Kitchen & Dining Hall Update – Jan. 3 of 2014

Our much anticipated new kitchen and dining hall are taking shape. They should be in use before we get too far into 2014. Check back for the new updates on this project! (If you can not see the pictures, click on the headline above.)                                                      

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Kitchen Project – Double Your Donation!

We have received a matching donation of up to $5000 from one of our donors. For every dollar raised through supporters, we will receive an equal donation up to $5,000 for the Kitchen & Dining Hall Project. We are both excited and feel challenged to ask you, our supporters, for assistance to get the funds raised to make this kitchen! As our current kitchen is getting tired from use and likely will not pass the next round of government inspections, it is critical that we get this project completed in early 2014. You help is much appreciated!  

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Groundbreaking for Kitchen & Dining Hall Project

    Great news from Kenya! This past week the much anticipated kitchen and dining hall project got started! With an aging kitchen that needs to be replaced to pass government inspections and a dining hall too small for the children to eat together, this new project is much needed! We have received a significant donation for the start of this project. Additional funds will be needed for its completion, and we will be announcing fundraising plans in the weeks ahead.Your support, as always, is crucial to the lives of these thirty-two kids! Please continue to hold these children in prayer, and consider a Christmas gift or a year end gift as we move into...

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Rethinking Charity

By Jason Anderson, Founder The word charity is a lot like the word love. Both words are used in so many different ways that they almost cease to be descriptive of any unifying action or principle. Throughout my life I have viewed charity as any donation given to the poor, and thought of all organizations that work with people experiencing poverty, disease, or any other crises as charitable organizations. I am beginning to think, however, that just as many couples have had to learn their partner’s “love language”, we should all acknowledge different “charity languages”. Growing up as a well-churched kid, in a middle-class home, with European heritage, in suburban West Michigan, charity carried some specific meaning within the language of my culture. In all the best ways, charity was a means through which we could show that we care. Morally, charity was considered a virtue that reflected good character, godly character. It was a means through which we could give back to the community and relate to the less fortunate. I learned through numbers of inspirational stories (many around the holidays) that the good feeling you get from giving is the best gift of all. This was my culture’s charity language. Then came my exposure to words like social justice, empowerment, liberation, and restoration. I started communicating with people who did not share my culture’s charity language. These were people who wanted to communicate from the other side of charity. These were people who didn’t always want to be in the position of humility that made my giving possible. I was forced to wrestle with the idea that much charity is not designed to change the system that keeps the givers in positions of giving, and the receivers in positions of receiving. In many ways, charity is a language that communicates a disparity in power. At Kenya Matters we want to learn to speak one another’s languages of love, charity, justice, equality and restoration. We believe that the calling of godly charity leads us deep into the nuances of sharing power as well as financial resources. Some of us have become more accustomed to using words like empowerment and restorative justice to describe the changes for which we are working. We strive for systems of power that might break down the dividing wall between “us” as the givers and “them” as receivers. There is no simple solution. Instead, we wrestle and dream and challenge the paradigms that just make us feel good. We are engaging in complicated relationships with individuals and communities that must share (if not direct) the process of their own empowerment. We are challenging ourselves to quiet our voices and listen for the emerging voices of fragile hope and self-determination. We think it’s a wonderful, beautiful, exchange of learning and teaching, giving and receiving, speaking and listening. Your partnership in this endeavor has been appreciated, and we look forward to the future.  ...

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“We’re Adjusting to a New Normal”

During a recent telephone conversation with Ben Wachira he used the above phrase to describe how the project is proceeding in Karai. We talked about a possible visit this coming fall. We talked about the health of the children, their progress in school and some of the recent expenses. We had conversation about the new kitchen project that we are about to launch, and Ben mentioned how the staff is working well together including gathering daily for devotions and taking time to discuss the kids. His most memorable phrase was “We’re adjusting to the new normal.” We as a board believe we have a great staff in place as well as a competent Kenyan board overseeing the project. We trust that you as supporters will continue to walk alongside us in this transition time.    

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