“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14)
The Toyota Land-rover is here! Children whom it will benefit, excitedly danced around it while singing (or signing) “God is faithful and provides in His own time” when the vehicle entered The Gede Special School. Watch them celebrate its arrival in this video. After 2 years of campaigning and 5 years of planning, it is here at last. There was excitement at its Saturday arrival, a blessing ceremony on Monday, and a hopeful reminder of God’s provision…even though it took a while.
When the children asked Leonard if the Land Cruiser was theirs he said “It belongs to you and all the children with disabilities in Kilifi County. This vehicle will take you to the hospital when you need it, reach neglected children hidden away in rural areas, and help educate more people on the value of special children like you.” They burst into more clapping and singing and many squeezed into the car for a ride around the compound.
This brand new land cruiser was purchased directly from Toyota Japan through MATs International‘s ministry. It will be kept at The Gede Special School because it is near our Kenyan office and has good security. This school also has the highest number of children with cerebral palsy staying overnight. Their condition makes them more vulnerable to emergency situations and having it there enables them to access medical services in the middle of the night. In an area without ambulances or adequate public transport, this vehicle is lifesaving. Therefore it was fitting that the Bishop of Mombasa (Anglican Church of Kenya) led a ceremony of thanks and blessing for this amazing gift.
In addition to the Bishop, the ceremony included children from The Gede Special School, government officials, local church representatives, parents, teachers, businessmen, and other interested community members. Most were involved in the Kenyan March 2015 Fundraiser that provided the final $9,000 USD needed to purchase the vehicle…almost a third of the overall cost. The children with disabilities, and those who care for them in Kenya, are so grateful for your contributions. They are amazed that people from so far away continue to provide resources for their needs. However, waiting for locals to raise the final funds shows these children that their own families and communities also care about them. I think it was worth the wait.
Bishop Kalu gave an encouraging speech saying those who contributed to the vehicle were fulfilling scripture by serving the “least of these” (Mathew 25: 31-46). He also asked the government officials to work harder to provide more vehicles like this for each special school since this one vehicle cannot serve the 120,000 children with disabilities estimated to exist throughout Kilifi County. The Bishop had everyone lay hands on the land cruiser as he said a prayer of blessing and thanks. They then raised a flag, like the beginning of a car race, to officially mark the start of the vehicle’s use. We are so excited!
I think the waiting makes the arrival of the blessing even more joyful. This is true for so much of our work and our lives. Of course, I’d love for things to happen more quickly and with less difficulty….but I’m not in charge. Many of these children have lost more than we can fathom and they are so incredibly excited by this amazing gift. A gift you made possible. May the arrival of this life-saving vehicle encourage you for the sake of the children it will save, and the hope it brings to whatever hardship you might face. As these wise children sang “God is faithful and provides in His own time.” They teach me so much.
Thank you for your continued support and encouragement.
With much love and gratitude,
Kupenda for the Children
PO Box 473 Hampton NH 03843
If you’re interested in supporting one of the many children we serve, head over to our sponsorship page to learn about how you can make a difference.