Kenyockey: Warrior for GodMay 2012
For many, hard work does not end at the close of a work day. Ken Yockey, facilities performance engineer at FSE's main office, not only serves FSE's clients well, but he also uses his abilities to help serve others.
In 1995, Ken met Daniel Osoi, a young man from the Maasai tribe in Kenya, through a Bible Camp in Milford, Ohio. Daniel became instant friends with the people of the Bible Camp, including Ken. "Daniel explained his vision for the Maasai people in Kenya and Tanzania," says Ken. "Out of those meetings, a mission's support group was founded: Faith Evangelical Free Church International."
Since the group's founding in 1997, more than 23 churches have been established, with more than 23 pastors ministering to thousands of Maasai people.
However, Ken and the others did not stop there. Kenya faces serious droughts that can last as long as three years, during which times Maasai people have lost livestock, and in some cases, human lives. The ministry requested Ken use his knowledge and education to help the Maasai people with the water shortages and issues. Through this effort, the ministry created a community development branch.
Ken visited Kenya regularly to gain a better understanding of how to help with the water problems. "It was during this time that I became very close to the Maasai people," says Ken. "I was adopted into the tribe, and later became a Maasai Elder and a Maasai warrior." Ken's name became "Kenyockey," pronounced as one word.
Through Ken's help, three wells have been established in the local Maasai villages. One in Bissell Town has the power to produce water for more than 8,000 people. However, the wells are very difficult and expensive to install. Most are more than 600 feet deep. The wells have to go through a permit process from the government, which is very difficult.
New water has just been located in a remote Maasai area; the well will need to be more than 800 feet deep. Ken is actively working to help raise money to fund this project.
Additionally, Ken is also working on an Eco-Farm project, which will help teach the Maasai how to grow food using drip irrigation. Using new water resources, Ken is working on yet another project in which the Maasai make adobe blocks from earth. The process is very eco-friendly and saves the trees that in the past were cut down to fire the brick.
"Working along with the Maasai has become my passion, and requires much of my focus," says Ken. "It has been very humbling to me to think that the Lord has chosen me for this divine connection at this particular time in history."
Ken is process of planning a trip to Kenya this fall to organize many of the projects that are underway and scout out new potential projects. In the meantime, he communicates with the Maasai teams via e-mail, and cell phones every week to two weeks.
"There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about my brothers and sisters in Kenya," Ken reports. "I am very blessed to be a part of what is happening in this part of Africa."