Solar kits for Pastors/Evangelists Update 2- First Installations

Last Friday I was privileged to be able to install the first two solar kits for the evangelists’ homes. I went to Kwa Mtoro first to pick up Pastor Ntalimbo and also a new Peace Corp volunteer in the area named Eric, who hails from Washington D.C. The three of us, loaded with tools and a ladder and two solar kits drove down the bumpy, muddy road that heads towards Gumbu and Motto. We stopped first at Gumbu, where Jackson Nyambi serves as the evangelist and leader of the AICT church there. We had a nice visit and a lot of fun mounting the panel on the roof and figuring out how to attach the battery unit to the wall in the living room to keep it out of reach of little hands who would want to push the buttons! They were so appreciative and specifically thanked those of you from the States and Germany who gave towards this project. Jackson said the solar lighting and phone charger would help his whole family, and the entire church when they meet for Bible studies. He’ll be able to charge his neighbors phones as well for a nominal fee, and this will help him support his family. We ate some ugali (stiff corn porridge) and beans that his wife made for us around 2:30pm and then jumped in the car to head to Motto.
Further down the road some large dips had collected water, and so we drove bumper deep through these small ponds in four wheel drive! Thankfully we didn’t have to use the winch at all during the journey. We came to Motto where the evangelist Peter Tambalu lives with his family. More climbing on roofs, screwing down the panel, putting holes in various places for the wires, and we were close to finishing when we noticed one of the two lights was not working. Trouble shooting with the meter found a broken fuse which we fixed with some spare copper wire to bypass it. Peter said this solar kit is such an encouragement to him, to know that people in the States and Europe are thinking about them. He said it makes him want to work even harder for the Lord and for his neighbors there!
Since it was getting later in the afternoon, I wanted to get going, but Peter’s wife said “wait, wait, you need to eat something!”. Now in a lot of African cultures it is customary to be fed wherever you go, and it’s a way for the mama of the house to say thank you for work that’s been done. So not wanting to offend, we stayed and ate ugali and chicken at 6pm. I was stuffed.
On our way back towards Kwa Mtoro we gave various people rides, picked up a sack of corn in Kwa Mtoro to take to Magambua, and I arrived home just after dark,around 7:30pm. Melissa had tacos waiting for dinner….. and not wanting to offend…. I had tacos for dessert!
It was full and fulfilling day… in more ways than one! Praise God.
-JON

In Gumbu with Jackson and Pastor Ntalimbo
In Gumbu with Jackson and Pastor Ntalimbo
Preparing to mount the solar panel in Gumbu
Preparing to mount the solar panel in Gumbu
Turning on the light, with Jackson and his family and Ntalimbo,
Turning on the light, with Jackson and his family and Ntalimbo,
Charging Tambalu's phone in Motto.
Charging Tambalu's phone in Motto.
In Motto with Tambalu and family and church members turning on the solar light!
In Motto with Tambalu and family and church members turning on the solar light!

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