We always knew that our job descriptions would change and grow and with the elections over it has already started to happen….
David remains at the Justice and Peace Department where he and Liza are exploring the next roll out of training and he is also doing some work with the Kenyan Association of Professional Counsellors. Liza is now working two days a week at CBR (Community Based Rehabilitation) which is another diocesan project based here in Eldoret. CBR is an inspirational organisation led by The Revd. Evelyn Jerotich with a dedicated, visionary team who are facing many, many challenges but facing them with dignity, faith and focus.
The story began in the early nineties, when the Reverend Canon Perciah Hutcherson from the L.A. Diocese in the U.S.A. became aware of the plight of families here in the North Rift Valley who had children with disabilities. The Episcopal Church in California caught the vision of this elderly but energetic priest and they committed themselves to helping her to make the project a reality.
A centre was built next door to the Diocesan offices. Clinics were held with teams of visiting educationalists, doctors, O.Ts and physiotherapists to name but a few. But most of all love and acceptance were offered to these children and their families, flying in the face of traditional attitudes to people with disabilities. Field workers went into the rural areas to raise awareness of CBR and to offer support to struggling families living in heart breaking isolation. The work flourished.
As Perciah grew older and her health began to fail, funding from the U.S.A. understandably began to wane. The staff team here in Eldoret did all they could to continue the work by living sacrificially themselves and looking to raise funds locally. They have had to substantially reduce the activities of CBR but have held fast to the values of love and acceptance. Liza attended their recent bimonthly clinic and watched the visiting doctors and community chaplains at work: what love in action! And what an example of a holistic gospel of peace and reconciliation as communities learn how to include those who are different from themselves.
So this is the team that Liza has joined. Wonderfully, funding has come which covers the fuel costs so field visits have been able to recommence a few days each month and Liza has been able to be a part of that work. Last week we visited a woman who has four children. The last was born with Cerebral Palsy which was viewed by the husband as a curse, so he left. This mother sends the older children to school and then goes out to try to find casual work to get food for them all. On the day we visited we found the little boy, locked in the dark one room house, lying on the floor waiting for his mother to return. She did return and she loves him very much but she is fighting to survive and is very isolated. There is so much work to be done supporting these families and there are many other stories to tell about the ministry of CBR and the hope they bring but they will need to wait for another blog post!