Every child in the world has a dream, a secret wish – to have something special, maybe a pony or a race car. Perhaps a child dreams of going to see the ocean or the desert. Many children dream of having a permanent home where food is readily available on a daily basis, where they are dry and warm, where there is someone to kiss them goodnight as they tuck them into bed. Even adults have dreams – to be successful, to be free of pain or hurt, to have no debt or to give their child their secret wish. This week a dream came true for Father Methodios, the Director of Saint Barnabas Orphanage and Education Center.
He has long dreamed of a permanent home for the orphans of Saint Barnabas. A piece of property large enough to house the orphans, one with water and electricity, enough land so the children have room to run and play, a place to build more dormitories and classrooms to house and teach more children.
This week that dream came true. Because of the generosity of Orthodox Africa donors, Father Methodios put a down payment on one (1) acre of land with one-half acre also available immediately. It has everything he dreamed of; buildings that are included in the purchase (but are temporary). The condition is not bad in comparison with the current living conditions. Minor repairs are required. A major drainage trench needs to be dug. A borehole (well)
for water (cost: $20,000) will need to be drilled before moving the children to the property.
Please continue to donate to Orthodox Africa in support of Saint Barnabas Orphanage and School. Click here. Let us help them to meet their monthly lease-to-purchase payment and get that water borehole done!
The Book of Proverbs chapter 22 says, “Rich and poor have this in common: the Lord is the Maker of them all.” The sun shines and rain pours equally on our heads. We breathe the same air. These blessings are freely given to us by god and we share them without really giving much thought to it. However, do we do the same with the things that we do not equally share, such as food, money, clothing, housing and other tangible things?
St. John Chrysostom says, “…if money were common and available to all, there would be no opportunity for generosity on the part of the rich and gratitude on the part of the poor.” One could suggest his thought is based solidly on St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians where he wrote, “Generosity inspires gratitude, and gratitude inspires generosity. God is generous to us and our generosity, as St. Paul tells us, gives proof of our gratitude towards God” (9:11).
Generosity is defined as “liberality in giving or willingness to give.” God created us in His Image, a very generous gift to each person. How have we expressed our gratitude? Have we given of ourselves and of the blessings He has bestowed on us?
Remember Saint Barnabas Orphanage and Education Center. Donate towards their long term goals here, or to their immediate needs on their website. Be generous and teach the virtue of gratitude to another.
We at Orthodox Africa wanted to take an inside look of the life of one orphan at St Barnabas Orphanage & School. We can only imagine the life of little Joseph before, who is now 6 years old. This young Kenyan native boy is part of a group of children who were either left on the streets or abandoned in one way or another. Families just couldn’t afford to keep them anymore.
Food is over twice as expensive now since one of the worst droughts hit Africa. There are days where there isn’t enough food because of the high prices of food from the severe drought. Now Joseph has concerned people to watch over him and keep him safe. To also provide for him and show him there are people who love him and care for him. One of the things children need most in these situations is structure with both compassion and love.
Little Joseph’s day includes waking up at 5:00 am in the morning. He then prepares for the day’s activities with all the other orphans. He likes the consistency of the morning prayers from 5:45 am to 6:45am and also that they are peaceful. They provide a hope in the future for him, especially now that his needs are starting to be met. They pray together every day that the donations continue to come through and when they do this is very reassuring to Joseph and the others.
After prayers he feels the belongingness of sharing a cup of tea and a piece of corn meal with all the other orphans. Remedial classes starts at 7:00 am till 8:00 am and he then joins the other children for normal classes. Joseph is in class 1 with 16 other children and there are a total of 176 in the entire school. At 11:00 am they all get a breakfast which consists of porridge and cakes. Some days they get eggs when the needed resources are there.
After the breakfast they all continue with normal lessons until 1:00 pm when they take their lunch. They usually have a hot meal prepared in their school kitchen. Afterwards they begin to write questions so they can be answered after school time, at night. Then at 3:00 pm they join with class 2 for reading story time which ends after over an hour. Games time is from 4:15 to 5:20 pm and after this time; those who don’t yet live in the orphanage are taken to their guardians where they spend the night.
Joseph joins the rest of residents of the orphanage for evening prayers after he takes a shower. At 7:00 pm supper is served and they proceed to study time which last up until their 9:00 pm bedtime. Having this care, attention and security creates a simple yet profound sense of hope for Joseph and the others. It is only because of the faithful generosity of their benefactors, for whom they give thanks in their prayers. and they pray that others will join in giving of their abundance, so that the other children can join them at the St Barnabas Orphanage. Please GIVE to St Barnabas Orphanage & School at: OrthodoxAfrica.org/
When I see a child whose pants don’t cover thin legs & ankles, whose toes have worn through their shoes, or whose skin is chapped and dry from the cold, my heart aches. My mind turns towards a way to help.
There are many charitable organizations to which a person can donate. A good question to ask is “How much of my donation goes to administrative costs?” It is said less than 25% spent on administrative costs is a good goal.
How much of your dollar donated to St. Barnabas Orphanage & Education Center goes towards providing for the need of a child?
Director, Father Methodius Kariuki, assures his donors that more than 94 percent of every dollar raised fully benefits the child.
94% – Food, clothing, educational resourcess and salaries for caretakers
6% – PayPal & Bank transaction fees
As much as they are able, local community services help with maintenance or construction needs. Their local neighbors help where they can, sharing food stuffs, fuel, wood, etc.
Father Methodios assures every donor, “We do not have any irrelevant costs. We have no hidden agenda. We are Orthodox Christians and are fully Pro-Life.” Transparency and honesty are of utmost importance. This builds trust in our relationship with, not only our donors, but with our caretakers and teachers. It models the Christian virtues for our children.
“There is nothing more worthwhile than to pray to God and to converse with him, for prayer unites us with God as His companions. As our bodily eyes are illuminated by seeing the light, so in contemplating God our soul is illuminated by Him. Of course, the prayer I have in mind is no matter of routine, it is deliberate and earnest. It is not tied down to a fixed timetable; rather it is a state which endures by night and day.”
By the grace of God Saturday, 22 July, 2017, we received two cartons full of textbooks. This was a donation from a local private school which is 300 km away from St. Barnabas. Join us in a thanksgiving prayer to God for them.
On 28 July 2017, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, Metropolitan of Kenya visited our orphanage and education center. The joy and love of Christ he brings with him blesses us all. In his message he spoke about the good work being done in educating the children not only with regular classes but, more so, with the spiritual teachings and food given by the Grace of God. Further, His Eminence made a special request to all supporters to please share the good news of the work being done at St. Barnabas with friends and relatives so that it may continue. The food situation is dire in the area due to lack of rain for the crops. Calling the teachers “heroes” Archbishop Makarios commended them for their dedication and diligence to the work of the mission. “The children are happy,” he said. A good sign of the work being accomplished at St. Barnabas Orphanage and Education Center.
View the full video below:
The children at St Barnabas Orphanage and School depend upon your generosity. Please don’t forget them. Any donation you are able to make helps. To donate click here or here.
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.
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.
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.