Completing the Work God Gave Us
Fifteen years ago, God linked our hearts with a group of believers in Kenya who had been captured by the message of He Loves Me, even as they were caught in the tribal post-election violence that ravaged Kenya in 2008. When I met Michael, he had already taken a dozen parentless children into his home to raise among his family. We helped them care for the widows and orphans who had been displaced and even did small business loans to help them start income-generating activities. We also built a petrol station, so the profits could continue to meet these ongoing needs. Today, only six children remain in that Living Loved Center, and the facility will soon be repurposed for other needs.
Over the next decade, our involvement escalated there as they discovered more than a hundred thousand people in West Pokot, dying of hunger in a drought that had destroyed their nomadic way of life. We sent relief and medicine immediately and eventually drilled wells and started irrigation projects to feed them in an ongoing way. We also helped them start schools to teach their children, and coaches taught them all about hygiene because the lack of it was causing ninety percent of their diseases. The Gospel also took root among these people who had worshipped their ancestors for previous centuries.
We also began an enterprise to buy and store grain at harvest time and re-sell it later to generate income for ongoing relief work. We also helped a new school Michael’s wife had started in a forgotten community to educate children who were not in school. Later, a flood destroyed the school’s water supply. We helped drill a well so vast and pure they could also give free water to the entire community and bottle it to sell to generate money for the school. Then, one year ago, over 300 children were abandoned on the steps of the school by alcoholic and desperate parents who could no longer care for them. We spent over $400,000 in 2022 to buy land and build a rehabilitation center for their care. We added more to the grain enterprise to pay for their food and education, and have now posted a bond to ensure their health and higher education.
For the past five years, we have felt the season was coming to an end where we could help them with these large projects. We did not want them to become dependent on Lifestream but learn to trust God as their provider. We have left them three income-generating enterprises as tools for God’s provision. Over the last fifteen years, more than three million dollars have flowed from the Lifestream and The God Journey audiences to these needs. Not only had we never envisioned that this would be part of our mission in the world, but we were also continually shocked at how generous you were with their needs. Every dime you gave ended up in Kenyan hands. We took nothing out here for administration, or financial and conversion fees.
Incredibly, this also coincided with Jesus inviting Sara and me into a new season personally to live more simply and more focused on the journey God has for us. While we will stay in touch with our friends in Kenya, we are grateful to lay down this mantle of helping them find the resources they need for their work. The needs are still great there, but we trust that Father will have other ways to care for them. (If any of you reading this feel a nudge in your heart to pick up that mantle, please get in touch with us, and we will link you.)
Even more remarkably, this season-ending came from their hearts as well. Earlier this week, we received the following correspondence from those who have been our partners in Kenya:
On behalf of the Kenyan family, we wish to thank you for the great support of pouring your love, prayers, and resources into every area of our lives for over 15 yrs. We send our sincere gratitude to every individual, couple, and family for their sacrifices that have touched so many lives.
Your help rescued many dying families in Northern parts of Kenya and Turkana , through humanitarian aid, health, relief, and long-term solution – through irrigation and soft loans. Also, you helped orphans starting from Living Loved Orphanage, Forkland school, and now Rehabilitation Centre for expansion of the land, buildings, food, and bedding.
You brought hope to the hopeless and rescued the destitute with tender-loving hearts, and you helped us with long-term solutions – a water bottle company, grain enterprise, and petrol station. You have helped us reach the place where we can now stand on our own and use the resources you provided to continue moving forward. Only one thing we may need from you is prayers for wisdom and understanding that we may continue encouraging others with the same love you have taught us.
God connected us when we could not know how to move in the midst of an institution that was focused on buildings and organization. Your books and materials really changed our lives and the love of many, and we now understand intimacy with God and the Father’s affection for us. We shall be downloading more materials from the Lifestream website. May the Lord bless you so much for guiding, correcting, and pouring your love toward us.
We have now winded the projects in Kenya with great love and joy. All your deeds will remain in the book of remembrance with all of us here forever. As we end today, your support for our projects over here, we continue to love you, pray for you, and continue communicating with you in spiritual matters.
We will not return to ask for funds for any projects; now we are able to stand for ourselves. Thank you for your great support and sacrifice.
Michael and Thomas
We have many mixed emotions about this shift of season, but the pathway seems clear to us. We were part of an amazing miracle of God’s provision and their generosity to bless others in their country in more need than them. Your generosity has changed the lives of many people, and we have been honored that God would ask us to be part of something so extraordinary.
We still have a few thousand dollars left over in our Kenyan Fund and we will be sending that for whatever future needs they might have. If you would like to add any money to that as a parting gift and added resource as they make this transition, please let us know in the next few days so that we can send it all together. Beyond that, we will keep the fund open should people have it in their hearts to share in the ongoing needs there, but Lord willing, we do not plan on raising funds for any large-scale future projects there.
If you want to join us in this donation, please see our Donation Page at Lifestream. You can also Venmo contributions to “@LifestreamMinistries” or 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.
What can I write to end this posting? I know their hearts have been touched by your generosity; I want you to know how much Sara and I have been touched as well. To watch vast sums of money go through Lifestream to meet these needs in Kenya has blessed us beyond words. He did so much more beyond anything we could have asked or even imagined. It has saved so many people and offers Kenya a wealth of young men and women grounded in Father’s love to be his witness in that corner of the world.
When Paul and Barnabas returned from their first missionary journey, they reported to the church at Antioch that they “had completed the work God gave them to do.” We celebrate that now with you and our Kenyan brothers and sisters. We have completed the amazing task he gave us through his incredible mercy and strength. Generosity upon generosity is a great gift to put into the world. Thank you for being part of it with us.
Now, we commend them to the Father’s mercy for whatever purpose he has ahead for them. We pray he will guide them with his love, hold them in his grace, and make a way for his kingdom to be revealed through them. We are grateful to have been part of it and to have left nothing of Lifestream in Kenya except the fingerprints of Father’s love.