Hope for Huruma Executive Director and short term missionary. written after her 3rd visit to Huruma.
It's unbelievable to me that I have been in Kenya for 17 days. As the end of my trip draws near I fight sadness. Instead, I'm trying to make the most of every minute of my remaining 4 days at Huruma Children's Home. During this, my third trip, I have grown to love "my" kids more deeply, have become closer with others, and have begun new friendships with children I've only just met. Truly, I love them all. Each precious face tells a story and if you'll only invest some time and caring they will trust you with it. The stories are all very different but most include significant elements of struggle, rescue, and restored hope.
HOPE. It's why we do what we do at Hope for Huruma Foundation.
For each of its children Huruma Children's Home provides a safe home, a good education, and hope for the future. Its founder, Mama Zipporah, has a vision to do all this and more.
Huruma is a haven for children who have been abandoned, rejected, or whose parents are unable to provide a safe home for them. At Huruma, I have met HIV positive children driven out of their communities due to the stigma associated with the virus. I have met infants left at the hospital by their ill-prepared young fathers after the death of their mothers during childbirth. I have met teens left to survive on their own in the slums when family members were no longer able to provide for them. Young abuse and rape victims work to put their lives back together within the walls of Huruma. Offspring of parents whose lives were torn apart during tribal clashes seek shelter there as well. Over two hundred children call Huruma their home and are deeply grateful to Mama Zipporah for taking them in.
Mama Zipporah gives jobs to women in need enabling them to care for their children. She goes into the slums to share food with the poorest of the poor and share with them her message of hope. Mama is well-respected in the community and it is not uncommon for residents of her village or police officers from nearby towns to seek her out when there is a child in crisis. I sat next to a Kenyan woman on the airplane from London to Nairobi. She was very familiar with Mama's story and her good works in her country. Mama Zipporah is mother to the residents of her home but her hope extends to all Kenyan children.
Mama was given a sizable piece of land about an hour’s drive from Huruma. She has big plans for the land, including planting crops to feed the children at her home. Before that is possible, Mama will install a well to provide water not only to her land, but to the surrounding community. Currently, these folks must walk a mile or more to buy water for cooking, drinking, bathing, and so forth. Mama plans to share the water from her well to lessen that burden.
Every child holds promise but will best reach his potential in a safe, supportive environment. The teaching staff at Huruma work tirelessly to prepare their students to succeed at whatever they might choose for their future. Their salaries are meager by U.S. standards and are low compared to other Kenyan schools. But the teachers at Huruma are dedicated to Mama's mission and to serving the children in her care. Last week teachers from Arizona visited Huruma to provide professional development for the school staff. Upon receiving gifts of backpacks full of supplies the Huruma teachers cried with delight, "It's like Christmas!" Even more than the gifts, they were extremely thankful for the encouragement, friendship, and learning poured into them.
Mama has developed a mentoring program that allows children to explore various careers in which they are interested. College-bound students participate in a year-long transition after high school that enables them to work and learn to be more independent before leaving for a college or university. Other students choose to enter the workforce right away and Mama assists them by connecting them with nearby businesses.
When Mama Zipporah's vision is advanced EVERYONE wins.
Children's lives are saved. They are given hope and a future.
Teachers are employed and provided with a purpose that gives them pride in their work.
Communities are enhanced when their poor are cared for and their land is improved.
Visitors are blessed when their lives collide with those of Huruma's family.
Donors are rewarded when they see the positive impact of their financial support.
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
— John Holmes
Hope for Huruma board member and short term missionary, written after her first visit to Huruma Children's Home.
After I came back from Huruma June, 2017, I spent many weeks shedding happy tears. I couldn't believe the overwhelming feeling I had in my heart for this orphanage after only eight days. How could ones heart triple in size overnight? Although I had questions for God, I knew in my heart that this was my calling and where Jesus had been leading me for over ten years. I had finally felt complete and am still to this day am in awe of how He is working. I feel so honored and blessed to be apart of this beautiful story.
When you walk onto the grounds of the orphanage, you can sense the presence of God—its undeniable. The kids are so genuinely happy, and their smiles are infectious. It was so amazing to watch the staff and teachers shower love on these children and us.
I felt like I was a part of their family from day one. But the thing that impacted me the most was how much they know love Jesus. The way they worship and study the Word was breath taking.
I desire to come alongside Mama and her incredible staff at Huruma Children's Home by making an impact in these sweet kid's lives. I look forward to seeing the movement that God has for our foundation in partnership with Huruma Children's Home.