Saturday, 29 December 2012

Autumn & Winter

It’s been a while since we have last posted, the last few months have been a busy few not to say typical delays of African timing along the way!

All in all what have we achieved in these last few months?

Progress of renovating and furnishing the house

All the painting and labour work that was needed in the house and the compound has been complete. The guys (Juma, Joseph and James) have been working very hard on getting the house into shape, a lot of work has been done to clear and prepare the compound for several projects too.

A vegetable patch has been planted, so far so good! We are hoping to plant and experiment with lots more! When we have enough resources that will enable us we would like to construct an animal hutch to keep chicken and rabbits which will generate income to the homes as well as bring fresh produce for us to use at the home which will in the long term enable us to save on cost.

Juma unloading donated beds

David accepting the donation of computers from RAMCO

The house is looking in great shape complete with furniture that was made by locals with funds that had been raised, along with generous donations from David and Nancy donating many beds, we have also had a very generous donation of computers from RAMCO for our office, and training courses we plan to run, its also a potential of building relationships with the community and generating possible income in the future. It has been great to see all this come together although it has all been a little slow in the process in getting going! But of course it wouldn’t be Kenya otherwise!

God has really been faithful and provided in so many ways for us to get to the stage we are at, there is often set backs but it has all grown and stretched us so much in our faith and trusting him. It is so easy to worry and to try and work everything out but the greatest peace and comfort is knowing we don’t have to do that as God has told us not to worry about tomorrow, instead we pray and trust him in all our challenges and needs that come our way.

The great news is that after all the work was complete and the furniture arrived; we were able to carry out the inspection, an essential element of the criteria we have to follow and pass required by the government. The inspection went well and we successfully passed which allows us to proceed to the stage of registration, unfortunately the deadline was missed for the completion to take place this year; however we are scheduled to be registered in January 2013, so in the next couple of weeks we should be fully registered in Kenya. The process can take a little long in Kenya which is expected of course, but in the meantime it means we are authorised to take children in. With the schedule we have been given within the next couple of weeks we will be registered which is very exciting news for us!

Over the Christmas period we have had 2 volunteers David and Matt (father and son from Australia) come and stay with us at the home, they have been a great asset assisting and working on many aspects of the house including repairs and jobs around the house which have been a great need, so they have been a really asset to us at this time. We have loved having them stay with us celebrating Christmas, David’s birthday, getting to know more about Free Spirit and exploring Mombasa, it was a great time we shared together.

This is a very short post; lots has been happening but all has been progressing well, and we have achieved a lot in these last few months. It is great to reflect on what has been achieved, we have certainly learnt a lot of patience along the way! It is great to see things coming together, building relationships in the community and growing as a team.

We are praying for 2013; that it may be a year of growth for Free Spirit. A prosperous year in the aid we provide to the children within our care, we pray for great change and provision in helping these needy children that we may see transformation through the work and support receive and provide. May 2013 be a year of hope to many…. 2012 was the year we founded what started from a given vision, may 2013 live out that vision. Please join us in pray and support in helping to change the lives of many through the simplest and greatest act of all LOVE.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Current need

So far we have received some kind donations from people that have allowed us to pay the deposit, the first months rent, and some equipment for the house.

In a bid to raise funds I did a sponsored bungee jump over the River Nile in Uganda, the funds going towards the furnishing and set up of the home in order to take these needy children in ASAP to give them a loving home.

The bungee jump was a real experience for sure, its a little surreal and hard to express the feeling, one minute you feel like your in slow motion flying, the next minute your dropping at an almighty speed touching the water then flipping back up, going back and forth then hanging over the Nile!! I think I lost my heart in the process, the men that come to collect you were laughing, once your out of the boat I just felt my heart racing so fast and my legs felt like jelly and so light headed that I could barely walk! Was for sure an experience and I dont know how I did it as its so high up, higher than buildings, fear tries to get the better of you but I did it in the end! I just know that I had to and I am willing to do anything for these children, and bungee jumping was just one of them!! If you are reading this and would like to sponsor please send us an email at

With the funds we have raised from the bungee jump we have been able to buy all kitchen items, the necessary office items (to start with) cleaning items, gardening equipment, tools, paint, and painting equipment, mattresses and bedding for the staff and other items that are needed in the general care of the home. This has been a great start to fulfilling the needs of the home, and would like to say a really big thank you to everyone who has supported the home so far, or sponsored the bungee jump, we appreciate your help in setting up the home! So thank you once again, please do keep in touch and up to date with the progress of the home, and please do pray for us!

Other donations would include a donation from Nairobi Sports House who have donated sports balls including basketball, rugby, football and volleyball! This will be a great asset to the children, so we really appreciate this donation allowing us to teach sports and keep the children physically fit!

We are waiting to hear back on a donation of office/computer equipment so we are praying the company will come to support us, so please pray for this as we are really in need!

Areas of need:

Our need right now is as follows, we are in need in the following areas:

To completely furnish the house:  

- To purchase 12 double decker beds with ladders (bunk beds) 
- To purchase 24 mattresses & pillows 
- To purchase all bedding - pillow cases, sheets.And 24 towels
- To purchase 24 mosquito nets 
- To purchase 2 large dinning tables & 4 benches 
- To purchase 1 large table for studies and other activities with 2 benches 
- To purchase an office desk & 2 chairs 
- To purchase a shelving unit 
- To purchase filing system, and 30 + files 
- To purchase materials for the compound, and to repair areas of the house 
- To purchase clothes, shoes, under wear, tooth brushes, etc all items children will need
- To purchase equipment for education, recreational activities 
 - To purchase bibles - english & Swahili

Funds for:

- To raise funds for 12 months rent 
- To raise funds for 12 months food 
- To raise funds for children's health care, medical funds 
- To raise funds for school fees, educational programs 
-  To raise funds for staff wages 

To gain awareness of the home, to gain support from individuals, companies, churches and many more! We want to work with the community, the way christ intended for us to work together. To support and help one another especially the poor and the needy who are less unfortunate and in need.

We would like to: 

- Host regular fundraisers - through different supporters, individuals who are willing
- Gain long term sponsors for each of the children
- Sponsors to the home as a whole
- Regular donations for those who are unable to help long term
- To raise funds for future projects, investments into long term vision of building our own home, income generating projects for sustainability! Much more !

Highlighted in red are our main needs, the ones we need to fulfill ASAP in order to take these children in and care for them properly!

If you would like to support, like to host an event, raise awareness of know of anything that maybe able to help us as a home we would love to hear from you

Free Spirit needs the help of the community, the way God intended it to be, to help the poor and needy those who are less unfortunate and unable to provide for themselves, we need your help as the community to help these children. We ask for your prayers, and pray that God will fulfill our every need. 

Website to be launched soon!!!!!


The Current state... 

So on Monday we got the house (13th August) its when the real work begun, we have so much to do! For myself especially so with traveling to the UK in just some days so we got stuck right in straight away.

On Monday we went to buy some basic items and most of the kitchen items we would require at the start of the home, and begun on cleaning the house.

On Tuesday was when the real work begun; in the morning I went to buy paint and cleaning materials ready for the working day ahead! We were doing a deep thorough clean throughout the whole house, scrubbing and washing everything insight from walls, floors, to windows to cupboards! Everything within the house we removed so much dirt, the house was filthy! It made such a difference. With the help of the boys from the home (previously mentioned) Sammy and Abraham, many hands made light work! After spending the whole morning cleaning going into the afternoon we begun on the painting. The boys, James and Juma (our employees) begun painting the bedrooms, really working as a team, painting one room at a time together. Whilst they were working hard we begun making chapatis for lunch giving them more man power, to keep up the work!

The guys really worked hard, achieving a lot and really making a difference to the house already. 

Unpacking the new items

Abraham hard at work

Sammy & Abraham painting

James, Juma, Sammy painting bedroom 3

Wednesday reached; the guys carried on painting with a very early start to the day to get much done, meanwhile myself and James headed to town to buy more things for the house, we bought the remaining kitchen items we required, cleaning, garden equipment, tools, household tools, general care items, and office equipments, we then headed back to the house. James got stuck in with the painting; whilst I washed and set up all the new items in their place in the house, going through all the accounts, setting up the systems in place for the management and running of the house, going through everything that needs to be done over the next coming weeks in the house in terms of repairs, preparation of the house and compound. Basically making sure everything was in place before having to leave the house in the very good and capable hands of my employees! A lot was achieved much painting was done, went through everything with the workers, all was set in place, I trust and know that my workers will do a great job and fulfill things to a very high standard when I am away, and we will also be in constant contact through email, phone, Skype so I have no doubts all will be well, and that I'm just at the end of a call or on standby with anything they need help or assistance with, anything that comes up really, and to receive regular updates, positive things also! I believe the set up will work well!

It has been very hard to walk away and to leave the house and everything in the stage we are currently at, as I would love to be there to be part of the set up and seeing the progress, but I know I am leaving it in capable hands, and I trust it all to God knowing it will be well, knowing this is home and project, so he will guide it.

Please pray for Juma, James, and Joseph, and the team as they under go all the work setting up the house, preparing everything for the children, and to really prayer for them as they receive the first children, your prayers over them and the work they are doing will really be appreciated. May God be with them at this time and bless them, bless their work to appreciated and bring fruit through the home this will be to the children.

Further updates of the progress of the renovation work of the house will follow!

One step forward, two steps back

The House!

With all the plans, aims and objectives in order it was time to put things in to action, first on the list was to find a house!

When we first begun looking for houses in March time we begun looking in the area of Ukunda which is on the South Coast of Mombasa, we set out with a budget and the criteria that we had to meet for the children's department.

As we begun looking for houses in Ukunda we begun to see a repeating pattern of not being able to find a house with all the requirements that we needed to meet, with no communal area, no flowing water, electricity, not a good location etc. Most of the time this was because they were Swahili houses and its hard to find communal areas in such houses, and the owner wants to charge you by the room which works out to be more expensive. You also face the problem where the houses are currently occupied with tenants so you have to wait up to 3 months if the landlord would want to rent to you he would have to give the tenants notice to move out, waiting for 3 months was really not an option for us. After looking at many houses for a few weeks we kept finding the reoccurring problem of such houses we were coming across, and many houses that required a lot of renovation work, or were very expensive so after much searching we decided to widen our options and look into other options of looking for houses on the North coast of Mombasa.

Could this be the one?

After looking at many houses in all parts of Mombasa covering many parts of Mombasa we still found the same problems we found with houses in Ukunda. After meeting a friend who also runs a children's home; he happened to direct us to a house he knew was available in Bombolulu and was once used as a children's home, with that in mind he then contacted the agent who let us go and view the house the house was the best one we had found so far it was very large and spacious with many rooms, and good facilities, it was a private self contained house with 3 floors it was not what we were first looking for but it was in very good condition and seemed to have everything we were looking for. The  landlord then told us of the asking fee which was very expensive, and he wasnt willing to go down in price that much that would help us. so at that point the house didn't become a possibility with being so expensive for us, so we decided to leave it. A week passed and the house stuck on my mind and with not finding anything else we decided to go for the house even though it was more than double our budget but at the time we see it as our best option!
So we decided to get in touch with the landlord and talk about the house, the possibility of lowering the rent, logistics of the house etc we then arranged another meeting where we were given the opportunity to view the house again seeing the maintenance work and renovations that would need doing, deposit required and all the other information we would need.
The landlord told us they would do the renovations and all the painting work that would need doing, he was then saying they would like the rent to be paid yearly! Which was not even possible, so he then requested the rent to be paid quarterly with a 6 month deposit! He basically wanted 300,000 ksh deposit which was not even reasonable! I explained that as we are starting out its not possible to pay all those funds in one go but he continued to be persistent with the agreement until we negotiated that it would be a 2 month deposit and then we pay the months rent upon moving in! The landlord was then claiming he would need the 300,000 ksh to do the painting! I just laughed and told him painting didn't cost such an amount so I would paint it myself for 10% of the cost!
The landlord told us we would need to meet with his brother to go through the contract and details, and to move forward with the deposit, so a week later we meet with the brother who was the director of a tea company, it turned out that they wern't brothers and this man was not the landlord but the agent, and that the the man we were meeting with was the real landlord! In this meeting the landlord and agent was just disagreeing on everything; the landlord wanted the renovations to be done before we moved in and then we pay the very high costing deposit in cash to him, but the agent wanted us to pay the money first the set up, they kept arguing about the way forward. The agent became very annoyed about the situation; the set up all seemed a little odd to be honest.
That week the agent kept calling asking about the deposit, he was then beginning to claim he was doing the renovations, being a little suspicious of his actions I sent my colleague to pass by the house to see if the renovations were taking place, when reaching the house he discovered the renovations were taking place but there was a Masai guy there who informed us that he was the new security guard and a family was moving in that day, yet the agent was still telling us to pay the fees that day! We discovered the agent was playing us to make money out of us and we were never going to have the house. In all it seemed to be such a blessing that we discovered it when we did before it was too late, or handing over a very large amount of cash, but it all seemed a little discouraging. We now didn't have long to find a house before I was heading back to the UK, it just felt like things were against us but i just felt a real peace that we never got the house. Through the process I didn't feel at peace like it was the right house so I was praying about it, and that God would guide me and show me the right house, and close the door to this house if it wasn't the right one. I just felt such a relief when I knew we were not having the house and I believe it was the right things, as after all the house was expensive and just felt we were settling it for convenience, I had hope we would find the right house, that there is still time and it will work out in time, knowing God has it in hand, and its not my timing but his timing.

Finding the one...

The search begun again looking for houses, after knowing the location of the other house was not where I wanted to be and that I wanted to be in a quieter more rural area, or an area close to the beach further from town and where these street children grew up we headed back to South Coast looking for houses in Ukunda again and around the Likioni, Shelley area.
After many weeks of searching; traveling back and forth from Limuru to Mombasa we were coming to many dead ends and not much hope of finding a house that holds potential. Then one week looking in the Shelley area; with a friend of my colleagues who begun helping us to find houses was when a friend of his living in the area told us he knew of some houses, and he especially knew of one house that was currently an orphanage could be a possibility for us, we would just have to persuade them to move out, my instant reaction was it not being a possibility at all I didn't children to move out of what was there home for my sake as it defeats the object of what we are trying to do. A week later I meet with the guy again to look for houses and he lead me back to this guy again who came with his friend working at the local shop, to go and look at the house where the orphanage was to see what I thought. We went to see the house which was in a good location, it was a good sized house it had a real family feel to it which is what we wanted to make the home like, it had good facilities, a compound with a brick wall built all the way around for good security and privacy and had a lot of potential, although I still wasn't too sure.
I then spoke to the lady running the home who was the current tenant running the house and she actually informed me that she has found land where she has built the new home for the children and is planning on moving out anytime it could be anytime from a week to 2 months, more like 2 months though so it seemed like it wasn't going to be a possibility with the time frame that she had given, so we decided to leave. The guys then tried to persuade me to pressure the people and see if they would move out earlier then it could work, it just didn't seem possible at the current time. The situation then seemed hopeless like we now wouldn't find a house, as we weren't left with much other option.

A couple of days later I decided to go and find the guys to see if they could get me in touch with the landlord to see if things could move forward and it would be a possibility, the guy at the shop was the one I found so he told me he knew the agent and that he would call him to come so we could discuss the way forward. When he arrived we spoke of the way forward, so we went to the house again as I wanted to see the house again before making any decisions. Once seeing the house again I saw a lot of potential and felt it could really be the right place for setting up a home especially seeing the children in the current orphanage living there. We spoke with the lady again (current tenant) and she said she is willing to move out but we need to give her time, the agent said to give him a week and that he would be in contact. A week passed and he never initiated contact so my colleague went to find the agent to see what was going on! He told us to wait and give them a week and they would let us know what was going on, to give them time, again another week passed and nothing so we chased them up again informing them we needed an answer as we had many people also waiting on us, but still no answer. The next day the agent called asking me to go for a meeting to talk on the way forward so we went that today, when we reached the current tenant running the home and her partner was there, the guy from the shop and the agent. We negotiated; talked on the terms and conditions of changing over the lease to my name, the way it would work etc and that by the next week she would move out, we would go to the landlord to change things over officially and then the house would be ours. The agent and the other guy then spoke up saying they were to be paid agent fees of which I refused knowing they were trying to get money out of me! They wanted 20,000 ksh! It was laughable to be honest, they were arguing their case, I was arguing back also that I was not paying such agent fees as I was no informed, I never signed up to a service or asked them for their services of finding me a house they were brought in through a friend and was doing of good will and that I knew of the house before them, and if they are the agent then the landlord would pay them. They started pushing on the factor that is a culture thing and I dont know! When there is no such thing, I'm not that easily fooled, but instead they just want money! When we meet with the landlord he doesn't even know of them, they are not hired by him and says there is no agent fees so they are just trying to con me out of money!!
Over the next few days we went back and forth meeting with the landlord to sign over the lease, on the Saturday it was finally sorted, the house was now in our hands! On the Monday they moved out and we were handed over the house and also finally moved in! On Monday 13th August 2012 is when we officially owned the house, we now have a house, its becoming real and the plans are taking shape!!

After months of trying to find a house, we finally had one it was just days before I was leaving to go back to the UK but it was all in good timing! God is good! This house really has a good feel about it, and I know its the right house that God has intended for us! Now we have so much work to do!

When we arrived on the Monday the house was in such a mess; I was really unhappy with how they had left the house so dirty, they had really left it in such a mess. Now they had moved was when we begun seeing the problems in the house. The whole house needed such a thorougher deep clean throughout, painting, so many repairs, attention to rusting, broken things, the compound also needs a lot of work and attention it has been left in such a huge mess! So much work to do, best get to it!

The New House

The house is located In Majengo Mapya, Likoni area and just some metres from Shelley beach!

Living area/office area
Front of the House




One of the bathrooms - ensuite bathroom to master bedroom

Monday, 20 August 2012

The channel of helping the need

Whilst all that was going on with the organisation I was to partner with, I had several meetings with a church in Mombasa that I will be looking to partner with. In 2010 when I came to Kenya I spent time at the church, and the ministry they work with for street boys. After praying about the situation, the children I should work with and who I should work with the church came to mind so I made some contacts and arranged a meeting with David who runs the ministry. I really want to work together with the community, involving them in the projects, I believe this is where the most impact is made, and where a project can really benefit along with helping and impacting many within the community on a larger scale. Helping the problem at the root, rather than just helping a few.

After meeting with David and discussing much about our aims and objectives we came to an agreement that we would work together. We would work together in terms of the children; taking children into the home of Free Spirit that David and his ministry have been working very closely with for a long period of time, they have been running the ministry for 12 years so they have a lot of experience working with such children. Every Sunday they share the gospel, they provide them with a meal and offer medical treatment to anyone that is in need, this program has been running for sometime and allowed them to build relationships with these boys, especially those who come on a regular basis for sometime they have wanted to help these children further but they have not been able to, they are always looking for new ways of how they can provide the great needs of these needy children.
As the need is so great they have begun working with girls and street families also.

My long term aim is to work with the mum's of these street families working where the need is, the centre of the cause, as if you just help a handful of children your not helping the need, you need to go to the root of the problem to really make a difference and trying to minimise the numbers that are living on the streets. Empowering these women in sex education, teaching them skills that will  educate them, and allow them to gain some kind of work that will help ease these women off the streets,working closely with them, and empowering them in skills to one day be in a position that they are able to provide and care for their children in the right environment. It will be looked upon that we wont be looking after their children forever, but more a helping hand, and that we havent just taken your child so you are now free to do as you please or to repeat the same case, that as we take your children you will be encouraged to come and volunteer (at least once a week) and help out with your child when they are at the home.

We will be working with children from all different backgrounds that are currently on the streets including orphans, children from street families, children that have been displaced from their families, etc we are willing to help where the need is knowing that the child wants a home and help as with street children you cant force them into a structured environment that they are not used to as otherwise they will just run away and feel forced, it has to be their choice, they have to want to be helped otherwise it will not work.

At the beginning my heart was to help the youth on the streets and it still is, but with the youth it isn't possible to put them into a home as they are so used to living freely, living their own way they would never desire to go into a structured home with any rules, they have used to living their own way so in order to help them you have to work around this and do what fits into their needs best. The aim is to work with youth teaching and empowering them with skills that will allow them to gain skills, to get some kind of work which will allow them to earn a living, to try and ease them out of their lifestyle off the streets gradually. It is hard as the population living on the streets perspective of the community is not good they feel rejected, unwanted, unaccepted as the community view them as a waste of space, criminals, thieves, worthless so they have no desire to become part of the community for the way they are treated or the way they have been perceived. They just aren't acknowledged in the way other human beings are, but God acknowledges them, he loves them and they are so precious to him, they are his children and it breaks his heart to see his children in this way, we are called to look after the poor, Free Spirit aims to fulfill this, "breaking my heart for what breaks his".

Thursday, 2 August 2012

One persons suffering is another mans gain

After meeting with the children's officer Mary in Limuru; (area of where I am currently based) she made the procedure all seem very easy I have to say, she directed me to Mombasa DCO (District Children's officer) which was where I was heading next. I traveled to Mombasa and meet  with the DCO who gave me further information, and recommended I partner with a program that was already working with children, we meet that day and I was happy to work with them and see what their work was about, all seeming very positive at this point.
I then met with a leader of a street children's ministry of a church that I went to, and was involved in their ministry when I first came to Kenya in 2010. After playing on my mind for a long time I set a meeting, we talked about how we could work together, and again all seemed very positive. Although it appeared they had different views to the DCO and others I talked to, so seemed I had a lot of decision to make after that weekend.....

Over the next week or so I met with founders of children's homes - orphanages, NGO's, organisations specifically working with street children to gather as much information as I could as the information given by the DCO is very little, and very little guidance. The government leave you to it basically until you are ready to be inspected. From gathering this information and advice I then begun putting together my mission and policy statements for the home, my objectives etc, along with setting up many systems that would be used in the home! There is so much paper work, so many things need to be recorded! I was going to work and every night I would work on getting all the systems and files I needed done, when ever I had a spare moment, after about a month I managed to have all of that done. 
At this time I had also found my trustees Maureen and Joseph, Joseph will also be managing the home whilst I'm away.
A couple called David & Nancy who volunteer with my company and just moved to Kenya became very supportive of the home and what I was setting up, and have continued to be very much so they have been great. They linked me to a contact of theirs in England, Alan of whom would be able to send over a container of furniture and items for the home, the  only issue is that we will need £4,000 to get the container shipped over to us here in Kenya. This has put us on hold as we have not been able to raise these funds at the moment, we are trusting God and still hopeful for this as it would be such a blessing to receive all these items that would furnish our home.
So please pray for this and we raise the funds we need to.

After much communication I met up with the organisation (due to certain reason I cannot name them) that I was looking to partner with, we had been in communication and see that the best way forward was to see the projects they work with in order to move forward and see how we can work together. 
One of the projects they work with is helping street people get ID's and Birth Certificates especially those over the age of 18 which is a big issue and requirement in Kenya. We went to the local police station where lots of people were gathered around waiting for their waiting cards, which took a while, at this point I was just very anxious as to how and why things were being dealt with the way that they were, many people were staring at me and after a while begun to gradually come to me asking for money.
Their next project that we went to was a dump site as it was said, when we got there it wasn't quite an actual dump site, but still the living conditions were not great or to a good standard. This was government land where around 2-3,000 street people had built their own houses. When we arrived there was people crowding around me and following me, we walked from the top of what was like a big hill into the middle where there was a lot of people gathering around and watching the council and police demolish their houses at this present times things were very calm. However this all begun to change... The guy who ran the organisation (the one I was looking to partner with) went up in front of everyone, and begun talking to them. I didn't know what he happened to be saying but with in minutes it all begun to kick off, people were stoning the police, people with bulldozers, people of all ages were involved mums with small children on their backs came running. People then begun to turn and gather around me, and was like people were mad at me. It turned out that the person buying the land was a "Mzungu" (a white person) so they assumed that it was me. My friend who was with me took my hand, and told me we needed to get out as things were going to get out of hand. As we climbed the big hill up so many people were running, some following us throwing rocks we reached the top and so many people gathered round, people on the other side of the wall were then throwing rocks and people were coming with machete knives and guns. At that point we just run for our lives and I can honestly say I don't know how we got out of their alive at one stage!

The guy then came to me saying " I bet you haven't experienced something like that before! I bet someone is going to die today laughing, so what are you going to do to help these people" I just couldn't believe him! With that we then begun to make our way to the next project.... The real dump site.

After a long an bumpy ride heading out of Mombasa towards Voi we finally begin entering the dumpsite which covers acres of land, with around 2-3,000 people living within this dump site. Pure rubbish (garbage) piled up for far, the smell was horrific you could smell it through the car with the windows shut. We parked up and many people begun gathering around, one person trying to find some rubbish for me to sit on (the cleanest piece of cupboard he could find). I was then taken to see some of the homes these people and families live in. We walked across this dump site, walking on all kinds of waste it was just an experience and scene that can be described and the smell was so horrific it was beginning to affect my breathing and I felt like I was going to vomit, but I held it together and just thought of how people are living in such an environment and such conditions. We then reached the first home which these people had try to make shelter from pure waste, we went along to a few homes seeing how these people were living, and to see they were eating the waste, or any food waste they could find, small children running across the burning waste with scars and open wounds all over their bodies. This was home to these people, this was their lives, which so many of us can never relate to.
The impact this had on me I can't even put into words, and for the guy to say to me "are you satisfied, have you had enough? or you want to see more?" As if I was at a tourist site! 

Many of the men that came to us when we arrived continued to follow us pulling on me and saying many things throughout, high or drunk. A man appeared who was very well dressed and spoke very good english, claimed to be living within the site and was demanding for me to take his children to school and asking for 20,000 KSH (Kenyan Shillings). At this I then see the guy (who I was to partner with) giving money handouts to all these men, this really made me disappointed at seeing this within this situation. As we were leaving the dump site the guy said to me " so what are you going to do to help these people"
I then become annoyed and angered at his behaviour; this guy who lived on the streets giving money handouts knowing that this will never help these peoples situations, but instead add to it, or these men will just use it to get drunk or high, money is never a solution to helping these people.

Driving back he then asked me 'so how are you going to help these people?' I then just told him I never liked his behaviour and the way he addressed these issues, it was not right taking a person of my colour skin to such a place, going to peoples homes allowing them to think that I am their saviour, and that I have come to take them from these and pay for them for the rest of their life! I told him how what he has done by giving money handouts and giving people the impression I would do the same it only adds and causes more harm to their situation it doesn't help the problem, or empower people, and just builds on the 'mzungu mentality' of they can fix it with money, all our problems are solved!
He then begun demanding help for an office, saying he can then help these people, after leaving him he then sends me a txt saying 'if you think what you have seen today is bad, its not we have burried such children' I could just see through what he was doing he wanted to create such a bad picture of these desperate suffering children, and all these needs to make me feel so bad that I would give a very large money handout! Looking at the day begun to realise it was all a set up, none of these places were his projects there was nothing he was doing to help these people but instead using them to make money and to better himself, saying he is helping street kids changing lives and how his life is so changed but its just him taking all this glory, using people in such a way I felt so disgusted at his behaviour! For sometime he would keep contacting me with his demands, and for him to be known in the press for his great 'non existent' works and raising money and it was just going no where. I am glad I got out of this before I was in it, sadly this happens so much in Africa people using such circumstances and children to make money for themselves, its not the first time I have seen it happen. It has taught me so much, and learnt so much about the people we are in contact with and how people are easily lead astray and believe such people. I just hope one day justice will be done, and such people will not get away with using the poor and vulnerable, and Gods orphans for their own gain.

But from it all what I can see is that there is so many children suffering in such dire situations, they really need help, they need God, they need to be loved and cared and given the basic needs every child is entitled to and deserves, to be taken from their suffering.

Seeing this with my own eyes it made me more determined to help such children, no matter what comes my way, I know that I cant give up, these children need hope, they need life, they need God to come and rescue them, I believe God has given me the heart to do this work for him, therefore I know all things are possible through him.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Background to forming Free Spirit (Part 2)

After my trip to Kenya in 2011, I began getting many prophecies about being a mum to Africa, and to the broken, being involved in work like Heidi Baker, really working with the broken and the needy and so on. There were many that came up along the way that really made me know that Africa was where my heart is, and to work with the poor but also because God put it there. Reading about mission work and working with the poor stirred me, grew my passion and made me eager to build God's Kingdom, and to see many great things happen, for lives to be transformed, I wanted that, even if it meant going to great lengths to achieve that! 

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners." Isaiah 61:1

For the next 10 months God grew my passion and heart for Kenya so much through the work we were doing with the charity for the boys in Mombasa, and also within my course. As part of my university course (Tourism Management) I have a placement year where I am required to go and work in the industry for a year, I always wanted to do my placement year abroad, Australia was always my goal but after coming back from Kenya that all changed! I came back determined to do my placement year in Africa, or Kenya especially, I searched so hard to find one, emailing and sending letters to many companies in Kenya, but I heard nothing. I then had an interview with a placement in Mozambique but that also fell through, as well as a placement in Ecuador. My friends by this time though I was way out of my league and were telling me I need to accept that I wont be going and apply for “normal” placements in the UK like all the other people in my course, time was running out people were getting placements on my course so I begun to apply for UK placements, but I never got nothing back, not even an interview, I then knew it wasn’t right and the door was being closed, I had faith and just knew I had to find a placement in Kenya! I just had to go back I was so determined! I then happened to go for a weekend away with the CU and got talking to a friend and she told me she had a cousin in Kenya who worked for a tourism company and told me to get in contact with him, of which I did but never really got a reply. After a couple of months I was put in touch with his wife, she emailed being interested; we had Skype interviews etc and then the waiting begun which just killed me! I was told that I would get an answer the following day, but 2 weeks had passed and I heard nothing, I then was so frustrated I just called out to God saying I want to have an answer and know by tomorrow. The next morning I checked my emails nothing…again! I was like, I knew it! Then like an hour later I checked again, and there it was an offer to come and work their company for 6 weeks, God answered my pray, it was really happening I was going to Kenya!! Everyone was so surprised and couldn’t believe it, after being so discouraged I knew to keep having faith and it really happened. I then faced problems at university of it being approved, people worried I wasn’t going to a good job with a good salary like everyone else, it was dangerous etc all the rest of it as well as it being Christian! But I trusted in God that he provided this placement, and that it would all work out. And it did. I was off to Kenya!

I was to be that I was only meant to be with the company for 6 months, and I would have to find another placement elsewhere but within a couple of weeks my company were so happy with me that they made me the offer of working with them for a year which I was more than happy to accept! God really had it all in hand, and provided me with what was the most incredible year of growing in God, his heart and my heart and passion for the needy. Really learning how to develop the right principles of helping people, and the Kenyan community in particular which has really been achieved with seeing the theory and knowledge put into practice with the number of projects we work with, and the problems that occur along the way. Really understanding development and how to empower the community to a larger effect. It can’t be put into words of how much I have learnt and gained for what is being built in me for the future.

During my time in the first 6 months I really felt my love for children grow and became so deep within my heart, people telling me how amazing I was with the children it was a shocking statement to hear, from having hated children all my life until God changed that in 2010 when I came to Kenya and spent time with the boys at the children home. God gave me such a love for them was where it begun, growing to really love children and wanting to fight for the rights of children giving them what they were entitled to, my heart was breaking for children especially those in less unfortunate circumstances.

When I went back home in December (2011, after 6 months in Kenya) I felt something being stirred in me about starting a home but I thought it was a long shot and such a big idea that was impossible and it wouldn’t be until way in the future if it was to be. When I came back I felt really stirred and having such compassion for street children. I was also reading the book “Compelled by Love” at the time and it really stirred me wanting to have that passion and faith with God, being about the poor I knew it was my passion to work with the poor and yearned to see the power of God break out amongst the poor in Kenya. I then kept getting ‘break my heart for what breaks yours’ it was like God was really breaking my heart for street children. It was then that I knew God was putting it on my heart to start a home for street children, but how it was just impossible so I just pushed it down, but I just found myself having this yearning inside of me and just thinking about it all the time. One lunch time I was talking to Maureen who I work with and she said you have all this in your hands, so what are you waiting for! It then begun! Going for endless meetings, gathering information, making plans and so that is how it all begun!

At the home in August 2011. The boys have truly impacted me more than words can say, through these boys Jesus has taught me what an everlasting and unconditional love really is. These boys will always hold such a special place in my life.