12 Dec 2019 by the Numbers
To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven
As we continue to grow our family in Kenya and the U.S., we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge all of the incredible achievements and blessings this year has brought us. It is thanks to your loving care and support that we are able to fulfill God’s calling to care for orphaned children and continue providing the best opportunities for our children to grow and follow their dreams.
1 new baby named Joshua was welcomed
1 wedding between staff members Amos and Lilian
1 girl, Josephine, thrilled with her new bendable knee prosthetics
1 big infrastructure update which installed ramps and rails to our Kikuyu home
1 new basketball court and leveled area for soccer and volleyball in our Kikuyu home
2 visiting mission teams from the U.S.
2 high school graduates, Freddy and Mercy
3 kids fully transitioned into independence and supporting themselves with jobs
4 kids started school in 2019. Gabriel, Trizah, Michelle and Abraham are keen to learn
5 babies learned how to walk
8 visits to the swimming pool
8 eighth-grade exam graduates
10 kids attended soccer training camp
13 high school students
20 baby bunnies born
50 cherished staff members on the team
79 primary school students
148 games of table tennis
150 doctor’s visits
255 supportive Children of Hope donors
300 soccer games
360 basketball games
365 hours of devotions
6,000 loads of laundry done
4,500 loaves of fresh bread served in the homes
41,600 chapatis made
All our kids are spending this Christmas season with a loved one. All of our Aunties and Uncles bring in one or two of our kids to spend the holiday season with them and their families. For the kids who have a healthy relationship with their extended family, the holiday season might also serve as an opportunity to reconnect with them.
This year, we welcomed another bundle of joy into our home called Joshua. Having joined our Kikuyu home at just six weeks, it took Joshua a bit of time to find a proper sleeping schedule. He’d sleep all throughout the day and wake up our Aunties at night for cuddles to the point he was nicknamed “baby boss” by Auntie Peninah. Joshua is now nine months and is in high spirits and good health.
Love is present and love is bold. Amos, our accountant and Lilian, our matron, recently got married and we couldn’t be happier for them. The kids at Kitalale were beyond excited for them when they found out about the news. We extend our biggest congratulations, thoughts and prayers to this beautiful couple as they begin their new journey together – a lifetime partnership.
Josephine’s story of resilience has moved many hearts. Having gone through a surgery and four pairs of prosthetics, Josephine received a new pair with a knee bend. This simple upgrade has empowered her to have a more mobile and functional life.
In order to create a physically accessible environment for all of our kids, we’ve started making infrastructure updates in our homes to make it easy for all our kids and family members to move around regardless of ability. We began with our Kikuyu home which is located on steep terrain. Installing ramps and rails (pictured above) has enabled our kids and guests to navigate easily between the cottages and gathering spaces.
Greeting and welcoming guests into our homes is an incredible blessing for our kids and family in Kenya. Even though some of the kids might be shy at first, it provides an opportunity for each one of them to open up, share their stories and build new relationships. We are beyond grateful for the individuals who took part in the two mission trips this year and visited our homes, walked through our hallways and created memories with us.
We’re incredibly proud of our two newest high school graduates who are chasing their dreams and reaching new heights. With guidance from the Aunties and Uncles, both Freddy and Mercy have worked hard in school to follow their passions. Freddy is hoping to become a videographer while Mercy has her mindset on becoming an air hostess.
With a total of six babies in our Kikuyu home, it has been a year of changing diapers, lots of cuddles and laughter as we start seeing their distinct personalities shine through. Slowly and steadily, Nyambura, Elaine, Jesse, Jonathan and Stacey have been learning how to walk while Joshua, the youngest of them all, is still enjoying his time being carried around. Between the pictures, you can see how much our babies have grown.
This year was a big year when it comes to education in our household. A total of four kids started school in 2019. Trizah, Abraham, Michelle and Gabriel Okoth (not pictured above). We now have a total of 79 kids in primary school and 13 in high school.
Last year, our Kikuyu boys started their very own entrepreneurial business to grow baby bunnies. The first litter in 2018 had eight baby bunnies while this year, we had 20 bunnies born. With every bunny sold, the boys are putting the funds into their savings account so they can purchase a cow in the near future.
Thanks to the Word of Life group as well as various Nairobi churches including the Parklands Baptist Church, we’ve been able to enroll some of our kids in a soccer camp at a discounted rate. Throughout the year, soccer camp has become one of our kids’ all-time favorite activities. By working in teams and exercising, we’ve noticed collaboration has increased in our homes. To date, our kids have played over 300 matches this year.
Our staff of 50 in Kenya show up for our kids every single day. They not only help us run our homes but they are also family to our children. The staff appreciation luncheon was a great way to say thank you to everyone from those who farm, clean, and do laundry to our drivers, security, management team, Aunties, Uncles and more. Pictured above, is the appreciation lunch at our Kitalale home where we got the chance to share powerful words of appreciation, dance for hours and enjoy a roasted goat to lift our spirits.
Throughout the year, we’ve been blessed with a total of 255 donors in our community. This is an increase from 215 in 2018! We are incredibly grateful for the love and support that we’ve felt through your generous gifts. The 2019 Moving Mountains gala was an incredible success that allowed us to raised the necessary funds to complete the Simba boy’s cottage expansion project at our Kitalale home in 2020.
Nutrition is incredibly important for the development of all of our kids. It is our responsibility to nourish and fuel the minds and bodies of our children. This past year, we consumed approximately 4,500 loaves of fresh bread and made approximately 41,600 chapatis in our home, a Kenyan favorite.
After 16 years, our mission and purpose couldn’t be clearer. We are here to create a home for our children to feel safe, heal, and grow with God’s guidance into the best version of themselves. Looking back, this year has brought incredible blessings and opportunities for us all.
As we continue to improve our infrastructure, this holiday period, we invite you to join us in raising funds for our Kitalale home basketball court. This space will help increase physical activity and promote teamwork among our kids. It also allows us to create a community outreach program by inviting kids from the neighborhood to play.
We appreciate your ongoing support and wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.