Gilbert pushes his little car stealthily down the dirt path, skillfully maneuvering it around bumps, mounds, craters, and dung. The bottle cap wheels plod obediently over the hummer-worthy terrain, but Gilbert has a keen eye for mechanical failures and lurking perils. He teams up with Joseph’s fast-paced wire vehicle. The boys start to race down the dusty path until a wheel shakes loose or an improvised pen-for-an-axle becomes unscrewed. Then racers transition into a team of mechanical engineers, ready to contrive an impromptu repair.
Gilbert and Joseph are two of 45 orphans that live with Martin and Ruth Shikuku at the Johabeto home. In 2010, they moved from Soy to Simatwet because of tribal unrest and land disputes. A team, directed by the Pollocks, built a new home on two acres for the children. They went from 25 children per bedroom to reasonable sleeping quarters with a legitimate kitchen.
Then Kenya Power (the government run Hydro company) informed them of the unthinkable: they would be forced out of their new home and land because new power lines would cut through their property. Fair compensation seemed like a meager consolation prize.
Yet Martin and Ruth plowed on through the bumps, mounds, craters, and dung on their path. And when the wheels fell off, they chased them like Gilbert and Joseph. They bought three acres nearby, drilled a borehole, and built two shining new dorms with common rooms and a separate dining hall with an adjoining kitchen. With the extra money, they bought a lorry, which they hope will help the home move towards self-sufficiency. The Shikukus still struggle every month to manage the home and make ends meet, but they work with what God has placed in their hands. What’s more, they do it for Gilbert, Joseph, and 43 other little people.
“Live creatively, friends… Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens… Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life”.
Here is a pic of the Shikuku's original home in Soy from 2005, where they cared for 23 extra children...
Here is their latest home where they care for 45 extra children...