COMPASSION KENYA: THE ORPHAN PROJECT
Kenya is experiencing one of the world’s harshest and most severe AIDS/HIV epidemics. For example, it is estimated that 1.6 million Kenyans are living with HIV; 1.1 million children have been orphaned by AIDS; and 62,000 Kenyans die each year from AIDS and AIDS-related illnesses. Women are disproportionately affected by HIV–the prevalence is twice as high for women as for men. They are indeed, “the weaker vessel.”
Our brothers and sisters in the Reformed Fellowship Church of Kenya (RFCK) have responded to this epidemic by reaching out and welcoming into their homes and congregations the AIDS orphans found in their villages. However, the families of the RFCK are already impoverished and barely making ends meet themselves. While none of the children are starving, many are malnourished. In addition, many of the RFCK’s own children cannot receive basic elementary school education, which is not free in Kenya. Also, many of the pastors’ children do not own a pair of shoes, toys, or have adequate medicines for illness–even simple Tylenol for fevers, aches and pains. The orphans are even more severely impoverished.
This great need presents a great opportunity as well as a great responsibility for the RCUS to help fulfill. There are approximately 40 orphans being aided at this time by the RFCK congregations. Providentially, there are approximately 40 RCUS congregations in the United States. We have photographed and documented each orphan, and validated with the help of the local reformed pastors and elders that they are indeed true orphans. With “Compassion Kenya: The Orphan Project,” we would like to challenge each individual RCUS congregation to sponsor one orphan per congregation, at the cost of only $30-$40 per month. We will partner with the local RFCK congregation and Kenyan pastor to ensure that the aid money given goes directly toward the chosen individual orphan’s care, to cover costs of food, clothing, medicine, and education. We will provide birthday info, mailing addresses (in case the RCUS congregations would like to “correspond” with their “own” orphan), as well as information about their local villages and church life. We will send photographs as well. We will gladly oversee and coordinate this project for the RCUS as well.
Please prayerfully consider this wonderful yet weighty opportunity to serve these dear children in Jesus’ name. The RFCK pastors, elders, and deacons were very excited to hear of our idea when we presented it to them. Their wives wept with joy as well when they heard of our idea. With love and without complaint, these women already shoulder an unbelievably heavy burden in caring for these children along with their own.
Thank-you for your time, consideration, and prayers,
Rev. Dennis and Julie Roe
Grass Valley, California