I sent $500 this past week to Pastor Francis (I always send it via Western Union, which costs $10 to $25 per transfer). To understand Pastor Francis' history with the children and me, along with what your giving means to the orphans and helps Pastor Francis do, please read this lengthy email he sent to me this week:
Dr. John and friends,
We have candidates who are starting their National exams soon and we had happy moments of reflection and special prayers and thanksgiving to God who intervened in their situation of grief when their parents died. They experienced such rejection when they were considered a burden by their close relatives and brokenness when their future was compromised.
They recall that they got hope to move on when we met and I always told them a simple message as they were always crying when telling their stories. ”Don’t cry but try, God of the empty-handed will show mercy.” I was also not sure about what was going to happen next but I was stronger than they so I only encouraged them to try to survive instead of cry.
I welcomed them into my home to share the little that I had and this only reduced the three meals a day we had for my family to only a meal a day. I also tried and convinced the congregation that I was pastoring and we directed Sunday offerings to buy food just to keep them alive for a day or two. We took a step of faith and rented land on a monthly basis, named it Upako Centre (anointing centre) with the help of friends and well wishers and prepared the place for boys to live in while the girls remained in my house. Then we started a school to offer education to them with help from my friend Eric and volunteer teachers.
For over four years we kept trying until Dr. John Stanko came and decided to help us with donations from time to time to buy food and to renovate the cold and dark rooms at the Centre. Your donation has since given us direction in this children ministry.
Dr. J has been coming with visitors from the USA at least twice every year, bringing clothes, shoes, books and money for food. Today we have a small home for the 22 orphans where they can sleep, eat and call home as they join the rest of the 150 vulnerable children from Kawangware community at Upako School to continue with their education. Mary joined a private up-to-standard school through Dr. J and her life has since changed. Our history makes us strong.
Today we have 17 children who are going to sit for the fourth coming national exams and for this reason we gathered to reflect and thank God. If they pass, they will be facing another challenge of joining high school but God has brought us this far.
As the Upako family, we take this opportunity to thank all those who donated towards any need here that has contributed to these children getting this far. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Three days ago you sent us money and this came in at a time when we were experiencing hardship, God bless you all abundantly. Join us in praying for the candidates as we celebrate the doings of the Lord.
Christmas is coming, which is just another time in Kenya when those with orphanages must trust the Lord for not only their daily bread but also for something a little more. Won't you open your heart to help them? I know there are many causes tugging at your heart strings and you cannot meet all the needs out there. I just simply ask that you pray and don't be afraid. Give what your heart and the Lord direct and trust Him that it will be multiplied in Kenya as well as multiplied back to you.
You can give toward this cause through my website or by sending a tax-deductible check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. Thank you and God bless you for helping Pastor Francis and others like him who are helping the children.