S2B News: January 2013

URGENT OPPORTUNITY:  A Gift of $4650 for an acre of land!

With the goal of developing a sustainable and profitable business on the Nyakach plateau to support Bethlehem Home, we would like to set up the production and sale of ceramic water filters.  The organization “Potters for Peace” has created the model for this business, which has been established in developing countries all over the world.  Please visit the page for our Water Project to learn more about the Bethlehem Home community’s water project. We have the opportunity RIGHT NOW to buy a piece of land (approximately one acre) in an ideal location, but our window of opportunity is very small for this particular property.  The incredibly low cost of this land is $4650 (USD). Additional funds are needed for the construction of the building and purchasing of the materials. If you would like to make a donation, see our donation page.



Philida Nyangwara Obondi, a Bethlehem Home elder who had been with the group from the beginning in 2001, died on October 25, 2012.  Philida had esophageal cancer which was not diagnosed until the week before she died from uncontrolled bleeding.  She was born in 1946, married in 1959, and was preceded in death by her husband and all 53eight of her children.  The S2B team remembers Philida with love, and her Bethlehem Home community has sustained a great loss.  Philida was one of the original elders to care for a milk goat when they were first donated by S2B a few years ago.  One of the BH orphans, Brian, helped Philida to feed and milk the goat, and he grew strong from the addition of this nutrient to his meager diet.  Pastor Habil’s idea of arranging the elders and orphans into small, permanent groups to care for the goats was successful, and the groups quickly blossomed into vital, caring relationships that provided the stability of a family for the adults and children alike.  Brian has experienced breathtaking losses in his early life, and only the support of the wider community in which he lives could carry him through this new grief.  At the funeral, Pastor Habil had Brian stand and be recognized by the congregation while receiving the pledge of their support.  With this reassurance, Brian joined Mary, another long-time BH elder, in taking care of the goat, and another loving relationship was forged.

At this link, you can read the message from Dr. Baker that was read at the funeral.



The community garden planted in May 2012 has been fruitful indeed.  Food has been harvested multiple times already, lunch for the BH Kouko Academy students has been enriched, and the children are learning to grow their own food, thanks to Charles Tei and the teachers at the academy.

The garden has been so successful that Charles encouraged us to find a bigger, additional plot to expand the planting.  The land is nearby, and S2B raised the $150 needed for the year’s lease of the plot.  Charles will oversee this garden as well, and he will hire some helpers as funds permit.

Dr. Baker saw the garden when she visited Kenya in November, 2012.  Charles was no less proud than a father showing off his newborn child.  The fence was in place, a stone wall had been built by the road, the rows of plants were neat and bountiful, and the variety was stunning.



S2B has recently received a very generous donation from Bob and Pam Dimski for the clinic building that we hope to begin building the clinic soon.  With this significant start, we have the momentum that we need to move seriously toward our goal.

Our plan is to begin with pharmacy services right away and then expand to a full medical clinic as soon as Don Ogola has completed medical school at the University of Nairobi in 2014 and his internship in 2015 (probably in Kisumu).

We are currently searching for a piece of land with an existing building that can be modified to serve as a pharmacy and later expanded for the clinic.  When we find the right place, we will need to move very quickly.  In Kenya, when someone asks for a commitment for a specific price for a piece of property, it is assumed that the buyer can buy immediately.  Once a price is determined, other buyers often rush in to grab the sale.  Thus, the urgency for all the land we want to purchase.

Eric Owaka has now graduated from pharmacy school and is completing three levels of internship to learn the business side of running things.  He will be ready to practice pharmacy within the year.  Eric is committed to coming back to the plateau to begin our permanent medical presence there.  Dr. Bob Dimski (family physician from Oklahoma who has seen patients in our temporary clinic during the 2011 and 2012 trips) will be the medical director and S2B liaison to the pharmacy, in addition to the required Kenyan authorities.