We received pictures of work being done at the Lenkishon site which is on Massai land south of Nairobi and a joint project of the North Dakota and Minnesota North Districts of the LCMS and the Office of International Missions. This picture shows Maasai men working on the foundation. It is interesting to see these men away from their herds which is their main way of life.
Shauen Trump, Area Director, for East and Southern Africa sent a note thanking Minnesota North and North Dakota for making this “eager intent and on- the -ground reality”.
Eager intent. I like that because from 2005 until the present day eager intent describes the work of the original Project 24 guys from Minnesota and North Dakota. They were Roger Weinlaeder, Ed Bean, Bob Wurl, Bill Sharpe, and Kurt Daubt and they were later joined by Mark Hatloy.
Their intent was to raise funds for “rescue centers” to care for and educate orphans in connection with a church and a school. There have been many ups and downs over the years. Different views of standards for a “boarding school”, changes in the church in Kenya, misunderstandings of “ownership”, meddling by some outsiders and other issues that develop from life in a fallen world have caused some problems that are now being resolved.
The eager intent was to help orphans, and there is still some discussion as to the appropriateness of that word. Some Pastors in Kenya that I have talked with, say that they will never call a child an orphan because they believe it is pejorative. Other have said that some tribes in Kenya believe that if one of your parents is dead you are considered a orphan. The best way to describe what the Project 24 guys are trying to do is build a safe place for at risk Kenyan children so that they can be educated and taught the Gospel.
There is a great push for theological education in our partner churches and that is a wonderful thing. The problem is that you have to have students that have been educated before they can go to seminary. Project 24 seeks to deal with that by helping young people get a Christian education.
We are working on updating our website and other aspects of the way we get out information. You can find a lot of information at the LCMS website – simply put Project 24 in the search box and watch what pops up.