Please join me in praying for The Home of Peace Children’s Home in Kenya. Read below how God called Ray and Marilyn White of England to devote themselves this ministry and about some of the many awesome things God has done through them. Don’t miss the prayer requests and photos at the bottom of the page.
From Dr. Ray White
I have been asked to share a little about our work running the Home of Peace Children’s Home in Kenya from Somerset. Sadly, in Kenya, as in many third world countries, there are areas of extreme poverty. Often the ones who suffer most are the children.
Over twenty years ago a very nice Kenyan man died leaving a wife and three children. The wife decided that she could not afford to feed the children so arranged for them to be taken to the nearest large town and just dumped on the side of a street. These children had only the clothes they were wearing, so they survived by begging and stealing.
The youngest sadly died. Helped by other street children, his body was taken and discarded on the town rubbish dump. Somehow the other two boys survived. A few years later they were able to get into a Christian children’s home, where they remained until they were eighteen years old.
The oldest, Erick, was determined to help other suffering children, so he returned to the small village where he had been born and started taking in any children who had no home. He had no income so took any jobs that came along—jobs like climbing into the toilet pits and digging out the muck when they got too full. He also begged for food for the children.
Time for Us to Get Involved
Marilyn, my wife, and I knew nothing about this as it was happening. But I was on the church leadership team, and our pastor had been going to Kenya for about nine years to preach at several rural churches and to help in various projects. In 2009 she asked me to join her to share the preaching because I was from Africa. Marilyn couldn’t go because she’d had major surgery a few months before. My pastor, some church leaders, and I visited many different places, sharing the Bible with them.
One place we visited was this small place set up by Erick, who was then twenty years old. Pastor had known him since he was eleven, when he was rescued from living as a street child. The conditions in this place were awful. Ninety children were crammed into two small rooms with only a few mattresses on the floor. No toilets—they used a field. No water supply or electricity and no regular income to buy food.
When I got back home and shared this with Marilyn, we prayed and did our best to raise money for food for those children. We had just started Christian House Sitters, so we sent out an appeal to all of our members, deciding that all income from Christian House Sitters would go toward these children.
A few weeks after Christmas, Marilyn said that the Lord had spoken to her and told her that she must take on responsibility for this children’s home. The culture and area were very similar to the mission station in Zimbabwe where she’d spent all her school holidays for five years while she was at boarding school staying with the missionaries and helping them. During that time she had developed a real love for the African people and the children
It was hard raising money for the work. Marilyn also had to train the staff, most of whom had no education. This to be done by phone and by e-mail. After five years our income was enough to register as a UK charity. TLC Childrens Trust UK Charity Number 1156786.
By then we had managed to build toilets with washrooms and a nursery room, to supply beds, bedding, and mosquito nets for all the children, and to send all the school-age children to school with uniforms, school fees and books.
In 2015 we had our biggest challenge as the Government in Kenya said that they were going to close any home that did not meet their high requirements. We had to build more washrooms and two new dormitories with staff accommodation. Also a first aid room/sick bay, an office/counselling room, and a furnished dining room.
We put up security fencing to keep out both human and animal predators and set up a farm to supply some of the basic food. We installed a water pumping system from the river half a mile away and a storage system to provide a reliable water supply for the home and installed electricity in the Home.
We had to have faith, which was hard as the money was only provided at the last minute for everything that had to be done. But God did miracles and the home was officially registered.
God Continues to Bless
Since then we have built two new boys’ dormitories with staff accommodations, a
laundry, and a study room for the children. We have a kitchen with commercial size gas cookers and we now also have fridges. We have a wonderful kitchen team who produce more than 6,000 meals every month. Our seamstress makes all the clothes, school uniforms, and
staff uniforms, saving a lot of money.
There is a local Leadership Team made up of the manager, social worker, administrator, and senior house mother. They all work under the overall leadership of Marilyn, who is in daily contact.
Erick, the young man I mentioned at the beginning, is the administrator. His brother Samuel was a very angry young man, which is understandable given the circumstances of their early lives. When Samuel was growing up, he wanted nothing to do with God or with needy children. He trained as an electrician and a plumber and set up in business 300 miles away in Nairobi. But God had other plans for Samuel.
Three years ago, while visiting Home of Peace, he gave his life to Jesus. Since then he visits regularly and does all our electrical and plumbing work free of charge. He has now joined the local board of trustees. All the staff are registered for the Government Health Care and Pension Scheme. Since it is a registered home, all the children were investigated by the Department of Children’s Services and their placement is kept under review by the court.
Some have parents who died as a result of AIDS, typhoid, malaria, and other diseases, leaving them homeless and fending for themselves because their home villages were too poor to take on extra hungry children. Some were taken from their villages in the bush and dumped in the town of Siaya because there was no one to look after them. We are talking about children as young as four years old. Once in Siaya they were simply left and had to beg or steal to survive. Others were expected to care for sick parents or grandparents, having very little money for food or clothes.
Home of Peace is a happy home for these children and provides everything they need. It is a place where they are safe, loved, and looked after. The children are encouraged to do their best at school, and we have a variety of sport and activities to get involved in.
I am the treasurer and we send out money twice a month. Every penny is accounted for and we get receipts for everything.
God has called on every bit of training Marilyn and I have had—me as a pastor and psychologist and Marilyn as a children’s counsellor and counselling supervisor and experienced business manager.
The Needs Continue
The needs continue. On the February 26 the court committed a fifteen-year-old girl to Home of Peace. She needed help because her father had repeatedly raped her. This happened after her mother had run away, leaving her at home with the father together with other three siblings, all boys. The girl went to report the case to a friend, a young man, working in one of the companies in Siaya, but the man never took any action. Instead, he took her as his wife, which was illegal because of her age. The father reported to the police that this man had taken her as his wife, and he was arrested. The father ran away after he had realized he is also guilty.
She is receiving counselling from our social worker, working under the close supervision of Marilyn, who was a counselling supervisor and has training and experience in this area of counselling. Naturally this new girl needed everything for secondary school, and we thank God for providing the £400. However, before she could go to her first class, Kenya closed all schools due to the CoronaVirus.
The Corona Crisis has presented many challenges but through it all, we are seeing God do amazing things
You can keep up to date by ‘liking’ our Facebook page and by visiting our website, where there are lots of pictures, copies of past newsletters, and an opportunity for you to join the mailing list for our quarterly newsletters.
- Protection for our 16 staff and 56 children at Home of Peace, especially during this Covid-19 pandemic
- Provision of the money needed to feed all the children and staff (we provide over 6,000 meals a month)
- Funds to pay the staff, cover education, medical expenses, fuel, etc. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic our income from Christian House Sitters is down as people can’t travel. All CHS income goes to Home of Peace so this is a problem. At the same time people who normally give are finding things hard because they are not working due to the pandemic.
- Wisdom for Marilyn and me as we lead and run the home from England. We are in daily contact and oversee everything.
- That what is done at Home of Peace will transform the lives for these children. From a life of despair, begging, and no education to a life knowing the love of God, feeling cared for, educated, and able to eventually take their place as productive members of society. We believe some will go on to do great things for God.