From Dream to Reality
When I look at the latest pictures of the St. Barnabas Orphanage & School complex I cannot help marveling at the amazing progress I see. The beautiful building of the dormitory looks like a marvelous mansion, turning St. Barnabas into a rare oasis in the middle of the African landscape!
Only two short years ago we met Fr. Methodius (Abbah JM Karkuki) in our small church in Texas, where he presented a talk about his orphanage and shared the dream he was pursuing – of helping orphaned and vulnerable children in Kenya by providing them with shelter, food, medical care, and school education. To many of us, including myself, it was the first time we became aware of some gruesome realities of life in Africa that we could not even imagine. So many things that we take for granted, and even complain about, are a luxury in Africa.
Our parish became good friends with Fr. Methodius. Our Rector, Fr. Seraphim Holland and Matushka Marina flew to Kenya a few months after Fr. Methodius’s visit and were able to witness with their own eyes the work that Fr. Methodius has been doing at the St. Barnabas Orphanage and School that he had founded. After they returned, our parish initiated a fundraiser for the construction of a new dormitory for the children at St. Barnabas. In a few short months were were able to raise around $62,000.
Today, what seemed like a daring dream is becoming a solid, tangible reality! This has been made possible through the donations of many people around the world who support Fr. Methodius’s Abbah JM Kariuki efforts and vision for the St. Barnabas Orthodox Mission complex. My husband and I became monthly donors to St. Barnabas right after Fr. Methodius’s first visit to our parish, and we are filled with joy and gratitude that our modest contribution has been part of this wonderful cause.
I can only imagine the eyes of the Kenyan children glowing with wonder and excitement when they see their new dormitory and classrooms – most of them have probably never seen anything like that in their lives! And when they realize that it is all for them – that this is a place they can live in, and study, and play, and attend church services – this will be an incredible experience for them! Moreover, the St. Barnabas Mission complex is not simply an orphanage and school for children, it is an important landmark for the entire community and a beacon of the Orthodox faith. As the children start sharing their experience with their friends and foster families, the word will get out, more people will get drawn to the school and ministry, and even to the Orthodox Christian faith.
There is still a lot that needs to be done, and Fr. Methodius is facing daily challenges – from managing the construction process to providing food and clothes for the children. My husband and I would like to invite everyone to join in this wonderful and worthy cause and become donors to St. Barnabas Orphanage & School in Kenya. You will feel good being part of this Orthodox Christian mission and will be rewarded by sharing in the joy of the children. You can give to it as the Lord lays it on your heart.
To become a monthly donor to St. Barnabas Orthodox Mission, or to send a one-time donation, click the link below.
David & Natalia Hawthorne, Texas, USA.