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Sponsor Updates from the Homes

MARCH 2021

The Power of Purposeful Prayer

We’ve all been there: Preparing for that major exam impacting our scholastic futures or the potentially career changing job interview. As we think about it, our hearts beat a little faster, our minds race, and perhaps our palms even sweat a little! Our 8th and 12th Grade children are experiencing some of those same sensations as they prepare for national exams in accordance with Kenya’s national educational system. These important exams will determine the next stage of their educational path and college and career options. As we all know, this can bring stress and worry. BUT ELI house parents know how to counteract stress and worry—with PRAYER! Together, schools and parents organized prayer days for the children heading into final exams.

On March 6th, ELI students in grade 8 attended an encouraging day of prayer at Brook of Faith Academy. Parents, guardians, and pastors encouraged the students throughout the day. Rev. Rotich, the guest speaker, had this to say:  "The best gift that you can give your child is education. God has given all humanity time in equality but how you invest your time will determine the success, even with the coming exam." Afterward, parents, guardians, and staff enjoyed an amazing time of fellowship in which they encouraged and prayed for students preparing for exams.

On March 7th, the ELI Children’s Home family attended a prayer day for their 12th Grade high school students preparing for national exams. Speakers encouraged students to persevere. One speaker proclaimed, “One of the most important keys to success is having the discipline to do what you know you should do, even when you don’t feel like doing it.” Good advice for our students as they face these crucial exams. Parents spent the rest of the day interacting with their children, motivating and encouraging them to overcome fears, to develop confidence, and most importantly, to put God first!

At the prayer event, Purity Chepketer, from Kipkaren Children’s Home, shared this: “I’m very thankful for how far God has really brought me through this journey of schooling. I also want to show appreciation and thanks to all my sponsors for the love, care, and support that enabled me to reach this day. Please remember me in your prayers during the entire examination time.”

Amazing! ELI Students will head into exams prepared with motivation, encouragement to work hard, and LOTS of prayer, knowing they are supported and loved, all the while filled with gratitude for sponsors and thankful amazement in the goodness of God!

March Birthday Celebration

Every month at the Children’s Homes, birthdays are celebrated! On the day of the celebration, any child having a birthday during that particular month gets to enjoy some yummy birthday cake while they are joyously celebrated by their ELI family for the gift of their unique life, along with receiving prayers and well wishes for the coming year. Here are a few photos from the March birthday celebration:

Prayer Requests

  • Peace, confidence, and perseverance for 8th and 12th grade children as they continue to prepare for national exams, and throughout the examination period.
  • Assurance in the hearts of our children that God is leading and directing them toward the hope-filled future he has in store for them.
  • Spiritual development, understanding, and enthusiasm for parents as they get back into regular rhythms.


Philippians 4:19  “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

When you hear the words pandemic and lockdown, most likely your first thoughts center around extreme challenge, discouragement, isolation, and heartbreak, not fulfillmentriches, and glory. Yet, in our Children’s Homes, as life gradually returns to normal, God is revealing the amazing impact that took place with our children and their house parents during lockdown. 

One of the most significant impacts is beautifully described by Dennis Kipchirchir, one of the high school students from Kipkaren Children’s Home:  

"God has been a friend. Through this pandemic, we were safe, cared for, and had our older siblings teaching and tutoring us all of these months that we were home. We have been learning the Word of God along with our academic subjects. Now that I am back in school, I can see such a difference because I don't feel behind. Many of my peers from other communities did not have that support and were having to work a job. Some started drinking. These students now are struggling and really are having a difficult time and are almost giving up and wanting to return back home and not go to school. I am so grateful for all that ELI has done to help us succeed during this time."

These incredible words relate the shared experience of our children. Because of the God infused love and care the children received while at home during quarantine, they are thriving. They are trusting in the Lord with thankful hearts and becoming influential World Changers in their schools.

But this impact is not one-sided, either. God has been at work in the lives of the parents as well, fulfilling needs beyond what was expected or imagined:

"We can see that during this past year that we have been in quarantine on the compound and all of the children have been home from school . . . God has a purpose! He has given us an opportunity to really know our children and for our children to really know us . . . COMPASSION HAS GROWN!"

Wow! Compassion has grown. In the midst of quarantine, God fulfilled his purpose of deepening love and understanding between parents and their children. It’s no wonder parents’ hearts are filled with praise!

These are inspiring words from our friends in Africa, words that speak of fulfillmentriches, and glory.  We know that it has been a hard year for many people, but we can't ever forget that we serve a BIG God who can do BIG things. 

Prayer Requests

  • Relationships between the House Parents and children would continue to grow and deepen.
  • ELI Children would continue to thrive and be encouraging influences on their schoolmates.
  • Students would finish programs and degrees put on hold because of COVID.
  • The 4th, 8th, and 12th graders are experiencing high levels of stress as they are preparing for the national exams that will be conducted over the next 4 weeks. Please pray for peace to reign in their hearts and minds as they are taking their exams.


January 18, 2021

Ilula & Kipkaren Children's Home Staff Reunion

After 10 long months of being locked down in response to COVID19, Kenya is finally opening up! Schools are back in session and life is slowly starting to get back to normal at the Children’s Homes. The parents and staff from both the Ilula and Kipkaren Children’s Homes got together for a much needed reunion. They had a joy-filled day of celebration and fellowship. They enjoyed worship and dancing, prayer, encouraging messages, and lots of good food! It was such a restorative break for the incredibly hard-working parents and staff members: a time to rest, reflect, and praise God for his faithfulness during the pandemic. They spent time encouraging each other, lifting each other up, sharing reflections from the previous year, and praying for the upcoming year. It was wonderful to see the smiles on their faces as they were able to reunite and have hearts uplifted through renewed relationship and relaxing fun!

January 18 2021 Collage
Over the next 6 weeks each set of parents will be given a two-week break to go back "home" to their rural villages to see their own families for the first time since February of 2020! It is hard to comprehend the sacrifices that these godly men and women made in order to keep the children in the homes safe and still learning during the lockdown. We are so glad they get to celebrate and rest as we begin this new year!

Watch a quick video of the celebration!

Prayer Requests
  • Safe travels for each set of house parents as they journey back to their home villages to spend time with family.
  • The health and safety of all of the children, staff, and parents in the homes now that the lockdown is over and the children are back in school.
  • Children's adjustment to school routine and socially distanced learning environments.
  • Continued prayer for high school seniors who returned to school in October to prepare for the National Exit Exam (similar to SAT), which will take place in April.
  • College students to be able to resume their coursework as soon as possible and not be discouraged by delayed progress.


Normally, December is a time of celebration, rest, and reunion. In a normal year, all the children would be able to spend 3 weeks "back home" in the rural villages. It would be a rich and blessed time with their aunts, uncles, grandparents, other siblings, cousins, and home community.

However, as they say in Kenya, "2020 sio kama kawaida," which translates to "2020 is not normal."
This year all the children will be at the Children's Homes. Each home will celebrate their own Christmas. They are looking forward to the special day of games, worship, and food! That being said, it will be a slightly sadder Christmas because the two homes will not be able to come together as one large ELI family like they have done EVERY SINGLE YEAR since the homes opened. For the first time in ministry history, all the children and families will not break bread as one. Yet, in spite of the disappointment, the children have kept Christmas alive in their hearts, as these videos portray!

What Christmas Means

Joy to the World

All 12th graders returned to their boarding schools in October. They have been there (safe and under school imposed quarantines) in hopes that they could hit the books hard and catch up on as many lessons as possible from when all schools closed in March. Normally, they would have taken their Exit Exams in November. The national government believe that with the hard work of the teachers and students, they will be able to sit for their exams in April and still enroll in colleges, universities, and technical/trade schools in Sept. 2021 as usual.

Around Dec 19th, all your amazing seniors should arrive safely back to the Kipkaren and Ilula Homes, able to enjoy a festive Christmas with their families. 

Under the current Government's and Ministry of Education's calendar and guidelines, all schools (elementary, high school, and post-high school institutions) will open in-full on January 4th to start their academic year. It will be a "reset" for all grades except the high school seniors who will take their exams in April. Technically, there will be two senior classes in 2021 (the 2020 graduates, who will graduate in April, and the 2021 graduates, who will finish in December as usual).

Prayer Requests

  • A spirit of Joy for Christmas
  • A safe return of the high school seniors
  • That COVID will continue to be "far away" from the Homes. Pray against a post-holiday wave/spike in cases
  • Restoration in the hearts, minds, and souls of the children and parents as they spend December away from their loved ones in the villages (even the parents cannot visit their families outside of the Homes due to the COVID quarantine).
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