All Souls in Kenya | Trip Update
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Dear Friends,

One of the most poignant and effective aspects of the Kinyago Dandora Schools is their sponsorship program. The program does not just fund the costs of food, education, and medical care, but also gives the opportunity of a relationship between child and sponsor. Children are thrilled that someone knows their name, prays for them, and takes care of them. In Dandora, many children have lost at least one parent. Quite a few have lost both, and have been taken in by a relative or friend. Having a sponsor gives them one more connection of love and care that they need so much.

All Souls Sponsored Kids
All Souls Sponsored Kids at the Primary School
Top (left to right): Ryan, Wilson, Japhlet
Bottom: Isaac, Virginia, Jayceline

All Souls sponsors 10 KDS children as a church, from pre-school through 12th grade. Many others at the church also sponsor a child (or 2 or 3!) as individuals. Many others who have supported us on this trip also sponsor children as well. On both Monday and Thursday we had the high privilege of meeting all these children - 15 at the primary school, then another 10 at the secondary. The team members from Seattle and Minnesota also met with their children, so there was quite an atmosphere of excitement.

Isaac, Virginia, Jayceline
Kathy opens gifts from All Souls house groups with Isaac, Virginia, and Jayceline

It was so exciting to see our kids in 3-D, and not just as the life-sized cut-outs we have at All Souls. We were able to talk with each one of them, ask them questions, take their pictures, and hand them the gifts many of you lovingly put together. 

Life-sized cut-outs of Isaac, Virginia, and Faith

For All Souls people, you might want to know that our 7th grader, Ryan, was recently elected President of the KDS Student Council. He was also recently orphaned, but KDS has come around him and his siblings. It was so sweet to see how he looked out for all the younger children, explaining things to them, and translating our questions into Swahili for them. Although the children learn English in school, they do not become proficient for a few years, so the little ones, like Isaac and Virginia, were very shy and looked at us with big eyes. The older ones understood well, and were so excited to meet us. 

Ryan Translates
Ryan (in the middle) translating for Virginia and Isaac

So who makes this all happen?!

One of my heroes at KDS is Pastor Catherine, the social worker at the school who also pastors a small local church. She serves on the committee that helps decide which children get into the school. There is space each year for 50 out of 1,000 applicants. Catherine gets to know the children, their families, and their needs. When a sponsor sends birthday or Christmas gift money, it is often used to help the whole family. Catherine also receives the letters we send, gets them to each child, interprets them to those who don’t yet know English, then she or one of her staff records replies from the little ones, or writes on their behalf. 

Pastor Catherine and Kathy

She gathers and sends all the letters to and from all 500 children. Catherine also brings food to families that are in need, and counsels parents. She truly is the backbone of the sponsorship program on the ground in Kenya. When Catherine’s church was robbed of all their electronic equipment, All Souls sent a love gift to help replace their keyboard. Last Sunday, we sang worship songs accompanied by that keyboard.

The sponsorship program benefits sponsors too, as we receive personal letters from our child and the joy of a special relationship. On this trip, we are with a woman who has been sponsoring her child since 5th grade. Now he is studying theology at the graduate level and was one of the speakers last Sunday. He testified to the power of having a loving sponsor in his life.

We have stories and photos for each of the sponsored children we greeted. Please ask us more, if you'd like to hear more! For now, we'll leave you with a few more photos from last Monday. If you don’t yet have one of these precious kids in your life, we encourage you to visit, where you can see all the students who need a sponsor. You just may change a child’s life.

Kathy Cathey
for the Kenya Team

Jayceline opens her gift bag from the Zimmermans' group
Anise and Brian
Anise with Brian, the Hookers' sponsored child
Angela with Sarah (Gimres) and Ziona (Hart-Johnsons)
Copyright © 2017 All Souls Kenya Trip 2017, All rights reserved.

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