Blog

DSC_6334r copyYes, we are worlds apart from the men, women, and children we have grown to love in Kitale, Kenya. A distant relationship is not an easy relationship to sustain. However, our BLOG is designed to keep relationships alive and well. You are encouraged to visit and revisit our blog for current updates, testimonies, announcements, encouraging words, and simply to bask in the many stories about our successes.

Seeds Academy: High School Build Project

The overall mission for Chicks for Children Foundation, is to reduce or eliminate the devastating consequences of local and global poverty characterized by a lack of food, clean water, homelessness, illiteracy, and sickness.

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The scarcity of food, water, shelter, education, and medical care are all formidable foes. Powerful weapons are needed to fight each one successfully. Investments are required to feed the poor, give drink to the thirsty, house the homeless, educate the illiterate, and treat the sick. People must have those essentials to survive and to subsist. While each is necessary, they are not sufficient. There is the critical need for education. Education is the investment that transports our new Seeds Academy eighth-grade graduates into a promising future.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. is right to exclaim, “Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” The Seeds teaching team is devoted to teaching knowledge, developing skills, fostering a passion for learning, and building character.

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Our foundation partners have given sacrificially and generously to the new Seeds Academy High School build project. Today’s challenge is to sustain the high school build campaign and remain steadfast in our resolve to reduce or eliminate poverty through education.

Please join our High School Build Project by donating through the PayPal buttons on this website or by sending a check to P.O. Box 10753, Conway, AR 72034.

Plow Ahead Campaign Plows Ahead

The Good News!

POVERTY CURE REQUIRES RESOURCES: THE PLOW AHEAD CAMPAIGN DELIVERS!

Thanks to our foundation partners the tractor and many of its implements have been purchased and delivered! Your donations have made possible the New Holland tractor, an eight disc-plough, a harrow, a 10-ton trailer, and a shed to protect the equipment.

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What Next?

There are three more implements needed for the farming enterprise:

  • A chisel plough (approx. $6,000)
  • A sprayer (approx. $10,000)
  • A planter (approx. $19,000)

It is our prayer that we find additional support before the new year for the three implements.
In addition to feeding the children and generating income from the use of the tractor and its implements, the little seedlings will grow up using the farming equipment as fertile ground for character building, truck “patch” farming, vocational training, and nutrition education.

No! You can’t simply teach a man to grow maize without land to lease and the equipment necessary to disc, spray, plant, and harvest. Pastor Richard and Hellen Makani have the minds to use resources for farming. However, they need the resources. image1In December, Pastor Richard and Hellen Makani, founders and directors of the Seeds Ministry in Kitale, Kenya, were asked, “What is your most significant income saving and income generating project for self-sufficiency?” They quickly answered, “A tractor and its implements. The acres of maize grown on the leased property feeds the orphans and generates money from its sell.”

The Makanis and Jimmy are overwhelmed with praise, gratitude, and enthusiasm for your support. They stated, “You cannot imagine how important this will be to help Seeds Ministry. This is an invaluable investment for income saving and income generating.”

The Makanis have leased 100 acres of land for growing maize in 2017. As you can see, the tractor and implements have been “field tested” to everyone’s delight.

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Why the Implements?

Our hope and prayer is to grow the capacity to help the Makanis and Seeds Ministry team to free more and more orphans from poverty, abuse, abandonment, and exploitation. The transformation of a community requires the community to have resources, especially resources for self-sufficiency that, in turn, provide long-term care. The Makanis have been good stewards in the use of their income saving and income generating resources that include raising chickens, tilapia, cattle, and goats as well as other projects, such as the woodworking shop, the greenhouses, and the agricultural land lease for growing maize. The funding of the tractor and its implements will support 219 orphans at the Seeds Children’s Home. It will also help support the feeding, schooling, and medical care for hundreds of more orphans in the Kipsongo Slum located in Kitale, Kenya. It is a dignity model of poverty reduction created to empower the Makanis and transform their community.

donate via PayPal

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MEDICAL RESCUE: ALIVE AND WELL!

The medical rescue team was small in number. Yet, the team’s accomplishments went far beyond anyone’s expectations. Guardians eagerly wait for their children from the Kipsongo slum to get their “very first” medical exam and treatment.

image2 Examples of God-Driven precedents set during our seventh medical rescue effort:

  • Under the direction of the Makani’s, Dr. Larry Stone and the mission team provided unprecedented care for approximately 350 kids from birth to three.
  • The Coordinator of Public Health Ministries volunteered an unprecedented number of community medical team members for this medical rescue mission effort.
  • One Pediatrician (Dr. Masabi) and one General Physician specializing in pediatrics (Dr. Lukela) examined and treated kids with Dr. Larry Stone.
  • A medical partnership was introduced between the MOI Medical Center Pediatric Team in Eldoret, Kenya and Seeds Ministry.
  • Dr. Stone met with medical doctors at Tenwek Mission Hospital in Bomet, Kenya and developed a relationship with the Tenwek medical team.
  • Dr. Stone made arrangements with the MOI team to provide medical care for a girl from Kipsongo with a severe cleft palate.
  • Parasitic insects called jiggers were painfully removed from children and adults. There are efforts underway to protect the Kipsongo environments from jiggers.
  • he mission team also administered vaccinations to prevent Typhoid to 218 children at the Seeds orphanage and about 60 Seeds staff.


Jimmy, a missionary partner with the Makani’s, and Carly, a mission team member, register the kids, take temperatures, and weigh them.


Drs. Stone, Masabi on the left and Lukela on the right examine and treat patientsDrs. Stone, Masabi on the left and Lukela on the right examine and treat patients

 

 

 

 

 

Drs. Stone, Masabi on the left and Lukela on the right examine and treat patients.


Jiggers are parasitic insects that live under the skin and cause swelling, itching, and infection that can lead to amputation and even death in worst cases.

 

 

 


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Linda Cooper and a public health official test for Malaria and HIV

 

 


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The two nurses provided by the Coordinator of Public Health Ministries vaccinate for DPT, measles, polio, and other diseases.


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The Seeds Ministry nurse, Rita, and several Seeds Ministry social workers provide medications.


The medical question that begs itself, “What more Lord?” We all are very grateful to our foundation partners who supported monetarily and prayerfully our mission rescue effort. Our intention is to provide a continuity of medical care from January through December of every year. It is our hope that the expressions of sadness found in our newly treated children from Kipsongo will change. We encourage you to help sustain such support. YOU do make a difference in changing the world for our children.

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Dining Hall/Kitchen Fully Funded!

Have you heard the news? Funds have been received to finally finish all the construction for the dining hall and kitchen/laundry. We have also received all the funds needed to fully equip the kitchen, and laundry facility. So ovens, stoves, sinks, commercial washers and dryers, showers and toilets – all can be ordered! Now that’s worth shouting about! Now the kids are going to be glad for a new way to do laundry!

Here is the dining hall at it’s present level of construction.
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A Relationship Made in Heaven!

Literally, OMG! For the first time, I have come to Africa without a compelling agenda. As a result, God’s grace has become ever more present. There are wonderful examples of His providential care daily. I miss so many of those in the states. “God, I’m just too busy. I’m sure you understand.”

And to think, God has blessed me with 19 more days. The conversations with the kids about their life stories, hopes and dreams, temptations, their desires to change the world, discrimination, and suffering have been heart-wrenching and heart-warming. Jimmy is so very right. Our kids are so capable when given opportunity. SELFISHLY, I pray to God upon our return that 100% of the church family pay attention to our story. LOL! I am so grateful for this opportunity. I can hardly contain myself. Of course, there is nothing more obnoxious than such an overly enthusiastic person. I shed tears of gratitude for my opportunity to experience the expressions of God through the kids and to see intimately Pastor Richard and Hellen Makani and Jimmy help God make heaven on earth a better place. THANK YOU for your prayer support! They are being answered. See you soon LInda – Love you! Veronica says “Hi mum Sheila.” She sings like an angel. Can’t wait for you to hear your big girl’s interview. Next best thing to being in person!

Love to all,
Mark

Plow Ahead Campaign

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Update!

We have purchased the tractor and several implements. Help us finish what we started. We need three more tractor implements to plow ahead on one of the most significant income saving and income generating projects for self-sufficiency. Read the full update.


what?

In December, Pastor Richard and Hellen Makani, founders and directors of the Seeds Ministry in Kitale, Kenya, were asked, “What is your most significant income saving and income generating maizeproject for self-sufficiency?” They quickly answered, “A tractor and its implements. The 70 acres of maize grown on the leased property feeds the orphans and generates money from its sell.”

It is our hope and prayer that funds are raised for a New Holland Tractor-90HP, a four-disc plough, maize2a 24-disc harrow, planter, and trailer for the Makanis. The lease of a tractor every year costs $7,500. Therefore, if the farming equipment was purchased, they could save this money each planting season. The equipment can also generate significant money because of its availability to lease to other farmers.

The purchase of one of the most recommended brands in Kenya, the New Holland tractor, will assure availability of parts and readily available trained mechanics for ongoing maintenance. The expenses for the tractor and implements are as follows:
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  • Tractor-90 HP: $55,000
  • Four disc plough: $5,500
  • 24 disc harrow: $11,000
  • Planter: $19,000
  • Trailer: $12,000

The total expense is $102,000. The good news is that we have raised $40,800 towards the Plow Ahead Campaign so far.

why?

There is the adage, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” This begs the question, “What if the man has no resources to fish?” The transformation of a community requires the community to have resources, especially resources for self-sufficiency that, in turn, provide long-term care.

who is it for?

The Makanis have been good stewards in the use of their income saving and income generating maize4resources that include raising chickens, tilapia, cattle, and goats as well as other projects, such as the woodworking shop, the greenhouses, and the 70-acre agricultural land lease for growing maize. At the present time, the funding of the tractor and its implements will support 218 orphans at the Seeds Children’s Home. It will also support the feeding, schooling, and medical care for hundreds of more orphans in the Kipsongo Slum located in Kitale, Kenya.

We thank God for the growing capacity to free more and more orphans from poverty, abuse, abandonment, and exploitation. Still, we need to help the Makanis sustain this growing capacity by providing the income saving and income generating resources. It is a dignity model of poverty reduction created to empower the Makanis and transform their community.

TO HELP raise money for farming equipment, donate via PayPal

OR

SEND DONATIONS to our mailing address:
P.O. Box 10753
Conway, AR 72034

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Remembering Melody

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And I heard the voice of the Lord saying “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “HERE I AM! SEND ME.”
-Isaiah 6-8

Melody died from a sudden heart attack on June 14 in Kitale, Kenya. Her life was celebrated at a memorial service on June 18 at the Seeds Children’s Home in Kitale. We are deeply saddened by Melody’s death. We will miss her infectious smile, servant heart, and loving spirit. The children will miss those heartfelt exchanges.

On February 22, 2014, our son, Jim, married the love of his life, Melody Ann MacWhirter. Melody expressed the desire to marry a Godly man with a missionary heart. Melody married that man, Jim Cooper, a missionary in Kitale, Kenya, who answered God’s call to server orphans from the Kipsongo slum in 2008.

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Melody and Jim have been the head, heart, and hands of the Chicks for Children Foundation in Kitale. Melody and Jim also supported many mission ministry teams who traveled from the states to serve the orphans. Melody become like a sister to the founders and directors of Seeds Ministry, Pastor Richard and Hellen Makani, a very loving and spirited mom to the orphans at Seeds Children’s Home, dear friend and tremendous support to statewide mission teams, and a wonderful neighbor to people in Kitale. She taught at the Seeds Academy and helped champion medical care for all of the orphans at the Academy and Orphanage. As a person that loved literature, Melody helped develop a library. She also assisted with the implementation of the Chicks for Children Foundation Kids Helping Kids “Each One Reach One” Learning to Serve Leadership Academy for the youth in Kitale. Melody was a lifeline for many mission ministries.

her memorial

The Chicks for Children Foundation would like to honor Melody by creating a memorial to her; a memorial created to touch the lives of the children from the Kipsongo Slum. Jim and the Makani’s will be very prayerful about the use of the memorial donation. All funds we collect will be designated for this memorial.

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There are two ways to give:

  1. Visit Chicks for Children’s website and donate through PayPal. Make sure you designate to Melody’s Memorial in the comment.
  2. Write a check to Chicks for Children Foundation at P.O. Box 10753, Conway, AR 72034. Please designate to Melody’s Memorial.

All memorial donations are tax-deductible.

remember

Melody will be dearly missed. She was a very generous person. She loved all of us so deeply, especially the children. Although it was over a short period, Jim and Melody shared a very beautiful love story.

Let this memorial keep Melody’s God-driven and hope-filled spirit alive. Let it sustain Melody’s answer to God’s call to serve the children from Kipsongo.

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services

Memorial services for Melody Ann Cooper will be held at the following times:

  • July 16, 4 PM at First Presbyterian Church in Conway, Arkansas
  • July 23, 10 AM at The Church at West Mountain in Gilmer, Texas.

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KITALE MISSION TRIP: SPECIAL MOMENTS

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Of course, there are too many special moments to mention all. However, following five rate high:

• “GOD IS GOOD” – “ALL THE TIME”… A Child often proclaims at the daily devotional in the evening hours, “God is good!” The 200 plus kids standing side-by-side hands clasped reply enthusiastically, “All the time!” The child responds, “All the time.” This is followed by “God is good!” It is a special moment of solidarity that reflects their faith in God goodness and care. It is a wonderful testament of their faith.

• EACH ONE REACH ONE… As a culminating activity of the Kids Helping Kids “Each One Reach One” Learning to Serve Academy for 48 youth, a group of 12 traveled to the Precious Kids Center; a center for abandoned kids with severe disabilities. In the midst of the 2 hour love-fest, Alfred asked, “Professor Mark, may I pray over a child.” Alfred knelt down, laid his hands over several children with disabilities, and prayed a beautiful prayer. This was a very special moment where Alfred showed the kids the face of God.

• SPONSOR/CHILD UNION… A dear friend joined our mission team for the first time. There had been many nervous expressions in preparation for her first trip to Kitale, Kenya. She was very excited to meet her sponsored child. While standing in the devotional circle for the first time (an unforgettable moment), I was able to locate her child. I introduced them and enjoyed a most exceptional moment. There are few moments more intimate than the sponsor seeing her child for the first time and the joyful expressions of the child seeing her sponsor (mum) for the first time. It was truly a moment made in heaven.

• JIMMY, MELODY, CHARLOTTE, LINDA, AND I… It was very special to have our immediate family all together in Kitale, Kenya for the first time. And of course, Linda’s brother, Dr. Larry. Jimmy and Melody were invaluable to our preparation for the mission trip. The fact that our daughter, Charlotte, joined us made the trip extra special.

• INTERACTIONS WITH AMOS, ABUID, AND ANDREW… Following the academy, these three youth shared an idea with me. They described it as a God-given idea something that was part of the academy lesson sequence. What do you do with God-given ideas? They exclaimed that they wanted to become better stewards of an allowance received from the Makani’s. They use the allowance for boarding school expenses. They wanted to set aside some schillings as a tithe to serve others. We stood together and prayed for God’s counsel understanding that any God-given idea can become a God-driven idea.

As mentioned, there were so many more special moments. I plan to share more in the future. Stay tuned!

Giving Tuesday: A Day to Give Back to Your Community

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Today is a very special day for us and charities, families and communities around the world. Tuesday, December 1, 2015 is Giving Tuesday – a global day dedicated to giving back to our communities, charities and businesses.  Children, students and adults can all come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

You can give in any way you want. To one particular missionary, or a global charity, like The Red Cross. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then, tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.

This is a great opportunity for you to be a part of our Each One Reach One campaign. While it will not change the whole world, it will sure change the life of ONE child at a time.

If you’re interested, send a tax deductible check to Chicks for Children Foundation at P.O. Box 10753 in Conway, AR 72034 or donate right here at our website: www.chicksforchildren.org. Any amount of money is accepted.

Thank you for being a part of Giving Tuesday. Your contribution is truly life-changing for kids across the globe!

Chick-fil-A Foundation’s 2015 True Inspiration Award Winner

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Dr. Mark Cooper pictured with Rodney Bullard, Vice President of Community Affairs for Chick-fil-A, Inc. and Executive Director of Chick-fil-A Foundation, and Franchised Operator Alan Kizer

 

About the True Inspiration Awards

We are so honored to be one of the Chick-fil-A Foundation’s 2015 True Inspiration Award Winners.  25 organizations were nominated by Chick-fil-A Owner/Operators and community foundations from across the nation for their support of youth and giving back to their communities. Chicks for Children was nominated in the Chick-fil-A Owner/Operator Choice category for our dedication to eliminating the devastating consequences of local and global poverty characterized by illiteracy, hopelessness and social isolationWe were presented with our True Inspiration Award Friday, September 4th in Atlanta, Georgia at the fabulous Fox Theatre.

About the Award Design

The Award statue was created by Society Awards and was designed to reflect “The Flame Within.”  Chick-fil-A’s goal is to ignite the flame of goodwill, philanthropy and service in all who receive the award and those who are impacted by the work of Chicks for Children.  Our flame and desire to help others will continue to burn for years to come.  Thank you for all your efforts in helping us achieve this honor.

Thank You!

A big thank you to you for helping Chicks for Children get selected as one of Chick-fil-A’s True Inspiration Awards Winners.  We were honored for the work we do to inspire children in the community helping them to be the best versions of themselves.  Since we couldn’t do it alone, we wanted to share this award with you and thank you for your continued work helping Chicks for Children make a difference as we help build the next generation of leaders.