Blog by Diane Elliot, Hope’s Promise Development Specialist
Looking around at my lush surroundings one would think that I was in a tropical paradise. With giggles and squeals of excitement from the children playing all around me, I couldn’t help but think how fortunate I was to be in that moment.
For months, I had looked forward to visiting the Hope’s Promise ministry in Kenya, and with all my imagining I didn’t come close to the depth of feelings I actually experienced.
I expected the country to be complex and beautiful. What I didn’t expect was how my heart would melt when meeting the Hope’s Promise children and the immediate affinity I would have with our Kenyan staff.
Steve and Joyce Kariithi (Pastor and Mama Karau’s son and daughter-in-law) have been house parents at Sanctuary of Hope #2 since December 2016. When I had a chance to connect with Steve, I asked him, “How do you do it?” Steve went from fathering two young children to raising an additional thirteen, including teenagers. He answered honestly by saying that it was God that did the leading. He just made himself available to be lead.
In the midst of our conversation, just 50 feet away, one of his new young daughters was enthusiastically running down a path towards us. Her body got in front of her feet, and she fell hard to the ground. Steve didn’t hesitate, didn’t apologize, he just RAN to her and grabbed her up into his arms to console her. While her injuries were mild, her heart was in need of her father’s care. Her new daddy was there to give her just what she needed, time, attention, a band-aid, but most of all love.
Steve and the whole Karau family are an amazing example of God’s love for us, his children. What a privilege it is to work with compassionate, capable team members who are daily showing God’s love to the children who were once orphaned, and are now family! After all, isn’t that all of our stories?
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us… In love he predestined us to be adopted as his [children].” Ephesians 1:3-5