Collins with the some of the GORP Kids
Today we are highlighting, Collins, who is an integral part of our team in Kenya. Collins is one of those people who does so much for people and yet gets so little credit. A faithful servant since the early beginnings of Grain of Rice Project, Collins started volunteering with us in 2013 and continued volunteering for 2 years before joining our staff as the Director of GORP Kids Program. He is now in charge of leading the after school tutoring and lessons at GORP, planning field trips for the kids, and making home visits to stay in contact with each family that we impact. He has a genuine concern for each child we work with and desires to see true growth and impact in each life. He also initiated the upstart of our GORP soccer team as a way to reach the teens and youth from Kibera, who are vulnerable to joining gangs and using drugs. The first thing you will notice when meeting Collins is his joyous heart for serving and for telling others about the Gospel. Collins can often be heard passionately singing with GORP Kids and encouraging them to live with purpose. Collins' humble background and the hardships he has overcome are an inspiration to us and to the families we serve. Here is a little of his story in his own words:
I was born in western Kenya and brought up by my maternal grandparents. I have never seen my dad, nor do I even know his name. It's hard to explain! I had never experienced the love of a biological father until I heard about the Father of the fatherless, who is God. He is the one that comforts me when I think of a father. When I was very young, I felt lonely and discouraged when my friends were talking about how their parents were taking care of them. My mother left me when I was too young, and she got married to a husband who didn't want to see me. At the beginning my stepfather seemed to be good to my mother. But when the days went, he fell into drunkeness and mistreated my mum brutally. After bearing seven kids, she returned to reside with her parents, not because she was willing, but because of what she went through. Soon the husband died and left my mum to care for us children alone.
My grandparents were not stable enough, I can remember we used to go without food. So I used to go to the forest and burn charcoals in order to get school fees. After completing high school, both my grandparents died and I wondered where to go. This is the time I trusted God and believed him to be my father. My aunt was living in Kibera Slum, so she called me to come. She gave me a small amount of money to to start a business . I started the business but it was not profitable. So, I went to a Bible college and pleaded with them to let me learn, and they accepted and I earned a diploma degree.
Then I saw kids around where I was living not going to school. Some were drinking alcohol, some engaging in bad behavior, and I was thinking how to help them. I mobilized and started reaching out. My aunt saw this and said I must add more knowledge in handling the kids and she enrolled me in studying early childhood education.
I felt that this was a calling.
I am so happy to work with GORP, and I have come to understand why I went to learn about early childhood education. I can understand how an orphan feels, how a homeless child feels, how a fatherless child feels, and how a rejected child feels. GORP is working with kids like these just to bring hope where there is hopelessness.
I can testify that there is a grandparent in my community who was hopeless living with her two grandchildren because their parents had deserted them, and she had no way to take care of them. Even the community leaders couldn't help her. But I thank God because of GORP that we were able to intervene to help her grandchildren and bring hope in her life.
Many families can smile and thank God because of what GORP is doing in their lives--this is a true statement.
Indeed God is using GORP to extend his loving kindness to unfortunate people in the Kibera community. The most gratifying work is helping others, and this is why am proud to work with GORP.
May God bless GORP.