My first trip to Kenya was in 1997 when I visited Pastor Don Matheny at Nairobi Lighthouse Church. I returned off and on for a few years and then didn't go for about four years until my now good friend, Kentice Tikolo, wrote me in 2003 asking me if I ever came to Kenya. She felt like Kenya needed the purpose message and she was opening the door to do what she could to facilitate a visit.
It worked out for me to return in 2004 and I have been going back every year, often making multiple visits. In 2008, the Lord spoke to me once when I was there that I was nothing but a "hired gun" and I knew exactly what He meant. I was touring and speaking while I was there but I was not really benefiting the people or building close relationships with those who had needs. I 2009, I brought a team over with me and this time the team did not just follow me around to hear me speak. We began to go out into the communities and I had those with me doing more. In 2010, I took another team and it was then that we formulated our strategy of building relationships with a few ministries with whom we felt the Lord join us and where we could make a difference. I knew that we could not help most of the people so why not concentrate on really helping a few.
My last trip on 2020 before the pandemic was to Kenya with another team but this one was different. The Lord was showing me that we needed to do some things differently and now that I have had a year to think about it, I am announcing a return to Kenya in February 2022 and I am inviting you to come along for a two-week tour that will change your life and the way you relate to poverty.
What will be different about 2022? For one thing, I hope we can dedicate the new Dr. Stanko Academy and Orphanage grounds and facilities while we are there. Then I plan on returning with the team to the Academy for consecutive days to build better relationships with the students, orphans, and staff. Then I hope to have some medical personnel along so that we can tend to the medical needs of the children, the staff, and their families. Then we will visit our partners in Bomet to do the same thing. Of course, there is always time for a safari when we go and that will continue in 2022.
I don't have the exact dates yet (I want to visit the country before I take a team to assess how things are), but I am thinking it will be the last two weeks of February. Right now, I am asking for you to let me know if you would like to go. That isn't a commitment and you don't have to pay anything right now, you just have to write and say, "I want to go to Kenya with you in 2022." Then as information becomes available, I will share it with you.
Right now, I already have 12 people who have said "I'm in." Why not add your name to their list and begin to prepare now for what's ahead. If you have any other questions, just write me at email@example.com and I will get right back to you. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it's that the world can change in a moment's notice. Don't put it off if it's in your heart to do. Faith would dictate that your faith action at this moment is to say, "By God's grace, I'm going." I look forward to hearing from you.
Four times every year I send out a fundraising letter to my donor list of a few friends and ministry partners. This year, i thought I would share what I send with you so you know what I am up to and what the needs of my ministry are. Please enjoy the pictures, which have gotten a lot of feedback from those who have received them so far.
This is my first letter of the year and I hope it finds you well and prospering in the Lord. I continue to stay busy but before I tell you about that, I thought I would personalize this letter a bit more by showing you pictures of some of those you help through your generous gifts to my ministry. Let me explain what you see.
- The “Watercycle.” This motorcycle is used to transport water for 52 orphans from a well three miles away over treacherous, muddy, mountainous roads. The yellow cans are what the driver uses to carry the water. He does this all day every day so the children have water to drink and bath. We purchased this vehicle I have named the Watercycle for $1,200.
- The Faculty. I send the teachers $100 each per month. That is their income to live on. Classes are back in session and they are doing a fantastic job.
- The Young Ladies. Every month, we send $700 so 500+ young ladies can receive the sanitary products they need to stay in school. I received a communication this week asking if we can increase the money we send because the number of girls needing help has increased due to the pandemic (those students cannot go back to their boarding schools so are attending local schools).
- Staff, students, and orphans. There are 120 students attending the Stanko Academy and 20 of them are orphans. These orphans live at the school where their bunk beds are set up in the classrooms. I have included pictures of only two of the orphans with their names and ages: Joy (6) and Moses (11). We send food money every month.
Speaking of the Stanko Academy, I thank God that our campaign for the land purchase was a fabulous success. Our goal was $50,000 and it looks like we will have about $61,000 when all the pledges are paid. That’s good because the land will cost around $55,000 (we are still negotiating) and then we will have to fence it off and do some other land prep work. My thanks to you if you gave or prayed.
I hope to return to Kenya this year. I am also planning on taking a team over in February 2022 when we will follow a new format when we visit. This will include a medical team and much more concentrated daily effort at the Stanko Academy, which I hope we will be able to dedicate during that visit. I also plan on releasing my book with co-author Irene Mureithi on that trip. Let me know if you are interested in going with me in 2022.
My work continues to be non-stop as I make the most of my time at home. I feel like I have a full-time online flock as I write, counsel, coach, and pray for people who write me through my various social media platforms. I am teaching weekly online classes on creativity, purpose, the gospels, and Christian thought and I connect on a daily basis with people all over the world. I have produced 100 blog radio shows and 150 Facebook Live sessions during the pandemic and the ministry feedback has been gratifying.
Right now, I am also working on books for authors in Australia, South Africa, the UK, and Kenya—as well as many in the U.S. Some can pay something, others can pay nothing, but that is not the basis I use to decide with whom I work. That is up to the Lord’s direction and it is always fascinating how He shows me who my partners are to be.
I have only included pictures of a few of our ministry partners, but rest assured there are many more who throughout the month benefit from your generosity. You are truly helping to feed and clothe the hungry and the poor. If your heart is moved by what you read or see, you can give online at my website or mail your check payable to PurposeQuest International, P.O. Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA, 15221-0882. PQI is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization so your contribution is tax-deductible. You can also give through my mobile app, the Cash App, PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle.
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:12-15).
I know the orphans and their caretakers will thank God for your generous support, and it is a special thing to be commended to God by those who have nothing with which to repay your generosity except with their prayers and thanks to Him. I urge you to be generous in your giving and I promise to be a good steward of your resources and the opportunities before us. May God richly bless you and our Kenya partners.
Yours in the faith,
Dr. John W. Stanko
The pandemic has caused difficulties the world over and our partners in Kenya are no exception. One of our partners is an orphanage of 72 (18 are high school age, the rest live in a group home led by our brother and friend, Pastor David Koech). I received this email from Rev. Koech this morning:
Hi Brother Stanko,
We thank God for we have started well with all our 54 kids reporting back. We were a bit worried especially for the teenage girls who had gone home [the orphanage sent as many children as they could back to their village with even distant relatives during the holiday break; now school has begun again].
This process of transporting the water will be an all day every day event but is vital for the health and well-being of the children and their caregivers. Will you help me help the children have access to fresh water by helping purchase the motorcycle they need (yes, the picture here is an actual one from Kenya, which shows how important any transport is, especially in rural areas)? Please give a special gift today using Paypal on my website, the Cash App ($stankojohn), Venmo@John-Stanko-10, or my mobile app (designate Bomet Motorcycle). Of course, you can also send a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. Thank you for your help in getting much-needed water to much-needy children.
Christmas in Kenya is not a time for toys and decorations, especially in 2020 as people are struggling just to eat. The custom is for the children to receive new shoes, a set of clothes, and a Christmas meal. For only $25, you can make that happen and thus give a kid his or her Christmas this year. We have 100 orphans whom God has entrusted to our care and your gift will give them a Christmas blessing that will last long after Christmas—except for the holiday meal. Is $25 (or more) too much to ask to help a kid, an orphan kid, have a Christmas?
COVID-19 has ravaged Kenya and our partners. God has been faithful to provide for them and every penny I have received in 2020 on their behalf has been sent over immediately. Now they are facing a Christmas like never before. Your gift will tell them you care and, more importantly, that God cares and is mindful of their plight. You will also be fulfilling the definition of religion as described by James, the brother of Jesus: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27).
You can give online or mail your check payable to PurposeQuest International, P.O. Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA, 15221-0882. PQI is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization and your contribution is tax-deductible. You can also give through my mobile app, the Cash App, PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle. Please give as soon as you can so I can assemble and send the funds prior to Christmas. Then their caregivers will know what they can do for the children. I want to wish you and yours a happy holiday season. As you get ready to enjoy Christmas hopefully with some family and friends, please consider sharing some of what you have with the Kenyan orphans with whom we work. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and I pray God’s blessings on you as you give a kid a Christmas in 2020. Stay safe and well.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I felt the Lord whisper to me, “This is a good time to raise money.” I thought maybe I had heard wrong, but at the same time, I knew the Lord was directing my attention to the needs of the Dr. Stanko Academy in Nairobi, Kenya.
A few years ago, my partner Pastor Francis wrote to inform me that the school he had founded was no more. The landlord, in an effort to reclaim the land where the school was, had enlisted the help of the local police who at midnight raided the compound and destroyed the school. Pastor Francis was devastated, just like the school, not sure if he could continue or rebuild.
I put the word out and we raised some money enabling him to relocate and build a new school. As God would have it, the new version is superior to the old one (although much smaller) and as a token of his appreciation, he and the staff renamed the new school the Dr. Stanko Academy with the byline “Sweat for Success.”
Over the years, I have supported five of the teachers there and visited whenever I was in Kenya. Last year, Pastor Francis informed me that their lease expires in June 2021 and it would soon be time to move. Oh, I neglected to mention that Pastor Francis also has an orphanage and the children attend the Dr. Stanko Academy. When we raised money for new beds for the orphans last year, they placed the beds in the Academy classrooms, which now double as school room and dormitory—not an ideal situation when children are sleeping inches away from a metal roof on the equator.
Thus, when they move next year, we will need to find a place for the orphans and a school.
A GOOD TIME TO RAISE MONEY
Based on their need as well as God’s promise, I am therefore starting a campaign to raise $50,000 for the Stanko Academy by January 31, 2021. This money will have to include the land purchase, the school, and an orphanage to house the children. I am not sure we will have enough for furnishings or equipment, but this is the amount on my heart.
The good news is that, as I write, I have received $27,000 toward the goal and I haven’t even made the formal announcement—people contacted me to give. That represents more 40% of the need—thank You, Lord. I have shared this project with a few ministry partners here in the U.S. who are “all in” and will contribute toward the project as well.
Perhaps you would like to make a special gift in memory of a loved one, in which case we would certainly be glad to designate a classroom, the library, or the orphanage with the name of those you wish to honor. Or maybe you simply wish to make a special thanksgiving offering to the Lord in light of His faithfulness to you and yours through this recent ordeal?
Also, this campaign needs to be separate from any of my other commitments to my partners in Kenya, so please keep in mind that this is a special one-time campaign. There is still a serious crisis in Kenya, and I need to continue to send monthly support so they can buy food and other necessities—and I need your ongoing help to do that.
Of course, any contribution toward the building fund is tax-deductible. You can give through my PurposeQuest International mobile app, the Cash App ($stankojohn), Paypal, my website, or by sending a check marked “Dr. Stanko Academy” to PurposeQuest International, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882.
I have placed this project in God’s hands and will trust Him for the outcome. I am encouraged by what I already have, and know the total amount is well within God’s ability to provide. Please pray for the project that we will find land and be able to build something adequate with the money we raise. And of course, please pray for the orphans and children who are suffering during this worldwide crisis.
are some of the photos randomly selected from June’s distribution (click on them to enlarge).
Here is a report from WEEP, our project that distributes sanitary products to young ladies every month. Please read the report through to the end and then consider contributing to my ministry's Thanksgiving offering to support WEEP and my other programs for the poor:
I tell the Lord almost every day, "I owe You, Lord. I am grateful for your blessings and am committed to
do Your will--no matter where or what it is." In this season in the U.S. when we give thanks, someone has generously offered a $500 matching gift for the work of my ministry. Every dollar you give now becomes $2. Let's give thanks together as we remember my work among the poor. Your gift this Thanksgiving season will help me continue my work In Kenya and in other places. If we are friends on Facebook, you can give through that fundraiser. Otherwise you can give on my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882.