Team One – Day Six -- Blogged by Bill Pollock
Today is Sunday and a change of pace. Some who were still in need of rest stayed at In Step. For the rest of us it was a day trip and a celebration. We took a trip to the Johabeto Home to be part of the dedication with the Martin Shikuku family of their new campus. They had planned the dedication for August but when Martin learned we would be here this weekend he moved it up so we could be a part of the celebration, and quite a celebration it was. Four years ago our teams came to Kitale to help build new dormitories for the orphans that Marin and Ruth had taken in. Then last year came news that Kenya Power we taking that property to use for a right away for an electric transmission line. They paid for the original property but the Shikukus had three months to find new property, build new buildings and relocate themselves and the sixty orphans they care for. Today we visited the new site and were part of the dedication which included cake cutting and ribbon cutting. They held a service first with over 100 people and the usual amazing singing and dancing. This was followed by the dedication ceremony. Dignitaries included the area chief, many area pastors, representatives from the ministry of education and the human rights commission. The speeches included high praise for Martin and Ruth and the work they are doing. Each of the members of Team One who were there were given Hawaiian style leis to wear for the celebration. They already have new dorms and class rooms in place. The campus is bigger than the old one. The buildings reused much of the material from the old campus but they too are bigger and better, now including indoor plumbing and electricity which were lacking before. The next plan is to open a technical school on the campus. God has certainly taken a crisis and turned it to an opportunity. For me the event was touching and nostalgic. Martin was supported and sponsored by my parents when he was young. The new dorms are named the Ted Pollock dorm and the Dolly Pollock dorm. They had framed pictures of each of my parents to hang in the living rooms. We also got to see Shikuku children Carolyn and Bill named after Carolyn and me. A news article in a local paper says that the Shikukus plan to take in as many as 140 children. We know that any children who end up there will be loved and cared for in a unique way.