Celebrating His Goodness (right now!)

A preacher recently reminded me that we really should not be living our lives waiting for “that” to happen…since when “that” happens, “then I can…” . Having that kind of mindset can lead to just ticking off a list of things and moving on the the next goal without taking time to be grateful for where we are right now. It is easy to be consumed with the goal of completing the school, without reflecting on God’s grace and kindness that has been evident in the in between time.

Let’s reflect on that goodness and take account of all the positive things that have taken place.

1385184_765225960180176_8807279303014704465_n

 

The end of September, the school obtained a certificate of registration. This is a stepping stone, that shows just how far the school has progressed! It is recognized by the Kenyan government. This is pretty huge, considering when we started in Kibera slum, there was NO government support. Most of the slum residents did not have access  the basic needs of water and electricity because they were not even acknowledged as a town. We are thankful for governmental recognition and hope that this “favor with man”, will provide aid and assistance when needed.

DSC_0095We have 3 bathrooms! This pictures is about 4 weeks old, so picture them fully assembled, functioning, with toilet paper and not being used as the storage room. For anyone without the experience of a typical third world toilet. These are beautiful, sent from the good Lord above. Our school children, have in the past, navigated the hilly , twisted paths, just to find a local outhouse- dark, dank, smelly and usually charged a small fee to boot! At times they had to cross the railway to get to a toilet, not safe for ANYONE, let alone a small child. Later on, we were able to use poo/pee disposable potties on site…right next to our cook, preparing the rice and beans. (sounds appealing, yes?) So, we are VERY THANKFUL for God’s kindness! Thankful for a leap forward in sanitation and safety!

DSC_0092

Classroom with poo/pee stored at the front.

There are many school clubs , recently started, providing fun, exercise and ways to develop personal interests. That is very exciting! Over the years, I’ve talked to Monica about using the talents of their community. We have talked about the possibility of planting a garden to supplement the children’s diet, the possibility of raising chickens for eggs, sewing our own uniforms or having a store to supplement and make the school more self sustaining. The beginnings of these activities is taking shape. There are now multiple clubs in which the children can become involved! There is a garden club, a debate club, environmental club,  a chicken raising club and the always popular soccer/sports club! Below is a short snippet of our children playing during a recent match with another school. They are the ones that are bare chested. I am so glad they decided to play, even without uniforms. They are making use of their talents and developing skill sets for life. Not to mention, they are having a blast!!

There are more things to celebrate. More children are under our care, receiving an education, ready to go into the world and impact their community for God’s glory. More teachers have been hired to teach the additional classroom of children, providing income for another Kenyan family. We thank God for all these things! These blessings mean increased budget needs for the school. Miracle Victory Children’s Centre is also making a plea for donations, to meet the multiplying needs. God is faithful, He is good, He is Our Provider, a Father to the Fatherless, Our Strong Tower… He is Our Everything!

Genesis 22:14New International Version (NIV)

14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

Children blowing kisses.

Some Trust in Chariots…

Trusting God for the Children

This song was one of my favorites during my youth.Psalm 20:7 I liked it because it was an upbeat, joyous song about our Lord, reminding us that even if others put their trust in the machines of war, our ultimate trust was to be in God. It is well to sing songs, but another matter to put trust in God for something you KNOW YOU CANNOT DO! But, He is my hope, my song, my strong tower, the lifter of my head, my everything in this world. I cannot look to any individual to provide enough money to meet the needs of orphans in a third world country. It is God that touches hearts, it is God that orchestrates connections, it is God that goes ahead and is in fact there in His omniscience, tenderly taking care of them much better than I ever could. So, we are declaring, we trust in you God! I have learned that I can’t trust how I feel anymore. This has been a very confusing, difficult year to walk through filled with exciting highs and devastating lows, but God does not change and I can count on God’s word and His faithfulness and that is enough. I will remember the name of the Lord MY GOD and we can continue saying that He is the One that has provided.

School Needs Text Books

In the last month, so much has happened! We were notified in September that changes had been made to the Kenyan School Syllabus, requiring the immediate purchase of brand new text books in each grade level. As you know, that is very expensive, but someone sent in funds at the perfect time, enabling us to purchase books. Thank you Jesus!!

New books for the children were delivered.

Teacher Training & Shoes

Monica recently attended teacher training in Nukuru. She will be holding training sessions for the teachers at Miracle Victory Children Centre to pass along her newly acquired knowledge. At another training session, teachers were asked to list some of the major needs at their own schools. Monica decided to list the need for shoes as a high priority. What a blessing, when she later learned that the children would each receive a pair of Tom’s! Tom’s usually requires biannual follow up after a child has been given a pair of shoes. If that turns out to be the case, each child will receive a new pair of shoes every 6 months! How cool is THAT!! I was super excited about this because more than 2 years ago we had sought out Tom’s, filled out applications and attended meetings in Nairobi to investigate being a Tom’s partner. After expending lots of energy, we learned that we would be responsible for distributing 1000+ shoes biannually to children and be responsible for the shipping container and any taxes due. It was overwhelming to even think about the time, energy and expenses we might be faced with in this type of commitment, so we just put those ideas away on a shelf. But God, He had better provision for the children. He made arrangements for Monica to attend training, write down our needs and then later learn that Tom’s shoes would be delivered to our children!! So much better than my plans and the ensuing stress and responsibility. Thank you God for your goodness to the children!

School Demolition Slated

A little over a week ago, we learned from Paul Obia, our Kenyan Contractor, that our current school will be demolished because of it’s location. All shanties that are close to the railway will be demolished to make way for permanent structures. While this is a great step, it means we will not have a place to continue school coursework. We are trusting God and believing that money will come in to pay for the new school to be completed. God is able to do amazing things and we know He wants good for these children. He will touch people to give and there will be more than enough to continue feeding the children, providing teacher’s salaries, medicine and any other need that comes. The teachers have asked for a raise- I believe God will provide that as well!

I got an email from Paul last night, telling me that he was going to keep the men working, with the promise to pay them at the end of the week. normally he pays a daily salary. He is taking a huge leap of faith in doing this. These men and women rely on their salaries to feed their families. It is not like our first world realities. They shop daily for food because most do not own a refrigerator or have running water. Let’s step out in faith together and be a part of seeing these children continue school. With their new text books now in hand, help us make sure that they will not have to disrupt their education because of lack. Let’s complete the new school in time for them to move out of the old school and move in to the BRAND NEW SCHOOL!

Be a part of celebrating God’s provision, faithfulness and goodness!

PLEASE DONATE NOW, it is easy with our giving tab!

THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!!

Medical Dr takes blood pressure.

Haiti Medical Mission

image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image

Two yo

Two yo

Translators
Two young men from the local church helped with translation into Creole.M

Volunteers at Building site.

Can I Just Hide?

Leap of FaithIMG_8179
Tommy Burch and Emory Wilson took a huge leap of faith as they made the decision to purchase flights and go into the heart of one of the largest slums in Africa. They had never been to Kenya and had never met Monica or any of the children at Miracle & Victory Children’s Centre. They knew they wanted to do something big for God and had a call on their lives to serve and to go and preach the gospel. As Christians, they also know that God goes ahead of you, if He sends you somewhere- He is going to be there- in fact He is already there! We serve a mighty, omnipotent, omniscient God and He is able to make the impossible happen. It is interesting to walk this faith walk. It is usually NOT how I think it will happen. I work really hard at one of the largest hospitals in the US. I work really hard at keeping up with the non profit, trying to do fundraisers, establishing a beautiful website- thanks to Connie Brown, entering non profit contests to try and raise funds, applying for grants- so far unsuccessfully. I have enough to keep me busy with the non profit full time, but I don’t have that luxury. Most of the funds come, not because of my hard work and efforts but because God touches someone and they want to give. So, should I just give up working SO hard? I really want to…it is a difficult burden to bear…oh, the children are well worth the efforts, they are made in the image of Our Creator and they need to have the gospel preached and lived out loud, so they can taste and see that God is good.

school foundation

starting a good foundation

God is definitely good!
Me…not so good. I fail every day because I am just a human. I fail because I don’t always have the right things to say. I fail because I have offended the very people that could possibly help. I fail because I forget things all the time. I really hope that people don’t look at me when they are deciding to give to the vulnerable. God, can I just hide in You? Can they just see beyond my failings and forgetfulness and see the joy they can give a child. They will never be repaid. They may never meet these children and receive words of praise from them or hugs from a contented, full and satisfied child.

There are people that have the ability to make a huge difference, but will they? This is a challenge to those of you who never get beyond the thought that I can do something. Go beyond just thinking about it…DO SOMETHING!!!
We need your help!

Luke 12:32-34

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

image of school

Building the New School!

UPDATE: School dedication

image of school

Monica turns the shovel to signify a new beginning for the school!

Miracle & Victory Children’s Centre

We build this new school to the glory of God, for the children in Kibera, Kenya.We ask the Lord to guide and direct them as the building goes up and as each part comes together, that God will dwell in every centimeter of this school, that many will come to salvation through the testimony of God’s faithfulness, that the children, teachers and anyone who passes will be stirred to want to know God. You are so good Lord God and we thank you!!

 

childrenGroupKneeling300Our prayers are being answered and the long held hope is beginning to visualize- hallelujah! Tommy Burch and Emory Wilson fly out to Kenya January 18th. Some of you may remember Tommy from our August fundraiser. He and his wife Janis, from Jesup, Georgia had asked for prayer at the end of the worship service. They wanted to do something significant for God and wanted us to pray with them to understand exactly what God would have them do for Him. From that point, Tommy and Janis would need to fill in how the decision was finally made to go to Kenya and build the school. We believe that it is all a God connection! From the time we visited the ladies from Calvary Baptist Church last fall, God has had a plan!

Tommy and Emory will stay with Monica and her family for 2 weeks, working alongside our Kenyan contractor Paul Obiya. Please pray for everyone and for the building process. We are trusting God to strengthen, give wisdom, cultural fluidity, excellent planning, safety & provision. We know God is able to do above and beyond whatever we might ask or think on our own. The children and  teachers are completely thrilled and can’t wait for the new school. Pray for them too!      Here is the architectural drawing of how the school is designed, it follows the lay of the land that we purchased last year. We have also started fundraising, our 2 man team cannot do this alone! They are working with about $25,000 that was donated by the generosity of an anonymous donor in the Georgia area. We hope to raise the necessary $75,000 to complete the structure. There are also more needs for each classroom, chairs, desks, blackboards, paper, pencils, textbooks, etc

Please check out our fundraiser site :https://www.fundraise.com/bringing-miracles-inc/school-build-in-kibera-slum   Or you can engage with us directly and save the fees involved. Thank you so much!

I have been there and seen the needs of these children. The heartache is real, the stories of incredible strength and hope in the midst of horrendous obstacles is humbling and very powerful. Jesus has plans for each child, really each person involved in the school. They have all seen their share of heartache and loss, but Jesus, through His shed blood, has bought redemption for those that receive His mercy, love and grace. They are getting a taste of His goodness and love.

Children in schoolyard.