Since it is early in the new year, I suppose I should start it off as expected with a final report of everything that happened in 2016. But I’m not looking back right now, I’m looking ahead.
Don’t get me wrong…2016 was a stellar year for Olalo of Hope-Kenya and well worth a look back at all that was accomplished. We gained donors from all over the world and got more kids educated, fed and medical help for scores of people.
With the onset of 2017, we stumbled upon a little two-and-a half child, Shantel, whose legs are so horribly scarred, swollen and turning black, she could no longer walk. Sonko notices her as he visits a friend in a town 4 hours away from Oyugis, and immediately investigates to see what is happening.
Abandoned at six months old by her mother, no one knows who her father is, so a neighbor just took her in as one of her own 2 years ago. Though we don’t know the circumstances of the neighbor yet- how many children of her own she has or her financial circumstance, but with over 50% of the population living in poverty, most likely the family falls into that category.
As evening approaches us here in Oregon, in just a few hours a new day begins in Kenya. Sonko will bring her to the hospital in hopes of a diagnosis and treatment that will bring her healing.
This sweet child has been through a lot in her short life. She will probably have many more experiences that we here in the U.S. cannot even imagine. The very sad thing is, and it rips into my soul, is that there are dozens, hundreds and probably thousands of children, babies, that suffer due to their poverty and terrible living conditions not only in Kenya, but around the world. This misery is not confined only to the very young, but to all people of any age steeped in poverty.
As one small non-profit out of Oregon working in Oyugis, Kenya, we could never help them all, even if we knew about each one. But I am so very thankful that because of our faithful supporters we can help those we come across.
So, for 2017, my hopes and my prayers are that we can continue to offer help, hope and relief to each new situation our awesome team in Kenya comes across...that our support base will continue to grow and allow us to both continue and expand our work.
There’s plenty to be done, and plenty to be thankful for.
As we begin 2017, helping Shantel is just the beginning; making an impact on the life of a two-and-a-half-year-old is a good way to begin the year.
May we be blessed enough to find others in need and have the resources and ability to help.