Today we are having an Irish Lunch that is part of a fund raiser for Esther Children’s Home in Kissi, Kenya. As most of you know, my call and passion is children. The Lord showed me when I was 9 years old that I would go orphanages in Africa and the Andes Mountains and I would marry a pastor. He has given each of us a call, a passion and a heart for His people. We each then go forward with the calling He has for us. The church family is a Body with many members, we each do our calling and part to have a healthy Body. Yet, we all work together as a body works together to help others in any way we can. It’s an amazing oneness when we each do what we believe is our part, then pray for and help one another in their part. Usually, more than one part of the body is working together with other parts in everything that is happening. We always honor, respect, care for and support each individual part of the church Body just like we do our physical body. Here are a few various verses in 1 Corinthians 12 from the Passion Translation.
“Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us…..There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”….All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.”
I met Vincent, leader of Esther Children’s Home, in 2007 at a Faith Ministries Conference in Nakuru, Kenya. Many people flock you when you go there and ask for support. Vincent was the sincerest young man I talked to. He didn’t high pressure, manipulate, or beg. We just connected. He was 32 at the time, the same age as our daughter. He is now 48. Never in 15 years of us supporting him has he been disrespectful or has he used the money in the wrong way. He and his wife, Alice, keep an account of everywhere the money is spent. We are so blessed to partner with such responsible, trustworthy young people. They communicate with us once or twice a week.
Vincent and Alice have an arranged marriage which is very common. Alice had a heart for the many orphans in Kenya and had taken a few into her home. Vincent’s mother saw what Alice was doing and told Vincent he was to marry her, so he did. They had about 12-15 orphans in their home when we met. Their home was small and they needed to expand for the children they had plus the many more that needed help. Vincent and Alice were also both pastors and had a church. They have a heart for God and Kenya. We have been there several times and have given the funds they needed to build rooms for the children, toilets (not everyone in Kenya is blessed to have a nice outhouse), a chapel, school room, kitchen and more. Vincent has been through Bill and Lenah’s Bible School as have many of the youth been through their youth program. They are changing the way Kenya sees and loves God.
We have supported Vincent, Alice, their 3 children (Eddie, Mona and Robin😊) and the other children for 15 years now. We send them funds weekly ($500) for food and necessities, extra $200/month for medical insurance and made a commitment when the first child went to Secondary school 11 years ago, that we would help them get the best education they could by helping with the school fees. There have now been about 12 that have completed University and have good careers. The primary way we are able to feed them each week is through sponsorships. Our sponsorship program about dwindled away with Covid and it is also harder for us to promote sponsorships when we haven’t been there for 4½ years. We have given them the same weekly funds and have had the same sponsorship program for years, even though the economy has changed. But they are thankful for all we are able to give.
We are wanting to have every child sponsored and prayed for this year. I do have current pictures and would like each picture to be on someone’s refrigerator😊 The average sponsorship is $25/month/child. Costs have increased but we will send whatever we get to help with daily needs. The sponsorships are a monthly commitment for daily needs and not for school fees. School fees are a once-a-year gift for schooling. Their school year is January – November. We have only sponsored a few so far this year to go to school and we will continue to do what we can before they get further behind in their studies.
Our next goal is to help Vincent build a chicken farm so they can support more of the expenses themselves. It is a $6000-8000 project but we know our God is able to help us help them. This will be so good for the children to work for their needs and not just depend on others. That’s the attitude Vincent is wanting to instill in them so they can be a part of building Kenya and not be a burden.
We have prayed and believe we are to go there in late November- early December. It is usually about a 2-week trip and we would leave around Thanksgiving. We are working on details and we will have a general meeting for anyone believing they are called to go then in a few weeks. It is an amazing time and a life changer. Thank you for praying for these beautiful children.