Hello from Shepherds Heart ! This past year I came on as an intern here at Shepherds Heart International & it has been a blessing to say the least. I currently am the only state-side employee and it has been incredible to work alongside Jessica in the day-to-day tasks, and to have the opportunity to play a small part in this ministry. So much is happening and it is exciting to be here to experience it.
In October we had the opportunity to travel to Africa and visit our missionaries in Kenya and this was a sweet time of relationship building and serving alongside our brothers and sisters there ! I think that there is something so special about doing life with people, and for 11 days, we had the opportunity to do such. I have found that, in our society, is often easy to merely go through the motions of our “job,” and maybe sometimes forget the eternal purpose, or the heart of why we do what we do. And, in authenticity, even the people working in ministry are not an exception to the rule.
For me personally, getting to see the orphanage, building relationships with our staff, and learning the names of the children made them no longer names, or pictures, or a number, rather it made my “job” come to life. Suddenly, it all seemed a bit more real. I have found it essential to remember that my job that I go to each week, does not just impact me or my day, rather the “work I do” impacts hundreds of people across the world.
Because of this, we wanted to invite whoever may read this into our story and into the “behind the scenes” work of a non-profit and how that was manifested in 2018. We believe that YOU are necessary and an essential part to what we do, because truly, we could not do what we do without you. This year our donors entrusted us with 156 thousand dollars in donations, sponsorships, and special event revenue !!!!! In addition, 100% of your giving went directly to minister to children and families. We stewarded those gifts in a variety of ways and I would like to share a bit of what that looked like !
One specific area in which we aided the people of Kenya were its’ children !
• The giving of our donors provided food, medical care, housing, clothing, and caregivers for over 100 children in Kenya.
• We were able to send 120 Kenyan children to school all year.
• Educated 100 children in rural Mozambique for an entire year.
• Provided uniforms and shoes for more than 50 Kenyan children.
• Greatly increased the water supply at House of Mercy with a water tank.
• Began a sewing project to benefit special needs children at House of Mercy
• We hired a new teacher !!!
HOW EXCITING ?!
In addition, many families in Kenya were aided through the giving and generosity of people like yourselves. Here are some ways that we utilized the gifts we were given.
- 1. Provided employment for 21 people in East Africa for the entire year !
- 2. Built a house for a single mother of 6 in Kenya.
- 3. Provided startup capital for a small business for a single mom
- 4. Provided a rain barrel system to provide fresh water for two single mothers in rural areas of Kenya.
- 5. Trained 4 interns who are all employed and using their gifts well.
- 6. Rented farmland for one family for the year.
- 7. Provided monthly counseling and follow up to 30 reunited families.
- 8. Financially supported a missionary and his family for the entire year.
- 9. Planted one new church among an unreached people group in Mozambique.
- 10. Provided oversight, training and support for 4 young churches planted last year.
- 11. Discipled 4 pastors and baptized many new believers.
- 12. Sent out 2 short term teams to encourage and participate in the ministry work in Kenya.
- 13. Held discipleship programs weekly for at risk teens in Kenyan communities.
- 14. Completed a second school building in rural Mozambique.
- 15. Built new toilets at the Mission Station in Mozambique.
- 16. Finished the kitchen area at the Mission Station in Mozambique.
- 16. Grew the poultry project from 1500 chicks to 1750 in Kenya.
- 17. Purchased a vehicle to help deliver eggs to the community !
I am so thankful and blessed by your giving because I have seen firsthand the smiles and laughter of the children, women, and families that your giving has blessed. So let me reassure you, although Kenya is far away and you may not have traveled there yourself, your generosity is making a difference.
And just so we keep you all up to date ! Our needs to foster and develop sustainable projects & provide for our children in Kenya do not end when one year ends ! Some of our biggest needs for 2019 are the following:
◊ 50 additional monthly sponsors for our children in Kenya
◊ 1500 more laying hens to complete our poultry program.
From us to you, THANK YOU !!!