My name is Thomas Muriithi.
I am now 21 years old. I spent my childhood years living life as an orphan, in a very poor background. I thank God for my grandmother. She used to really struggle to provide even the most basic needs of life. I had been left by my beloved parents when I was very, very young. My lifestyle was not that simple though I had little to call my own. Most of the time, l slept hungry. There was nothing to eat. To make matters worse, we would lay sacks on the cold or wet ground and sleep. We had no blankets. No pillows. No covers at all. We had none. Every Sunday morning, my grandmother would shave my head so that I would not use more soap when bathing. Once the school week began, I would go to school very early but hungry. My lips were always parched from thirst and hunger pains were all I knew.
One day God sent me an angel. Her name was Michelle. I did not know it then, but she noticed that I had on a very large, baggy sweater which was not even the colour of our school uniform. One side was hanging from my shoulder while the other side was somewhere lost down my arm. That day, and for many days after, she asked a lot of questions of our teachers and our principle to learn more about me. They told her that I am an orphan and that I slept on a dirt floor, always hungry and huddled together with my cousins for warmth. Michelle later told me that those stories pained her heart; she could not bear to think of any child living hungry, thirsty and cold.
Within days, I was called from our small rural home. I could not believe my eyes. There before me were gifts of a mattress, blankets, bed sheets and bed covers! It was at that moment that I consciously began to know the meaning of love. I called Michelle an angel. I still do. I promised myself, from that moment on, I would never miss a day of school and I would spend my days serving those in need. I went to school early every day to clean the compound. It made me feel happy to give back.
After the mission that year, Michelle returned to the USA and worked tirelessly to find me a sponsor. That is when another miracle graced my life. Matanya’s Hope sent me to boarding school! I would no longer have to forage for food, sleep hungry or lack water, shoes, clothes, soap, toothbrush or school supplies. Though challenges still occur here and there, my life since those moments has been a journey of hope to live again. Surely I am where l am because of Matanya’s Hope.
I share a very special appreciation to my sponsors, Richard and Karen, who have shown me love like a son. To you, Mom and Dad and Michelle, you work day and night to ensure that l have all what I need while in school and at home. You continue to make me a true testimony. Matanya’s Hope has taken a small orphaned boy, hungry, scared and alone and given me the confidence and love to equip me for life. You encouraged me throughout. Once I had no destiny. Today, I aspire to be a prominent person – someone who can help others as you’ve helped me. Actually, my life has changed for the better because of Matanya’s Hope. Thank you.
You never know the potential of a small orphaned boy until you give him a chance. Look at me.
God bless you.