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Little did she know - her life was about to change forever
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2011 - Martha Cole is excited. This technology teacher and school administrator was about to embark on an African adventure, her dream of a lifetime. She boarded a plane in Toronto with 42 other women, part of a Horizon Tour Group destined for Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. Little did she know that following the 15 hour flight, her life would change forever. Anyone who has experienced Nairobi can understand how Martha’s group was overwhelmed by the sights, the traffic jams and the chaos of this city of over 3 million people. Nairobi is home to thousands of Kenyan businesses and over 100 major international companies and organizations, including the United Nations headquarters for the UN in Africa & Middle East. While Nairobi is certainly one of the most prominent cities in Africa both politically and financially, it has areas that are not part of the city's success story. The section of the city called Kibera, with a population of more than 150,000 people live in extreme poverty, earning less than $1.00 per day.

Martha's Horizon Tour Group did not make this trip to experience the hustle and bustle of Nairobi and soon were heading north on a 350 Km journey to Samburu located on the banks of the Ewaso Ng'iro River. They started their travels in a jeep on paved roads. However the roads changed dramatically as did the landscape. The vegetation was a mixture of acacia, riverine forest, throne trees and grassland. The safari was a showcase of many species of wild animals and colourful birds.

One of the first villages Martha and the group visited was the Samburu village and they were in awe. They were greeted warmly by the chief, elders, women and children of the village. The group was invited to visit their homes made of twigs covered over with cardboard then plastered with cow dung. The second village visited was the Maasai Village where this Tribe reside. Once again, we were greeted warmly and the children came running, laughing and yelling out in their native language - Swahili. Martha recalls the beautiful smiles and the happiness of the children.



Within minutes of their arrival and the wonderful welcome by the children and the adults, Martha thought to herself, "I didn't know what having nothing really meant until now."



The Cole basement, garage, living room, family room, two bedrooms and the kitchen became the storage and staging areas for the goods they were gathering to be shipped to Kenya. Some of Wayne’s many job included repairing bikes, contacting potential donors, picking up donations while Martha cleaned and tested the 50 donated computers, 100 monitors, and peripherals and loaded the operating system and software on each computer. Nathan, Martha and Wayne's son, was also instrumental in successfully reaching out to donors.



People have been so generous, says Martha, "Wayne or I would get a call from someone we didn't know. They were told by someone who had been told by someone about our plans. They called to offer things that they knew we could use and some we never thought of such as dental supplies and sewing machines. It's been fantastic, and HE is making sure we have everything we will need." It's not just individuals, UWO, Matthews Hall, Goodwill Industries, Goderich St Vincent de Paul, Goderich Dental Clinic and so many other family, friends, companies and organization have supported us with goods, money and prayers.

"We are now able to equip 2 computer labs with 20 computer stations in two of the elementary schools in the AMS district."

It is February 2014 but a new challenge. They have found out, just in time, that some of the goods they planned to pack in the 40 foot container could be confiscated by the Kenyan Customs and would most likely hold the entire shipment for an indefinite period of time. This led to weeks of communications between the Coles, Africa Mission Services and the Freight Companies to ascertain what they must do to comply with Kenyan Customs regulations. New lists were drawn up and sent for approval and with each disallowed item, Wayne and Martha unpacked the boxes, removing the disallowed items and repacking, relabeling measuring and reweighing and relisting everything for the eventual bill of lading.

Now the Coles are on standby. They are certainly ready to embark on this mission of charity but they must wait for the green light from the Kenyan government stating that the contents of the container will be allowed entry into the country.

Martha has promised to keep Christian Life in London informed on their mission so we can provide you our readers with updates.

Good Luck Martha and Wayne - may HE watch over you keeping you safe and successful.
For more on Africa Mission Services check there website at www.africamissionservices.com