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Newsletter: December 2009

04 Dec

Imagine moving from the dirt floor to a comfy mattress?

So, big news on the mattresses—we bought 20 of em! Here’s how: Wendy Eldridge and her team of co-workers at RIT raised funds through bake sales, donations, garage sales, flower sales…they’ve been mighty busy! And this translated into a bed for every single child in our program. I am not sure I’ve ever met more devoted and diligent, loving fundraisers.  To see video of the mattress handout, go to www.youtube.com/familyfocuskenya.

It’s likely that the guardians will share the mattresses with the children—in every house I’ve personally visited in any Kenyan slums, it’s very clear that multiple members of homes sleep on one bed.

A printable card for the person who has everything.

What do you get the person who has everything?

“Would it be possible to buy a mattress in my mother’s name?” This question was asked about a month ago, and we quickly got to work on creating a “certificate” of donation for that mother who has everything (and also has a caring heart).

I crafted a letter to go along with the holiday card we made for her. Because of this mother’s concern for others and her inability to hide it from the whole world, her daughter gave funds to purchase a mattress for a child. The letter explained that unlike other programs, in FFF about 99 percent goes directly to families, and that without her, we really could not have bought Barak a new mattress.

Check out the card my graphic designer friend made for us! Also, if you have other ideas like “A chicken has been donated in your name” or possibly giving a donation in honor of someone, please let me know. Amber (my friend) can create more of these that are highly personalized! We do it for free and can get creative J. How about “a honeybee habitat has been given in your name” or “Thank you for my new chickens?”…

No skimming: read this one!

After much deliberation and research, Henry has pinpointed the right man to work on our new school building. Phases 1-3 will be completed (God willing!) by the spring semester so students can go to school in a safer location.

As you may recall, only a few kids have been able to attend the school now in the flood zone/malaria infested dump where they reside. While the new land we purchased is close, it is far enough away to be safe for lessons. The new building is going to have two stories, and loads of space!

You’ve got mail!

From our hearts to your email: All the children in our program who are old enough to write letters this Christmas will be sending along a letter for you soon—! Henry has partnered with a local cybercafe that can scan and email letters, so we do not have to spend money on postage.

From you to us: The kids would LOVE to receive an email from you—Henry can print it out and take it to their homes. Widows/guardians also would love to receive a letter—we are one of the only programs I can think of where you’re sponsoring and supporting the family, not just 1 orphan.

Playground for the school

Grace Church of the Nazarene’s Summer 2009 VBS raised over 100 dollars to help us purchase playground equipment for the new school building in Embakasi. This is yet another blessing the children have never seen or expected. (Mattresses fit into the same category). What a shock to these little ones, who normally create playthings from trash around the area—we think they’ll quickly learn how to use a new playground!

Board Members Needed

We need a board to provide wisdom and insight here in the USA. Henry has appointed local groups to meet in Embakasi and Mwiki, but a Board of Directors is needed here for quarterly meetings. Would you pray about recommending people to us who might enjoy meeting 4 times a year to pray and consider next steps together?

We need wise people who have some experience leading initiatives or working with families in need-not necessarily in nonprofits or African experience. Thanks!

Sick child smiles ear to ear

Belinda Adhiambo is very sick and we’ve been taking her to the hospital for tests because of jaundice and malaria. She is a trooper though, and was smiling ear to ear last week because of a brand new pair of socks and shoes (she had none before Henry stepped in). Hope you enjoy the pictures attached. Please pray for Belinda to be healed quickly. We thank God that we were able to do something because of the funds you’ve given or helped us raise.

Final note

I am realizing more and more that it is impossible to fully explain to you how important you are to our group of families. Not just funds—the support itself. I want you to see that without your (yes, YOUR) funds, there would be children who simply would not eat daily or attend school. You can see photos and videos of the child you support at http://www.youtube.com/familyfocuskenya. I’ll work on explaining it properly someday, but for now, will let these images and videos speak for themselves.

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1 Comment

Posted by on December 4, 2009 in Home

 

One response to “Newsletter: December 2009

  1. Nan Nelson

    December 4, 2009 at 10:12 am

    How wonderful to see the kids with their new mattresses. Oh, they are precious! We have been praying for Belinda since we heard she was sick…I hope God will touch her in a mighty way and give her total healing. We are excited to hear about the plans for the school and continue to pray that all goes well and the construction is completed without any obstacles. Henry, we are praying for God’s special blessing on you and your family…you are such a phenomenal servant and oversee-er for God’s children. I know you are doing God’s kingdom work and pray you will be blessed mightily this season of hope and promise. God bless you.

    Nan Nelson (Becca’s mom)

     

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