- Written by John Wolf, LCMS Africa Region Project Manager John Wolf, LCMS Africa Region Project Manager
- Created: 02 March 2017 02 March 2017
Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.Mark 10:14b
As a young boy, Peter would walk this area to tend to his cattle. A member of the Maasai people, he knew the lay of the land and how best to care for the cattle for his family. But not every young boy in Kenya has a family. Today the land is much the same, but now there are over 1.8 million orphans in Kenya, largely as a result of HIV/AIDS, tribal conflicts and other causes.
However, today on that six acre plot of land in Lenkinshon, in southern Kenya, stands a place of refuge for orphans and vulnerable children in this region. Up to eighty children can receive food and shelter from the on-site dormitory and dining facilities and attend a nearby primary school for education. With the help of the local pastor and Lutheran congregation, the Lenkinshon boarding facility is the newest Project 24 boarding site to provide needs for soul and body for Kenya’s orphans.
At the end of February this year, it was with much anticipation that John and other LCMS missionaries and visitors attended the official opening for the Project 24 site in Lenkinshon. As the resident children returned from school, neighbors from the community started to gather along with members from the local Lutheran church. Cooks were busy in the outdoor kitchen preparing the slaughtered cow to feed the growing number of visitors. When church and county government officials arrived, beautiful Maasai women adorned with beaded necklaces and headdresses began singing and dancing. There was much excitement about this special occasion for children in this region.
Project 24 is a combined effort of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya (ELCK), the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and various LCMS individuals and organizations to provide a Christ-centered and safe environment for children who might not otherwise attend school. Located near ELCK churches, the youth partake in daily devotions, catechism instruction, spiritual care from the pastor and fellowship with congregants. The Lenkinshon site is the newest of five such boarding facilities managed by the ELCK.
In their respective locations, the Christ-centered environment of the Project 24 sites has garnered the support, protection and participation of the community, and the opening of the Lenkinshon site seems to be no exception. Local tribal leaders and county government officials had also supported construction and start-up support.
“Jesus said ‘Let the little children come to me’,” said Rev. Shauen Trump, LCMS Area Director for East and Southern Africa, during the commemoration ceremony, who through a translator so that he could speak to the Maasai children in their native language. “He loves each of us to the smallest child, so we also try to help, to teach, to preach the Word of God, and we also love our children. To you children I say ‘God Bless you.’”
John Wolf is the Africa Region Project Manager for the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. He and his family, with the support of LCMS churches like Saint John’s, are serving in Kenya. Please keep them in your prayers! We encourage you to follow their family blog, www.hereiamsendmesendme.blogspot.com, which is also where you can sign up to their mailing list and make donations.