After more than a year of planning, gathering information, praying, and seeking God's wisdom we are excited to announce to you all today what God is leading Invest to do next in Kenya. We have spent a lot of time in various orphanages throughout Nairobi over the past few years and we are constantly overwhelmed by the sheer numbers and need in the country. The latest estimates estimate that there are currently more than 2 million orphans in Kenya alone. Many of them are in orphanages or children's homes and many of them are not. We meet infants and children on a regular basis who were abandoned in garbage dumps or along the side of a busy street, left parentless for a variety of reasons. As we continued to travel to Kenya for the purpose of "investing in the next generations" it became glaring obvious that orphan care would need to become a part of what we do there. So... today we introduce our next project: We began the process this summer of seeking out as much information as possible in regards to what it will take for us to get involved in orphan care in Kenya. We researched the legal process of becoming established as a foundation in Kenya, what it takes to purchase land, we prayed a lot about where in Kenya should we look for land, we met with adults who have grown up as orphans, as well as asking God for constant clarity and guidance. We don't know all the details yet but here is what we do know:
We desire to approach orphan care from a different perspective. Kimbilio is swahili for "refuge" and that's exactly what we feel called to create. A place where orphaned children experience the safety, rescue, redemption, and refuge that we have in our Heavenly Father. The land, the architecture, the care team, the furniture, the processes, and the spiritual atmosphere will all be done in such a way that the whole child will be cared for, discipled, and equipped for life with God at the center of everything. There are plenty of homes and orphanages that meet the basic needs of the children placed in their care but we feel called to provide more than that... we feel called to cherish any child that will one day call Kimbilio their home just as God cherishes all of us. We are not God and in no way could we ever take his place, but we do have the promise that His Spirit lives in each of us and therefore we believe that He will care for the children of Kimbilio through us.
We could speak for weeks about how excited we are about this incredible opportunity. God has already begun to open doors and provide in ways that we can't even understand but I wanted to leave you today with an example of why and how discipleship works. In late 2009, we received an application from Edward Phillips for Invest's Journey Internship. We loved Edward's heart for children from the first day we talked with him. He joined the Journey 2010 team and we watched God work mightily in his heart that summer. Edward has been with us ever since, volunteering his time for more than a year with Invest as God has been clarifying the calling on his life. Edward has known for years that God would one day call him to Kenya to help care for orphans, specifically children with special needs. We have asked Edward to take on the role of managing Kimbilio and the process of fundraising, assembling a team, and measuring our decisions against the mission and vision of Invest, as well as refining the mission and vision for Kimbilio. God has greatly gifted Edward and we are excited to watch God work through him as he takes on this project.
There will be much more information to come this week and actually all month. November is orphan awareness month so you will be hearing more about Kimbilio and the need for many to rally around the orphaned children in Kenya. We are excited to share more about the land, the architecture process, the board members specifically for Kimbilio, and how you can be involved. Thank you for waiting all month for this!
You can email us with questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Humbled by His Plans,
Nathanael, Kristin, and the Invest Team