Monday, September 3, 2012


We arrived back from Kijabe, Kenya on Sunday the 26th. Another family that also took their son to RVA with us were going to be heading back to their home in Gulu. We have been trying to visit them for over a year, and it just never worked out. Since they were already in Jinja and going to be heading home, we decided it was a good time to follow them up.

Probably at least nine months ago, Hackers for Charity had donated a computer with N-computing installed and three monitors. When our friends, Keith and Lisa Coggin, set it up in the classroom in Gulu it didn't work. Over the months they returned the computer to Jinja and our technician tried to fix it. Long story short... it was finally fixed and we felt like this time we should actually go up for the install.

Having just returned from a day and a half of travel we were glad when Keith decided to stay in Jinja on Monday and just relax. Declan really wasn't crazy about getting in the car again and traveling another seven hours. What a blessing when dear friends of ours offered to have Declan stay with them.

Tuesday we head out, taking dusty back roads.... seeing a cow tied to the back of a boda (motorcycle), that was a first. The country up there is beautiful. Clouds... I like clouds. Up there they were so white, and the sky so blue.

We arrive late Tuesday afternoon. The school is closed for holiday, but the computer classroom is suppose to be ready for set-up. Of course, that was not the case. It seemed like all the workers had decided to take off while Keith and Lisa weren't there. So the computer table that was suppose to be finished wasn't. The carpenter assures Keith that it will be done by 9am the next morning.

Later that evening the carpenter calls back and says he is on the way to the school to bring the table. Yeah... we would get to do set up the following day.
The Nile River

One of the school buildings
More classrooms... open door leads to the computer lab
At this point.... we had to just laugh. The carpenter indeed did bring the table.... but it was in pieces. Not assembled. But that's okay.... now we can tell him to not varnish the top of the table so we don't have to wait for it to become un-sticky. With clear instructions given to the carpenter we head to the huts for the night.

The next morning, Wednesday, Keith goes over to see the table. It is assembled!! However... the clear instructions that were given were not followed. A nice coat of varnish is covering the entire table. When we asked the carpenter why the instructions weren't followed... he says, "oh, but if the rains come the table could get wet on the top and needed to be sealed." Which was a good argument, except for the fact that it was not asked for, and in fact was not wanted. Keith puts a fan on it for the night, and we hope it will be dry by morning.

Thursday.... FINALLY. The table is assembled and dry, we can install the computer classroom. I helped a very little bit, Jon does most of the work.. but by the end of the day it is ready for use.
Keith with the carpenters

Six stations, instead of three. Nice new monitors and deep freeze installed so no one can accidentally erase or mess up the machine.

Johnny making sure everything is working properly.

We are very excited to see how the children take to them. This is will be the first time most of the students will have ever used a computer. Thanks to the donations of supporters we have successfully installed another classroom. Keith and Lisa are also so excited to have a computer lab for their school. I will update with stories when I receive them from Keith and Lisa.

Rift Valley Academy

Last year we put an application for Makenna and Trevor to attend RVA (Rift Valley Academy) in Kijabe, Kenya. Last year they were put on a waiting list and we home-schooled. This year we updated their files at RVA and waited again. On July 27th we received an email from RVA saying the 10th grade class was full for the year, but they would let us know if there were any openings.

(Let me interject here that we have been praying about whether or not to send the kids to a boarding school. We tried home-schooling last year, and although it was okay.. it definitely wasn't/isn't the best option. So, from last year through this year we have been praying that God would show us what we should be doing. That if RVA was where the kids should be that the doors would be opened and we would have a peace about it. We continued to pray, with the kids and without the kids. Receiving the email from RVA saying the class was full was a closed door. We had already sent in a deposit for an accredited home-school program, so we started looking at the courses we should sign up for.)

July 31st. I receive and email from RVA saying that BOTH Trevor and Makenna had been accepted. BOTH. When I received that email, I was blown away. God had opened the door. What was once shut, was now open. My heart flooded with emotions. In awe that the door had been opened... and yet scared because the door had been opened. My babies would be going away. Yet this is what we had been praying for. A clear sign from God. It couldn't get more clear... what had been a no, was now a yes.

The question now was: was I going to trust God that He knew what He was doing. Trust that God had opened this door, was I going to release my kids, to have faith that God knows better than me. My mind knew the right answers, the logic of all the opportunities, all that RVA had to offer.... but oh, my heart. How do you prepare you heart to release your kids.

We had twenty three days to get all the paperwork in order, to get all the supplies the kids would need, etc. TWENTY THREE. That time seemed to fly by. Sure we were anxious, we were scared, sad, on an emotional roller coaster. We all chose to rely on God. He had lead us down this path, He would not forsake us now.

Sept. 23: We leave Jinja for the long ride to Kijabe. Two other families from Jinja and Gulu were also taking their children to RVA for the first time, so we all caravan together. 

Sept. 24: We report to RVA. The next two days is a bunch of meetings for the parents, and some meetings and activities for the new students. RVA even had activities for the younger siblings (Declan had friends there by the first day). We got to sleep in the dorm that Makenna was in. She even slept in her dorm room the first night there, with Trevor and Declan. 

Sept. 25: We get Makenna set up in her dorm and Trevor set up in his dorm. We meet both of their dorm parents. 

The one thing that Jon and I were impressed with most was how much the staff seemed to want to be there. So many of the staff had actually attended RVA as students, and now they were back working there. The spiritual well-being of our kids was their number on priority. To love on the kids. To educate them, of course. Even some of the parents dropping off their kids had attended RVA. It was totally amazing to see and hear all the testimonies of RVA alumni. It seemed like a close knit family, not a boarding school.

We say good-bye to Trevor and Kenna around 3pm and have to head to the place we are staying for the night. Tears are shed. Hugs are given. BUT... we have a peace. A peace we can't explain, but that is definitely there. God has each one of us in His hands. God is in control. Are we all willing to trust in God and His infinite wisdom, or are we going to think we know better.