A lot has been happening in Kenya over the past few months and I want to take a moment here to give you an update. I know how easily we can be fatigued with needs from overseas, but I have appreciated the number of you who have continued to carry this on your heart and were able to help us alleviate their suffering. On my most recent trip I was asked multiple times about our friends in Kenya and how they are getting along. I am so blessed to know that others have them on their hearts and minds as well. And please, there is no guilt being offered here for people who haven’t helped financially. I know that not everyone has the margin in their lives to carry this, nor extra resource at this point to help them out. I do trust God to provide however he desires and am always overjoyed when he does. Just the other day we received a sizeable donation to help us catch up with the ongoing need there and it wasn’t even in response to any recent information. I love it when that happens because it doesn’t come from people who are motivated by anything other than what God has put on their hearts.
As to the orphaned children themselves, we’ve been given an amazing gift to help these young lives overcome the tragic death of their parents to find their way in the world. Yes, we realize God meant children to grow up in families, not institutions and have continued to encourage the Kenyans to think of this as transitional housing as they look for homes that could take in these children. Unfortunately, the area is so impoverished that families can hardly care for their own children, much less others. One family I know there has taken in 19 displaced children from the tribal violence and raising them as if they were their own. It’s just not available to all the children, so we are caring for those we can. Here is a recent picture they sent to thank the Lifestream family for being a conduit of God’s love and provision for them.
A few months ago we took an offering to help get some clothes for the children. They last about two years, but as with all our clothes, especially those you wear two or three times per week, they wear out quickly even as the children are growing out of them. We had lots of people send money to help buy the clothes, which were made by people locally and recently delivered. Here’s how some of those kids look in their new clothes:
Though the service station we helped them build as a way for them to help provide for the Living Loved Centre, it hasn’t been able to generate much income because the government closed the road for repairs shortly after completion. It has not been re-opened yet due to torrential rains that have slowed construction. They are now hoping to re-open in early January. So the service station has only been able to help with local needs and has not made anywhere close to the income projected. That has meant we have continued to carry the bulk of the financial load for the staff, provisions, and education of the children. The good news is that when the road reopens it will be a major thoroughfare that will bring in lots of traffic. They are hopeful when that time comes not only will they be able to pay the staff, finance the orphanage, but also to meet other emergency needs that arise.
One of those came this past week. A wife of one of the staff members of the Living Loved Center was in her eighth month of pregnancy when the baby died in her womb. It wasn’t discovered early enough and the infection had spread to her womb and her liver. By the time she got to the hospital she was in critical condition and despite their heroic attempts she passed away a few days later. The hospital bill for the baby and the mother totaled over $1500.00 US. In Kenya, they do not release the body until the hospital bill is paid in full. I guess that is their form of health care, because family and friends will chip in what they have to help this man het his wife’s and his baby’s body out of the morgue. They collected what they could in Kenya, and though I was amazed at what some of them were willing to give, it was not enough. We sent the remaining amount needed as soon as we heard.
It isn’t easy watching people you love suffer under such extraordinary conditions in a country so far away. But keeping them in my heart and before you has been a blessing to me. It widens my perspective about our own needs and struggles and sets them in a wider context that is helpful to gain perspective. Thanks again for those who also hold these children in their hearts and for those who give what they can to help these young lives.
As always, every dollar you send goes to the students themselves, we do not (nor do they) take out any administrative or money transfer fees. If you would like to be part of this to support these brothers and sisters and see the gospel grow in this part of Africa, please see our Sharing With the World page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560 Newbury Rd Ste 1 • Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.