We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty. Mother Teresa
I can tell you that when God put this dream of coming to Kenya and opening a children’s home on our hearts, I never imagined all that would come with it. God had led us to this far away land to love and care for orphaned children. Joseph and I believed in this call with all our hearts. As a family we set out to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I was so energized by our cherished aspiration; I just knew that if we set out as a family with God’s leading we would be unstoppable.
Oh how naive I was. So naïve, I never knew that by following God’s call that I would have to make huge sacrifices; for example sending my son to boarding school, which Joe and I said we would never do. That our marriage would not stand the test of time and I would have to go through the most heart wrenching difficult time in my life-a divorce while away serving God.
I guess I thought we would have all these children that no one cared about, and that we could make it all better for them. Little did I know that I would be dealing with not only orphans, but also with children that had been brutalized; physically and emotionally abused, sodomized, raped, and abandoned. These are issues that I had only read about in the newspapers, issues that happen to people you don’t know, but they have become commonplace for me these days in Kenya. I did not think about what it would mean to care for and love children who are sick and who die right before my eyes.
I did not know, or fully appreciate, all the horrendous issues that these children deal with. I did not understand the extent of the emotional and psychological scars that need to be addressed in their lives especially as they grow up. Scars and burdens that a monthly sponsorship and a meal just won’t fix.
“The cure for all ills and wrongs, the cares, the sorrows and the crimes of humanity, all lie in the one word ‘love.’ It is the divine vitality that everywhere produces and restores life.” Lydia M. Child
I know now that cute little street boys grow into angry young men. Young men who have been tossed away like rubbish their entire lives. These are young men who have had no parental love, support or guidance. Their needs as children were never met, and most adults in the lives have failed them in every way imaginable. We wonder why they disappoint us or lie to us (their sponsors and supporters) and we find ourselves not extending grace but throwing them back to the street in frustration. These are young people who have been fending for themselves, and looking for someone or something to hold on to, all of their lives, and I did not know that would be me.
I did not know that some days I would feel like I am drowning or that I would lose sight of the “The One” who sent me. My head would be spinning some days as I try to figure out how this will all work. All of these precious lives in my hands. I never envisioned that five years later I would be here in Kenya by myself-this was supposed to be a three-year plan. Yet here I still am standing on God’s Word.
Often I find myself asking God why? Why do these atrocities happen to so many of “Your beloved children? “You are their Father? Aren’t you?” But then I know it is you God who is waiting for us to do your work. You are waiting for the body of Christ to carry these burdens. I know that it is “You” who is waiting for “US” to notice these children who are suffering physically, mentally, and spiritually. When I see what these children and young people carry with them everyday, I know it is only the unconditional love of God that can make them whole so they can begin the healing for the generations to come.
SOHK strives to help the children of our community. Every Sunday we feed them spiritually and physically. Many children come weekly sick, shoeless and hungry. We try to meet their needs as we can and YOU are part of this! SOHK is a light in their often bleak lives.
When I am overwhelmed and feeling inadequate, when I feel the need to justify all that has been personally lost, I remember that “You” are in control. Your Word say’s “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I have faith in that promise. I believe this is true for all of us. In spite of all the suffering and heartache I know you have a plan for all of us. I just have to be open to your plan, and give my future to you.
So, what is the answer to all the unspeakable atrocities of the world? It is love, counseling, care, and education. But most of all, It is faith, hope, and Love…. because as your Word says “ And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 cor. 13:13 and we all know that YOU are LOVE! So the answer is YOU…it is Love!
I am encouraged by all of you who continue to give to the work that is being done at Springs of Hope Kenya (SOHK). Lives are being changed; children are being healed and made whole through the love and counselling they receive at SOHK. Young people are being educated. They now can see hope in their futures. I am so inspired when I hear the encouraging stories of the women and men who are being trained to sew at “Bagamoyo.” (our sewing project) All of these people are living with HIV/AIDS. They were so down on life and living, but now they are working and being trained to sew. They are all living promise filled lives again. All of this is worth every tear shed and all the heartache that I have experienced thus far.
God, I pray that you continue to encourage the sponsors of Your great work here at SOHK, so the work You have put before us-to help transform lives of children in Kenya can be carried out to completion.
How you can help?
- Please pray for SOHK, Our children, and projects and all of our staff.
- Consider sponsoring a child: Sponsor a child.
- You can make a one-time or monthly donations to SOHK. Your donations go to supporting our children with food, clothing and an education and medical needs. Click here to: DONATE NOW
- Sponsor a “Bagamoyo” Party at your home in July, August or December or January. We are so proud of this project and the products we make. Every time you buy a bag or have a party for Bagamoyo you help a person living with HIV/AIDS support themselves and their children. Our goal is to help them live healthy lives and to prevent their children from being the future orphans of Kenya. Read this story to see what it is all about: Terri’s story or Lillain’s story Email me at Bagamoyosohk@gmail.com
- Become involved in our new project! We need to start our eco-tourism camp (“Thorn Bush Camp”) so that we will have one more way to become self-sustaining. This project will help support our children and their futures. We will also train and hire former street boys to be employed at this project. All funds will also go to help in educating our children and to assist more orphans an vulnerable children in Kenya. This project has 3 phases. 1st Building Phase is $7000 USD, 2nd Phase is $20,000 USD, and 3rd phase is $10,000 USD you can donate to this project through our GENERAL MINISTRY FUND.
- We are in need of a generator at our sewing project. This would be approximately $500 USD. DONATE
- Our children would like some bicycles. We have 40+ children so we would like to get them 8 bikes to share we need Approx. $800 USD. DONATE NOW
Love & Peace,
All donations are tax deductible and can be paid via credit card, paypal or bank draft directly through your own bank.
You may also mail your donations to the following addresses:
SOHK Cypress Meadows Community Church
2504 Southpointe Dr or 2180 N Mcmullen Booth Rd
Dunedin, Fl. 34698 Clearwater, Fl. 33759
All donors who provide a valid mailing address will be sent a year-end tax statement. Contributions to Springs of Hope Kenya are tax deductible as allowed by law. SOHK is a 501(c)3 non-for-profit organization.