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Plight of African Kenyan Children and God’s Call to Us                 Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE)                                       An Eastern Catholic Franciscan Religious Order, Western Rite

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Picture Credit: Holy Apostles Monastery, Kenya, East Africa

Before and after photographs of a boy at the Divine Mercy Children’s Orphanage.

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Food is Love Page

Plight of African Kenyan Children and God’s Call to Us

Plight of African Kenyan Children and God’s Call to Us
By General Superior Father Paul Ochieng-Ogada+, DMB
 
Dear Readers, Holy Apostles Monastery is in historic times, and God has been speaking to me about the books of Esther and Jeremiah. Oftentimes, we cannot see the forest for the trees, meaning that sometimes we are so focused on what is immediately in front of us that we cannot perceive the absolute wonder of what the Spirit of the Lord is saying.
 
You have been raised up for such a time as this; you have a job to do for Jesus, a divine opportunity. Like Joseph, who was in the spirit because he was on his way to the palace, your own time for “divine favor” has come. Joseph’s purpose was not for Pharaoh; it was for God’s people. Esther’s assignment was to preserve God’s people, not the king. The kingdoms and nations of this world will be the kingdom of our God. Things are about to shift – a time of transition. When you understand who you are, you begin to see and understand the purpose that you serve. You are put into position in order to carry out a plan.
 
Prayer is key and vital to your plan. Do not forsake the ministry of prayer; do not take lightly the corporate gathering. God has commissioned you to bring forth his plan; you are pregnant with purpose. God has a plan for you to break out and break through. Don’t be afraid; look into the future with confidence. Prayer helps us to determine the direction we need to go and to lead us into the ministries that are essential in our roles to serve God through serving those in need, near and far.
 
The drumbeat, poems, songs, drama, and sporting activities have masked the underlying structural challenges innocent Kenyan children face in their daily lives. Kenya is arguably the richest nation in East Africa, but spoiled by wicked political leadership. This beautiful country is endowed with a vast array of natural resources, such as gold, platinum, beautiful wild animals, lakes, and beautiful blue skies, yet it is a country where children have become an endangered species who, instead of being viewed as the future, are now tottering on the brink of being the disposable. It is with a tinge of sadness that I realize that Kenya leads in infant mortality rate. A disturbingly high number of Kenyan children have poor access to health care which, in many cases, has resulted in children succumbing to diseases that are easily prevented or treated in other continents, such as America and Europe. Kenyan children are more likely to be born with HIV/AIDS related diseases and have for many years succumbed to diseases of poverty, such as kwashiorkor, marasmus, and rickets. It is a common occurrence for Kenyan children not to even afford a decent meal, unlike their counterparts in other continents. Holy Apostles Monastery missionaries see the highest number of children with little or no access to a sound educational infrastructure and information technology, both at school and at home.
 
This situation is so dire that, out of our own poverty, the love of Christ Jesus compels us to help them through the help of others, that is, through your help. While it is natural that we want to care for those close around us, it is important that we recognize that Kenyan children do not have even a fraction of the assistance available to children in wealthier nations. It is my prayer that you will find in your heart the desire to help those who may be far away, but who are in the very greatest need. It is a true reflection of the ministry that we are called to through Christ Jesus.

 

“Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son in truth and love.”