Greetings in the name of our risen Lord Jesus Christ. By the time Easter came, most of our Ahadi Family had dispersed to visit a relative, and our new social worker had reported just in time to get in on all that excitement. Some boys left with tears while others could hardly wait to go see their home places again. Other boys had just arrived in our care and were getting settled in. The 4 ½ yr. old little brother of one of one of our boys was the first to arrive and was eagerly welcomed by Ahadi boys who love having a little guy around. We thought when we planned to add the little brother to Ahadi Family that he was a little older so were surprised when we saw him, especially since he is the size of a 3-year old. He and his brother are now living with my husband and me during the school break, and we are enjoying his enthusiasm and his mimicking us as he learns to speak English; and we have seen a change in his big brother who is now acting more grown-up and taking seriously his big brother role. He is experiencing a father figure and nurturing mother figure for the first time and is happy to climb up into our laps and be babied.
When our social worker went to court to get him, the magistrate begged us to take in another boy whose dad was sentenced to life in prison and his mom is mentally unstable. So, 2 days later, we also added that 14-year old who is happy to be out of the rescue centre to Ahadi where he can go to school and continue his education, though he was only in standard 3 (3rd grade) and will need a lot of special attention to function at that level.
We thought we would be getting 4 more orphans, but found out last minute that the lady who told us about her children was lying about their situation, so we did not take them, and she has since that time disappeared with them, according to the chief.
WE WELCOME OUR NEW SOCIAL WORKER
Our social worker found that the commute to work was eating up too much family time and expense getting to work and back, so resigned this month to find work closer to home. God graciously immediately provided a highly-qualified replacement whose training at Daystar University in Social Work and Child Development as well as 4 years’ experience managing projects with Compassion International has made his coming to us a good fit. He is able to reside at Ahadi, which means his contact time with the boys will be more than was possible ever before for our social workers. He has already met the District Children’s Officer, the area assistant chief, and has made several home visits to relatives of our boys, so he can appreciate just how necessary it is for Ahadi to exist. Children we assist would be malnourished and uneducated if it weren’t for you making it possible for us to provide them a safe and nurturing environment.
Just days after he joined us, the boys and staff were able to go see a game park at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro, thanks to some generous donations. It is only about 2 ½ hours from Ahadi, so they did it as a day trip, using the primary school bus which we fueled. We had done this several years ago, but almost none of our current boys were part of Ahadi at that point. They especially loved the elephants that the park is famous for. The beautiful murals at Ahadi depict scenes from the park, so it was fun for them to see the actual mountain and wildlife. Many Kenyans have never had the opportunity to see the what tourists from all over the world come to see.
BOSTON MARATHON PLEDGES
A big thank you for Cara Hehn for agreeing to run for Ahadi Family Kenya. She literally went the extra miles for us, 26 miles actually. I don’t know the total amount for pledges yet, but we still expect to receive donations throughout the month of May, so it’s not too late, if you meant to contribute. We hope to not only pay our school fees, but have some extra for operating expenses. Here, Cara is pictured with her uncle Brandon Hehn who began running the marathon as a fund raiser for Ahadi several years ago. Brandon and his wife, Ginette, are still very involved in soliciting pledges each year for Ahadi Family Kenya. A big thank you to them for working so hard to make this a success.
AHADI’S UNIVERSITY BOYS’ NEEDS
• Thank you for each one who has been praying for Francis who is still seriously ill, but is now staying at our house in the hopes that he will soon begin feeling better as we are more conveniently located to get frequent help from the public health facilities nearby. His immune system is dangerously low, but we are glad to have found out he doesn’t have kidney failure. One of our other college-aged boys who is waiting for a sponsor has been extremely helpful in cooking for him in ways that he is used to eating. My American way of cooking African food just didn’t taste right. His appetite is good, so we give thanks for that, but he lost a lot of weight from his illness and now is only 37 kg. (81 lbs.) Thanks to USAID, he qualifies for high-protein food supplements that are supposed to help him get stronger; so far he is still weak though is faithful in eating them. Most of the hospital treatment (and lack thereof) that he had gotten was really detrimental to his condition.
• We still need sponsors for two of our guys who would really love to begin college or university. Rickson qualifies for a 2-trimester certificate programme in social work and community health (at around $1,000 per term). If he does well, he can continue on for a diploma and finally a Bachelor’s. Ian would love to start a Bachelor’s programme in Environmental Health at Daystar University (around $6,000 per year total to go year round). Each of these young men are praying for sponsors who will enable them to begin in May.
• Michael W has will be graduating from Daystar University in June but will miss graduation because he has been accepted to work in a camping program at Indiana University in the US this summer. He will earn enough to pay for his travel and have some left over. He will also get a chance to meet his sponsor in Boston before heading for camp.
Note: Any donation for university boys’ needs must be specified. I assume that all donations not specified will go for operating expenses of the school-aged boys.