Friday, July 11, 2014

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1:5

Things may look dark in Africa, and all over the world, but the Good News is that Jesus came and conquered and so can we.  He said, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world"  John 16:33.  Yay!  That's great news.  That means until the very end of the age, through all of the difficult things happening and have yet to take place.  He said, "and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" Matthew 28:20. 

So in the midst of the dark times we can be assured that His light will never go out, and we will overcome through Him.  We can get out there and see Him do amazing things as reach out to the hurting and lost, pray for the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, help the poor. 

In Kenya, in the midst of the chaos that has ensued from a constant battle with terrorists, political upheaval and increased crime, we get to see the Lord heal people, restore families, feed the hungry and bring hope the desperate.  After a lot of research and hard work we've recently been able to restore some families.  Children who have lived on the streets for even years have been restored to their moms or aunties, where hopefully they'll be able to stay at least while on break from their schools, and get to know their relatives.  Their families need help to be able to support them as many children go to the street because of severe poverty and the family's inability to provide adequate food and education.  If you would like to help us do this work please feel free to contact Sheltering Wings at  Or write to them at P.O. Box 29565, St. Louis, MO 63126. 

We currently have several children in need of a sponsor in Kenya and regular donations to keep up with feeding and schooling the children and upkeep of a center.  Your prayers are also greatly appreciated.  Thank you for helping us to shine the Light in a dark place.

Brian reunited with family members

Brian happy to be in school after many years on the streets

2 boys reunited with mom and siblings

4 of our boys on school break

Wilhard reconciled with his mom and brother

Monday, June 9, 2014

Overcoming Love

A missionary's experience of being transformed by the love of the Father and seeing the same happen in juvenile offenders in America and African orphans and street children.

Engage yourself in social work or missionary work and you're sure to come into close contact with a myriad of some of life's most traumatic problems and the brokenness left in their wake. Since the time I became a Christian, in 1992, the Lord called me to work with people battered by life's storms.

One reason He chose me for this work, I believe, is because from an early age I was personally subject to abuse in many forms, by various people, that left me broken. This led me to either question the existence of God and/or become very angry with Him by my early 20's. But, as He does so well, He relentlessly sought after me to reveal His Fatherly love and let me know who was really behind the abuses I'd suffered. He did this in many of His wonderful ways, such as miraculously preserving my life in a car accident and often sending His people into my life to tell me about Him and His love. Once I realized that we live in a sin-cursed earth and have very real enemies, that being the devil and other fallen angels, I realized who was responsible for the abuses I'd suffered. The Father actually loved me so much that He sent His only Son to die for my sins so that I could be with Him forever. He was, in fact, very concerned about the abuses that had happened to me and has been healing me ever since through the power of what His son, Jesus, accomplished on the cross. In so many ways He has restored me and turned what the devil meant for harm into good, to help other broken people receive healing through the power of His love and Truth.

Since 1994 I've worked with juvenile offenders in America and orphans/street children in Africa. While I was working with Iris Ministries in South Africa I had a wonderful, supernatural experience of the love of the Father. As a teacher at our Harvest Bible College, I was participating in one of our graduation ceremonies after a 2-week class session. These were always times of powerful Spirit-filled prayer after handing out certificates to the students. During one of those times, in 2010, I received prayer from our school director who had encountered the Father's love in a remarkable way in Canada some years prior. About 20 minutes after his prayer, I found myself suddenly immersed in the Father's love in a tangible, beautiful, life-changing way. The love & security I felt was unlike anything I'd ever known before as He told me that I belong to Him. I was undone for several minutes until I needed to speak with students again, and I've never been the same. His love is ever-present, everlasting and unconditional. It transcends all earthly pleasures and problems.

Both before and after that experience I've seen the power of His love transform troubled lives. From lives such as incarcerated juvenile offenders who were in a downward spiral to children in Africa who had literally lived on the streets for years. Once these juveniles and street children learned that there is a heaveny Father who loves them immensely, and they experience that love, they start to live free from drug use, addictions, crime, self-destruction and start to walk in the truth of who they are created to be.

It is available to everyone. There is a heavenly Father whose love is real and powerful enough to overcome every bit of darkness that creeps into our lives in this fallen world. It is our true home and where we'll find what we're looking for – the love we need to give us the peace and fulfillment we need. “Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!” Psalm 90:1 NLT

Follow my blog for speific stories of what Father God is doing in Kenya to change the lives of once abandoned children. 

To contribute to the work in Kenya tax-deductible donations may be sent to:

Sheltering Wings

P.O. Box 29565

St. Louis, MO 63126

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Ways to turn orphans into sons and daughters!

We love God and we love extending His big Father's heart to the fatherless in Kenya.  Our mission in Africa has been to express and reveal the all-consuming love of Father God to those who feel alone and abandoned, street children being the primary group we reach out to.

Since starting a feeding program to street kids in Nairobi in 2012, we've watched the weighty presence of God show up and start to transform lives.  It developed into assisting the kids with medical care then bringing them in for shelter.  Then enrolling them into school.

There are many ways we've seen Papa God reveal His love to these precious souls and break the orphan spirit off of them.  Like any loving Papa (and He is the Papa of all Papas) He is very concerned that they have food to keep them healthy and strong, shelter to keep them safe and people to love them in spite of their drug addictions, dirty clothes, etc.  Another way is to see that they receive a good education.

In Luke 11:11 Jesus says ""Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?" (a verse my adopted son in Kenya likes a lot).  So when our kids were asking us to please send them to school...we did.  And we didn't send them to just any school, but to one of the best we could find.  We thought that's what their Great Heavenly Papa would want.  So by the grace of God, and the help of some of His generous people, in the last few weeks we've been able to place 5 of them into a nice Christian boarding school.  It sits in a lovely setting about an hour and a half outside of Nairobi.  It's an ideal location for them as it's far enough from their old settings that they're able to concentrate on their studies.  It's also a good place to receive extra help with studies.  This is a blessing since some of our kids are far behind in school due to living on the streets for a long time.  Brian, for instance, is 17 and has qualified for the 6th grade.  But he has been learning Whose he is, he knows he's a son of his Father God and wants to receive the education he needs to help him fulfill the destiny that is on his life.  Counseling is also provided at the school as well as daily study in the Word.  We praise God for that.

We've also recently been able to place a 17 yr. old boy, named Simon, into a Christian Technical School to study electrical engineering.  In a recent message he says, "hey there thanks for your support, going back to school was my happyness, thank u, God blesss u."  And about His Papa he says, "I love Him so much, I'm proud of Him."  Two other boys have gone off to school in Western Kenya and another is in day school in Nairobi still where we are counseling the mom and trying to keep the family together.  A couple of other kids are requesting assistance to go to school as well.

That's what Papa God has been doing lately to love on precious kids in Kenya, who used to live on the streets, and are now on course to know who they belong to and to fulfilling the call on their lives.  Mostly to enjoying the deep, abiding love of their doting Father, who loves them for all eternity.

Our prayer is that you too are receiving increasing revelation of how great the Father's love is for you, and growing in that love daily.  He has an unending, bottomless supply of love and grace and peace to discover.  And just as it's transforming the lives of our precious ones, once street children, in Kenya, it will transform us, and our lives, in the areas where we need it most.  Like the father who won't give a snake to a son or daughter who asks for a fish, He knows just what we need when we need it.  Enjoy the riches and depth of His love for you in His presence today (Ephesians 3:20).

If you would like to make a donation (one time or ongoing), or sponsor a child through Sheltering Wings in Kenya you may contact Sheltering Wings at:
Sheltering Wings
P.O. Box 29565
St. Louis, MO 63126
-attach note for Kenya project

If your interested in child sponsorship for kids in Kenya you can ask for information there.  Sponsorship is a crucial way we provide for these precious ones and are able to offer them schooling.  It is $35 per month.

God bless you!
In His Love,
Tammy Donahue

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Breaking the orphan spirit
"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."  Jesus, in John 14:18

That might sound cruel at first but what I'm  referring to here is the breaking of a "spirit", or mindset, that puts precious people in the painful position of being unable to receive the love, comfort, and affirmation that people in their lives, and God, are attempting to give them. 

We are all created to give and receive love, but past experiences sometimes lead to emotional walls that hinder a person from receiving the love they so need and desire.  When that occurs, the affected person will usually attempt to fulfill those unmet needs in ways that are ineffective and frustrating and sometimes even harmful.  The following is a definition of an orphan spirit or "orphan heart" :

An orphan heart is a mental attitude developed from external
stimuli (experiences) during child development and influenced by
parental nurturing and emotional presence in the child’s life. An
orphan heart feels that it does not have a safe and secure place in a
father’s heart, where it is loved, valued, and affirmed.  Bruce Brodowski, Shiloh Place Ministries

In the course of my missionary work in Africa I adopted (unofficially by law, yet written on my heart) my beloved son there.  He was orphaned around the age of 7 after his mom died of AIDS.  We've been together for several years now and I can say it's been a blessing to watch his heart transform from being like an that of an orphan's to much more like a son's, as he comes to know and believe that he has a life-long family who loves him unconditionally.

Once, when I was upset with him for something, I made a comment, in my frustration, that sounded to him like I was maybe thinking to leave him.  I somewhat foolishly said, "I'm finished," meaning dealing with that particular issue, but certainly not with him.  That night he wrote me a letter addressed "Dear You", no longer "Mum", and proceeded to write in a way that demonstrated he was preparing himself for the worst.  He thanked me for my years of helping him and would always pray for me. He then asked if I would kindly give him 2 weeks notice if I was leaving him, so that he had time to find a place to stay.  Poor boy.  I, in turn, wrote him a letter letting him know that, no matter what, I will never leave him.

Some of the greatest things I've ever seen have been the moments where he was touched in some way that brought about a spirit of being adopted, accepted, loved, & not abandoned.  Such as when he said, seemingly of nowhere, "I can't believe you chose me" (out of all the children at the orphanage where I volunteered).  Or when I asked him how he felt after a long day of looking at potential universities to attend and he unexpectedly said "I feel loved."  I thought he was going to say something like "a little tired" or "excited about going to university."  It's a beautiful thing to see that spirit chipped away at and a feeling of belonging and being loved replace it.

I witness the same thing in many of our street boys.  It is a process for them to gain trust in us, open up with their feelings and receive the safety and love being given.  It takes sticking with them through problems, bad attitudes & bad behavior.  Disciplining correctly, in love, taking the time to listen, & affirming them.  Most importantly not giving up on them.  And most importantly, teaching them what God has to say about them in the Bible and praying they get a revelation of the Father's unconditional love for them.  Carrying out these things can bring about remarkable changes in them.  Their hearts open up and they begin to grow and mature through the love and acceptance they're receiving.  I've seen it happen and it's one of my favorite things to witness.  We see in the following scriptures that it is from the heart of Father God that adoption stems:

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”  Romans 8:15
"He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will."  Ephesians 1:5

One of my favorite scriptures is, "God sets the lonely in families."  Psalm 68:6  So we see that Father God loves family.  He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die and redeem people to Himself, so that He could have the big, huge family He always wanted.  I hope you are a part of that family.  It takes simply trusting in what His son did for you and me, believing it and receiving all of the blessings that come through it.  We then can look forward to enjoy being with our awesome, kind & loving Father - and big family for eternity.  It will be and is glorious.

Please pray for the abandoned kids who come to our mission in Kenya to receive the a spirit of adoption instead and enjoy all of the love that the Father has for them.  And for our workers that they daily have encounters with Papa God too so that they can resemble His heart to the hungry and hurting who come to us.  I pray that you too experience and enjoy knowing that you belong to Him and how deeply and dearly loved you are...and will always be.  

Friday, February 7, 2014

Street kids in developing nations and glue (gum) and airplane fuel sniffing.

Street children continue to be one of the most heartbreaking groups of people I've seen in my 11 years of doing missions in Africa.  Almost all of the street children I've met have profoundly sound sad stories of how they ended up in the devastating circumstances they're in.

Many do come to the streets because of extreme poverty in their families, which prevents their caretakers from being able to feed, clothe and educate them well.  Some prefer to come to the streets of the city rather than work in the farm because of the embarrassment they experience from their peers who are going to school.  Others have been simply left by their parents to fend for themselves.  Some parents prefer the company of a boyfriend or girlfriend who don't want the children around.  Some have been left behind afer parents have died.  Many have been forsaken by parents too addicted to drugs or alcohol to be able to care for the kids.

So in a nation with very limited social services available, their option for survival is to head to the streets and join the other kids who have made their home there.  Where many have already joined a community of other street kids at a "base" on the edge of a slum, in tin shacks, where they pull together to a degree, though the young are often stolen from and preyed upon by drug dealers and sexual perverts.  Some sleep, or try to sleep, at night in fruit stands, or behind a particular restaurant or shop whre they are welcome.  Such as a certain fish place I know of that gives the kids small bags of fish on certain days and times.  Besides those offerings they are left with no choice but to beg for food, usually in fron tof supermarkets and in the middle of the traffic of busy roads.  They go without shoes or wear shoes that often see to be rotting off of their feet.  They beg for clothes and blankets to ward off the cold at night.  They experienc the constant insecurity of not only the lack of food and shelter, but also the threat of beatings from police and even fellow citizens who look upon them as people at the lowest rung of society.  In Kenya they are very commonly called "chokoras" in KiSwahili, or "dirty things."

In light of the conditions they suffer, such as the above named... cold, hunger, threats, beatings, lack of nurturing and love, abandonment, neglect, it's not much surprise that they use the cheap glue or airplane fuel (called musie) to numb their minds and bodies so as to not have to feel the effect of these painful physical conditions and emotions.  Unfortunately these chemicals that they purchase for very little money, keep in old whisky bottles, and inhale through their outh right into their lungs, quickly causes serious damage to their nervous system and brain.  Within a few years they sometimes shake so bad that they can't pick up a cup of water and drink it without it splashing all over, or they're unable to think properly anymore.  This then makes it very difficult to help them if someone does come along and want to teach them a school or pay for them to go to school.  Then their options are very limited, usually leaving them to live out the remainder of their lives on the streets.  Their life span is short, the average life expectancy of orphans around the world is under 30 years old, how much less it must be for a person living on the streets.

The UN says the following: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has reported that glue sniffing is at the core of “street culture” in Nairobi, and that the majority of street children in the city are habitual solvent users.[20] Research conducted by Cottrell-Boyce for the African Journal of Drug and Alcohol Studies found that glue sniffing amongst Kenyan street children was primarily functional – dulling the senses against the hardship of life on the street – but it also provided a link to the support structure of the ‘street family’ as a potent symbol of shared experience.[20]

These truly are the least of these.  They distrust people, but when they find people who truly care about them, they typically become very loyal and grateful to those people, and ask for the help they need. Experts estimate there are approximately 250,000 street children living in Kenya, with around 60,000 in th capital city of Nairobi, where I work.  Unicef says there are tens of millions of street children in the world.  This is a very needy group and a good one to reach out to.  So much peotential to help desperate young people, save lives and change lives for better, and for all eternity.  There are many things one can do to help.  There are many organizations who have outreaches and shelters in areas around the world to reach out to this almost forgotten population of kids.  If you have a particular region of the world on your heart you can research and find orsuch organizations there, and support them financially and emotionally.  You can also visit these areas and meet the kids yourself.  I personally work with kids in the Nairobi, Kenya area if you would like information about work there.  Prayer for these kids worldwide is a greatly needed and eternally valuable thing to do.

Thank you and God bless you for reading this, and for thinking about these kids and the workers trying to help them.

Click here to contribute to this ongoing work to help shelter, feed and care for street children in Nairobi, Kenya.