Thursday, December 04, 2008

Cheppema Children's Home and Cheppema Hope Center

A few months ago I wrote a letter to the community of Crosspointe Church about a situation in Cheppema, Kenya.  Over the last several months we have been working closely with Special Ministries (our ministry partner) to help resolve a crisis that their neighbor the Cheppema Children's Home was facing.  Although the Cheppema Children's Home was not a direct ministry partner, we have been monitoring it closely as it is closely tied by location (they are neighbors) and by ministry (some of the kids from the home attend school at our Hope Center.)  Yes I know it is confusing.  The picture below might help you better understand how closely the ministry affected is, in proximity to our ministry partners the Cheppema Hope Center.  They are two ministries, that are next to each other, but have different leadership, staff and missionaries working with them.

It has been a few months since we have updated our church community concerning the situation at the Cheppema Children's Home.  But that does not demonstrate a lack of energy or effort put into trying to help remedy the situation. In September of this year a group of 17 people from Crosspointe church participated in an already scheduled mission trip to the Cheppema Hope Center our partners through Special Ministries.  You can read their stories, see their pictures and learn more about their experience at the Cheppema 2008 blog.  

 While we were in Kenya we were able to tour the home, talk with the director of the board of the Children's Home, as well as talk to Kenyans and American Workers who are daily involved in this situation.  

At this stage in the game, very little has changed.  Unfortunately due to greed, corruption, poor leadership and the Kenyan time clock, progress has been slow.  The Kenyan officials have been informed about the abuse, the abuser has left the home, he has not been arrested but an investigation was started into the accusations.  The individual accused of the abuse had verbally agreed to sell his home and land (the Children's Home ) to the board of directors, however he has not yet signed his name to a deed of transfer or sale for the property.  Those on the ground have been working diligently to try and make this happen, and those in the USA are trying to push things along if at all possible.  Our first and foremost desire in all of this is to make sure that the children in the home are safe, that they receive the care and help they need through this crisis, and afterwards.  In addition to the children in the home being safe, we also want to make sure that any children who might come to the Hope Center we partner with would also be safe.

Crosspointe has been an encourager for those fighting the battle, and has tried to be a motivator for a more rapid response.  We have prayed fervently for the government officials to respond appropriately, and have offered resources for the children and the purchase of the home.

As hard as it is, sometimes we have to do what seems most unnatural and most frustrating for us Americans...wait. This week we received news that the landowner has asked a new (and much higher price) for the land.  He has also made a few requests that honestly cannot be honored.  We have again offered to help with this process.  

As part of the community of Crosspointe, I beg of you to be praying fervently with us, that an appropriate resolution would not only be found, but would occur.  I beg of you to continue to pray for the boys and the girls in the Cheppema Children's Home, and I beg of you to pray for our ministry partners through Special Ministries as they try to help their neighbors.  Pray for us as leadership as we try to discern what steps we take and what role we play in the solution.

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