I tossed and turned in bed one night in early November. I was thinking about the Children’s Center in Kenya that A Father to the Fatherless Orphans’ Fund supports. God had it on my mind that I needed to put together and send a Christmas package to the orphans in Kenya, who have very little.
It is estimated that there are about 2.5 million orphans in the country of Kenya, primarily due to HIV / AIDS. The Children’s Center that we support, Amazing Smile Children’s Center, is located in Nyamira, Kenya, a town with a population of around 42,000 people. There are roughly 45 orphans supported by Amazing Smile Children’s Center.
I decided the next morning that I was going to send Christmas packages to those kids. I had less than two weeks to assemble the boxes for them to arrive on time, assuming it would take about a month to ship. My idea was to send a box with hygiene items, games, stuffed animals, cards, and school supplies.
I started by asking our church’s Children’s Ministry Director if she would be willing to help make Christmas cards with her Breakout and Kids Quest youth groups, aging from four years old to 6th grade. Of course she wanted to help. The next day, Tuesday, November 10, 2015, she presented me with a bag of candy canes which were attached to a piece of paper with the “Candy Cane Story” printed on it. They were leftover from one of last years Christmas events. The paper said something simple about the candy cane’s shape resembling the “J” for Jesus, the red stripes representing His blood, and the white stripes representing His sacrifice on the cross, making us pure. Amazingly, there were exactly 46 of them. God had that planned out! That day and the next, the Kids Quest and Breakout kids made many beautiful, decorative Christmas cards to send to the orphans in Kenya.
In the evening, before I left the church, our church’s Secretary came up to me. She leads our church’s Angel Tree program, a ministry which gives Christmas gifts to children whose parents are in prison. She said to me, “I didn’t know you were doing this. I have some teddy bears that are leftover from Angel Tree that I would like to donate. I’ll go home and count, but I think there are about 45 of them.”
After I took the step to send Christmas packages to the Children’s Center, God provided 45 Teddy Bears, 46 candy canes with the “Candy Cane Story” attached to them, and an abundance of Christmas cards within two days.
But, a setback occurred. Because of how expensive shipping rates are internationally, I decided that it would be necessary to have a table at our church services to raise awareness and money for this project. I figured I’d try to raise $10 per child which would add up to $450. I went to our Missions Pastor and asked him about it. Unfortunately, because of such a short notice and how many tables there already were, it wasn’t a possibility. I thought to myself, “How am I going to manage this? Without a table, I’ll have a really hard time raising $450 in a week.”
God did provide 45 Teddy Bears, 46 candy canes with the “Candy Cane Story” attached to them, and an abundance of Christmas cards. Why should I be doubtful? I learned that God always has a bigger plan. The following day, miraculously, our Fund received a donation that fully funded the Christmas boxes. Hallelujah!!
We went to the store and purchased 45 toothbrushes, 45 combs, playing cards, pens, balloons and some other small items to add to the teddybears, Christmas cards, and candy canes. My sister, Savannah, and I packaged two large boxes and sent them off, praying that they would make it. You might say I had my doubts that it would arrive by Christmas, let alone get there at all. But, God did provide 45 Teddy Bears, 46 candy canes with the “Candy Cane Story” attached to them, an abundance of Christmas cards, 45 toothbrushes, 45 combs, playing cards, pens, balloons, some other small items, and enough money to pay for shipping.
The packages arrived a few days late and they were opened on New Years, but they arrived safely and in a timely manner. Praise the Lord! This project brought joy to children on the other side of the world and Glorified God.
A sincere thanks to all of you who contributed to helping out these children. You also have much to be thankful for. May God abundantly bless you and your family this New Year.