Mission & Stewardship

Strangers in Kenya


Vacation day at the Elephant Orphanage
Vacation day at the Elephant Orphanage

It’s been months and months since an update, and since most of you have been partnering with us in this journey for many years, you can guess what rhythms of life we’ve gone through. Graduation in July…then the manic moving of dozens of old Rift Valley Academy (RVA) families out of houses…and then the manic moving of dozens of new RVA families into their houses for 2014-2015…and then a smidge of family vacation time mixed with a lot of preparation time for our upcoming school year…and then the new school year began in late August…and now here we are already–five weeks into the school year. Ironically, it’s taken a few sick days to slow me down enough to write this email, so HOORAY FOR ILLNESS! 🙂

Graduation day with student and parent
Graduation day with student and parent

Our family is doing very well, spiritually–relationally–emotionally–and even physically (except for my little crash right now). We are so grateful for God’s obvious presence in the work we’re doing here with missionary kids. The prayer requests are pretty normal, so I won’t take this time to go over the same old, same old. Instead, I want to share a new thing that you’ve probably never prayed for when you thought of the Murphys at RVA—technological infrastructure. In our attempts to be modern with our educational techniques, our school moved to one-to-one technology for our entire high school this year (meaning every student has a personal laptop computer). With that, we are putting more and more course material on Moodle (our digital classroom), and everyone is gradually implementing more and more technology into our curriculum. We’ve been wireless as a campus for about four years now. This is the good news, but (and there’s always a “but,” right?)…the web of technology often is sticky for everyone. Teachers in the U.S. (or even those of you in the business world) know that technology doesn’t always work like it should. Our problems here start with the electricity, though. Our electricity as a campus flashes on and off (sometimes for minutes, sometimes for hours) at least twice a day. Each flicker causes various components of our system to go down. Next, we’re reliant on a Kenyan company for our Internet. That feed slows down or crashes on at least weekly basis. If all other elements are functioning, then sometimes we have normal hardware problems, like laptop maintenance. To say our technology is fickle is an understatement.

Heather and Claire riding Somali Ponies at a nearby farm
Heather and Claire riding Somali Ponies at a nearby farm

However, we have attempted as a school to be “modern” and rely on this technology day in and day out, in order to prepare our kids for the “real world” of American, European, or Korean universities and work forces. We’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, unfortunately, due to our African context. (Or to keep the World Wide Web analogy going, we can get ensnared by the web that we ourselves have spun.)

New prayer request: pray for functioning technological arms. Pray for the team of four guys who oversee the technology needs of 500 students and nearly 100 staff. Pray for wisdom in creating affordable but stable technological infrastructure. Pray for our students’ education as we attempt to teach them the content, skills, and methods for acquiring information in this new age.

Thanks so much!
Ryan for Heather, Micah, Asher, and Claire

Skype: africamurphy (free calls!)
Blog: strangersinkenya.blogspot.com/
Book: facebook.com/africamurphy (new)
Phone numbers: Ryan 011-254-732-891349 and Heather 011-254-732-856857
Facebook: find recent family photos or search Ryan-Heather Murphy; add us as a “friend.”
Africa Inland Mission address for financial support:
P.O. Box 3611
Peachtree City, GA 30269-7611
(Checks should be payable to Africa Inland Mission)
Field Address:
Rift Valley Academy
Box 80
Kijabe, 00220
Kenya, East Africa