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  • Writer's pictureDavid Moore

12th Update

In Amsterdam now and am excited to share with you some of the highlights from the GOA/Partners for Care/Camp Highland Children’s Conference. It is such a blessing to reflect back on the last five days of this conference. From Monday just receiving news that the children were on their buses all over Kenya heading for tumaini to the last evening watching the children receiving their awards. I want to share highlights, tell you about some champions for Christ and hopes and dreams for the next conference. Highlights *The first time we saw the tent! And Bishop David saying how it reminded him of the tents in the IDPs. And it really did but the fun was knowing that the children who would be under this tent were not one of the many displaced people in Kenya but children GOA has rescued from the streets. *The first meal served and watching the cueing of 320 children being fed five times a day. Good nutrition is a challenge in any group living setting and it is a challenge for the children’s homes. The children loved the food and asked the Bishop if they could eat like this everyday. *The response from the children about the “group talks” for the teens. They really liked having the Bishop’s wife talk with the girls and Francis talk with the boys. Remember these children don’t have moms and dads to give the “talk” so providing that opportunity in a safe setting, with their peers and from a Christian leader was very appreciated by the children *Learning of the boy Mathew (conference leader) found one night cleaning the toliets. When Mathew asked him why he was doing that he said so he could serve others. *Watching what children can do with a half of a bandana! *A young girl (name not given to protect her privacy) who SN met several years during sports evangelism. She was saved and prayed for. Later someone broke into her home and raped her. She gave birth to a child three years ago at age 14. Recently she was locked out of her house for lack of rent payment. She contacted SN who paid her rent so she could get her stuff from the home. She is a star soccer player. She helped SN with the sports tournaments at the conference. She has been told she can stay at Tumaini with her child and return to school. She received two award certificates at the conference. During the last evening meeting with the group leaders she told us how happy she was to receive two certificates – it was the first time she had ever received an award of any kind. *Watching the order and discipline of the children! They were in their places under the tent and in small groups as scheduled. They cued for meals and helped the little ones. *Watching each children’s home perform what they had worked on for weeks. Tumaini choir sang, CCRC sang I Am and it was amazing!, Beat the Drum recited a poem telling the children never to give up hope in God their Father who would never leave them as others had. There is real talent in some of these children. *Watching the Kenyan leaders organize 320 children for a group photo on the soccer field – all in their Camp Highland shirts. *Probably the highlight of the conference was watching SN give out the sports awards! SN had asked me (well ask doesn’t exactly explain what SN does when he wants something for the children) if we could give something to each children’s home to promote the children’s homes sports program. He said it would be $1,000 dollars. The conference was already struggling with having to use what we raised which was $10,400. They had cut costs everywhere they could. I said yes because God told me to not because we had the funds. Three days later David Gruber notified me that Courtney’s school Milton High School had raised $750.00 to give to Partners for Care. You can’t out give God! SN gave small balls to the little ones and uniforms and balls to all of the children’s home and two Peace balls each! The children were estatic to receive uniforms! And the winner of the soccer tournament Tumaini received soccer shoes! *The distribution of the t-shirts and the group photo of everyone in their shirts. *Watching the confidence of the 32 group leaders grow over the week. In the beginning of the week they didn’t share much but by the last night they shared and wanted to stay late into the night to talk! Champions for Christ *Bishop David Thagano is surely a Champion for Christ and for the children in the GOA children’s homes. From being on the field, to passing out t-shirts, to holding a child the Bishop is in the game. The children know him not only as their Bishop but as their Dad. *Jane PFC social worker who organized the conference. Many meetings moving up and down Kenya in a dress and heels on a mutato. She did a wonderful job of putting on this conference. *Mathew who is GOA’s children’s minitry director. What a champion he is! From opening to closing he led the staff and children with clear directions, humor and fun! The children looked to him for what to do next. I was honoured to serve with him at this conference. *The small but mighty US team – Cintia, Mindy Miller, Rachael and Bobby. they served as servants for the GOA leaders helping where ever they were needed – anything to support the GOA leaders. They held and loved children all week! And they never once complained about their accomodations. Please don’t ask them how often they showered or how long they slept at night! *The 32 group leaders who served their children so well all week! They were flexible, loving to their children and had long endurance as the days went from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm every night. *Sammy, David and George who led praise and worship – as the Bishop said brought us to heaven with song and dancing. *All the Partners for Care staff! 16 staff from Partners for Care who were at the conference including Njokie who led all the cooking, Paul, Daniel and Elizabeth the nurses who treated staff (one with malaria) and the children, Nick., Charles, Ann and Priscilla who tested 40 children for HIV (sadly one more child was found to be infected at Tumaini and will be moved to Beat the Drum), the social workers Moses, Mare from Marsabit and Andrew from Turkana, and the muscians Sammy, David and George and all the MsaMaria staff Agnas, Peter, and Veronica. . *Of course all the funders for this conference! What we learned *The children want to know each other. They want to visit the other homes. They do think of GOA as a big family and they are part of the family. *Children and staff are happy even in difficult situations – hot under the tent, sleeping side by side on the floor, cuing with 300 others to eat. *A ball and a uniform can transform a child. Hopes for next time *Better accomodations so the staff and children can sleep in beds. *Walkie talkies so staff can communicate easier. *Better plan for the little ones – a special curriculum for them. I hope this update shares with you the joy and blessings from this Children’s conference. God is indeed a good God. I have sent in a seperate email some photos for you to enjoy! They will also be on the blog – Thank you for all your encouraging responses from the updtes. It is really always a blessings to know people read these BlacKberry updates! Blessed to be able to serve in Kenya, Connie Sent via Cingular Xpress Mail with Blackberry

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