11 Sep Celebrating 10 Years of Kitalale
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
On December 1st of 2010, we opened the doors to our Kitalale home for the first time. On that day, we made a promise to God and to the people of Kitalale to create a nurturing space and a family for kids who come into our care. In collaboration with our neighbors and local partners, we’ve been able to do exactly that over the years. As our first home approaches its 10 year anniversary, we can’t help but look back and acknowledge all of the incredible blessings and achievements this past decade has brought us.
We invite you to join us in celebrating some of the highlights from the last 10 years in our Kitalale home.
Starting From A Place Of Love
Between 2003 and 2007, John and Sharna Coors travelled throughout Kenya and fell in love with the people, the culture, and the countless kids they crossed paths with. It was devastating to see that the grand majority of the kids they met were orphaned. As a result, they became deeply involved in the growth and support of a home caring for orphaned and abandoned children in the Nairobi area. Called by God to do more, John and Sharna founded Children of Hope. With the help of a local friend, the Coors found a ten-acre location in the town of Kitalale where the orphaned children were in the most need of help. They would begin planning and building the first Children of Hope home.
In December 2010, Joshua, Terah, Kevin, Blessing, and Ivy became the first five kids to come into our care and join the Kitalale home. When they arrived, they were excited, nervous, and ready to embrace their new lives. Each of the children was welcomed with open arms and lots of love from the Aunties, Uncles and staff. Today, we have twenty-five amazing staff members and seven of them have been with us since the very beginning. All the staff continue to share their love and expertise with every single child that walks into the Kitalale home. Working in our homes is more than just a job, it is a calling, our selfless staff willingly give their love and become part of the family.
A Trip Down Memory Lane
Since 2010, every year has been filled with incredible memories and lessons of growth. It is thanks to your loving support that we have been able to fulfill God’s calling and care for orphaned children in Kenya. Here are some of our favorite memories from the last decade.
Over these past few months, we’ve had the privilege to witness our family’s courage and resilience as we continue to adapt to today’s unexpected world. The COVID-19 pandemic threw a big curveball at us, but together we rose above it and have become even closer as a family as a result. This year we were also blessed with three new children (Bethsheba, Darian and Gracious) who have been getting stronger and healthier every day. As for our older kids, Terah became the first kid in our home to compete for a spot and get accepted to the prestigious high school St. Anthony’s Boy’s High School. Even though in-person classes have been paused until January 2021, we are still so proud of him and his incredible achievement.
There is no greater satisfaction than seeing our kids grow and reach their goals. In 2019, we had a record number of class 8 candidates (Solphine, Kevin Korir, Kevin Kiplangat, Terah, Edith and Moses). In 2019, these kids had to prepare for their class 8 exams, which determine which high school they go to. It was a very hectic and stressful time for them, but we were incredibly proud of their hard work and dedication while they studied for their exams.
This same year, Lavenda and Faith, two of our most talented singers, made it to the national school music festival and got the chance to travel to Central Kenya and compete. They both had an amazing experience and got a chance to compete against the best singers in the country.
In 2018, we had our first two Kitalale home kids (Grace and Alex) get accepted into high school. They both did exceptionally well in their class 8 exams and got to join prestigious high schools. The younger kids look up to both Alex and Grace as examples of how hard work can pay off.
As a family, we experience everyone’s highs and lows together. In 2017, we all stood by Alex and Grace as they prepared for their grade 8 exams. It was a nerve racking experience for both them and for us, as it was the first time any of the kids in our Kitalale home went through this process.
In April of 2016, our Kitalale home received two new kids, Anne and Jonathan. They were 4 and 3 at the time. Today, Ann is 8 and is in her second grade. She is very polite and a great student. Jonathan is 7 and is in his first grade. He loves playing with the other boys and always has a good attitude.
At this point, we had 50 kids under our care, and we held our first Rite of Passage ceremony where we got to embrace Kenyan local traditions and witness our first few boys become men.
As our kids continued to grow, we got to witness their unique personalities blossom. Prior to 2015, Alex was struggling behaviorally at home and academically at school. With lots of patience and love from the Aunties and Uncles, we slowly started to see his character change to the point he was excelling in school. This was a pivotal moment for our staff, and it showed us that with love and guidance, each child will eventually find their place in the world.
In July of 2015, we had the largest sibling group join us when we welcomed Elisha, Naomi Cherop, Naomi Chelimo, Praise, Sarah Chelimo and Abraham into our home.
By 2014, our family had grown a lot, and so had our need for a reliable transportation method big enough for all of us. Thanks to a dedicated group of donors that came together to gather the funds for the bus, we were able to get our very own transportation method for our kids and drive them to and from school. Together, we decorated it with the Children of Hope colors.
After a successful first year in 2012, the students from Valor High School in Colorado returned for a second Vacation Bible School camp, which serves as an opportunity for kids in our community to come together, play, access food, and learn about the Lord. To the students’ surprise, they were welcomed by hundreds of kids from the community. We were amazed by the incredible impact the Vacation Bible School (VBS) had in such a short time. This same year, the Valor High School students did a community project with the help of some of our kids and staff, in which they built a home for one of our community members.
When we first came to Kitalale, the community around us did not have access to safe drinking water. The first project we took on after purchasing our land was to build a proper borehole, which would allow us and the neighboring community to get clean water for domestic use. This initial project allowed us to develop a good relationship with the neighboring community right off the bat. Continuing our efforts to build rapport with the community, we welcomed the first Valor Bible School (VBS) camp to visit us, which was a huge success. It’s been a yearly tradition ever since!
With 20 kids under our care, we started focusing on one of the most important things for them: education. We enrolled James and Grace into the Kitale School. They were our first kids to start attending school, and we were just as nervous as they were on their first day!
Every day in our Kitalale home is a blessing. Every single child has an incredible story, and it is so fulfilling to see them shine once they’ve been given a second chance. Each of our kids has a God-given purpose on earth, and we are the lucky ones who get to see it unfold.
It is truly thanks to your support throughout these past 10 years that we’ve been able to turn this dream into a reality, and change both the lives of our kids and the community around us for the better. It is our hope that we can continue to empower those around us to chase their dreams and recognize that we are all limitless. This is only the beginning!