Over the summer, we crossed the line of having supported over 500 students in Kenya with school fees through the years through the ministry of Children of the Kingdom. (We just added our 509th student to our list!)
Celebrate with us over the lives that have been impacted through this work since our humble beginnings in 1994. Below are a few success stories of some of our students who are making their way in the world using the gifts of education to be servants in God's kingdom.
As I am going back through old pictures to find my son's kindergarten picture to contrast to his senior year picture for his first day back to school, it's amazing to see how much he has grown and how far he has come.
In light of that, I wanted to share these photos of some of our students in India to let you have a glimpse at how far they've come!
On Malcom Gladwell's Revisionist History podcast, there is a recent episode called "I Was A Stranger and You Welcomed Me." As I listened in, I could not help thinking about the sponsors and partners in this ministry who have made a difference over the years through their kindness and generosity.
Gladwell tells the story found in the archives of the US Holocaust Museum of Cheil Rajchman who escaped the Treblinka concentration camp in 1943. By his count, he survived the war because of eleven acts of kindness. And the lesson here is this: “lots of people, doing little things, can very quickly add up to a lot.” After telling more stories, he concludes, “Once you start looking for this pattern- of many small acts of kindness, adding up to a lot- you start to see it in all kinds of places.”
A recent example came to mind as I was listening to the podcast: a sponsor sent in a very generous gift because they had a sense of abundance in this past year and felt led to give to Children of the Kingdom. Little did they know that I had just been told of a need for one of our first students who entered the program in 1995. She now has two children of her own with no family to support her. She needed help with housing, and we were able to use these funds to build a house for her and for her children.
Others have sent funds for distributions this summer, and many children and families have been fed. Students on our waiting list have been given the opportunity to go to school through sponsorship who would not have been able to attend without support.
Listen in to the podcast for some inspiration, and keep your heart open to how the Spirit might be nudging you to live out Matthew 25:35 today with an act of multiplying kindness.
I sent out an email a few weeks ago requesting support for some food distributions this summer to bring some relief to those who have been so vulnerable due to the drought in Kenya, and a few very generous donations arrived allowing us to send funds for four distributions in Nabwe-pus, Nayanae Angikalalio, Lomopus, and Lokoyo villages. A little goes a long way, and we are grateful for the response from this community.
St. Teresa’s quote below is so true that Christ has no body on earth but ours. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Christ in this broken world.
There is so much need in the world with the continued Covid crisis, the needless war and devastation in Ukraine, global political unrest- just to name a few things that come to mind.
In Kenya, the severe ongoing drought has brought devastating loss to livestock and has brought the threat of starvation too close to home for many.
Amidst all these bigger events that threaten to overwhelm us, we believe we must still turn to those local and individual relationships where we have connections.
To that end, one of our sponsors donated relief funds for a recent distribution to a neighboring village to Lodwar, and our Kenyan director Veronica Lemuya organized this effort to provide much needed support.
One of our new ministry partners, Munesh Verma, in Lucknow, India was able to gather children together for a recent food distribution for Covid relief.
These are drops in the ocean, but each local and individual drop matters.
We would like to do three more distributions over the summer, and it costs $500 for each one. If you are able to contribute to this need, please donate below.
Below is a testimony shared by one of our current college students who is getting her degree in hospitality management. We celebrate her success and give thanks to God for her journey!
"My name is Caren and I am now 21 years old. I was brought up in a Christian family by my auntie, and I am the third born in my family. God has been faithful to us, and He has been our provider, our sustainer, and our hope always.
I was privileged to get sponsorship from the Children of the Kingdom in 2016 when I started secondary school. Among the five children in our family, I’m the only one who got a chance to attend high school and college. I never take this precious opportunity for granted, and I always appreciate my sponsors Patrick and Angie. They have shown their love, care, moral support, prayers, and financial support, and they have ensured that my school fees have always been paid and that my academic life could be a success.
Being in Children of the Kingdom has allowed me to pursue my academic dreams without having to struggle to find school fees. It has given me an opportunity to grow socially, academically, and spiritually, and the program really has encouraged me to work hard in my studies and to serve God. For this, I am filled with joy and gratitude.
I completed my primary education at Benam Primary in Kitale and at Kanamkemer Primary in Turkana County. In 2016 I joined Salvation Army Nawoitorong Secondary School in Lodwar, and in 2021 I joined Amboseli Institute of Hospitality in Thika. I will complete a foundation diploma course in hospitality management this summer which will allow me to work in any institution, and then I will continue my studies for another 9 months before I graduate.
I have learned a lot of things in my courses, I have interacted with different people, and I have so experienced so many things. (See below for some of my creations!)
"I am so grateful for the encouragement of the Children of the Kingdom staff. In particular, Veronica has been my number one teacher in life. She has really inspired me and has shown me the essence of working hard in life. She is a role model to many young ladies in Children of the Kingdom.
My great appreciation goes to Children of the Kingdom for the incredible support through the years and for giving me an opportunity to pursue my dreams. May God bless you all."
At the end of fall quarter at my university, I was in a meeting with another professor, and she was telling me that she was actually enjoying the time she was spending grading finals. As we were masked in this meeting, she may not have seen my look of surprise as that was not how I was experiencing the days of long hours staring at the computer trying to get through four classes of grading that quarter. Grading is not why most people go into teaching as it can be tedious and time-consuming, but it’s part of the job in working with students. She explained to me that she had just read an article called “Grading as Spiritual Discipline” by Marybeth Baggett that offered a compelling invitation to view grading through another lens. Rather than just cranking through the tasks for the end of the quarter, I could recognize that I did not need to compartmentalize my life but could see this too as a formational growth opportunity and a chance to connect with students by praying for them as I grade and give feedback.
She writes, “Every paper I receive, I now intentionally remind myself, is another opportunity for me to put my faith into practice… With each paper I turn to, I have the choice either to affirm the humanity and vocation of the student at the receiving end of my feedback or to fall back into my old mechanistic practice.”
I read this at the same time that I was also compiling the year-end reports and letters for Children of the Kingdom. It was easy to make the connection with my grading to the administrative work I do for Children of the Kingdom. This could also be a space for me to pray for God to reveal Himself and His love to the sponsors and to the students. While I still can fall back into the mechanistic practice of updating spreadsheets and receipts and managing student lists with the end goal of checking things off my list of things to do, I am grateful for this reminder that there is another way to get the job done.
May you know that as I send out the annual reports and the year-end receipts that I am thanking God every time I remember you and am praying for His blessing on you, and I am asking for God’s grace to continue to transform me through the work.
And perhaps this will help you with the next tedious task that is before you in your day whether that be dishes or grading or laundry…. May God meet you in that place and draw you near.
The 1947 Christmas movie Miracle on 34th Street is about a little girl and her mother who are surprised by the gift of a house for Christmas from Santa Claus. We have good news to share- much better than this Christmas classic- about one of our students in Kenya and a real Christmas miracle that just unfolded over the last few weeks.
One of our students named Melvin is an orphan who lives with her aunt and uncle along with her three siblings and five cousins. The house they lived in did not have enough space for all of them, and some of them had to sleep outside which was dangerous for the children.
Steve and Ann McGregor from Charles City, Iowa have sponsored Melvin, and when they found out about her living situation, they offered to help build her a house for Christmas adding to funds raised from the last Rafiki Run. And within just a few short weeks, the materials were purchased, and the construction was done between December 3-6.
On Friday last week, Melvin came home from boarding school not expecting to find a new house on the site of their property, and she was crying tears of joy.
Today (December 20), Bishop Kaaleng (founding pastor of Children of the Kingdom) and Veronica Lemuya (current Children of the Kingdom director in Kenya) gathered a small group of former and current Children of the Kingdom students along with church members and other people in the village to come together for a house blessing.
May you and your family have a very merry Christmas, and may you be blessed knowing that your gifts to Children of the Kingdom really are making lasting difference and helping to make miracles unfold in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Kenya and in India.
This fall, we have had several students graduate from programs, and there is much to celebrate as we recognize the achievements of their hard work through the years. In the midst of a world that seems very dark right now with weariness from Covid-19 still being an unwelcome guest along with political divisions and global challenges, good news is hard to come by. So take a moment to read this letter written by one of our top students, and give thanks to God with us for what He has done in and through her life through Children of the Kingdom!
My name is Deborah. I’m 22 years old. I was brought up in a Christian family and am the first born in my family. God has been gracious and full of unending love, for He has been our provider, our sustainer, our hope, and our every good thing. I was privileged to get sponsorship from Children of the Kingdom at a young age. It was all God’s doing through the hands of the concerned individuals that I got this opportunity and the blessings of being a child in this program.
Being in Children of the Kingdom has really transformed my life from all angles, and it has given me the opportunity to learn a lot of things. It has given me the joy of being an ambassador of Christ, and it has gifted me the happiness of pursuing my academic life with minimal struggles. I have not only turned out strong spiritually, but also socially, academically, and economically, and I can proudly look back with assurance that I have lived up to Children of the Kingdom’s commitment to equip us to be servants in the Kingdom. I’m so grateful.
My loving parents are pastors at International Pentecostal Holiness Church in Nataparkakono. We are a happy family, and I have one sister and two brothers. God has always seen us through, and everything has always turned out for the good at the end of every single struggle.
I started my primary education at Loyo Primary School from class one to class three, and I later transferred to Lodwar Girls Primary School in 2010 from class four to class eight. In 2014, I managed to score high marks for my Kenya Certificate of Primary Education. My primary level learning experience was a success through the help of Children of the Kingdom which gave me support with finances, school uniforms, books, pens, and all other academic necessities.
I later on joined Our Lady’s Girls Secondary School from 2015 to 2018 for form one to form four, and I managed to pass and get my Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education. My education journey was challenging as I was learning different things every day, and nothing was easy compared to my primary level education. But my full time gratitude goes to God and the entire Children of the Kingdom family at large for their moral and financial support.
In September 2019, through the continuous support from my sponsor and from Children of the Kingdom, I joined KCA University and I took a diploma course in procurement and logistics management. In addition to school, I had the added responsibilities of managing many things as an adult. Through the help of my loving parents, I was able to cater for my other expenses outside my school fees.
I finished my diploma studies in April 2021, and I was privileged to secure an internship opportunity in the Ministry of Health Services and Sanitation in Turkana. This helped advance my learning in the classroom into a practical zone of experience as I was able to acquire skills and gain knowledge in the field. This was a big breakthrough for me as I can proudly tell myself that learned so much through this experience.
I graduated from this part of my program with a diploma in Procurement and Logistics Management. I’m so grateful and I am so proud of this accomplishment.
I started the next step of my program to earn my degree in the same course in September 2021, and it’s my prayer through the support of my sponsor and Children of the Kingdom at large that I will complete the program.
I want to start by deeply thanking my sponsors, Jane and Brevard Haynes, for their love, moral support, prayers, and financial support. Thank you for always ensuring that my academic life could be a success. I pray that God will bless you abundantly.
I wish to sincerely thank all involved in the Children of the Kingdom organization, , especially Madam Director Veronica Lemuya for always being a supportive and understanding mom, a caring and loving friend, and always being my number one teacher of life. She really inspires me and shows me the essence of working hard in life. Being a girl child in Children of the Kingdom, Madam Director has been always an easy person to approach not only as one who challenges gender narratives but also as an understanding mom; she is a role model to many young ladies in Children of the Kingdom.
My great appreciation goes to the rest of Children of the Kingdom staff for their support and for giving me an opportunity to pursue my dreams. May God bless you.