Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Illula Update

Children closed school for April vacation and they were very happy to be home with their parents and to help with the various activities like at the dairy unit and kitchen garden. Most of them performed very well during the end of first term exams and they said they enjoy their new grades. The grade 8 kids are so excited to be candidates for high school this year and are asking for your prayers as they look forward to doing their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams in November. They look forward to joining high school next year and pursuing their dreams


The kids’ were so excited to work in the dairy doing cleaning, milking and feeding the cows. Most of them now know how to milk cows and they enjoy doing it so much. They love helping their parents to milk the cows and feed the animals. They also helped at the kitchen department to plant kales, cabbages and carrots. Most children were also busy harvesting their crops from their small gardens and planting more crops.

The grade 4 to 8 children were home for two weeks then they went back to school for two weeks holiday coaching.

Easter Celebration

Our children enjoyed the Easter Holiday by remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They had Inter-family competitions to mark the holiday. They played soccer and volleyball. The inter-family competitions makes the children united and close to each other as brothers and sisters.

Birthday Celebration

Those children celebrating their birthdays in April had a wonderful birthday celebration. A cake was baked for them to celebrate their birthdays and the day was a success. The kids’ appreciate the fact that they are growing and most of them have been assigned counselors to counsel them especially now that they are in adolescent ages.

Watoto Marathon

Our intern Jeff Bates who had been training the children every morning on athletics organized a “Watoto Marathon 2009” for our children. The children were very excited about the event. There was a 10 Km and 4 Km races. There were other sporting activities too like volleyball and soccer. The winners were awarded with certificates and presents like pens, notebooks and watches. One of local Radio and TV station took videos of the event and the children were so happy to see themselves on TV.

AWANA Ministry

During the last week of April, the children attended AWANA (Approved Workmen are not Ashamed) ministry which was organized for them by their Sunday school teachers. They learnt new songs, memory verses, bible stories and played games. It was a good way to end the April vacation as they got prepared to go back to school on May 5th.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Stories from Ilula Children’s Home

Outreach Missions

Our children have continued to become a blessing to the communities around and far. On February 1st, the Tumaini choir went to a place known as Kipsangui for a mission. There was a homecoming party for one of the recovered alcoholics who had been recovering at Ukweli Training and Development Centre. The people at Kipsangui were very much blessed from the testimonies, songs, dances and memory verses from the children.

On March 8th, Kids’ representatives from all the families went to Osen, Baringo for an outreach mission. The children were so excited as they had to spent the night there. The songs, dances, testimonies and memory verses from the Ilula kids blessed the people of Osen so much. One of the children called Gideon Kiptanui touched many people’s hearts from his testimony. He shared to the people how his parents died when he was still very young and didn’t have a chance to know them. He went on to tell them how he encountered a hard life back at home with his old grandmother. He used to work very hard at the farm so that they could get food to eat. He sometimes skipped going to school so that he could work at the farm. He shared how life changed completely since he was brought to the orphanage. He met loving and caring people, got good food, a bed to sleep on and clothes to wear. He didn’t know how to read and write but he was taken to a good school. He thanked ELI and his foster parents for taking good care of him. He told them, “I would like to be an engineer in future and later a member of parliament.” Gideon encouraged the people of Baringo to love orphans because there is a hidden treasure in them. He encouraged them to love and care for other orphans back at home. To the children who had attended the crusade, Gideon challenged them to love their parents with all their hearts. He said, “Parents are very important people.”

Another mission the kids attended was to Pemwai in Baringo. There too, the kids’ were a blessing and one of the children Kenneth Toroitich who comes from Baringo, met his relatives. They were very happy to see him grown, healthy and they hugged him as tears of joy rolled down their cheeks.

Mid-term exams and Half-term

All the children did their mid-term exams on February 28th before breaking for half-term. Their performance was good. During their half-term break, the children did a lot of activities at home. Since every family has a duty at the dairy unit and kitchen garden, most of the kids spent their time feeding the cows, milking though they are still learning and cleaning the dairy. One of the kids that showed great interest in dealing with the cows was Hillary Kipngetich. He spent most of the time at the dairy ensuring that the animals were well fed. Those children that worked at the farm did watering, weeding and harvesting crops. The children also did general cleaning on their rooms and compound.

Kids’ Health

A few children who were complaining of headaches were taken to the hospital for medication and are now doing well.

Guardian’s Day

Guardians visited the children on March 21st. The children were very eager and excited to meet their guardians, relatives, siblings and friends. They had prepared songs, poems, memory verses and dances to present to the guardians and visitors. Guardian’s started arriving as early as 9.00 am. They walked in and were taken to meet their children. The kids were so jovial to meet their relatives and siblings. Some of the children had almost lost hope that no one came to see them but when they heard that their relatives had arrived, they ran and hugged them joyfully. The kids took their visitors around showing them their rooms, lockers, garden, dairy and their school. The guardians had time to spent with the house parents getting to know how their children are doing.

Vincent Ngunzulu and Beatrice Jebet gave speeches on behalf of the other kids. Vincent congratulated the house parents for the good work they are doing. He challenged the guardians to love their children and orphans. In academics, he shared that they are doing very well and that some of them are in grade 8 this year. He said they are working very hard and would like to join some of the good schools like Mangu High school next year. His dream is to work with a government office in future. Vincent thanked ELI and all the sponsors. He said, “If it were not for ELI, we wouldn’t be what we are.” He thanked all the sponsors and asked for prayers for ELI and its sponsors. All the guardians and guests were so much moved from Vincent’s speech and they applauded him joyfully.

Beatrice thanked all the guardians for coming and was also thankful for the wonderful occasion. She thanked ELI and all the sponsors.

Mr. Toroitich (ELIK Operations Director) gave a speech on what ELI is doing and thanked all the staff for the good work they are doing. He appealed to local donors that ELI is a non-profit making organization and that donations are welcomed from everybody. He encouraged the guardians to have their children go to school and to spent more time with them.

Mr. Rono (ELCH-I Director) who was the master of ceremony, shared to the guardians about the missions our children have been attending, kids’ physical, mental and spiritual growth. He informed them that those kids who are/will be 14 years by December will visit back home for a week or two. He informed the guardian’s on the change of guardian’s day from March to December. The guardians were very happy of the change to December because they felt in December there would be great harvests, they would have time to travel because it is a holiday and would also have money to buy gifts to the children.

Guardians were excited to see their kids grown and smart in their school uniforms. They encouraged the children to work hard at school and to respect their foster parents. Every family presented a song and memory verse to the visitors and Tumaini choir had a song, dances, poems, and memory verses to present.

The day was a success!

Update written by: Caroline Kiptoo

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Kipkaren Report

Justus Kiplagat
Being a new year 2009 the children were very excited to join the new classes/grades. The term has started well, Justus Kiplagat (pictured below) one of the boys from Rutto’s family is extremely happy to join class two (second grade). He came from a poor background where he used to look after other people’s cows. Upon joining the Children's Home it was his first time to enter into a classroom. It is encouraging to see how hardworking he is. He is very thankful to every one who has contributed towards his success. Justus is aspiring to be an engineer so as to help others the way he is being helped. He is a very humble boy and very willing to help others.

Outreach Mission
We thank the lord for a recent outreach mission. Last week at Kipkaren market place our children held a crusade. We saw God using our kids to touch many lives through singing and dancing. Many people came to listen.

One child Patrick Kiplagat (pictured below) shared his testimony. He told how God has been merciful to him for he could not imagine he could be alive now. Patrick was raised by a single mother. At the time that his mom died Patrick was very sick and was covered in wounds . His grandmother was not able to take care of him. At that time Patrick decided to look for his father whom he knew to be a herdsman.

Patrick borrowed shs 70 {1dollar} for transport,then ported a vehicle for 10 miles looking for his father. Finally he found him drunk. Instead of ushering Patrick in he chased him away with the reason that the boy has bruises and wounds. The father took Patrick to the middle of the forest and dumped him there. Patrick remained in the forest for two days before he was picked by a good Samaritan and was taken to a nearby clinic.

He was later transferred to a district hospital for further treatment. Patrick was living in the hospital when the Home Based Care team from ELI found him. After hearing his story the staff completed a case study to see how they could assist this young boy. He was eventually brought Kipkaren Children’s Home where he now lives.

Patrick thanked the E.L.I, Churches, friends and Organizations who have been standing with him in prayers and financial support towards his life. His testimony has touched many lives.

In the month of December last year we visited a church where the boy shared his story and one member of the church named Cheruiyot was impacted and moved to purchase school uniforms for all 96 children living in the home. We received these new uniforms in January of this year. Below are pictures of the children receiving their new uniforms. We thank the Lord for the lives of these children.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Illula Closing Day Ceremonies

Samro School closed for the end of the year vacation on November 20th 2008. The Ilula kids were very happy to close school for December vacation as it is one of the longest holidays in the year. They are excited about the fact that Christmas will be celebrated soon. On that day, the children ensured that they were very smart (well dressed) because their parents were to be present for the closing ceremony. They even went to school earlier than usual because of the excitement.

Kevin, Ruth, Elias and Edison (above) from the orphanage were the happiest kids as they were graduating from Top class to join grade one next year. They were very happy to wear the graduation gowns with the other children from their class. Parents with children in Top class had bought them gifts to congratulate them for their hard work and for graduating from Nursery to Grade 1. The orphanage parents were among those who presented gifts to their children.

The children from the orphanage performed very well in their examination. Dennis Kipchirchir became position 6 in middle class. Elias Kibiwott who was graduating from Top class led his siblings by becoming position 7. Emmanuel Kipchirchir became position 1 in grade 1. Raymond Kipkogei became position 1 in grade 2 while another child Nicholas Kibet became position 3. Irene Jepleting and Benson Kiptoo became positions 1 and 3 respectively. Gideon Kiplimo, Linda Jemutai and Adam Kipngetich became positions 1, 2 and 3 respectively in grade 4. In grade 5, Thomas, Hellen and Sharon led that class. In grade 6 Beatrice Jebet and Edward Kigen emerged positions 2 and 3. Evans Kiprono, Vincent Ngunzulu and Hillary Kipngetich became positions 1, 2 and 3 respectively in grade 7.

All the other children in the various grades performed well also. Samro School kids had entertainment to present to the parents/guardians and other invited guests. The grade 4 kids moved the whole crowd to singing and dancing when they performed their song “The Importance of Education”.

The children are now home helping their parents with various activities and resting after having a busy school term. They are looking forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and the New Year. They are very thankful to God for the protection, guidance, knowledge and wisdom he gave them throughout the term and year in school. The grade 7 kids who will be joining grade 8 next year are so excited that next year they’ll be candidates!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Illula Evangelism Outreach

Praise God! Last week here at Ilula, we had a one week evangelism at a place known as Kamwago, Chepkorio division in the Keiyo district. Ukweli Training and Development Centre had organized one week evangelism and the AA team and the Children’s home joined them in sharing the word of God.

The Ilula kids’ Tumaini choir were part of the team that went to Kamwago over the weekend. They ministered to the people through testimonies, songs and dance and memory verses. Most people were moved to tears every time the children sang or shared their testimonies of how God has changed their lives completely.

Above, some of the Ilula Tumaini choir kids’, Hellen, Beatrice, Alex, Victor, Gideon and Dickson.

One child Gideon Kiptanui who comes from Chepkorio shared his testimony of how God has been good to him since he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior and since he was brought to the orphanage. Gideon shared how his parents had died when he was still very young and didn’t get to know them. He was left under the care of his grandmother who struggled hard to ensure that Gideon got food and went to school.

Gideon thanked his former teachers back at home very much for teaching him and assisting him emotionally, socially and financially. He thanked his grandmother and the neighbors for being there for him. Gideon thanked ELI for its vision and mission of empowering the poor and oppressed so that they may know, serve and worship God without hindrance. Gideon still remembered very well the very day that he was being picked to be brought to the orphanage by Mr. Rono (Director Ilula Children’s Home). He shared how he ate Chips and sausage at Eldoret town before proceeding to Ilula (though he didn’t know the names of the food at that time.) He shared of how he only knew one language Kalenjin when he arrived at the orphanage but can now speak in English and Kiswahili fluently. He had not known the importance of education at the time he was back at home and could sometimes stay home without any good reason. He said he now understands the importance of education and his dream and vision is to become a member of parliament in future. As Gideon was sharing his testimony, many people were seen sobbing and thanking God for Gideon and the ELI ministry at large. Gideon is in grade seven and is among the top 3 students in his class.


Mercy Chesang shared in her testimony that she still remembers very well how her mother died from being struck by lightning. She thanked God for the wonderful parents at the orphanage who are taking care of her and her siblings.


The Tumaini choir and the ELI Ilula team was a blessing to the people of Kamwago, Lelboinet, Samich, Chepkorio and Keiyo as a whole. People were taught about Dairy cows and the need and importance of practicing Zero grazing. They were motivated to work hard in whatever they did and above all to Love God with all their hearts, souls and might as the bible says in the book of Deuteronomy 6:5.

The AA team throughout the evangelism period visited the alcoholics to encourage and persuade them to do away with alcohol and drugs and to give their lives to Jesus. Although it was very cold throughout the week, the evangelism was a success and many people turned up for the meeting. As we were coming back to Ilula, many people were promising to put in practice whatever they had learned and that they will come for 3 days training at the Ukweli Training and Development Centre. They were very thankful for the mission and for reaching out to them. Asante!

By Caroline Kiptoo

Ilula Children’s Home Secretary

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ilula Report (October)

~by Caroline Kiptoo

ELI Founder/International Director Don Rogers arrived at Ilula last week on Wednesday 8th and was welcomed by the children and staff at Ilula. The children were very happy to have him home and wanted to know more about how their friends Joshua and Nathaniel (Don and Amy's sons) were doing. They were very happy to receive letters from Joshua’s friends in the US.

The children did their mid-term exams last week and are awaiting their results. Most of them are certain that they did well and are hoping for the best. We have 10 children from the children’s home in grade 7 and they are working very hard so that they may get promoted to grade 8 next year. Most of them are excited about joining grade 8. Let us continue praying for them that God may help them do well in their studies and future endeavours.

The children spent time at their small gardens over the weekend weeding and planting vegetables. They are very happy and proud of their gardens and what they produce. They also had inter-wing soccer competition and the western wing won both the boys and girls.

Ilula Vs Kipkaren Sports Competition

Moi Day (October 10), is a day that has been dedicated for visiting the sick and the poor here in Kenya. On that day, the Ilula and Kipkaren staff had volleyball and soccer competitions in Ilula. It was a day full of fun as all the staff members from both sides and the children had really awaited the day.

The weather was favorable for the sports. The matches began with volleyball men and Kipkaren men won 2 sets to 1. Volleyball women were won by Ilula 2 sets to nil. The climax of the day was when the men teams from Kipkaren and Ilula played soccer. It was a very exciting game and Kipkaren won 4 goals to 2.

The children from Ilula cheered both teams. The Kipkaren Children’s Home Director was very impressed about the activity and commented, “This should continue!” Pastor Lucas Rono, a parent at Ilula Children’s Home, was one of the organizers. He said that the games were fun despite the fact that each team was fighting for the trophy. He went on to say that everyone was contented with the results and appreciated the efforts of Kipkaren and all the players that participated.

Don was the guest speaker and in his speech, he appreciated the efforts of all the participants for making the occasion successful. He thanked the organizers of the games and commented that, “This brings unity and fellowship to know one another as ELI family.” He challenged the staff members from the book of 1st Corinthians 9:24. He went further to encourage the staff members to search on spiritual matters and that they should not lose hope because of defeat. Don reminded the staff members of having love, hope and faith in whatever they do. In general, he commented that the day was very good. He shared a story about himself as a runner one time that made the staff members motivated and encouraged to finish the race in whatever activity they do.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008