I am behind in writing my blog. I could use the excuse that I have been extremely busy but there is always time to send information and keep people informed. It has been a very exciting year so far. We had several successful projects that will help our girls now and in the future. We raised money for a freezer and we butchered a cow so the girls will have more meat per week at a lower cost to us. We purchased 72 of the 100 goats we raised money for. We are still looking for the quality and fair price to complete the project. We hired a good Shepard who is taking care of the goats and are hopeful that this project will provide meat and some money for MGRC. We had a sewing machine donated to our seamstress. She is now making the girls MGRC dresses and school dresses. She is also teaching the older girls how to sew. We will increase this vocational program in the near future.
We now have 20 girls sponsored which is a real blessing. We have eight girls who are in dire need on our waiting list and many more asking to join almost every day. The most difficult part of my being here is having to turn down children I know need help. There are some who come I just cannot turn away the most desperate ones.
Sayuni Mengoru is an example of my problem. I received a message from our Memqua teacher at Longido Primary. This class is designed to help children who never went to school and are older catch up to their age mates by using an accelerated teaching method. We have several of our girls enrolled in this program and I can attest to their success. Well, back to my problem. The teacher met with me at MGRC and brought a mother and her daughter, (Sayuni). The mother is from Ngorangoro which is about five hours drive from Longido. The mother took her child and ran away from her husband because the father wanted to force Sayuni to not attend school and be married. The mother came to Longido in January and had nothing. She found a family that would take Sayuni only if Sayuni did the house work for them. Sayuni and mother agreed but the family was harsh and beat Sayuni often for making small mistakes. When I met Sayuni she looked scared to death. Her mother was trying not to cry but could not hold back the tears.
The teacher told me that Sayuni was an excellent student despite her circumstances and asked if we could allow her to join MGRC. Now what would you do? I said yes and now we are looking for a new sponsor. It is the most difficult part of my job. One, deciding who gets to join us, as I have many every week who ask. The second is asking for financial help. I know there are many good hearted people out there but as a man who has been extremely independent all his life it is difficult to ask for support. I have to remind myself that I cannot do this alone and that I am not asking for anything for myself. I only ask for the girls at the Center.
Staying Busy & Planning for the Future
There is so much more to tell. This year I have been to two weddings in my village in Orkesmut. The picture above is the bride from one of the weddings I attended. Maasai tradition is for the bride to hide her face before the ceremony. These are very festive events and a chance for me to reconnect with my old neighbors. I don’t get back to my house on the border as often as I would like to as MGRC is in Longido over 1 hour away. MGRC keeps me very busy. I am blessed to now have a staff that takes much of the day to day burden from me but there never seems to be a lack of things I must do. I did have a good friend and mentor tell me once that complaining is a form of bragging. I hope that is not what I am doing here.
We are outgrowing the LOOCIP facilities and are looking for land to build our own campus. Pray for us as we search for the right property and funds to make this transition. It will be a great step in helping our girls understand and achieve a prosperous future.