I am sitting in class right now and it's pretty boring, so I thought I would share with you my thoughts after my most recent trip to Kenya. As you know, I started The Sophia Fund to feed orphans and widows and started The Deborah Foundation to establish learning centers in schools and orphanages across Kenya. On this last trip, we took $3,000 from the Fund and 35 duffel bags of educational resources, which we gave to three orphanages. You can read about the reaction to these donations on my travel blog, along with one thank you from an orphanage on my personal blog. Here is another short thank-you from one of the orphanages we visited:
I thank God for your visit. You had a wonderful team and the entire Upako appreciate you so much. Your team really moved us and I want to appreciate all for coming. Thanks for the play materials, learning materials and the food support that I received from SARAH Network yesterday. May the Almighty God do you good and keep your ministry - Pastor Francis.
My basic conclusion from the trip is that both the Fund and the Foundation need to continue and expand. If I had monthly resources right now, here is what I would do to that end, I would:
1. Hire my son John to run The Deborah Foundation and Sophia Fund. When he came home to PIttsburgh to help my wife last November, he took upon himself to gather and organize everything that we took over to Kenya and stored for future trips. He touched every book, toy and pair of shoes and has a heart and vision to continue the work.
2. Expand The Foundation and the Fund to include other programs beside learning centers and feeding to other aspects of life affecting children and youth in Kenya and Africa. These programs would include:
- Sports Outreach -- I saw our athletic teams do tremendous ministry through sports on our last trip. I would work to bring teams to Kenya to gather youth around sports with evangelistic emphasis.
- Operation: Petticoat -- The children and especially the teenage girls in Kenya need underwear and feminine products. They don't go to school when they don't have either of those and The Foundation can help with that pressing problem.
- Micro-Lending -- In addition to feeding widows and orphans, we would make loans and grants available to buy seed, livestock and other items that can help orphanages and organizations feed themselves and make a living.
- African Tours -- This last trip was my best yet in providing a comprehensive overview of life in Kenya, with a view toward helping those on the trip to stay focused and connected to Kenya when they return home.
3. Hire Maggie -- Maggie is a friend who would be my eyes and ears in Kenya. She is currently unemployed and would be a tremendous addition to our Kenya team.
If I had $6,000 a month, I could do all this today! So if you are out there and looking to invest in an opportunity to impact the children and youth of a nation, let me know so we can talk. I promise you, I will take your resources and provide a return like few others can. That's not a boast, that is just a statement based on the experience and connections I have in Kenya. Once we establish this in Kenya, we can easily do this in other African countries. Pray and let me know how you can be involved.