I have lived what many consider a rather strange life.
When I tell people about the jobs I have held they often ask how I managed to fit all that into a single lifetime. Well the answer is really simple. For the majority of my working life I held 2 and often 3 different jobs at the same time.
Why? Because God called me to do work for Him and usually all our salary and savings went to support the work. Often a single salary was not enough so I would take on a second or third job to enable me to do what we both felt called by God to do.
I mention this because I was thinking back to the later 1970’s early 1980’s when we were still in South Africa and we got involved with Civil Defence as volunteer ambulance crew. It involved intensive First Aid training ( I eventually qualified as a paramedic) and one night a week we would meet at the local Fire and Ambulance station for training and at least once a week we would be on duty manning an emergency ambulance. We were naturally also on call should there ever be a major emergency (yes there were a few).
When we got called out to an emergency we would have the siren blasting and the emergency lights flashing and off we would rush to try to save a life.
I am sure that there were times when the siren noise disturbed some people. It may even have woken a few sleeping children. That was not our intention but a side effect of our frantic rush to get to the emergency before it was too late to save a life and as a result I never felt any guilt for making a noise under those circumstances.
Many years have passed. I no longer do that type of duty but as most of you will know we are retired and run Christian House Sitters which brings great blessing to people all over the world enabling them to enjoy vacations that they could otherwise not have afforded. We also run TLC Children’s Trust a registered charity that supports really vulnerable children in Kenya through a children’s home that we run. (All income from Christian house Sitters goes to the children via our charity).
Recently we have had some major needs at the Children’s Home and as a result I have found myself making a noise. Contacting people, writing blog posts, sending out newsletter, etc. All asking people to help us save the lives of these children. I started to feel embarrassed and guilty for disturbing people but God reminded me of my time on the ambulances. It felt as if He was saying you used a siren to save lives. Now you are trying to save not one but dozens of children’s lives and if in the process you need to make a noise and disturb a few people then so be it. These children matter. They are not to blame for their predicament. They did not ask to have parents who died due to AIDS or to be abandoned. They deserve to have somewhere to sleep in safety, to eat a good meal, to have clothes to wear and to get an education and if in order to do that I need to disturb a couple of comfortable people well that is just how it has to be.
When we took over running the home after I visited there some years ago the children were living in very poor conditions. Using a field as a toilet, sleeping on the floor, no real facilities. That was part of the reason we stepped in. We wanted to upgrade everything to a decent standard, create decent facilities, provide good governance and strong Christian standards. We have been working really hard to bring things up to a decent standard so we could get the home officially registered.
So far we have:
- * Built 2 toilet blocks with wash rooms. Prior to this the children used a local field. This has had a significant positive impact on their health.
* Built and equipped a nursery room for the young children.
* Erected a security fence around the property to protect them from predators (human and animal).
* Provided beds, bedding, mosquito nets etc. for all the children.
* Erected a temporary kitchen. (Now replaced with a permanent kitchen see below)
* Provided all the children who are of school going age with school fees, exam fees, uniforms, text books, note books etc.
* Repainted and repaired the dormitories
* Replaced the floor in their church which the children use as a meeting place every day
* Established a first-aid system which has reduced the money spent sending children to the local medical clinic for minor injuries.
* Established good working relationships with the local authorities.
* Arranged a number of unannounced visits to check on the home.
* Installed solar electricity in the Home
* We have just finished putting up a permanent kitchen for the Home.
* Appointed a fully qualified Social Worker and Children’s Home Manager
NOTE. All supplies etc. are purchased locally. We do not waste money shipping out things that they can obtain from a local supplier. This saves money and benefits the local community. We insist on detailed, official receipts and for items such as beds, uniforms etc. photographs showing these items on site.
However the Kenyan authorities have recently changed their regulations. They have decided to flex their muscles and we have been informed that our dormitories are too small for the number of children thus not providing adequate ventilation.
They are correct but we had to prioritize the needs with our very limited funds.
The authorities have now given us 2 months to either build 2 new dormitories or they will remove all except 30 of the children. When asked what would happen to these children we were told that they will be taken back to their home village and dropped off there. Or to paraphrase it they will end up back on the streets begging and starving.
The children have been crying and begging us to do something. This is their home. The only safe home that they have ever known. A place where they are loved, looked after and given a chance to grow into productive adult members of the community.
Building costs are far lower than here in the UK and it will cost us approx. £6,000 to build the required dormitories and a further £2,000 to equip them with bunk beds, bedding, mosquito nets, etc.
We were working towards reaching all the required standards within the next year we now just have a few weeks.
I am therefore making a noise!
I am writing to companies asking for donations. But to get what is needed in the time will take a miracle.
I am writing to friends asking for prayer.
I am asking you to do whatever you feel able to do.
Give (even a little.)
Full details are on the website CLICK HERE.
God bless you,
Christian House Sitters is part of the registered charity
UK Charity number 1156786
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