If you visit with David Chu Chu at Kisumu in Kenya you will see five file cabinets in his office. Each one of these file cabinets contains the names of children that are either orphaned or at risk. They have been identified by Deaconess’ like the late Mary Okeyo who go out to remote places and visit with familes inside and outide of the church. Once identifed, they are visited by a Pastor and appropriate home care is provided until a Project 24 site can be identified and up and running. 1001 Orphans located in Pittsburgh PA is contacted and support begins for these at risk children. Once a Project 24 center is up and running the children are connected to another church and a school and hopefully medical care.
In the home visits that we made in January with the advance group for the Mary Okeyo Scholarship fund for Student Travel we were introduced to children that had been left alone for weeks by their mother who had gone into the city to find work. Their roof had collapsed and they were basically fending for themselves. I wondered about the nights in the dark and the rain with no adult near by and what that must have been like. The children were found by a deaconess who enlisted the local church to fix the roof and care for the children and we had the opportunity to visit them and see their predicament. I was confused because I was told that there were three children but I was in the hut with four. I was told that the little girl sitting next to me who I had assumed was about 12 was really the mother of the other three and that she had come home for a visit too.
The partnership of these four entities is working and continues to expand. These partnerships of course are run by donations and the gifts of folks like you, organizations like the LWML and the continued prayers and support of all kinds of folks from all over. The support that we receive from LCMS World Relief and Human Care is invaluable and now we have found out that we have GEO’s that work at the centers too. More on them later but for now see 2/o4.
This is a picture of the kind of path the deaconess’ travel on a weekly basis making home visits. Annie Pitschka from Minnesota North is following deaconess Elizabeth.