Entries in Kenya (54)
The past few weeks have been very busy for the staff at the New Life Home -- they admitted a record 18 babies! The New Life Home has a special ministry of nursing abandoned babies to full health. Most of the infants in their care go on to be adopted by loving families.
Please join us in welcoming some of these sweet babies with prayer and thanksgiving!
Meet Alfred, a precious young boy found abandoned in a district hospital. Because Alfred’s mother was HIV positive, Alfred has started the anti-retroviral drugs that have been so successful for other babies at the New Life Home. Upon admission, Alfred weighed 5.7 pounds. With his glossy head of hair, Alfred continues to be the picture of health.
Young Jed was not very happy when he first arrived at the New Life Home, but he soon got over his distress. Weighing almost 9 lb. with a small umbilical hernia, Jed was left at someone’s door in Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya. The staff is pleased he is so alert for his age.
Abira was abandoned at a secondary school and was taken to the local police station. Although her skin was chapped and sore, she weighs a healthy 7.6 lb. and is in stable condition.
Leo was found abandoned near a local primary school. He is on antibiotics for a respiratory infection and is already putting on weight. The staff at New Life Home is enamored with his soulful eyes.
Kathleen is a sweet girl who was offered up by her mother when she was just 3 days old. At just under 6 lb. at her admission, she is a healthy girl.
Irvin has had quite the journey. Abandoned by his mother late last year, a Good Samaritan found him and took him to the police station, who instructed her to care for the child. She did so for several months. When a social services office heard his story, they took Irvin to the New Life Home. He arrived at over 16 lb., a very strong and healthy boy.
If you are interested in supporting the work of the New Life Home and the care they give these little ones, please consider making a donation today. We praise God for the way He provides for children society often overlooks. What a tender Father we have!
At One Child Matters, we get to work alongside God as He intervenes on behalf of a child. The way He interceded for tiny Benjamin is nothing short of amazing -- so much so that when an MSNBC reporter learned of it, she had to share it, too!
How do you see God's character in this family's story?
This is a story that has stayed with us, reminding us of God's faithfulness even when times are difficult. Psalm 40:1-3 comes to mind, as well:
From all of us, thank you for what you do to step into the lives of children in need. Thank you for how you have provided hope and encouragement this year. Please share Benjamin's story with others as a reminder of how God sees our needs and responds. God is good, and we pray His blessings over you in the coming year!
(A huge thank you to the New Life Home, the Omondi family, and reporter Jane Wells for her work in making sure the world could hear another story of hope! To learn how you can support the ministry at the New Life Home in Kenya, click here.)
Did you know you are a fighter in the battle against HIV/AIDS? Here's how we -- because of your help -- are moving to address the needs of children in countries devastated by this disease.
Do you believe that one child matters? One sponsor shares what God taught her about His ministry among children, and the powerful experience that continues to impact her today.
We love to hear the stories of mission trip participants because God moves in such unique ways to connect the hearts of his people.
For some, the desire to go to Africa started in childhood. One woman shares her experience of the first few days:
When I was young, I saw a television program with African people dancing. I remember it striking a chord with me and I believe the desire to go to Africa was born at that time. When we first arrived in Emarti, the ladies were lined up in front of us in their beautiful colors--clothes, jewelry, headdresses. They began singing and making short jumps toward us, a traditional dance of greeting and celebration. When they got to us, they kissed us on both cheeks. They completely enveloped us with their bodies and with love. They then turned around and we all sang as best we could and jumped (danced) our way to the church! It was absolutely incredible--an experience I'll never forget.
We found out later that they had come together for two nights to pray for us, meaning they walked there and back each night. I asked my sponsored child how long it took her to get there. The answer: 2 hours.
One of the traditions of Women’s Circle of Caring is painting the Maasai ladies’ nails. It’s a simple way to pamper them. We gave two ladies 20 bottles of nail polish along with cotton balls, remover, and nail stickers which were donated so they could each start a business. The lady to whom I gave my kit gave me a necklace.
Guess what God did with that? I signed up to sponsor another child right there in Emarti, and I was able to meet her later in the week. I wanted to give my sponsored girl bottles of nail polish as a gift. Guess who her mother was -- it was the lady I'd given the nail polish to the other day! Now she has even more that may help her with her business.
Isn't God so good? He honors even the smallest of gifts. We've posted more photos from the Emarti trip here. When the teams first visited Emarti four years ago, the children were meeting under a tree. Now thanks to the women who served with the mission teams and several generous donors, they have a wonderful building that serves as a community center and church when the project isn't using it. They also started a community garden that has provided abundant harvests. Even though this was the final trip to Emarti, the impact will continue for years to come!
Each week, we set aside time as a staff to pray through prayer requests we’ve received from you and our partners overseas. It is so important to support those who work directly with your sponsored child.
Here are some of the requests we've been praying for this week and into the next:
ETHIOPIA: The cost of living in Ethiopia continues to rise, putting strain on the parents of children registered in our programs as well as project staff. Our Ethiopian staff has such a huge heart for the children, but they are burdened by their own needs as well. Please pray with us for provision and that our staff can find favor at home, in the marketplace, and in their communities to help them make the most of their resources.
Also, a mission trip with radio listeners from The House FM in Oklahoma and WCLN in North Carolina will leave for Ethiopia on September 13. They will help build a restroom and shower facility at one of the projects to address pressing public sanitation and health issues. They’re also going to do Vacation Bible School with the kids. It’s going to be a powerful trip, please pray with us that God will do much in them and through them.
KENYA: A Women’s Circle of Caring team is also leaving on September 13th for their final trip to the Emarti Maasai people. They have many projects and programs for the children and their mothers. A special message will be given – please pray for open ears and hearts.
CAMBODIA: A serious and mysterious illness is striking children in Cambodia; several children have died but the cause of this sickness has yet to be determined. We praise God that none of the children in our programs have fallen ill, but we must continue to pray protection over them and for the staff as they stay vigilant. Please also pray that the government and health care workers can find the cause of this to address it before more children are sickened or lost to this disease.
HAITI: Our staff asks for prayers for the parents to stay involved in the development of their children. As parents come to understand the benefit and value of the program, the children attend more consistently.
ZIMBABWE: So many communities need help. Please pray for discernment for the country staff and that God continues to raise up sponsors who can help them minister in powerful ways.
HONDURAS: Gangs are very active in several of the communities we serve. Please pray for the safety of our staff and that children in our programs find sanctuary at the centers. Siblings and parents can also use prayer that they stay out of reach of the gangs and provide positive, stable role models for the kids.
Thank you, as always, for joining us in prayer for the sake of the kids.
Mission of Mercy is all about changing the lives of children. Through sponsorship, many of you are standing up for the least of these, making sure they know they matter in the eyes of God.
But sponsorship isn’t the only way Mission of Mercy does ministry. We partner with ministries that are standing in the gap for those who cannot speak up for themselves – children burdened by illness, exploited by others, or abandoned by those who should care for them.
We know our God is a redeemer, the God who both sees and uses the lowly to confound the ways of the world. And we see God’s hand powerfully in the ministry of the New Life Home in Nairobi, Kenya.
Our partners at New Life Home have a front row seat to God’s healing touch. The New Life Home, the only registered medical center in Kenya, began in response to the abandonment of babies in the capital city of Nairobi.
Tiny infants, many with life-threatening illnesses, were left on the steps of hospitals, in pews at churches, and at worst in pit latrines or rubbish piles. The New Life Home can take in these babies and address their medical issues with the help of nurses, doctors, and an army of volunteers.
Bathed in prayer and love, the transformation of these infants is nothing short of miraculous. And all glory to God, as more than 70% of them go on to be adopted into loving forever families. Just look at these stories:
Three-week-old Christiana came to New Life Home weighing just over 4 pounds. Her mother abandoned her at a local hospital. Christiana spent many weeks in the incubator but blossomed into a glowing, healthy girl.
After being abandoned at a local clinic, Max was admitted to New Life Home when he was two weeks old with his weight hovering around 4 pounds. A bit of a wiggle worm, Max wasn’t fond of the confines of the incubator. We are celebrating Max's recent adoption -- and praying his new family likes soccer!
Josiah was found on the streets of Nairobi, a tiny 5 pound boy. He is much more of a fighter than his size would indicate. The staff now feeds him a high calorie formula to help him gain weight. His new favorite foods include avocado and beans!
Jacob, who was found deep inside a pit latrine by a Good Samaritan, arrived at the New Life Home with serious wounds and infections from his time in the latrine. God was already moving in the hearts of a couple working in ministry who were ready to adopt. Jacob is now a healthy, happy boy who delights in chasing after his older sister.
Sometimes it's hard to see the results of ministry, but not when it comes to the New Life Home! We love how God is glorified with every chubby hand, every healthy pound gained, every forever family found. It reminds us of this passage, Psalm 8:1-2 (NLT).
"O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you."
If you'd like to learn more about the New Life Home, click here. You can also make a donation in support of this special ministry here. And if you'd like to see more stories of infants transformed, click here!
Dr. Beyda and a Medical Mercy team of 18 are in Kenya, serving alongside 18 Kenyan Health Care Workers (HCWs). Internet is sparse, but he provided a short update:
It's the rainy season here. Therefore it rains. Rivers flood and washes overflow. You'd think we'd know better....wouldn't you. Not us. We forged ahead. The internet is sporadic so I can send only one picture, but it will give you an idea of what we went through.
We walked across and took all our med over in a small truck, making it across okay. Coming back we didn't. The truck got stuck in the middle of the wash. No 4-wheel drive but a lot of pulling and pushing the truck worked. We spent just 4 hours in the village before we had to leave since the clouds were gathering and we were afraid to get stuck there overnight.
The children sang and danced for us and we then worked with the healthcare workers examining them. We go back there today. Hopefully it will be better. We are well and thankful for being able to do His work.
50 kilometers from Kajiado is a small village called Kiburro. It took us 2 hours to go the distance. 30 miles. It gives you a sense of how deep into the bush we were. This is Masai territory, traditional in dress and culture. Beaded jewelry on the women, rhythmic dancing, leaping men with long sticks, and machetes. We were greeted with that and blessed with it when we left.
I looked out from where we were holding clinic and could see for miles, the valleys of the Masai territory. Umbrella trees giving shade to acres of bush and then open plains. We saw gazelle roaming freely and small herds of goats roaming under the watchful eyes of young Masai boys. I grew up in Somalia and being here in Kenya brings back so many memories of my years there. I feel at home. I'm back fulfilling a dream of being a doctor and practicing in east Africa. I was 6 years old when I made that my goal. God is amazing.
We saw all of the Mission of Mercy children and then some. The Health Care Workers shined as they examined the children, their skills becoming fine tuned under the guidance of the US team. We are a total team of 36, Kenyans and US. We have one purpose: to care for the children where no one else wants to go. And that is Kiburro. The Mission of Mercy children were so much healthier than the children in the village who are not Mission of Mercy children. A testimony to a HCW program and sponsorship which ensures food, clothing, education, and love. Perhaps one day we will have all of the children of Kiburro under our wing.
The US team is powered by a spirit of love and grace. We move to another village tomorrow, distant as well. We are not weary. We are privileged and blessed.
In all things give thanks,
The care your sponsored child receives can impact so many areas of life. Dr. Beyda traveled to Ethiopia to look at the Medical Mercy's Health Care Worker program and what it means for children there:
Fruits of our labour. Plant a seed. Teach them to fish. All are familiar phrases that address doing something for someone in order to make them self sufficient and show their success, to give them an opportunity to succeed, and to put in place a plan that will grow. It is what we strive to do for those who are less fortunate than most, and who are willing, dedicated, motivated, and driven to make the best of what they have been given.
The Healthcare Worker (HCW) program I developed 7 years ago, is that seed, that teaching to "fish," that opportunity, to give those lay persons who are responsible for the welfare of our Mission of Mercy children, the knowledge and the tools to ensure that our children are healthy.
The intent of the HCW program is to ensure sustainability of healthcare needs of the children after our medical teams leave. The HCW becomes the one source for healthcare needs in their projects. There are now trained HCWs in Cambodia, Swaziland, Ethiopia and Kenya.
The question is, has the HCW program been successful? That's why I'm here in Ethiopia, to see if it has made a difference. I spent several hours the first day reviewing their knowledge base, given them some advanced lectures and quizzing them. No need for worries there. They were sharp, inquisitive, and motivated. I then went to the projects and did a medical standards assessment on the healthcare of the children. Here is a summary:
We have 11 projects in Ethiopia with about 3000 children that we care for. There are 9 HCWs here, having completed their training just over a year ago when we came here to do clinics. They worked with us for 5 days and were seeing patients on their own most of the time, making the right diagnosis and starting the right treatment.
In one year since they have been on their own, here's what I've found:
- Referrals to outside clinics are down by 55%
- Healthcare costs for the projects are also down by 50%
- The HCW is seeing on average 10 children a month
- 32 children were identified with potentially life threatening illness, treated and never hospitalized
- Children with chronic illness such as TB, malnutrition and anemia have been identified and are followed on a regular schedule of physical exams and treatment by the HCW
- Medical records for all children are now in the child's respective folder
Outcome measures that are positive, fruitful and successful. There is more that I've found in addition to what I've listed above, but I hope you see the effect of this HCW program. The Mission of Mercy are well cared for.
I leave for Kenya tomorrow to do the same there, except this time, I'll have my medical team with me. 18 US team members. We will have 5 days of clinics and the HCWs will work with us. Fruits of our labour. Planting a seed. Teaching them to fish. The children are better for it.
In all things give thanks,
As we reflect today on the actions of Jesus in his last hours, we consider the way we approach our own lives. Can Jesus' sacrifice also affect the way we approach sponsorship?
One sponsor shares how meeting even the simplest need during a mission trip to Kenya gave everything new meaning.
Your sponsored child may live halfway around the world, but you have more in common than you think in terms of Christmas traditions... especially food! We even included some recipes if you'd like to try something different this year!
In the coming weeks you should receive a Christmas card from your sponsored child, and on it will be Christmas wishes in their own hand. We love this time of year because you can see the anticipation of Christmas in the children's heartfelt wishes.
But very few of the children in our programs speak English -- so what do their Christmas wishes look like?
In most of the countries in which we work, the language spoken does not use a Latin or Roman alphabet such as what we use in English or what many of the countries in Africa or Central America use above.
Yet the result is just as beautiful. Several countries, such as the Philippines and India, have regions that use different languages or dialects, which are represented below.
And then there's the Middle East, where Christ and the Christmas season was born. What wonderful wishes!
It's a bit early to wish you a Merry Christmas, but we can't help getting in the spirit!
Each mission trip sponsored by Mission of Mercy has a special purpose, and none more so than the Women's Circle of Caring trip to Kenya.
The theme of this year's Circle of Caring trip was LOVE -- and God's love was certainly evident in this experience. To learn more about the trip, watch the video below. And don't forget to check the upcoming Mission Trip list on our website to learn how you can see God's kingdom in a whole new way!
The Kenya Women's Circle of Kenya team safely returned late last night. Their last few days in Kenya were filled with travel, Nairobi traffic, and more walks through communities such as this one, where one brother helped his younger sibling avoid the barbed wire around their home.
One team member shares, "We want to thank you for your prayers -- they were felt every day as we worked and learned and cried together. The Lord is doing a great work in Kenya and we were blessed to meet and encourage the people who serve Him so diligently."
More posts will follow as the team begins to process their experiences. We are grateful that the Lord brought them back with many tales and photos to share with us.
Another update from Kate on the Women's Circle of Caring Kenya trip:
I don't even know where to begin. After three days of serving alongside the Emarti Maasai, we left for a brief respite in Amboseli State Park.
All I can say is that Kenya is filled with beauty. The people with their instant smiles, their sincere greetings, their love of color (oh, how the Maasai love color!) and then of course the land itself. We truly gloried in God's creation today as we drove south toward Amboseli National Park.
I am glad for this time to reflect because the days have been so full. On the first day of working at Emarti, we focused on the women. It was rainy and cold, but nothing stopped them. The same could be said for the children, some of whom walk several hours to the project.
One thing we were eager to see was Emarti's new beautiful building, which doubles as a church and community center. I was constantly grateful for this provision as we experienced rain and wind and the intense Kenyan sun. To think the children at this project used to meet under a tree!
The second and third day we played with the children. We taught them how to sing "Jesus Loves Me" with sign language; we reemphasized how to brush their teeth, wash their hands, and cough into their "bird wing" (elbow) rather than their hands. We brought puzzles and taught them how to play tic-tac-toe, both of which they loved.
And then there was the parachute. At all times there was a group playing parachute games, and at all times there was an audience. Sometimes little ones, most of the time their mothers clutching their babies and laughing at the evident glee in the children as they whipped the parachute up and down. The Maasai love color, so the parachute was an instant hit.
On the afternoon of our last day there, the community held a special ceremony and gifted us necklaces... but they gave us so much more as they sang over us with tears of joy streaming down their faces. I can't even begin to describe the sound -- all I could think of is that this is a taste of heaven, all voices uplifted and praising God.
There is so much to write but internet is spotty right now. We are doing well. No one has gotten sick, and we are encouraged by what we have seen and done. Thank you for praying for us! Tomorrow we return to Nairobi. I'll try to update more then.
On Sunday we visited a slum community to attend church with the most beautiful people. The church building was a simple structure of corregated metal which got progressively hotter as the service went on. The music was accapela and full of joy, and the sermon was fantastic. The pastor preached in English with Hapi, Mission of Mercy's Kenya director, translating in such an unobtrusive way it felt like call and response. So beautiful.
After that we took a quick tour of New Life Home, which we'll visit again at the end of the week. Having just walked through the slums that morning, watching the nurses tenderly care for the children was so encouraging.
The photo above is of Vincent, a sponsored child who traveled many hours to meet his sponsor. His favorite gift from her by far were these funny glasses. Although his smile took much coaxing, once those glasses appeared the giggles kept coming. We loved having Vincent with us for most of the day -- he was quite the gentleman.
This morning we're packing up to head to Emarti; today we'll work with the women and the two days after that with the children. We have many special things planned, but it's unlikely we'll have internet over the next few days. Thank you for praying for us! It has been a wonderful trip thus far. Please pray that we can communicate God's love despite the language barrier. We are eager to see how the women respond to us, as last year they were moved to tears when they realized the women had returned to visit them. This year we have several women from previous trips -- I am praying that God continues to knit our hearts together!
Kate is a Mission of Mercy staff-member who joined the 3rd annual Women's Circle of Caring trip to Kenya. The team will start the week in Nairobi before venturing south to the Emarti Maasai region. She sends us this update:
Praise God -- we are now in Nairobi with all of our bags safe and sound. This is truly a gift from God because we checked SO MANY BAGS, all of which were filled to the brim with gifts and supplies for the Maasai. I'm quite sure we gave the baggage guy a heart attack when we came rolling in.
Tonight we sleep and try to reset our internal clocks -- tomorrow we go to church and visit a community where Mission of Mercy ministers. I expect this to be an overwhelming day. The community is in one of Nairobi's slums. This is what I've been both waiting and fearing to see: this is where Mission of Mercy children call home, and having never seen anything like it personally, it may very well horrify me. Just as one part of me wants to be unshockable, the other part of me wants to be moved by what moves the heart of God. Break my heart for what breaks Yours. It's a difficult prayer to pray knowing what may come. I will try to post more later.
Friends, please join us in praying for the Women's Circle of Caring team that departs for Kenya this morning. Many of the women are returning for their second or third trip to work with Mission of Mercy project that serves the Emarti Maasai people.
They have a long travel day ahead of them. Please pray for traveling mercies, that their luggage and supplies will arrive safely in Nairobi, and that they can fully focus on ministering to the Emarti. We can't wait to see what God does in them and through them during this trip! If the internet remains stable, they will try to post updates here on the blog, so check back often!
The New Life Home is always abuzz with activity, but never more so than with the arrival of Isaac and his brother Levi.
Being abandoned at a regional hospital shortly after birth was the first of many challenges these fraternal twins faced.
We'll follow Isaac and his brother as they heal, develop, and grow.