Sorry I have not posted for a couple of weeks. Bad! But my excuse is that life has been really hectic and I genuinely have not had time to write anything worthwhile.
My second apology is that this post is a little long but hopefully it will still be worth a few minutes of your time to read it
There is Christian House Sitters which provides rent free vacations for Christians all over the world and from which all the income goes to Home of Peace Children’s Home in Kenya.
Then there is TLC Children’s Trust (www.tlc-childrenstrust.org) a UK registered charity that we run and through which all funds are passed in order to provide total accountability.
Some people join Christian House Sitters and have no interest in supporting the Children’s Home which is perfectly acceptable (but their fees still go there) and others who may have no interest in Christian House Sitters just support the home via TLC Children’s Trust.
Naturally there is a big overlap and most who are involved in one are also involved in the other.
Here is a copy of the latest TLC Newsletter that went out yesterday.
This is a really exciting but challenging time for the work at Home of Peace. A time when your prayers are needed and also a time when we are expecting tremendous positive changes at the home.
The government in Kenya recently made an announcement, and informed us, that all children’s homes must be officially registered by the 7th of June failing which they will be closed down.
There is a sense in which we can understand and agree with their logic as it is important that any home accommodating children must be run properly and therefore registration is sensible however if the home is not registered and is closed down the children who are at present receiving accommodation, food, education, medical expenses and clothing will be sent back to where they came from which in most cases will mean that they will end up begging and sleeping on the streets, turning to crime in order to survive, developing serious health problems and often dying.
Whatever the logic we have no choice but to become registered by the 7th June.
In order to achieve this there were certain criteria which we have to meet.
First and foremost is that we are not allowed to have more than one child per bed. Apparently it is better for children to sleep on the streets without a bed and then to share a bed in a safe and secure environment.
As you know we have been trying desperately to raise funds to build additional dormitories but this has not yet been supplied and we only facilities for 45 beds and as result we have had to move out of the home all except for 45 children. This has now been done. No we have not sent them back onto the streets and we would never do that! What we have done is arranged for them to be accommodated either with family or friends who live near to the home and they come to Home of Peace every day for all their meals, they go to school with the children from Home of Peace, we still take care of all the medical expenses and the cost of the education. The only difference being that they no longer sleep in our dormitories. We believe that this is only a temporary measure and that once God provides the money we will be able to build the additional dormitories and they will be able to move back in and sleep at the home.
The next criteria was that we need to have on the staff a person who is qualified in the area of children’s work and is a qualified social worker. Once again God has provided. For the past three years we have been in close contact with Edward Wata and for the past few months Edward has been visiting the home on a weekly basis to do training for our staff.
He is a remarkable man. He was brought up in a Christian home by a Christian mother and once he had finished his schooling he worked on the roads for four years saving money in order to get himself further education. He now has accredited university qualifications in the area of children’s work and is also accepted by the Kenyan authorities as a qualified social worker.
He has previously worked in children’s homes and has helped two homes to achieve registration but he left that work because he felt that God wanted him to focus on Christian work. He has therefore raised the money to build a small school and he runs a church where he provides a for widows and orphans in his area.
He has worked part-time for the government as an inspector of inspectors for the Department of Education. He was also until relatively recently chair of the Department of Children Services for our area.
As I mentioned we have got to know him well over the past three years and found him to be an honest, reliable man of God.
Praise God Edward has agreed to take on the role of Manager of Home of Peace and Social Worker for Home of Peace. He will work for us three days per week allowing him time to continue his other work at his church and school however on the days he is not there he will still be available should there be a crisis of any sort.
Finding the money to employ somebody with Edward’s qualifications would have been very difficult but he has agreed to work for just £100 per month plus £30 per month to cover his travelling expenses because he does not live where the Home of Peace is located. To get somebody of this calibre at that salary is a miracle! We will need people to sponsor this amount so we can pay him.
The final requirement from Children Services for us to be registered is that we need to be able to show records that we have sufficient sponsors for all of our children and the overheads. We don’t. We send money out to the home on the 8th and the 22nd of every month and each time this is an adventure of faith. Normally the day before the money goes out we do not have sufficient but God somehow provides. Understandably this is not a satisfactory model for the government and we need to be able to demonstrate that we have committed supporters.
As result we are asking God for a further 23 sponsors at £20 per month. It costs us £20 per month for food for each child and if, or should I say when, we have these 23 new sponsors we will be able to meet the government requirements.
Please pray about this as it is an urgent need. £20 per month is not a lot and 23 new people is not much. We know God can do this please ask Him if there’s anyone in your church or amongst your friends or family who may be willing to become at least one of these new sponsors.
The other good news is that we now have a farm.
Adjacent to Home of Peace is a plot of land that belongs to Erick our faithful administrator and his wife Helen who is our matron, and they have donated this land to Home of Peace so that we can use it to grow food for the home. This will make a significant difference and we praise God for their wonderful generous gift.
We have employed David as a farm worker and he is at present preparing the land and getting it ready for planting. David will be working the land five days a week and over the weekend’s the older children at the home will get involved.
Once the crops start to develop we believe it will save us a great deal of money as well as providing the home with really good fresh food.
So as I said at the beginning this is an exciting yet challenging time and we would greatly appreciate your prayers.
Thank you to all who faithfully support this ministry financially and through prayer.
God bless you,
Christian House Sitters is part of the registered charity
TLC Children’s Trust
UK Charity number 1156786
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