Reberts begin work at Kenya school


August 31, 1998|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THIS MONTH, WHILE Americans anxiously watched news accounts of the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, Jerry and Lillie Rebert and their daughters Jill, 16, Heather, 12, and Leah, 9, left their Westminster home to spend two years as missionaries for Africa Inland Mission International.

Four years ago, the family spent one summer helping families in Kenya and Tanzania, and they had been working toward returning.

"You don't go this far to stop," Jerry Rebert said after the bombings.

The Reberts arrived safely at their apartment on the campus of Rift Valley Academy, a boarding school for missionary children where Jerry and Lillie work and their children attend.

Family members have been chatting with folks in Carroll County by e-mail. Jerry recently wrote, "Greetings from Kijabe, we have arrived safely and without any problems. We have been spending a lot of time getting settled in our apartments at the health center.

"Lillie has started working there this week. Next week is school orientation. The missionary kids arrive on Monday the 31st, about 500 of them. We will spend all of next week getting ready.

"This week we are hoping to get used to the many changes in our lives. The weather for one. It is winter right now and very cold at night. Many blankets on the bed. The only heat in our house is a fireplace. It is also the rainy season so most of the wood is wet. Sweatshirts during the day, coats at night.

"Another change is the altitude -- about 8,000 feet. The air is much thinner than we are used to. Jetlag has hindered us as well. We have remained awake at night and been very tired during the day. All of these make for some getting used to.

"I have been to Nairobi several times since our arrival and things seem to be fairly calm. I have seen the bomb area from a distance and was amazed that some of the buildings involved still stood.

"There is much sadness here as to all the Kenyans who have died. This was a great tragedy. Most American reports focus on how many Americans died without much say about the Kenyans. There were over 20 to one Kenyans to every American who lost their lives. Most families have been affected by this horrid display of terror.

"Well, that's all for now. In His Care, Jerry Rebert."

Throughout their stay, news of their missionary work and the children's accomplishments in school will be shared in this column.

Art workshops

Carroll County Arts Council will offer casual "make it-take it" craft workshops at noon on the first Saturday of every month for children ages 2 through 10. The council will provide supplies for seasonal craft projects that can be completed in 15 to 30 minutes.

"We had great success with these activities last fall, and parents have been asking that we set a regular time each month, when they can count on coming," said Sandy Oxx, executive director of the arts council.

"As a parent, I know that it is tough to drag my children along with me on my various Saturday stops without some sort of activity that they can look forward to also," she said.

The activities are free, and children must be accompanied by parents. Reservations are not required, and the first workshop is Saturday. Information: 410-848-7272.

Dinner and music

Three local Christian musical groups -- First United Presbyterian Church Choir, the Nichols Sisters of St. Paul's United Methodist Church in New Windsor and the Westminster Baptist Church Children's Choir -- will sing at Shepherd Staff's annual dinner and festival of music in October.

Last year, 8,515 people in 3,304 families received help from Shepherd's Staff, the Christian outreach center on Carroll Street in Westminster. The numbers increase each year.

In celebration of this ministry, Shepherd's Staff invites everyone to its annual dinner and festival of music beginning at 6: 30 p.m. Oct. 12 at Pleasant Valley Fire Hall. The evening will include an update on the ministry, a volunteer recognition presentation and lots of music.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 to 12, and free for children ages 4 and younger. Information: 410-857-5944 or 410-858-1604.

Lisa Breslin's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 8/31/98

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