) and see ways they can reach young people together on the 25th.                                                                                                             Hezron writes, “We will also pray for each other, trusting God for a successful year ahead. All MKs will be back from high school so we will send them out to meet young people in groups of two (Jesus style). We may do the same on January 1st in Sindo.”

S.E.E.K. is an Educational NGO reaching out to the poorest in Kenya, to give a loving hand up to people living in desperate circumstances. We are in a position to be your tool to bring transformation in Africa.

$120,000  annually is needed to run SEEK’S basic ministries: environmental clubs, youth and children ministry, community ministry, agricultural ministry, widows ministry, reaching over 2000 people per month.

In addition, $650 is needed for each life- transforming Christian Environmental Camp.                                                                                                                           16 + camps in 2017 will make a significant impact:  $10,400.  One dear young lady who has been giving amounts of $35 at a time has enabled much ministry to young people in 2016.

You are welcome to be part of this by giving and prayers! Our staff is trained and ready. Your giving puts us into action. Your prayers guarantee impact.

www.missionwild.org is a quick way to give-the DONATION button at the top of the page enables you to sign up for reoccurring giving.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a year of peace and joy!                                           Don and Nancy Richards, with fellow directors- Presbyter John Gombe, Nick Odhiambo, J.P. Pierce, David Okeyo, Hezron Obado, and all of the SEEK Staff

 

Personal Message

 

Words cannot begin to express the overwhelming emotions we have felt at your many kindnesses to us.

 

When our dear neighbor Bill Whisnant warned us to get out and our home about to be burned down with extreme heat and we drove through flames to join the bumper to bumper traffic of over 14,000 evacuees attempting to escape Gatlinburg, on a route that later that night experienced a lot of destruction, this reality check from Peter, the apostle, came to mind:

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and   the elements will be destroyed with extreme heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holiness and godliness. 2 Peter 3

 

At that time we were grateful for the unseen realities of whatever of lasting value had come from our lives as the physical burned up.

But over the past 3 weeks, we have been astounded by the power of these unseen values in others, the loving concern and actions of so many helping so many. These realities are carried in the hearts of humans and manifested back into the physical.

 

Our deepest gratitude-I cannot write this without crying-to you very precious people who have loved us and given in so many ways:

  • The firemen who risked their lives to protect us.
  • Churches loving generosity that doesn’t seem to stop.
  • The Go Fund Me Contributions!

Here is our son Mark’s note about Bryan and Sarah’s Christmas party: “At the high point of the party, Sarah and Bryan made an announcement about the recent events and you all losing the old house, and with some tears in their eyes and voices, sincerely thanked everyone – many of the guests had already contributed to your fund. People were clearly very moved and sympathetic and eager to hear more details, that things were going to work out for you. those kids of yours have some truly great and kind friends. I hope you somehow (in the spirit perhaps?) can feel the concern and love emanating at you from these thousands of miles away. 😊

  • Our dear little sister Susan’s telling people at her husband’s funeral to give money to the Go Fund Me instead of flowers!
  • USAA’s concern and faithfulness to its insurance commitments.
  • Many beautiful homes offered to stay in while we look for our own.
  • Dolly! With the community
  • And so many loving friends…and we hear this is happening on every side. Real tear jerkers!

It’s Christmas!

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