BTV Update 08.30.10

Friends,

Wanted to catch you up on the summer activities at Choimim, Kenya and bring you up to speed on the financial progress. First, the summer has been very busy with a large number of volunteers traveling to Choimim. We have been blessed with medical, sports, construction, evangelism, discipleship, and teaching teams this year! The efforts of so many have been a tremendous blessing for the church, Noel Academy, the Children’s center, the schools and the community at large.

The medical team held several programs including a health clinic and first aid training along with biblical discipleship and instruction shared with hundreds of community members from the village at Choimim.
The evangelism teams were blessed to have many opportunities to share Christ. We thank God for the privilege to witness so many professions of faith.
VBS teams worked in numerous schools acting out dramas, crafts and face painting and engaging the students in games of soccer. It was humbling to watch how intently the children were watching the faithfulness of Christ acted out. We sure look forward to eternity where we might know the impact of our efforts.
Women’s ministries – what a summer for the women of Choimim! There were several opportunities for the women to fill the church classroom and gain exceptional instruction and experience the encouragement, service and love from other Christian women from the states. Truly each woman involved was blessed by those special ministering opportunities!
Construction efforts this summer – wow – you had to watch out this summer for the amount of work that was getting done by the volunteer teams! Moving sand, rock, mixing concrete and filling footings just to name a few activities. Our construction team worked tirelessly and amazingly to help get our third school building well on it’s way to completion.

In summary, this was a truly a fantastic year for our volunteers and a tremendous blessing to both those who ministered and to those who were ministered to. Thousands of children heard the gospel in their schools, many adults accepted Christ Jesus as their personal Savior as a result of home-to-home evangelism and many of the church members of Community Baptist Church were greatly encouraged and strengthen in their personal faith in Christ Jesus.

Please keep the prayers coming, thanking God for everyone who has helped minster in Kenya this year and for those new believers who will join our fellowship in Choimim. Additionally, we want to ask if you will continue to pray for the sponsors for Noel Academy and the Children’s Center and children. We have been blessed this summer with a new van, funding to finish the second children’s house, funding that will help us complete the third house (which will be used as a community house for the children of Noel Children’s Center) and for the financial commitment to complete the third school building. PRAISE OUR LORD, this will nearly complete phase 1, only short of a dining hall for the children at Noel Academy.

God willing, the construction will be completed by April 2011 in Choimim.

For 2011, we are excited to announce a new ministry opportunity, the establishment of our second BTV project in Mosoriot, Kenya. We’ll share more details concerning this work soon. We’ll be praying that you and your church will consider this new harvest potential in 2011.

Thank you again for partnering with us and for your prayers,

Desiring to glorify our Savior,
Damon, Randa, James and the BTV Team

BTV Update 07.03.10

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Ashford and Alvin, at Noel Children’s Center July 3, 2010

Friends,

It’s been awhile since we have communicated with you concerning the activities at Choimim- these summer months are slipping by so quickly! So now we want to take this moment to bring you all up to speed with the activities along with our prayer requests.

The Church:
We continue to be blessed by the outreach efforts and discipleship programs. The church was maxed out last month during the graduating ceremonies. There were 17 students that graduated from Winchester Theological Academy. These students represented a number of our own church plants and three other denominational church leaders and pastors. Some of the students look forward to continuing their education later this fall as they attend our Associates program.

In the last three months, the church collectively baptized 41 new members to the congregations. And currently there are several new prospects for membership in our new members’ classes awaiting completion of the introduction class prior to baptism.

New church plant: Please pray for the several mission teams coming out in the next few weeks who will be helping to start two new church plants. The leadership for these two new churches will come from the Elders who feel called to senior leadership positions.

Noel Academy:
We continue to be blessed of the Lord with so many bright children and how well they are performing, not only within the school, but also within their school district. With the test results back from the District Office, Noel Academy is still ranked among the top five among 49 schools.

Additionally, the third school building as many of you know has been waiting for funding before we could finish the construction of this five classroom building. Praise the Lord, a portion of the money has been raised and the construction of the walls for this building has begun! We are still in need of funding for the roof and windows.

Prayer request: God willing, the roof and windows will be funded and the building completed so it may open to the 4th grade students January 1, 2011. The estimated cost to complete the roofing and windows is $10,000.00.

Noel Children’s Center:
We continue to be humbled that many government officials continue to see our commitment to love and serve children along with providing quality accommodations at Noel Children’s Center, superior to most in our region. With that praise also comes the overwhelming need to provide for more children. Since we last communicated with you, we have added four new children to our ministry, thus to our lives. Pictured above are two of our newest children, Alvin and Ashford. Their mother Adelaide was a beloved staff member at BTV Choimim, and whose burial site is behind the boys in the above picture. You may recall Adelaide passed way earlier this year from complications arising from malaria. The extended families have rejected the children and thus they have been placed with us to raise. We are blessed by these two precious children who have been a part of BTV since construction began in Choimim. These two precious boys bring great joy to our lives. Both of them are very loving and eager to please. Maybe you would consider helping to support these boys. We have 2 other little ones under 6 months that we want to feature in an upcoming update, these 2 sweet ones also in need of support. Please let us know if you would like to participate in sponsoring any one of these special ones.

Along with the addition of children we have added new staff, food consumption has increased, and the cost of health care and the new burden on existing facilities have begun to press us for additional sponsorship. Now with 12 children, we must begin to transition three (older) children from the baby house to the next house. Yet, we lack a septic tank and some basic furnishings to open this house. God willing, we pray that sponsorship will come and we can construct these needed items for these children.

Please pray with us as we seek the $4,000 needed to construct the septic tank and an additional $1,200 for the household furnishings, including beds, bedding, furniture, and etc. Please also pray with us as we await the electrical power to our children’s home. We paid the fees for the service line back in January, but have yet to receive from the power company (Kenya Power Co.) the electrical hardware and service. God willing this will be soon.

We praise God for each of you, thanking Him for your continued encouragement, prayers and support. We certainly could not succeed in reaching, loving and nurturing so many without your participation.

Give us a call or drop an e-mail, we would love to share more with you.

We hope you enjoy your 4th of July holiday weekend, giving praise to Him for the great blessing of the freedom that we share in Christ, and our country.

Have a blessed summer,

Damon, Randa, James and the BTV staff

BTV Update 04.01.10

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Our dear sister in Christ, Adelaide

Friends,

It’s with a heavy heart we share this sad news with many of our friends who have visited the Build the Village project in Choimim, Kenya and who have shared in the joy of knowing Adelaide first hand. In the evening hours of March 31st, Adelaide went home to be with the Lord. She was struggling to overcome malaria during which time she suffered a miscarriage and died from the complications.

Please pray for the two young children, her mother, and so many of her friends who loved her very much. We can rejoice in knowing that Adelaide is now home in the loving arms of her heavenly Father. Her contagious smile, servant heart and gracious hospitality will always be remembered. We will all miss her so very much.

May God grant us all peace and comfort during this time of mourning,

Damon, Randa, James and the BTV Team Kenya

BTV Update 12.27.09

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Noel Children’s Center, 5 of the oldest pictured December 26, 2009

Friends,

We hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and can spend the next few days catching up on some rest! We would like to share with you that the children at Noel Children’s Center had a great Christmas, thanks to many of you! We were blessed to add five new children to our program this year and two of them just a couple of weeks ago. This has allowed us the opportunity this Christmas Season to share with them the love of Christ and bring some sense of structure and family to their lives. They surely are a blessing to our Kenyan staff and to us, and we are privileged to reach out to these precious ones in need of tender love, care and guidance.

Two children recently delivered into our care were victims of child trafficking. The children, both approximately two months old, were sick and dehydrated when they came to us. Of the two, the female child has improved and seems to be doing well. But sadly the little male child died last Sunday from his health issues. This was very difficult for our staff, as you can understand. We would like to ask that you keep them in your prayers.

As many of us look forward to 2010, we would like to remind those who will be considering their year end gifts to please consider helping us to finish the 3rd school building for Noel Academy. This facility must be completed by January 2011 to allow for additional classrooms as the school expands.

We also want to thank several of you for your gifts concerning running electrical lines to the Children’s Center. We are delighted to report to you that we have received the funding and God willing, we look forward to having power in the children’s home by the middle of January – amazing!!!

We would also like to mention that we still have many opportunities for individuals and groups to help in Choimim, Kenya this summer. If you desire
more information, please email your interest as soon as possible.

Thank you again for your prayers and support in making the Choimim project so successful. We wish you a very blessed, Happy New Year!

Damon, Randa and the BTV Kenya Team

BTV Update 12.09.09

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Friends,

We’re excited to share with you a picture of our 3rd graduating Preschool Class of Noel Academy in Choimim, Kenya. This was a fun day of celebration (and it was all day) for the students, teachers and parents of these children. This class of 35 students has been promoted to the 1st grade and will begin their class in early January.

With the new school year just weeks away, we are working to finish the last few construction items before the children report. Additionally there have been desks and bookshelves to build, books to purchase (with special thanks to a supporter who has funded this project!), a teacher to hire, along with new cooking pots and utensils to buy to accommodate more mouths to feed! A lot of work has been done and still more to go, but truly an incredible blessing to be apart of these kids’ lives. Again, we want to thank each of these who have helped to make this all possible. Your prayers and gifts have helped the staff of BTV to impact this wonderful village community. With the start of the 3rd grade class in January, we will be hiring a full-time Chaplin whose sole focus is to minister to our children, their parents and our staff.

Please keep us in your prayers as we begin construction of the 3rd school building (you can see the foundation in the background) in the middle of January. The construction will focus on the walls and roof until funds are available to finish the building.

Concerning Noel Children’s Home, we want to thank so many of you who have helped to build buildings and beds, who have donated the much needed supplies and clothing for the children, and those who have provided sponsorships to our new arrivals. We are excited to tell you we have two new infants coming this week! Please keep us in mind this holiday season, we are currently building two new cribs for these two little blessings. With these two new children coming this week, we will have maxed out the 1st children’s home. The doors of the 2nd house will thus be opening soon, very soon.

This is a picture of me and Moses in November during recess at Noel Academy. Moses has been with us at Noel Children’s Home for only a couple of months but has made the transition to our family and the school very well!

Some have asked about Christmas gifts for the children at the Home and for the School. Here are some things for your consideration:

1. New blankets and mattress for the two new children we are receiving this week, $200.00.
2. New socks and shoes for the children at the Children’s Center, $520.00
3. A table, 10 chairs and rug for the Children’s Center, $600.00
4. Funding to run electricity to the Children’s Center, $1,500.00
5. Help with the purchase of a used van for the School and Children’s Center, $10K
6. Funding, one time gift of a commitment over 12 months to help finish our 3rd Children’s home (foundation is complete), $15,000

Thank you again for your many prayers and gifts, with the Lord’s blessing and your faithful prayers and support we have done much in the last 4 years, may it all be for His glory. May each of you have a wonderful holiday with family and friends this Christmas season as we celebrate the fulfillment of prophecy, the virgin birth of our savior, Lord and Holy God.

Merry Christmas!!

Damon, Randa, and the BTV team

BTV Update 11.29.09

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Friends,

I’m happy to share with you this exciting event, the setting of the electrical meter at Choimim! Thank God, we finally have power now in the hostel, church and in the school. Something so simple that will be used to help change the lives of many. We want to thank everyone for their prayers and support to help make this a reality.

Though we still have challenges ahead – improving our water sources, finishing the 3rd school building and orphan home and replacing a vehicle, we are very thankful for the facilities and opportunities to serve so many in need.

Please continue to pray for us as we look forward to our largest school attendance, over 180 children, who will be starting in January 2010, and for the privilege to love many more orphaned children by opening our second home in the early part of 2010.

Many God continue to bless you richly,

Damon, Randa and the BTV Team

BTV Update 11.01.09

Friends,

It’s only been a couple of days since our last update, but as is the case in ministry, things change quickly. We would like to introduce to you our newest arrivals to Noel Children’s Center in Choimim, Kenya, Noyta and Collins!! These precious children were picked up by our staff from a hospital in Kapsabet mid last week. To share just a little of their background, Noyta was abandoned by her mother at a village market and Collins was rejected by his family do to the issue of incest.

With the addition of these two, the total number of children at Noel Children’s Center is 8. The maximum number of children per house is 10, and God willing, we should have this home “maxed out” by early next year. Upon maxing out the occupancy of the first house, we will open the 2nd house which is of equal size and can also become home to 10 children. The reason for the smaller homes is to provide a more nurturing environment.

As we have asked before, again we would like to ask that you forward this email to your family and friends as we seek to raise sponsorship for these two children. The typical sponsorship is $65.00 monthly per child and can be spread out over a couple of families. We send out monthly pledge statements as a reminder and as a receipt for the gift.

Of course we are very excited to have the privilege to accept, love and nurture these children, yet now we are in a situation were we need to let our friends and donors know of a coming need, the construction of a new children’s home, our 3rd. We’re not pushed now, but if the past year is proof of how quickly God will provide children for our care, then we need to get moving! We may just max out the 2nd house early 2011. With this in mind, we desire to put a seed in your heart that we will need your help in mid 2010 to help construct a new children’s home. A house is $30,000 plus furnishings.

The issue of abandoned children any where in the world should be a major concern to us all, especially the Church. Without intervention, these children grow up on the streets, if they survive that long, and their lives are downright heart breaking and difficult to even watch from a distance. Many times they run in packs, steal, eat from the trash on the streets and sniff bicycle tire repair glue (or whatever) to get high, which just burns up their brains. We the staff of BTV are dedicated to live out the love of Christ daily by taking in as many abandoned children as possible. We must keep them off the streets, we must provide a loving home environment, we must help to provide them with a quality education so that they too will have the chance to compete in a global market, and most importantly, we must teach them of the love and grace of a loving Father, helping them as we can to develop a relationship with a God and Father who will never abandon nor reject them. This is a momentous responsibility, but it can be accomplished by fostering partnerships (individually and corporately), seeking your prayers and if possible your financial participation. Please keep BTV and the children in mind as you seek to glorify our God through your generous giving.

May God bless you and keep you: God prosper your labor with help from above; May His smile be your reward and His glory your goal. – Anon.

For His glory,

Damon, Randa and the BTV staff

BTV Update 10.28.09

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Friends,

It has been a few weeks since we sent our last email update. Well as you can imagine there is much to talk about. Just a couple of weeks ago I was in Kenya spending time with staff, organizing new construction projects and working with a great group from Charlotte, N.C. who traveled to Kenya to work with the children at Choimim, teach in the Bible school and work among the women members at one of our sister churches in Mosoriot. The mission was very successful and a great blessing to so many who interacted with them. The staff of BTV would like to extend our deepest appreciation and thanks to this team for their hard work, commitment and dedication to toward this successful mission.

As many of you know, BTV was blessed with a generous financial gift to help construct and equip a computer room at Noel Academy. This room will allow us the opportunity to equip the classroom with ten modern computers. Well, we’re happy to share with you that the construction of computer tables has been completed (shown above) and the computers have been purchased! God willing, a mission team comprised of members from several area churches will travel to Choimim in early February to set the equipment in place and orient the students and teachers. Please keep this project in your prayers as we continue to provide great opportunities to the children and to the villagers of Choimim.

Another tremendous blessing, we are nearly fully funded (cash and pledges) to build the third school building at Noel Academy. With work scheduled to begin in early January, the completion of this building will provide the additional classroom to accommodate a complete stream of students K-8th. We want to thank each of you for your prayers and support in helping to make this project a reality. We truly hope that you are blessed knowing that in some small way your partnership with the ministry has helped to make the lives and futures of hundreds of children brighter, that together we are reaching many for Christ, our ultimate goal.

Please consider traveling to Choimim this summer and join our team in our construction efforts or teaching in the local schools, ministering to the children at Noel Children’s Center or to just join in on a game of soccer with the neighborhood children (there’s only a few of hundred J).

To share some of our up coming needs and prayer request:

1. The school needs a school van. We sold our car to help stop the hemorrhage of costly repairs, and unfortunately this leaves us without a car. The proceeds from the sale of the car will need to be matched with an additional 10K before we will have the funding for a good used van which we will convert into a school van

2. Consider helping with the construction of the administrative block. The 4th building will have the school library, administrative offices and a health room. This wing will cost approximately 65K. This final building will complete the first stream for the elementary school.

3. We need books for the 3rd grade class. We would like for someone interested in supporting Noel Academy to consider purchasing the school books for the new 3rd grade class that will start early January 2010. The cost of this project is $1,200. The books are shared and will be with the class for several years.

4. Prayer request: Please keep in your prayers our offer to hire a new Headmistress for Noel Academy. She has an outstanding background in early childhood education and is currently working in one of the finest private schools in Nairobi. Her acceptance of our offer would be a great blessing for the work at Noel Academy.

Again, thank you for continuing to pray for BTV and for helping us to meet the objectives of this, His, ministry. May He bless you and keep you close.

In service for His glory,

Damon, Randa and the BTV Staff

BTV Update 09.14.09

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Friends,

It’s always a blessing to share with you the joys and heartaches of our work in Kenya. With this email it’s our joy to share with you our newest addition to Noel Children’s Center, “little” MosesJ. He comes to us from a children’s home that was closed by the Kenyan government. James Esendi, our staff director in Kenya, reports he’s a loving child and is in very good health. As we plan to start him in the “Baby Class” at Noel Academy and as we comfort him in his new home, we would ask that you please include this little one in your prayers.

Additionally, events over the past couple of weeks continue to show the hand of our loving Father. We have been blessed by several generous donors who have now made it possible to equip a new computer lab at Noel Academy! God willing, we hope to have the new program up and running by the end of February 2010. Additionally, we are closer to raising the money needed to finish the 3rd school building. We have collected $11,000 in the past several weeks and trust that the Lord will provide the balance, $25,000, to finish the school building.

We plan travel to Kenya in October and will be working with several groups who will be involved in community outreach, teaching in the schools and community, teaching at Winchester Academy along with making renovations to accommodate for the computer lab. Additionally during this visit a group of us will be surveying several new locations for potential future expansion. Please be in prayer as we work to serve and bring glory to our God, Jesus Christ.

A quick report on the churches, we praise God as we report they are healthy and doing very well! The pastors have worked hard to organize the churches and develop weekly Bible studies and outreach programs, and they have seen many come to faith in Christ. Over the next couple of months the church hopes to identify a new “hub” location and establish a new district church (Community Baptist Church of Kenya). This effort takes tremendous prayer, planning and commitment of resources. We pray that God will raise up new partners for this exciting opportunity to go, making disciples and glorifying the risen One.

Tthank you again for your continued support of the ministry of Build the Village, for your prayers, your continuous words of encouragement and for your presence on the field. We also send a special heartfelt thank you to each one of you who help sponsor the 5 children at Noel Children’s Center as you continue to pour out your love and compassion to these special little ones. Our newest addition Moses is currently unsponsored, and we would like to ask if each of you would share with someone in your family, church family, or office setting this special opportunity to sponsor him. The cost per month is $65.00 but can be shared among a couple of families so not become a financial burden. Should you have an interest please email and let us know your intent, we would love to hear from you.

As God continues to work out His plan of redemption through each of us, we stand amazed at His goodness when yet we are so weak in our flesh. For this, give Him praise, and with us, thank Him for His mighty deeds. May all we do glorify Him, and God willing, change the life of just one…

To His glory we serve,

Damon, Randa, and the Kenyan BTV Team

BTV Update 08.21.09

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Friends,

Praise the Lord! Just a quick yet very exciting note to let many of you know that we now have electricity for the project at Choimim, Kenya! We are so privileged to help impact this community for Christ and thank you all for praying for this particular project. We truly give thanks and praise God for allowing for this opportunity and that it will be used only for His glory.

So, for our returning visitors planning to come next year, bring along your old memories of sitting in the dark with your flash lights and candles burning :) and enjoy along with our new guests the modern convenience of electricity, taking advantage of the opportunities this gift will undoubtedly bring.

Also, another tremendous blessing we want to share with you, we have received a pledge of 10K to help develop and equip a computer education center at Noel Academy. We pray that we will have the computers purchased, connected and operational by the early part of next year. With this program in place, we will be teaching our students computer technologies and opening the classes up to the community to teach them the basics of computers and software applications. This will be a great outreach tool to the community and to those who continue to avoid the church.

For groups considering to travel to Choimim next year, please consider helping to teach our students to use Biblical software along with teaching financial stewardship to the community at large. We are also looking outside of Choimim to establish our second BTV project. As the Lord continues to bless this Choimim project we are compelled to seek out other communities with the gospel and develop opportunities to serve.

As always, we deeply appreciate your prayers and support. Please keep us in your prayers!!!

Striving to serve Him well,

Damon, Randa and the BTV Staff