This gallery contains 22 photos.
“And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but the sinners.”- Mark 2:17
You should have heard some of the conversations these men were having with us. The owner of the stretch of the buildings we were dining at for Jason’s last night in Kenya was talking about his wives. Yes plural. When he doesn’t want to be with one of them he will just go to one of his other homes with his other wives and children and spend the night with them. But don’t worry, his wives are all in good relations with each other, if he doesn’t come home they let each other know if or when he has arrived home to one of his other families. This was right after one of his the regulars to the establishment where we were dining was wondering if we could find him a girlfriend as his wife called to check in on him and when he would be arriving back in Nairobi. These are the normal conversations that take place in many places across Kenya between men. Tonight this conversation was happening in a nyama choma restaurant in Maai Mahiu, the town where my good friend Jason has been doing ministry for the past ten months.
Its amazing Jason and I even ended up at that particular meat eating paradise that evening. We were headed to another of our favorite places to get one last meal at a nice clean restaurant with menus and no chickens walking around for Jason’s last night in Kenya when I had the brilliant idea that we should eat nyama choma instead. It didn’t take long for Jason to adopt this idea because, one, nyama choma is awesome, and two, we had already had breakfast and lunch at the other place we had originally planned to go. So after a short debate about which was the right place we eventually ended up being invited to sit with three business owners from Maai Mahiu. The owner of the restaurant we were sitting in, the owner of the neighboring beer store and the owner of the entire stretch of buildings where we were located were all telling us about their lives and going into as much detail as they could remember. I truly enjoyed the company and fellowship because Jason was with me and because the King of Heaven loved these men so much no matter where they had come from before this moment. So after a couple beers and a few kilos of meat we paid our tab and were ready to bid our farewells to these men until one of them insisted on buying us one more round. Being good Christians we obliged and sat down unaware that that beer was a gift from God because of what was about to take place. We continued or conversation and after a couple minutes Joseph, the owner of the restaurant we were in, got up walked to the kitchen and then came back and sat down. A big smile came across my face and Jason looked at me a little confused. I said to him, “You see that cane?” An even bigger smile came over Jason when the words finally clicked in his mind and he saw the cane resting on Joseph’s chair. This was all a set up and we knew God was about to move.
Jason took off without anything else being said between us. “I see your carrying a cane around.” “What happened?” “What’s wrong?” Joseph told us that he has been unable to walk or stand without his cane for some years because of arthritis in his back and because he had a bad leg. “Can we pray for you? We believe that our God can heal you and wants you to be better.” Joseph agreed and Jason took his leg as I placed my hands on his back. We prayed with authority knowing that there is no pain or arthritis in heaven and that it was Jesus’ example that we pray for things on Earth to be as they are in Heaven. We commanded the pain to leave and with an “amen” asked Joseph how he felt. Joseph stood up, took three or four steps and then made a b-line for the kitchen where he bent over a table and began to weep. We followed him and after a minute he straightened up, hugged each of us and walked out the front door of his restaurant. While all of this was taking place a crowd of eyes had begun to focus on this man whom they all had known for a very long time wondering what had just happened. A few seconds later Joseph walked in the side door then was gone out the front door again. He was doing laps trying out his new leg! We told him it was Jesus that healed his leg and he went on to tell everyone in the place that Jesus had just healed his leg. Then everyone in the place started asking us, “Jesus did that?” Yes He did. Joseph proceeded to sit down and stand up three or four times to show us that he could now stand without the use of his cane.
Jesus never moved without His Father. He only did what He saw His Father do. And at the same time His ministry never moved without power. Jesus preached then demonstrated what He preached through the power of His Father or vise versa. We had another chance to see the heart of the King that evening with those men. Our King is love and power. He is Holy and compassionate. He is always good and never failing. And He is King to all and His dominion extends to every place that our feet take us. God calls us to open doors for Him to move in only ways that He can. To bring Heaven to Earth. To cast out the darkness with the light. To heal the sick and bring joy to the broken hearted. These are the things that the Father loves. The heart of the King was on display that night and lives were changed through the love of the Father.
I’ll start with the kids. They are doing amazing. That’s all there is to say. Going through the past eleven months in my head always happens two ways. First I see the slow fade. I see the small victories and the steps we have taken backwards. I see the fighting and arguing one minute and the loving and compassionate payers these kids give each other the next. We see the crying and broken hearts one day and the next we have seventeen joy filled children running, playing and enjoying life without a care in the world. This is how I always look at our progress at Abba’s House at first. Then I look at the big picture. The thoughts that ran through my head the first week the kids were here when one of the kids would get out of bed in the middle of the night to pee on the floor next to her bed. The days when it seemed like every other problem involved someone hitting, kicking or hurting his or her brother or sister in some way or another. Or the times when running away seemed like the best option to not being served the food that you want to eat for dinner. Looking at the big picture from where these kids started to where to they are now is when the glory sets in. The redemption and restoration taking place at Abba’s House is so evident of the heart of our Father. He wants to bring everyone into His arms and pick them up to their heavenly places. We have had the amazing opportunity to watch this happen before our eyes over the past year. The kids are happy and being taken care of and are learning so much. We have seen drastic improvements in their grades at school over the past year. All seventeen children have had the opportunity to focus on being a kid and a student instead of focusing on providing for themselves or a family and it is amazing how much improvement has happened. The kids come home from school ecstatic about how they are doing in class and on tests. With the school year just finishing last week, every child was in the top ten in class rank in his or her class. And even greater yet is the spiritual growth we get to experience in the kids. Every day we pray for an increase of the Father in the children’s lives. For an increase in desire and heavenly encounters and we, once again, have seen so much in the form of blessings and answers to our prayers. The kids praying healing over one another and wanting to spend time alone with God. Just the little behavioral changes in replacing fighting for love and self control, most of the time. God is always faithful and always answers our prayers when we ask out of the desires that match His. Please keep praying for an increase at Abba’s House.
Now to what I have been doing. Since September I haven’t really gave an update on the work I have completed. The gallery below shoes shows some of the work. The rainy season stopped me from completing the drainage field last spring when I was here so that was the first completed project. It involved a big hole in the ground that needed drained, about eight truck loads of rock some pipe and a little bit of elbow grease. The hole that was in the front yard for so long has disappeared and is not a functioning drainage field. About this same time, Alyssa’s parents were in town and her father Tony and I got to spend a couple days building some much needed shelving and storage space for the kids and the common areas. Thanks to some awesome donors, I was able to build a jungle gym complete with a couple of slides, a fireman’s pole and some monkey bars and a swing to be added shortly. I keep telling the kids it’s a goat house but for some reason they don’t believe me and are really excited about it. It is almost finished. More pictures to come. I also got to build a couple of goal frames in the back yard field. The kids have been tearing up the grass back there ever since because they sure do love football. One last project is the current grill I am working on. I’m in a bit of a time crunch to finish it by Thanksgiving but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If anybody wants to donate a cement mixer though and send it to Kenya that would be greatly appreciated. Mixing concrete all day by stirring sand, cement, and stones together with a shovel is some hard work. These are the major work projects happening around the house. Little things always happening that need fixed or improved but I do love what I am doing here. It keeps me busy and feeling manly along with growing facial hair whenever I get the opportunity to do so.
I have been enjoying my time so much here and feel so blessed to be doing what God has called me to do and truly loving it. I just know that with January quickly approaching I must keep my mind focused on pouring into these children and loving them and teaching them without focusing on coming home. I do have some awesome stuff to look forward to. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and then Christmas is not far behind. Last Christmas we got to spend with the kids but it was not in the house together as a family. I am so excited about celebrating the holidays with the kids, teaching them about what they mean and starting some new traditions at the house. And lastly, I am so excited about my parents coming. I would never tell them that but I am so excited. They get to come and work alongside me and see how God has been moving in this place. We will be taking a little bit of exploration time obviously which is going to be great, but I am even more thrilled that they get to spend time with these kids and pour into them as they have done to me and my brothers. It is going to be a lot of fun. And I know, the entire time, everything is going to get turned back around on me. “That’s exactly what you used to do to us!” Yes mother, I know. I deserve it.
So once again, thank you so much for all your love, support and prayers. Please email me. Email the kids through my email! I love hearing from home and catching up. But most importantly keep praying for us. There is so much power in prayer and we gladly receive any blessings that you would send our way with your prayers. I hope to give another update soon. God bless.
More Than A Miracle
This is Zach. This past week he was healed miraculously. We prayed for him because he could not see properly, an issue he had been dealing with for over a week, and God healed him. It was a miracle. But it was also so much more.
God has this awesome, amazing, perfect and thought out plan for every person. This plan comes into existence on Earth only by our faithfulness and obedience. There are so many parts of this plan, but we can only see the small picture as it is happening. It’s not until you look back that you realize how the things that are happening are carefully thought out and planned by a loving father in Heaven.
My last blog I talked about how we started a quiet time or a “secret place” time for our kids to get away from the distractions of the house and to be alone with God. This was just the first step in a story that is rocking Abba’s House and showing our kids the power of their King Jesus.
I didn’t come up with it. I was just spending time with m Father and He put it on my heart. I am not going to say it any other way. It is the only reason the idea came into my heart and stayed there. I was being intentional with my God and asking Him for direction in the house and it stuck. I thought it was a great idea but again, I was seeing the small picture and not the blessings that would come out of it. My focus was on a small piece of the plan God already had imagined up before I was born. So I brought up the idea with the staff the next morning at our meeting and we all decided that it would be a good thing for the kids. What it would look like exactly was the tricky part but we decided to just give them the alone time in the most secluded way we could provide in the house. We would then invite the Holy Spirit to come move in the children while they were there and let God do the rest. If something was not working out, we would fine-tune it a little more. That was not necessary.
So we started and one more step of Gods plan was kicked into motion. We took the kids one at a time to encounter Jesus in this place. I got the opportunity to pray with them before I left them alone. I would welcome the Holy Spirit into the room. We were actually creating Holy Ground. I would pray for the distractions of the house and the world to leave so the kids would be focused only on God and the things He wanted them to see and hear. We encouraged them to sing, dance, scream and do whatever else they wanted because it was just them and their Father alone. Nobody else was there to see what was happening. We commit these little ones to God every time they enter that place. Giving them to God to move in any way He wants and to encounter them in any way that He desires.
Then came the fun part. The part where you start to see some of the amazing evidence that this wasn’t just some thought from your mind. This wasn’t some random good idea you came up with because watching seventeen kids was too much some days. “Lets throw a boy and a girl in their own special place for a little while so we only have to watch fifteen of them for a while. Maybe we should put the ones in there that have too much energy today.” No… It was an idea from the heart of Jesus, because out of it we started to see this fruit. This amazing fruit that only a good tree can produce. There were smiles, visions, words and just this awesome feeling of joy on our kids faces as they left the presence of God and could not wait to come tell us what God had told them, or had shown them. And the words were so good. Things I had never heard these kids speak before about love and happiness and healing. Some of the kids said such simple things, but they were the things that Jesus desired. Things like how much Jesus loves these kids and the staff and the community around us. Things like the love and happiness that is going to come into our house. These were the prophetic words of Christ coming from the mouths of babes. They had no idea they were prophesying over Abba’s house and the community. They just heard God speak and wanted the rest of the house to hear it.
Then came the next step of this Kingdom plan. A word one of our boys Nicholas heard from God that could have been brushed off but instead it stuck. I ask all the kids if they saw Jesus and what He said after they were finished. Nicholas said God told him that, “He wants all of this family to be happy” and also that “the power to heal is in him and in the other boys and girls” at Abba’s House. That is what clicked. I have a child, the most faithful of God’s people, that just heard that he has the ability to heal. That is like having the New York Rangers playing a hockey game against a group or preschoolers from South Florida that have never seen snow. Satan had no chance.
So to continue, that word from Nicholas stayed with me for a couple days. During this time, Zach had been complaining about his eyesight. At first he talked about getting dust in his eyes and that everything seemed to have a red tint to it. But as the days continued, he seemed to have this depressed feeling and something was bothering him. He had been greatly under describing his sight problems that had gotten worse over the past week. He was laying in his bed this past weekend very sad and I asked him what his problem was. Usually I will tell the kids to drink some water to fix their problems but this time I could tell something was really bothering him. That his eyes were truly bothering him and he needed some help. Just then, the word God had given Nicholas came back to me. I knew the faith of these kids could heal Zach but there was one more thing missing. I told Zach to stay in bed while I found Nicholas and Dickson.
I clearly heard God telling me to teach these boys how to pray for healing. They had the faith, they just needed to understand the authority that they carry and that it is all about love and Jesus. I asked them what it looked like when Jesus prayed for healings, what did he say? Nicholas responded with, “Get up!” That’s all I needed. I explained that Jesus never asked. A king doesn’t ask for something to happen. Where He has authority, He commands it to happen. And because Jesus is living in these boys, they have authority, through the blood of Christ, over sickness, demons, nature and any tricks of the evil one. I explained to them about always being ready for battle. You never know when God might call on you to move, but if He does you better hope you are prepared. And lastly, I told them why we do these things. It is not about anything other than love. God hates to see us afflicted with sickness or disease and wants nothing more than to deliver His children from darkness. As I am saying all these things I can see this fire growing in the boys eyes. I told them about their brother Zach and asked them if God can heal him. They both said yes so I said, “Get ready for battle!” I left Diki and Nicholas alone for a half hour to literally prepare for battle, the whole time praying for them and for the glory of God that was on the way.
I came back and got them after they had sought the Lord and they were ready. I encouraged them to ask Zach if we could pray for him. Zach, still lying in bed, agreed to the prayer not knowing the power that was about to come over him. We all took turns praying for Zach and commanding the sickness to leave and for his eyesight to be restored. When we finished, Dickson asked him to open his eyes. He looked out the window and out of one eye could see the mountains in the distance but the other eye had not changed. “Why stop when God is in the middle of something great? Keep praying, God doesn’t want Zach to be half healed, he wants his eyesight completely restored.” We all prayed again at the same time over him and this time there was nothing that could stop the victory from coming. Zach opened his eyes with a huge smile on his face and said he could see perfectly fine again. All the boys were so happy and filled with joy that they got to experience the works of God through them.
After this, Zach couldn’t help it, he had to go outside and play again. His depressed look was gone and he was healed by the grace of God. I asked him how bad his sight was when he finished kicking the soccer ball around. Zach said he could not see clearly two feet in front of his face. He told me that he hadn’t taken a note in class for the past week because he couldn’t read the chalkboard. I asked him why he didn’t tell us how bad it was. He was worried he would have to go to the doctor and they would tell him something bad. Just like that, God healed him, his joy came back and his fears were relieved because he has a great and mighty King.
Since then, the desire these kids have had for the Lord has increased so much. They all want their quiet time with the Lord and are constantly looking for opportunities to move with Him. They prayed for one of their brothers and sisters the next day and by their faith they were also healed. God had this whole thing planned out and if we would have not moved, spoken up or trusted God, this story would have been a lot different. God delights in the obedience to move with the heart of Christ. Simple obedience.
God has such amazing plans for every person. If we hear but don’t listen they will not be accomplished. If we don’t take the time to seek His face to listen in the first place, they will not be accomplished. If we are not pursuing the heart of Christ and moving in obedience, His plans will not be accomplished. As I was praying this morning I was asking God to show me what the next step in His plans were and this is it. Tell this story and encourage others to seek me and listen to my plans for them. This story is not about me, it is about the awesome power of God that He wants us all to experience. It’s about listening to the only voice worth listening to and moving in obedience when your Father encourages you to move. It’s about the amazing plans God has in store for each person. Plans of life and freedom and love that take us to a better place than we could ever imagine to be on Earth. Heaven on Earth.
This is a testimony about what is happening in Kenya. With a testimony comes power. I hope you read this seeing the heart of God and not as some crazy guy who ran off to some foreign country to chase monkeys and fairy tales. Please email me if you want to hear more or ask me any question. God is real and waiting to move in each and every one of us. We just need to open a door for Him to do just that.
I have been here a month already and the time has flown by so fast that it is hard for me to believe. I have been going nonstop since getting here. The first week was a week to get settled back into the routine of Kenya, get some planning accomplished for what we want to see happen at Abba’s House in the next four months and beyond, and also just spend time with the kids. My first week back the kids were still on a break form school between their semesters so they were more than enough to keep me busy and also receive a very warm welcome back into my home away form home. Seeing the direction and vision for this home being laid out before us by God is an amazing thing. We are spending a lot of time between the staff here praying for the children, the house, and the community and what our Kingdom goals are here. And when we ask, God really has been showing up and giving us clarity and direction. One area where God clearly spoke to us about the needs of the kids had to do with alone time. Since January, our kids have always been around each other. When they are not together at the house they are with more people at school. God spoke clearly that these kids needed to get away to be with their Father in Heaven in their secret place. We created a “secret place” for the boys and the girls for them to get away from their brothers and sisters and the way God is encountering these kids in that place has been absolutely amazing. I encourage them to go away for a half hour and two or three hours later they return from their quite time with God and have a huge smile on their face with an amazing excitement to tell us what God had revealed to them. It has been so awesome to see God move in this way. It still takes some encouragement on our part to get them to go to their “secret place” but after they go, Holy Ground is created and the Holy Spirit shows up and does the rest. This is just one example of how Gods direction at Abba’s House is changing the lives of these kids. Teaching them to create an intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe is the heart of Jesus. There is nothing God delights in more than His kids being obedient and seeking His face. We need this direction of God to guide our leadership over this house. Please be praying that we will keep seeking Gods direction, that we would be obedient in making His plans happen, because we are His hands and feet in this place, and that God would just continue to show up in our lives and in the lives of this kids for His Kingdom glory.
I also had the opportunity to spend a couple days this month with an amazing group of friends that run a discipleship ministry in a near by town. While they were leading some groups visiting through Adventures in Missions, I got the chance to work alongside them, leading some teams and helping with the heavy workload that week. Experiencing the nations coming together in such a way for the Kingdom is always such an awesome time and the movement of God always follows. Healings are happening, people are accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior and mountains are moving in a place that only God can move mountains. In a small city with so many fatherless children, women giving themselves away to prostitution, and men seeking these women along with drugs and alcohol, this ministry is a light in the darkness. They are bringing hope and teaching and the love of the perfect Father to the lost. Please join me in praying for and encouraging the 61Project in the work they are doing for the Kingdom in Kenya. I know and love these people very much. Trust me when I say they are bringing the Good News to this country and are seeking out the lost. Working alongside this ministry is always a blessing and refreshing time. Check them out at www.61Project.org or follow them on Facebook under 61Project.
So the months ahead include a fast paced period of new faces, new projects, and just a welcoming of the movement of the Holy Spirit in this place. So far we have made progress on the septic drainage field, a project that is taking more time than desired because we entered into our rainy season this month. Our house has also been in desperate need of more furniture. I went out and bought a circular saw last week and have started building shelves for storage. One of the girls I work with, Alyssa, her parents are also coming next week. With her dad comes the skill of carpentry as well so we will be working on creating some closet space for the kids to have a little more organization in the bedroom areas. I finished the water tank plumbing and rain collection system for the amount of tanks we have currently. As we increase our storage tank number we will continue the work with that. Along with these projects, the never-ending task of farming and landscaping has been ongoing and an enjoyed time for me. We just need our grass to grow and spread. Plans of a jungle gym, swing set, more furniture and more landscaping needs are in the plans over the next couple of months. We also need new mattresses for the kids so if reading this sparks something in you to donate to one of these projects, please pray about it and we will put the money to any of these projects you would like to sponsor.
The Lord has made all of this so easy for me because of you all. Not to say there are no struggles here, but the part that so many see as the biggest hurdle has become such an easy and care free thing because of Gods graciousness and your generosity and obedience. Thank you for your financial support but even more for your prayers and encouragement throughout this past year. I go to Kenya last year on September 28. One year later, God is moving even more than ever with so much more to come. We have been met in all of our needs of provision and there is always more to come from our loving Father. Thank you so much. I will try to keep you updated as much as possible and when it comes to our need and prayer requests hopefully weekly have our needs up here. God bless you all and I pray you are seeing His love at work in your life daily.
I am also thinking about growing out me beard and donating it to the beardless. If this is a ministry you would like to support please give generously to Abba’s House and the work we are doing here so I know there are people supporting me out there.
I made it back to Kenya safe and sound. The kids went a little crazy to see me but I am getting settled back in now and look forward to the time I have here. The kids have all done some more growing physically, spiritually and academically since I have left. Abba’s House has been run with Jesus at the center of it and His blessings are flowing out of every place for the kids and the staff here.
My first couple of days back, the kids were still on break from school so it was all day every day with the munchkins hanging all over me. I was welcomed with many open arms. They are back in school now so I am looking towards the future projects at the house. A driveway gate, kitchen addition to keep the smoke out of the house and a drainage field are the first priorities. Getting some more grass to grow around the house is a welcomed challenge to make the property a little more live able for everyone and I think the kids also need a swing set and a jungle gym. I’m gonna be lacing up my work boots as soon as I finish this post. Keep our kids in your prayers for them to just keep encountering more of Jesus every day and also for their schooling. They are all at the tops of their classes and so far ahead of where they were when they moved into Abba’s House. They still have a long way to go but they are very motivated and have a desire to learn. Keep our staff in your prayers as well. We need Christ to be our leader in all of this for it to be done properly and in His glory. Some health issues have also been lingering around a little too long that need to be gone and also that we can just stay rested and focused with the tasks at hand. Thanks so much for your continued love an support. Keep the prayers coming and I will try to keep everyone updated as much as possible. Now I just gotta pray I have enough service to send this update. God bless!
I know it’s been a little longer between my post this time and for that I am sorry. We have been busier than ever but this has turned out to be a really good thing. First of all, no news going on in Kenya his past month was the elections going on. Praise God that this has been a mostly peaceful time for the country. The election was highly watched around the world because many of the children at Abba’s House are here because of the elections five years ago. This was a month of much concern for the country because of the violence that took place in 2007. So this was a praise. There were so many peace rallies and so much prayer for this election and God really answered.
Another praise for us at the home was we had our first work team come to help with the children and with work around the property. A group of World Racers and their parents coming through the organization Adventures in Missions helped with jobs including driveway construction and out kitchen concrete slab and also working with the kids teaching lessons, singing songs, playing games and so much more. This was a much needed and welcome change of pace for our team here and a lot of fun for the kids as well.
Another change of pace event also happens last week. The bitter sweet day when our team member Meredith left us. Bitter because she is a much loved member of Abba’s House with a tremendous heart for these kids but sweet because we know she is really listening to where God is leading her through all of this. She will be greatly missed and we look forward to her visiting on her giraffe safari. Throughout this our need for more help around the home does increase greatly, especially with my departure for time at home this summer. Hint, hint… We’re still looking for full time or internship opportunities here at Abba’s House.
But here is the best and most exciting part about why we are here doing what we are doing. This past month has been a huge period of personal growth for myself with our King. He has been revealing Himself more and more and I cannot get enough of Him. And even better, we have been blessed with taking seventeen children out of their former lives, lives or being declared orphans, and giving them new identities that is in no way reflecting that they are orphans because of the love of Christ. Instead of having the title orphan, they now have titles of the Kingdom placed on their hearts like Warrior, Encourager, Lion, Servant, Powerful and Fearless. Praise God for His never failing love for us. We are teaching these kids that they are royalty and heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven. There is no greater gift in the world. Christ does not see us or these children as the world sees us, He sees us as though we have already taken our place in His kingdom, and He sees us that way because the blood of Christ bought us that privilege.
Please continue to pray for us here. We need it, these kids need it and God loves hearing from us. And again, if you know of anyone or you yourself are looking for an opportunity to serve we’ve got some so please feel free to contact me. Thanks again so much for all of your love and support. Planning for the next pig roast will start soon too so prepare to mark your calendars. I hope all is well with you all and I love emails and hearing about what is happening back home. God bless and thanks again for all of your love, support and prayers.
It’s crazy to think how I got to this place in my life. How I ended up in Kenya working at this children’s home and leaving behind my family, friends and everything comfortable in Pennsylvania for this life of uncertainty. I honestly haven’t had doubts about being here, or God providing for us. He has provided beyond anything I could have ever imagined but there is still that uncertainty behind everything more with how exactly will God provide in these circumstances. We’re broke, how will we get the money to do these projects and buy things for the children? We’re not parents, how on earth are we going to be able to care for seventeen kids without ever having any of our own? We’re a bunch of sinners, how are we going to set a good example for these kids every minute of every day? These are a few of the daily struggles that go through our minds every day along with many others. How do we show the love of Christ to these kids and get them to understand that this must be priority in their lives? There is only one way these things have been provided to us. The amazing and never ending supply of grace that our father has for us. Yeah, I have been blessed with great parents that have taken care of me in provision and punishment. I’ve also been blessed with supportive friends and family that have given so generously with their prayers and gifts. But the thing is, these blessings cannot explain how we have come this far without failure or without ending up talking to the rock in the corner of the property and naming it Bernie like a crazy person. They have been a tremendous help to us but we are not failing because of the love and grace that God has shown us. We have children of all makes and models here. The independent and the dependent. The criers, the whiners and the fakers. The loud, the louder and the really loud. We’ve got kids that poop on the floor and others that pee the bed. Some eat anything you put in front o them and others act like vegetables are plutonium. These are crazy, loud, frustrating and wild kids but that’s perfectly fine with me.
You see we have those moments here in Kenya at our home on top of the windy hill where we get a delivery of water by donkey cart every day because we don’t have a well but do have seventeen kids that know how to use water. We have those amazing moments where God is standing in the room with you smiling because His will is being done. And we cannot do it without His grace. It’s that situation where He lets us succeed and is with us but the only way we got there is because of Him. It is really humbling, especially as I write it out and think about what I am trying to say. God has blessed us so much with this opportunity to care for the orphans of Kenya. I am learning so much throughout the weeks that pass by. I am not perfectly following Gods will all the time. None of us are. But when we are putting God first and letting His will be done through us to eternally benefit these children, those are the times we are blessed with children crying because they are beginning to understand who their real father in heaven is. It’s when we get to see these children smile because its the first time they have had a father or mother figure in their lives that will comfort them when they are sick or lay with them till they fall asleep, because, like I said before, they are children and can be stubborn. Ask my mom. I’m not perfect but my savior Jesus Christ is. Through His grace and love for us we will not fail because of His unfailing love for these children. My life has gotten a lot crazier. Before the kids came I was busy with working on projects and making sure things were getting done. Now that the kids are moved into are house, I’m still doing the same things just with seventeen kids moved into the house. With that said, thank you so much for your prayers and support. Please continue to be praying for myself, my team and all of these children. I will try to keep this more up to date and share as many stories as possible because its just a lot of fun. And lastly, I hate asking for money but it needs to be done. We are really getting a lot of work done here and need to be able to support the children as we finish the building projects around the home. We are a drainage field away from a complete septic system, a concrete slab away from a clean laundry area and a rainwater collection tank. There are many other jobs we want to get done for the sake of becoming self sufficient such as building a cow house and fenced pasture, a bakery and greenhouse to mention a few. If any of these projects sound like something you, your business or maybe your church would like to sponsor, it would be greatly appreciated and an answer to prayers. If there is some other gift or way you feel led to bless us please contact me and we can talk. But please, please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers. God is here and is doing some pretty amazing things. Another prayer request is that I will be coming home in May for a couple of months. We are looking for someone to come take my place for part of the summer so there is a male presence in the house for the boys and so all of the workload isn’t put on just one person. If this is something you could be praying about or of you or someone you know is interested feel free to email me for more information. And there is always the possibility of bringing groups over to help with the kids or getting a work team together. Again, if any of this interests you please feel free to contact me for more information. Thanks again for all of your love, support and prayers.
The following is a letter I wrote about a month ago…
My name is Jeremy Eshleman of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. I am currently living in Central Kenya and I am working for the orphanage that you are considering giving money to in order for us to get on our feet and running in the upcoming year. First of all, thank you so much for even considering us as a worthy cause for these funds. The only way that you are even aware of what we are doing and where these resources are going are through your international contacts and through our organization. It takes a lot of trust and faith when discerning where to appropriate funds and I just wanted to give you a little more information from this end to make your decision easier and for you to understand exactly what these funds are going to and why they are necessary.
I arrived here just about two months ago and my heart is stuck. I have had a chance to get to know these people and the culture. I have spent time praying with the broken hearted and the widows. Those that had been rejected by their communities and those that just needed a hand in the right direction to get them back on their feet. And I have now been given the privilege to show the love of Christ to the orphans of the world and to give them a family again through this ministry. Some of these kids have lost their families due to AIDS while others had to witness the brutal murder of their families at the hands of their neighbors due to political unrest in this country. One boy we are adopting was the only survivor in his family, losing both of his parents and six brothers and sisters because a neighboring tribe was upset over the land divisions or cattle issues. Miraculously, that same boy that survived a gunshot wound now has the opportunity for healing and to again have a family that will care for and love him unconditionally.
So why consider giving your support to this cause? I have had the privilege of getting to know the children that will be moving into the orphanage. I have heard their stories, and got to experience the way they live. They try to hide their hurt but it is still evident in their actions and on their faces. And the most heart breaking part for me is to see these children not having the chance to be children. The kids live in internally displaced peoples camps and they have the responsibilities of the world perched on their shoulders. They are constantly in this survival mode because their lives and their siblings lives depend on them stepping up into this position of adulthood long before they should be carrying such a weight. I tell you this so you can understand where your support will be going. This children deserve and opportunity to be just that, children. We hope to give that opportunity to these children and let them know that they will be taken care of no matter what life brings. So if you feel there is a better cause to support, I pray that you give or your resources accordingly. On the other hand, if you choose to support us, I promise your generosity will not be given for no reason. The lives of these children will be changed forever and they will be able to be kids again.
I sincerely write this letter to you and thank you for your consideration,
Jeremy Eshleman Jeremy.firstname.lastname@example.org