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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

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B’nai Torah Mitzvah Day

On Sunday, November 1, B’nai Torah Congregation of Boca Raton, Florida held it’s second annual Mitzvah Day.

Matanya’s Hope joined over 45 agencies and projects representing aid to those in need both in the USA, Israel and Kenya. Over 900 volunteers contributed to making this event a huge success.

School children participated in letter writing to Pamela, a 5th grade Matanya’s Hope student in Kenya who is sponsored by B’nai Torah 3rd graders. The children wrote letters to other Matanya’s Hope students in need of sponsorship. One girl who won the hearts of many is Naishorwua: a young student whose tribal customs are known to promote the marriage of girls at the tender age of 9 or 10. Naishorwua is 10 and desperately needs a sponsor to remain in school. Her parents are in full support of Naishorwua remaining in school.

Naishorwua holding a thank you sign for B'nai Torah during the 2015 mission.

Naishorwua holding a thank you sign for B’nai Torah during the 2015 mission.

Sponsorship is currently being discussed for Linzy, one of Matanya’s Hope’s university age students, wanting desperately to become a nurse. Linzy herself is a victim of abuse and is frequently threatened by her step father who denies her an education. Linzy’s motivation is her younger 5-year-old sister who suffers from a brain tumor. “I want to help my sister”, Linzy states, “and I want to be able to help other children like her.”

Though beaten down by cruelty, Linzy carries hope in her heart that she will become a nurse and help those in need.

Though beaten down by cruelty, Linzy carries hope in her heart that she will become a nurse and help those in need.

We offer much thanks to Jewel Prince and all volunteer knitters who joined hands to make lovable dolls for the sick and needy. We are elated to be the recipients of 30 dolls for our children in Kenya…and look forward to bringing photos of our children with dolls in hand – back to you!

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We thank B’nai Torah Mitzvah Day participants for the more than 50 pounds of donations you made possible for our students including: bed sheets, shoes, book bags, school supplies, dental hygiene supplies, socks, fleece jackets and winter coats.

Here, my sweet friend Sammie wears his coat one last time before sending it to Kenya where it will help a boy in need.

Here, my sweet friend Sammie wears his coat one last time before sending it to Kenya where it will help a boy in need.

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It is easy to appreciate the sheer delight on our student’s faces when they receive gifts you make possible. Sophie and her sister Madison were moved to tears after viewing photos from this year’s mission of orphaned children receiving donations of clothing and much needed underwear – all which Sophie and Madison contributed to Matanya’s Hope during B’nai Torah’s Mitzvah Day last year. As a part of her own Mitzvah Project, Sophie is determined to raise enough money for (sponsored student) Pamela’s family to have a safe latrine (outdoor toilet). This is the only toilet this family of orphaned girls and 2 elderly grandparents will have. Currently, their latrine is made of rotted, unstable wood and must be filled in. As it is, it presents a potentially lethal risk of falling through to the rotting feces below.

We thank Summer Faerman for her pure dedication to this event and Hands on Tzedakah’s Ron and Meryl Gallatin for making it possible for organizations like Matanya’s Hope to make this world a better place. HOT helped Matanya’s Hope fund four 10,000-liter rainwater storage tanks and three porridge programs for children in desperate need of food.

Ron and Meryl Gallatin enjoy viewing photos of their donations in the hands of those in need.

Ron and Meryl Gallatin enjoy viewing photos of their donations in the hands of those in need.

I personally extend my heartfelt thanks to my incredible parents, Andrea and Arthur Stark, who introduced Matanya’s Hope to all of you at B’nai Torah.
Michelle

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Patrick Speaks Out

Dear Friends and supporters of Matanya`s Hope,

It’s now two weeks since she left……the distance….the isolation….the love…..I am missing the love, the talks, the laughs and so much more…..it makes me want to write this. I miss the work we did together….Loving the kids, inspiring them, giving out donations…..it’s part of my life I will live to remember…..yearn for – for as long as I live. To be very honest with you, she is the friend I have been so close to…..The one I have loved with all of my heart. I REALLY miss you Michelle.

Michelle and I at Jamii Children's Center - a home for orphaned children we've come to love!

Michelle and I at Jamii Children’s Center – a home for orphaned children we’ve come to love!

I can’t and I should never forget to thank Ann Thomson, Jonah Blumenthal (jonah fish), Quincy Mcknown(Wambui), Beldina Nyatich(Beltowel), Michael Mutua and Christine Muthoni for finding time to be in this year`s mission. Walking with us in this journey to make the world a better place for all of us. Michelle, what can I say about you!!! You are incredible. The partner I never had. I love you. YES I DO.

Christine blowing bubbles for the students at Kagaani Primary School

Christine blowing bubbles for the students at Kagaani Primary School

Ann, you are an angel. You discovered Obadiah – God used you to transform the young life. May God always bless you!

Me inspiriting Obadiah before we sent him for his first day of school.

Me inspiriting Obadiah before we sent him for his first day of school.

Quincy, you are a miracle. Think of Nancy. Think of her life now and before she met you. It`s full hope and revived dreams. Your coming to Kenya was for Nancy and for us. You blessed us. You are amazing.

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Jonah, no word can best describe the place you occupied in my heart. You are a friend – a brother…….I miss you. I am thinking of you. Thank you for being my partner in the mission. Thank you for loving the kids with a lot of enthusiasm. You touched Lawrence`s life. You made an impact. I am looking forward to seeing you soon – Sharing more time with you.

Beldina, you are another miracle. You are a beautiful soul – full of love and integrity. You have been blessed with a heart that is open to love everyone. This is a virtue in you that really blessed the MH.

Beldina brings Wangechi close to her heart during a mission outing in Matanya.

Beldina brings Wangechi close to her heart during a mission outing in Matanya.

Michael, Thank you for being a driver and a tour guide – all in one. I admire the fact that you know almost every cool place in Kenya.

To all the donors, I can`t mention all of you by name. I really want to mention those I can`t remember but I won`t. I know – for sure- that whether you name was repeated in the donations a thousand times or just once, you all gave fro0m from your heart. You all sacrificed what you had for someone else. Thank you.

We acknowledge your participation in this year`s mission. It was of the best mission Michelle has for years. I want to assure you that we did our best in honoring the integrity of MH. We made sure that every single gift – however small – wet to the person who needed it most even moral support has been a great blessing. I remember a day that Michelle insisted we drive for 5 hours on a dusty, bumpy (you may have no idea what a bumpy road is until you have been here!) road to deliver 3 exercise books to a student. The books had been donated by the student`s sponsor. When I asked her why, this is what she had to say, ‘’Patrick, it is my responsibility to ensure that every single gift and donation reaches those it was meant for. I know that it cost us fuel and time but I have to protect the integrity of MH.’’

In addition to her sponsor gifts, Linet receives 3 revision books she requested to aid her in her studies.

In addition to her sponsor gifts, Linet receives 3 revision books she requested to aid her in her studies.

When I saw the smile on the recipients face, I also understood. I remembered the times Michelle came to deliver “my gifts”. How far did she travel to do so? Did I ever know? This reminded me of the joy that comes with seeing Michelle visit you at school. Given the chance, I want to do this over and over again. I want to see these smiles on more faces. I want to be a God`s vessel – that Her can use me to give hope to the hopeless (I can`t give hope but He can work through me to speak hope to others – just like he used –and is still using- Michelle Stark, Tom and Karen Aldrich, Bob Selent and others to shine hope in my life. To assure me of a better future.

I want all of you to know that every coin, school supply, shoe, blanket, toothbrush, clothing and the rest that you donated was highly appreciated by the MH and the kids that received them.
Please know that every single item you donate reaches the needy. Thank you for helping us love these kids. I know it’s a huge SACRIFICE that you are making in your own lives. Please Know it in your heart that you are transforming someone`s life, who very well may have felt hopeless without you. Together, you and I can make the world a better place.

Patrick Muriuki
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