Postcards from Kenya
This July, four young volunteers teamed up with American Bible Society’s Reel Hope Challenge to bring the Word of God to orphaned children in Kenya. While there, Rosa Esparza, Christy Mulberger, Jackie Pacheco and Maria Serino visited eight orphanages over the course of seven days, bringing the life-changing message of Scripture to children from Githurai to Kitui. Follow along with them on their amazing journey!
Today we visited the House of Mercy orphanage in Githurai. It’s a smaller orphanage—only about 80 children—but the woman who started it just had a heart for these little ones. She hasn’t gotten some of the aid that the other, bigger orphanages have, but she imparts the love of God to these children. I think they know the Word of God better than I know it! The children were reciting Scripture. They were singing and smiling. Yes, they might have to share beds with their brothers and sisters, but they know that Jesus loves them.
As we gave out the Bibles, the director had tears in her eyes. “Many people give us money for uniforms, tuition and school supplies, but no one’s ever brought us the Word of God,” she said. I think that in America, we undervalue the Bible because it’s so easy to get. You can download a Bible on your phone, or you can buy one. But to the children in this orphanage, the Bible i precious. And I believe that’s how the Word of God needs to be to us, too. It needs to be a precious book that we cherish.
When we started handing the Bibles out today, there was so much joy, and some tears. The value of a Bible to these children is just huge. They knew that something in the Word of God was so important that it was going to affect their lives. Never in a million years would I have thought that a 5-year-old could be so excited about a Bible! But they really were. “This Bible is going to change my life,” I heard one child say.
I’m so glad to have the opportunity to share God’s Word with his children!
At the orphanage we visited yesterday, I met a little girl who let me sit beside her and read my favorite Scripture from her new Bible. I read her Philippians 4:13—“I can do everything through him who gives me strength!”
She looked at me and said, “Wow!” And I realized, she believed it. She really believed it. It made me think, this is how we should read the Word, every day: believing every word.
Meeting so many children with so many needs has changed me forever.
This has been such an amazing trip. As we’ve visited different orphanages, the connection we’ve felt with the children is incredible. We’ve heard them recite Scripture and talk about God’s love for them.
These children have so very little. Most of them own nothing other than the Bible we gave them today. Yet I could just see that God was with them, and he really does have a plan for them.
Today, we gave Bibles to children who are going to high school. In Kenya, the Bible is a required textbook for high school students. Yet some orphanages in Kenya have more than 100 kids and maybe only four Bibles. When we arrived today, some of the children weren’t sure they were actually going to get a Bible. But we had one for every child in the orphanage. Everyone got a Bible. The children’s reactions were breathtaking. They were so grateful. As soon as we gave them their Bibles, they would hug it to themselves and immediately begin reading it.
In the orphanage, the children share shoes, they share clothing, they share food, but today, we gave them their very own copy of the Word of God, and told them, “This is yours . You get to keep this, and you can write your name in this. This Bible is yours to keep forever.”
I woke up this morning, my first morning back home, with one thought in my mind: When can we go back? A big piece of my heart was left in Africa with every child I encountered.
This trip was life-changing. I appreciate the country I live in now because one child told me that he wanted to come see America someday. I appreciate my parents so much more after hearing how many children’s parents have passed away or abandoned them. I cherish every meal because I know many children won’t eat today.
My heart for the nations has grown. I thought when we gave these children their Bibles we would give them hope, but they also gave us hope, through every smile, every laugh and every hug they gave us.
I am so thankful to American Bible Society and its donors for making it possible for me to help change these precious children’s lives forever with the Word of God!
Bibles for Orphans in Kenya
In July, four volunteers participated in an ABS-sponsored Bible distribution trip to orphanages in Kenya. The seven-day trip would be forever life-changing for the children and these four women, who are pictured left to right: Christy, Jackie, Rosa and Maria
Beacon of Hope is situated in a poor area of Kenya. It is a school, an oasis of hope in the middle of abject poverty. The team distributed Bibles to this child and hundreds of others.
This toddler lives in Glory Home, an orphanage that houses children who’ve lived through difficult circumstances: abandonment, trafficking, food deprivation. Age-appropriate Bibles distributed by the team will give this child a lifeline of hope for the future.
This child wears a tattered sweater, yet sports a bright bead bracelet and a smile that belies her circumstances. She lives in the House of Mercy, a poor orphanage where children share beds—sometimes six to one mattress—and four Bibles among hundreds. After the ABS visit, each child treasured her own copy of Scripture.
Mama Zipporah founded the Huruma Children’s Home and School, which educates more than 100 children from the elementary level on up. She describes herself as “an ordinary woman with an extraordinary calling” and says the ABS Bibles “were the best gifts anyone has ever given us.”
Meet Joseph, a 1-year-old child who was left in a bag as an infant at the House of Mercy gates. He is the youngest member of the orphanage, which is located in one of the poorest areas in Kenya.
Caroline Nduku joined the Nyumani Children’s Home after her mother abandoned the family. She believes in the power of the Bible to build her up “mentally and spiritually.” Her favorite verse is Jeremiah 29.11 and believes God has plans for her future, one filled with hope.
Siblings George, 13, Kesse, 8, and Jackie, 11 (left to right) have made the House of Mercy their home after their mother was killed and their father left them. All three children are HIV positive. Nevertheless, they smile warmly and eagerly receive their own precious copy of God’s Word.
This young girl proudly displays the Good News Bible. She lives at New Hope Children’s Home, a self-sustainable orphanage with livestock and a school. Children here know Bible verses, but have never owned a copy of God’s Word themselves. Now they do.
New Hope Children’s Home: This young boy opens the gate to the New Hope Children’s Home. He, along with all the children there, welcomes the ABS team with joyous hearts.
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