The Carmi Kiwanis Club held its regularly scheduled noon meeting on May 3, 2018 at the White County Farm Bureau Building. Club President Holly Healy opened the meeting with the Kiwanis Creed, Song, Pledge and Prayer. The 50/50 drawing was won by Steve Winkelman. Club guests were Bill Edwards, Mike Pfister, Megan Raber and Dorie Medler. President Healy asked for ‘Good News’ and Dan Drone said that he and Rod Matsel have completed the work on the Kiwanis Corn Cob Car and it is ready for parade entries. Hanan Issawi reminded club members of the One Niter that will be performed this weekend at Carmi White County Highschool.
J C Tinsley introduced Mike Pfister who gave a power point presentation on his mission trips to Africa. Mike stated that he has been to Kenya, Africa on four mission trips. He presented the club with photographs of churches, schools, roads, Kenyan people, street vendors, business buildings, and homes.
Mike indicated that the flight time from the states through Frankfurt, Germany to Nairobi, Africa is approximately 20 hours. Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya. From Nairobi he travels to the city of Kakamega the location of the mission church he serves. The weather is an average temperature of 85 degrees with no humidity, but it may rain every evening. The people are very aware of malaria and need medication to fight off the disease, but few can afford the pills and the disease can cause death. The people are also very cautious with the Black mamba which is a highly venomous snake in the region.
Unemployment is between 70 and 80% and for those who are employed they will earn from one to two dollars per day. Approximately 65% of the youth get an elementary education but very few are able to go on to high school. The incentive for the youth to attend school is to get lunch which maybe their only meal of the day. Many of the schools are associated with area churches which provide as much support as they can afford. A school teacher could earn as much as $300 per month.
Mike said that he stays with a host family which is the church pastor, his wife and 21 children. They have 5 children of their own and the rest have been adopted. Mike and the pastor travel the area to help those in need and go to their homes to pray with them about their health, family and finance needs. One of the area water wells was financed by Crossroads Church of Norris City that serves many people. However, most in the rural areas use the creek for all their water needs including drinking, bathing, laundry, and for the livestock.
Street vendors sell their goods of clothing, shoes, fruits and vegetables. One area business has a building that services cell phones and for a few cents can have your cell phone charged.
Mike stated that many families diet is beans and rice as this is all they can afford. They occasionally have chicken and beef tips. They live in homes that are very small, sleep on mattresses on the floor and most children do not have any toys.
Mike finished his presentation talking about funerals that typically last all day, the predominant language is Swahili, but some know English. Safety is not a problem in the rural areas, transportation is few vehicles, some motor scooters and walking as the rural roads are very poor condition. And Mike is very proud of his African nickname as the is called ‘monkey man’ as he does simple tricks with a stuffed monkey on a stick. He enjoys being with the people and passionate about the Christ he serves as he ministers to the people of Kenya.
In other club business, President Healy stated the next Kiwanis Club board meeting will be held at noon on May 9, 2018 at the White County Extension office. And the next week’s program will be Mentors for Kids.