A post of lists about living on The Shire.
We hang out on various social media type sites. Some of them we use more often than others, and some we haven't yet figured out. If we roam the same networks go ahead and connect with us.
We have a Facebook page for A Future and a Hope: Just click on the badge below to go to our page: We also have personal pages, feel free to send a friend request.
Kate has a YouTube channel. KatesKenyanKitchen. We are planning several new videos, including tag team efforts between she and I. Could get messy.
I (Johnny) like reading, and hang out on Shelfari and Goodreads. Speaking of reading I do have an Amazon wish list:
When I started this journey I never imagined it would bring me to rural Kenya. My thoughts tended to sway towards me teaching the masses theology and preaching inspiring sermons which brought people to change. Building a hip, relevant, and smooth running church seemed like a grand place for my life to end up. Digging in the dirt, not what I had in mind. Living with fourteen children certainly had not occurred as a logical path for Johnny's life.
I made a mistake one day. I chose to believe Matthew 25:45 as true.
45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’
Since this story conveyed truth to me then the pursuit of religion and my dreams of teaching and inspiring crowds of people were no longer relevant for my life.
Upto that moment I had belonged to a religion, Christianity, that had a vague resemblance to Jesus. From time to time my Christianity and Jesus walked the same road.
From time to time was not enough anymore. If I was to follow Jesus, I had to forsake all. Sounds easy, but the path has not always been so smooth.
Now, today, I have no religious practice as part of my faith. My faith is not orgainized around a meeting on Sunday, nor a man standing behind a lectern with a tiny mic stuck to the side of his face, nor a holy book. If you examine my life you will find no regularly scheduled prayers, rites, nor any other religious practice. Instead I am walking with Him. Trying to keep it fresh each and every day. I walked out of the building and into a slum. Out of the Book and onto a farm.
I am trying to follow Jesus. Feels good right now, tomorrow might be more of a struggle. I have committed to myself to keep walking.
This can look different for all of us. You might thrive with Him in a religious setting. Cool. Just do not spend too much time sitting in a pew. I did.
There's this guy we met some few months back, Adam Mosley, who is moving to Nakuru to plant a Vineyard church. I know I know, do we really need another church in Nakuru? That's beside the point, he wrote an insightful blog post, and I thought I could respond to his 10 Things Missionaries Won't Tell You.
I can relate to this one. As someone who is not a trained writer it can sometimes be difficult to get the idea or thought from my head to the paper/screen.
Also I tend to to be honest with my feelings while writing, which can get me into trouble. Especially with Kate.
I/we do tend to write from a point of view to inform and relate rather than fundraise. Not that we do not want you to give, we need you to. We just do not want every message you see here to be about getting money from you.
As for the tech aspect he mentions we outsource all that stuff. Our blog is hosted by Typepad, which means we just type and they do all the coding. We send our mass email out through MailChimp, which means the same thing. We just type and they do all the work. (I pay for Typepad but do not yet have a large enough mailing list to have to pay for MailChimp.)
Oh man this is right on. It's great for our egos (go ahead and like our page) and for spreading the word, but one has to take another step beyond the like button and actually donate for it to financially benefit us.
Something that Adam doesn't mention is the lack of privacy on social networks. Anyone can monitor your page, unscrupulous folks and government officials. Which means we have to be careful what we actually post.
Here is where I diverge from Adam a bit. I don't mind asking for money, nor do I mind having to do so. What I don't like is having to craft a fundraising strategy. I hate censoring myself to keep from losing you as a donor or potential donor. Sometimes I fear being myself. (To which my father in law says keep on fearing.)
I am also a bit crazy and believe that God brings us the right people at the right time. Folks who are ready or looking for a place to donate.
I don't end every post with a plea for funds. Come on, we are missionaries. We need donations, and I think everyone is aware of that. I will let you all know if we win the lottery.
This one is pretty much true for me. Kate and I do try and be open and "real", but some struggles are hard to share in such an open forum.
Though I am tempted to write about aging. I'm sure you all want to hear about a 40 year old fat man's changing body.
Partly true for us. We need a vacation. Really we could use one this August. Not likely, but if it happens I promise you will hear and see all about it.
The beach sounds nice. Just imagine all the cute ~Eowyn pictures we could get, you could see me, Johnny, enjoying a frozen drink while lounging in the sand, and all the pics of Kate in her bikini I can covertly take and post! See lots of Facebook potential in a vacation.
Sounds about right. We have never hosted a large group before, so no experience here for us.
However we are willing to get our feet wet. So if you like traveling in a group, welcome.
So true. We do not even consider a trip to the U.S., mostly because of the expense. $12,000 for all 7 of us Americans last time I checked! We could build another house for that, even buy more acreage or a newer vehicle. Then there is the logistics of being in the U.S. Transportation, housing, food, and staying fresh for speaking engagements.
I am on the other side of Adam here, meaning I disagree. I feel closer to God because of what I am doing. It does help if you eliminate all religious obligation from your life. If I don't read the Bible today (haven't), no guilt. If the first thing I think of when waking up in the morning is bathing, no guilt. God dosen't care about the tricks we do to try and stay close to Him. He is always close no matter what.
I do not feel called to this life. This life is the only logical way for me to live out my faith. That takes off so much pressure to perform. I just live and do good while living.
True. We have been lied to, promised funds which never materialized, stolen from, and physically assaulted. In fact I have to work hard to not become too cynical. I say too, because I'm a cynic at heart.
Personally I love being alone. Seriously. Love it. Kate on the other hand has been lonely here in Kenya. Looking different than everyone else only compounds the loneliness. However we have pushed through and now have a network of friends and acquaintances.
Fantastic list Adam. I'm a bit jealous. I have yet to write a blog post that was so popular that my bandwidth was exceeded. I hope you guys find much success here in Kenya.
Now that we are on The Shire, there has been a shift in how our financial dynamic works.
We no longer have utility bills nor rent. This is a huge blessing!
However, some things have happened that we did not expect:
So now that we are on The Shire, we are so grateful to be here. We are doing our best to live simply and effiiciently, but we still have expenses and projects going on.
If you know folks who would like to support us monthly, please feel free to share about what we do!
Below you can see all the ways we have spent $10,000+. We have actually used more than what is below because this list was made last week, but you get the idea! It is in order from greatest to least.
water tanks $1300.00
10 mattresses $720.00
pregnant cow $430.00
water pump $400.00
Animal shelter $350.00
wires sockets light fixtures $300.00
bathroom stoned $300.00
moving expenses $250.00
2 donkeys $209.00 (though Makena actually paid $150 of this amount)
dog kennel $177.00
school fees $150.00
boys school fees $150.00
school uniforms $150.00
energy bulbs $100.00
plumbing labor $100.00
tank holes dug $80.00
clothes line $70.00
water pump installed $60.00
back fence $50.00
Portable Solar for phones $50.00
bike rack $40.00
fruit trees $40.00
pot rack $12.00
Yesterday we finally got our kitchen counters installed! It has been almost 2 months without them!
Right now, we are getting supplies to do more fencing. We have 470 feet of fencing to do so we can use different areas for different things. We have more fencing to do in the future as well, but this area is a good start.
We are building water troughs for the animals, and feeding troughs in the stalls.
We want to focus more on animals for now. Perhaps we can get pigs, geese, sheep, a horse, and chickens, too!
If you are planning a trip to Kenya or know someone coming who is willing to carry items for us, here is current a wish list:
Reese's peanut butter cups
good n plenty
candy corn pumpkins
sunflower seeds flavored
frito lay bean dip
chocolate covered cherries
Flea control for dogs size 100lbs, 20 lbs, 10 lbs and cats 8lbs
another hoof pick
halter (foal, pony, and horse sizes)
2 bridles with D ring or O ring snaffle bits
English drissage or jumping saddle
jodhpurs size 5
etch remover for granite counters
Mr. Clean erasers
manual sasage stuffer
Salt Lick Seasoning
SAT Prep book
white school socks
Telemann in A minor Flute solo with Piano Acc.