In 2012, Pastors John and Lisa – as well as various elders from the church – took a trip to Kenya for the 25th anniversary of King Jesus Faith Ministries (a partner ministry of Abundant Life Church since 1998).
While there, Pastor Lisa (on what was her first visit to Kenya) saw the street children and was moved. They invited the children in to the courtyard of a clinic that Abundant Life had helped purchase and develop, now run by King Jesus Faith Ministries. (It’s now a full-fledged hospital.)
They fed the boys, and got to talk to them for a few minutes to find out what was going on. Before long, a need was recognized, and the entire team felt led to help.
Upon their return to the United States, it was quickly declared that “we need to do something about this problem. We need to do something for these children.” Pastor John and Lisa directed the Reach team then to form a committee.
Forming the Team / Searching for the Right Model
On the committee, there were people from education, social work, psychology, addiction specialists, fathers, people who had been involved in foster care, and more. They began to talk about the challenge, did a tremendous amount of research, and tried to fully understand the problem. It was hard to grasp at first, as it was not something they were used to in the states. Their goal was to find a model that would fit the vision. The hope was that somebody would already be out there, doing this, and doing it really well.
Unfortunately, six months into the exploration phase, they had to give up on finding the model, as it just didn’t exist. More work had to be by the team in order to establish a new model.