Monday, June 24, 2013

Mail Call Monday ~ Updates and One More Pastor Letter

On Saturday I was thrilled to see a large envelope in my mailbox from Compassion. It was filled with these country updates for 11 of our sponsored kids. Happy mail!

And I have one final pastor letter to share with you. This one is from Kenya. When Dominic Muchangi graduated last year, we began sponsoring another boy from the same project. This comes from the pastor of that local church. I'm thrilled to still have this connection to Dominic, whom we sponsored for 11 years.

Dear sponsors, 
Receive Christian greetings. I am Rev. Hampton N. Nguku, the vicar in charge of Anglican Church of Kenya (A.C.K) St. Luke Church Kamwaa associated with ACK Kamwaa child development center where your sponsored child Jackson Mwaniki attends. The project is located in Embu County in the eastern region of Kenya.
On behalf of all Christians and members of ACK Kamwaa Church, I wish to register and convery our sincere thanks for commitment, sacrificial giving, love and sponsorship to Mwaniki. Your support has gone a long way in not only helping Mwaniki but the family and entire community to come out of poverty as well as giving the church an opportunity to minister to the family holistically.
However, the community still faces some challenges including food insecurity, high levels of poverty and separated families. The greatest need of the children and the young people to help them achieve holistic development is education. This will enable them to be self-reliant by developing creativity by using their gifts, working as a team and recognizing God as the supreme power in their life.
Through the project, children in the community have been able to acquire education. Education has provided professionals who are within the community and are helpful in providing solutions to problems such as food insecurity.
The project has given an opportunity to the staff to serve God through the ministry to children. Through the service they have been able to acquire experiences and economic stability of their families. They are also able to utilize their talents, skills and gifts in the service.
As I reflect on the project impact, I reflect on my own life experience as a formerly sponsored child who was nurtured from a very poor family background and went through discipleship, high school and Bible college through the project support. After I graduated from Bible college I joined the church as a minister of the Gospel and I am now a mentor to many children who  identify with my story. Many others have similar stories in the community, as through the project many children have achieved their goals in life and become role models of others in the community. There is demonstrated evidence of impact through poverty reduction, and the majority of children have a brighter vision of a better future for their families and the community. The project will enhance this through equipping them in teaching, addressing challenges which are hindrances to their vision.
The community has great hope of the future stability of their lives. This is through their children whom they have joined hands with project to nurture into wholeness in life by providing what is necessary and important for their development.
In the last year, three children received their sponsors. It was a great reunion, a moment of joy filled with emotions. The project had an opportunity of hosting a group of 46 sponsors from the US who came to experience how the project is ministering to the children.*  Many children received friendly letters and monthly gifts. Over 150 children have received sponsor letters and gifts in the last 12 months. The sponsor-child relationship established through letters is highly valued by the child and the family, as the letters help the child to know more about his or her sponsor and also the sponsor gets to know more about the sponsored child, his or her family. 
The project has been able to put up a computer school for skills training and a fish farming demonstration for caregivers as an alternative source of livelihood. Children have also attended the annual vocational Bible school facilitated by Scripture Union, celebrated the day of the African child, planted over 300 pawpaw trees in the church farm.
I kindly request you to pray for the children, to be free from diseases that affect them and also for the children not to indulge in drugs. Pray also for the parents/caregivers to provide for the children with the basic needs and families that have not yet known Christ to do so.
May our Lord God, who gives us strength and wisdom, reward you in abundance for your support and sponsorship to Mwaniki.
Blessings, Rev. Hampton N. Nguku

*I was able to deliver a gift to Dominic Muchangi through a sponsor who visited this project! It was fun to read this report and have that connection.

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