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Message of the Month

The HIV/AIDS crisis in Kenya has managed to wipe out a great deal of the population, causing many of the children to be with one parent or with none.  As the church's mandate in accordance with James 1:27 "... that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress..." the Coptic Church has taken the responsibility of supporting orphans.

The Orphans Project was launched in the year 2000.  Initially, the Coptic Church built an orphanage in the St. Mina Monastery in Maseno, where they provided the children with housing and care.  After a one year trial period, the Coptic Church recognized that it was problematic to isolate the children from their culture.  Therefore, the decision was made to adopt a different structure for the project, which allowed the orphans to grow up within the context of their own culture and community.

The is the structure that was implemented and is still in effect until today:

Firstly, the Coptic Church finds a suitable family that is willing to accommodate an orphan, preferably relatives of the family.  They receive help from the Coptic Church, namely in the form of basic provisions like food and clothing.  At the start of each month, servants from the Coptic Church deliver a package of essential groceries right to family's doorstep.  The orphan also receives clothing every few months.  Around Christmas and Easter, we give each orphan in the program a large gift, such as a mattress or a blanket.  Their faces light up when they receive such wonderful gifts.  Some of the orphans, like Loice, sleep on the ground.  When she received her Easter gift she was so happy she cried.  We can reach out to each orphan physically and spiritually with the love of Christ.

Secondly, the Coptic Church also pays the education expenses of the orphans whose accommodating families cannot afford to pay for them.  There is nothing more heart-breaking than to see a child's future go to waste because the family is not able or not willing to pay the school fees for the orphan.  This is especially more true when the orphan reaches the secondary level as it becomes increasingly expensive and very difficult to afford.  Omondi is sixteen years old and he is just completing standard 7, which is equivalent to grade 7 in the American system.  He is very excited that he has the opportunity to make it to secondary school; it is giving him a hope for the future and he can have a life different from his deceased parents.

Thirdly, the monastery has recently opened a medical clinic for the public.  As part of the Orphans Project support, the Coptic Church has decided to grant health care to all the orphans free of charge.  This means free medical consultation, check-ups, and even free medication.  Sadly, many of our orphans have been abused in the past, so it is essential that there is medical care and counseling available to them.  This is another loving way of providing special care to the orphans.

Finally, as far as spiritual care is concerned, the Coptic Church holds a monthly spiritual day for each group of orphans in their own area.  They come to play, do arts and crafts, and learn bible and saint stories.  In essence, it provides an environment of love where we can build up the orphans' confidence, and give extra attention to those who are in need of it.  During one of our spiritual days, John, one of our orphans from Alego, told us that he was so happy to hear about Jesus, his Heavenly Father.  John's father died of AIDS and his mother abuses him, but now he has his hope in Christ.

Thanks to the grace of God, this project has truly touched the lives of many orphans, and continues to be a ray of hope for many abandoned children.  Today, the Coptic Church is involved in the lives of 120 orphans.  It continues to expand as far as funding is available.  Many more orphans are in need and waiting for support.  May the Lord bless the project and continue to provide for His beloved children.


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