How does it feel to sponsor a child? We are sharing various stories from the Kenya Project Team and their recent trip to Kenya with World Vision. This initiative is successful because of the prayers and support from the Faith Family. Every student at the school has the opportunity to donate $25.00 or more to sponsor a child through World Vision. Our partnership with the village of Bandaptai, Kenya is long term and we hope to make a lasting, positive impact through your support.
On the first day that we were in Katito, most of us got to meet our sponsor kids. The Area Development Project staff of World Vision had arranged everything and we went and met the families at a little church in the village. When we first got there the families greeted us in song. They were singing praises to the Lord and the joy was contagious. We were lead into the church and sat in a semi-circle in the front of the church while the families sat in the pews. Introductions were made as we all shared our names and ages and they responded likewise.
I was over the moon excited. My family is sponsoring three children in Katito: Elly (my sponsor boy) who is four years old, Mercy (my sister’s sponsor girl) who is two years old, and Jeff Larry (my brother’s sponsor boy) who had just turned one year old a couple weeks before we met. I have always loved kids, especially younger kids. I babysit all age ranges of kids and they have always had a special place in my heart. When I found out that we were going to be sponsoring two communities in Kenya through World Vision and that we could sponsor kids from those villages, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to sponsor a kid. I was even more excited when I found out that we were going to be able to meet and interact with our kids! I had been looking forward to this day since I got the envelope in the mail with Elly’s picture in early August.
After the introductions, we were allowed to go outside to play, get to know our kids and their families, and present the gifts that we had brought them. My mom and I had stuffed backpacks for each kid full of toys, coloring books, soccer balls, crayons, bowls, stuffed animals, towels for the moms, and flashlights for the dads. I also put together picture books of me and my family and friends so they could see what my life is like all the way in America.
It was so special that through a translator I was able to talk to these kids (who since then I had only seen on a sponsor card) in real life and to play soccer with them and color with them. I loved playing soccer with Elly and little Jeff Larry and getting to connect with my kids. When we had to say goodbye, I was so sad. I had already fallen in love with these families and didn’t want to leave. Up until this point, Elly had been fairly shy but when I stooped down to give him a hug and say goodbye he gave me the biggest, tooth-iest grin in the world and my heart melted. I will never forget that face.
What some people don’t realize from just looking at a sponsor card is that these are real kids. They aren’t just faces on cardstock, they are the masterpieces of God and have feelings, fears, and joys that are just as real as the things we can see and touch. Meeting my sponsor kids through World Vision was one of my favorite parts of the Kenya trip.
-Emma Matthes '20
Join us for a special assembly Wednesday, October 24th at 10:30 AM in the CPAC to hear more stories from The Kenya Project team and to learn about next steps.
For more stories and updates about The Kenya Project follow @flhskenyaproject on Instagram and go to worldvision.org/faithlutheranschool . Photos courtesy of the Kenya Project Team and World Vision.