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It took years for this idea to become a reality; educate yourself on the story of Reach International Children's Center.
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Purpose Meets Destiny

October 2015

Towards the end of 2015, Abundant Life Christian Center made a push to raise awareness locally in Syracuse, NY regarding the needs of the new children's home in Bungoma, Kenya. The video below showcases the story behind the start of the vision up through late 2015. The work was far from finished, but the time had come to further increase the support to the cause.

Video transcription:

Pastor John Carter:

"The story of the work in Bungoma is really the story of what happens when purpose meets destiny. All of us have, inside of us, a sense that we are designed to do something in this world. When the purpose that drives us meets opportunity, destiny is created. This is really the story of how I met a guy from Africa.

In the mid 90s, we'd been pastoring our church for a number of years, and we were looking for strategic partners around the world to help carry out the work of the church in different parts of the Earth. I went to a conference in Mississippi and while I was there, a man spoke, briefly, and shared his story. It was a man from Africa. His name was Emanuel Maaku. As he began to speak, we recognized that there was something about this man and his vision that was tied to the destiny of us as a church and a congregation. Shortly after that meeting, I flew to Africa with a small team, and we witnessed firsthand the work that Emanuel was doing in Bungoma, Kenya.

We were overwhelmed by the poverty, by the needs of the people. We noticed, in the front of the hotel where we were staying, there was a child just laying across the curb. When I inquired about this young man, I was told that this is a common problem. When I asked further, I was told that all over Africa – and in many of the developing nations across the world – there is this phenomenon of these children who are orphans, because of AIDS, or abandoned because parents don't have the resources to afford them, some of these as little as two or three years old, are just left on the streets to fend for themselves.

I noticed another thing; I noticed that the children were walking around sniffing glue bottles. These little white bottles of glue – they had them right up to their mouth, and their nose… and when I asked about that, Bishop Emanuel explained to me that the older children give these glue bottles to the younger children because it helps numb the hunger pains. Because they don't get sufficient food, many of them eat trash, or live in the garbage dumps outside of the community. They literally live on the handouts, or whatever they can scrap and find. When I heard this, it broke my heart.

It was shortly after that that my wife went with me. When she saw the condition of these children, she felt a strong call from God that we need to do something, now."

Pastor Lisa Carter:

"To see pain that I cannot do anything about is probably the greatest frustration in my life. From the foundation of the Earth, one of the things the Lord established was that of family. Family is critical to any child having success in life, in moving forward in becoming what they're called to become. These children, they have no sense of belonging. They have no sense of love. They have no sense of boundaries. They have no sense of security.

What's important in my heart is these children have a home. They have a place where they can go every night. And they can have food. They can have shelter. They can have love and belonging, a sense of community. They can be educated. But, beyond that, is a sense that these children have a future, and they have a hope that God has designed for them to become something great."

Pastor John Carter:

"Your partnership, and your financial support makes such a difference in the lives of these kids. They have so little, and it takes so little to make such a big difference in their lives. Will you Reach with us, together, to help make a difference in the lives of these children? We can rescue them. We can change their destiny. It just might be part of your purpose in this world to help us do this. Thank you for considering this request, and thank you for praying for our success as we establish this home for children, the children of western Kenya."