Changing a Name for Good

When I recently visited Kitale, Kenya, one of our directors, Priscilla Wairimu introduced me to one of the cutest babies I’ve ever seen. As beautiful as the baby was, his story was anything but beautiful. His mother had been sexually assaulted and decided to give the child to our children’s home in Kitale where Priscilla and our staff would provide for his needs. The father only wanted to have one thing to do with the child. He wanted to name the new baby. He searched for what he thought was just the right name and chose Ishmael, which in Kenya means rejected one. Can you imagine this name being placed on you for life? In the compassionate atmosphere of the Kitale… Read more »

What a Difference a Name Makes!

The Club — Drinking alcohol and fighting were about all that was happening in a town called “The Club.” It was named after what is commonly known as an “elder’s club,” which is a stick with a big knot on the end of it that is perfect for clobbering someone over the head. Francis Bii, our CRF director in Eldoret, grew up in this village in Kenya. His parents gave him alcohol for his breakfast every morning. There was so much unnecessary violence in this community that the nearest hospital in another town refused to take care of them. The chief brewer and the source of all the booze was William. The mischief of the village stemmed from his influence…. Read more »

Verna’s Goat

Have you ever looked back and been able to pinpoint one thing that seemed to change everything else? Maybe it was a job opportunity in a new city, a chance meeting with an old friend, or a word of encouragement spoken at just the right time. A day that starts off like any other can become the day that—when you look back years later—changed the course of your life. Verna, a sponsored child in Kenya, has had one of those experiences too. And it came in the form of a goat. Verna joined the CRF program in 2012. At just 10 years old, she had already lost both of her parents to AIDS. She was living with her elderly grandmother… Read more »

Bruiser

Bruiser. That’s what Jeremy named him. It was years ago, but I will never forget it. Yes, my youngest son took the money that his grandmother gave him for Christmas and bought a pygmy goat. Why couldn’t he have bought a video game or a CD? No, he bought a goat. The problem was that we didn’t live on a farm. We lived in Seattle. And you can’t keep goats in the city. Or at least you are not supposed to do so. Bruiser made too much noise to keep outside. So we had a goat living in our house. I learned a lot about goats living with Bruiser. I learned goats like to climb. Yes, Bruiser wanted to be… Read more »

What a Gift!

What a gift! I can’t remember receiving anything nicer. I will always cherish it and remember where it came from. But when this story began, it seemed like the whole thing was a big mistake. I was a little upset about it and a quite a bit embarrassed too. On a previous trip to Kenya, I had met a man named Lawrence. He asked me if we could start a child sponsorship program through CRF at his location. He had many orphans living at his home, and the poverty in his community was terrible. At the time, CRF had too many children to sponsor in our other works near Kisumu—so I told him that maybe we could do it at… Read more »