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Ambrose 2007 Nanyuki Kenya
"Where you are today is a monumental part of your story...and in some years to come...it will all make sense."

A Message from Ambrose

The Power of Hope Through Education – Ambrose’s Story

Ambrose Lanuko portrait in Nanyuki

I vividly remember the 2007 July day – hot and dry, without much breeze, but with a communal buzz of passersby and a heavy scent of lingering exhaust fumes. The people of this small Kenyan town did not have much access to modern transportation – especially that with clean emissions. Most of them were farmers and either walked or paid public vehicles to carry them. Anything motorized usually sputtered smoke and tossed fumes as an unavoidable torture to the human senses.

During this time of year, the people of Sub-Saharan Africa were experiencing drought. Community members were gathered in town for small business, waiting for the rains to come and the time to re-launch their new farming season.

I waited outside of the market. I don’t know why, but on this day, I did not want to go in. I stood on the makeshift sidewalk, observing… waiting… lost in my own world. A young boy of approximately 9 years old approached me. Though he stood on the opposite edge of the street, his eyes gently locked with mine and his unspoken story whispered straight to my heart.

Ambrose was steadfast. He engaged with my camera lens, in a friendly showcase of playful martial arts moves. His attention shifted from the lens to my eyes and back to the lens again. Dialect was not needed to speak the language between us.

Ambrose on the streets of Nanyuki during our first meeting.

Ambrose on the streets of Nanyuki during our first meeting.

When my Kenyan partner came out of the store, I was eager to tell him about my new friend. He urged me rather boldly to “let this go”…”Kenyan street children are liars”, he said with such an absolute unshakable conviction that it felt cold and shook me. “He will deceive you.” With that, his intentions were clearly laid out: I was expected to follow him to the vehicle and go home.
But I couldn’t. I could not get this sweet, little boy adorned in a torn and faded pink jacket out of my mind. I couldn’t let go of the innocent play we shared – and of the overwhelming love I felt filling my heart – I felt as if an angel stood there with me and brought this boy and I together.

“I can’t leave him”, I said.
I could see the irritation in my partner’s eyes. “I have to learn more.”, I persisted.

With a grudge powered resistance, my partner began to converse with Ambrose, “the street boy”. His first question was going to prove me so wrong… maybe the second…

We were soon in the car, myself, my partner AND AMBROSE – traveling into rough territory where we would check out if “this street boy” was telling the truth. (I had no reason to doubt him).

Our vehicle bumped through the town’s rocky terrain and splashed through whatever stagnant puddles remained along the way. The path was so narrow that at many turns, we brushed up against tall, twig like cacti. They scraped the sides of our car featuring unmistakable screeching as the auto paint was unapologetically scratched from the car.

As we rocked down the last leg of the pitted earth road, a cluster of dirt floored shanties revealed themselves. Several people stood outside watching the unusual sight of a car rolling through their alley ways. I was told to be guarded as I exited the car. Women and children stood still, captivated by our appearance. I looked into each person’s empty eyes and a sense of their desperation became mine. My heart broke for these people – even more so, it broke for my new friend.

“Here is where I live” he said. (translated for me). “I live with my crippled grandfather.” I peeked through the large gaps of 11 X 11 room, walled with deteriorating wood planks. The sunlight streamed through, highlighting the glittering flying dust and a dirt floor. Nothing else. This was Ambrose’s home. “My grandfather is crippled…” he paused. “He goes to town to beg. I care for him. I cook and I wash his laundry.”

“What do you want Ambrose? Do you have a dream for yourself?” I asked.
He leaned against the wooden planks and looked up into my eyes. “I want to become a doctor” he answered. I could hardly see. Tears were at their capacity; any more and they would spill down my cheeks!

We returned to town with Ambrose and took him to the store to purchase much needed food. I visited with him daily (for the time that I was in the area). We purchased a bed for himself and his grandfather and soon, we had a sponsor! Ambrose got his wish; he went to school.

Today, this precious child is a young man. He is in his final years of education, studying with every ounce of passion and drive in him to become a teacher. Yes, his career choice changed. Ambrose said it best: “I want to reach the youth who face challenges much like what I faced in my young life. You saved me. I want to save them.”

Ambrose during his internship - student teaching.

Ambrose during his internship – student teaching.

Ambrose’s story beautifully captures the essence of how gaining access to love and education can change a life and a community. The act of love, of listening and caring – and the gift of education empowered him to unlock the treasure trove of hope.

Literacy is more to our children than simply teaching them how to read; it opens up a new way of living. It provides a path to hope and dreams – to God’s plan for them – that otherwise may not ever be realized.

The seeds of HOPE are planted in the fertile soil of education and a loving support system. We use simple, personal ways, like playing with the children, feeding the hungry, putting shoes on the barefooted and clothing those who are dressed in threadbare material to demonstrate love for soul, here and now. Our prayer is that no child shall ever be forgotten.

Healing IS possible. It starts with a vision. It is followed by prayer and action. And… it culminates with renewed life … more than we could ever have imagined.

Your support makes a big difference!

A MESSAGE FROM AMBROSE:
“I know that I am the way I am because of God Matanya’s Hope and my sponsor, Isabel.

I could not imagine that I could reach this far. As a child, I did not know the importance of education and also being closer to God. Right now, I feel blessed and I pray that my story will be used to help the people who have lost their faith an hope in life.”
Ambrose Lanoko 2017

Ambrose 2007 Nanyuki Kenya "Where you are today is a monumental part of your story...and in some years to come...it will all make sense."

Ambrose 2007 Nanyuki Kenya
“Where you are today is a monumental part of your story…and in some years to come…it will all make sense.”

Gifts to Your Sponsored Student(s)

More than 32 boxes currently await shipment to communities in need in Kenya

More than 32 boxes currently await shipment to communities in need in Kenya

Our Bags are packed and ready to go…… (Think John Denver song)
We still have room in a large shipping box for those who are sending gifts for their sponsored child.

Aisha and Lindsey packIMG_1706
This is your reminder.
We need these items by the end of January to go out with our shipment. We will take gifts all the way through April but those gifts which arrive after the January deadline must be hand carried and we must ask you contribute a minimum of $25 to help us pay the extra $250 luggage cost of having these fly with us.

Julia and LindseyIMG_1702
Ideas for gifts are age and interest dependent for your student, but here are some general ideas:

backpacks
pens and pencils
washcloth and towels
body soaps
toothbrush and paste
appropriate inspirational and motivational reading books including bibles
A LETTER and PHOTOS (very important)
jacket
stationary
coloring books
toys: soccer ball deflated with pump, frisbee, jump rope……………
Ann IMG_2106

MichelleIMG_2103

There are only two ways to live your life. One, is as though nothing is a miracle. The other, is as though EVERYTHING is a miracle. Albert Einstein

There are only two ways to live your life.
One, is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other, is as though EVERYTHING is a miracle.
Albert Einstein

What do we say when a child comes to us with his dreams?

Do we tell him, “you are not my child?”

Or do we listen. Help. Hope.

Who? Ibrahim.
What? My mother promised to take me to school.
Where? Rural Kenya.

The Story: Last year Ibrahim contacted Matanya’s Hope, pleading his case for sponsorship. We did not have a sponsor.

The story below is told by Ibrahim.

“Although I was first admitted to East African University, I had to walk away from the chance. Then I thought all hope was gone and I was admitted to Zetech University near Nairobi, in Ruiru. My mother had to borrow funds from my elderly grandmother to send me to school. She has no more to borrow.
I don’t know who she will find help from next semester which will begin in September.
I don’t know what to do. I feel the weight of my dreams trying to press me down but I don’t want to give up.”

I am the only hope of my family. My mother is a house help. She earns very little. Even food is a challenge.”

Each of Ibrahim’s siblings dropped out of school at the primary level due to abject poverty. “Please, I don’t want to drop out of school like my brothers. I watch them despair because they can not always find work. They are a burden on my mum when she has to supply food and basic needs.”

This is me, Ibrahim Waihenya.

This is me, Ibrahim Waihenya.

I was admitted to Zetech University do a diploma in accounting and finance which will end November next year. My fees last term were 27,500 ksh (approximately $275.00). This term my fees in total are: 53,000 (approximately $530.) Here are my fees broken down:
Fees: 20,000 (approximately $200)
Rent: 16,000 (4,000 per month; approximately $160)
Food: 12,000 (3000 per month; approximately $120)
Transport: 1,000 (approximately $10)
Printing: 4,000 (1000 per month; approximately $40)

Each semester is 4 months. I was not able to pay last month’s rent of 4,000 (approximately $40). Also because I do not have a laptop, I must use the cyber to print my assignments, notes and papers. The cost is around 1,000 per month (approximately $10).

I have a dream for the future: to bring help to everyone in my family who needs my help.

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I am an ambitions, cheerful, kind, loving and honest 21 year old student who just wants a chance to bring hope to my family. I manage a mean grade of B-. I am the role model to my younger cousins since I am the second learned person in my entire family after my aunt who went to school. I am determined. I want to help my family since my brothers are illiterate and are forced look for casual jobs. I have 3 semesters remaining. 3 semesters stand between me and the answer to my prayers. I want so much to be able to go to school and to help my mom.

I have been struggling for school fees since my mom lost her job immediately after I finished my last year of high school.

Ibrahim Waihenya
Nanyuki

Thomas

This is me in 2005, the day Michelle found me.  My lips were parched.  I was grimacing from hunger.  Little did I know that I was about to be blessed and transformed by the love of God through Matanya's Hope.

This is me in 2005, the day Michelle found me. My lips were parched. I was grimacing from hunger. Little did I know that I was about to be blessed and transformed by the love of God through Matanya’s Hope.

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.

I was barefooted, though I had to trek a ways to go to and from school.  We could not afford a single pair of shoes.

I was barefooted, though I had to trek a ways to go to and from school. We could not afford a single pair of shoes.

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.

This is the classroom where Michelle met me in 2005.   Although everyone of us came from a very humble background, I was one of very few who did not have a uniform.

This is the classroom where Michelle met me in 2005. Although everyone of us came from a very humble background, I was one of very few who did not have a uniform.

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.

Me in my very torn sweater in 2005

Me in my very torn sweater in 2005

Matanya’s Hope brought me and very many others from nothing to something, useless to useful, hopeless to hopeful. I really appreciate all of the donors of Matanya’s Hope. Especially
Michelle for the tremendous support she has been offering to us orphans. May our Almighty Lord bless you all.

[caption id="attachment_1238" align="alignleft" width="3264"]This is me receiving gifts from my sponsors.  You have brightened my days and given me so much hope!  This is me receiving gifts from my sponsors. You have brightened my days and given me so much 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.

Keep sponsoring.
You never know the potential of a small orphaned boy until you give him a chance. Look at me.

God bless you.

Thomas Muriithi

a persons most useful asset is love

Thank You – from Patrick – a Matanya’s Hope Student

Dear sponsors, donors and friends of Matanya`s Hope,

My name is Patrick. I know this might not be the first blog entry some of you are reading from me – I have written several, but this one is distinctive in that it reveals insights I could only gather after spending time serving with Matanya’s Hope. It is SPECIAL to me and I invite you to read and share with a friend. This would mean a lot to me.

Two years ago, Michelle Stark visited me at school – I was still in High school. She asked me to describe MH in three words and I said, `MH is Hope’. Honestly, I meant it…….and I still do! But if someone asked me the question again today, I would have a totally different answer. To me today, MH is ‘DOING LIFE TOGETHER’. It is being a blessing to other peoples` lives – making the world a better place to live in, not just for ourselves, but for others. It is being sensitive enough and courageous enough to raise awareness so that we can become blessings to those same others that so many in this world close their eyes to – turn their backs on – ignore – and let rot in their own hunger, homelessness and hopelessness. Matanya’s Hope is different and I am different because of Matanya’s Hope.

This photo of me was taken a few years ago.  I was a high school student sponsored by Matanya's Hope.  Without this support, I can not imagine where my life might be today.

This photo of me was taken a few years ago. I was a high school student sponsored by Matanya’s Hope. Without this support, I can not imagine where my life might be today.

I spent my December holiday (I am now a first year economics student at TUK – Technical University of Nairobi) delivering donations….food stuffs, chickens, blankets, clothes and mattresses to needy families in Kenya. It was tiring. That I won’t lie, but as days went by, I got to like the idea of giving people a reason to smile. It was amazing to see a person’s eyes sparkle for one of the few times in their lives they may have felt relief, loved or valued by others. I can’t even describe how amazing it was to watch the recipients of MH gifts receive something even more than the gift itself; love. Its awesome. I want to do this over and over again – as far as God wants me to.

Cucu (Grandmother to Matanay's Hope student Jackline Gachohie) takes care of her 8 orphaned grandchildren. When Matanya's Hope donated 2 mattresses to her several years ago, she gave them to her grandchildren while she continued to sleep on the floor.  Your donations helped us bring the blessing of a new mattress to cucu this Christmas.

Cucu (Grandmother to Matanay’s Hope student Jackline Gachohie) takes care of her 8 orphaned grandchildren. When Matanya’s Hope donated 2 mattresses to her several years ago, she gave them to her grandchildren while she continued to sleep on the floor. Your donations helped us bring the blessing of a new mattress to cucu this Christmas.

There are so many scriptural references to God instructing us to love one another. Isaiah 58:7 is a perfect example. He instructs us to feed the hungry, house the homeless, clothe the naked…to help those in need. At times, we feel like we don’t have a lot to give out. This is when we think of life in terms of material possessions. But material possessions do not define life. There is more to the human experience than just material possessions………. Someone somewhere is dying for love….all they need is someone who can smile, laugh, hug or even pray with them. Be that person. Be that blessing. Be that miracle. If someone is hungry, share what you have. That’s what I have learned. One day it could be me – or my mother – or my child. I can’t even imagine the hurt I would feel if I watched people turn their backs on my own family. But each time we turn our own backs, we are shunning someone’s child, someone’s parent, someones sister or brother…and in some ways, even ourselves. And each time we help, we are helping to heal the world.

I want to thank all of those who donated toward the Matanya’s Hope Christmas outreach. To those who donated to the chicken project, the mattress project, the blanket project and the food project, thank you for standing with us! I can`t mention all of you by name – you are so many………Michelle Stark – MY ANGEL, The entire MH family, The accounting firm: CJBS LLC, Kelly and Dave Golding, Kaitlin and Bill Bell……gosh, I want to mention every one. Thank you so much for being a blessing – a miracle.

8 orphaned children live with their one widowed grandmother.  Food has been a constant issue in their lives, but today, Matanya's Hope donors make more than a Christmas meal possible!  Thank you to Kelly and Dave Golding who made this food possible as a Christmas gift honoring their daughter Jackline!

8 orphaned children live with their one widowed grandmother. Food has been a constant issue in their lives, but today, Matanya’s Hope donors make more than a Christmas meal possible! Thank you to Kelly and Dave Golding who made this food possible as a Christmas gift honoring their daughter Jackline!

Thank you for making love happen.

Patrick Muriuki Wambui
Matanya’s Hope

what matters is how we treat each other IMAGE

Matanya’s Hope Wishes You All A Happy 2016!

Dear friends and Matanya’s Hope family,

Boarding on flight 2015 has been announced….

We hpe you have checked in only the best souvenirs from 2015 in your luggage….

The BAD and SAD moments if carried, must be thrown away in the garbage bins on arrival…..

The flight will be 12 months long.
So loosen your seat belts, jingle and mingle.

The stop-overs will be:

Health
Love
Joy
Harmony
Well-being
Peace

Refueling will be at:
Giving
Sharing
Caring

The following menu is offered and will be served during the flight…..

Cocktail of Friendship
Soup of Good Health
Seasoned with Prosperity
Mixed Bowl of Faith, Hope and Love
Salad of Honesty
Cake of Peace

All accompanied by incredible bursts of laughter…
But remember you will enjoy these meals and the journey better if you talk, share, smile and laugh together. Sitting silent will make the flight seem longer.

Wishing you and your families an enjoyable trip on board the flight.

Before flight 2015 ends,
Allow me to thank you, our beautiful and valued friends.
You impacted and blessed 2015 for Matanya’s Hope.
Your support directly helped us serve thousands of needy children and communities with love!
May you be blessed with an awesome year ahead!

Hand in Hand - our vision!

Hand in Hand – our vision!

It’s Christmas. New Year’s is Next. Does Anything Change for Him?

Photographer, Unknown.  Subject REAL.  Let's join hands and become the messengers of  hope.

Photographer, Unknown. Subject REAL. Let’s join hands and become the messengers of hope.

It is Christmas. New Year’s is fast approaching. Maybe by the time you read this, that, too, will have passed. Events change….
But What changes for him?

Water is life.
Right?

In some cases, it is also the cause of sickness and death.

Countless people are forced to walk miles in search of water.
Any water.
Like animals, they kneel down and drink.

The surrounding mud wreaks of urine….and the tell tale signs of animal presence is highlighted by the vast array of hoof, paw and footprints on the earth. This water is shared. It has to be. It’s all that there is.

Help us make a difference.
Your donation of any amount will help to provide a life saving Rainwater Storage Tank to someone in need.

"Prior to the donation of 10,000 liter rainwater storage tank, students like Naini Rarin (pictured above) had to walk great distances to collect bacteria filled river water for drinking"

“Prior to the donation of 10,000 liter rainwater storage tank, students like Naini Rarin (pictured above) had to walk great distances to collect bacteria filled river water for drinking”

This child is holding water gathered from a 10,000 liter Rainwater Storage Tank.  Irura Primary School

This child is holding water gathered from a 10,000 liter Rainwater Storage Tank. Irura Primary School

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YUP! IT’S THAT EASY!

YUP! IT’S THAT EASY!

2 minutes of your time and a few dollars can change the world for a child in need

2 minutes of your time and a few dollars can change the world for a child in need

GIVE THE GIFT OF HOPE TO A NEEDY CHILD THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

SEND YOUR TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION TO:
Matanya’s Hope
PO Box 562
Homewood, IL 60430

or donate on line right here. DONATE NOW

Nancy was just sponsored!  She is pictured above in class at Matanya Primary School. Dream big sweet girl!

Nancy was just sponsored! She is pictured above in class at Matanya Primary School.
Dream big sweet girl!

THANK YOU!

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# GIVING TUESDAY – ONE DONATION – ONE LIFE CHANGED

Pamela is in 5th grade.  She is an orphan.  Thanks to sponsors in Boca Raton, Florida, Pamela can now go to school.

Pamela is in 5th grade. She is an orphan. Thanks to sponsors in Boca Raton, Florida, Pamela can now go to school.

The philanthropic season has begun! December 1 is GIVING TUESDAY and a great opportunity for you to create change for the betterment of humanity.

Matanya’s Hope needs your help today to help more than 1,500 hungry children eat, learn and most of all, HOPE for a better future.

Your donation of any amount will help Matanya’s Hope reach thousands of hungry, orphaned, once forgotten children across the globe. This holiday season, let our message be WE CARE.

MATANYA’S HOPE sends more than 250 orphaned and impoverished children to school in Kenya, East Africa. Your donation will help us provide clean drinking water to families, villages, schools and medical clinics who otherwise have to depend on bacteria infected water from local rivers. Thousands of people in need will receive donations from the 3,500 pounds of blankets, shoes, clothing, school supplies, soap and medical supplies we distribute every year. Most of all, your donation will help us deliver HOPE. As the festive season begins, please DONATE to Matanya’s Hope. Help us change the future for a child in need.

Malala Yousafzai says it best: “One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.”

Thousands of impoverished children across Kenya are touched by your generosity.

Thousands of impoverished children across Kenya are touched by your generosity.

DONATE TODAY