"Holding Forth the Word of Life" - Philippians 2:16
|Grace Childrens' Home Kenya
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
From Diane Clements
There Ought to be a law.........
airplane rides are absurd when you think about it. you are given 3-4 cubic feet to habitate for more than 8 hours... frightfully packed together with total strangers; i chatted with my neighbors (a lovely scottish couple – love that accent!) and then we settled in with dinner and a movie. i chose carefully – a comedy sounded just right. it was cute.... and deceptive. no one tells you that the end is going to be gut wrenchingly sad! that is so unfair! i sat there desperately trying to stifle my sobs – i could be wrong – but blubbering out loud is probably not on the list of proper airline good seatmate etiquette. there really should be a law against sad movies on airplane flights!
not willing to try another “comedy” offering – i decided to go to sleep. if you know me, you know that i can sleep absolutely anywhere but vertical. seriously, i could sleep in the aisle as long as no one stepped on me – but upright just doesn’t do it for me. but being the eternal optimist – i thought maybe this flight (after 100’s of others) would be the one where i could really sleep! contact lenses out – check. eyeshade on – check. i carefully folded my body up into a ball on my seat and jammed my head into the back of my seat to fake it into thinking it was truly horizontal. i knew that i only had about 30 minutes to get to sleep before all circulation was cut off in my legs and i would have to move – but if i could manage to get to sleep first then i would never know – right? i could feel myself drifting off – i really thought it was happening – and just as the last reaches of consciousness were slipping away i heard a ding and a very loud male voice by my ear saying “check your seatbelt ma’am” . grrrr deep breath - think kind and loving thoughts...think kind and loving thoughts
not daunted by this failure i rolled to the other side and houdinied my body into another ball – and success once again seemed within grasp when the lady next to me decided to spear me in the back with her head. now i was ok with this – trust me – i understand..... but she could not get comfortable so she respeared me 25 more times before she finally gave up. by that time i realized i was nursing a lost cause and sat up to write. so here i sit in london heathrow airport – a very tired passenger.
the seats here have fixed arms between them so it is difficult to contort around them. i managed and slept for a couple of hours – but the air conditioning is soooo cold in here i am freezing. (perhaps they are fighting global warming inside here?) after i find a restroom i will be back trying again considering i have 6 more hours here....
one very big blessing - my bags were 9 lbs overweight and had to take some things out - we reweighed and they were light. we readded things one by one and the weight didn't see to go up. finally, all we had to leave behind was one set of twin sheets. now you figure that one out. maybe there was an angel hand holding it up from fully resting on the scale....
it sure will be good to pile into a bed in istanbul! can’t wait! hmm, i wonder if turkish airlines shows sad movies....
amiably passing time,
Wednesday May 27th, 2009
From Diane Clements
SIGHTSEEING, CARPETS AND YOGHURT SOUP
The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
because the LORD is the One who holds his hand!” – psalm 37:23-24
i am sitting in my hotel in istanbul waiting for a taxi to take me to the airport – one more leg to this looong journey. arrived here last night just after midnight and crashed in a bed..... but alas, old habits die hard – i still was awake at 7 am! had a lovely breakfast on the roof – overlooking the bosphorus. beautiful.
set out to see the sights – the hagia sofia, (absolutely amazing) the blue mosque and the hippodrome. not sure how i do it, but i always manage to meet people... this was a young carpet salesman. he was very nice and i assured him that i would not be buying a carpet – as much as i might like to. long story short, he took me to his shop to meet his family and learn about turkish carpets (while we drank apple tea). it was really interesting – they are incredibly beautiful. as i talked with his uncle and he found out where i was going and what i was going to do – he was so happy to meet me. he invited me to come into his home in 30 minutes and eat lunch with them. i walked around, looking at the sights and debating whether to go back. as i prayed, guess who met me on the sidewalk – the nephew! couldn’t argue with that! i discerned that God had an appointment for me! (as we were walking, i missed a step and started to fall but mercifully he stuck out his arm and kept me from falling in turkey too!)
we crammed around the table in his kitchen with all his sons and nephews (who also sell carpets). first course was yoghurt soup – it was spicy and delicious. next – rice (kind of like pilaf) and dishes of yoghurt that we ate from communally. it was sour and sooo good! finally big bowls of chicken soup – i was informed that i got 2 pieces of chicken while everyone else got only 1 (as a guest). we sopped it up with crusty bread that we ripped off the loaf. i was sooo stuffed. as i was leaving, my sweater got caught on a nail on a picture from and knocked the picture and a whole lot of other stuff on the floor. eeek. he was very gracious and nothing was broken (how embarassing) as i was going, i told him i had nothing to give him – but that i would pray for his family. this made him so happy – he grabbed my hand and shook it, then hugged me in a bear hug, then kissed both cheeks, then another hug and another handshake. then the ritual was repeated with his nephew. it was a pleasant and unique experience – and now i have a few more people to pray for and a family to visit if i ever come back to istanbul.
i finished the afternoon by walking across the bridge over the golden horn to the asian side of istanbul and the bosphorous (i have been staying in the european side) istanbul (ancient constantinople) is such an interesting place – so much history. it is very clean and beautiful and the people are exceedingly friendly. never one time did i have anyone try to pressure me to buy anything, or to cheat me in any way – like the polar opposite of egypt or north vietnam!
but as fun and interesting as this day has been, i am sooo ready for this last long flight to kenya so that i might be able to begin what i have left home and family for. it is hard to believe that in about 10 hours i will finally be there! woo hoo!
thank you for your faithful prayers – they have carried me in the palm of God’s hands so far!
He is way toooo good to me!
ready to go,
From Diane Clements - Director of Grace Home Ministries
"The Lord will accomplish what concerns me." - Psalm 138:8
I was pretty happy leaving Istanbul – we were on time and there were only about 30 passengers on the plane. it was great - as soon as the doors closed, everyone scrambled to find 3 seats to themselves so that they could lay down and sleep – ah, blessed sleep! I was still waaay behind – and little did I know just how much I was going to need the nap I was able to get.
It was impossible for the pouring rain in Nairobi to dampen my spirits – I breezed thru immigration and customs – and outside the door was a whole team of Kenyan guys who had come to receive me! I was amazed – after all it was 1:30 am! how sweet! It also proved to be the providential hand of God (He is so good!). We set out on the long trip home in the downpour – picking our way over the ever increasingly potholed roads. Poor Shadrach – the van kept dying from some bad fuel and then about halfway thru the 68 km journey, we got a flat tire. Unfortunately we did not have everything we needed to change it so the guys called back to the mission and asked someone to bring what we needed. When they arrived I went on ahead in the small car with a few of the guys – reaching home at 5 am! We were sooo tired – but the guys changing the tire didn’t get home till many hours later. Little did i know that we had broken down in an area where there are gangs of thieves that attack stopped vehicles and steal them or everything in them – with little regard for life. God’s hand of protection was surely on us the whole night. He also protected the guys changing the tire as we were stopped right in the road! Thank you Lord! I slept until noon (never before in my life!) and spent the rest of the day in a jet lagged stupor... i could barely concentrate as I met old friends and new.... we discussed plans and details but i just could not focus. All it took was a good night’s sleep though and now i am almost myself again.
The osborne’s home is a hive of activity and a haven of good Kenyan hospitality. They have so many things going on and so many people they minister to. the front door literally revolves with their Kenyan sons arriving, receiving advice or funds and then heading back out to work in their various ministries and projects. In the midst of it all there is always time to sit and talk with anyone who has a need or just for friendly catching up. Yesterday Lois, Oscar and I spent the day in Nairobi buying lots and lots of groceries for the coming month (their table is always full to overflowing with people) changing money and buying some supplies for the children’s homes. Now the preparations are underway in earnest. Furniture and other needs have been ordered, the structure of operation has been set up and lists (and more lists) are being made. I have met two of the dads of the families we will start with and I like them a great deal. They seem very excited about this opportunity to serve God by caring for orphaned children.
Tomorrow is our church day – and then Monday will be an important day for us as well as all Kenyans. It is “Independence Day” for the Kenyan people, but for grace homes it will be a get-together of the 4 families who would like to be involved in this ministry. 3 of the families want to come and live in our homes and one would like to foster a couple of children in their own home. it will be our day to get to know one another as well as meet and discuss grace home ministries. we will also be chatting about the visions and goals of our work as well as the day to day details of carrying it out.
In light of this please pray for; a good day of fellowship together on Monday, a meaningful discussion together concerning the work, understanding of God’s will, unity of spirit of everyone involved, the 4 couples who will embark on a new chapter in their lives, the children we will be caring for I still don’t know much about the children – so many have been discussed – but I know when the time comes it will be clear who we are to take in. Until then I will just have to curb my curiosity... I will meet them when I meet them! The Lord has been continually with us – protecting us and guiding us and He is faithful to perform all that He has planned! I am so grateful to be here – seeing His hand working, step by step, and thank you for joining us here in Kenya through your prayers – we appreciate you so much! can’t wait to write the next report of our progress!
Wednesday June 3, 2009
from Diane Clements
Crooked Paths, Explanations and More
“make me know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
for You are the God of my salvation; for You i wait all the day.” – psalm 25:4-5
over the past few years, the path to africa has been a long and crooked one for me – with many stops and starts and turns – all of them unexpected. God had clearly given me a ministry in asia – i couldn’t see the sense of Him sending me to africa too. most of the time i did not understand much of anything God was asking me to do. and yet every step along the way was purposeful in the eyes of God – all a part of His perfectly detailed plan.
right now, here in kenya, i am at one of those incredibly exciting and joyful places in life – a time where you get to see the mysteries and blind steps of obedience explained – for everything is beginning to come to fruition at once. as i think back over these past 8 years, i realize that God has always seen this and i have a feeling that His heart is full of delight and rejoicing as He finally gets to show it to me. i feel so bathed in His kindness and love. we are the most privileged people on earth to know and serve such an amazing God!
sunday we had a wonderful day at church – with a lively service and a message by hoyt. once again i was reminded that this white girl can’t dance! the kenyans don’t just sing – they move – with a whole lotta rhythm! watching choir practice afterwards was like witnessing an aerobics class! it was great to observe how much the people love hoyt and lois and to see firsthand the fruits of their 20 years of labor for the Lord here. when the service was over, the church ladies fed us a wonderful lunch. then we headed off to the home of prospective foster family where they fed us another entire meal! i managed to eat it all – but i was on the verge of overflow!
monday we met with 3 couples who wish to parent a grace home family and one foster parent couple – and it was a really sweet day. it was good to meet them all and get to know one another a little better – and then we talked about the history of grace home ministries and how it will work here in kenya. they were sent home with a copy of our vision statement and the parental job agreement, with instructions to read it at home and pray over it. then, when they are ready, they can come back and we will sign it together. i think if we would have allowed them, they all would have signed it right there and then. but we want them to be totally sure of their calling to do this work -that assurance is what will carry them thru the hard times that will surely come.....
yesterday lois and i met with the board and reported our progress – and we received more information about the prospective children. we have heard of so many in need. yesterday morning there was news of a young boy nearby – his parents died so his grandmother sent him to his uncle’s to live. the uncle didn’t want him and sent him back. that made the grandmother so mad she beat him and burned all of his clothing! just another day in africa. i can’t wait to finally be able to rescue a few of them from their dismal circumstances.
and it looks like it could be soon. (wide smile) i am so grateful for all the people here at the mission that are working to bring this all together – purchasing, dealing with the government, painting, etc. and i am truly grateful for lois. she will be directly overseeing the homes and i have been so happy to find that we are very like minded. both she and hoyt have much wisdom and experience and it will be invaluable in this new work.
for now we are seeking to learn more about the children that have come to our attention and discern which ones are most at-risk. monday we meet with the district commissioner to get officially recognized – and then we can go to the families with the official paperwork. we are making progress!
continue to pray for us as we move ahead – the inevitable trials have begun as we knew they would. also pray for continued wisdom, the choosing of the children, the meeting on monday and for God’s provision. our goal (and hopefully God’s!) is to have two home families and one foster family set up and running before i leave on the 21st. there is still much to be done and decisions to be made and lois and i think of more things constantly! but as you pray – be sure to praise God for the wonders He has already done in bringing so many people and circumstances together to this very point in time – all for the sake of the fatherless and poor children of rural kenya.
marveling at our amazing Father’s works,
Friday, June 5th 2009
From Diane Clements
i cried myself to sleep last night...
and then the short sleep that i did get was haunted by dreams of people wailing - with their arms outstretched – begging for help. waiting for someone to come and have compassion for them and relieve their despair. why, why is there so much suffering in the world??
yesterday, we spent the afternoon hearing the stories of prospective children for our homes – and the sadness of it stayed with me all evening. then, before bed i received an email from a friend in thailand. it was about the karen people of burma – a people who are systematically being exterminated and driven from their lands by the burmese government/army. (if you are interested in learning more check out freeburmarangers.org) i spent a week with them last march while in thailand and burma – so it made it all more real and gut-wrenching. why is it that when even a few of the suffering are helped that satan can so easily come and wipe even that out?? sometimes it seems like just too much....
our progress here continues – please pray for us as we move toward choosing and bringing the children home. in addition, please entreat God on behalf of the karen people and those seeking to help them....
may those of us who live safe and comfortable lives be willing to pour out our hearts in prayer to God for the billions that are living their lives in utter misery. and beyond that, might we give sacrificially of our time, our resources, and ourselves so that at least a few might find hope – both in this life and the next.
with a heavy heart,
Saturday, June 13th, 2009
From Diane Clements
ITS A BOY! ITS A GIRL! ITS TWO MORE BOYS!
“it is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes!” – psalm 118:23
azure blue skies dotted with great puffs of white hovering over a red dirt road with deep ruts snaking before us - in sharp contrast to the green vegetation that crowded our periphery.... this was the breathtaking scene in front of us nearly every day this past week as we traversed through the hills and over the back roads of the kangundo area, visiting children and learning their stories firsthand. the12 local uaem churches have been a funnel of dozens of applications of children – every one of them orphaned of both parents – yet so many more than we can possibly take right now. their situations are all so sad and the process of prioritizing and choosing is exceedingly difficult. but God has clearly led us every step of the way – i think He delights to make His will clear to those who will wholeheartedly follow it.
yesterday i had the most awesome day – the 3 dads and i took the first 4 children the Lord has given to us to the hospital for their check-ups. first up was the hiv testing – since we will not be equipped (for now at least) to take kids who are positive. when i went in for the result, i saw that one of the test kits had been set aside – and my heart sank to my feet. as i fought back tears, i wondered which child it was..... i was already so sure in my heart that they were all ours....
the nurse took a deep breath and said “congratulations – they are all negative!” huh? i wanted to kiss her! probably would have been ok – you kiss everyone you meet here anyway....
and so began a complete day of lab, xrays, and examinations. we thank God that in appreciation for the work we are beginning, the local hospital did it all free of charge. praise God! we had a variety of infections – pneumonia, bladder, bronchial, as well as ringworm, parasites, amoebas and worms of every sort. all treatable and we have a huge pile of prescriptions to prove it!
and what a good day with the dads – getting to know them in this setting – watching them interact with the children. this time together made me even more deeply grateful for the parents that God has given. they are amazing – full of God’s love and wisdom. and lots of fun too!
it was difficult to send the children back to their village homes for a few days (none of them wanted to go) until they finally come home - monday, june 15 - which will be our birthday! that will be the official start of grace children’s homes kenya ! can you believe it??? i hardly can – it seems unreal.
we hope to have the second batch of 5 in for their checkups next tuesday – we are just praying that they are all negative too so we can bring all of them home on wednesday. they also have health issues – one is quite serious.
and now for the best part - meet our first 4 children:
diana (8) is an aids orphan living with a mentally unstable grandmother (she just spent 3 days in jail for beating diana’s brother) diana loved the fact that we share the same name and she kind of glued herself to my side most of the day. (by the way they have decided that i will be called “mama diana” and lois will be “susu” (grandma).
victor’s (7) mother died of a stroke while getting off a bus. soon after, his grandmother died too which left him with an alcoholic grandfather who would beat him and not buy him food. victor was in serious need of medical attention and has some hearing loss which we will investigate with an ent doctor.
musembi (10) and musyoka (7) are brothers whose story is hard to believe. their mother died a few years ago – their father was alcoholic and used to come home drunk. he would beat them and they would have to hide in the jungle overnight for their safety. last april their father died too and since that time they have been living alone with their 15 year old brother. both have lung infections and every kind of parasite that you can imagine. musembi is such a sweet boy – very intelligent – he is obviously a good student. you have to watch musyoka closely – otherwise he just wanders off. it is clear that he is not used to any sort of adult supervision.
each one is soooo precious – i can hardly wait to know them better....
so – please praise the Lord with us as we rejoice in what it has pleased Him to do. pray for the parents – especially the wives – as they adjust to having all these new children at once. also, continue to pray for this next week – we have sooo much to do before i leave next sunday. our goal is to have our entire family at home and settled by thursday, and then we will have a grace home dedication with pastors and church leaders on friday afternoon. this week will go fast, i am sure – and then i will be saying goodbye to my newest family. and i know that is gonna be so hard.....
but i am refusing to think about that now – too much to do before then! i wish each of you could be here to see the fruit of your prayers firsthand – what a joy it is! 9 little lives to be totally transformed – physically, emotionally and spiritually – forever. how could you ever put a value on that?? and we are sure this is just the beginning!!
bubbling over with joy,
Latest posting from Diane Clements (Director of Grace Children's Home):
“A Father to the fatherless.....is God in His holy habitation. God makes a home for the lonely.” – Psalm 68:5-6
It was a moment of pure realization and sheer joy – I was squashed into the backseat of a taxi bouncing down yet another red dirt road - dirt which was billowing into the car through the windows that were stuck permanently down! The revelation was related to the 4 precious children packed around me, staring up into my eyes with a mixture of curiosity and fear. We were on our way to the hospital for checkups for our second batch of children when the thought occurred to me “Diane, this is what you were born to do!” My heart was flooded with the sense of privilege that had been bestowed on me. I wanted to go door to door and find more and more children who were in desperation and work at bringing them home too.
All day Tuesday was spent at the hospital – praise God all the children were HIV negative. We discovered an assortment of lung infections, parasites, worms and fungus. One girl, Munyiva, has severe malnutrition. When I took off her dress for her chest x-ray, I audibly gasped (and I am not one to react openly to things). She was completely emaciated in her chest and shoulders and neck. She also has had prolonged, untreated pneumonia – which the doctor said might have contributed to her wasted body. But still... we will keep an eye on her and make sure that she is gaining weight as she gets healthy.
Then Wednesday was our “coming home” day for this 5. How fun to travel to each of their places and pick them up and deliver them to their new families. What a joy! We spent time with each home of relatives – signing the final release papers and making a video/picture history for the children. When at last we arrived to their new homes, they were welcomed with open arms. It was so gratifying to finally see our families completed (for now anyway) and the children gladly settling into their new homes. There wasn’t a single tear or hesitation on anyone’s part – just glad anticipation and big wide smiles.
Please meet our newest children –
Christopher Ndambuki (13), Mary Nthenya (10), and Catherine Munyiva (7) – brother and sisters who lost their single mom a couple of years ago. They had no relatives willing or able to care for them, so a kind neighbor took them in. It was clear that there was not enough food for them – she also was widowed and had children of her own. We were just planning to take the girls, but Ndambuki was so eager to get chosen too that we just couldn’t say no. He is a very bright and engaging young man.
Mutie Kilonzo 7 years – his mother died giving birth to him and his father died about 3 years ago. He was living with his grandmother at a place where they sell changea (local brew) and there were always drunken people around. It was reported that he was abused as well.
Mutuku Musyoka – 5 years - Father died of pneumonia and mother died of malaria. Grandparents also deceased. His guardians (aunt and uncle) work and so Mutuku rather lived on his own – with a river nearby. His safety was a big issue in choosing Mutuku.
Anyway, thank you so much for joining us here in Kenya through your prayers. When I am able (with a good internet connection) I will be sending you a picture of our family – a tangible manifestation of God’s work thru you. Thank you – we would never have been able to get this far this fast without the prayers of all of you.
May blessings, shaken down and running over, pour out into your life because of your sacrifice.....
“The Lord has done great things for us – therefore we are glad!” – Psalm 126:3
A posting from Diane Clements; Director of Grace Children's Home
Deep sigh.... I am sitting in London’s Heathrow airport – finally at rest. I have just completed a 2 ½ hour marathon wrestling match with all of my heavy luggage. Taking it down the street to the underground station, onto the tube, off the tube, up the ramp to my terminal... down to the tube to another terminal and back up again - it sounds kind of simple, but it was anything but. Pushing a heavily loaded luggage cart up and down those ramps and around corners... well, let’s just say that wearing sandals was not a good idea. My toes are seriously battered! I think it would also be safe to say that my particular cart was possessed by some sort of unclean spirit! And then there was my 4 ½ foot long Kamba bow and arrows – nearly poked my own eye out and almost took out a few other commuters with it as well! it was a little unwieldy, to say the least. But I made it – phew!
Enough whining, and enough about me – what I want to share is the last few days that I had in Kenya. Lois and I spent them in a flurry of activity – making sure that we had finished all the things on our “to do” list and had discussed all the possible scenarios and problems that might crop up. I am utterly grateful for Lois – she is so hardworking and loving and kind to everyone. She is also a gifted administrator and she will do very well supervising the homes. She has been doing work just like this for many years already and has a good relationship with everyone involved. I cannot thank God enough for linking us together in this next stage for our grace homes ministry. We think so much alike (well, ok, that could be scary) but I see it as a blessing. A big one.
Friday was our most special day – our family dedication. The backyard of the homes, brightly decorated with balloons and crepe paper, was the scene of our gathering. Benches were set up – we were ready – and so we waited. …and waited. People trickled in over time (Kenyan style) but finally after 1 ½ hours of waiting, we started without one of our families. They had been held up in the marketplace, but arrived shortly after. Almost all of the UAEM board was there – along with other leaders and friends. We had gathered to celebrate what God had done in 3 short weeks and to dedicate it all right back to Him. We sang and Lois, Hoyt and I spoke. Then we prayed – for each family and for each individual child. It was really very special and powerful. Our ceremony ended with cake and juice – a perfect end to a perfect day.
Saturday we piled everyone into the van and bounced over to the Bible College to take advantage of their beautiful flowers for our individual and family pictures. it was a really fun time... the children were soooo excited. They just can’t stop smiling! I am quite spoiled by our children in Nepal – they know when picture day comes that it is all about business and they know exactly what I am looking for – eyes on the camera and big smiles with lots of teeth. But since this was our first try here in Kenya, especially the little ones did not get it! Of course when someone says something funny to make you laugh, you look at them – right? Result: picture of the side of your head, and parents, you should always be looking at your children to make sure they are looking at the camera – right? Oh well. We took a multitude of snaps and finally came up with one that is pretty good. How funny these kids are! Anyway, I am sure that next time the task will be a little easier.
Afterwards the children gathered around me to give me goodbye hugs (mmmm, sweet!) and then they all laid their hands on me and prayed for me while I tried not to cry. It was hard to say goodbye so soon after we had just met. It was just the beginning of a long succession of goodbyes over the next 48 hours– none of which were easy or welcome.
There was the last everything – I think of them as the “last days”, the last church service, the last prayer time, the last supper and the last hug and kiss. Frankly, goodbyes stink. I hate saying goodbye. Finally, on Sunday night it was time for 4 of the guys and I to pile my stuff into the small car and head to the airport. My flight left at 2:30 am – so we left quite late (after 10) since they did not want me to sit around at the airport (bless their hearts). Unfortunately that got them back home at around 2 am – with all of them needing to get up early and work. As a special blessing, we stopped on the way for a breathtaking display of the Kenyan stars (they have so many here!!), the sky was awash with them. I wished I could have just stood there staring into the heavens forever. What astonishing beauty our God has made! Thanks guys for that gift!
Finally, thank you for your prayers and taking yet another journey with me – it was really an amazing 3 weeks. For the readying of the homes and policies, the choosing and preparation of the staff, the researching and selection of the children and for every other detail to be covered and taken care of in that amount of time - right down to the final dedication - truly it was a miracle. And miracles only happen thru the prayers of God’s people. Thank you for your vital part in the establishment of grace children’s homes Kenya – I look forward to keeping you updated on the progress of both our Nepali and Kenyan families.
Two more long flights and I will be home again.... home – it has become a strange word to me – I have so many of them now! I can’t wait to see my grandbabies and give them a giant hug and kiss – African style! I think I am one of the most blessed people on this planet to have a special family on 3 different continents - even though it kinda splits the heart 3 different ways! But who ever said that loving wasn't hard sometimes? God is good.....all the time!
In awe of Him and His goodness (especially in light of my unworthiness),Diane
Dedication of our New Grace Childrens' Home in Kenya
Diane Clements has returned from Kenya and this is her most recent posting:
“All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. For Your Name's sake, O LORD, pardon my iniquity, for it is great.” – Psalm 25:10-11
I’ve been thinking a lot since I got back home... I really didn’t expect it to happen this way – I thought I would go to Kenya, do the work that God sent me there to do, leave it in the hands of others and then return home unchanged. Over the past 8 years, God has firmly planted my heart in Asia – specifically in Nepal with our families there – but I really didn’t think that there would be that same intense love and attachment with the work and people of Kenya. After all, how many places and people and cultures can one person’s heart be linked with?? But before I knew it I was swooped right into the Kangundo family! It seriously took me by surprise just how much I came to love Kenya, my coworkers and brothers and sisters there, and above all, the children He has entrusted to us. It was rather like Kenya snuck into my heart thru the backdoor and caught me unaware. And yet the fact remains – I returned home with a part of my heart truly Kenyan.
But isn’t that just like our God? When we are obedient to His call, then He gives great joy in the act of our obedience – even when we don’t expect it. His goodness is beyond our understanding – highlighted all the more by our sinfulness and unworthiness to even be used by Him. Isn’t He amazing??
Please continue to pray for our homes in Kangundo as they make the many adjustments to this new ministry. Pray for wisdom for Lois as she directs and guides and for the parents as they adjust to their new roles. And even as we are beginning this ministry, pray for the second phase of it. I am confident that these 12 children are just the beginning – there is such an overwhelming need. Kindly ask the Lord for guidance about when I should plan to return and the steps He would direct us to next.
Pray also for the Osborne’s mission – they are facing significant financial shortfalls and a multitude of other challenges – even as Lois battles her diabetes and Hoyt his back pain. Pray for the people of Kenya – there is a serious drought and food shortage – and if rain does not come soon, many people will die. The cost of some food items has increased 300% already!
Finally, pray for God’s provision for our ministry. We have started this work in Kenya entirely by faith – but the costs are much higher than we anticipated. i am not worried – as we trust Him and practice good stewardship – God will surely provide for what He has initiated - He is obligated! People have been asking how they can participate financially. Donations can be sent to:
Grace Children’s Home Ministries
c/o First Baptist Church
1511 Delaware Ave.
West Sacramento, CA 95691
You can mark your check specifically for the Kenya home if you wish. Also, if you are interested in sponsoring a specific child, please let me know via email and I will send you pertinent information.
If you would like me to come and present this ministry at your church, small group etc. then let me know that too. I am hoping to head to the Pacific Northwest in august – if that is any help....
And since many of you on this mailing list have just been added recently, I am going to include a link to a 2005 article on how this ministry got started 8 years ago.
Last, but not least, enjoy the attachment picture of newest family – take joy in seeing the fruit of your prayers firsthand! Aren’t they beautiful?? Yeah they are!! Each one a precious gift from the hand of God!
Thank you for your participation with us through your prayers - knowing that so many people were praying was priceless to us! I am praying that our sweet Father will bless you just a fraction of the blessing you have been to us over the past month. And if He does – get ready to be majorly blessed!
Back in California but still a little bit African,
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