We had been putting off this trip since December, now with the rains coming we had to go. Grandmother Shabani had come to Neema Village at Christmas time and begged for some help with her house. She said it was falling down, it leaked and when it rained, she walked in mud inside the house.
You could see daylight through the walls. It was not a safe house for Grandmother or Shabani to come home to from boarding school for three months a year.
If you follow Neema Village you will remember little abandoned baby Shabani who went home to live with his grandmother a few years ago. His mom had been just sixteen when she left him on the street and the police caught her and took her off to jail. Like the Moses story, she had been watching to see who would pick him up.
Shabani is a big boy now and one of our brightest little guys.
When Grandmother came to Neema Village in December, we had given her a mattress and she had somehow gotten that home on a bus. But a niece with her new baby had moved in to live with Grandmother and she had the bed while grandmother still slept on the floor.
As poor as these people are they still try to take care of each other with the little they have. Amazing.
Shabani’s name had been changed to Jackson when Grandmother decided he could be raised Christian since he had started life in a Christian home at Neema village. We were thrilled about that and especially when Grandmother herself became a Christian and changed her name to Neema.
But now it was time to check on Jackson and his grandmother’s house. It was a long day of driving; four hours out and four hours back. It only took a few minutes to see that they were in trouble and needed help. The house was definitely leaning and with a heavy rain might easily fall down.
There would be no way to “shore it up,” we would have to build a new house with a a good foundation. It won’t be expensive just a rock foundation, cement block walls and a tin roof. At Neema we will wield two metal windows and a door for the house and carry those out to the building site.
But it will mean a couple of our builders going that far out to the village to stay for a few weeks to get the work done. They will need a place to stay, a rented truck to carry the building materials and to travel back and forth to town and they will need food while they work. With out a Holiday Inn in Africa these kinds of problems are never easy but with God’s help we can do this!
It’s for our baby Jackson, and as you know “Once a Neema Baby, Always a Neema Baby.” Shabani has always been special to our family, our daughter Kim White’s son Tanner had climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise support for Shabani a few years ago.
A big Thank You to the crew who traveled out to the village to check on Grandmother’s house, Marion Lamoriniere, Kelle Samsill, Kim White, Ashley Berlin and Emily Moshi.
We hope your house is standing strong today and in this shaky world of wars and rumors of wars that you’ve built on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ.