Miss Judith Collins
May I present requests for you to praise GOD with us? There is a newspaper clip attached on the back, dated June 10 2018. It was hard news for us at Baalah Primary School, because this directive from Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the school lunches provided by World Food Programme would cease with immediate effect the end of that month-June. WFP is funded by USA. Anyone who has visited us at Baalah Hut will remember the empty WFP food sacks lining the inside of the Hut: WORLD FOOD PROGRAM / GIFT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA/ FLAG (Stars n Stripes)/ Bulgar, Peas, Maize (whichever contents)/ NOT FOR TRADE BARTER OR SALE.
So Peter went to the offices of Education and WFP to find out if the Government take-over of those school lunches for children in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) would include Baalah Primary School, which is a private school. The answer was, “No way! And you still owe us for the time when Government fed Baalah School before WFP took you over!” Now, friends, Peter is on good terms with the Head of WFP in Kenya (the Head was visiting Baalah Primary School once when Peter happened to be there on safari), and Peter called him at this crucial juncture. The Head confirmed that WFP had ceased all operations with Kenya Government schools by the end of June. He then sent a large shipment to Baalah School to last us through second term, and sent it by lorry, transport-free, from Marsabit. Wasn’t he nice! We had always paid our cost-share by paying food transport from Laisamis to Baalah School. Peter and I agreed on June 10th that by the end July we would inform our constituency to please help us surf the internet and see if they can find a charity who will feed Baalah School. So that clip (on the back) stayed on top of my desk all this time, to pray over and to wait until late July.
By the end of July, Peter told me, “Just wait, I’m working on some help for this.” He was pleading with WFP. Well, the answer came a couple weeks ago when WFP informed Pastor Nacha, who is always on duty up at the school, (he’s Chairman of the School Board) that “WFP has given Baalah School a three-year extension of free school food supply”. What a marvelous answer from the Lord. The WFP Head told Peter that although WFP refuses to give food out on any religious basis, Baalah will be given WFP food not because it’s a Christian school, “but in complementation of all your efforts to maintain that charity school in such a remote, needy, and harsh environment.” But since that Head of WFP is shortly to be transferred to DRC (Congo), he wants to introduce Peter to his deputy who will take over, so Peter needs to go to Marsabit to meet him. The free WFP school food will from now on be given for one whole term at a time, not month by month as previously. Since our part of cost-share is transport from Marsabit, can you Readers possibly help us pay for a lorry to go three times to get full food for the term (430 pupils), $1,300 + 16% VAT (tax) which adds $208.00 to the total. The consignment will include maize meal, a protein grain, plus cooking fat and salt. Yes, we have sufficient storage for this amount of food. Do you see why I am sending this letter to you for thanks to God and praise to That One Who Loves the Children~ and feeds them! It is for transport we need help.
Now, not only lunch food, but milk. This new milk-program set up by Ministry of Education for all schools was very expensive for last second term, for each of our 430 Baalah pupils, $9,000 plus transport ($200) from Laisamis. But praise God, Peter’s pleas to the authority gave us permission to be given the milk free, starting first term next year 2019. But we have to pay that same amount of money for the milk for this upcoming third term 2018. Can you Readers help us for this one term’s milk? This is hard to raise because our Child Sponsorship fund has not yet covered all the $9,000 advanced to us for second term. Yes, the permission to put us on the list for free milk from January 2019 is wonderful, but another $9,000 to raise for this 3rd term! (But no VAT on the milk). We will use the Child Sponsor funds which you send, that is $1,500.00 monthly, through December plus any balance of undesignated funds which come in for Outreach monthly. Undesignated funds are usually used for school payroll, half of Lkayo family house-rent, telephone costs for Peter’s mentoring Baalah Youth, even village Elders and church Mamas, and our office expenses, diesel for school business, whether charity or government offices, Nairobi and environs, banking, paying Outreach payroll, expense bills, etc. Here and now, thanking all of you who send gifts without designations, and so help in these general outreach costs. A further word on the milk: Peter told teachers to allow a child if they see one hiding his milk packet to take home with him. The child knows the situation at home, and maybe there is a malnourished sibling at home looking forward to some swallows of milk! The Ultra Heat Treated (UHT) milk comes in individual packets for a whole term, so they are kept in big pile in one of the classrooms covered with burlap sacks, kept moist by sprinkled water both morning and late-afternoons to keep cool. Baalah School Refrigerator!
Baalah Bible Presbyterian Church sends you their heart-felt thanks for the food you have sent funds for through the Mission Board office during that time of hunger while they waited for the government vaccinators against Rift Valley Fever, to come and save their animals. $7,700 came and saved lives, though one village boy died (son of a church mama), none of our school children perished. Thank you for “being in time.” The vaccinators have by now done their work at Baalah so the folk can now eat their animals or sell for cash to buy other foodstuffs. You can see why the theme of this up-date is Give us this day our daily bread! Thank You Lord for the free WFP food for Baalah School now, and the free Gov’t milk to start January, — but, Lord, help us transport this term,