The St. Barnabas Orthodox Orphanage and schoolhas 180 children that it cares for. This care includes almost everything for every child: feeding them two good meals a day (the ones who would go hungry on the weekend are also fed on the weekends also), taking care of their medical needs, educating them, teaching them about the Orthodox faith, and freely making baptism available to them. Most of the orphaned children who are educated here decide of their own free will to be baptized and the congregation is growing quickly.
Most of the children are orphans (109) – meaning that their parents are dead, or abandoned them, or do not have the ability to care for them. Most children are boarded at foster homes, each of varying quality. Only 20 boys live at the orphanage. Some of the homes treat the children as free labor, and with so many homes, there could be worse things. It is very hard to know, because there is very minimal supervision by the state.
Because of these children and the danger they are in, in collaboration with “Orthodox Africa”, we plan to build a Dormitory, on land the Orphanage has purchased, and dug a well on. This land was formerly used as a school, so the buildings for the classes are there. Fr Methodius estimates that the building of a dormitory to house 180(!) children will cost at the most, $45,000. This amount is not large in the West, and some people have pickup trucks that cost more than this! It is a king’s ransom in Kenya.
A “FOUNDER” of the orphanage dormitory is one who sponsors a child, for $250. We need 180 Founders to build the Dormitory. Anyone who gives any other amount is a “DONOR”, and Fr Methodius (the Rector of St. Barnabas) and Priest Seraphim Holland (St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKinney Texas) have promised that we will commemorate all FOUNDERS and DONORS and their immediate family (spouse, children), whether living or dead, at every liturgy – in South Kinangop, Kenya, AND McKinney Texas USA, in perpetuity.
Time is not money here – it is safe or unsafe children.
The less time we take to finish this project, the sooner more children will be safe. Children need to be safe, and have enough food to eat, and have companionship and role models, and to be taught the Orthodox Christian faith. Every day without a dormitory will be a dangerous day for one of these children, as well as the others we do not yet know, because there is no room to take care of them and teach them.
We have many plans after the dormitory is built. There is enough water from the borehole that St. Barnabas will have ample water to irrigate their crops (this is very important during the dry season in Kenya when crops can fail because of lack of rain), and provide all of the water needs for the children and staff, and also sell water. There is enough land that we anticipate providing the vast majority of the children’s food. After we build a greenhouse (another necessary part of our plan, because we are at such a high altitude that there are occasional freezes, which especially cause the staple crop, maize, to fail), it is very likely that we will have more than enough food and also be able to sell food in the market. We also plan to not only give free education to the orphans and at-risk children in the area, but also be a desirable school for parents from the city to send their children for boarding and education. This is a very popular thing in Kenya, and the paying children, along with the water and the produce, then eventually make this school self-supporting. Eventually, we plan to build a state-of-the-art school (including a high School), which will not only educate those children that cannot afford anything, but also provide desirable education for children whose parents are able to pay tuition.
We need financial help now, but the plan is that in the future we will stop asking for handouts, and be completely self-supporting. Of course, becoming self-supporting is a journey that may take several years, and we are asking those who are excited by our vision to be part of this journey.
Please do not forget to inform us of your donation (you may omit the amount if you wish), and send us the names of your immediate family (spouse, and children), so we can make good on our promise to pray for them for the rest of our lives. Your donation amount, and even your names will remain anonymous to anyone else, but we will know about you, so we can, with deep gratitude, pray for you.
This is all we have to offer you, but it is a lot. Of course, if you keep up with either Fr Methodius, Priest Seraphim, or Orthodox Africa, you will see many updates about St Barnabas, and many smiling faces – of children who are fed, and educated, and safe. Please remember also to pray for the mission.
By God’s Grace and Mercy, life on Bukasa Island, Uganda has been quite busy. January 12 Father Christopher celebrated his 71st birthday! May God grant you many more blessed years! Like us all, despite struggles and periodic illnesses, both Father Christopher and Matushka remain in good health “I am tired,” he said “I am so […]
*** For honourable age is not that which standeth in length of time, nor that is measured by number of years. But wisdom is the gray hair unto men, and an unspotted life is old age. He pleased God, and was beloved of him: so that living among sinners he was translated. Yea, speedily was he […]
Dear Beloved Friends of Orthodox Africa, Well, it has been quite a year at Orthodox Africa. The year-end is a chance for us to reflect on what worked and what did not. We are very aware as a growing organization that there will be bumps as well as triumphs along the way but God will […]
Our God is a Faithful and Loving God! Here is all that He is doing at Saint Barnabas Orphanage and School through His Grace and Mercy. I am happy to report that the well has been drilled at our new property. Presently, it is being back-filled. We have a few of the teenaged boys working hard to level […]