I wanted to give you a quick update on Kenya projects – and particularly our house purchase… which has turned into a new house search and opportunity. Over the past few weeks, we’ve hit a snag getting a clear title from the owner of this current property where Pastor George and his family have been living as caretakers. When it became clear that we wouldn’t have that information before the April 30th deadline to submit our proposed plan to purchase the property, or begin paying rent, we began exploring other options. The existing (claimed) homeowner wanted George to sign a lease this week, which we weren’t comfortable with, given that a) rent has to be paid in advance for a year and b) there was no positive proof via recorded documentation showing that the man actually owned the property since the title had never been transferred to his name.So we began to explore other options nearby. I asked George to make a search for a new property that was closer to Kitale town center again, and closer to the fields we lease for the agricultural projects – and that already has a clear title.
We set the intention that we wanted:
1) a house closer to the main road,
2) a house that already had running water into the house and for outbuildings
3) a house with fully functioning electricity that wouldn’t need extensive upgrades
4) a house with outbuildings for the cows and future goats, plus a storehouse for crops and a chicken coop (all things we would have needed to build or expand on if we stayed at this current property).
With these features, we could then concentrate on finding a house to lease with option without needing any other upgrades. Only the purchase price. George set out on his search and yesterday found a 2-acre property with all such outbuildings, and a 4 bedroom 2 bath house (2nd bathhouse is in a separate brick building), closer to town, that has all of the above AND the yard is fully fenced, with a security gate – we only need to add chicken wire to the existing fence for the free range chickens.
The family is due to vacate the current property by May 1st (that’s in one week for those counting down with us!) and we’d like to take possession of the new property ASAP so they can begin the moving process. Rent is $207/month (21,000 Ksh) which is paid annually. This works out to $2485, plus the bank wire fee or 252,000 Ksh. The purchase price for this house is the same as the house the family is in currently 6,000,000Ksh ($60,000) but we would only need closing costs and minor upgrade amounts for the fencing and outfitting the kitchen (it’s currently an interior kitchen that is set up like an outdoor kitchen – so charcoal cooking, which isn’t the best for the lungs). So we’re revising our purchase funding request down to $69,000 as we believe we can accomplish all of this and the move with that amount.
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We’ve make such amazing progress, with a 4th year of fully sustainable farming on 5 acres of leased farmland, 2 cows (about to be 3 in July/August!), and a sustainable growing group of 35 egg-laying chickens! Our first goal is to raise $2700 for the move THIS WEEK. They can move the chickens with the truck we bought them several years ago; however they will need a lorry to move the cows (the calf is due to be born in July/August!), and their furniture. Plus we need to get chicken wire up to secure the roaming chickens. The need to get the chickens moved so they can clean out the building they’ve been secured in at night at the existing property (think 35 poopers who shed feathers and you’ll understand the need to get this accomplished sooner rather than later, to leave the property in the position it was found.
If you are guided to give directly, you can do so via PayPal, even if you don’t have a pay pal account (we can even send you an “invoice” for any donation amount you would like to give (all tax-deductible). You can also give via a check or via a wire transfer directly into The Village Gathering bank account at Wells Fargo. Or you can give directly to George via Western Union – although that results in a lower exchange rate and doesn’t count as a tax-deductible donation.
REMEMBER: We’re also taking on social impact investors who are interested in earning a 4% interest rate on amounts of $5,000 or greater – call or email me for details on that!
For PayPal donations: Donations can be given to the account using email@example.com
For checks: Please make checks payable to The Village Gathering and mail to: Rev. Paula Langguth Ryan, 2744 S. Golden Way, Denver, CO 80227
Wire Transfer: Account is in the name of “The Gathering at Cocoa Village, Inc.” – email me directly for the routing and account numbers.
UPDATE ON NAOMI: They’re so enjoying Naomi’s work and the way she’s caught up on her skills that, even though she’s still doing an unpaid assignment, they are now paying her a small “commuter stipend” which helps offset her travel to and from her friend’s house in Nakuru and helps her give her friend some money for her room and board. This is a first step toward possible full time paid employment so please keep the love and prayers coming!
UPDATE ON BRINGING GEORGE TO AMERICA: We’re still working on the R1 Visa application and looking into training for George to become a UFBL minister (Universal Foundation for Better Living, founded by Rev. Johnnie Colemon).
UPDATE ON SCHOOLS: We’d love to get everyone back into school; Lavender is the only one who we were able to keep in school to finish out her last semester. We’re gathering all the fee information to make sure we have enough in house to take care of getting her back to school for her final (third) semester of her senior year of High School. As much as the family values education for children, they realize that their financial security rests on their ability to purchase their home and continue the farm projects – so we’re putting all students on hold until we can make that happen.