Baling Wire and Duct Tape, Kenyan Style

My good friend and our host, John Muhanji, is the Director for Africa Ministries for the Friends United Meeting (F.U.M.). John is a rare and incredible man. He has the integrity of a Quaker, heart of a pastor, the vision of an artist or prophet, the practical sense of a successful entrepreneur, the handy skills of a farmer and the good humor of a man who loves life and loves people. It is my joy and a great blessing to know him and to work with him. I have learned much from John and I hope to continue to work with him.

On the eve of our workshop in the Bungoma area, John had us spend the night at a nice place in Kakemega called the Golf Hotel. This hotel is close to western resort standards. The accommodations were nice and the food in the restaurant was superb. I had goat curry and ugali for dinner. It was very good.

As we traveled in the blue truck, a very old and worn Toyota, John detected an issue and pulled over. A minute later he came back and got some baling wire out of the glove box. I got out to take a look at what he was doing. It seems that the mounts that held the radiator in place had broken off and the radiator was sort of hanging in place. Due to this situation, the radiator was pushing back on the fan and causing it to chip and stall. John made the repair by tying the radiator back to the frame of the engine compartment with the baling wire. Mission accomplished. We heard many similar stories about this truck and the need to repair it. Fortunately, John is very close to getting a new truck. Through the efforts of F.U.M., a new truck is waiting for him at the port of Mombassa and he will be going there soon to pick it up. As the director for Africa ministries, John has two pieces of equipment which are essential, his hand-held phone/computer and his vehicle. Communications and transportation technologies are helping John serve Friends in Kenya most effectively.

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