Kenya Vignettes

The Kenyans reminded us today of our Kenyan Names, which were given to us years ago when a group of Kenyans put their heads together. Val’s Kenyan name is “Viguza” and mine is “Okoth”. Viguza is a Luya name that means “Seed Planter” and Okoth is a Luo name for “Rain”. The reasoning behind these names is this. They gave us names from two different tribes because, even though God has put us together in life, anyone can see that we are from two different tribes. Opposites attract. We complete each other!

  • Valerie is Seed Planter, for a number of reasons. She is forever planting seeds: by leading people to Christ and she is a veritable fountain of new and marvelous ideas. They fall from her lips like seeds from God.
  • I am Rain, because I am always watering the new growth in my teaching and preaching. I am rain because I am a veritable river of resources to those who have needs in Kenya.

We are like Paul and Apollos, Valerie has planted, Richard has watered, but God gives the increase.

Just thought I’d share that with you. What’s your Kenyan Name?


Today we spent the day in Nairobi picking up a sewing machine for Margie Matimbai. A dear friend gave her the money for a new commercial sewing machine over a year ago. She carefully placed the money in an account for the day when they could get to Nairobi and buy the machine. Well that day never came. In the busyness and complications of their lives they just haven’t been able to make it happen. Well today it happened and Saturday the machine will be on its way to her house. This machine will be used in ministry to girls all around Kakamega. Margie and her team will make “Days for Girls Kits”, by the thousands, hopefully! You just can’t believe how valuable these kits are to poor girls who can’t afford sanitary napkins. The kits can be used for 3 years before needing replacement. The machine will also make clothes for orphans and poor children and there are plans to teach girls to sow, as many as they can. Valerie and I are very please to be the means to finally make this happen.


Yesterday as we visited our Lenana School Valerie felt inspired to take on the challenge of buying uniforms for the Lenana sports teams. Lenana school has simply soared in sports. They have been number 1 out of all the schools in the district in Soccer, Volleyball and Netball. They are champions, but they literally come to the field in their tattered street clothes and they all play barefoot, while other sports teams are wearing new uniforms and soccer shoes. In some ways, I like the idea that the poor can show the rich a thing or two without classy uniforms, but we still would like to see them go out their properly clothed. Last year, when we heard of their victories on the soccer field we felt inspired to suggest a name for their team. The name we felt was appropriate was “The Rhinos”. Because that’s how they play on the field! We would like to see them have jerseys with a Rhino on the front and “Lenana Christian” on the back. Today as we discussed this need with the Worldcomp team we felt that we could supply the 40 uniforms they need for $25 each. We would also like to provide them with 2 new soccer balls @ $50 each and 2 new volleyballs @ $30 each. Anyone want to sponsor a Rhino? Just thought I’d throw that out there for you to consider. Let me know!


Well we took it easy for the first few days, but now we have entered the fast lane. Please keep us in your prayers. If anyone is interested in having our complete daily schedule for the next 2 months, please email me and I will send it by attachment. It took us over a week work out the final itinerary and coordinate with everyone but it is finally done.

Blessing to all of you back home.

Your are loved

Richard and Valerie