Africa Gospel Church Baby Centre in Kenya
Like other African countries, Kenya struggles with the overwhelming epidemic of children being orphaned or abandoned because of AIDS, other diseases, violence, and poverty. AIDS alone has orphaned more than 1.4 million Kenyan children.
In answer to this need, World Gospel Mission partnered with Africa Gospel Church to build the Africa Gospel Church Baby Centre. The center opened its doors to the first two babies in April 2006, and April 2007, 24 babies were dedicated. As of July 2014, a total of 267 children have called the center home, and 109 children been adopted into their forever families.
“The primary goal of the baby center is to provide hope to each child through loving care, to enhance family growth through adoption and education, to stimulate church involvement through outreach opportunities, and to promote societal stability through reintegration of the child,” shared directors Dan and Dana Jacobs. “Our vision is to be a ministry to the little ones, thereby impacting society.”
Built in the rural farming community of Ngata, the center provides orphans and abandoned babies a home in which they are nurtured with the love of Christ and given the chance to thrive. The home was built to hold up to 97 babies and has had as many as 72 living there at one time. The babies are housed in three age-designated wings, allowing caregivers to create a loving home for each child while avoiding an institutional environment.
Although the number of kids constantly fluctuates, sometimes daily, the age range of the children remains from newborns to 4 years old. To date, the center has not had an adoptable baby reach the age of 4 without being adopted.
Some children come to the center based on referrals from hospitals and police while others are dropped off by mothers who are unable to care for their children. When babies arrive at the center, many are very sick and malnourished, even on the brink of death. Although the center can care for such needs, it does not have the medical facilities to care for children with AIDS. However, children who are HIV positive are housed at the center and given medical treatment to attempt to prevent the progression of the disease.
The AGC Baby Centre is registered with the Kenyan government as a Charitable Children’s Institution. It is not an orphanage or a children’s home; it is a baby rescue center. Babies are cared for until they are matched with an adoptive family, and center staff strives to have each child adopted by a loving, Christian family before the age of 4.
When a baby comes to the center, every effort is made by police and the children’s office to look for any relatives who are willing to care for the child. If no family is found, the child is cared for by the center staff. Children become eligible for adoption after they have been deemed abandoned for six months. The majority of adoptive parents are from Kenya, but the center has completed many international adoptions as well.
What if a child turns 4 and has not been adopted? A duplex on the AGC Baby Centre campus is home to Nyumbani ya Tumaini, the Africa Gospel Church Home of Hope for unadoptable children. Kenyan missionaries Pius and Evelyn Korir serve as house parents for these older children.
As the AGC Baby Centre continues to care for more and more babies, financial stability and long-term sustainability are constant concerns. The staff seeks to diversify the ministry’s donor base by getting more Kenyan supporters involved in the outreach. They are also creating small businesses to serve as sources of income for the center. Here’s a look at a few of the microbusinesses that have been started on the three-acre campus.
- Dairy cows are in a zero-grazing unit on campus, providing milk for the babies; and a biogas unit has been constructed, providing the center with eight hours of free cooking gas each day.
- A tilapia fish pond provides protein for the babies while small crops provide quality fruits and vegetables. The excess fish and crops are sold to staff members and the community for extra income.
- A grain bin, donated by a ministry partner in the States, provides a safe place for the center to store its maize, which is used daily as a significant food source for the babies.
- A diesel fueling station, donated by a local Kenyan company, enables the center to purchase fuel at wholesale prices and eliminates the weekly drive to town to buy fuel.
- Dairy goats provide milk, cheese, and yogurt for the babies, and the products are sold to staff members and the community as another source of income.
The center also provides desperately needed employment for Kenyan men and women. In addition to a full-time administrative staff, the baby center has about 62 employees, including nurses, caregivers, kitchen and laundry staff, maintenance workers, and groundskeepers.
“God has blessed us in so many ways, bringing people and ideas together to help the baby center,” Dan and Dana Jacobs stated. “We are blessed with God touching the hearts of so many who financially support this ministry. Part of the ongoing training at the center is to be good stewards of what God has entrusted us with, both the children and the resources.”
PRAY: Please pray for adoptive families for the babies as well as for their spiritual and physical health. Pray for the staff members who care for the children 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Pray also that hearts will be touched in Kenya and around the world to help the baby center through financial giving and gifts in kind. Pray for volunteers to continue to come to the baby center to help with small projects and to hold and play with the children. Finally, pray that these precious little ones will find their forever families and be comforted by their heavenly Father’s love.
GIVE: Breastfeeding is best for babies, but abandoned or orphaned children don’t have that option. Every $7 you raise provides one large can of formula to the AGC Baby Centre, which uses 450 cans of formula each month. Make checks payable to World Gospel Mission and write account #21193 on the memo line. Send check donations to:
World Gospel Mission
P.O. Box 948
Marion, IN 46952-0948
GO: There is always work to be done, ranging from small building projects, painting, organizing, and, of course, playing with babies. Go to www.wgm.org/teams for more info about visiting the AGC Baby Centre.
MORE: Learn more about the AGC Baby Centre, and find other ways you can partner with this ministry.
SHARE: View a speaker outline for the AGC Baby Centre in Kenya.