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Patrick Kiplagat’s early life was a vicious cycle of fighting parents, physical abuse from his father, verbal abuse from his alcoholic grandmother, and being passed from house to house. Before Patrick’s mother married his father, she had two daughters from a previous marriage. Patrick’s father hated being responsible for them, so he often beat the children and their mother. Seeking refuge, all five children would run to their grandparents’ house, but that wasn’t much better. Their grandmother would drink all day, insult them, and complain about having to feed and take care of them. The children would often be taken back home until the cycle started all over again. One day things went too far and Patrick’s abusive father beat his pregnant mother to death. Patrick’s dad left that night and didn’t return. Jump to video of Patrick

Their alcoholic grandmother then took custody of the five children but did not provide for them or treat them well. Patrick watched as his youngest brother grew weaker by the day and then passed away. 
Their living situation continued to deteriorate, and because their grandfather could not earn enough money to provide for everyone, the children were all forced to look for jobs to buy essentials like food and clothing.

During this time, Patrick and his grandfather started developing strange wounds on their bodies, which caused physical torture and misery that lasted for years. Patrick’s grandmother became scared of the wounds, so she isolated them in a small hut and would either withhold food completely or purposely make the food inedible in an effort to starve them. She made Patrick’s sisters wear plastic bags on their hands if they went near them, which created intense fear and a feeling of separateness. One of his sisters would try to sneak them some milk so they could have something substantial in their stomachs, but still Patrick’s health declined. The poor nutrition caused him to be constantly sick, but his grandmother refused to get him medical attention. His sister went to the clinic for help but was only able to afford a few aspirin.

One day, not wanting to get too close, Patrick’s grandmother used her foot to push his inedible food across the floor to him. Culturally, this use of her foot was one of the greatest signs of disrespect.
This was the last straw; something deep inside of Patrick’s heart broke. At only 8 years of age, he set out on his own and wandered into a thick forest. Although his sisters and others searched for him, no one could find him.

Desperate, despondent, and utterly without hope, Patrick walked deeper into the forest and eventually fell asleep on the ground. Forest rangers found the young boy the next morning and, because of his many wounds and critical condition, dropped him off at the hospital in Eldoret, Kenya. He slowly recovered over the next few months and became friends with the nurses and staff. Knowing that he could no longer live at the hospital, an American couple who served there discovered that ELI had a special place for orphaned children, so they decided to sponsor him into the ELI Kipkaren Children’s Home in hopes of providing him a better life.

This was the turning point for Patrick, who found loving parents and over 100 brothers and sisters!  

He thrived at the children’s home, learning business skills even as a child. He started collecting kernels of maize that had been left in neighbors’ fields after harvest and sold them to buy his first chicken. His one chicken soon became 20 and then 100! He then sold half of them and bought his first sheep. The sheep soon gave birth, so he sold them along with more chickens and bought his first cow. He began selling the milk from the cow and over time was able to buy another cow. Patrick now owns four cows, seven sheep, and a small house on a half-acre, and he sells milk to the same children’s home where he was raised! Patrick has become an entrepreneur and an example to the other children in the home, as well as the local villagers.

As a teenager, Patrick met an ELI trainer named Isaac and joined a year-long intensive training course in agriculture. He did so well that, when a village requested training from ELI, Isaac asked Patrick to do it. 90 farmers were there, anxiously waiting to learn how to properly care for their chickens that kept dying. Patrick taught them about breeding, feeding, and medication. Now, he has pastors, farmers, coordinators, and other people who seek him out so they too can learn how to make money raising chickens.

Patrick has seen God’s hand in everything that has happened. Every month he gives a financial gift to his church, and every three months he gives five liters of milk and one chicken as part of his tithe. He celebrated the day he was able to give one of his bulls to the church as an offering. In reflecting on his success, Patrick said, “I believe the secret to my success is in giving honor to God, setting a target, saving money, and investing in my future.” God has helped him heal from the pain he endured in his early years, and he is thankful for how far he has come. He even decided to forgive his grandmother and now sends her money to help support his brothers and sisters. Patrick has changed from a neglected and wounded child to a thriving world changer!

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