The building at Ngarama is completely finished, including a fresh coat of paint and the name of the church on its side. It boasts its own baptistry and a fancy new toilet with two stalls for women and two for men.
A couple years ago we shipped a container full of books we’d collected from all over the US. Our goal was to build a library at Sangano and stock it with books. Bro. Bassett built the library building before they moved back to the states, then we began carrying books out there as soon as they arrived. Bro. Tom Tracht built a school at the church in Sangano. It has over 300 children in attendance every day. We’re working to sort more books into each of the grade levels, which we’ll then stock in the classrooms. It’s a long process and we still have many boxes of books to sort.
Another goal we had was to create a mini library at each church. We were finally able to begin this project at Ngarama. The second week of January, we started sorting through books in our personal library. We’d accumulated quite a few over the years and we weren’t using nearly all of them. We didn’t need some of them anymore — maybe we had digital copies or the children had outgrown them. Whatever the reason, we were able to clear the books from 3 bookshelves.
We took those bookshelves and dropped them off at Ngarama a week ago yesterday. We also carried a couple bins of books out there and discovered we could bring quite a few more bins before the shelves would be full. This week, we carried four more bins and still didn’t fill the shelves.
The children always struggle to sit in church, so this week we spread the mats in the back and passed out books for them to look at. It kept them quiet for most of the service. Brennah sat in the middle of the group and whisper read books to as many as would huddle around her. One of the little girls told me (in Swahili) “She’s teaching me how to read!”
I can see we’re going to need to keep all the churches well supplied with children’s books — not a problem since we have many of those.