Post by: Scott Pothoven – Currently in Africa with Bill Moore
After 16 hours of flying we were able to check into our hotel for about three hours of sleep this morning before our day began. Our first stop was with Martin Mutuku from Partners Worldwide. We visited a maize milling company just outside of Nairobi called Valleyland Millers. They are currently milling 25 tons per day and they are in the process of building another facility to increase their capacity to 100 tons. It was very exciting to hear of their past success and see their desire to continue to grow the business. They currently employ 20 people and that will increase as the new facility is open. Bill was able to add some keen insight to them as we walked through the new building helping them think through product flow, safety concerns and inventory control. We left feeling we had made new friends and trust there will be an opportunity for us to continue to support them in the future.
Our second stop was to see our good friend, Ruth Njeri, from Incas. This was our fourth time meeting Njeri and wefeel a stronger connection to her each time. She has built a marvelous business processing flour from amaranth and maize and is close to landing avery nice contract to supply some amaranth products to the government here. She is also very excited about some R&D work she is doing to develop new products for amaranth. Our main objective was to continue to deepen our relationship with her as she will be a key buyer of the amaranth we hope to grow in Fort Portal, Uganda this Spring. We also continue to remind her of our goal of one day being the packaging supplier of all the products she makes for amaranth and just let her work on the marketing and product development. It was great to see the smile on her face as we talked about that.
The final meeting of the day was a veryspecial meeting for me as Bill and I were able to have dinner tonight with Janepher Owino. Janepher is a native Kenyan but her son, David, married a cousin of mine two years ago. As we sat at dinner we were amazed to think how God had brought this meeting together. Two years ago I don’t think we knew we would be working in Africa, and I certainly didn’t know I would be having dinner with a relative of mine in Kenya to talk about Business As Mission. But, God knew it would happen and it is events like this that keep us encouraged because we know these are signs that He continues to go in front of us. We had a wonderful dinner and heard of the work she is doing with the farmers in her native village to help them grow amaranth, honey and fish farming. She invited us to come out to the village on our next trip and spend some time with the people there. Lord willing we can make that happen as we feel this is the way God will really use us to impact the people, through business and sharing with them the love of Jesus Christ. While many things are quite different here there are still great similarities. One of the most important for the work we are doing is that people only respond favorably to you when they trust you and know you love them.
We praise God for a great first day, and definitely look forward to a full night’s sleep! Another busy day tomorrow as we head to the Masai Mara to get our first look at the honey/beekeeping project.