Beauty for Ashes


Today was a special day for us as we set out to visit Lenana School and the Home of Grace Orphanage. The children of Lenana School were waiting for us at the gate. As we entered the compound they cheered for Mama Valerie. Several weeks ago, when they heard that Valerie was sick they actually set aside three days to pray for her. And now to see her smiling and healthy was a cause for celebration. I wish all of you could have the opportunity just to stand before these kids and see their beautiful faces. The school has come such a long way in its 10 years of existence. In the early years the children were unwashed and undernourished, but now they are strong, healthy and smart. Through their faithfulness and faith in Christ our volunteer teachers have guided these underprivileged slum children to the top ranking of all the schools in the district in academics and in sports. The attendance of the school has grown from 360 to over 400 in the last few months. We are always so blessed to meet with the teachers who are true heroes of faith and love. We have been feeding these children two meals a day for 8 years now. In addition to that we have made vast improvements to the facilities, brought in electricity, built latrines and a water system, built and supplied a library, bought curriculum and given the teachers occasional financial gifts to encourage them to keep going. I wish we could do more, they need so much more and they deserve much more.

WE had all the kids pray with us because we now have the dream of relocating the school to a larger facility on a piece of land nearby. We don’t have the land or the money yet but “God owns the cattle on a thousand hills” plus He owns all the hills and all the gold under the hills. Valerie feels like she can “just smell” the new facility coming in the near future. Please join us in this prayer for a new facility. The kids are severely cramped in this present location. Valerie also felt inspired by the Lord to take on the task of obtaining 40 uniforms for the Lenana sports teams today. I just rolled my eyes, knowing how difficult it is to get anything done here in Kenya, but Valerie is totally pumped about the challenge. We left the school with great joy and we are thankful to God for “giving us beauty for ashes” at Lenana school.

After Lenana School it was on to the Home of Grace, just a mile or so down the road. On the way in, we passed by the little school that all of our kids are attending and took some pictures. Then we drove down the narrow unpaved lanes that the kids walk on their way from school everyday (less than half a mile). We arrived and the home about half an hour before the kids got home from school. We wanted to be there early to set up a special surprise for them. We brought all kinds of special gifts for them and set up an “after school party”. The kids didn’t know we were coming today, but they knew we were in town. The other day they told Joseph, our driver and one of their caregivers, “not to come back without Father Richard and Mama Valerie”. At 5 pm sharp they came knocking at the gate. And there we were waiting for them on the pathway with open arms. All 20 of them ran up to hug us then they ran up to their room to quickly rehearse some songs to sing to us. Their welcome songs are about as cute as anything in this world. They took turns dancing little jigs for us and sang several songs written just for us. What a blessing. The 5 member staff at the home are such sweet people. Two of them were new, so we were meeting them for the first time. They knew all about us though. On our next visit we plan to do a video shoot to make a 60 second video of each child to give to their sponsors. To those who sponsor one of these precious children, I want you to know that your support has literally allowed these kids to be “born again to a new life in Christ.” Over a year has gone by and not one of our kids has left the home. They love their new life.

It was a long and beautiful day and we are thoroughly tired and blessed.

Blessing to all at home.

Richard and Valerie

Worldcomp Kenya Relief International

7758 Earl Ave NW

Seattle, WA 98117

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