$4,100 Raised for “Permanent Lunch Location”

To the Glory of God, over $4,000 has been raised towards the $25,000 goal for St. Barnabas Orphanage and School Campaign for a Permanent Lunch Location. That is 16% of the goal in just over 6 days!

To the donors and supporters who have gotten this Campaign off to such a glorious start the Fr. Methodius, Everlyn, the leadership, teachers, and especially the children, thank you.

Father Methodius and Everlyn’s dream to provide a home to 50 orphaned children is one step closer. The opportunity which has presented itself that can help them move to the first phase of their dream is one step closer. The home that can easily house more children who have no home, can have a bed to sleep in, food to eat, and a place to play and learn is one step closer.

If you have not donated, please consider supporting Saint Barnabas Orphanage and School to help them achieve Phase One of their dream – A Campaign for a Permanent Lunch Location.

Watch the video to see the land and the home. Listen to Father Methodius’ speak of the possibilities and join in him furthering the mission of Saint Barnabas Orphanage and School.

To donate to A Campaign for a Permanent Lunch Location click here.

Gratitude in Suffering – Kenya 2017

There are days when I can barely move my body. The pain that shoots through me brings tears to my eyes at times.  There are days when the pain that shoots through my mind causes me to writhe in pain.  In my weakness God makes me strong. I am grateful.

There are times when I look around, I look into the faces of the smallest of the small, and am nearly overwhelmed with the suffering that reflects back at me.  No child should suffer…ever.  No child should be hungry. No child should be homeless.  No child should be shoeless.  Here in Kenya, the most vulnerable are hungry, homeless, shoeless and suffer.  In my weakness God makes me strong. I am grateful.

Job asked, “Why God?”  I echo his words.  God’s answer is the same, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” (Job 38:4)  I hear His words and stand in awe of He who created us all.  I stand in awe of His great mercy.  I seek to serve those in need, yet they serve me.  I am blessed and rejoice in it.  I am grateful.

Here is the latest news from the various missions and people who we serve:

St. Irene’s Orphanage & Educational Center:

  • A new van was purchased and it will be used to transport children to and from school.

 

  • Sunday it was a true blessing to present Fr. Constantine with the precious relics of St. Catherine.  He said, “God is good all the time.  I read and talk about relics and specific saints, but now the reality is in my mission work. I feel more spiritual and energetic.”

 

  • Fr. Constantine took me to visit my Godson, Chrysostomos, who is ill.  It was good to visit and pray with him. Fr. Constantine anointed him with holy oil from St. Nectarios. Though we went to minister to Chrysostomos, it was I who was ministered to.

 

St. Barnabas Orphanage & Educational Center:

  • The fundraising program for the miraculous opportunity to purchase two acres of land for a permanent location was kicked off this week.
  • Vespers was served for the first time ever at St. Barnabas.  The boys were introduced to a monastic form of the Jesus Prayer and the Rite of Forgiveness was presented to them as their new evening prayer rule.

Orthodox Africa Nairobi Board of Directors:

  • We met and had a blessed and profitable time together as brothers in Christ. The priests of the Board are not solely interested in seeing individual missions developed but missions that can have a larger impact on the Diocese and country as adolescent Orthodox Christians are nurtured in their faith through secondary school.  Fr. Methodius, speaking for all, said, “There was a time we felt alone. Now we feel the Church cares.  We are not alone in the struggle.  The sense of unity in OA Nairobi is unprecedented.”  Fr. Constantine said, “A strong Orthodox secondary school is most appropriate.  We want the children to be well established and strong in their faith, to guard it and be self-reliant in the future.  They will then propagate the Faith.”

As you can see, there is much for which to be grateful.  Many blessings are found, even in brokenness and pain.  God is the Potter. We are the clay, often broken and chipped.  When we give ourselves to Him with a heart and soul asking to be used for the good of others, He heals the cracks and wounds.  The crack is still there. The wound is scarred over.  Rub your thumb over them.  You can still feel them.  But, we are healed by He Who made us.

And for that I am grateful.

~Fr. Silouan

South Kinangpop, Kenya’s Vulnerable Could Receive their Dream Home

Of the eleven recently baptized Christians in South Kinangpop, Kenya reported by Orthodox Africa and Pravoslavie.Ru, the author’s family is blessed to have sponsored twin boys; Moses and Maurice. Photographs of these young ones in their baptismal robes, standing with Fathers Methodius and Silouan, evoke conflicting emotions of sweet joy, and desperation. For their eyes speak of deep suffering, the kind that causes the soul to retreat; leaving behind a sad, vacant stare.

Moses and Maurice attend St. Barnabas’ Orphanage for day school, where they also receive meals. However, they return home to their mother afterward, who struggles with dependency; and subsequently, neglects her boys. Currently, the orphanage is operating at maximum capacity, and cannot receive new orphans into its home; so, its director has established a relocation fund to provide housing for more orphans, like Maurice and Moses.

St. Barnabas Orphanage and School were founded in 2007 by Father Methodius and his wife, Everlyn, when they were having lunch and noticed three boys watching them with hungry stares. They invited them to eat with them and soon it became a tradition. More orphans found them; and with community support, and the blessing of their ruling bishop, St. Barnabas now serves 175 children. The orphanage, however, is a small “shack” which houses only 12 children. Knowing this, someone has offered to sell them their home on two acres, for almost a quarter of the market price; $25,000. This property, if purchased, would instantly double the number of orphans that would be housed. With two acres of fertile land, they could expand the home, build a chapel, and still have room to grow food. This would strengthen the Orthodox community, and improve the orphans’ lives immensely; hopefully Maurice and Moses’ as well.

The need is tremendous, but as grandma would say: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” One contribution from multiple donors, can provide the necessary funds for St. Barnabas Orphanage and School to purchase their dream property; property that would afford them more self-sufficiency and housing ability.  More information on St. Barnabas can be found at Orthodox Africa here, and donations to this orphanage can be made here.

~Kent & Amber~

Saint Barnabas Orphanage & School: Campaign followup

Saint Barnabas Mission: Service to Man is Service to God

The Saint Barnabas Mission in South Kinangop, Kenya was started in 2007 by Father Methodius and his wife Everlyn. They were eating lunch one day, and noticed three young children picking through scraps. They invited them over then to eat with them, and soon, feeding these children became a regular event for them. From this beginning, they began sharing what they had with other people in the area. They started to provide food and shelter for those who needed it, helping with what they could. To this day, they have helped more than 400 children in all. Currently, they have about 175 children who they help as much as they are able, though constant droughts have brought the region’s prices up. In order to meet the needs of the children, Father Methodius and his wife need to expand the Mission.

They have been leasing a property where they are unable to improve the current structure, making it difficult to make more space for their activities. They wish to have a less restricted place to teach the children, a place to worship, and a place for homeless children to live. The land they wish to get is four times larger than the current property and outside of the slums, making it a more suitable place for them to construct a new school, orphanage, and a proper chapel for the mission. There is even a possibility for them to create a kitchen garden for them to defray costs, a place where they may grow what they need.

By expanding the facilities, they hope to become a self-sustainable mission. The goal of the school is not only to provide a good general education to the children, but also to provide them with trade skills that will be in demand in the region. In this way, the children will have a better chance at becoming employed when they reach school-leaving age. The school hopes to be able to place their older students in jobs, a great help in a region where unemployment is high. The knowledge that they are learning not just academic facts, but facts that will ensure they have the skills to earn money and support themselves makes the Mission seem a haven to the children. The stability and comfort it provides make a great contrast to homes that are poor and have the added instability of addictions resulting from hopelessness.

The Saint Barnabas Mission gives comfort to those in need today as it has for others in the past: it will instill in the students a sense of hope for the future, beginning today. These goals can be accomplished with your help, and you can bring them to that brighter future. Service to man is service to God, and what we do for the least of these, we do for Christ Himself. Please be as generous as you can, for His Sake.  Donate here and select St. Barnabas Orphanage.

Saint Barnabas Orphanage & School: A Campaign for a Permanent Lunch Location

Saint Barnabas Orphanage and School give children a healthy start and a reflective journey of life while being nurtured into successful individuals. They are offered an opportunity for education while helping to protect them from unhealthy indulgences and corrosive contamination. By transforming the lives of these children, a stable base upon which they can be lifted to successful heights in life.

Founded in 2007 by Father Methodius and his wife, Everlyn, Saint Barnabas Orphanage started around a lunch table. While eating lunch at their home, Father Methodius observed three orphaned children who were eating scraps of food nearby. Feeling bad for them, they invited them in to have lunch with them. With that lunch, a tradition was born in which these children started to come to their house every day for lunch.

Father Methodius decided to hire a young woman to come and stay with these children in a rented room. There they could spend the day and play outside. Soon afterwards, Father Methodius and Everlyn learned of other needy children and orphans that were living in the area. They began to take in more and more children as they gained support from the Church and other well-wishers.

Today Saint Barnabas’s mission has 13 volunteers that are providing care for 175 children. Currently 12 boys live in a one-room shack. The remainder of children arrive on a daily basis for classes where they learn to read, write and arithmetic.

The Dream
Father Methodius and Everlyn would like to provide a home to 50 orphaned children. The current living situation cannot support that many children.   However, an opportunity has presented itself that can help them move to the first phase of the dream. A local couple can no longer live in the area due to wife’s poor health, which has been negatively affected by the weather conditions. On the recommendation of her doctor, she must move out the area. Knowing Fr. Methodius has been praying and looking for land on which to situate the orphanage and accommodate more children, she offered him the two acre property at far below what it is worth.

The Opportunity
The full market price of two acres of land with a house is $90,000 ($45,000 per acre). The owner is willing to sell the property for a total of:

$25,000

This opportunity is only available for a short time. It would allow them to double the number of children from its current 12 to 24. The home can easily house that many children. Twenty-four children who have no home, can have a bed to sleep in, food to eat, and a place to play and learn.

Won’t you please consider donating to Saint Barnabas Orphanage and School to help them achieve Phase One of their dream – A Campaign for a Permanent Lunch Location?

Watch the video to see the land and the home. Listen to Father Methodius’ speak of the possibilities and join in him furthering the mission of Saint Barnabas Orphanage and School.

To donate to A Campaign for a Permanent Lunch Location click here.

 

Kenya 2017 Update-2

Today at Saint Barnabas Orphanage and School we had the blessed pleasure of baptizing and welcoming eleven new Orthodox warriors into the Orthodox Church.  Of the eleven, two are teachers at the school and nine are students.

The newly illumined were as young as three years of age up to age 30.  Newly illumined Moses and Mercurius, who are twins, were sponsored by Kentigern and Barbara.  Newly illumined Stephen, Matthew and Irene were sponsored by regular supporters of Orthodox Africa.  I was blessed to sponsor newly illumined Isaac, James, Andrew, Joachim, Peter and Stephen.

May God grant these new Orthodox children of God many, many blessed years!

While it was a day full of joy, it was difficult to see the sadness in the eyes of a couple of the boys.  They have been crushed by life here in Kenya.  It is hard to see a child suffer.

I hope that through the prayers of their Godparents, our supporters, and their entrance into the One Holy Orthodox Church they will someday soon experience the joy that Christ offers to all of us despite the difficulties that we often experience.

Father Silouan

Kenya 2017 Update

After fifteen long hours of travelling, Father Silouan arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya Thursday, May 11.  Met by Father Methodius (St. Barnabas Orthodox Orphanage & School) and Father Constantinos (St. Irene Orthodox Mission Center, Father Silouan was quickly whisked off to see the children who have been waiting and waiting to see him, one of their favorite people.

First stop was St. Barnabas where the children greeted him with smiles and hugs. “We are delighted to have him here,” said Father Methodius. Catechism classes were to be held the next day.

Next stop was St. Irene’s where Father Silouan and Father Constantinos shared serving meals to all the children.

In spite of the long flight, delays and tiredness, Father Silouan was as happy to see everyone as they were to see him, especially the children.

 

Keep Father Silouan in your prayers as he visits the various mission centers in coming months.

Donations to support any or all of the Orthodox Africa missions, please visit our donation page found by clicking here.