On one of the flights back from Africa last month, I had a chance to collect my thoughts about my time there and pen a journal entry or two. Some captured the events of a particular day detail by detail, others entailed OCD-ish lists detailing the day, date, and main focus of each day in an effort to share my time with my Inch of Hope followers. As we embarked from Brussels, I flipped to one of the very last pages in my Moleskine notebook and penned my thoughts as they came. The title (“Putting My Thoughts into Action”) was easy to jot down, but the content that followed was much more difficult to write. After spending time in a country where poverty runs deep and hits to the core, it is easy to have 1,001 ideas swirl around in your mind and not know where to even begin. But I choose to challenge those thoughts with action, and herein lies the next phase of that entry…
As I thought about Covenant Street Ministries, my heart went straight to where these boys lie their tired bodies at night. Before “My Sons of 20” (as I call them) were taken off the streets, the idea of a bed was nonexistent. Maybe they slept in an abandoned tin shack, maybe on cardboard scraps, who knows,…
Here are just a few biography notes of where these former “street boys” used to be:
Dennis, Age 12: “We found Dennis on the streets of Nairobi homeless. He was wandering around with no identity and no hope. He had been kicked out of every street children home that took him in because they said he was “bad.” Really he just had epilepsy…”
Aloes, Age 13: “Because of the lack of financial resources and no parental supervision, Aloes and his siblings were forced to the streets to fend for themselves. Aloes survived by pickpocketing and sleeping anywhere he could find while trying to avoid being bullied…”
Brian, Age 10: “We found Brian homeless and addicted to sniffing glue in the streets of Nairobi. He is such a beautiful child, yet he came in so rough and tumble, used to fighting for food and for his life on the streets. He started changing the day we brought him to the Covenant Home, and he has not looked back. In fact, when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, he proudly declared, ‘President of Kenya!'”
But their stories do not end there: These boys are no longer addicted to sniffing glue. These boys are no longer homeless. And these boys no longer have no identity and no hope. They have been rescued by Covenant Street Ministries (CSM), and even better, their hearts have been captured by the One who is the giver of hope, Jesus Christ.
As I toured the CSM facility less than a month ago, I noticed a few things: 3 or 4 bedrooms (for 20 boys), bunk beds (sometimes with 2 boys/bunk), foam mattresses (often dirty, but still in use), and wool blankets (one per bed). Pamoja Charity (the amazing charity I am heavily involved with) has provided these boys with a home and basic necessities, but something was still missing,… As I pulled down the wool blanket to check the condition of their bedding, I noticed very quickly there was no bedding. No fitted sheet on the mattress; no flat sheet under the blanket. Nothing.
And here is where my mind started reeling…
Sheets. These boys need sheets. Why, I asked myself,… Sheets would save the mattress from normal wear and tear. Sheets would protect the wool blanket from getting soiled and having to be washed on a regular basis. Sheets would allow the boys to have something atop them as they lay their tired bodies at night. And heck, sheets are a basic bedding necessity.
So fast forward to now:
That was the thought.
And this is the action.
“Project Bed” is simple: For $9.47, we can outfit the former “street boys'” beds with a new twin sheet set. Don’t worry, I have done tons of research on which sheet sets to purchase in terms of price and quality. The Mainstays Soft Microfiber Sheet Set from Walmart was the sure winner. These sheets are soft and comfortable, and because of the thin material, they will be easy for the boys to hand-wash.
Without even marketing this project, I have already acquired donations for ten sheet sets. When God gives you a thought and you share it with others, it seemingly falls into place with ease. And this spurs my faith even more that God will provide the other ten sheets and then some. Seriously, I am stoked!
Here is where you can help… If your heart has been touched to donate a sheet set for “My Sons of 20,” simply send $10 via PayPal via the “Donate” link below. Once your donation has been sent, I will purchase a Mainstays Soft Microfiber Sheet Set on your behalf. I will launder each sheet set, and then package them to be delivered to Covenant Street Ministries, a Pamoja Charity ministry.
[Not certain why, but the above button was not working for a few people wishing to donate. If the “Donate” button doesn’t work for you, please send your donation via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
From the bottom of my heart (and the boys too), we thank you.