Getting There (2nd level of the school)

Student concentrating while teacher lectures

 

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The upper-level classes are now meeting in the second story of our school building! We are SO HAPPY for them and their teachers! They now have some breathing room. Even more important than the extra space, these teachers can now focus on teaching their children! The children can now listen to their teacher without the distraction of 5 others teachers trying to simultaneously teach seventy-five other children. Don’t get me wrong, it was amazing to witness this happening in the one room available to the upper grades, but what relief to know that the children who are easily distracted now have only 25 other students and not the competition of 5 teachers talking at once. They are so ready and eager to learn and soak up all the knowledge being poured out! I am convinced that our children are the future of Kenya! God has great plans for them! Within the walls of our school, some of our children will become teachers, preachers, doctors, scientists, lawyers, and even a politician may be among them. I am so very proud of our teachers, that work so hard. They take their work home with them, just as teachers in the US have to do. They are planning lessons, grading papers, supervising after school clubs, mentoring caregivers, walking children across Kibera settlement to other schools providing sports and recreation facilities. Please pray for our teachers! It really is a special calling to work so hard and have a positive impact on children. Pray that they will continue to be committed to the calling, that they will use creative ideas, teach the subjects well, with clarity of instruction, that they will be blessed with health as individuals and in their families. Pray also that we can continue to provide a competitive salary so they will remain at our school and not want to go to greener pastures. God has been so good and such a faithful provider. Thankful to donors who respond to the needs of the children. We could not continue without your generosity, kindness and prayer support!

We were able to purchase tracksuits for the children, hopefully enabling their daily uniforms to last a bit longer. The tracksuits will be used on their activity days. They look so sharp! Enjoy seeing this slideshow of the children, their new suits, a swimming field trip and the 2nd story of our school. Keep in mind, they are still doing the finish work, so plaster work, windows and painting still need to be done.

Many of you know that Monica’s daughter contracted tuberculosis,  thankfully, she responded well to treatment and has returned to her school. TB is one of the top infectious disease killers in Kenya and most of the 3rd world. We are doing our part to instruct and create awareness to prevent the spread of TB.

 

 

 

 

Bringing Miracles in Kibera, Kenya

Silent Images was able to visually express the things I shared with them about the ministry in a beautiful way. Please share this video and help us tell Rose’s story. We have 300 children that each have their own story, just as gripping and real as hers. Sharing this video will help reach other folks that could help us continue the support of our school. Big hugs, big thanks to each of you!

Immense poverty and suffering is seen here in Kibera, Kenya. One of our students, Rose Aoko, is featured in this video, you will see the ministry that takes place to over 300 children and families. Many of these children are total orphans, Rose being one. We provide all they need to enter school, they pay no fees, they can’t pay when they earn less than one dollar a day, many less than 30 cents. Please help the children have a future! Thank you! bringingmiracles.com/giving
Filmed by Silent Images http://www.silentimages.com

 

 

Lakeview Baptist Sends Team

A team of seven from Lakeview Baptist in Monroe, North Carolina spent 15 months meeting monthly to prepare spiritually through bible study and prayer, cultural sensitivity lessons and practical training. (demonstration of how to take a bucket shower 🙂  )  Lakeview Baptist and other supporters helped by collecting and sending multiple items that were on a needs list. Money was raised at several events enabling us to buy bibles, meet crusade expenses and provide for other critical needs. We collected so much that it was necessary to take 2 extra large suitcases along on the trip, for a total of 26 suitcases! Thank you to EVERYONE that helped us be the hands of Jesus! You played a huge part in making this trip a tangible blessing to the Kibera community. When it all comes down to it, prayer and trusting God was the crucial aspect of this mission trip. Breaking the fallow ground and combating the intense spiritual warfare that comes with huge leaps of faith for individuals, church, the community dynamics we were entering and physical safety. The enemy does not want the gospel to be shared and tried many different angles to disrupt and bring fear, but by God’s grace, we arrived in Nairobi, Kenya! Amazingly, the customs agent gave us favor and waved us through without charging any fees for all the goods we brought. That was really a miracle and needed encouragement after having to pay close to $1000 for the 2 extra bags we brought. (NEVER EVER TAKE MORE THAN YOU SHOULD, I tried for weeks to get those baggage fees waived, to no avail) It was so great to see the smiling faces of Monica, Cindy & her neighbor and Rose! Rose was the official representative from our school and greeted us holding a beautiful bunch of flowers, it really touched my heart to see that she had come to welcome us! 20160617_142446
The team piled into the van with our tower of suitcases tied down on it’s roof and then got to experience the joys of Nairobi traffic. Our driver navigated the tangle of cars, matatus, buses, vendors selling all manner of goods and pedestrians darting through tiny wedges of space between vehicles. Over the years, it amazes me that no pedestrians have been hurt during these trips. The vendor selling sugar cane was hard to resist because we were unable to fill our water bottles at Jomo Kenyatta Airport. The small bag was enough for everyone to sample and whet our thirst until getting to Monica’s home in Jamhuri.

Monica and her team of helpers were very hospitable and prepared delicious, hearty meals while we stayed in Kenya. They extended a kind and generous welcome, often preparing things for us that they would never afford for themselves. They blended fresh fruit juices, cooked sausages & eggs, tons of wonderful fresh vegetables, fruits; along with typical Kenyan fare of chapati, ugali, mandazis, lentils, potatoes, etc. Our first venture out to Kibera was made somewhat difficult due to our arrival during the rainy season. While our summer fits well into school schedules, for making a mission trip, it is actually cool, rainy and overcast during the Kenyan winter, making traversing the muddy paths to the school sort of treacherous.

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Over the course of the last 15 months or more, our team was asked to prayerfully consider what gifts they felt like God might want to use on the mission trip. We discussed the length of the trip, most saying they felt like a 10 day trip would be about perfect for their first (most) trip out of the country. Kibera has been on my heart for years and I strongly felt urged pray and declare that the churches there would come together in unity. After sharing with Monica, we began to believe and pray to God, for this to somehow come together. We also began praying for a crusade and all aspects of the mission trip, for God to aid us in planning. The next team meeting the vision was shared and how we were trusting God to help us with a crusade in Kibera. A rough draft of plans was developed for our trip. Gene wanted to help the children plant a garden, Phil would teach/preach, Jody would mentor and instruct the teachers, Kaden and Emily would paint a mural and play with the children, Jacquelyn wanted to work with the deaf and I would teach hygiene and infection control- with all of these things being entwined with biblical teaching, songs and as much love of Jesus Christ draping over each activity. It was thrilling to see the crusade actually becoming a reality! We had the pastors from 7 churches in Kibera come together and pray and plan for several months before we arrived. By the end of the crusade, there were more than 20 churches from all over Kenya and one from Uganda, that were involved in the crusade! That was God!! For that many churches, from different tribes and denominations, to come together for the purpose of repentance (main theme) and salvation, it was a miracle indeed. Phil had been praying and believing for 2000 salvations and shared it with us a couple weeks before leaving. Bold faith!! We know that hundreds came to salvation throughout the course of the crusade and we are still waiting on the final

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numbers, but we trust that God will use the Word that was spoken during the crusade, to continue impacting lives for His glory and we do believe that at least 2000 and possibly MANY more will come to Christ! Not only were many lives impacted and changed, but many were drawn to a closer walk with God. Scores of folks stood out in the pouring rain, on their knees, crying out to God. Our team left early that night, no translators after Phil preached, having always been indoors before nightfall in Kibera. But those folks had church and much was accomplished for the kingdom of God!

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Phil and Gene each had opportunities to preach and teach God’s Word. We all had opportunities to sing, read scriptures, pray with people, love on folks, take the children on a field trip to Nairobi Arboretum- it was so much FUN, teach children, plant seeds, plant a garden, build a shelf, paint walls, make a beautiful mural, attend the sick, prevent spread of disease, teach how to lesson plan, organize some areas in the school…the list goes on 🙂

We were able to do most of the items on our list, plus some other unplanned things ( Jacq played basketball with about 20 boys after school one day, that was a highlight!! and God even provided a basketball for us on the way to the playing field- HE is SO GOOD!!)

 

Meet Miracle Victory Student Leaders

We want to introduce you to some of our school leaders and let you know what they do to make our school great! This is great training ground for them and we are so proud of their service. They were voted on by secret ballot by the our students. Our teacher, Joshua Ochieng, was kind enough to provide information about their duties, thank you!!

MVCC president

President, Emily Achieng

Thomas

Deputy President, Thomas Obonyo

The president, Emily Achieng, is the overall leader who makes sure that the Ministers perform their duties and also ensures that the needs of the children are being met. For example, the lunch schedule and if the food is well cooked. If  the children have any issues, they report to their president, who will address concerns and bring it to a teacher’s attention. This is working well, allowing the children to feel free with one another knowing they can share anything safely.  The work of the deputy is similar to that of the president. Thomas Obonyo will take the responsibility if the president is not available.

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Student government leaders, as described from left to right. (they all are wearing their TOM’s shoes)

The minister for peace, Jeff Ochieng (3rd from left), works to make sure that whenever there is a conflict between the children, he is able to talk to them and bring understanding among fellow students. This is possible because the teachers have taught him how to handle any misunderstanding between his fellow students. I.C.T (information in computer and technology) was created (as we believe by God’s grace we’ll one day have computers in the center) and he will be in charge, but at the moment what he does is to pass any information to the children like the debates motion which we normally hold every Friday afternoon. Minister of Education, Emily, is to ensure that teachers are in the class on time and whenever a child lacks learning material, like pens or books, she takes the matter to the teacher. The speaker’s (Joan Anyango) function, is to chair the debate and with the help of the teacher, come up with a motion to monitor debates. The minister for health,Rose Aoko, works to make sure that the general cleanliness is observed within the school. Of course, our teachers are the ones ultimately responsible, but this gives a voice and opportunity for growth for these special students.

Teachers, cooks, assistants

Employees of Miracle Victory Children’s Centre

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Environmental Club

 

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Environmental club at work

Three of our teachers recently were given training to introduce environmental clubs in our school and how to select the board. They were also taught basics of  home gardening, rabbit keeping and chicken keeping. They were also shown a method to teach the school pupils how to keep the environment clean. The main objective was to show teachers how to set up an environmental club and how to instruct the children. They also learned how to develop micro projects which can generate food or income to the school. This is something I tried several years ago, but it failed. We rented land and planted crops, hoping that the proceeds would help sustain the school. It was a good plan, but without complete buy-in from the entire school (teachers and students) it was difficult to be successful. God has answered years of prayers, for sustainability, for training of teachers, for provision of the tools to make the school successful. All glory to Jesus for this!!

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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.

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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!

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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.

Construction Phase 2 Pictures

DSC_0070 DSC_0082Patience is a virtue. Love is patient…that is what my bible says in Corinthians ,anyway. I am way past the praying for patience stage. There was a time, was when my children were tiny and I did not want to snap at them, due to parental exhaustion- I did pray for patience then. But, it seemed as though more opportunities to practice that virtue were availed to me, too many more times and I stopped asking for patience and began praying for rest. Why am I talking about patience?  Because, building in Kenya has been very tedious. Everything moves in slow motion. Things that were bought and paid for more than 2 years ago, are just now being set in place to be used. We have been blessed by some sweet, generous donors and the things they have purchased have not been pictured yet, due to the slow process of everything! Our Kenya contractor, Paul Obia, has gone upcountry on multiple occasions and no construction takes place while he is away. Please be in prayer for the construction process, the workers, Paul- that he will do his work with excellence and not take any more trips. Pray for the school children, as they are meeting in another facility until school completion, the teachers for strength and insight to teach in the middle of chaotic times.

Would some of you consider praying daily for us? We need prayer coverage more now than ever! Cry out to God for us and with us. Thank you for praying.

“And the Lord said, ‘Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?’ (Luke 18:7-8).” 

Here are the most recent photos (this week). They show some of the completed areas. They also show some of the incomplete areas, where tons of work needs to take place before the children can return. Currently, we are checking into safety inspections. The upper level has a long way to go before it will be safe.

 

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Monica, at the entrance to the school.

 

 

 

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Progress

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Hi Folks!

So very thankful for the opportunities we have to make an impact for God’s glory. Though it may be painfully slow in some ways, in other ways I stand amazed at the way that support has come in for Miracle Victory Children’s Centre. Since Jauary of 2014, the original budget of $98,000 has been met in full. It was disappointing learning that rainy season caused damage, necessitating the replacement of timber and some steel. After a wire today, the total amount needed will be $13,440.

Thanks for your prayers, support, encouragement and love!

Praising God for:

 Lakeview Baptist Church and their fundraising efforts in 2015

[image] for their kindness and generous donations, thank you!!

Thanking God for keeping our children healthy!!

New City Church  New City Church of San Diego made a donation for classroom furniture and supplies, Thank You!!

 

Tommy and Janis Burch and their generosity and kindness, for the roof money and many other timely donations. Thank you!!!

 

THANK YOU DONORS!!

 

We will post new pictures as soon as the 2nd floor and roof show progress!

 

Please continue to PRAY. WE NEED YOU!!!!

Two $250 Scholarships for Education

We have had a large number of people asking for help with their higher education. We will award two $250 scholarships to be paid directly by wire transfer to the high school or college of choice. These are only awarded to people in extreme financial need, based on merit, location and their original answers on the scholarship application. DEADINE March 5, 2015. Eligible countries: Kenya, Rwanda, Haiti

Please email us with your current student status, official school document of your grades, we will then share this application with you via email! God bless your efforts!!

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Scholarship Application

March 5, 2015 deadline

What is your primary goal in life?

equired

how will you use your education

Describe a moment in your life, where you realized, you could have an impact in the world.

can be at any age in your life

Describe each member of your family, explaining the impact they have had to make you who you are today.

ed

please describe at least 3 people, up to 7 total

If you complete your education, how will you use your knowledge to impact the future generations in your community?

pay it forward or give it back

Who has influenced your life in the biggest way? How? Why?

this can be anyone, past, present, famous or everyday life

 

 

 

Christmas and Construction Chronicles

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Consistently, I am in awe of how things are coming together in God’s timing and order. He continues to make His fame known in Kibera and in my own heart. When I begin to get anxious, His provision comes through in many ways…usually not in the way my own mind would expect. In October, I had decided to totally empty the account in order to continue construction of the new school, a huge leap of faith. $10.050 was sent, with $8,800 going toward construction. Less than a week later, I was already beginning to panic when no funds had come in to replace those sent. When will I learn in a permanent, sustaining way the true goodness and faithfulness of our God?

“Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments.Deut.7:9

24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this. 1 Thess.5:24

God has done great and mighty things! What a great Christmas present to the children. This school will be built and God will get ALL praise and glory for it!

We thank God for each and every one of you that has responded in great ways, you have done so much to just pour out your love, some of you in a sacrificial ways to see this school continue being built.

Without your help, where would we be? After my panic, our friends from Georgia made another hugely generous donation($10,000)! We received an unexpected gift from Schwab Charitable to help with the monthly budget. Our sweet summertime teacher, Katie Ruth, her mom Sue and friends had a wonderful fundraiser to contribute more than $6,000 towards the school and student sponsorships. Just yesterday, a good friend surprised us with another super generous gift! So, why I am I telling you this? Because God is good! He loves these children so much!! He wants to glorify Himself in Kibera! He wants to glorify His deeds in North Carolina, Georgia, California and Illinois!! And the entire world!!!

Thanks so much for praying for us! God is answering your prayers!!!

According to our fundraising thermometer, there is only about $25,000 left to be raised in order to complete the school building. YIPEE!!

If you had asked me this time last year, where the school would be in it’s state of completion, I probably would have said maybe 1/3 complete…but with God. (I recently was heckled by an atheistic, saying I should not be giving credit to God for anything because it was people doing this…but without faith, you just cannot understand how God is truly at work in our lives- it is ALL His doing)

The children have completed the Kenyan syllabus and are preparing for exams. Pray for them to remember the things they have learned and to have peace during this busy time. After this, they will celebrate together on Christmas Day at school. Remember, they are family to each other and are so thankful for food they will receive, plus some extra goodies for each of them. They will sing, dance, have fruits, juice and some candy to celebrate our Savior’s birth.

Pray for Monica and the teachers, they work so hard, especially around exam time.

Here is a short video showing some of the windows in the lower level.

Consider helping us with a year end gift. We thank you!

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!!!