HOW IT STARTED…
The year: 1984 The setting: the Great Rift Valley of Kenya.
The main player of our story: David, a 14 year old Kenyan boy, making the transition to life with an American missionary family in his home country. He went on to spend nine years with this family, graduating from secondary school in 1990 then working for two years to save money to attend Bible college. While David was saving up money to do this, Jim Harding, David’s adoptive father, introduced him to street ministry in Nairobi. Jim wanted David to see how things were on the streets of Nairobi for the many kids that had no place to call home. Due to fear for their own safety, they would sometimes feed children through their car windows. Eventually they built a ministry that consisted of feeding the children, teaching them Bible stories, and helping them to learn to make an honest living by recycling garbage from the streets. In 1993, Jim returned to the United States, leaving David to continue this ministry with Mark Buhler, an Africa Inland Mission (AIM) missionary from Canada, serving at Rift Valley Academy in Kenya.
For the next four years, while studying to become a pastor, David served these needy children. He worked diligently to get them off the streets and into school. During his studies, he met Peninah, a nurse at Kijabe Mission Hospital, who nursed him while he was ill with malaria. David graduated from Bible college in 1997. Peninah became his bride in 1998.
At this time, he made the monumental choice to follow the leading of the Lord to continue to work with street children. This decision meant he would get no remuneration for his work; it would be a true “faith ministry”. Over the next three years, David worked with a number of street boys in Nairobi. Along with the help of some sponsors, he enabled them to attend primary school and to get off the streets.
The year: 2000:
An elderly lady who had been connected to Jim Harding while he was growing up passed away. She had bequeathed an inheritance to Jim, who chose to pay for the purchase of the first acre of land that would become the site of Ngorika Children’s Home. This lady’s generous gift allowed Jim to assist David in making Ngorika a reality. In memory of this dear lady and her kind heart, David and Peninah named their first daughter after her.
With this purchase of land, and along with AIM missionaries Mark and Catherine Buhler, David began to make plans to open a children’s home for boys who had been orphaned by AIDS. It was their hope to reach the boys before they moved to the streets where they learned habits that were difficult to undo.
Over the years 2000-2004, David worked with Mark on the home’s plans while also continuing his work with street boys in Nairobi. Through donations during these years, Ngorika was able to purchase a second acre of land.
In February 2004, Ngorika Children’s Home opened its doors! David and Peninah moved in with their daughter and infant son and soon after welcomed the first two orphaned boys. For the continuation of the story, see History and Triumphs…