Greetings to all our dear friends and those who read our homepage! We hope you are in good health and everything is going well.
These days we receive quite some emails from friends who are worried about the situation at the NEST. So today let me then join the many “corona up-dates”!
But first of all, we want you to know that it is very encouraging for us to know that we are remembered in thoughts and prayers and even extra donations! Even though many of you are hit by the impact of this pandemic they have not forsaken us! We feel moved and humbled and safe in your “hands”!
Reading the signs on the wall, I was prepared for hard ship in 2020. When learning about the locust invasions in Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya I knew that the prices for dry food will rise and stocked up our stores with beans, maize, lentil, flour, rice, sugar etc.
Then the news of the virus having spread to Europe reached us. So, I purchased enough sanitizers, masks, gloves and soap before the big run on them started.
Meanwhile, the official rate of infections in Kenya stands by 142 with 4 fatalities. However, it is estimated that there might be a significant number of unreported or unknown cases. One of the deceased is the Kenya Airways pilot who brought in the last flight from New York with Kenyans on board. Sad.
As soon as the first confirmed infection case was noted, the government reacted surprisingly fast. Schools, universities and restaurants were closed down. There is transparency in information, clear instructions on how to keep hygiene, tax relief for businesses and individuals, special programs for the elderly. All flights, except cargo, were banned. Many countries have since “evacuated” their nationals. This was quite an effort and, in some cases, very chaotic. We had 3 volunteers and some visitors at the NEST when Nairobi airport was closed. It was quite a challenge to get them to Mombasa from where the German government operated and on the chartered planes.
The Nest Project is, of course, affected by these rules, too. For the past 2 weeks there is also a country wide night curfew and since yesterday Nairobi is landlocked. We are working on getting a special permit to travel between Limuru and our Half-Way House.
However, the children themselves are not inconvenienced, apart from the older ones who have to do home schooling now. The Limuru NEST Home is buzzing with activities! The schoolchildren are just happy having the older ones around to help them with homework. All of them are quite creative in entertaining each other! The little ones anyway do not understand what is happening but enjoy getting a lot of attention from the staff.
That is because all employees are resident since the 16th of March. This decision was done on a volunteer basis. Apart of 3 employees everyone wanted to stay!!!
It was a logistic master piece to find beds, mattresses, blankets and space for everyone. Also cooking utensils, cutlery and gas cylinders had to be bought. Sharing rooms was also a concern, things like tribe or likes and dislikes had to be observed. And of course, we had to take each employee home, using the NEST vehicle, so that they could organize their household and/or make sure their children are safe. Most of them sent their children to their families in the countryside.
However, all is well now and our employees are growing together to be a big family! Of course, it is a challenge to get enough fresh food for 65 grown-ups and 120 children but with the help of god and our friends we will manage that, too.
As much as we try to make the situation bearable for the staff by offering activities like yoga, movie evenings, dress making lessons, opening our training salon to them, special dinners on Sunday and of course prayer times. Sunday service can only be watched on TV but as we are a small community this is still nice!
These are the news for now! We are thankful that we are all in good health, that we have enough to eat and a safe place to stay! “Let us see our blessings and name them one by one and see all the good our LORD has done!”
We thank all of you, our well-wishers and friends, our donors and those who remember us in thoughts and prayers! We wish you the best – peace of mind and good health!
Irene & NEST Team
This post was written by Markus Baumgartner