The butler did it. And, because he did it, literally thousands of Kenyan lives were transformed positively. Sandy Mulcahy’s life took a turn for the better, as well. That’s what happens when you do unto others. Here’s just what she did …
In 2010, Sandy and her late husband Bud spent their 50th anniversary touring South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya. It was in that latter locale that their butler at the Masai Mara Kenya safari lodge told them about a dire situation: Just to have water for his family to drink, his wife had to travel by donkey with containers to fetch it. It was a long way there. It was a long way back. It was that way for everyone in the village.
“The realization of homes without water was stunning,” Sandy recalls. “My husband had lived on a Seguin, Texas, farm for his first seven years without running water. He exclaimed on the plane between Nairobi and London, ‘We will return to drill a well.’ Our contact with our ‘bush butler’ was key.”
Their quest wasn’t immediately embraced by many at first, so they created a website to solicit help from like-minded care givers, and soon the money began arriving.
“When we returned to Kenya to drill the first well, the community had built a Christian school named after my husband: Tilibei (Clean water) Bud Academy,” she says. “We did a second well near the first well, at the suggestion of the Minister of Parliament from Bomet County whom we got to know. She became a friend and supporter.”
Ultimately, Sandy and Bud, who split time living in Arlington and Colorado at the time, would find the resolve and resources to spawn the creation of nine wells for their new friends. Though Bud has since passed, Sandy carries on caring for her adopted homeland. And while she gets the lion’s share of the credit, she says it should go elsewhere: “Projects have been unbelievable because God orchestrated them in ways we could never have imagined.”
To wit, one team member, Greg Smith, who was a recovering alcoholic of 22 years, at the insistence of the Governor of Bomet County, spoke his “God” story all over the area at soccer tournaments set up by the governor, covered by national TV and radio. “From that response, we built a rehab center, took a seven-man team of doctors and nurses from Carrolton, including Dr. Yong Chang and nurse Samantha Suh-Lee, to do a week of free clinics and medications,” she says. “We have held countless conferences to train women in skills to make an income for the ‘families,’ using Kenyans as the teachers and providing the materials they need. Our key teacher, Rose Kudate, is a Masai lady who is a School Director of 17 Schools in a nearby town. Also, we have held conferences for local Kenyan pastors providing Christian theologians. We are currently having a survey done for our 10th well at Tenwek Hospital, the largest facility in Kenya, whose motto is, ‘We treat. Jesus Heals.’”
Most recently, there have been two training sessions for a new project called “Bucket Ministry.” The families learn how to care for and filter water in 5-gallon buckets, which will provide 1 million gallons of clean water for 10-20 years for 30 families comprising 241 people. All of this happened because of a fateful engagement with a butler in 2010.
Since that occasion, Sandy, who lives primarily here now, has made eight trips to Kenya. “My heart is there,” she says.
Truer words were seldom spoken.