Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Project Letter: KE-816

Here's a letter from Festus' pastor in Kenya! All the photos come from Compassion's website. 

I am Jackline O., pastor of (KE-816) in the western region of Kenya. We minister to Festus at the child development center. I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the sacrifice you make to sponsor Festus! I serve in a rural community where most of the people in this community are Christians. Peasant farming is their major economic activity. The challenges the community and the church face include poverty, joblessness, low education levels, and negative cultural practices.

The church's vision is to preach Jesus' love and to get the community out of spiritual and economic poverty by developing relevant trainings and programs for caregivers. The children at the center are well-nurtured and have access to social services, education, and medical care, unlike other children within the community, and they are doing well spiritually. A number of them have made confession in Christ and they are in a position of leading devotions and participating in prayer and worship.

This is a story of a boy who is 7 years old. He was abandoned by his parents and taken in by his uncle, where his care was not well. At the time of recruitment at age 5, he had not learned to speak and had not joined school. He could neither associate nor play with other children as he had not done it before. He was malnourished and his health was generally poor. At the center, medical treatment was given to help him to get out of malnutrition and he was able to be tutored, join school, and attend programs at the center. Through his interaction with other children, he learned to speak and to interact. He can now freely play, express himself, and do well at school. He attends Sunday school services and spiritual programs, where he practices singing. This is just one story of how the center has greatly impacted the life of a child!

The church assists the community to grow spiritually. We sponsor and preach at schools within the community, follow up on the children's academic performance, and offer guidance and counseling services to teenagers. We ensure that learning facilities are available. We also visit families to encourage and comfort them, provide basic needs to those in need, and run a program for orphans not attending the center.

The relationship between sponsors and children is vital to the children's spiritual and emotional development. It really helps the children to know that there is someone caring for them, and they feel valued and loved. They always feel encouraged to put in their best in all they do. They love getting to know more about their sponsors and their lives, and they are always excited to receive letters and write some back. However, those who fail to receive letters from their sponsors keep on asking whether they really have sponsors or not. They feel discouraged.

Our vision is for the sponsored children to grow up into responsible and self-reliant Christian adults. We pray that those who were once neglected by their parents will be able to come up and build leadership positions. These children greatly appreciate Compassion's program and are proud to be a part of it. The community also appreciates the center and recommends it to children who are in need. We say bravo to Compassion International. I request you to pray for our community to grow holistically. Thank you for your continued support, prayers, and encouragement for Festus. May God bless you abundantly.

If you are interested in sponsoring a young man in Kenya, please consider Joseph! Joseph is 18 years old and lives with his mom and one sibling. Read more about him here.

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