I am so grateful for your continued prayers and support especially during this confusing and difficult season of my life. I’d like to update you on the recent conference I attended, ask for prayers for my very sick father, and request your support with our increased workload.
I recently attended the Global Access Conference organized by Joni and Friends in California. It was a really great event with over 1,000 people from around the world leading disability-focused ministries. It was an honor to share my Kupenda experience during the two workshops I led and panel I served on. I stayed after the conference to participate in a small working group on disability and missions as part of the Lausanne Movement. I even had the opportunity to hang with Joni Eareckson Tada. All of this created some exciting connections and opportunities for Kupenda. Despite these encouraging developments, it’s been challenging to be enthusiastic.
As many of you know, my last January trip to Kenya was tough with the loss of two children. I was also unable to see the kids we support due to teacher strikes. Since then, it has felt like heart-crushing events have continuously increased. Some of the recent heartbreak is more personal, but because I am the only staff in the U.S., it deeply impacts Kupenda. I was already feeling like it was all too much when I was told my 63-year-old father only had a couple of hours to live. At that moment it felt like my soul broke.
Last Tuesday, all my dad’s organs began shutting down because of heart failure. My family said our tearful goodbyes since the doctors told us he was going to die any minute. Miraculously, he made an amazing turn around that night as my little sister sang hymns to him. It shocked the medical staff and renewed the faith of many people in my dad’s life. We have been able to interact with him but he is still in the intensive care unit, and on a ventilator. No matter what happens to my dad in the next hours, days, weeks, months, years…we are grateful that today there is still a chance he will recover.
Without my dad, there would be no Kupenda since without him there would be no me. The support my parents provided me throughout my life is what I share with families impacted by disability in Kenya, Tanzania, and, the U.S. Since the Global Access Conference 2 weeks ago, their influence now reaches people with disabilities around the world. When I tell my story I talk about how my parents gave me a guitar in spite of my lack of a left hand with no clue how I’d play it. I usually tell people this right before I play my guitar. I am grateful that my dad volunteered with Kupenda in 2011 and was able to bring smiles to the children I love in Kenya. However, my dad’s current situation and the aforementioned challenges have revealed that I need help with my Kupenda responsibilities more than ever.
We are finally contracting out some expert help to get caught up in several areas like child sponsorship, strategic planning, and development of a communication center in Kenya. The contract will be for 160 hours of work by an experienced professional for $USD 5,000 I need much more help than this but our resources are too limited and uncertain for any additional financial commitments. Would you consider contributing to Kupenda at this time to help us meet these growing needs? Perhaps you could give $104 (my dad’s age and mine combined) in honor of my dad’s life and my birthday on Saturday…the day he became a father.
It seems miracles come only after we cry out in unimaginable grief and pain….and many times they don’t come at all. We don’t know why we had our miracle last week but my dad’s health improvement reminded us that anything is possible even if the experts say it’s not. I hope the same might be true for other difficult circumstances we all are facing in life and Kupenda. During this tough time in my own life, I am grateful that Kupenda is much more than me.
Thank you for bringing hope and love to the lives of children who may have never had it without you.
With much love and gratitude,
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.