Why I Love OVC Kenya

Many of you may have seen the photo of one of our OVC Kenya children that I posted last week. Since I am friends on Facebook with several of the teachers at Happy Day, word got back around to Gachoki (pronounced gu-sho-kee) that her picture was posted online. Today, Gachoki approached me and said, “Teacher, I have heard that my picture is on Facebook. Will you show it to me?” 

To Put Partnership Simply
So Gachoki and I sat down for a few moments, and I loaded Facebook on my computer. While we were waiting, I showed her a couple of photos of Grace Church and explained to her the partnership between Grace and the OVC Kenya program.

“See, this is my church in the U.S. We are working with Pastor Kabaru and Director Mary to help sponsor children in Kenya who cannot pay their school fees on their own.” Since this was not the first time Gackoki and I had discussed her part in the program, I knew she was well-aware that the reason she has never been kept home from school is because an advocate in America is helping her mother to pay tuition.

We Care About Her Story
Gachoki began to smile when her picture loaded on the screen. I told her, “I posted this picture here, because I want people in the U.S. to know about you. I want them to know your story. I wish that all of them could come to Kenya to meet you, but most of them cannot. When I post pictures of OVC children, my church can get to know you all. Is it ok that I did that?” With a laugh, she said that she didn’t mind at all that her photo had been posted.

For me, it was a sweet moment. I spend a good bit of my time thinking about how to share and communicate with advocates who support the kids in Kenya. However, this was an opportunity to tell Gachoki that there are people halfway across the world that are interested in her life, in her hopes, and in her needs.

When We Support Older Children
We are often drawn to support the young children in these programs. Pictures of their small frames and chubby cheeks warm our hearts. But, I think there is real value in supporting children that are old enough to understand what they are being given. They are aware of the struggles their parents have. They have seen some of their friends drop out of school because the expenses were simply too high. Their needs are all too real to them. And so, they know a valuable gift when they are given one. They see where a good education can take them. They look forward to the day when they can care for their parents. They long to have the ability to give back to their communities and to someday sponsor children themselves.

Individuals With Futures
For OVC Kenya, this is where the rubber meets the road. We are not only supporting children (although that is what they are right now). More than that, we are coming alongside individuals. Individuals who, given the right tools and opportunities, can have a real and lasting impact on their communities. Individuals who can see the story of the Gospel displayed in their lives- who know what it is to be powerless, to have no means of improving their situations for themselves. Individuals that know what it is to depend on another to own their cause. Lord willing, they will hear the Truth of what Jesus has done for us on the cross, and the story will sound strangely familiar because they have known the sacrificial love of an OVC advocate.

Don’t get me wrong, I love every, single one of our OVC kids. As time will show, each child will come to the age when they can truly understand what they are being given. With this in mind, “let us not grow weary of doing good.” May we commit to loving these children for the long haul. May we see their need and give of ourselves for the sake of their success.

-Megan Gaminde, Kenya

For more information about OVC Kenya, click here.