He has a tender face and a welcoming smile. However, James has lived nothing that resembles a “tender” life.
When James was a child, his father would hike many miles into the city looking for work each day, while his mother took care of eight children and reared their three hens for eggs. These eggs were the only source of protein for the family, leaving many nights where they would go to bed hungry.
James gave his life to Christ at a young age, but the harshness of life had scorched his faith. He doubted God was really in control and had so many questions about why his family suffered as they did. He was losing hope. It was then that James made some new friends that introduced him to the Vapor Ministries center in Gichagi, Kenya.
To James, the center seemed like something out of a dream. Lush green soccer pitches, colorful jerseys, boys and girls kicking real soccer balls, and laughter filling the air... Women and young girls filling their jugs with clean water... Families in desperate need receiving baskets of nutritious food... It was a place where everyone was cared for and welcomed.
James joined a soccer team at the center and attended every practice. After each practice, his team sat down with their coach for a time of discipleship. The Word of God was shared freely, and day after day, James’ life started changing. A hunger burned in his soul for the Word of God. He couldn’t get enough. His once scorched faith now soared beyond what he had ever thought possible. He soon joined and started serving in a local church.
James continued to look outward. He became a volunteer coach at the center, mentoring a team of young boys and girls who lived in the nearby slum. He had never been so fulfilled. James also volunteered on the grounds crew, working so passionately that when a part time job opened up at the center, he was immediately recommended with his devotion to excellence and hard-working nature.
Great respect for James grew throughout all the Vapor Ministries staff, volunteers, and participants. His life, both at the center and at home, was beginning to inspire so many.
Two sweet children, a brother and sister under the age of 10, had been coming faithfully to the center to have their needs met and souls fed, and James had become their coach. Sadly, the two were abruptly abandoned by their parents. As soon as James found out that the siblings had been left with no one to provide for their needs, a wave of compassion came over him. He immediately requested guardianship from the local authorities, and custody of the two children was given to James. He now raises and provides for the two children using his part-time income from Vapor Ministries.
Because of faithful donors like you, Vapor Ministries is able to serve the community of Gichagi with critical care grants. James mentioned to fellow center staff that he had developed a chronic stiff neck. They found out that James had sacrificed his bed for the two children to sleep in, and he had been sleeping on the floor. Because of your generosity, we were able to bless James by providing him with a mattress. He was so incredibly blessed to receive such a gift and now says he can sleep comfortably.
James is living proof that everyone has something to give, and anyone can live a generous life. In fact, giving can oftentimes be most powerful when it is given out of a place of sacrifice or weakness. We have been so blessed to have the opportunity to see generosity come full circle. You helped us build and maintain a center in Gichagi, which showed the love of Christ to a boy named James. James, experiencing your generosity, was spurred on to show two abandoned children overwhelming generosity, which in turn inspires us, and will go on to have many more ripple effects.
And it all began with you! God bless you.