A lot changed in our lives after Jeromy’s trip to Kenya. Because we were planning to grow our family first through adoption, Jeromy chose to visit an orphanage and other children ministries. It was at that orphanage that he was adopted by Sundi. I knew the minute I laid eyes on her via video that she was to be our eldest daughter.
Now, I know this blog is not about us or our children, but it was this adoption that led us to spend the next few years closely intertwined with Kenya. It was what God used to help us find our second home.
After Jeromy came home, we decided to put James 1:27 into practice. James exhorts the Christian that it is his responsibility to care for the widows, orphans, and distressed people. While that is played out differently for each person, we felt that God was calling us to answer that responsibility in Kenya. We decided to begin praying about which of the many needs to which Jeromy was exposed should become our focus. We picked three separate missions, having only the requirement that its leader had not approached Jeromy for money. Asking for monetary assistance is culturally accepted and often necessary in Kenya, but we were impressed by several of the men Jeromy met that had not asked for anything more than prayer for their missions. We purposed to pray for three days without commenting to the other about God’s leading. On the third day we came together and discovered that God had laid it on both of our hearts to partner with the feeding program in the Soweto slum area, led by a man named Samuel. We were so excited to feel confirmed that God had touched both of our hearts for the same mission.
Now, we had to decide how we would help. Through a friend of Samuel, we learned that Samuel was trying to obtain a small vacant field a few kilometers away from his current building so he could better meet the needs of the community. The current location was off of an alley, very crowded and dirty, in a building about the size of most of our living rooms. His hope was to have land where the children could run and play in a safe environment.
So, for Jeromy’s thirtieth birthday, we threw a party asking for donation to the land purchase in lieu of gifts. The down payment for the land was 3,000 US dollars. We received $.3,020! That was exactly what we needed-even down to the cost to get the money over to Kenya!
Over the next two years, through friends and family, the entire cost of the land was paid! Here is the letter we received when the final payment was made:
Dear Brother Jeromy,
It is all about JESUS. Not by might, nor by power, but by the spirit of the Lord. What can I say if not to give all the honor and glory to God. The day I saw myself making the final payment I decided to take a team to spend quiet time in the mountains in prayers giving thanks to God. Thanking him for the way he used you to touch this community in Soweto. You put a smile on the face of both the orphan and the saints….now we have a good place to minister to the children. What a joy in this community, who know that this could happen in the poor community….
As soon as we are able to put up a building on the ground, not a big building, to start, but a good size to begin children’s activities. We want to move soon so we can have a feeding room and a kitchen along with toilets and a room for learning. Keep all this in your prayers. We have a new face of ministry now! God bless you for all things, my precious brother. I am privileged to serve with you.
MUNGU ACUBARIKI SANA (God Bless You-kiswahili)
It would be two years before we would get to see this land, but during that time, many children were clothed, fed, and most importantly loved on this land.