I'm so glad you found us! We love to share our story of what the Lord is doing in and through our ministry in Kenya. If you are a reader, please click the link on the right-hand side and "Follow Along!" And stop back by anytime! Karibu sana!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Haven Meets Flomina

I took my five Haven boys with me to visit Flomina last week. We went to deliver Christmas gifts to the workers and buy food for the children. It was part of a whole week of learning about Christmas and giving to others.

First of all I explained to our auntie, Naomi, that the "employees" of Flomina have not been paid since last spring. So, to all of the workers, we gave gift bags of maize meal, chapati flour, porridge mix, sugar, cooking oil, soap, etc, along with some shillings equivalent to about one month's salary. (Thank you to all His Cherished Ones supporters!!!!!)
Then, I reminded the boys of all the food that they had eaten since coming to stay with me in Nairobi...beef stew, chicken, pizza, birthday cake, spaghetti.... We went into the kitchen of Flomina and they saw that there was no food for the children for that day. I think they are beginning to see how blessed they are to be at Haven on the Hill. Well, at least the older ones. The little ones were just excited to see the goats! (The goats bought by HFBC team last summer.) Godfrey can't wait to get the goats at Haven. (The goats from HFBC Middle Schoolers! Thanks guys!)

I left the kids there for awhile and went shopping with Sammy (the director) and Florence (the founder). We bought the food from the wholesale place and grocery story, then went back for the produce at a street shop.
All this food, which will last for about two weeks, was about $350. Yep, it will last just two weeks.

As usual, we had to stop by the baby house on our way out. They were outside eating lunch. Such sweet babies!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Christmas to the Haven Boys!

My sweet boys! They are getting to experience Christmas in a whole new light this year! They have a home, food, and family that loves them. And they are learning what Christmas is really all about.

My mom and sweet friend, Bev, sent Christmas crafts for them to do. Our first project was making a nativity scene. We read the story in their little pictures Bibles that the Shed sent then started building. They loved it.

We have the best staff! Naomi is our "auntie." She is absolutely precious. Our friend, Johnny, calls her the jewel of Haven. I see this scene often: Naomi on the floor playing with and reading to the boys. This is NOT a common picture in Kenya.
Then, on to the other crafts....we had to have a few discussions first. They had no idea what a stocking or a Christmas tree was. In America, we can talk to children about giving gifts and the representation of God giving the gift of Jesus. Well, these kids have never given or received gifts for Christmas (until this year!!), so they really do not have the same frame of reference. It's a whole different perspective. But they still enjoyed making them and hanging them on the wall. And it was a great beginning to other discussions to come.
Here are the boys at work...




Kelvin (pronounced like Kevin)

And the whole gang...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Remember Flomina

Remember Flomina? I wrote about this place before; it is one of the ministry sites of the HFBC team. Since they left, I have been visiting there and have just committed to taking it on as one of His Cherished Ones's focus ministries. Upon my last visit, I was utterly disturbed by what I saw.

When we arrived, I was struck by the gravity of their situation. A few young boys were filling containers of water and loading them onto a cart to take to the streets to sell. They needed the money to buy food for dinner. They had not yet had a meal that day, and it was after 2pm.
We spent awhile talking with one of the directors about their situation, then played with the children for a few minutes before going to the baby house. At this point, they have no funding, other than some designated monies for their building project and the minimal school fees of about 40 children who attend as day students. Their directors go out daily trying to find sponsors and donors. But there are thousands of others doing the same thing.

The staff who teaches and cares for the children are now volunteers. They were originally "hired," but they have not been able to pay them since February of this year. Because of their love for the children and knowing how valuable their presence is, almost all of them have chosen to stay on and continue their work. This is true dedication and it makes a huge statement as to the focus of this orphanage. His Cherished Ones is giving the workers a Christmas gift of a salary.

There are 82 orphaned children living at Flomina. Most children sleep 3 to a bed (twin bunk beds). They have one major meal per day, sometimes porridge for breakfast. They DO go to school, however, which is a huge opportunity of blessing.

You may remember the baby house from my posts a few months ago. There were 17 babies under the age of 2 living in a 30'x30' foot house. There are now 15. One whose parents are incarcerated went to live with a grandmother. One died.

What always strikes me when I enter that house are the faces of happy babies. Looking around at their situation and living conditions, how can they laugh and smile? What do they have to laugh and smile about? Simply, the love of Jesus. They are loved. Loved by those who take care of them and loved by God...and they obviously know it.
These babies need our help, just like the older kids. Their house smells of urine. The babies are cared for, but they obviously do not wear diapers. That is strictly reserved for the upper class. They had no plastic pants, so wet pants were just a part of the day. How do you keep 15 babies dry, especially when you have to hand wash everything? They take the best care of them they can, but it is just a sad fact: it is a bad situation.

His Cherished Ones will be buying some new beds for the little ones.

So, as you enjoy this blessed Christmas season, I ask you to remember the children and the caretakers of Flomina Orphanage in Nairobi.

Heshima Home Visits

I loving working with Heshima, the special needs center.
In front of the center, on our way out. Nellie (teacher), Rahab (OT), Mark,
Julius (Administrator), Victor, Lillian (assistant)

We recently did some home visits in the area. One of the major focuses of Heshima is to be an influence and picture of God's love in the community around us. We also want to impact as many children and families as possible.

Because we are still small at this point, we do not have the personnel or facilities to handle many children. However, we have already identified some of the children we will take as soon as we are able to expand. In order to keep them connected and be able to offer assistance we invited them to a clinic. Tracey, the founder of the center, pulled together her resources to organize for a clinic with a host of physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists.

So...we went to tell the families. Two of our students, Victor and Mark, went along.

(Left) We stopped at a shop before going into the area. This is nicer than the areas the kids come from.
(Right) Victor loved bringing his friends home. He was so cute! He didn't let go of us.

(Left) Mark and his siblings outside their house
(Center) Visiting Steve. A precious little guy. I can't wait until we are able to take him! He loves to grab my hair.
(Right) Going into one of the home areas

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thank You!

The kids of KK Corral of West Texas Cowboy Church made some fun gifts for my friends in Kenya. They made these adorable little bears and wrote special message to put inside their little pockets.

It was such a special thing for my friends here to know they are loved and prayed for by other children so far away.

Thank you, KK corral!!!

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