I want to thank you for the opportunity to share a vision with you! I will tell you that I would much rather be standing in front of your church or group or sitting with a cup of coffee (chai for me) because this has become my passion, and I love to share all that is happening with Miracle House!
I was in Kenya in June of 2005, co-leading a team of teens and young adults with Beautiful Feet International Ministries. We had ministered in a slum area outside Nairobi, prayed with people, played with children, presented a drama, and 'thrown out the net,' as we call presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many responded, and a national pastor connected with the people who committed their lives to follow Christ. We finished our time in the slum, our hearts moved both by the desperate lives of the people and the joy of the children as we walked and skipped back to our vans. It wasn't until we were driving away from the slum that the Lord spoke a word to my heart and mind, "How about an orphanage here?" I quickly looked around with different eyes than I had in the hours before.
Upon our return to the U.S., God continued to remind me of the question He had asked. I prayed, and, just after the first of the next year, I sent an email to the pastor we had met and ministered with in the slum. It is a "miracle" he said in his reply, "we have been praying for something like this." You see, they had begun a feeding program just that week "because we just can't stand to see the children die of hunger anymore." In the emails that followed, I learned there are over 500 orphans in this slum alone. Who knows this plight? I have to confess I didn't.
A couple of days before we were in the slum, I had my eyes opened. Here I was, well traveled, having lead mission trips in many different countries over the last ten years and well aware of the AIDs pandemic in Africa. Well, here's the story: we had been in a village working with 200 children doing art projects and playing games. I asked the pastor how many were orphans and where they lived. He replied that there were about 100 and then, to my surprise, pointed to one mud hut with a grass roof after another saying, "I think eight live there and ten there" as we turned in a circle. "Who cares for theses orphans?" I asked. He replied, "We do the best we can." Reality is that the oldest child, usually eight to twelve years of age, is the primary care giver, and other villagers share from their limited food supply. Those moments rocked my world � I never really allowed myself to think about the problems in Africa long enough to realize that not all African orphans are in orphanages. The realization hit me right between the eyes.
I realize I'm not alone! We can't do anything about something we know nothing about! Today I'm sharing my story and educating those in my path of the plight and desperation of life for African children. The target area, Misri Slum, has over 500 orphans. Misri is a Swahili word meaning Egypt; it has this name because, as Pastor Linus says, "they are as slaves, people of no hope." It is my desire, with the help of many, that this slum can one day be called the Hill of Hope and Healing! No person or organization can do this alone, but we each can play a significant part in bringing hope to many! Orphans are beautiful children waiting for a chance for hope to be available to them!Miracle House, Inc. - U.S.
Miracle House became a nonprofit corporation in April of 2006. The 501(c)(3) returned to us approved just one month after the submission, a miracle indeed. We have been thrilled to see how people have given of their resources to make this dream possible! We are developing various fund raising strategies to include churches, children, high school student, corporations, and government and private grants; we have received everything from coins to checks for tens of thousands of dollars. Additionally, we have developed a child sponsorship program. God is continuing to reveal new ideas and to prompt the hearts of His faithful!Miracle House, Inc. - Kenya
In Africa, we are working with a few pastors, and one has been in the slum area for seven years. Another area pastor is now administrating the project for us. We currently have two locations, one in Misri slum, Limuru, and one in Webuye. In Limuru, our pre-primary children are with us from 7am to 5 or 5:30 in the evening, and the older (elementary) children are at the national school in the morning, and then they walk together to MH for lunch with our younger children, then right back to school. After school, they return to MH for homework and study help with the teachers. All 25 children have a meal together with the teachers before they go back to their "homes" for the night. These children are typically living with grandparents, an aunt, or a neighbor (guardian) who can barely care for them. Most of our children would never have the opportunity to go to school without MH. In Webuye, a six to eight hour drive west from Limuru, we have grown to over 30 children who also come from 7am to 5 or 5:30, with a structure very similar to our Limuru location.Looking forward
We have purchased ten acres of land near Nakuru, about halfway between our two locations. The big picture dream is to build facilities where children can live 24/7/365. Miracle House will become their home, creating a family environment so the children have the love and security they need. We will create family units, where house moms will each care for about 10 children. As you will understand, this means a long-term commitment, as these children will become Miracle House children. It will be very much like we are adopting them. This process takes place through a court proceeding, and we are currently gathering the paperwork for our children. It is our heart to do much more than feed and clothe these kids � we will provide education, teach them a trade, raise them, and train them up in the ways of the Lord. We desire to help the children know, understand, and experience the love of God. We picture fields where we raise some of our own crops and livestock. Some children will learn to farm, some to sew, and some will learn construction or welding. Another dream is to develop a large dorm-like facility to house incoming missionaries and host national pastors for pastor training. The vision is big! We can�t do this alone! It will take many giving hearts to help the hundreds of children we see in our future.
eMi, another non-profit organization, will be working with us to design and master plan the development of our land (you can check them out at www.emiea.org). They will visit our land in May or August of 2009 with a team of engineers and architects to design buildings and facilities. We are very excited that God has provided an organization to dream and plan with us!!
Thanks for letting me share the history and vision with you,
Deanna Bjork for
Miracle House, Inc
P O Box 1616 - USPS
436 Cascade Circle - delivery services
Silverthorne, CO 80498-1616
(970) 977-1025 cell