I am Charles Kascan Asilutwa, pastor of ACK St. Peter's Maraba in the western region of Kenya. We minister to Brian at the child development center.
Our church is situated in the town of Kakamega in a slum area called Maraba. The place is unique in that it is a blend of town life and rural setting. The indigenous people have sold their land and the remaining land is not able to sustain the families agriculturally. Many have come in search of a job and town life is too hard in that they cannot afford roper diet or housing and good education for their children. Faced with this situation, the church has an uphill task because we are not able to meet the financial needs of our members. However, partnering with Compassion is going a long way in dealing with these challenges. This is because we now have programs aimed at empowering the community so that they can be able to confront poverty and be able to take their children to school.
The vision of the church is to proclaim Christ and transform our society holistically. The center's vision is to be a shining star in child development and community empowerment. Both visions aim at bringing change in the society through commitment to Christ.
Children attending the center are standing tall in the community because they are growing in all spheres of life. The center provides them with basic needs and enables them to get proper medical screenings and treatment. They are very healthy compared to others in the community. Their relationship with Christ has made them grow in humility and respect. In this past year, we have seen approximately 35 children commit themselves to Christ.
Our church has an outreach team that was put in place two years ago. Through this team, the church works to evangelize the community. We are also rolling out a program to help people who are struggling with poverty by training them in economic activities. The mothers union has come up with a program to teach women about small scale entrepreneurship by equipping them with skills such as soap making and making beautiful hand woven linen. We hope that through this initiative, women will be empowered and able to provide for their families.
Since our church is not the only one in the community of Maraba, we are keen on ensuring that we do not alienate one from the church the families attended before joining our center. However, we do emphasize and make follow-ups to ensure that they attend church where Christ is preached. We have approximately 24 families attending our church.
The act of writing letters is key to the relationship between children and sponsors; it strengthens the relationship and helps the children to develop their writing and communication skills. Through the letters, the children are able to feel the heartbeat of the sponsors and vice-versa. It is important to the children to get to know their sponsors and understand what is expected of them by the people sponsoring their education. Likewise, the sponsors can learn more about the children's situations and how they are doing at the center and school. However, there are some children who do not receive letters, and they may see themselves as outsiders and feel discouraged.
We pray for God to pour His spirit in the church, for we know that this is key to any success. Thank you once again for being generous to Brian. May God bless you!
If you are interested in sponsoring a young teen in Kenya like Brian, please consider sponsoring Mwanahamisi. She is 13 years old, her birthday is August 17, and she has been waiting six months for a sponsor.