Global Connections Rethink ing Humani t ar ian Aid
In This Issue 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
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LCC at a Glance Exciting News A Need for Godparents Scholarship Program Letter of Appreciation Highlight of my Trip Notes from Patrick, Brandy, Bobby Camp So Proud of Those Working Life House
LCC at a Glance The year has started off with a bang at the Limiru Children’s Centre. As you will see throughout the newsletter, a team of veteran Global Connections volunteers, and many new members of the Global Connection family, visited the LCC in January. The calendar year of 2015 was the first year I personally had not visited Kenya in more than 10 years. I was happy to return earlier this year and join the team for the last few days of their visit. A group of us stayed after the team left to work on GC and LCC administration. I have never been more confident in the operations of the LCC. God has been good. Because the population of Kenya continues to grow and products have become less available, the cost of everything in Kenya has dramatically increased. More than ever we need your support just to maintain our current programs. Please prayerfully consider increasing your support to the LCC or promoting our programs to your friends. Also, please continue to join us in prayer that God continues to bless GC and LCC in all areas, and please continue to pray for the lives of the children with which we are working. Everything we have accomplished sincerely would not have been possible without Him looking over our shoulder. As always, please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions. Sincerely,
• 72 continue to call LCC Home • 61 children ages 4-21
• 14 babies abandoned or given up for adoption
• 9 local adoptions and children and families are doing well
• 3 children have been reintegrated with their biological families
(with full LCC support)
• 27 Children graduated from LCC Preschools into Primary Class 1
• 10 of LCC Boarders advanced from primary school to highs school • 2 of the LCC Boarders advanced to Polytechnic institutes
• 6 Candidates are awaiting KCSE scores (high school graduate
• 75 children in 2016 LCC pre-school classes
• We have 6 KCSE candidates & 15 KCPE candidates (college) for the
• LCC providing an education for 252 children
• 47 food handout packages for the elderly, which allows children to
remain at home with their families
• 28 Employees
January team was a success! • Got 8 students ready to attend form 1
of high school and one ready to attend poly technic-beauty school. (Purchased everything from mattresses, sheets, towels, underwear, soaps, pajamas, uniforms, books and the list goes on!) •S everal construction projects – tire jungle gym, moved fence lines, cleaned roofs (with two ladders tied together!) •R eworked basketball goal – built outdoor shed near wash area for a washing machine, concrete work on steps
p2 | Spring 2016
•B irthday Party for Baby Centre
•W ork in Baby Centre (re-organize &
clean out) •B aby books ready for babies to give to adopting parents •C hurch & Bible Stories •R edecorate Library •P at’s Feeding Program •P laying & Playing & Playing
Exciting news Take a close look because this face that you see is the face of my NEW BROTHER. And no, my parents did not technically adopt (foreigners can’t adopt out of Kenya at the moment) but my parents have decided to sponsor a child from the orphanage that I worked at this summer. Being able to spend a whole month with him brings this sponsorship a little closer to home for me. My brother, he wasn’t the kid who was always in the hype of the action, but rather the by stander who seemed to take it all in. He was so content and happy to be with kids and to have an orphanage family who loved him. If there was ever a scraped knee or play yard accident, he was always the first responder. He is full of compassion. I mean, FULL. And his background story? It’s rotten and something no child deserves to go through, but again, I am constantly reminded that God cares for the orphaned and He cares for this boy. Many people are skeptical to “sponsor” an orphan, and 2 months ago I would have included myself in that number. But let me just say this-- the orphans at Limiru Children’s Centre are LOVED by their Godparents. I asked many of the kids while I was there “If you could visit any place in the world where would you go?” And their responses? Jackson, MS; Chapel Hill, NC; Houston, TX, etc. I was so confused at all the specifics, but when I asked them why those answers their response was “That’s where my family is!” Wow! Tell me that doesn’t bring joy to your heart and a smile to your face?! Now I know not all organizations are what they make themselves out to be and it’s important to do your research, but LCC and Global Connections - they are loving orphans well. As are MANY other organizations across the globe. These kids at LCC know about their families, they communicate via letters and receive birthday gifts in the summer! Of course, the ideal experience is to go over and visit your Godchild yourself. And it is my prayer my whole family can go over one day to meet our brother and we can all be TOGETHER. I am not putting in a plug simply to promote the name of LCC and Global Connections, but rather to encourage us all to act on James 1:27. This is not a calling that Christians can ignore. There are millions of kids who need more than just love, they need the love of JESUS. And if God has so graciously shown me and you, why are we not making a beeline for these opportunities? I know we can’t all act and do at the same levels, but we CAN simply do. So find what you can do to give others what God has so graciously given you. If you want to sponsor a child at LCC - let me know. I would LOVE to give more information about it. Maybe you want to seek out a children’s home in your area? Do it. Or maybe you want to host a donation drive to provide needs for these kids? Great; just do it. I am telling you now—your life will be greatly blessed by it. Be prayerful about it and be active. God needs His people in the grimy places of life. After all, that’s where Jesus spent His ministry. Mother Teresa once said. “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to make many ripples.” Casting stones isn’t something you typically associate with the positive, but in this case? Let’s start casting.
– Jenny Moorer p3 | Spring 2016
A Need for Godparents We currently have three brothers who need a Godparent. Won’t you please consider becoming a Godparent?
ROBINSON AGE 5
We also have several babies/cribs in the Baby Centre with no sponsor. Dear Friends, We are off to a good and busy start to the year! We have a full house with 13 babies, having just received a little newborn baby boy this week. It is a miracle to see these little people come into our care and a great responsibility for us. We thank God that He equips us daily to care for these babies. We know God has good plans for them and a purpose for their lives.
PICTURES FROM THE BABY CENTRE
p4 | Spring 2016
Many of our Global Connections supporters are familiar with the godparent program that pairs children at the LCC with parents/families who support them financially and also commit to surrounding the children with prayer. This is a long-term commitment; we have godparents who have supported their children through elementary school, high school, and are now supporting them as they pursue a college degree. The $100 monthly contribution largely covers the costs of the child’s education.
We have faced several challenges already this year – one very sick baby, another with epilepsy, unexpected expenses and the list goes on. We have much to be thankful for though. I am so proud of our team who has persevered and remained united and motivated to do their best, even though it is not easy. They have given much of themselves to pour into these lives and seeing the babies laughing, developing, and growing, is testimony to how they are caring for and loving them. We are hopeful that local adoptions will be up and running again in a few weeks. Several of our babies are waiting for families. Your prayers are much appreciated for loving families for them! Plans are underway for a new building
for the babies. We are so excited and hope that we will be able to fit in 15 babies comfortably. Please pray for the details and finances for this project. Thank you for your friendship, prayers and support. We certainly couldn’t do it without you!! For a more detailed report, please see my recent newsletter: http://bit.ly/babycentrenews. We thank God! He has been good to us and faithful through the challenges we are facing. Aren’t we blessed to have a loving Father who is interested in every individual life. Be blessed and Karibu (Welcome) to get some baby cuddles any time! -
ur LCC pre-school in Kamarithu is now nine years old, and the children who started there at the age of 4 or 5 are now being accepted to high school. These children have loving families but live in abject poverty. Through our donors, we are able to provide the children with a strong preschool education and foundation to be successful in primary school. Nine years later, some of our earliest students are performing quite well on the national exam and being accepted to high school. For readers who are unfamiliar with the Kenyan education system, all 8th grade students take a national exam and approximately 25% are invited to attend high school. But, high schools in Kenya are
generally boarding schools and come at a significant cost to the families. Even day schools require that families pay school fees. In a country where the poorest citizens earn an income of $1/day (approximately $350/ year), a high school education for their children is an impossibility but is the best way for their children to break the cycle of generational poverty. Global Connections would like to commit to awarding high school scholarships to children who have been a part of our programs at the LCC (including children of our staff) if they perform exceptionally well on the national exam.
I am Simon Irungu and 16 years old. Since I came to LCC my life changed and started being better. I have enough food and shelter; I hope God will bless LCC for what theydone for many. I am an artist, I love to draw, this is my God given talent and I will not stop serving God in it. I hope one day I would be famous of it. We have friends called Global Connections and they are helpful for us. Without them, I donâ€™t know where we could be. They have provided for us everything we need. Am going to high school right now and I will work hard to have a good life.
FIRST K-BRANCH PRE-SCHOOL STUDENT TO ATTEND HIGH SCHOOL Rachel Wangari Kihika received a letter of invitation from Kambui girls High School. She sat for her K.C.P.E last year and scored 325/ 500 marks and she went to a public school not private. She is the very first K- Branch K.C.P.E candidate and she did us all very proud. Rachel wants to pursue medicine and nothing else in future, that is her passion and dream and we wish her nothing but the very best.
Simon Irungu Limuru Children Centre is a good place to be and to grow up in. I love being a member of this family. I am grateful for all who takes care of us and I also pray for them for long last in this world. I would like to thank God and all who are a part of LCC. May God Bless you all. I love my family. Me, Patrick, I am a sportsperson. I like participating in any games and doing my best in school and also in life.
Patrick Kiarie p5 | Spring 2016
Letter of Appreciation I am Hannah Waruguru a fourth year student at the University of Nairobi studying Food Science and Technology. For me, the education journey has been long. It all started in primary school where I studied at Limuru mission primary school. I remember very well that by the time I was joining class one primary school education was not free and one was required to pay Ksh.7000 ($70 USD) in order to join. This was considered to be cheap. It proved very hard for my parents since by then all we had was a calf and it could not amount to that price. Nevertheless through God’s grace program I joined. From a tender age, I knew I had to work hard in order to get myself out of the poverty at home. In class one up to class three I did not perform as good but by class four I managed to top the class and from there on there was no looking back. I could read at night and borrow books from those who were from better schools than me. Being the best pupil in all the streams it lead to all of my teachers having a keen interest in me, which further accelerated my good performance. The game changer happened in 2006 when I was in the last year of primary school education. The finalist class was invited to my then dream school’s prize giving. This was something that had never happened before. On that day the principal of that high school promised to admit the girl who would score more than 380 out of 500 marks. I remember that night how I narrated the story to my mother that there was hope for me to be admitted at Loreto High school Limuru. My mom said I should go to an affordable local day school that my dream high school belonged to the daughters of members of parliament. It was impossible to think that I, the daughter of peasant farmer would join such a prestigious expensive high school. Nevertheless I continued to work hard. Finally I sat for the primary school national exam and I scored very well with a mark of 392. My teacher had no doubt that I would join my dream school but at home and in my mind I knew my fate was at the local secondary school which I was over qualified for. The teachers who so much believed in me went and reminded the principal of her promise and her response was positive. Now the only big problem was school fees since the high school was very expensive. By then my father had bought two cows and reared them in the hope that he would sell them and thus get school fees for the local secondary day school. The worst of the worst happened and even the hope for the local secondary school died because the two cows died and we did not know where to start. The same teachers got me a form for the needy at Limuru Children’s Home. I filled the forms and luckily I qualified as a beneficiary of LCC. Scholarship Program. This has been the best thing that has happened to me. The good grades I got in the secondary school education, national exams and all the opportunities I have gotten since I completed my high school I owe all to the LCC. I remember I was very shy and timid p6 | Spring 2016
in primary school but due to going to a good school I learnt how to be confident and express myself. This and the good grades earned me a job as an untrained teacher at a secondary school for the two years that I was waiting to join University. It has also been earning me part time jobs where I earn money to support myself in the course of my University studies. All these again I owe to the LCC. Words could never be enough to express my gratitude to the LCC organization for making my dreams come true and for helping me cross the most crucial part of my life that has linked me to innumerable opportunities. From the day I got that sponsorship I promised myself that I would never let LCC down by taking my education lightly. I have since known that I do not belong to myself rather I belong to the society where I have to work hard so that I can also help other people access education and a comfortable lifestyle. I am a true believer that once a woman is educated the whole society is educated and that’s why. In a special way I thank the Managing Director LCC MR. Patrick Mungai and the Committee for believing in me. I pray that God blesses the organization that it may last for a long time to be able to reach out to more children from poor families who I believe have the potential to soar high but are only limited by financial constraints. Kudos for the good work!!
Highlight of My Trip
oday was another Sunday spending at LCC I love being there on the weekend, because my Godchild George is off from school and we are able to spend time together. We had this awesome church in the morning! I love seeing part of this African life, especially feeling their soulfulness and relationship to God. Afterwards we played. George, Josephine and I tried to fix some bicycles – but unfortunately couldn’t make it. So we pumped up a ball and started with volleyball and soccer. And you know what? I honestly actually hate playing any ball games. But when you see the joy in these children’s eyes it makes you change your mind! In the afternoon, “Matatu Linda” took us to Patrick’s house to get milk for next
days breakfast. As we were there by 3:30pm and the cows won’t be milked before 5pm we had a lot of time to spend there. Most of it we spent in Rachel’s house, she had invited us into her living room, served bananas and told stories of her life. Even the kids were hanging on her words. I felt very blessed, to get the chance to experience another side of Kenyan life, to see how people live outside the LCC and to witness how the children take responsibility for me as their guest and also the milk. They even took me to the stable, where I was taught how to milk a cow – and yeah! I made it! And as a further highlight we named a calf, which is now “Antonio”. So, I really enjoyed that trip! I wish it could have lasted longer, because back at LCC it was time to say goodbye to my God-
e came in at night, but my first thoughts were how crowded the airport was with so many people holding up signs for the arrivers. We soon found our driver, David, who is as cheerful a man as you could ever meet. Later I came to think of him as the man who says “no problem”, and chuckles after every sentence. We drove the hour to Brackenhurst, our home for the week, and met Linda, who sent us straight to bed. Thank you! The next morning was spring like and we could see how lush and gorgeous this place is. Our room mates were friendly and we jumped into our routine and headed to LCC as soon as morning devo was finished and we discussed our plan for the day. You have lots of flexibility in how you want to spend your time at LCC. I had asked what
child George. And that really broke my heart! He has never shown so obviously to me how related he feels as when saying goodbye. He actually didn’t say anything but cried. I held him, and held him, and held him. And I cried with him in the knowledge we maybe won’t see each other again. What consoled myself a bit was that earlier today I had given him a guardian angel that had been blessed with holy water. For him it was a symbol of God. We tied it onto his bed, so he can always be watched, guided through life and feel related to God and me. Written by Marion Loibl in German and then translated into English.
Marion and George
– January 2016 Team
exactly I would be doing and was told “you will find your niche and God will guide you “. That is true. You might be painting in the library in the morning and reading to a toddler or washing dishes in the afternoon. When we arrived the first day, the cook was chopping spinach, the moms in the Baby Centre were cleaning up the kitchen, babies were playing in their high chairs or on a large mattress on a bench on the porch, and some on the floor; inside and out. The teens were on summer break getting ready to go to high school, and there was shopping and teaching to do to prepare them for their new life and challenges. Linda and the seasoned team members answered any questions I had and were great resources and encouragers as the days went by. They have lots of passion for this place and, yes, God is evident on the faces of the team members and on the staff. And the children! They all want to be loved and held and it’s hard not to just spend all day rocking a baby. We had some side trips to enhance our Kenyan experience: a visit to Miss Pat’s English estate with a tour of her gardens, Cheshire Home for disabled girls (where I bought a purse from the girl who made it), K Branch, Body of Christ orphanage, the country club for dinner, a visit to the tea fields, Miss Pats feeding program, shopping for shoes for one of the girls, 4 high school girls to lunch at
Brackenhurst. We even squeezed in a 2 day safari! At the Centre, we gave the babies a birthday party and lit the candles 4 times to see Jabali blow and wave at them, did a devo for the women at LCC, hung clothes on the line, washed dishes, pushed kids on the swings, sorted clothes, held a sick child while the mom got a break. The guys were busy with lots of projects and connections with the teens. The days were full and fulfilling. But the highlight of my trip happened toward the end of my time there. I found out that Mary, one of the high school girls, did not have a godmother. I told Linda I would email my husband at home and after prayer, we decided to take her! I was able to tell sweet Mary the day before she left for boarding school. I was able to spend time with her and we prayed together about her fears and concerns about being away from LCC. She prayed to “mighty God” with all her heart. Now I know why I came here. I came for Mary. You will be blessed and thinking of them after you leave with the sentiment “I thank God for every remembrance of you”. You will feel that you left too much work behind that you needed to do - yes, you did- but oh, you left a piece of your heart as well, and seeds planted that will sprout and grow in years to come. That is my prayer and it will be yours as well if you go.
- Keitha Haynes
p7 | Spring 2016
NOTE FROM PATRICK THE DIRECTOR OF THE LCC
s always, January and February are busy and interesting months in the LCC calendar. We had several kids who graduated from primary school to secondary school and this is a very big step in their lives and transition period. 3 girls and 5 boys joined high school and with the help of the MS Team led by Linda Holden, everything went well and very smoothly. It is a moment for the LCC and myself to watch these kids move on after having watched them growing up from little boys and girls who previously had no certainty as to their future. God has been wonderful as always and this is just one of many testimonies.
I am so happy for the MS Teams input in establishing a strong administrative approach to the general day to day running of the programme. A strong Team is in place to oversee the operations of the programme in various and effective ways. Accounting and Book-keeping is now done independently by David Kamau who is a qualified CPA Accountant with the help of our office assistant John Onyango. Esther who is a qualified Nurse is handling our medical needs and situations very well indeed. Lillian our Social worker with the support from Agnes are doing great and they are constantly on the move dealing with day to day related issues of the progarmme and children… I am so grateful for the idea of a youth programme (Life House) which we realize will be a great step in working to support our young boys and girls transition well into the society at some time in the near future. Besides the ordinary situations of Teens growing up with peer pressure, we have had to deal with some really serious situations but have been constrained by limited capacity to deal with related issues. Our youth seems to struggle trying to find identity and this becomes a real struggle for them.
’Life house’ is going to help change all this as it has a definite and constructive and holistic approach to meet these demands for the benefit of the youth in the programme. We still are blessed to acknowledge some incredible testimonies from several of them who have been able to realize something worthwhile about themselves in life and are working towards independence. The ‘Baby House’ is being designed now and hopefully we will see the beginning of the construction in due time. This again is apositive direction for the programme. It is very encouraging to see local support and Ms Rano and her family, who have been supporting the ‘Baby Programme’ are a blessing. We always need all the space we can get. Lastly, as we approach Easter celebrations, it is humbling to be reminded of the suffering that our savior endured and a reminder for us all to appreciate our purpose in life as we work with these children who have suffered so much. We wish every one of you wonderful people who continue to support this children ministry a blessed and reflective Easter Celebration.
Patrick – Director of the LCC
Letters from Brandy and Bobby
am very thankful to everyone at LCC and Global Connections for welcoming Bobby and I with open arms. We have settled in well and enjoy working with the staff and of course spending time with the children. To recap my first few months at LCC, December was a fun time spent getting to know the children and celebrating with many Christmas related activities and festivities. Since the new Kenyan school year began in January, the library has been a work in progress and has seen many upgrades. A HUGE thank you to the Global Connections team who were instrumental in organizing and transforming the library into a more user friendly space. As February comes to close, it is exciting to now be putting the library to good use. The children love reading books and having a study area to complete homework. I have also identified several children who are behind in their reading because of inconsistencies in their education prior to coming to LCC. Please pray for their learning and progress as I launch a one-on-one literacy program to help catch them up. Thanks so much for your interest in LCC and the prayers all of you send up on our behalf.
- Brandy p8 | Spring 2016
any things are happening at LCC that I am getting excited about. Since arriving here in late November we’ve gotten to know the staff and kids well and now feel very much a part of the LCC family. In December we held a short trial run of what our youth holiday programs would look like at the Life House. We had several community leaders come in and speak to the high school kids about what motivates them and they encouraged our kids to work hard in all they do. It was a great success! After the program was over, we asked the youth what they would like to change for next time and they all agreed and wanted it to run for the entire holidays. So we are planning now for April holidays and there is so much that can be done and included in the programs. We are excited to give our kids this opportunity to grow together in spiritual development, relationships with each other and learning practical skills that will help them later in life. We’ve also started a partnership with a local hotel and conference center, who are willing to give our older kids an opportunity to intern in different jobs at the hotel. We are working together to start a training program that would teach our kids the important skills they need to be a successful employee. Lastly, we are also close to securing a great property for our Life House Pro-
gram. The property we have found would allow for farming, raising chickens, and has enough space for different vocational classes to be taught throughout the year. Please pray with us that this all will work out smoothly, and that it will have a positive impact on the lives of LCC teens.
they called it “camp ”
hey called it “Camp” — a name Bobby had coined while giving the older boys a series of talks on Jesus. Henrique and I fumbled through ideas of studies on identity and community. Fears and doubts of not having the adequate knowledge to reach these kids overcame our thoughts. After an hour of this we gave it up. The Lord has a way of taking things over for himself when we humans toil and mess around for long enough. We placed our pens and paper down and prayed to the Lord to do His work in us, that His will would be done no matter what the outcome. Sometimes I believe we try too hard when we pray. We want the Lord to fulfill “our” desires, before we even take time to think what the Lord would desire. We felt the Lord in this moment of desperation. We knew no matter what the outcome. God was still God and that we were still human. As the six boys piled into the van, anxious and excited about the unknown, we told them that we were having a sleep over. I always find joy in other people’s joy; God designed us that way. I pray for moments like this, moments that we will have for eternity. Brackenhurst is like a different planet to these boys. As we pulled into the gates, I could sense the excitement of uncharted territory. It is their Eden. We found a nice spot in the shade and began our discussion on what it means to be human, to have an identity in the world and in Christ. The knowledge of the bible these 15 and 16 year olds have is better that 75% of the Christians I have ever met. Questions were asked about struggles in the world, in our life and with Christ. I could feel the pain vibrating off the boy’s bodies, resisting every attempt to dig a little deeper. The mind of these teenagers is a lot like a man walking in a forest at night, feeling his way with his hands, at each step fearing to fall into pure bottomlessness forever. I didn’t want to push it. So, Henrique had the great idea to do a team building exercise to get their minds off the darkness and off their pasts. I remember when I was a teenager. I ate so much food. I dreamed of food. I was hungry all the time. And for the most part I had more food than I knew what to do with and yet I was always hungry. I complained when I had to wait 15 minutes in the fast food line. I got frustrated when they got my order wrong. I was filled with unspeakable anger when two checkout lines at Walmart were the only ones open out of 20. In the
same thoughts I remembered my grandfather and how slow he moved in his garden. He would pick his tomatoes delicately with his calloused hands after longs days of work in the fields. I remember sitting in his lap waiting anxiously for him to cut the tomato so that I could try his prized possession. But he remained patient. Paying attention to the birds and the creation around him - he knew something that I didn’t. He had something that I didn’t care about at the time but would die for now. As the boys skimmed the menu for dinner, I was reminded of that day with my grandfather. I wanted the same peace the Lord gave Him. I prayed the Lord would show the boys that peace. I thought my cottage was big the first week I stayed in it but when 6 teenagers piled into it; it seemed to shrink. The boys took hot showers and tried out my extra deodorant I brought along. Once everyone settled down, I sat down in a circle with the boys, the same vibrating pain from before had returned. It’s like they knew what they had to do but they had resisted it for so long. The suffering of the body had become natural to them. So I decided to share my story. It helped. Simon said he wanted to share his story too. Then everyone followed. I began to feel a weight being lifted from our circle. All these boys really wanted was comfort, to know that they were going to be okay. In this moment, I knew how tightly tangled together we were although we came from different cultures, backgrounds, countries. We are all involved in all and any good, and in all and in evil. For any sin, we all suffer. That is why our suffering and grief is endless. It is why God grieves for us. I felt a grief that should have stopped the world for these boys but the world goes on. The mercy of the world belongs to time and we are connected together in a suffering love of Jesus. I had finally found that peace my grandfather had known. When the last boy had said his story it became quiet. I knew the Lord was there. There was nothing that I could say so I said, “I love you guys,” and let time have its day. Restfully, the sun creeps into place as it always does. The boys quietly slept. I never sleep much when I have such large responsibilities at hand, but the Lord gave me rest nonetheless. We had a simple breakfast of muffins and tea. The boys were still starving so I found some leftover popcorn that they devoured in five seconds. I have never seen a group collectively eat so much.
p9 | Spring 2016
So Proud of Those Working We are so proud of these working girls! Jecinta is working in the restaurant business – Hannah is a sewing teacher and tailor – Lucy is a nail technician - Florence is in the chef/catering business. Not shown: We have one in mechanics – one in beauty supply as a distributor assistant – one is a carpenter. And one is waiting an internship to complete a college course in journalism
he first time we met our godchild before she was our godchild we saw a light. On our first trip to Kenya, Patrick (head of the LCC) introduced us to a bright, driven, struggling tween girl. I will never forget that day. I don’t think either of us was prepared for the journey ahead. Fast forward to February 2016 on our last visit to Kenya. We were in hopes we would get to see Margaret, although she would be at boarding school. Agnes (one of the mum/ counselors at the LCC) agreed to go with us to navigate the way to Margaret’s school and speak with her principal to approve the visit. Lu (my husband), myself, Gina (a team member), and Agnes struck out on what I must admit was the bumpiest and dustiest ride I can remember. The whole time I was thinking that our sweet girl walks this trip when there is no ride home. After finally arriving at Margaret’s school, Agnes negotiated with school officials for probably 45 minutes before we got the ok to visit Margaret. School is a very serious thing in Kenya, as are unannounced visits. We finally saw the overjoyed and surprised face of our sweet child. What a happy occasion! I can t explain the joy we all felt. We got to visit for quite a while. She told us how she was doing well in her classes, enjoying friends, and lots of soccer (futbol). We discussed her upcoming tests, college, and possible career choices. Both of my boys are small. They of course are still at home and depend solely on us for most everything. For those of us parents who have not sent children off to school...wow the joy p10 | Spring 2016
and comfort you experience when you see them happy, healthy, and excelling in a boarding school setting is wonderful. Our girl, she is a light. She shines brightly. She’s an overcomer, a fighter, and an achiever. To see your children succeed and overcome such odds... that is a blessing. Gina and I asked for advice for encouraging the younger girls at the LCC that were about to leave for school. These words flowed from Margaret’s mouth, I would first tell them that the most important thing is to put God first and read your Bible. Then I would say do not be afraid, He will protect you. You should also choose your friends wisely, they will determine your path to success or failure. Then you should forecast your success; plan ahead to succeed not to fail. Gina and I both teared up over the maturity and inspiration this child was gifting to us. Let alone the love and guidance she wanted to send the other girls. We were able to say our good-byes. She was encouraged by seeing us and we were doubly encouraged by the mature adult we saw walk away from us. Let’s be honest. Not in the U.S. nor in Kenya do all children succeed. To
see one truly make it is such an encouraging thing. On the way home all I could do is turn to Lu and say, Margaret is really going to make it, go to college, and give back. Now I see the plan for our children at home and our children here. Serve God, love others, and work hard. We are thankful for the opportunity to be Margaret’s godparents. She has taught us more than we have her. She is going to make it. She is going to become gainfully employed in a field that helps others. She told us she wanted a job where she could occasionally come back to the LCC and give back to the place that gave to her. It’s truly a blessing to see her life work toward on our faith and our faith work in her life.
s our LCC children have begun to move from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood, it has become apparent that we need specialized programs to help them transition successfully to independence. We are excited to announce the development of Life House â€“ a transitional home for LCC high school students. We are currently in the process of renting a property that will house our teenagers and provide unique programming in a family-like setting. Kenyan house parents will be selected to live with the teens at Life House and will likely have children of their own. We recognize the importance of modeling a Christian marriage and â€œnormalâ€? family life for these youth. While the house parents may work outside of the home, they will have specific responsibilities including participating in family visiting days at the different boarding schools our teens attend during school terms, developing a plan for each child that uses a whole child approach (addressing spiritual, emotional, educational, and physical needs), and developing loving and supportive
relationships with all in their care. At this time, we estimate 10-12 boys and 10-12 girls utilizing Life House in its inaugural year. Most or all of these youth will be enrolled in boarding high schools and will spend the months of April, August, and December at Life House in addition to shorter school breaks. Life House will also be available year-round for LCC teens attending day schools or vocational training programs that are not residential. Life House programming will emphasize a parent-child relationship, healthy family/marriage dynamics, spiritual development, counseling, life skills, and entrepreneurship. We plan to offer Life House type programming to all kids at the LCC in increasing degrees as they approach high school. For the young children, this may include bible stories and vacation bible school type activities. For children in class 5 (age 10 or 11) and up, we would like to provide regular bible studies, prayer time, and other opportunities for spiritual and emotional development as well as career exploration.
We will also include important Kenyan elements in Life House such as caring for animals, gardening, cooking, budgeting, and other skills learned in a typical Kenyan household. Our hope is that this program will help us better transition our teens to independence and provide them with a strong foundation for adulthood. Bobby and Brandy Reese are working closely with Patrick and Lillian to determine an appropriate location and to outfit the house before the April school holiday. Bobby and Teacher David led a highly successful one-week retreat with the LCC teens in December and look forward to a month of similar programming with them in April. A very generous donor had committed funding what will support Life House for the next several years. If you are interested in assisting us financially in this endeavor, please designate your gift for Life House. We look forward to sharing pictures and personal stories in our next newsletter!
p11 | Spring 2016
Nonpro f i t Org U . S . P os t a g e
Pa i d Johnson City, TN
Global Connections Rethinking Humanitarian Aid
Return service requested Global Connec tions P O B o x 96 3 0 C o l u m b u s , M S 3970 5
In f o @ G l o b al C onn e c t i on s O nlin e.or g w w w.f a c e b o o k .c om /gl o b al c onn e c t i on s .or g 6 62. 327.4 676
Learn more at our website: www.globalconnectionsonline.us
Prayer requests • Life House for Teens • Babies Health
• Building of New Baby Centre • Students in their first year of
• Our Staff
Needs • Funds for Baby Centre Medical Bills • Sponsors for Cribs/Babies
• Godparents for three young boys • Funds for Pat’s Feeding Program • Borehole/Water Well at LCC
• Fund for “Shoeless in Kenya” Program • Toothbrushes
• Girls Leggings – Age 4-20 (no tights)
The children used old socks and legs of babies pajamas and had a blast designing and playing with their very own puppets.