How it began – awakening to a crisis
I was in Kenya in June of 2005, co-leading a team of teens and young adults with Beautiful Feet International Ministries. We had ministered in a slum area outside Nairobi, prayed with people, played with children, presented a drama, and “thrown out the net,” as we call presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many responded, and a national pastor connected with the people who committed their lives to follow Christ. We finished our time in the slum, our hearts moved both by the desperate lives of the people and the joy of the children as we walked and skipped back to our vans. It wasn’t until we were driving away from the slum that the Lord spoke a word to my heart and mind, “How about an orphanage here?” I quickly looked around with different eyes than I had in the hours before.
We had been in a village working with 200 children doing art projects and playing games. I asked the pastor how many were orphans and where they lived. He replied that there were about 100 and then, to my surprise, pointed to one mud hut with a grass roof after another saying, “I think eight live there and ten there” as we turned in a circle. “Who cares for theses orphans?” I asked. He replied, “We do the best we can.” Reality is that the oldest child, usually eight to twelve years of age, is the primary care giver, and other villagers share from their limited food supply. Those moments rocked my world! I never really allowed myself to think about the problems in Africa long enough to realize that not all African orphans are in orphanages. The realization hit me right between the eyes. I was awakened to a crisis of huge proportions!
Who knows this plight? I have to confess I didn’t. And I realized I’m not alone.
Upon our return to the U.S., God continued to remind me of the question He had asked and I continued to pray.
At the beginning of following year, 2006, I sent an email to Pastor Linus who we had met and ministered with in the Misri slum. It is a “miracle” he said in his reply, “we have been praying for something like this.” You see, they had begun a feeding program just that week “because we just can’t stand to see the children die of hunger anymore.” In the emails that followed, I learned the slum in Misri has over 500 orphans. Misri is a Swahili word meaning Egypt; it has this name because, as Pastor Linus says, “they are as slaves, people of no hope.”
I am sharing my story with anyone who comes across my path because I realize that we can only affect a solution if we are aware of the problem.
The plight of African children is dire. Their situation borders on hopeless. But we can do something about it. And we are doing something about. We have formed Miracle House.
No one person or even one organization can accomplish this great task, but we each can play a significant role in bringing new life to many.
Orphans are beautiful children waiting for a for hope to be available to them. Won’t you join us in making this happen!