Summer fundraising culminates in November visit

By November 8, 2013

Kenya (MNN) — A ministry leader, an All-American pitcher, and a short-term missions team are on their way to Kenya.

BHI_African kids 11-08-13

Sounds like the start of a bad joke, right? It’s actually the culmination of a beautiful story.

This summer, Cleveland Indians pitcher Justin Masterson and his wife, Meryl, joined forces with Bright Hope International and Moody Radio Cleveland. From July 1 through August 16, the “Feed Their Future” campaign raised awareness and support for Bright Hope’s work in Kenya’s Mathare Valley.

“We are thrilled to have Justin join the Bright Hope team,” Bright Hope CEO and President C.H. Dyer stated in a press release. “We are thankful for his heart for children in need and his desire to bring greater awareness to the reality of life for 1 out of 7 people in our world living in extreme poverty.”

The campaign’s goal was $140,000 USD–enough to feed and educate 1,400 students for a year. Thanks to the trio’s all-star efforts, close to $200,000 was raised for the children of Mathare Valley.

Now, Masterson is on his way to Nairobi with Dyer and a short-term missions team. They’ll be helping feed kids who regularly go hungry because their parents can’t make a livable wage. Pray that the team will arrive safely.

Bright Hope partners with Mathare Community Outreach (MCO) and Outreach Community Church (OCC) in Mathare Valley. Together, they bring Gospel hope and transformation to a place characterized by abject poverty, rampant crime, no functional utilities, and a large number of households headed by single women.

Mathare Valley is the second-largest slum in Nairobi, Kenya. It is estimated that 600,000 people live within one square mile of this squalid district. “Homes” are 6′ x 6′ tiny cubicles formed by galvanized iron sheets nailed together. Garbage and human waste form a river flowing through the middle of the slum, serving as its only sewage system.

MCO, OCC, and Bright Hope are committed to sewing Gospel seeds in this valley of despair. As local churches meet desperate needs, they share the everlasting hope of Jesus Christ. OCC has planted 8 churches throughout the Mathare Valley area, while MCO runs four schools for over 1,400 children.

Along with the school feeding program, a variety of Bright Hope programs support these ministry partners: vocational scholarships, teacher and administration training, pastoral leadership development programs, a widows’ sewing project, and small business development.

Click here for more on Bright Hope’s work in Mathare Valley.

Masterson and the Bright Hope team aren’t just going to serve meals to Mathare Valley children. They’ll be interacting with them and encouraging them, too.

Pray that this visit will shine as a beacon of hope in the lives of students. Pray that each child will see the love of Jesus Christ in action and place their faith in Him as their Savior.

“Meryl and I have received many blessings in this life and strongly believe that to whom much is given, much is expected,” Masterson said earlier this year. “Bright Hope’s goal to partner with the local church to help bring transformation to some of the poorest regions of the world is something we’re humbled to be a part of.”

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