In the fall of 2004, nurse Nancy Rowe met Drs. Nan & Gerry Hardison in San Diego California at a Mission retreat at her church in Tierrasanta. Nancy heard of the Hardison's work with the large number of suffering orphaned children and their great needs in Maseno, Western Kenya. The Hardison's invited everyone at the retreat to come visit them and to see for themselves this country's extreme poverty conditions.
In June of 2005, Nancy and her co-worker, Elaine Sorensen traveled to Maseno, Kenya to visit the Harridan's. During this time, the two nurses made home medical visits. The huge numbers of orphans, with very little food, safe homes or medical care, appalled the women. They realized neighbors were taking in the children into their homes, even when they themselves were often in dire need. Florence Oyosi and other Christian women in rural Maseno accompanied them as they traveled from home to home. Florence later confessed to Nancy that these visits "forced" the women to see for themselves the great needs behind the doors of these poor thatched huts. Nancy, Elaine, Florence and the others could no longer ignore this situation.
Upon Nancy's return to the States, she shared the great needs of this African area and more short-term missions trips were made. Among the travelers were nurses, an agriculturist, her Pastor, children ministry workers, and others. Everyone that visited felt a tug on their heart for the precious orphaned children. Nancy talked more with her Kenyan friend Florence about the possibility of developing an orphan sponsorship program. She said the ladies had been meeting together to pray since 1998, wondering how they could help one another out of this poverty and help the many orphaned children they were surrounded by. Florence and Nancy emailed back and forth to work out the logistics of finding US sponsors for the orphans on a most need basis.
The program officially began in the Fall of 2008 as the His Arms Orphan Sponsorship Program! This name was chosen because it is what is envisioned for all the precious children. The feeling of safety, love, and care in the "Arms of the Lord" through the generosity and involvement of the US sponsors. We know HE cares for these children and this program allows the children to feel that love from across the World!
What began with only 12 US sponsors has grown to more than 102 sponsor families caring for 148 children!
The ministry involves people from around the country donating just $30 per month to sponsor a Kenyan Child. The sponsorship covers basic food items, hygiene products, school uniforms and fees, and other help with self-sustaining products like chickens or seeds to plant. Throughout the sponsorship, the sponsor and their Kenyan child exchange photos and hand-written letters allowing those in the US to see just how much they are helping their child in every day life!
Currently, no one is paid within the USA and only 20% of the fees are used in Kenya to compensate the caregivers in Maseno, Kenya. Women that act as general caregivers monitor the children in their home environment and make sure the children are adequately cared for by their guardians. The children meet for a Christian based program and support on a regular basis. Education is offered to each of the students within the program. Children are monitored medically due to many diseases and illnesses that are found in the area.
The vision of the program is to have our His Arms children raised to feel loved and of value, all the while providing them basic living necessities and an education to help them succeed and prosper in Maseno, Kenya!
We continue to surround this program in prayer. With increased numbers of sponsored children and our thorough evaluation of how we have been running the program, we remain diligent in what is always best for our precious children all the while providing transparency to our diligent sponsors.
We aim to prayerfully follow the Lord's directions in reaching out to the hurting children orphaned in the rural Maseno area of Kenya.
We strive to maintain high standards of credibility in the operations of this program both in the USA and Kenya.
It is our ultimate goal that these precious children we work with, may experience and feel the Lord's presence in their life by experiencing our sponsors loving support.
May we be His Arms as we connect sponsors in the USA with these struggling Kenyan children.