News from Mama . . .

Welcome back!

I am finally on the mend (after falling ill for almost a month – I won’t bore you with the details but MUST thank my Canadian family, especially Steve, for your loving care and to ALL family and friends, Tumaini or otherwise, for your prayers and well wishes) since returning from an important visit to Holland on the return leg of this last trip to Tumaini.  (GREAT news of our visit will follow!)

After one of my best (think beautifully positive development in our children) trips home to Tumaini (there is so much good news to follow), Mama Korosho, (Charlene Cleland) and I made a three day stopover in Holland to visit with our Tumaini Van Der Linden family there, to speak with Rotary about them potentially helping us with pending construction, and to meet the Board of Directors of Stichting Tumaini Nederlands, and new friends who support the Dutch leg of Tumaini, caring for our little ones!

First of all, the children, for the most part are remarkable!  Growing and studying and working hard at becoming incredible young people.  There are exceptions (Nasma and Liadi and Marko come to mind), but generally, it was beautiful to witness personality and positive character development in our youngsters and each of you, volunteers, sponsors, supporters, PLEASE take a moment to reflect on your contributions to us and THEN, on behalf of my “brother” and partner Oddo and myself, please accept our deepest gratitude for your continued love, support and care.

To Baba Kaka (Valentin Leyssen) and Mama Jenny Driesen from Belgium who returned for a THIRD trip “home” and stayed with us for three months, working tirelessly with and on behalf of our children, (and a certain mama who benefitted from a rebuilt desk chair AND a computer cover!), thank you SO very much!  To Mama Korosho, my travelling and office mate this trip, for foregoing fresh air (or any air some days) or walking or exercise of – well – any sort actually, for two months and instead helping me with data entry DAY AFTER DAY AFTER DAY AFTER DAY – thank you!  We are ahead of the game because of you dada!

To dada Pam, who is B.I.C. of Tumaini – USA and who brought not only herself (AGAIN thank you Gary), but much needed goodies for our kids along with her spirit and energy for incredibly hard work, thank you sweet lady! To our young’un Holly Gleason for returning waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay sooner than Mom, Dad OR I expected and for MY gifts (you shouldn’t have) but more importantly, for the much needed supplies you brought us, thank YOU!!!

And to my other daughter Tine Migerode head of Tumaini Belgium (yup there was a time the Canadians were outnumbered by the Belgians!!!) who moved into my rooms upon my departure . . . for your continued inputting of records, for ALL you brought us, for keeping this mama up to the minute to date, for your heart and your work and your commitment to our children until my return in JUNE!!!!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  We have current reporting going on!  We have report cards forthcoming!  We have sponsor letters and pictures and Tumaini children improving their social studies because of Tine and friends!  Asante sana mtoto wangu!!

There is much to report and it is forthcoming but in the interim I would ask for prayers for the family and friends of now, 148 murdered Kenyan university students.  I would ask for your prayers that the threats of violence stop, that our Tumaini family remains safe, that Ebola (which has thus far avoided Tanzania) continue to weaken it’s death grip on West Africa and that the many, MANY people who have contributed their time, energy, money (some of them US!), bring this deadly killer under control.

Not one but TWO stories to follow written by Norfolkonians Lauren and Bobbie Jo who volunteered at Tumaini and are sharing their experiences!!  For your support of Tumaini, for your love of the children . . . Thank you! As I said, there is much to share on the children, the land and our future “forever” home, potentially a new and much needed vehicle, incredible fundraising efforts of our supporters and some new updates planned for our website! I will be in Canada until June and will work to get this information out to you in a timely fashion.  I send my love and thanks . . . on behalf of some very, VERY blessed children at Tumaini.

We have begun a new milk program at Tumaini which requires support costing $275.00 monthly.  We require 18 liters of milk daily to allow our children two glasses each, one in the morning and one in the evening.  Does someone know of a dairy who may be interested in sponsoring our milk program?

Six more children have been abandoned to us at Tumaini and we need help with their support. Enormous thanks and an update is forthcoming from Roberto and Matteo our Italian/Canadian motorcycling friends who, after Christmas, returned to Tumaini and picked up their bikes to continue their DANGEROUS journey north towards Italy.  Before they got too far though, they made sure to deliver to us at Tumaini $7,000.00 for our little ones and our thanks goes out to THEIR donors.

I have an extensive DUTCH report to present and will introduce AND thank Tumaini friends there also. Prayers of thanks must go out that a recent flood (caused by excessive rains at Tumaini) didn’t damage more than it did.  We lost several thousand dollars’ worth of school supplies.  Both Oddo and I lost some records and poor Tine found herself in my rooms in standing water to her knees.  Bottom filing cabinet drawers were lost and some personal items and medicine but she (and some of the children) stayed up through the night doing all they could to help save everything they could.

Thank you, thank you.  For your continued love and support.  For your kindness . . . God bless each of you.