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Greetings! We pray that this letter finds you well. We are in our 4th year of living in Nashville and who would have dreamed so much would happen in four years? We have seen doors open that we never imagined and opportunities presented to us that were pleasantly unexpected.
We would like to share with you one of those opportunities and invite your support. We have an incredible opportunity to engage with an amazing organization in Kenya, Africa called, Made in the Streets MITS (www.madeinthestreets.org).
Context For The Trip
Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya and home to over three million people. It is a city of contrasts. It is both an economic center in the nation and at the same time home to thousands of children who are on the streets with no parents, no homes, and no hope. Most of these children are abused, hungry, and addicted to substances - glue sniffing is a pervasive and destructive problem for these children who live in the streets.
MITS is a child development program that uses a holistic approach to address the serious issue of child homelessness and the related problems of abuse and addiction. MITS reaches out to children who are still on the streets. They identify children who are ready to leave the street life and offer them something better. Once a child is taken off the street, their basic needs of food, water, shelter, and clothes are met first. As children are able and old enough, they are given incredible opportunities in education and learning trades such as auto mechanics, sewing, woodworking, catering, hairdressing, computers or farming.
How We Plan To Engage
Engaging with MITS as a family is a rare and beautiful opportunity. There will be two kinds of engagement during this trip.
The first kind of engagement is the children who have been rescued off the streets. This trip is unique in that the plan for the trip is to engage the unique qualities and skills of the Americans with the unique qualities and skills of the Kenyans. Chris will engage in some staff training (and getting training from staff) on child development and will be exploring how Positive Youth Development might intersect with the work of the program. Gail and Sierra will engage in the young women learning to sewing and singing. Canaan will gravitate toward the farming and computers.
The second kind of engagement will be with children on the streets of the Eastleigh Suburb of Nairobi. We will observe and even participate in the outreach work done in the streets is Eastleigh. So, in a sense, we will see both the challenge that exists in the streets as well as participate in the existing programs that address these challenges.
How You Can Engage
We would love to have your support in any or all of the following three ways: Prayer, Financial, Social Media. You will see more details for each on the following page.
Our financial needs include airfare, ground travel, lodging, food, immunizations, passports and visas. For each of us, the cost is roughly three thousand dollars for a grand total of $12,000.
We depart July 15, 2014 and return July 30, 2014.
Chris, Gail, Sierra & Canaan Gonzalez
DONATE WITH A CHECK:
PAY TO THE ORDER OF: Otter Creek Church of Christ
STICKY NOTE: "Gonzalez"
Otter Creek Church of Christ
409 Franklin Rd.
Brentwood, TN 37027