Twelve years ago, I walked the land that would become Rapha Community Center for the first time. The property was overgrown and the only building in sight was a rundown wooden shed with no electricity or access to water. At first glance, it was hard to see any redeeming qualities, but as I looked around and gazed out at the view, I knew with absolute certainty that this was it.
I could see the vision of the home and school I wanted to create come to life before my eyes. I could see the children playing. I could hear their laughter. I could feel the energy that would provide a sanctuary to all of the children who would one day call it home.
I thought about that moment a lot during my recent trip to Kenya. Everywhere I looked, I could see evidence of all we have accomplished since then. The dormitories, the farm, the water tower, the classrooms, every tree and every flower—it all provided a backdrop to a scene I didn’t have to imagine anymore. I could actually see the children playing. I could hear their laughter and their excited chatter as they moved throughout the school day.
As I witnessed the daily life of our community unfold before me, I could see that the greatest examples of change and growth were within our children. Nancy and Edward have been part of our community since the beginning. I have watched them grow up, just as I have watched Rapha develop. Now they are in their final year of secondary school and will begin the KCSE (Kenya Certificate of Secondary School Education) testing process this month.
This exam signifies the culmination of their secondary school career, but to me, it marks a new and important chapter in their lives. Regardless of their final scores, I know the care and education they received at Rapha will provide the foundation they need to continue on their journey beyond the gates of our community.
Nancy and Edward are just 2 of 450 children who have received support within our community since I discovered this land so long ago. Every child came to us with a different story. Most of them were vulnerable and traumatized, but when their time with us was complete, their lives were changed forever. Your support has made that change possible.
Your donation this year will ensure that every child who comes to us in need of a home, will find one within our community. Please give as generously as you are able, and together we will make an important difference in the lives of orphans and vulnerable children for many more years to come.