Who We Are
Testimony of the Founder, Jane Gravis
“In the summer of 1997, I woke in the middle of the night from a dream about Africa. I thought this was strange because I never had any interest in Africa or a desire to go there. The following Sunday I noticed an ad in the church bulletin about an interest meeting for a mission trip to Kenya. The next day I saw a friend and told her about my dream and the subsequent meeting at church. She smiled and said, “Here’s your first dollar… you are going to Africa.”
On the trip, I met a man named Nicodemus. He asked me what I did for a living back in America. I told him I was a dental hygienist but that I also volunteered for CASA, an organization which represented children who were placed in state custody because of abusive or neglectful home lives. Later he came to me and spoke of the many children who were homeless and left on the streets with no place to go. He said that many would come to him begging for food and shelter.
Nicodemus talked about the deaths of many of their parents due to AIDS, malaria, and tribal clashes which left millions of Kenya’s children displaced. It had become a burden on his heart and the hearts of the people in his church, but there just weren’t enough funds or families willing to take orphans in. It was hard enough for them to take care of their own families. As he talked about these children, I could feel my heart sinking but felt that there was nothing I could do. All I could say was, “I’m sorry,” and, “I will pray for these children.”
For the rest of the trip, the faces of the children haunted me, and I couldn’t stop thinking of the conversation with Nicodemus. I wondered how God
must have felt about these children. I wondered what their lives were like on the streets, and the orphans continued to occupy my thoughts. After I returned home, I couldn’t sleep peacefully. I kept telling God that this was too BIG for me and I didn’t have the experience to take on something like this. He kept telling me it wasn’t too big for HIM and that He would guide me.
I went back to Kenya the following year in 1998, and the Lord confirmed the vision as the doors began to open. By 1999, people were beginning to show an
interest and join in on the vision. There was great opposition along the way, but the Lord always confirmed His will by placing people in my path to
encourage me and pray for me. ”