Friday, May 20, 2011

Hope's Promise Orphan Ministry

by (one paragraph) Gina Welborn and (mostly) Angie Breidenbach

Gina: Of all the weekday themes we have at Inkwell, Self-Help is one of my favorites. So often, though, with Self-Help discussions, we focus on ourselves. When Angie first shared with me about her work with Hope's Promise Orphan Ministry, I thought about how non-self-focused Angie lives her life.

Angie: I get asked often why I attached the line of jewelry to the Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life book and ministry. My answer is simple. It's important to me to reach deeper, live intentionally, and leave a legacy of love as an example for my children and grandchildren.

I am a citizen of the world, not just my little piece of grass in Montana.

By creating the Gems of Wisdom line of jewelry a tangible memory anchor helps cement the concept being taught in each chapter. But it goes deeper as the jewelry helps support the Sanctuary of Hope Homes (SoH) in Nairobi, Kenya. These homes bring in orphans from the Mathare Valley Slums. When people buy the jewelry to enrich their own experience, they're also enriching the lives of orphans.

What can be better than a double blessing!

So what does a Sanctuary of Hope Home really do?

The least of these ... the most unwanted are brought into a loving home with parents. They're taught to eat with utensils, how to use the facilities, and become socially adjusted. Then the children are raised with love and a good education. They learn who Jesus is and how much He loves them. These children are taught where they come from so they'll retain a heart for the people in the Mathare Slums. The goal is to change the situation generationally by changing the situation for each child. Hands and hearts love these children. These children can love and help reach out to others like them.

In Mathare Valley, Nairobi, Kenya’s second largest slum, 600,000 people live within six square miles. Desperately impoverished inhabitants subsist in a hopeless generational cycle of crime, unemployment, disease, abuse, low education, and hunger. At the bottom of this human heap of suffering are orphans. Empowered by partners of Hope’s Promise, Pastor and Mrs. Karau welcomed home eleven of these desperate children in 2006 to Sanctuary of Hope (SoH) #1. In 2008, eleven more orphans came home to SoH #2. The precious children of SoH are discovering the love of indigenous house-parents and a hope and future they never dreamed possible.

An estimated 5000 orphans live in the Mathare Valley, a slum of about 600,000. The estimate for total orphans in Kenya is 2 million, with total Kenyan population at about 30 million. We can't take them all in, but we can begin to help change the future through some. By loving, educating, and raising up the unwanted children from this area, the cycle is broken. Broken children become whole again. Whole children grow into powerful, mission-minded adults who can reach in to make a difference in the Mathare Valley. It's the concept straight from the Bible that we teach them to fish in order to feed them for a lifetime. But in this case, their lifetime affects another's and another's. We'll begin to see generations of people able to overcome the horrible poverty, disease, and distress of the slums by raising up those who will continue the vision. Rather than a cycle of despair, these loved and educated people begin a cycle of delight.

Before opening the first home, Pastor and Mrs. Karau researched many neighborhoods in Nairobi and settled on Kahawa Sakari, an ideal established neighborhood with many suitable homes for large families. It is very secure (by Nairobi standards) and close to amenities like shopping, public transportation routes, good churches, and good schools. However, due to nearby road improvements and therefore increasing desirability of the neighborhood, housing prices are skyrocketing. If we don't purchase another home in the next couple of years, the prices could move beyond our reach. And rents are escalating. Because our vision is family-like homes, we want the SoH homes close together but not right together - which could create more of an orphanage atmosphere, removed from the community. We want our families to be integrated into the community like normal families.

Hope's Promise takes the kids that nobody wants. We don’t want to take kids whose living parents or extended relatives want to take care of them but can’t because of poverty. Almost all of our kids were neglected or abused in their previous settings, or their caregiver loved them but is terminally ill. We want the kids that nobody else wants.

How can you help?
If the Lord has placed this ministry on your heart, you can choose how:
1. Consider buying Gems of Wisdom jewelry for gift giving year round.
2. Consider sending a gift to help support the orphan homes.
3. Consider sharing this information with others through your social media or friendship networks.
4. Go online to the website, learn more, see if you may be led to sponsor a child or donate online.

Should you decide you'd like to send a donation to Hope's Promise for the orphans in Kenya, please note on your check if you'd like your donation to support the Sanctuary of Hope Homes.
Hope’s Promise
309 Jerry St. #202
Castle Rock, CO 80104

Go to and donate on-line. HP  is a 510(c) 3 organization so all gifts are tax-deductible.

Finally, why me. Why did I do this?

My son and daughter-in-law served in missions for these children. They brought back their stories to me and my heart was moved to partner with Hope's Promise. I'm not the biggest, grandest, or best. I'm not the number 1 fund raiser. I'm just steady and consistent. Someday I hope the Lord smiles at me and says, "Well done thou good and faithful servant."

Angela Breidenbach, Speaker/Author
Gems of Wisdom: For A Treasure-filled Life, Journey Press website blog


  1. Thank you for sharing about this program. The need seems so overwhelming at times, but reaching out to even just a few can make an enormous impact.

  2. Wonderful post. Sometimes the enormity of need in the world seems impossible to address, but nothing is impossible with God. I'll pray for the ministries working in Kenya, and I'll click the link to the website right now. Lovely jewelry, too, btw!

  3. What a beautiful ministry!
    Thanks so much for making us aware of it!

  4. Great idea, Angie! In fundraising for our youth we've found people give more if they receive something in return. It's not greed or anything, it's just the way people are. And this is an excellent way to give back. Not only that, but wearing this jewelry can be used as a promotion for further sales.

    Kudos, Angie. And thanks to Gina for hosting you here.

    Anita Mae.

  5. Sounds like an awesome ministry. My husband and I support a group that teaches Afghani women job skills, including jewelry making, to give them financial independence and help get them out of abusive situations.

  6. Hi Lisa, Susanne, Faye, Anita, and Dina;

    I'm so glad you were able to learn and share a few minutes about Hope's Promise and the Sanctuary of Hope Homes. They'll stay high on my list of concerns. We've recently learned that Mama Karau is in need of cancer care. So it becomes even more crucial. The little we do makes a huge difference. Like the story of the hundreds of starfish. Why throw back one? Because to that one, it makes a difference.



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