Hello all and happy 2020!
I have been quiet due to lots of things that are happening to me and in our program for at-risk male teens who are in conflict with the law. First, my application to travel to the US where I was scheduled to give a talk at a conference was denied. The consulate officer mentioned that my income was too low for me to travel to be given a visa.
Visa Application Rejection
I was heartbroken and felt disappointed.
"I spend most of my time and the little money I get on Lifesong Kenya's programs," I explained.
"I'm afraid sir, you don't qualify at this time," she replied.
I picked the pink rejection slip and walked out of the room. I picked my valuables and walked out of the embassy. My feet felt heavy, as if I was dragging heavy metal on the ground. Much as working with at-risk male teens is fulfilling and I don't mind spending my time, resources and money on the program, I didn't know it would be a cause to deny me a visa.
I hailed a taxi and went home. But I couldn't stay in the house. I wanted to keep myself busy, in order to forget what had just happened. I went to the university where my wife lectures to pick computers that had been donated to our program. After packing the computers in our car, my wife offered to buy lunch. It was the first time that we ate lunch in silence. She kept asking what happened and i promised to tell her later. I munched my food in silence, fighting a battle I knew I was going to lose.
The moment we settled into the car and she began driving, I broke down. I wept until I couldn't weep no more.
"There's a reason why your visa application was rejected," my wife said. "We may not know it right now, but with time we will."
The Passing On of My Wife's Mom
On October 31, 2019 I visited my wife's mom who had been hospitalized, not for the first time that year. Though she was losing her memory, she remembered that my wife and I were going to travel and celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary. She also remembered that I was working on a video to send to the conference that was going to happen the following day. I bid her good bye and went back home.
My wife and I left Nairobi that evening - each of us had spent time with our mom. On this very night, I was supposed to be on the airplane to the US. My wife was happy that we were going to spend time together for our anniversary. Our bus was almost half way through our journey when we received a phone call. It was at 1 AM.
My wife's had just died!
The moment this happened, I suddenly knew why my visa application had been rejected.
Our Fundraising Cycling Event
During our grieving period, I knew weren't going to hold our annual cycling event. I wanted to give my wife enough time to heal. As a result, I stopped sharing my countdown to our event. But as the dates drew closer, my wife was determined that we needed to go on with our plans to cycle.
On December 13, 2019, our team of 3 cyclists, a boy we have been mentoring since 2017, my wife and a cameraperson embarked on our second cycling event. Though we had planned to cycle from Nairobi to Migori Town through Thika, Nyeri, Meru, Nyahururu, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisumu, Siaya, Mbita, Homa Bay, Rongo, we changed our route.
This was due to the fact that we were not able to find hosts to offer accommodation and meals for our team. We therefore stuck to passing through Naivasha, Nakuru, Kericho, Kisumu and Mbita. Unlike the previous cycling event, we were not able to raise more than the money we used for fuel, meals and accommodation. Some of our friends who include Leah Okeyo offered accommodation and meals.
On Realizing That I'm Not Doing Much
We have resumed our prison program without enough funding. Having failed to get more people to support our work, I stopped operating in my gift as a writer. Luckily, I haven't stopped working with our boys. In fact, it gives me joy to tell you that the boy we cycled with in December found families that are willing to host him when schools close and he needs a break from staying at the half way centre.
Another good news is that this boy joined high school this year. You read the full story here.
Well, not so many people especially Kenyans, don't like supporting causes. My failure to find support even from people from our church usually disappoints me. But I am learning how not to hold anything against them. Who knows, some of them may decide to start supporting today (ha ha ha!). I have also realized that I am not doing much with the gifts that God has blessed me with. That is actually why I am writing today.
As some of you are aware, I am a gifted writer and can coach boys. In my quest to share my gift, I am offering to help whoever needs a writer. I am also open to coach and mentor one boy. It could be your son, nephew, brother or neighbour. I figure that this way I may be of help to World Pulse members who need the services of a writer and aren't able to pay. All you need to do is take care of a few things. I will be helping Leah Okeyo and looking for one more person for this month and the many more.
That's all I wanted to share. I think that life is beautiful when we share what we have with those who need it.