Dear Members of the Elma Family please read this urgent update,
Thank you so much for making it possible for us to care for the children the Lord has given us to look after. You have enabled them to have shelter, clothes, food, and some education. Most of all you have enable them to have knowledge of and for many a personal relationship with Jesus. They are sure that He loves them and that He will provide for them. But, the reality for the twenty-one high school students is that they are not in school, which started early last week, and they are uncertain of what the future holds for them.
The present reality for the Elma family here in Kenya is one of uncertainty. We are seeking to know God’s direction and will regarding the education and future of our older children and we are rejoicing over the progress being made for the younger ones to be part of the Accelerated Christian Education program, ACE. Our uncertainty comes from the fact that we though it was the Lord’s will that our children finish high school and we had hoped to see them through. Now we are evaluating how to accomplish this because the Lord has so far not provided the funds. We are thinking that God may be directing us to seek funds from sources here in Kenya. This will take time, but we have started to contact Kenyan based organizations who raise funds for needy children. Please be in prayer with us concerning this move.
The ACE program for our primary children is getting started. We have been registered as a “Mission School” and some materials are being sent to us to use. These are used PACEs and we will have to erase the answers from them so our children can use them. Helen is now ready to start this project. The other materials we need will have to be purchased. We are building the learning stations in the rooms of our newest building at this point. Some chairs have been purchased, but more furniture will be needed. We are concerned that we are trying to do this in our own strength because no funds have come in for the development of the ACE program and we had anticipated God would lead people to support the program if it was His will. Our two teachers came back from the training program very excited and now feel this is the best way to teach our children. Some have suggested that we need to continue the ACE program all the way through High School, or start our own day high school, which would eventually eliminate sending our older children to boarding schools. We are uncertain at this point just what direction we should take. Please ask God to show us.
The caring for these young lives is very involved. We are not only faced with the normal needs of children but with a lot things like finding out their exact age, getting birth certificates, determining what is their correct name, dealing with emotional and learning difficulties due to their background, and introducing them Jesus. Also we are finding that we have to realize that we need to help to integrate them back into their extended family and enabling them to be self supporting adults and not take on the whole job ourselves. This means we must re-evaluate our commitment to this goal and work with the guardians to upgrade theirs. When the child reaches eighteen he/she is considered an adult here in Kenya and must leave our facility, but some have not finished high school and they will need help to reach the level of caring for themselves. We are uncertain as to what our role can be and how to terminate our help while continuing to show the Love of Jesus to them. This is a real family problem each family has to face, pray that we may have wisdom from God as we deal with it.
Thanks for being part of the Elma Family and for allowing God to use you to bring the Elma Centre to the point it is now. Remember we would love to hear from you. Let us know that you are praying for us.
With thanks from all of the Elma family here,
Roy and Helen