MINISTRY to ORPHANS Echoes of Mercy Kenya

Those faces, you just can’t help but fall in love with those faces. Their smiles (maybe not for the camera but certainly in person) seem to engulf their whole faces. And the laughter of any child is contagious. The excitement, the curiosity transcends the language barrier. It could be in an orphanage in Russia, a playground in the U.S., or a mission school in Kenya. To love a child or love like a child is having a heart like God’s. I want that heart.

I remember the first time I went to Kenya with Fruit of the Vine. The first visit was like an expedition to discover what the ministry of Echoes of Mercy, founded by Moses Odhiambo, was all about. We wanted to see what Moses was trying to do in his home village and to figure out ways to help.

To say my anticipation and excitement for this trip was immeasurable was no lie. It had been years since my last mission trip, but the feeling was still there. That expectation to see what God might do and why God was giving me this honor more than made up for any trip preparation I went through (and there was a lot).

That first trip was in 2010. It was not my last. In Kenya, you have to pay to go to school. No money, no school. Moses started with a vision to show these children Jesus and give them a strong education in an effort to make an impact of hope for those beautiful faces. To rescue families and break the cycle of poverty that so many thought would be their destiny. He knew that life all too well. But he also knew with God nothing was impossible.

The school’s start was in a small building that was the original church that Moses’ father was the pastor for. It was smaller than most living rooms, had a dirt floor, a straw roof, and was holding roughly a hundred children. Many with holes in their clothing and shoes, if they had shoes at all.

In 2013 (my third trip) I found my little one! She was in pre-school class at the time, or maybe it was baby class. It was her smile that caught my attention. She was shy around me, but that didn’t matter, I was convinced God had placed her in my life.

I decided the next trip I would start sponsoring her. I thought that would be in 2014, but I was unable to go that year. The week the team was there I was diagnosed with cancer. Because of all that goes with treatment and recovery I didn’t get back until 2016. The school had grown to almost 250 kids!!

That trip was probably my most favorite so far. My oldest son came and he said he finally knew why I talked of a love for these kids and the people of this village.

And to make it even better, she was still in school. I’ve been sponsoring her ever since!!

I could go on for hours and hours of what amazing things are being done there. It is a privilege to be a small part of it. When we go, we take supplies, teach classes and have programs, bible studies, building projects, all to help the ministry bring Jesus to the people. But we get the greatest gift in return, beautiful relationships with other children of God (young and old).

Isn’t it true – the true kingdom of God has no idea of race or class or difference in culture? The true kingdom of God is his children loving and helping those in need where ever that might be, in whatever way they can, because that’s what Jesus did for us on the cross.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. The cost for sponsoring a child is $35.00 a month. It pays for uniforms, school supplies, and helps offset the cost of running a school with 450 in attendance.
If you would like to become a sponsor of a child at Echoes of Mercy Mission School, please contact me, Debbie Niswander, Child Sponsor Coordinator. I will provide you with photos and profiles of the children for you to view.

Posted in: Blog on April 19th by Fruit of the Vine

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