This past term something interesting happened here at Rift Valley Academy.  It was Monday, February 27, and I had gone to Nairobi with nine other faculty members from RVA for a one-day educational seminar.  In the afternoon, there was a heavy downpour in Nairobi for about twenty minutes.  It was a bit unusual since it was not rainy season, and we had to wait for it to pass since it was rather deafening in the auditorium we were in.


I arrived back at RVA about 5:30, and Debbie, Jon, and Jennie told me about a storm that had gone through that afternoon.  I said, “Yeah, there was a major downpour in Nairobi too.”  They went on to say that a lightning bolt had hit the CB building (a main classroom building) shortly after 1:00.  Here is part of an email that our superintendent, Tim Hall, sent out:


This is an email to update you on our recent series of unfortunate events. During a recent intense unseasonal downpour, Rift Valley Academy was struck by lightning. The deafening explosion rattled windows and sent staff and students alike scurrying to find out where the lightning had touched down. A visiting team of technology experts working in the main computer server room testified that the entire room lit up. Fortunately, no one was hurt and there was no structural damage to our building that was hit. Our electrical protection system setup to protect our computer network prevented the surge from entering our network from the power side. Unfortunately, the surge did somehow enter through the data side impacting many critical pieces of our distribution equipment.


What I found out later was that the wiring to ground such strikes as this had been disconnected because the building was under construction.  The lightning followed part of the computer wiring system to pass through the building and affected our entire computer network system across the campus.  We are so thankful that even though so many people in and around that building saw bright flashes and effects, no one was hurt.  Praise the Lord!


But, our communication with the outside world has been severely damaged, and we are still in the process of recovering (two months later).  We apologize for our lack of communication this past term, but there were some unusual challenges.  We are going to try to catch you up on this past term, so hopefully in the next few weeks you will hear more from us.


Much love in Jesus,

Ed, Debbie, Jonnie & Jennie