Naomi made her way slowly through the busy streets stopping often to rest. It had been a very difficult journey beginning in her village at dawn. After walking up the trail to the highway she boarded a matatah, a small van taxi, and rode the bumpy roads into the city. It was late afternoon by now, time to make a decision. Timing was crucial. Squatting beside a building she calculated, should she go now? Was it too early? Too late? Her labor pains were increasing, no, just a little longer, then she would go. Rising, she shuffled the last block and entered the hospital. She was in active labor, they couldn’t turn her away now. Seeing her condition, the hospital staff hurried her into the labor and delivery ward trying to get her name and fill out the paperwork on the way. “Hanna, my name is Hannah,” she said. No, she had forgotten her identification papers, left them at home in the rush to get to the hospital. Shortly later she delivered a baby boy, or was it a girl? It didn’t matter. The next evening, during the night, she gathered her clothes and slipped out the door, leaving her baby behind.
This, and stories just like it, are common in Kenya. Dr. John Mvcohi told this story to the Water Ministry team from TBM Texans on Mission, as we visited Mogra Children’s Home and Rescue Center in Nairobi, Kenya. Dr. John said, “Ninety five percent of the children here have been abandoned. Most of the 329 children came straight from the hospital. Others were living on the street when their parents died of AIDS or just left. Family members don’t want them. Local adoption, even taking in children of family members is rare. Foreign adoption is illegal in the country. So.....the children are forced to fend for themselves.”
Mogra Children’s Home began in 2003. The founder and director Reverend Hannah Njoroge shared, “I had started a school, Mogra Star Academy, for the needy children of the slums. The teachers were complaining about the students falling asleep in class.” “We discovered,” she said, “that the children attending class were homeless, or lived in terrible conditions. As some of the children left school for home many just stayed, they had nowhere to go”. Smiling, she told us “God told me to open a home. A home that all children are welcomed. It doesn’t matter what tribe they are from, or their health issues, all are welcomed. We have children with AIDS, heart defects, etc. and we accept and love them all. We give them a safe, clean place to live with loving family, three meals a day, education and Christian upbringing.”
Her school, free for 1,100 underprivileged children teaches children from 3-18 and provides them with breakfast and lunch.
One of the biggest problems for them, and the reason we were invited to visit, is that they have a desperate need for water. The center uses 2,650 gallons of water a day, when they have it. That is about 6 gallons a person. An American averages about 98 gallons a day. The city is supposed to supply water once a week, but it seldom comes, forcing them to draw water from the dirty river nearby. During the dry season even that is no longer an option, and they must buy water to be delivered by tanker at the cost of $1,000 a week. That is impossible for them, so they ration it. The farm land that supplies all their vegetables, and the cattle for milk and meat are the first to be rationed. This causes loss of food.
As we walked around the school, and the children’s home we saw needs at every turn. It was overwhelming, but God gently reminded us of what He has called us to do. Our ministry is not to have a children’s home or open a school. God has called Reverend Hannah and her staff to do that. They know the culture, the language, and are doing it well. Our call from God is to help God’s workers do their ministries. They are the front runners, in the trenches. The best way that we can help them, to help the children, is to relieve the stress due to the lack of water. We, with your help can do that! (The article photo is of the children’s drinking water source.)
They need a well.
We have a matching funds offer up to $10,000. The well cost is $28,000 due to location, depth of clean water, and construction requirements to serve the children in the school.
To support this effort, go to legacy.texasbaptistmen.org/givenow and select “water well drilling” as the receiving fund. Thank you.