Mission to Kenya 2005

Saturday, January 15, 2005


We drove in several cars out into the rural area around Meru where we met up with Marilyn Benchley - an American Methodist elder with the NW USA conference. She is from Richmond, Washington, USA.

Marilyn settled in Meru in 1990. Under her supervision, Kenya Methodist University (KEMU) has just purchased a coffee farm which we toured. She helped form the Kenya Methodist University Development Association which will process and sell the coffee (as well as the vegetables and fruits growing on the land) as a way to raise funds for KEMU.

KEMU previously was a vocational school but became a university 7 years ago. It started with 7 students and today has an enrollment of over 1,000 students.

The farm is 80 acres ands they took possession last September. It was rundown (all bush) and now it is beautiful They managed through donations to purchase a tractor. They have planted 1,400 trees and plan to plant 100 times that before they stop (this area used to be forest and has been cleared in recent years).

It will be a research facility for the undergraduate and graduate agriculture degree programs at KEMU. They have 20,000 coffee trees and we picked coffee beans and learned how coffee is made. There is a farm house that house 8 to 10 and will host VIM teams in future years.


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