Category Archives: LCM Blog

A Story of Alphons Otieno

AlphonsGroupPic

St James UMC missionary team builds a new home for Alphons (2nd from right) and his guardian (3rd from right) to fulfill a dream despite challenges he faced early in his life.

Alphons is an orphan aged 16 years old and is a resident of Sidho location, Obumba sub-location, Wakesi village, Kisumu District .He is the son to the late Caroline Akoth Odhiambo and Joseph Odhiambo, his parents died when he was 10 years old leaving him with his paternal aunt mama Ruth Ogallo who is just doing some peasant farming for survival. It is very unfortunate that this young boy is epileptic and he has suffered a lot but because of God’s grace he still lives to see the day.

Alphons was the only child to the late Caroline and Joseph and therefore when he was growing up he wanted to achieve the best to keep their home standing. He really loved school and could always make sure that he doesn’t miss school so that at the end, he achieves his ambition of becoming a great doctor. It is unfortunate that Alphons may not be able to achieve his dream because when he was in class six, he could be frequently attacked by the disease that he was forced to drop out of school so that he can try getting some medication. It has been six years now since Alphons left school but despite of that he is still determine to go back to school and continue with his education.

Alphons is now a grown up, still staying with his aunt Ruth which sometimes is always difficult for many people considering also the condition of Alphons. Ruth has been good to this boy and has been helping him even whenever he is in a difficult situation. Ruth resides in just a small house in their rural home and being that this boy was also growing up very first, there was a serious need for Alphons to have a place where he can at least rest in comfortably so early this year (2018) he requested to be built for a house. Alphons dream of having a shelter came to pass through the ST. JAMES UMC Team who came recently and wanted to build a house and we found it wise to give Alphons the chance to benefit and therefore on the 29th of October 2018, through the help of the ST. JAMES UMC TEAM and LIFE FOR CHILDREN MINISTRY, a house was built for Alphons.

It was a great joy for Alphons to see that finally he had a place to shelter in. It was a wonderful day for him and he was the most happiest person ever that he didn’t know how to express it but simply said, “thank you God for the work you have done to me and thank you to our friends from US and finally to Life for Children Ministry, continue with the same spirit and continue helping those who vulnerable just like me, thank you and may God bless you”.

#GivingTuesday and Life for Children Ministry 2018

We are indeed very grateful for you, your prayers, and your support over the years. Without you we would not be here today. For that reason we want to wish you a wonderful thanksgiving and pray that it will be a moment to reflect on God’s awesomeness.

Theirs is an old practice to many in the “not for profit” world, called “Giving Tuesday”. Its is coming up on November 27, 2018, This is where the world will come together to support charitable organizations in the largest international giving event of the year. Would you stand with Life for Children Ministry who have equally been standing with orphans of HIV/AIDS in Kenya. We have educated over 500 orphans in Kenya, build homes for the homeless, Feeding the street boys and having church for them every Sunday, we have supported over 2,000 women with micro finance loans, to empower themselves economically. We do VBS, Medical camps, just to mention a few. We are bringing hope to the hopeless and the word of God in a practical but dynamic life changing way. We call on you to be part of this life-changing ministry in participating in GIVING TUESDAY!

As you plan to partner with us on Giving Tuesday event, we invite you to go to our webpage www.lifeforchildrenministry.org

 Kindly give as the Lord will lead and you will be blessed.

Please share with your families, friends and network about our work and how they can stand with us. !

We are grateful for your support in advance and be  blessed as you give.

Michael Agwanda

Founder.

Amazon Donates to Life for Children Ministry

Your Black Friday Purchases can help the Orphans
 
Every purchase you make at Amazon.Smile anytime
Amazon will make a donation to LCM.
 
Click the image below to go to Amazon.Smile
for special Deals for our supporters.
BLACKFRIDAY_1200x627._CB479441021_LCM

 

Microfinance and the Nafuu Womens Group

She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
     and her lamp does not go out at night.”

Proverbs 31:18-19

Life for Children Ministry has helped over 1,000 people in business

The Naafu group is one of many groups that routinely meet to help and encourage each other’s businesses

In the rural areas of Kenya, finding consistent work is a struggle for many people. Most families rely on subsistence farming for their daily meals. Sometimes this is enough, but most often, it is a struggle to depend solely on this type of farming, especially after an exceptionally brutal rainy season. When the Husband and/or Father of the family is able to find work (usually some type of manual labor) the money from that can be used to supplement the nutrition of the family, pay school fees, buy clothes and other things the family might need. However, finding consistent work in villages is very difficult.

One of the ways in which Life For Children ministers to the local community in Kisumu and Wachara, is through a microfinance program called MEDD. The program has helped over 1000 men and women start small businesses since it’s conception in 2011. MEDD focuses on men and women in the community who have business minds but do not have the means or opportunity to open their own businesses. MEDD trains these individuals with business skills, the most important of which is a savings account. Small loans are then given to them based on their ability to save. Little by little they are able to build their businesses without the burden of a huge debt hanging over them.

Nafuu Women’s Group was started is under the leadership of Emily, the MEDD Microfinance Officer in Wachara. These women came together as a group to support each other in their individual business efforts. The word “nafuu” is Swahili for “comfortable” in English. Nafuu truly captures the spirit of this group. The members came up with this name because they want every woman to feel comfortable in the group. Their businesses range from selling basic need items (flour, tea, bread, washing powder) from a small shop windows to selling fish to tailoring and clothes making.

Each week they meet together with Emily to discuss how they businesses are doing and to make payments on their loans or to their savings.

Recently, I was able to visit the Nafuu group and I asked the members this question: “What does having your own small business mean for you and your family?” One of the women responded “I don’t have to wait until my husband finds work to feed my family, I am able to do it with my business.”

We praise God for all that He is doing through Life For Children ministry to give hope and life to the village of Wachara.

SHARE A MEAL WITH A FAMILY IN KENYA ON CHRISTMAS DAY

Every year, you have individually as well as a congregation stood with
Life for Children Ministry in prayers and support in our program of
sharing a mean with a family on Christmas day. Many Christian families
would love to gather around a family dinner to share a mean on this day
but would not because of food insecurity.

“in spite of progress made over the last two decades, 821 million people
still suffer from chronic hunger. Among children, it is estimated that 155
million under five years of age are chronically malnourished (stunted)
and over 52 million are acutely malnourished (wasted).
Our mandate is to support members in their efforts to ensure that people
have regular access to enough high-quality food” (Food and Agriculture
organization of UN)

Principal causes of food insecurity (hunger) in Africa and many other
nations are Poverty, conflict, climate and weather, lack of investment in
Agriculture, unstable market and high food prices among others World
food program 2018). In East Africa, 22Million people need help to secure
their livelihood and acquire adequate food. 9Millio children are in need
of nutrition assistance (World Vision).

Life for Children Ministry is committed to fighting poverty by providing
micro loan to women group for businesses in the process of eliminating
poverty in our little way, however the work is yet to be done. We
therefore ask you to stand with a family on this upcoming Christmas day
at $ 20 for a family. This will bring great joy and will highly be
appreciated.

Your $ 20 a family on this Christmas day will include supply of a sorted
food (beef, sugar, cooking fat, corn flower). Acts 20:35 in everything I’
showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the week
and remember the words of the lord Jesus, that He Himself said, it is
more blessed to give than to receive.

You can send your donation through our website
http://www.lifeforchildrenministry.org or send the check to Life for Children
Ministry C/O North Spring UMC 7770 Roswell Rd. Sandy Springs Ga.
303350. Mark the check “ Christmas Meal.

Thank you and be blessed.
Michael Agwanda Founder.

Hope

In life every human being keeps on hoping for something better. Just as the bible says, hope does not disappoint. I am always amazed at the resilient in street boy’s lives. Every day they keep on hoping and trusting God that their lives’ will be better some day, no wonder on a Sunday morning we always find them waiting patiently at the hall’s gate for us. The program keeps on bringing hope to the boys.

Their hope does not disappoint, they are certain we will come to fellowship and feed them. The photo below shows glowing faces of satisfaction, young boys saying thank you. 

Hope with the lost generation of Africa

Smiling faces shows a renewing of hope through faith in Our Lord.

Houses for Widows

Family based care for orphans is a vital and much needed ministry of Life For Children. Many of our children have been placed in the care of their grandmothers. Often times, these women have been widowed due to HIV/AIDS. LCM saw the need from the beginning to also include widow care into their ministry model since they play an important role in the lives of the children. One of the ways in which they support Widows is to provide safe and stable homes for them and the children in their care. A safe, stable, and secure house can be built for approximately $1000.

Wilfrida Awiti is no stranger to Life For Children Ministry. She has been the guardian to Samson Odhiambo from the time when he was a small child up until the time he aged out of the LCM program. During her time as a guardian with LCM Wilfrida was faithful to attend the former bi-weekly fellowships at the office when her health would allow. She formed deep and meaningful relationships with the other guardians. Currently, she is 71 years old and although she does not have any LCM children in her care today, Wilfrida does have several small children who are dependent on her. She has also remained faithful to attend the fellowships with our guardians once month in Chiga, provided that she is in good health.

Recently, during one of our visits to Chiga to make home visits with some of the children, we were invited to come to Wilfrida’s house. Upon arrival, we noticed that her house was in very bad shape due to the recent rains that have come. Every time it rains, some pieces of the walls begin to fall off. In addition, sometimes the rains cause water to surround her house. At night, when it rains she fears that the house may fall onto her and the children in the home.

Outside of Wilfrida's house crumbling from heavy rains

Outside of Wilfrida’s house, water pooling on each side

Inside damage from heavy rains

Corner of house damaged from storms

Due to the extremely unsafe conditions, especially during this rainy season, Life For Children was able to build Wilfrida a new home.

Construction on the new home took only three days to complete. We praise God for providing this home for Wilfrida. She expressed to us that she is thankful to LCM and the donors who provided this new home for her. She also stated that she is sleeping peacefully at night and does not worry about the safety of her home.

Constructing the house for Wilfrida

A hardy tin roof is added to the framed house.

Wall consruction

LCM Worker, Maureen, helps with mudding wall

Wilfrida (center) is grateful for a safe and stable home

Wilfrida (center) wants to thank you for building her a safe and stable home

Wilfrida Awiti

Wilfrida Awiti

Micro-Finance: A Key to Eliminate Poverty

Small entrepreneurs in the communities have lacked access to financial services to promote their businesses for many years. In 2013, Michael Agwanda the founder of Life for Children ministry initiated Micro Enterprise Development Department (MEDD) in Wachara community; with the intention of reaching vulnerable men and women who are diligent entrepreneurs, by giving them loans to boost their small businesses and move them from dependence on aid to self sustainability, eventually moving the entire family out of poverty. With increased household income, widows and guardians to orphaned children can provide healthy food for their children, safe housing, access to healthcare and quality education.

Since that time, we have had testimonies from clients who point out to amazing success and growth they have had through MEDD.

Patricia Oloo

Patricia had struggled for 15 years working as a tailor. Her small earnings from repairing cloths could hardly match the demand of her family and desires to sell new fabrics were frustrated due to lack of capital. She therefore decided to join MEDD by forming a group where they participate in informal savings by contributing a small amount of money on a weekly basis. She was able to save enough to secure a loan with MEDD. Patricia decided to borrow twenty thousand Kenya Shillings (20,000) as her first loan which helped her bring fabrics and part of it bought a goat. Her business increased in profit and she was able to pay back the loan. Patricia is now servicing her fourth loan of sixty thousand Kenya Shillings (60,000) which consistently helps her buy not only fabrics but also second hand clothes to sell. The growth of her business has helped her to provide healthy food for her family on a consistent basis.

MicroFinSew1 MicroFinSew2

Jane Akeyo

Jane is a mother of five children, she used her small savings she got from farming to open a small retail shop in 2005. But with insufficient capital, she was able to sell only a few items. After five years of being turned down by lenders in the community, she was referred to MEDD where she joined a group and took her first loan of ten thousand Kenya Shillings (10,000). Today, after four more loans from MEDD, Jane has a full equipped retail shop and she is able to pay her children medical bills, education fees and pay rent for her shop without difficulties.

MicroFinRetl1 MicroFinRetl2

Supporting Jane, Patricia and other entrepreneurs who want to advance in their businesses is what MEDD is all about. Those who have stepped forward to join hands in groups no longer shy away from loans advanced by microfinance. Nothing is as gratifying as an economically empowered guardian or widow.

BY EMILY

You can also give to empower more women in business through the Life for Children Ministry Website

Street Kids Program Report for May 2018

The month of May has so far been peaceful though the intensity of rain has been causing havoc in different parts of the country. Some of the street boys we have of late are from the flood stricken areas, where families have been displaced, families loosing loved ones and water-borne diseases on the rise. A number of boys have been complaining of chest pains, coughs and malaria due to the cold weather.

Field-work;

James/Peter

James Ouma and Peter Otieno;

James and Peter are boys who came recently to the streets mid last month. They are aged 14 and 16yrs. They were orphaned when both parents were swept by flood and drowned. This harrowing experience left them scared as many homes are still flooded, destroyed and people ran away to save their lives.

The two boys are still afraid and look timid, though they are willing to go back home but need a lot of counseling, encouragement and advice. Closely will been monitoring their progress during field-work, that if they are still there.

The weekly field work are doing okay, this enhances close interaction with the boys giving them a listening hear. Encouraging them and administering first aid to those who are feeling unwell, advising them to seek further medical attention for ailments that are serious.

We have had an increase of new young boys ages 9-15 in the streets and also at the Sunday program.

Fred 12yrs;

Fred omuse comes from mumias western part of Kenya; he has been on the streets from September this year. He ran away from home because of being beaten by his uncle who is alcoholic. The mother passed on when he was 1yrs leaving him under the care of his uncle.

Omuse longs to continue with his education given an opportunity, going back home is out of question because he feels unwanted due to the constant abuse. He would rather be in a children’s home than going back there.

Paul kemboi 13yrs;

Paul comes from belgut kericho area, their home borders Maasai in the rift-valley. He has been on the streets for 5 months now. He lost both parents to clashes when the Maasai’s invaded their home running away with their animals (cows and sheep). Their home was burned down by fire in the wee hours of the morning killing his parents as he narrates painfully. He escaped narrowly since he slept in a neighbor’s home. During the programs we take time with such boys, to encourage them, many of whom have been going through different challenges in life.

Sodomy/Gay

Gay/Lesbians

The gay and lesbians group has intensified its operations and they are spreading their net wide. Destabilizing families, school going pupils and street boys. Their operations are both during the day and night as they attract and influence people through handouts and cash.

Four street boys last week alone were enticed by receiving 5000kshs each. Other street boys know them. Though these boys have not been coming to our programs, we have given a warning to the boys to be extra careful not to be enticed.

Arrests;

The arrest has been intensified, going on day and night. This has caused a number of boys to scamp for safety, some running away into hiding for dear life. Close to 20 boys have been arrested this month the young ones taken to juvenile while older ones to prison.

Education;

Schools have opened for second term and the school going pupils have since gone back. Emmanuel’s lunches and tuition fee is always catered for by the organization. Early this month Bethany a missioner with us and I went to pay Emmanuel a visit in school. This was the first time Bethany was seeing Emmanuel.

She was very happy to see what God can do to street boys, when they are given a chance in life. Emmanuel has improved so much; he looks very happy and speaks amazing English. He has maintained 1st position in grade 5 with 384Mks. We encouraged him to work even harder for this will better his life in future.

SKPostMay2018

Dump-church;

The dump church fellowship has had a rough few weeks after the structure was pulled down again by heavy rains and wind. For that period the fellowship was on and off but thanks to God through the offerings given by members and well-wishers the building is up again.

The fellowship is going on. The dump-site boys are fairing on well and the bibles donated to the fellowship is helping them grow spiritually and get grounded in God’s word.

Sunday;

The Sunday programs and fellowship have been doing great, the boys have maintained coming early by 6.15am waiting for the fellowship to start. This has given them an opportunity to learn more on depending on God and trusting Him for their day today life.

Praise and worship has been playing a very important role in lifting the spirits of the boys and drawing the most needed inner strength to continue facing the hurdles of life.

The month of May we have been learning on the challenges life brings to us. Example the story of David, the hardships he passed through to become great as the king of Israel. The number of boys ,that have attended the programs 68,62,67,65 totaling to 262. God bless the director, donors and staff for their continued support.

Compiled by Tonny

Street Kid Program

Roughly 7 years ago, it became apparent that Life For Children Ministry would never have the financial resources to place every street boy with a guardian and support them with funds for food, school fees, and uniforms. It was also apparent that the number of boys on the streets was growing.  Seeing the needs of these boys sleeping on the streets of Kisumu and eating scraps of food in the city dump, the ministry made the decision to begin a Sunday worship service for all of the boys who showed up, followed by a hot meal and encouragement. It was felt that even if we could not meet all of the needs of these young boys, we could share the love and saving grace of Jesus. About the same time, a lady on a short-term mission trip came to Kisumu and witnessed the plight of the street boys. Since that time, this lady, with God’s help and inspiration has provided the majority of the financial help to keep the program going. In addition, another lady in Georgia provided all of the funds needed to purchase large pots and pans as well as plastic plates and cups to feed an average of 100 boys each Sunday. The program has had many ups and downs over these 7 years, but it has been very evident that we were doing God’s will and HE was providing for the needs of the boys. We have seen many boys accept Christ as their savior and go on the lead a productive life. About four years ago we started a repatriation program and have helped many of the younger boys return to their home village and unite once again with family members. On the down side, the feeding program has been forced to find a new location three or four times due to the stigma that follows the street boys. I wish that every one of you reading this newsletter could look into the faces of these boys as they worship and enjoy their only hot meal of the week. The expressions of their faces communicate their gratitude much better than words. Take a look at the pictures on the street boy web page and you will begin to see what I mean.

Street Boys

Now after seven years, we find ourselves without funding and are looking for help.  We are praying that God will raise up 52 people who will commit to funding the feeding program for one week each year for as many years as God provides. The total cost per week runs about $310. This covers the food cost, rent for the building, soap, and medicine. If you feel led to help with this ministry, please include a note with your check and send to: Life For Children Ministry, 7770 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30350. If you would prefer, you can break the $310 down and send monthly contributions.

May God richly bless you,

Charles Clements

 

Street Boy Web Page      http://streekidsofkenya.org/