Jacky returns from Kenya
Through the Roof’s CEO, Jacky Oliver, travelled to the Nakuru region of Kenya in the second half of July to run some training sessions for pastors. Jacky spoke about the inclusion of disabled people, an idea which was particularly challenging to those working in an area where disabled people are often seen as cursed and are usually hidden away. Jacky also took the opportunity to include mental health issues in her training - the pastors had never heard teaching on this topic before. Those attending were very responsive to Jacky’s message of inclusion, and this will hopefully have far-reaching effects on the lives of disabled people in the area.
Unfortunately, Jacky’s hotel room was broken into while she was in Kenya, and her wallet, camera and other items stolen. A local church took up a collection and presented the money to Jacky - an amazing kindness from people who have so little themselves.
Carol Mills is Through the Roof’s Northern Ireland Co-ordinator and a teacher at Fleming Fulton school, Belfast.
Linda Head joined Through the Roof in the summer of 2007. Linda comes in two mornings a week, writing and despatching the weekly prayer email and helping process incoming finance .
Helen Goddard – Finance and Admin Assistant
Helen Goddard is our longest-serving volunteer, but has taken on an extra day working on book keeping, processing donations & Thank You letters and admin for the Vital Link newsletter. She also fulfils all our shop orders.
Anita Alner puts Vital Link on tape, reading from her braille version. She is another key cog in the Come Fishing machine and does many jobs that her sighted colleagues are delighted she takes over!
Touch down at London Heathrow after a smooth journey home. Glad to see our families. Fantastic trip + excellent team. 480 trained. God was in all we did.
Before we Left...
Before heading to the airport we took a quick trip to the America Latina school in the city. We saw Jose, a young man with learning disabilities who graduated from the school the previous year, and now has a paid role at the school. His co-workers say he has been transformed, just like that caterpillar I saw on our first day. We have trained 480 people and been blessed so much and pray that the seeds of what we have sown will be watered and will grow and bear fruit in the years to come.
Last day in Guatemala City
Our last day in Guatemala. Attended church service at El Camino. The church has a great ministry to deaf people – around 30 or so were in attendance - and so the lively worship songs were ‘signed’ using American Sign Language. The church treated us to lunch at Pizza Hut, next door, before we returned to deliver training to 30 people from the church. Encouragingly, one of the church Elders who was attending, was keen to volunteer for all the interactive stuff and all the delegates were very enthusiastic, asking loads of questions, and joining in with the practical activities. In fact the whole training session demonstrated being an inclusive church, because we had a double translation of English, translated into Spanish and also into sign language. Also Philippa, who is totally blind, interacted with deaf and physically disabled people and at the end of the training it was like we were all long-lost friends, with hugs all round.
Re-visited the children at Love the Child where Philippa sang to them, and we introduced Parachute games and some worship Action songs.
Delivered training to around 30 disabled children and teachers at a Rehab Centre in Guatemala City. Maria, the Lead teacher, is extremely forward-thinking in how the students are taught, including giving the children chores to emphasise that they all have a contribution to make.
In the afternoon we saw a disturbing view of Guatemala City’s dump, where hundreds of people – rejected by society - scavenge through the rubbish to try and find anything they could sell to earn a few Quetzales.