Posted on April 4th, 2015 in Brian's Blog | No Comments »

Fountains of Hope

Fountains of Hope
3/21/14

Today we woke up to gentle rain at the Dorothy home and had a traditional breakfast of Arrowroot, fruit and chipoti, kind of like a soft tortilla that I put honey on. Our ride arrived around 8:30 in a much smaller vehicle designed specifically for safaris as the roof lifts up around 2 feet over the passenger seating, giving everyone a 360 degree view standing up.

As we headed out of Nairobi, the steady rain turned to downpour and Just like Indianapolis, everyone seemed to have forgotten how to drive. We finally made it out of town and needed to stop for some money exchanges and happened to run into a couple of women who were coming from Amboseli park.

They were a little dejected because the view of Kilimanjaro was obscured. John the driver was telling us that at this time of year it is obscured more often than not. To be honest, this was the thing I was looking forward to the most on this trip. None the less the park was going to have a wide selection of wildlife that we had not previously experienced and, in spite of the early rain and clouds on the mountain, it was a beautiful day.

We made it to the park; after being accosted by the Masai hawking their trinkets at the gate, and entered Amboseli National Park. Again the weather was perfect. John pointed to where the mountain was and we could see the steel blue shoulders of the mountain but that faded into the seemingly unmovable cloud cover.

The park still afforded us countless sights as we drove around simply marveling at the wonder and creativity of God. Birds beyond description, Thompsons antelope numbering like so many squirrels in the city park, and endless wildebeest and water buffalo. The most majestic though was the elephants.

The census in the park says there are about 300 of these giant creatures in this 150 square mile park and I must believe we saw at least half of them this day. From the 2 day old baby that astonishingly did not get crushed as it moved in and out of the legs of the walking adults to the dominant behemoth that had tusks that nearly scraped the ground. Truly an impressive display.

We began to move to another area of the park and Mike hollered “There’s the mountain! There’s Kilimanjaro”. The clouds had lowered and the snow-capped crown was visible. We all stood in slack jawed marvel. There was a point when we all put down the cameras and marveled. I know that each one of us thanked God in our own way. It’s the only response.

Eventually all the clouds blew away and we saw in full majesty the view. Truly wondrous.

Most of the time I bump through life, trying to make good and wise and Godly decisions but if I was going to be totally honest, I would have to say that there is a lot more Brian in the process than God. But once in a while…

I have shared with some of you times when the cloud lifts from my mind and I am able to discern with certainty what God is trying to tell me or what He wants me to do. Times that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am in His will. It is what I call a temporary moment of clarity.

For all of us we experienced that clarity when the clouds cleared from the mountain. Even if it was only a thimble full of Gods Glory, it was almost more than our eyes could bear.

At the end of this journey, thank you for joining us. All that was written this past ten days was the trip seen through my eyes meant to challenge and inspire. I would encourage all of you to take a trip of your own, even if it’s only down the street, for the purpose of giving to others, and see for yourself what God has not yet made clear to you.

Amen and Amen.

Brian McCall
Fountains of Hope



Posted on April 4th, 2015 in Brian's Blog | No Comments »

Fountains of Hope

Fountains of Hope
3/17/14

Today was a day of some frustrations; our driver Abuto was almost out of gas in the government vehicle and could only fill his tank at one gas station which is in Kisumu, a half an hour away from where he was. The problem was that the only authorized station that he was allowed to get gas at was out of gas. It took another several hours to get the money authorized for him to get a half a tank of gas. Really.

Then at one of the selected schools the fundi (brick mason) never showed up and the pad had not been started. They had just hired another one and he was just starting to dig the foundation when we got there.

That’s when I separated from the team to secure the rest of the needed supplies and exchange some dollars to shillings. I am getting quite adept at negotiating a better exchange rate at the banks. I’m in my element there.

Fortunately the rest of the team was able to work at Ombeiyo (the Kenyans can’t even pronounce it) and a couple of other sites that were far enough along for the tank installations.

They had a great story about a football (soccer) match happening at the school with a rival school. The home team scored and hundreds of people went crazy, students and adults alike. They all were yelling and running out onto the field in a frenzy, all while the game was still going on. Three more times the home team scored and three more times was the same unbridled celebration. It was quite a spectacle.

I have couple of confessions; I am an unrepentant Olympic lover. I lost much sleep watching the Sochi games. I also love Phantom of the Opera, I have seen it numerous times including live on Broadway with my son Jacob. The music causes me instantly to float away and “Music of the Night” is one of my all time favorite songs.

One evening I was working on a large puzzle with the Olympics on and I was a little zoned out. Then the first strings of “Music of the Night” started up and it was the Chinese skater in her long figure skating program. Two of my favorite things married together. I was in the middle of putting a piece in place and stopped in mid stretch and looked up.

This afternoon after spending the day searching for another tank and other supplies as well as touring the public water facilities at the edge of Lake Victoria, Abuto and I were headed back to Ahero. There was a major rainstorm in front of us as we drove east, away from the sun , a spectacular and vivid double rainbow formed in front of us. I was in the middle of talking to the driver and I stopped and looked up.

It gave me the opportunity to share the story of Noah with Abuto, who had not heard it even though he is a Christian. What an awesome experience. Getting to talk about the promises of God and connect that to the promise of Jesus because I was able to stop and look up.

I want to encourage each of you today to stop and look up; notice something that makes you smile or relax or points you to God.

Brian McCall
Fountains of Hope



Posted on April 4th, 2015 in Brian's Blog | No Comments »

Fountains of Hope

Fountains of Hope
3/17/14

Have you ever had one of those days where it seemed like nothing was going your way, the coffee spills, traffic is bad, your assistant calls in sick, a check bounces-insert your own personal frustration? But then almost miraculously it ALL turns around and, in spite of the early evidence, it turns into a very fruitful day.

Such was our day yesterday. One of our projects that we installed last year that we thought was an unused failure, was actually only very recently not being used because of some minor vandalism; an easy fix for us. After spending most of the day with a government engineer and endless meetings about a very simple need we finally were able to make tangible progress and get 4 schools simultaneously started with the necessary concrete work.

Working with the government is a two edged sword; on the one hand they can bring a reasonable amount of resources to bear. On the other hand you have 8 people deployed to do the work of 2. We have an engineer who sits at a desk telling a master mason the amount of sand and cement he needs for the project. The mason is just shaking his head, knowing he needs lees than half of the recommended materials. For those of you who know me well, you know my abhorrence of stupid rules and bureaucracy.

Right now it is early and the rest of the team is putting together 3 tanks as we are waiting on breakfast. The setting up of the tanks should go fairly quickly under Bill’s guidance and the willing enthusiasm of Neil and Mike.

Barrack treated us to a meal of boiled goat and sukum wiki last night in Kisumu. Mmmmm. Probably tastes a little better than it sounds (a little). We then went and saw the bay at Lake Victoria at sunset, that is actually as good as it sounds.

This morning Jared and I completed the repair on the broken system and were able to talk to the head master of the school which has 763 students. He gave us a great testimony of how the safe water from the system was dramatically reducing the trips to the infirmary for the students.

Please say some prayers for Neil. He is fighting a stomach flu and is not sure whether it is something he ate here or a reoccurrence of an illness he had just gotten over the day we left. Only the Cipro will tell us for sure.

As we wait, again, for the government people to show up the finishing touches are being put on the tanks and I am reflecting and doing the math in my head about the numbers of people that will be served by these systems. It seems like there will be roughly 2000 children and countless villagers helped.

Please don’t get all rah rah for us, though; we are keenly aware that this is a project of Gods that we are the grateful and willing participants of.

As always we covet your prayers and comments.

Brian McCall
Fountains of Hope



Posted on April 4th, 2015 in Brian's Blog | No Comments »

Fountains of Hope

Fountains of Hope
3/16/14

The roosters are crowing and the sky is clear and blue, it looks like it is going to be another glorious day!

Yesterday was quite a day. We started out viewing the additional sites and it became clear that there was a misunderstanding of what our needs were to be able to install a successful system; namely a consistent water source. They were taking us to schools in extremely rural areas where there was a desperate need for water, not just safe drinking water.

As we worked through some of those challenges we decided it would be best for me to go with a couple of Kenyans and try to locate some tanks and for the rest of the team to view other potential installation sites.

So I was treated to about 15 more km of “African Massage” all the way to Kisumu. Our group, on the second try, was able to locate an open hardware store that had exactly what we needed. While I was waiting I was next to a very handsome young man in traditional Masai garb(the fiercest of all the Kenyan tribes, as well as the tribe which adheres to tradition the most). We were chatting as he knew a little English and I was marveling at the outfit, he even had the larger holes in his ears for the oversized ear jewelry.

I then heard a small tweet, tweet! and he pulled aside his robe and right next to his long sword was a very shiny white cell phone which he answered in local dialect.
Talk about your surreal moments…

On our way back to reconnect with the larger group, we got a call that the bus was stuck in the mud close to one of the other sites. It was like pulling up to a circus, there were children and adults watching, pointing and laughing, and jumping into and out of the action. There was a cable attached to a large tractor hooked to the back of the bus which was at about a 40 degree angle and up to the axle in mud on one side.

The tractor was not able to pull it out by itself so we mustered all of the men from the 47 gawkers (I counted them) and got on the stuck side and started to rock the bus side to as the tractor was pulling. Finally inch by inch and smoking tires it came free to the cheers of all.

There are pictures on Bill Farrar’s Facebook page if you are interested.

There comes a point in every trip like this where the adrenaline of the new has worn off and the jet lag from the travel coupled with the unfamiliar sleeping and you just start to get crabby and tired and question whether you are really doing any good or not.

We are there. This is the place where we need to default not to our human selves but rather to ask for divine strength, patience and love. Wouldn’t’ it be great to have a default response that was to love and not anger, or patience and not aggravation?

The thought I want to end with today is: When we pray for the fruit of the Spirit it is not just for when we are upbeat and perky but rather all of the time. Our attitude in times of stress is what others will notice. Perhaps that is the way God wants it; the world knows what the human response looks like, but it is those imbued with the Holy Spirit that can remain calm who can show the love of God when things aren’t as planned.

When we are at our worst, Got is at his best, that way He gets the credit.

Brian McCall
Fountains of Hope



Posted on April 4th, 2015 in Brian's Blog | No Comments »

Fountains of Hope

Fountains of Hope
3/15/14

Yesterday was a travel day for us. We left Nairobi about an hour and a half late, pretty good for Kenyan time, and headed towards Kisumu. The trip is about 5-6 hours (Kenyan hours) but that does allow for the seemingly endless construction and potholes that make ours look like dimples in a golf ball.

We stopped for lunch in Nakuru, where there is a very large national park. Supposedly the largest flock in the world of greater flamingos lives there but this is the 3rd time I’ve been here, each at different times of the year, and they have always been off somewhere else. I’m beginning to wonder….

We pushed on from there to Ahero just outside of Kisumu and met our government contact there at a very chaotic gas station. We were told that because of the rain the roads would not be passible for the bus. So we would follow the little truck until we couldn’t go further then all of us would pile into the pick up. Let me pause for just a second and describe the pick up.

First of all, this is a government vehicle, plates and all. I’m not sure of the year, but I’m pretty sure my friend had one just like it in high school. It was a small Toyota four door with a very short bed, and four-wheel drive, and a welded on roll bar that I was afraid we would need.

Back to the story: we followed said truck for about a kilometer then came to a muddy pothole that was roughly the size of a bug. A Volkswagen, not a cockroach.
So we piled out of the bus and into and onto the pickup. Lets do a quick head count here; the 4 members of the team plus our interpreter, the government official, his two hydro engineers, the concrete mason and the driver.

If I stood sideways in the bed, I could get one hand on the roll bar. So we proceeded that way for approximately 10km over terrain that would have challenged the stoutest monster truck. We finally made it without loosing life or limb. Small miracles gladly accepted.

We then were able to tour a school of about 450 children and assess the need for clean water there.

Tomorrow we will begin assembly of 5 tanks for this school and 4 others like it.

We are at the beginning of the rainy season here so at the end of the day we were settling into our rooms and the gentle rain started pitter-pattering on the tin roof of the hotel. Always relaxing for me and a beautiful way to end the day.

Brian McCall
Vice President
Fountains of Hope



Posted on April 4th, 2015 in Brian's Blog | No Comments »

Fountains of Hope

Fountains of Hope
3/14/2014

We are bouncing home, literally, after finishing the installation at the Kings House of Prayer. Shadrak and Moses, pastor and elder at the church, “got it”, they understood what this was going to mean to not only the church, but to the community at large. This is what it’s all about, community and being able to bless others as you have been blessed.

It has been pointed out to me that I should introduce the team. There are 4 of us each of us about as different as can be. My brother Neil is a money manager and has always listened and read intently about my trips and had mentioned in the past that he wanted to go sometime. It is both an honor and a privilege to be here with him. We have always been fairly competitive but this shared experience has certainly mellowed that (not to mention his advanced age and diminished skill set J).

Mike Leslie is a semi retired machinist who is good at figuring out mechanical things. His and my paths have intersected a couple of times and most recently he was in a Bible study class that I was in. I put the group on my blog list and he almost instantly felt the call of God to do one of these trips. I was initially worried about his health issues, but he told me that if he died, we didn’t have to ship his body back as he has no family. Just sprinkle his ashes on Kilimanjaro. So I agreed, I’ve always wanted to see Kilimanjaro.

Then Bill, the Executive Director of the ministry and key trainer and engineer is along this time and doing most of the heavy lifting as it pertains to installation and training. It is always fun having him along and we both poke good natured fun at each other whenever we can.

Finally me, the documenter of the goings on. The main reason I write these musings is that it gets me out of all of the work of the installations. Just kidding. The truth is that when I am on these trips I am just compelled to write. I have realized that this is a rather imperfect medium for sharing my thoughts, though. I am torn between fully developing all of the thoughts that come crashing at me throughout these trips and keeping the posts short enough that people will actually read them.

I don’t want to resort to “bumper sticker” type posts but the reality is that no amount of words that I could throw at these days even begins to bring in to full view what we experience here.

I guess you’ll just have to join me on a trip sometime and see it for yourself!

Tonight I am treating the crew to a place that a friend of my brother’s recommended called Carnivore. I doubt if anyone is having a salad.

Post Script: I am so glad I couldn’t get this sent last night because I need to share with you some of the selections that were brought to our table Brazilian restaurant style. In fact I have now both added and crossed off several foods off my bucket list including ostrich meatballs which was more like red meat than poultry and rather tasty. Then there was the crocodile which had a vaguely shrimp taste.

There were at least 8 more recognizable meats brought around but one selection that I could not understand the name for, was not, is not, nor will ever be on my list, was something that I found out later was the African equivalent of rocky mountain oysters (some wild animal testicles). I’m slightly nauseous just writing about it. Oh well, just more of the adventure!

Sincerely,

Brian McCall
Vice President
Fountains of Hope



Posted on April 4th, 2015 in Brian's Blog | No Comments »

Fountains of Hope

Fountains of Hope
3/12/14

“One of my Favorite times of the day”

The breeze feels heavenly. After a day out in the city of Nairobi, sucking all of the exhaust fumes and swirling dust into my lungs, it is a blessing to sit on the portico of the Dorothy home feeling the gentle wind blow away the noise and smells of the day. I am sharing this area with some of the girls from the home who are quietly doing their homework. It’s almost like being in a library.

We toured the site of Peter and Asnath Gaturi who run a school and church in one of the Nairobi slums. We were all compelled by their passion and commitment to the children and school, but in the end we felt a purifying system at their site would not have been a good fit for either them or FoH. The main point, besides having very inconsistent water flow, was that when they do have water, it doesn’t make anyone sick. A rare blessing in Kenya.

From there we went to the Kayole area and met Moses and Shadrack at the Kings Gospel Center and House of Prayer. Let all of those names soak in for a second. Each name straight out of the Bible and after talking to them for even a short time, you recognize that their devotion is no less than their namesakes in the Old Testament.

After hearing what a struggle safe drinking water is for them we decided to do an installation there, which we will hopefully complete tomorrow.

One of my favorite times of the day is when we all take a minute and share what God showed us today. Today, with two people having never traveled to Africa, this remarkable, exotic land, or ever being on a mission trip, what they said that impacted them most was…. the people, especially the children.

I would have to agree. What I realized is that the biggest asset or resource here is the passion of the people. The pastors and directors of the communities we are partnered with are such selfless workers and love these children unconditionally and do it all for almost no money. They simply don’t have that resource.

I was struck that the resource of finances in the states is unimaginably prevalent and we take so much for granted. I know we think money gets tight but lets be honest for a second; we will think nothing of getting a haircut for 25-50 bucks or going out to dinner for $50 or $75. But tomorrow Elias doesn’t know how he is going to feed the 25 girls here, and for $50 he can feed them all for a week. And he doesn’t complain, just relies on God with a faith that I can barely understand.

I’m certainly not trying to lay a guilt trip on anyone but for me, spending time here drives home the reality of how good we have it, and what the heck am I complaining about?

2 quick notes; This was late because of no internet connection last night, I’m sure you understand

Uwase a local 9 year old orphan here wanted to know what I was doing and I told him, he wanted to make sure that I told everyone at home Hi! The people here are truly remarkable.

Brian McCall
Vice President
Fountains of Hope



Posted on April 4th, 2015 in Brian's Blog | No Comments »

Fountains of Hope

Fountains of Hope

4/3/14

The Most frequent question I get asked when people find out I am headed back to Africa is “did you get your shots?”. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. To be perfectly honest, I can’t even hear a mosquito anymore without getting slightly nauseous. Almost dying from malaria is a great motivator.

I realize that it has been quite a while since I sent out the announcement of the trip; I have been more prolific in the past with updates leading up to these trips. I don’t know if it is just “old hat” now that this is the third trip to Kenya, or if I have been avoiding it for some other unknown reason.

Non the less, there is no less work to do and the level has ratcheted up with the trip looming this coming Monday. So I am writing now to update you all on the status and let you know how you can still be part of the trip (don’t worry, I’m not asking for more money).

In fact God has richly blessed this trip financially, raising within a couple of thousand dollars of the stretch 25,000 goal. So thank you all who contributed!

What I really need is prayer support. We are going into areas that are not without dangers – I shouldn’t have watched the Dateline show about the Nairobi Mall attack-and certainly mosquito born viruses can be hazardous, as well as traveling on poorly regulated and maintained roads.

My wonderful prayer-warrior wife will be setting up a daily calendar which can help you pray for specific needs as we move along the country.

I have been in contact with the Water Minister in Kisumu and he is very excited that we are coming and he has already set up resources for us to provide 5 units in different public schools there. There will also be another church/community center in Nairobi that we will be able to provide one for as well. My brother has also secured computers which is going to be able to help the children in the Dorothy Home to set up a technology training center.

Obviously there has been much happening and it is evident that there is still lots God has planned for us there.

So if you are interested in partnering with this group in prayer, please respond to this email and I will make sure you get one of the daily prayer calendars that Cynthia will make up.

As usual I will try to do a daily post while we are in country to attempt to give you a flavor of what we are experiencing. I will try to challenge you as I challenge the team to watch and see what God is doing all around each of us and stretch us all.

Brian McCall
Fountains of Hope



Posted on April 4th, 2015 in Brian's Blog | No Comments »

Fountains of Hope

Fountains of Hope
January 14, 2014

Where does inspiration come from? For some it is fleeting, coming in brief waves. Others can’t get out of the way, it comes in a never ending avalanche of creativity.

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