What has happened? Have we gone into hiding??
Maybe it seems like it, if you think of the frequencies of posting on our homepage lately. But no, that’s definitely not the case! We are right now charging batteries for yet another period in Kenya. On 10th September we are leaving Sweden. Our luggage contains, among other things, a big amount of ”baby kits” made by happy and loving dressmakers. They will be handed out to Turkana women who give birth at our clinic in Loki or at clinics in the bush. The kits are very popular and in a simple way they transmit love and warmth. As a result more and more women chose to deliver at the clinics with increased security and control of HIV/AIDS. This shows in a good way, I think, practical mission.
We are not going alone!
This applies both spiritually, mentally and physically. God is with us! He has promised never to leave us and without this assurance we wouldn’t dare to travel back again. Our home church Mellringekyrkan in Örebro gives us great support. There is a team of intercessors who take us and our work seriously. There are also other churches supporting us. Children, grandchildren, relatives and many friends are there for us when we leave and come back. This motivates us to continue. Many people from different places are with us, supporting the work not least economically. It’s a miracle! This time we will get company and help by three persons. Eva-Marie (a teacher) and Georg (a constructor) Håkansson from Höör will arrive in the beginning of October and stay until December. They will help in various ways. And Gunnar Jonsson will come for the THIRD time. His contribution is invaluable. We praise God for all three of them! We are also expecting more visitors, some of them short term volunteers, who we will present as they come.
What is awaiting?
In Loki 450 school children are waiting! … waiting for us to to see to that they may continue their education and not least get a meal every day. 60 vulnerable children are waiting for us to see to that they get their food package each week. Around 27 youth are waiting for us to ensure that they will continue to get sponsoring for their secondary and university studies. The ANA women are waiting for support so that they can continue their small businesses, the bakery, the beading and the shop & Café. Many people are waiting to get a latrine, food in their stomachs, medical help … a work with income … hope for the future. It is exciting and frightening at the same time. The challenges are so many!
Many NEW things!
A long time’s work with MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) has come to an end. In June our last contract with them ended.
It started 1981! KeA has finished flying and the projects we are working with in Loki are not within MAF’s field of work. We are thankful for all fantastic experiences with MAF but we now need to find other partners. Partners ready to take the Turkana people to their hearts. Mellringekyrkan and EFK will be our sending church. And just recently it has been confirmed that Scandinavian Children’s Mission will be our Swedish partner when it comes to fund rising and lead agent.
They will also take responsibility for the long time running and developing of the projects. For us this is a tremendous relief. The Children’s Mission was started by my cousin Sigvard Wallenberg in the 80s and now his son is leading the organisation. We are proud of their work and happy to now get to be a part of it. They will be in collaboration with two organisations established in Kenya and lead by Kenyans, World Relief and I Choose Life. These organizations already have projects in Turkana working with churches as well as with authorities. But they have no projects in Loki and therefore see our projects as new challenges in this forgotten province. We will be able to get work permit through World Relief. It is tremendously fascinating for me and KeA to see things fall in place. We have worked hard to anchor what is happening in Loki first and foremost among the locals but also in a wider perspective to secure future sustainability. The local CBO LEDO which we have been part of founding and building up still need support.
We rejoice that the projects don’t come to a halt when we are not there. Our local partners are doing a great job! Maureen, our right hand, is looking after the finances and that all is in order. The school is run daily by about 20 very competent staff.
At their own initiative computer courses for the general public have been started at the school in the afternoons with computers donated by Hannaskolan in Örebro. Food packages are handed out every week by Symprose and Jennifer. ANA women’s project is going on and the women get their salaries. Village meetings continue with Francis at the lead and finish by tea drinking and a piece of bread made at the ANA bakery. But the school desk making, that KeA had hoped would continue in his absence, stopped when the guy who was responsible suddenly disappeared for unknown reasons. Not the first time such a thing happens but something you have to live with working among nomads.
Home in Sweden
It has been soothing being in Sweden for a while. Being with children, grandchildren, relatives and friends add new energy. At Christ’s Ascension holiday the whole clan got together. Midsummer celebration with my brothers and their sweet wives and our friends Eva and Goran was wonderful. The yearly grandchildren’s camp was super. And to go boat hiking in the beautiful archipelago of Stockholm with our three oldest grandchildren Wila, Kalle and Kliff is kept in our hearts as one of the summer’s highlights. Some good-byes and thank you also received. At Hannaskolan’s school closing staff party I was offered a word of thanks and got a beautiful heart-necklace. My employment has come to an end and I am now a retired. At a MAF gathering at Stegeborg we were invited to make a presentation in words and pictures of our life with MAF. We got two nice tea mugs and many sweet words of thanks. A mission conference with EFK was also very enriching.
To look after ones house is also a must. Some necessary renovations have been made, mainly by KeA, who also went helping our neighbors renovate their kitchen. I have been working with making new models for ANA beading that I hope the women will make and that will be easy to market.
And now in August we got one week holiday in Croatia, just the two of us, all by a chance. KeA in fact won a photo contest and got money on Ticket. It is expiring in November so we were ”forced” to book a trip:)
A fairytale wedding!
Last Saturday our youngest daughter Liza got married to her Martin. A good decision that filled us with great joy. The wedding was outside in the park of Tyresö Castle. The weather forecast said it would be sunny – and it was. Praise God! There, under a mighty big oak, they gave their vows, in earnest and love. Before the ceremony a lovely brunch had been served in the castle. After the ceremony the bride invited all the smaller children (there were many) to activities under some apple trees in the park. The groom invited all the rest to some fantastic clever and funny games and quests.
At a suitable moment we were all invited to a coffee break under a tent that the bride had beautifully decorated. Cakes, cookies and fruits were offered and then back to more games and entertainments.
As the sun begun to set and stomachs started rumbling again a ”Pakistan Street Food” – trailer appeared and offered spicy, tasty evening supper.
The Saturday night’s full moon completed Liza’s and Martin’s fantastic and God-given wedding day.
I will end now but plead with you who are reading:
- Pray for us! In our self we are week and we need strength and wisdom from God. Pray that we will stay healthy!
- If you are not yet a school child sponsor … take action and become one! Contact us and we will tell you how to do.
- Write to us! Greetings, comments and questions are highly appreciated and we also would like to know how YOU are doing.
I think you already have guessed who is writing this time. Yes, it’s Birgitta!