You haven't heard from us since we thanked you all for your generous response to our Fourth of July Giving Challenge. Why? We've been busy using your generous donations to open the Center. The name is Promise Springs Rescue Center. It comes from a bible verse that we chose to be the verse for this center:
Psalm 84:6 "When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings." NLT
We know that the girls who have come to stay with us have been through huge heartache and hurt and we hope that at Promise Springs Rescue Center, they will find the refreshing truth of God and of their worth. We ask that you pray with us for each of them.
We opened on August 2, 2021! It was the first day of the semester in the schools these girls will attend. Our opening was not the way that we envisioned it. We felt, in our American way, that everything had to be just perfect and that we had to be totally prepared. The group of Kenyans whom God has established to work for us and with us felt differently. They encouraged us to step out in faith. They truly believed that if we all worked together, we could do this.
As I shared in our last update, God had led people to give us support for girls and you each rose to the giving challenge. It was time and God had shown us that. One of our board members asked me just before we took this step, "Are you unable to do this without another organization or are you just scared?" That caused us to do some deep soul searching. Did we believe that God had sent us to this far-removed area to help children in need? Were we trying to do this on our own or were we willing to allow God to do it through us? It was a scary step of faith, but a step we took trusting in the only One who can do this.
In His way, God used His word to encourage us. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6 This verse is on a plaque on the gazebo at the center. A plaque in memory of Lee Wallace, a good friend and church family member. When were we going to live in that trust?
We took applications from surrounding villages and anywhere that word had reached about our center. The American board reviewed them and then we had someone go out to make home visits to verify the applicant and the home situation. We knew we only had funding for ten girls and going through the applications was hard, but decisions were made with the guidance of our Kenya staff.
We started with four girls. Three were unwed mothers and one was a sister to one of the mothers. The sister could not be left at home because of the environment that she lived in. She would have been the only female left in the home. It would have been unsafe to leave her there, so she came to reside at the center also.
On August 4, they all started school at nearby schools.
We then heard of two more girls who had only one year of school left when they became pregnant. They have now delivered their babies. The school staff felt they needed a chance. They are hard workers and so close to finishing school that to deny them the opportunity seemed wrong somehow. We brought them to the center on August 9th.
Currently, we have two girls who were in vulnerable situations in boarding schools. They will reside at the center when the schools are not in session. We have 6 girls residing at the center. That means that we also have 5 babies.
Now let's talk about babies. The ages range from 1 month to 3 years old. These babies have been a challenge for our staff. It seems that the young mothers, being out of school and at home with the babies, held them a lot. Now the mothers are at school, the babies are with caregivers whom they are trying to learn and they cry...a LOT. It has taken all of the staff on site to help to care for them. On Saturday, I sent our manager out to buy different types of baby seats and we are going to try to get the babies accustomed to being in a different situation rather than being held, but also to give them the love and cuddling they need. We think that our staff found the babies are a bigger challenge than the mothers. Who would have thought that 5 young babies all crying at the same time could bring about what is reported to us as a "very challenging day"? The toddler is reported as being "very happy". They tell us that she sings all the time and loves to greet people. When anyone walks past, she calls out, "Hello!" and calls them by name. Patty would SOOOO love to be there to help, but in God's good timing. We enjoy hearing the stories.
We know that the crying babies are but one of the many problems that we will encounter as we go forward, but we know that God will provide and guide us through each one.
We are hesitant to share many pictures and names because of the situations of these girls. If anyone is interested in supporting a girl, we will be glad to share their information with you.
We are praying for our next step as we feel that we will need to have some technical teachers on site at the end of the year to help these girls to learn a trade. But for now, they are going to school, learning of God's love for them and how to forgive those who have hurt them, and learning to be good mothers. We will take one step at a time.
We also have one more piece of exciting news!!! We leave for Kenya on September 30th with a small team accompanying us. The team is from our home church, Lakeside Baptist Church. We will hold a 3 day Vacation Bible School in a back sector of the Internally Displaced Peoples camp and then help to build a swine project for widows who are aged and need to be able to provide for themselves. We, as always, try to find sustainable projects so that we are enabling people to care for themselves rather than just giving them supplies. We are so excited to be accompanying a team from our own church and two of our former team members from Colorado.
There is so much to share but for right now, we will stop at all this exciting news and ask for prayer from all of you.
For each mother and baby at the center. For their safety, healing, and their walk with God.
For the Kenyan staff. For their loyalty to God and to the mission and their loving care of these girls and their babies.
For the American board in decision making processes and God's wisdom as we go forward.
For the upcoming mission trip. Safety, health, energy and the ability to share God's love with the people we serve.
For continued support so that we can keep our promise to see these girls through to being responsible women who can provide for themselves and their babies.
Each one of you is as much a part of this mission as Ken and I are. Without your support and prayers, none of this could have ever been possible. You have helped to procure land, drill a borehole and provide clean water, build buildings, get solar power, plant crops...all for "such a time as this". The beginning of what God has called us to do..."feed my sheep" and care for "the least of these". We cherish your prayers and thank you for your support.
May God bless you all,
Patty and Ken
Founders of Two Burning Candles
Partnership is when people join together to complete a goal or meet a need that is greater than what they could do on their own. When you partner with Two Burning Candles, you are making a commitment to support the ministry through your giving, traveling or through prayer.
You may not have the time or ability to travel around the world, but when you support our mission you are reaching people for Christ. It’s because of people like you that we are able to help children and their families, share the message of Jesus Christ, and love people through-out the world.
Two Burning Candles is a 501c3 non-profit Christian organization dedicated to reducing poverty in Kenya through humanitarian assistance programs and teaching financial self-sufficiency.
We seek to facilitate relationship building between Christ’s believers around the world through various projects.
Two Burning Candles exists primarily to demonstrate Gods love for all people through serving the poor, oppressed, and elderly.
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