What a Year! (2016 EOY Report)

Posted on 30. Dec, 2016 by in Blog

20160108_114432_resized

Greetings Everyone!

Tom, Rebecca and family, as well as all of our extended friends and family in Kenya, and those partners and volunteers here in the USA, wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas holiday and Happy New Year from all of us at We Are Kenya.

Over the years working with you has made a huge difference in the lives of so many children in Kenya!

Our good friend and founder, Pastor Samuel, sends you his greetings, and has just wrote us a beautiful note this week, and as we were reflecting on the goodness of God this time of year, and how so many around us – through prayer, donations, missions/support trips, and so much more – most importantly, have helped advance the work of the Gospel, and the nourishment of these precious children’s minds and bellies through your financial support.

A couple highlights from this year of 2016 that we wanted to share with you all, included:

For the first time we were able to have our institution approved as a national exam center for our kids – after close supervision from the Kenyan government (including: vetting by the children’s, health, environmental, education, security, and other relevant offices and departments – whew, that was rigorous!) We also obtained the government certificate for this effort, and in Kenya we were told by Samuel, is not an easy feat!

So after this, we were able to register 19 children for the 2016 national exams. This also was not an easy process, being that it was the first time for our school’s administration to navigate the Kenyan government’s testing process. Finally on November 1st our kids came for final arrangements of their desks and preparations and then the testing began. As Samuel put it, “it was great time for us as we experienced complete quietness while the exams were taking place.”

Then in early December the results were out, and glory to God we got very encouraging results, with 16 of the children obtaining above passing marks, to enable them to immediately join secondary school, and three came back as average – which is still very positive, since they can join secondary school, but need some remedial work first; and then especially the last girl whom we are still praying if she will either join or may be a candidate for the vocational center for either dress-making or another craft or trade.

We are also blessed to share a new partnership with a strong, local secondary school called St. Matthews to transition our kids who are moving out of primary school age, until our new property is fully developed. Two girls who came out top in the testing exams will be going to really good boarding schools here in Kenya – their names are Judith and Beatrice – so we can be rejoicing with them and praying for this transition for them.

We are looking forward to putting more effort into serving our kids better and the community. The number has grown to over 200 kids at our school – hard to believe!

During the summer this past year Samuel and the Kenya team visited the new property, which is a little less than an hours drive from the city where the main school is located. This trip included our good friend from Grace Community Church, Jake Boon, whom we are working closely with to develop the site plan for the new property in the rural town of Tala, Kenya. Through this process we are hoping, by early next year, that we will be able to move forward with a finalized plan. This will be a long-hoped-for realization of the vision many of us have had for this new property. This is a huge step for us! Our vision for this property includes the following: the full build-out of the secondary school, a comprehensive agricultural program for the kids to learn that trade – as well as other trades like auto mechanic work, and more. Additionally, we hope to one day have a counseling center, and a house for guests to come and stay in who come to visit the site and work on missions/support projects.

And even though these are the “highlights” for 2016, let’s not forget – your continued partnership and giving helps us with our most vital and basic needs, operationally, which include: the daily feeding of the children, cost for school fees, operational expenses (teacher salaries, school bus, etc.), basic toiletries, vaccines, and the support of the 44 boarders who continue to grow, heal and thrive.

We continue to pray and enter into 2017 with an excited vision for the future, and we thank you again for partnering with us in 2016, and in many years past, since our founding, over 8 years ago! Praise God! :)

For those of you who might ask, “How can I help financially?” – we would offer two opportunities to be a part of:

  • ONE-TIME GIFT
    With a year-end gift, of whatever amount – that would go towards the new school and property build-out.
  • SUSTAINING GIFT
    In order for us to meet our monthly goals, we need 10 more monthly partners starting in January. It costs roughly $47 USD / day to run the program at the school, and ensure that our boarders are well cared for.

So please consider a sustaining gift that would contribute towards this amount – even if just $5 or $10 per month, to commit to each month in 2017 – that would be wonderful!

So whichever camp you fall into, you can make an easy, tax-deductible donation today here on our website. Just click the “WAYS TO GIVE” link at the top of the web page.

You have richly blessed us this year. And for that, we say “thank you!”

Again, a Merry Christmas holiday to you and yours, a Happy New Year, and please know that we appreciate your partnership, interest, and love, for our children in Kenya.

In Christ,

Tom, Rebecca, Aidan, Sarayah, Israel Terenyi

(And the entire We Are Kenya team)

 

20160108_114603_resized

 

20160402_134825_resized_1

 

20160409_130637_resized

 

20160708_091411_resized

Updates from Kenya

Posted on 20. Jul, 2015 by in Blog

So many crazy/awesome/amazing things have been happening, and we are sadly behind in updating you! Let me catch you up on all the goings-on:

Over the last several months we have been able to take several suitcases of Craft Hope donations as well as some handmade stuffed toys from Maryvale Preparatory School to our kids in Soweto. We packed (i.e. shoved, crammed, squished, and smashed) over 250 washable pads, hats, scarves, handmade quilts and plush toys into several suitcases and off they flew! The kids were so pleased with their new toys and beautiful bedding. The staff was awed by the thoughtfulness and generosity. Thank you so much to each of you who spent your time and energy making these things for our kids.

The gift of washable sanitary napkins for our girls means that they are able to continue their education and move closer to defeating the cycle of poverty and hopelessness.

In other news, a new road is going in! WHAT!?! That’s right! A paved schmancy road! No more jaw-breaking, back-wrecking potholes…well, at least for the last part of the drive up to the school ;). We received word that the main road leading to the school property is being built as we speak. This will allow us to keep the school open during the worst of the rainy season. YAY!

Extra, Extra. Read All About It!
That’s right – a library has been built above the kitchen. We are told it is a lovely, well-lit, open room. I cannot wait to start filling it with books! This has been a longtime dream of Pastor Samuel’s.

Vegetables Galore!
Turns out the new property is as lush as we had hoped. Several plantings have been tested, and we are happy to report that everything is growing well! Beans are the latest crop. This has also been a fabulous, hands-on learning experience for our older children.

Our Beautiful Handmade Items Arrived

Our Beautiful Handmade Items Arrived

Girls So Happy

Girls So Happy

Our Girls

Our Girls

New Library

New Library

Road Under Construction

Road Under Construction

Planting Beans

Planting Beans

Picking Peas

Picking Peas

Thank You Note

Craft Hope Thank You Note

Thank You Note from French class at Maryvale Preparatory School

Thank You Note to French class at Maryvale Preparatory School

A 2014 Summary to Our Friends and Partners

Posted on 31. Dec, 2014 by in Blog

We’ve had a great year here at We Are Kenya. Because of the prayers and generosity of our supporter and partners we have had a strong year!

Happy New Year 2015

Here’s a quick recap of the year 2014:

– With the help of our partners, Provision Education Center was able to purchase 8 acres of beautiful land outside of Nairobi. This land is rich agriculturally and has great potential. Pastor Samuel and the older boarders have been able to assist the local village people in planting and cultivating a portion of the land.

– Our students sat for their National exams and ALL of the students received passing marks! This was a huge encouragement to the staff, and they have asked us to express their sincere gratitude for your prayers and encouraging emails. Pastor Samuel says, “I think this is good for all who partner with us to know that their support is not in vain.” He also shared that the school was placed on the “good schools” ranking list by the Kenyan government- this is very exciting news!

– The dorms received a MAJOR upgrade! When I went to Kenya in the Spring, I could not believe how beautiful the renovated dorm rooms were! It was such a blessing to know that the children have a clean and safe place to live – a place that they are proud to call home.

– The local church and staff of the school have begun taking in boarders and providing them with a family-unit experience. I wish each of you could see the dramatic change in the children. For me, it was Dorcas who really stood out. She had been living at the school for several years and while she was always sweet and thoughtful; she was also quiet and withdrawn. Now, having had the opportunity to live with a family from the local church, she is thriving. She is a funny and outgoing girl. As she grows into a young lady, we know that because she has a real chance to finish her education, she will not become one of the many youth who continue in the cycle of poverty because they simply could not afford an education.

– Ladies from local Maryland churches rallied together to make washable sanitary napkins for our girls at the school -girls like Dorcas are usually unable to continue their education because their families cannot afford these necessary supplies. This has become a crisis for far too many young ladies in Kenya. Out of this crisis, we are seeing a dramatic rise in child bride cases and teenage pregnancy. Thank you to all of you who donated your time and resources to help keep our girls in school!

Craft Hope took WAK on as their 25th annual project. This organization networks with crafters around the world and each year they pick a new non-profit to send hand-crafted blankets, toys, washable sanitary napkins, hats, scarves, etc. We cannot wait to take these things to the children and we are intensely grateful to all who lovingly made gifts for our students. Crafters from over 48 States and more than 4 countries sent packages of hand-crafted gifts.

HARVEST! Several small crops have been harvested from the land! This is very cool. Look for a post about this soon on our blog.

These are just some of the highlights from our year. We would love for you to share your pictures and stories on our Facebook page.

As we move into the new year we are excited to see what God will do. We are working to get the architectural plans completed for the buildings for the new property. It is amazing to think that one day there will be a fully-functioning secondary school on this land. Among other things, we are looking at is putting a well on the new property, which has to happen before we can start the building process. I know I speak for all of us at We Are Kenya and Provision Education Center when I say that we never expected God to cast such a great big vision; but now that He has, we can see the vision He has cast encompasses so much more than our finite minds can ever hope to grasp.

For those looking to help start us off strong in 2015, and those looking to still make your year-end gift, please consider a donation today before midnight. Your support is immensely humbling, and greatly appreciated! Access our Giving Page here.

Thank you again for your continued support! Have a safe and Happy New Year!

– Rebecca Terenyi, on behalf of all the volunteers and staff at We Are Kenya

PS – Below are some pictures just sent from Pastor Samuel of our kids and some of the team/staff there in Kenya.

Performance

Welcome to World Commission Church!

Kids posing

Pastor with Boarders

Assembly

Kids having some Fun

The Team Working Hard

Giving Tuesday 2014

Posted on 03. Dec, 2014 by in Blog, Fundraiser

A GIVING TUESDAY SHOUT-OUT!

Today is Giving Tuesday and we here at We Are Kenya would like to do something just a little different this year. This year, we’d like to hear from you! That’s right – we’re asking for a shout-out from all our loyal friends and partners! We’d love to hear your story of why you support the work in Kenya.

What You Need to Do:

Go to the We Are Kenya Facebook page and post a comment or video about why you support We Are Kenya.

OR TRY THIS – IT’S QUICK & FUN :)
Make a poster board sign that says “I support We Are Kenya because….” Don’t forget to include the hashtag #WeAreKenya and #GivingTuesday and help us spread the word about all the amazing things happening in Nairobi, Kenya.

From there send it out via your favorite social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, wherever…and share that: “I support #WeAreKenya because…”

Each year YOU, our dedicated partners, ensure that over 160 precious girls and boys receive clean water, hot meals and quality education in a safe environment. As we near the end of the year, we’d love to know more about why you support WAK. Help us spread the word about We Are Kenya.

A huge thank you to all of you who faithfully pray for and give to help us care for the kids and staff of We Are Kenya’s in-country partner, Provision Education Center!

Sincerely,
The We Are Kenya Team

PS – Help us reach our yearly food and operational budget by following this link to our Giving Page.  All donations are tax deductible.

Children at Provision Education Center

Flashback Friday

Posted on 22. May, 2014 by in Blog

Pastor Samuel is wrapping up his trip here and we thought it would be fun to send him off with our first ever Flashback Friday! Here’s how it’s going to work:

On Friday the 23rd, we’d like anyone who has participated in a WAK trip or a WAK event to post pictures to our Facebook page. Please make sure you label your pictures so everyone can see the changes that have taken place over the years.

Then we are asking everyone to pick one child, one staff member or one aspect of the WAK vision and pray. We know that in order to keep moving forward we need to be constantly praying for and supporting our team, both here in the US and there on the ground in the Kenya.

This will be our first ever Flash Back Friday and we’d like your help to make it a huge success. So get your pictures ready!

– Rebecca Terenyi

A First-Timer’s Account

Posted on 11. Mar, 2014 by in Blog, Mission Trips

Colette in Kenya

Being a first-timer to Africa, my eyes have been opened to so much! Yes, Kenya is filled with barely passable, rugged dirt roads and paths, poor drainage with ditches filled with raw sewage, many living quarters with no running water or toilets, and electricity that comes and goes. But . . . walk into the walls of Provision Education Centre in Soweto, a slum area outside of Nairobi and you will see a much different picture.

Yes, you have hard brown and dusty dirt beneath your feet on the playground, but you see uniformed children learning in 11 different classrooms with a caring teacher, a black board, and bright-eyes ready to learn, play, and face a long day! The uniforms may be tattered and missing buttons, and the socks and shoes are dusty from the hard dirt courtyard that serves as a small confined play yard.

You see a tapped borehole well springing forth with fresh water daily for the children and staff to use. The water is also offered to the surrounding slum community inhabitants for a very reasonable few Kenyan shillings. You hear chants, singing, bustling, prayers, and praises being given to God! You hear children learning and asking questions in English and Kiswahili.

You see students serving each other in ways I have never seen in America. After ample meals of rice, beans, cabbage, or kale, students bring their plastic bowls back to the kitchen area and commence gathering soap, washing bins, and bits of woven plastic bags to wash all of the dishes used for a meal. You see the older students grabbing the hands of the little ones to help them when they fall. You see the students setting up the gathering area (which also is the church sanctuary) with chairs each time they gather as a large group of approximately 140 students. You see students bent over washing the painted concrete walkway areas that surround the entry to their classrooms to remove the dried mud and dirt daily.

Schoolchildren

You do NOT see toys, electronics, or even a computer for the students . . . but each student has a class book for subjects where all of the work is written and checked by the teacher. You do NOT see a copy machine, a computer, or even a printer for the teachers to use. Teachers write or draw everything on the hanging well-used slate on the wall of the classroom. You do NOT see a pencil sharpener on each wall of the classroom, nor in the room where the teacher’s gather to prepare their lessons or “take tea”. Rather, a teacher with a razor blade sharpens the pencils when a student comes and asks.

You do NOT find playground equipment, grass, or any shaded areas on the playground, rather you find children running in and out of the gated area perhaps kicking a ball that has been kicked into the raw sewage drains. You do NOT find wet wipes, Band-Aids, napkins, or any disposable cups . . . children dry their hands with the warmth of the sun and breeze. Students share washable plastic mugs with handles to get a drink of water from the spigots.

Every item is used to its fullest potential . . . waste is not prevalent . . . love is felt . . .service abounds . . .prayers are given to God . . . praises are sung . . .God is given the glory . . .God is smiling down on the children, staff, and families of Provision Education Centre!

Class time

Would you like to have your eyes and hearts opened to the people of Kenya and experience the many blessings that flow from serving in Soweto? Plan to take time away from the hustle and bustle of your life in America and join a future mission team to experience the culture, the love, and the oneness that is available in Soweto, Kenya at Provision Education Centre!

– Colette Crandall, a first time visitor to Provision Education Centre

1 in 5?

Posted on 10. Mar, 2014 by in Blog

1 in 5?

1 in 5?  Surprised, no.  Sad, yes.  I hate statistics.  I live my life to defy them.  I hate them just as much as I hate labels.   Changing statistics and eliminating labels are tasks that drive me nearly every day in my personal world.

When the WAK team met Samuel in 2007, we didn’t know how significant this statistic would become to us.  1 in 5.  There are a lot of other awful statistics about Kenya’s educational system.  In the early years of WAK, we were consumed with the fact that an estimated 70 percent of Kenya’s children will not make it to eighth grade.  We have worked hard to change that for the kids in Soweto.  It’s been a team effort, from the donors here in the states to the dedicated teachers on the ground, each has done his part to work toward a new statistic.  One that defies the norm, one that demonstrates even kids in a slum are valuable enough to receive a quality education.

But now, as we celebrate the upcoming graduation of our first class of eighth-graders, we are confronted with a new challenge—and a new statistic.  The one that says that less that 50 percent of the 30 percent of Kenya’s children who attend primary school will make it through high school and achieve a secondary school diploma.  That is less than 1 in 5.

We believe that with intense prayer and a whole lot of effort, that statistic can be changed. Since the beginning, we knew that we did not want our kids to be sitting around a table 30 years from now, trying to figure out how to help feed the kids in Soweto this month.  A few years ago, we began looking for ways we could become part of sustainable change.  With our partners in Kenya, we started researching secondary schools in Kenya, hoping to find a partner similar to ours who would be able to educate our students as they entered high school.  It has been a tough journey, but we have found it is too cost prohibitive to send our “leavers” on a consistent basis to any of the schools we found.  It is also becoming very apparent that these children will need not only the basic high school subjects, but also vocational training, given that the unemployment rate in Kenya is well over 40 percent.

But the need seems immense. To build a high school, we need a lot more land, which requires a capital investment.  To run a regulated high school in Kenya, we needed a much larger monthly budget. The most sustainable solution seems to be to find a way to grow some of our own food and use local resources to generate income.  And the needs extend far beyond high school.  How do we ensure that all of our kids not only have food and education, but the love and stability of a family? And what about vast needs of the adults in that same community, including those impacted by AIDS or limited by their own education and resource constraints? Samuel began to share with us pieces of his vision for this very thing—it was exciting, yet overwhelming. We prayed and strategized, and prayed some more.

We have been overcrowded for some time now. Two pieces of land with great possibilities were identified—a five acre plot of land that was ideal for a school, plus a much larger plot of land that was ideal for farming, hydroponics, and community development.

Land.  That was clearly where we had to start.  Land?  Are you serious?  That was my reaction.  Believe it or not, I am not the biggest dreamer on our team.  Our own secondary school?  Impossible.  But then I remembered what God told Abraham and Sarah, “Is anything impossible for God?”  I have to say no, it’s written in the Bible after all, but still…

I think we were all a little scared.  We did a lot of researching, praying, and honestly, avoiding!  We talked, and talked, but none of us were sure how to start the necessary fundraising campaign or even if we really should.  With the help of our friends in the UK who also partner with the ministry in Soweto, we began a business plan, and yet, we still had no concrete plan for fundraising.

I think God hates statistics as much as I do.  I also think He wanted us to see Him move in impossible ways.  I believe He wanted us to see that He will accomplish His work through us, or not, it’s up to us to tag along and bring Him glory.

While we were still deliberating on what the staggered phases of our fundraising effort might look like, something incredible happened! God broke ground.  Through an anonymous donor, an entire 5 acres of land now belongs to the ministry of Provision Education Center!  This is five acres that lies about an hour from the school.  It is plush green land nestled into the countryside, surrounded by small houses and primitive farms.  It is land good for growing food, feeding cattle, housing poultry, and someday, we believe it will be the place of our Secondary School.  I say our, because I believe that by walking this journey with our family in Kenya, we all become part of Kenya.  From the little one who gave his five dollar allowance to the dear ones who made the land purchase possible, from those who go to Kenya, to those who support and pray, We are all Kenya.  At this point, I am once again shedding tears of disbelief and gratitude.  To you, our supporters, but more so to our God, who showed us He didn’t need a campaign or a nifty plan to raise funds, just a willing heart.  I am forever changed.

Now, we are ready to defy yet one more statistic.  1 in 5?  Not our kids.  They are more than just a statistic.  They are OUR kids, yours and mine.  Together, I believe we can defy 1 in 5 for the kids of Soweto.  We are not just raising survivors—we are partnering to empower the next generous of East African leaders! We do not serve the God of “1 in 5”, but the great Shepherd who left the 99 to save the one.

In the days ahead, you will see some pictures of the land God has given us, and catch a glimpse of Pastor Samuel and his team’s vision for the next steps.  In the months and years ahead, we will continue to see how God’s plans unfold. The needs still seem immense—and they are—but they do not even cast a shadow on the breadth of God’s love, justice, and holiness.  Although Philippians 1:6 was written to a different audience in a different era, these words echo into the lives of our extended family in Soweto, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion….” And we will be His witnesses together on this incredible journey!

Prevention is the Cure

Posted on 04. Feb, 2014 by in Blog

I love football.  I did not grow up on football. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I even saw a football game until I was in my 20’s.  However, when I met my husband, I took a peek at his “wife list”-you know that list of negotiable and non-negotiable attributes for potential mates.  At that point, I had decided I really liked this guy, and yup, you guessed it, “she likes football” was on his list of “this would be really cool.”  So, I decided to learn.  Now, I’m a big fan, not really of a specific team, but more of the sport itself.

As such, I have really looked forward to the Super Bowl as a time when we hang out with friends or family and enjoy good food, some ribbing, and a good game.  Things have changed for me, though.  About a year ago, my husband said that there are more slaves today than at any other time in history.  That truth shocked me.  I was further devastated when I allowed my heart to absorb that this industry, whether sex or labor slavery, is fed largely by loneliness, by exploited vulnerability.  I am sure it is no surprise to anyone that the Super Bowl is a time of heightened sex trafficking—right here in the US.

Naturally, thinking about this has me thinking about all of the beautiful little girls and sweet little boys in my life— those living here at home with me, and those in my home, Kenya.  How to protect them?  How to make sure this never happens to them?

And then, it hits me.  We are protecting, in fact, WE ARE PREVENTING!  Each and every day, we are letting the enemy know, this will not happen here, not on my watch!  Each time a child becomes a part of Provision Education Center (PEC), there is one less vulnerable child.  It is no secret that traffickers prey on those who have lost hope.  Children and families who feel they have no choice.  Parents who think this is the only answer to the child’s future, and children who belong to no one— those who can disappear without notice.  But, our kids are less vulnerable because our kids are KNOWN.  Because, to a staff and a pastor in Soweto, each child has a name and a future.

A few years ago, we realized that many of our children were complete orphans who were living with community members or on the street.  We also realized that many of our young girls were in vulnerable situations.  With your help, PEC was able to purchase a small apartment building where the most vulnerable could be housed.  Over the years, the roof has deteriorated, allowing mold to build up in the wooden beams.  The mattresses had become wet and molded as well, which led to heightened allergies and deep chest coughs in many of our “boarders”.  I was mortified to learn that their “Auntie”- the woman who cares for them, slept through the rainy season with a bucket on her belly to catch the drips from the leaky roof!

But I am writing today with great news! In one week, the ministry at PEC will be opening their newly renovated building!  The project has been extensive!  Initially, the beams on the building had to be reinforced, so that a permanent concrete roof could be built.  This roof will also act as the floor for a second level when such becomes necessary.  Walls have been knocked down, providing larger rooms for our borders, a single room for “Auntie,” a mud room for wet shoes and gym equipment, a room for the property guard, and a room that may serve for a dorm mother and father.  The school leadership is looking for a couple to provide guidance and mentoring to the children at the dorm, providing a quasi-family environment until a more permanent family setting can be obtained.   I wish I could be there as they see their new rooms with their newly painted walls, new mattresses with zipping covers, new sheets and blankets, and clean fresh air!

This, dear friends, is PREVENTION.  Because of you, our donors, and the intensely wonderful plan of our Father, twenty children are NOT vulnerable to trafficking.  Here in this place, they will be known, loved, and guided so that by God’s grace, each child will grow up with a voice to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.  They will have legitimate hope!

We may not have stored up for ourselves treasure in heaven by sleeping with a bucket on our chest, as part of the calling to serve kids year-round for practically nothing. But we do believe that “WE ARE KENYA” means that by becoming a part of the mission to love the vulnerable, we all become a part of Kenya, indeed we ARE Kenya.  To care for these children as our own, to protect and ensure that each is safe— that is our calling, and we thank you for being a part!

– Kim (Mama Sundi)

Dorm Building Project 2014 - 1 Dorm Building Project 2014 - 2 Dorm Building Project 2014 - 3 Dorm Building Project 2014 - 4 Dorm Building Project 2014 - 5 Dorm Building Project 2014 - 6 Dorm Building Project 2014 - 7 Dorm Building Project 2014 - 8 Dorm Building Project 2014 - 9 Dorm Building Project 2014 - 10 Dorm Building Project 2014 - 11

 

Giving Tuesday 2013

Posted on 03. Dec, 2013 by in Blog, Fundraiser

Giving Tuesday 2013

I was trying to come up with a compelling story or a pithy anecdote to encourage people to consider giving this Giving Tuesday. But instead, I think I will just give you facts.

What is a fact? A fact is truth. It cannot be changed or altered or “massaged” into anything but what it is. So, here are some facts to chew on as you go about your day.

A Few Facts about You

Fact 1
You are loved. I got you didn’t I? 😉
Perhaps you thought I was going to throw a sad, horrible statistic at you. Well, I’m not. I am going to tell you that if you are alive and reading this, YOU ARE LOVED. You might not be married, or you may be with someone who you feel doesn’t love you, truly; you may not have children, you might not have a boyfriend or girlfriend. But you were created by Hands that love you; and like Tigger (yes, my kids are into Winnie the Pooh lately), you are the only you that ever was or will be. So, congrats – you are deeply loved!

Fact 2
You can read! Woohoo! Someone took the time to invest in you and demonstrate love, and taught you to read. Reading is an an amazing gift – it opens up the doors of a bright and endlessly possible future.

Fact 3
You have the tools to succeed or fail. You are loved and you can read. The rest is up to you.

A Few other Facts

Fact 1
7,509 miles across a big huge ocean, 168 Kenyan children are loved – everyday – because of you. Thank you.

Fact 2
365 lunches, countless nutritious snacks and gallons of fresh water are provided everyday to hungry kids – because of you. Thank you.

Fact 3
Over a hundred moms, dads and caregivers face the day knowing that today their child will eat. Today their child will learn to read. Today their child will have a chance to change their forever. Today they will hope – because of you. Thank you.

Fact 4
Without you there would be no We Are Kenya. Without your prayers, without your cheering on, without your sacrifices and talents and gifts and love, 168 children would be lost to hunger, thirst, disease, illiteracy and hopelessness.

So, on this Giving Tuesday we at We Are Kenya would like to say “thank you.” Thank you for believing in our little band of volunteers. Thank you for stepping out and stepping up and making our dreams facts.

And just in case you’re reading this and have never met our 168 beautiful “Forevers” (eternal investments), here they are.

“Dream big, dream boldly, dream forever dreams!”

Continue here by DREAMING WITH US, by investing of even a small portion of your time, prayers or financial gift today. Thank you!

Happy Giving Tuesday,
Rebecca
(on behalf of the entire leadership team and We Are Kenya board)

 

 

 

Thankful.

Posted on 29. Nov, 2013 by in Blog

In between cooking stuffing and slicing pie, millions of Americans will ask themselves, “What am I grateful for?”  But, what if we should be asking ourselves a new question? A recent study published in Psychological Science suggests we should consider asking “what have I done recently that others might be grateful for?”  Researchers thought that reflecting on giving could lead a person to see themselves as a benefactor, enhancing their identity as a caring, helpful individual and motivating them to take action to volunteer and benefit others.  So, when we reflect on what we’re grateful for this year, it may be worthwhile to think about what we’ve done for others.

After reading this article I began to think about what I have done recently that others might be grateful for and I am ashamed to say, it is not as much as I’d like. Pastor Samuel came to visit this past September and after his visit I felt so motivated to take action, but here I am months later with nothing to show. I think many of us have this similar mindset and feeling. We are so motivated and we want to do something for a cause we believe in, but we just get so caught up in our own lives. I have gotten so caught up in my own life and everything going on, that I am forgetting what truly matters; helping others.  I am getting ready to graduate college in December and I have been busy with all that accompanies that life transition, but that is not an excuse. If my time in Soweto taught me anything, it was about selflessness. You can see and feel how unselfish the adults and leadership at Provision Education Center are. They always take action and put the well being of the children before themselves.

I still keep in touch with Earnest, Pastor Samuel’s son, who gives me updates on how everyone is doing at Provision Education Center. Currently they are in the process of building a new kitchen, re-building a few rooms for the boarders, and they even are planning on having grade 8 next year! I am so thankful for technology and I love how God uses people in our lives to widen our eyes. Every time I hear from Earnest it reminds me to take a step back from my busy life and try and do something that others might be grateful for. Whether it be praying for the people in Soweto, writing this blog post, or setting aside a few extra dollars to save to donate, I can thank Earnest for this reminder.

Around Thanksgiving and the holidays, families will be together, warm meals will be eaten and stories will be shared. Think about how great it would be to be able to share how YOU have helped someone less fortunate than yourself.  I hope this post speaks to all of you reading it. Take a step back from your busy lives, think about what motivates you to take action, and take the necessary steps. For me, it is the little Facebook messages I receive from a friend in Kenya and remembering the joy and hope that lies within the children of Provision Education Center. I encourage you to do something to benefit others this holiday season. Invest in the hopes and dreams of our children in Soweto. Happy Holidays!

Natalie