I heard many times that once you experience Kenya, it never leaves you, but I never expected the friends we met there to be standing in my living room just six months later. After falling in love with the First Love children back in March, we were given the opportunity to host the orphanage directors, Chris and Irene Okuna, for two days in Athens. We jumped at the chance to share with our friends how impactful it was to experience the joy, smiles and Jesus’ love from children who came from heartbreaking circumstances. They were saved from the slums and are living vibrant lives, thanks to God’s grace and the dedication and work of Chris and Irene and their staff. Their call to this life of fostering orphans and their humble, hard-working servants’ hearts are something you have to see to believe. And last week, they shared it firsthand throughout our community.
It is out of my comfort zone to ask for people’s time, let alone their money, so we were overwhelmed with gratitude for our friends, our school and our church as each graciously hosted Chris and Irene and welcomed them with open arms to tell the story of their ministry and life’s work. It is not easy, but they are clearly being blessed and the work they are doing makes a huge difference in hundreds of children’s lives. Their work depends solely on American supporters and they made, what we hope, are new and long-lasting friendships during their time with us in Athens.
If you have a heart for orphans, a dream of volunteering in Africa or want to pray for this impactful and life-changing ministry, I would love to send you more information, or you can visit the First Love Kenya website. It was one of the most meaningful stops we made on our journey and will remain a part of our lives forever.