This blog post is dedicated to Joan Patterson and Miss Elaine at Calvary Baptist. I was thinking of you when I wrote it since you might want to read these books along with the mountain of other books you read each week!
The week before we left for Kenya, a friend of ours was told us about a book we had to read. She said she had been having dinner with a friend of hers and told her that we were headed to Rift Valley Academy in Kenya. She said that her favorite book was "A Dream So Big" by Steve Peifer. He was a missionary to RVA.
So, we downloaded it on Kindle and I've been reading it. I highly recommend it. Peifer came to RVA in the late 90's. As a part of his journey, he started a ministry called Kenya Kids Can that feeds 16,000 children lunch at school each day. This motivated the children to stay in school as it is the only meal many of them get each day. They have also set up solar powered computers and are teaching these children computer skills. At first, I thought it was strange to teach computers to kids who barely have enough to eat. But the idea is to help them on the world market to try to help develop a middle class much like India did. This is a way for a people without resources to grow their income. There are affordable internet cafes in the cities. And, for those who can type and make basic documents, there are good jobs transcribing.
Steve has since left RVA, but wouldn't you know it, that Mark and Sheri Daubenmeier are the current directors and are our host family at RVA. Mark is the Science Department head at RVA and will be working with me. He teaches physics. Sheri teaches math. They have both been so helpful to us as we become adjusted. This is a ministry I want to learn more about!
The other book you may want to read, although I haven't been able to read it yet, is "School in the Clouds" by Phil Dow. It was recommended to us just yesterday.
"School in the Clouds" tells the history of RVA. The one thing we were told about it was intriguing to me. Dow argues at the students who come through RVA are vital to God's work of missionaries throughout Africa. These are missionary kids. Many of their parents are first generation missionaries in Africa. But, these kids are growing up here. Many of them can go back where their parents are serving and speak the local language. If they become second generation missionaries, they will become much more effective immediately. Also, if they become adult missionaries, will have grown up with the African kids who could become adults of importance. They will have a built-in community with African leaders, teachers, pastors, and government officials. In effect, they could be super-missionaries.
The kids move in today.
I cannot wait to meet these kids!