The work at Home of Peace Children’s Home is continuing and lives are being changed.
Saying thank you to those who faithfully pray for us and financially support this work is easy but be assured they are not just words. Without your support this work would not exist, and these children’s lives would have been very much worse if they had even survived.
We have just come through one of the most difficult financial periods in the year. Christmas, New Year, and the start of the new School Year.
Christmas is expensive but thankfully we received everything for our secondary school students and primary school children at Home of Peace and a gift for each of our staff members children and a few grandchildren for clothes for Christmas. Some of the grandchildren are orphans and live with a member of our staff so they all get the same gift that they would if they were staff members children. All these staff children also get invited to join our children and students and staff for Christmas Day and lunch. As a result, our cook and kitchen staff had to cook for about 140 people. We are blessed to have gas cookers at Home of Peace instead of wood fires which we used until about five years ago.
New Year as always follows a week after Christmas we try to give them a special new year meal and celebration.
Then a week later we have the start of the new School Year, so we had to buy new uniforms for all of our children who were starting secondary school, and we need to replace uniforms for those students who have grown out of their uniforms.
We needed to buy everything such as books and also bikes for the students who are moving from primary school to secondary school as they cannot get there by walking it is too far.
There is the need to pay the secondary school fees and that is a large amount every year. For the past few years a charity has kindly donated money to cover these costs but there has been a change of Chair of the charity due to the death of their chairman and one of the trustees has told us that although they do have the funds the new chair is overseas and so they are unable to make donations at this time. Please pray about this as we were expecting to receive this before the schools started. As a result we have only been able to cover Secondary School fees for the first 6 months because we received a gift from a church. They told us that their 2 Pastors had prayed about the work and felt we had a need.
Primary School. The Kenyan education system has changed, and they have now combined primary grades 7 and 8 into what they are calling Junior Secondary to prepare the children for starting secondary school. This is very helpful as they can start secondary school a year earlier. Otherwise, some would be too old to finish Form 4 (Secondary final year) as we can only keep them until they are 18 years old.
Praise God our primary children are changing schools and will be going to a new private school, called Peace Academy, which is government registered, run by a Christian headmaster and owned by Samuel who is a Christian and the brother of Erick Owino, who is our purchasing officer and the Pastor of Peace Church.
The government school that our children have had to attend up to now is actually terrible. The buildings are falling down the toilets are falling down, it is dangerous to be there and unhygienic, and it is very hard for the headmistress there to get decent teachers.
The new school is next door to Home of Peace on the land that Samuel owns. Erick owned the land that Home of Peace is built on and he gave that land to the community so that we could build Home of Peace. Samuel and Erick were left this land by their father.
Samuel is one of our Kenyan trustees and has his own business working all over Kenya doing contract work for the Kenya Electricity Company.
We are being charged half what we would have had to pay at any other private primary school. A gift of £1,000 was given by a sponsor who said God spoke to him and told him that we had an urgent need. This has covered the primary school fees for the first 6 months
We have said it many times but making certain our children receive a decent education is essential if they are to have any chance of making a good life for themselves after they leave Home of Peace.
We will be posting some short videos of the children singing and dancing at Christmas. These will be on out Facebook page by the end of the month. You can reach the page at https://www.facebook.com/HoPChildrensHome and if you click to follow it you will be notified by Facebook whenever we post something new.
We now settle back to the more normal expenses of running the Home of Peace. Recently we had to replace all the beds as the old ones were made of wood, and over 10 years being used by children their condition had become unsafe. Children’s Services insisted the old beds all had to be replaced. The new beds are metal and should last much longer. We received a gift of £3,000 to pay for these new beds from a sponsor who knew the need.
Our wonderful trustees, Val and Keith, have been working very hard, with their helpers, to raise money for Home of Peace. Please pray for them.
Through all of this, making things more difficult, Marilyn normally has health challenges with her Ileostomy and with Fibromyalgia and at the moment on top of that she is recovering from a serious chest and gastric infection. Ray had to have oral surgery to remove an impacted wisdom tooth. Please pray for strength and healing for Marilyn as she still works with the Kenyan Management Team on a daily basis. Pray also for Ray as he is kept very busy as the Treasurer for TLC Children’s Trust
PLEASE help us to support this wonderful work.
May God richly bless you,
Marilyn & Ray