Mission trip can cause you to have some wild ideas, especially as you lay awake at night due to the time changes. During our time in Kenya, we mainly held Vacation Bible Schools for the local children. If we had extra funds during our trips we would build “poop houses” (pit latrines) at churches and schools across the area. We also built chicken coops at a few schools in the same area. One night as we sat around before bed and thought about our projects, we joked that we would come up with a new Non-profit organization and call it “Poops and Coops.” With this organization we would build pit latrines and chicken coops to help the community. We still toy with the idea of setting up the charity but have not done it, YET.
Even though we laughed at the idea and especially at the humorous name we came up with, each of these project really help the community. Pit Latrines can provide the area with better health by providing a cleaner and safer option that is what is currently available. If we build more community pit latrines under our NGO, we would also hire widows to care for the facility. As the caretaker, they can charge a penny or two for the use of the toilet and earn some money. Widows in many countries struggle to survive. Some of the elderly widows we have come across are trying to raise their very young grandchildren because their own children have died from diseases. With no support from the family or no source of income, they all are at risk of death. Something as simple as a pit latrine built in a village center can make the difference for a family and provide a little bit of income. We see the opportunity to benefit the community and the widows as a vital work of God.
Exodus 22:22 “You shall not afflict any widow or orphan.”
The chicken coops we built at schools provide nutrition to many children. These chicken coops also allow the teachers to show the children about raising chickens, something they will all be able to continue to do later in their rural life. The coops provide the schools with eggs to feed to the children and when a chicken is too old to lay eggs then the school can also use the meat to feed the children. Many children in the rural areas of Kenya may only get one meal a day. That one meal might be something as simple as rice and beans which does not provide much nutrition. Helping the schools to provide some additional food to the children has a great impact on the children’s overall health.
James 1:27 “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”