10 Years of Redemption
By NMC - October 27, 2016
Posted in Partnerships, Stories from NMC
This year, NMC celebrated 10 years of partnering with the Africa Gospel Church (AGC) Baby Centre in Nakuru, Kenya. It’s been 10 years of growth, of redemption, of depending on the Lord. There is an incredible history with the Baby Centre and incredible stories that have come out of this place. What began as a project flooded with prayer and trust in the Lord has grown into an organization that is still flooded with prayer and trust in the Lord, but also provides love and care for orphans. Read more about the Baby Centre and what has happened over the years, and see the faces of those who have come through these doors and found forever families through the beauty of adoption.
NMC sends first work team to the Baby Centre
This team used shovels and wheel barrels to mix concrete and pour the foundation of the main building at the Baby Centre. The team knows there is a long construction road ahead, but this project is bathed in prayer and confidence in the Lord’s calling and provision.
Water towers at the Baby Centre
A team from NMC help to install two water base platforms. By 2007, the work is completed on this project!
First babies arrive
Benson and Mary, twins, come to the Baby Centre from a government facility that can no longer take care of them. The legacy of caring for orphans begins as Bill and Melody Dearmon love on these babies. Together with the staff, the Baby Centre team prepares for more kids to come.
“Let’s finish the building.”
On a “once in a lifetime” trip, Jamie and Jolinda Lengacher take their family to the Baby Centre. At that time, construction had stopped because of a lack of funding. As Jamie and Jolinda returned, they couldn’t get the kids out of their heads, and after meeting with WGM, they committed to see the construction process come to completion. Along with Dan Jacobs, Jamie took multiple trips back to the Baby Centre to oversee construction. Through prayer, trust and fundraising projects, construction begins again.
Babies Continue to Come!
In January 2007, part of the main building of the Baby Centre is complete. The babies are moved into the part that is finished while work is completed on the rest of the building.
The work is complete
Construction on the Baby Centre is finished! Pastor Dave, along with a few others, travel to the Baby Centre to dedicate the building and mark its official opening.
The first baby is adopted
After coming to the Baby Centre malnourished, Aaron goes home as a healthy baby with his forever family!
We have a well!
A well is dug at the Baby Centre, providing clean water for both the Baby Centre and for others in the surrounding community.
Student Ministries goes to Kenya
The first NMC Student Ministries team travels to Kenya on students’ spring break. This team loves on the kids at the Baby Centre and visits men and women in the Maasai tribe.
The 100th baby, Joanna, comes to the Baby Centre.
The Baby Centre hosts a reunion of all the babies who had been adopted. Families crowd the Baby Centre’s facility, caregivers hug kids they once held as babies and everyone is reminded of the faithfulness of the Father.
Click to Enlarge Timeline
Dan and Dana Jacobs move to Kenya
From the first time Dan and Dana stepped foot on the Baby Centre’s soil, they felt a deep passion and love for the ministry that happened there. After feeling a calling from the Lord, Dan, Dana and their son, Carson, packed up their lives and moved to Kenya. Dan would become the director of the Baby Centre, and Dana would become the director of hospitality. The Jacobs have faithfully and lovingly served the AGC Baby Centre since their arrival in August 2012.
Zero Grazing Project
Dan and Dana Jacobs lead a project to move the Baby Centre’s cows to the Centre’s property in an effort to keep the cows from wandering around for grass. The hope is that they will work less and provide more milk for the Baby Centre.
The fish project begins in April and is up and running by the end of the year. This fish pond helps to provide food and other resources to the Baby Centre as they continually work to become self-sufficient.
Home of Hope
Home of Hope, a place for the older kids who have not been adopted, is opened. This provides a home for older the Baby Centre kids so they don’t have to be transferred to another organization.
We have goats!
The Baby Centre gets 6 goats that can provide milk and yogurt. All of this is done in an effort to become more self-sufficient.
The Baby Centre’s Impact
The Baby Centre has not only impacted hundreds of babies. It has impacted missionaries, caregivers, staff members and the families who have adopted babies. Hear from a few people who have been greatly impacted by the Baby Centre.
There are seasons that seem to define us. They shape us and mold us and create us into the people we are. For Staci Keter, ten years of living and serving in Kenya became one of those defining seasons. When she sees pictures or hears name of babies or staff members from the Baby Centre, she can quickly be moved to tears. She still remembers the day Lucy came to the Baby Centre. Lucy came in 2006, when only a few babies were in their care. She was one of the older babies which meant she already had experiences that had started to shape her. Because of this, her transition to the Baby Centre was particularly difficult. In a new and strange environment, she became stoic and emotionally unresponsive. She never smiled and wasn’t really happy. When Shadrack, one of the Baby Centre’s employees heard about this new baby, he found her and stopped his work to play with her. For the first time since coming, Lucy began to smile, feeling the genuine love and care that Shadrack offered. In 2008, adoptions had begun at the Baby Centre. One by one, parents came to welcome their new son or daughter into their family. But Lucy remained behind. Old enough to know what was happening, Lucy walked into Staci’s office one day and asked, “When are my mom and dad coming? I want a mom and dad.” All Staci could utter was, “Ok, let’s pray.” With child-like faith, Lucy simply prayed, “Jesus, give me a mom and dad. Amen.” Within three weeks, multiple families wanted to adopt Lucy, but one family stood above the rest: Shadrack and his wife. The two welcomed Lucy into their home and into their family soon after.
That’s what the Baby Centre is all about for Staci. It’s about redemption. God redeems babies who have been abandoned in pits or at hospitals, and He also redeems them as orphans without families. “God redeems their whole story and then gives these babies so much more: families,” Staci said. What was meant for loss, God meant for good and for redemption.
Jamie and Jolinda Lengacher
Sometimes we do things that seem like they are “once in a lifetime.” Sometimes this is the case. Other times, God transforms these once-in-a-lifetime experiences into a new lifestyle that impacts everything about our lives. This is truly the case with Jamie and Jolinda Lengacher. Their first trip to Kenya was only the beginning. Hearing the calling of God, this average couple from Northern Indiana said, “We’ll go,” over and over again. After ten years, the Baby Centre is as much a part of their lives and their family much like their children and business are a part of their lives at home. In Kenya, relationship is incredibly important. For Americans who like to check off lists and get things done, this can be a tricky dynamic. But as Jamie says, “We are better parents, friends, partners and people because of the Baby Centre and the people of Kenya.” For years, the Lengachers have built trust and relationships by being obedient to the call to “go.” And over the years, God has blessed them with incredible relationships with the kids and staff at the Baby Centre.
For them, two moments stick out from the past ten years. The first was completing the construction process. It was messy and difficult, but in the midst of it, the church truly shined. They stuck with this project, not giving up even when things got tricky. Because of this, hundreds of babies have found love, care and families through the ministry that happens in the Baby Centre’s walls. The second moment came when babies first began to be adopted. Having held and loved on these babies for many years, it was equally difficult and exciting to see them go to families. Ministry is messy, but being obedient to the Lord’s calling is the most fulfilling thing a person could do. Jamie and Jolinda are incredibly thankful for the courage the Lord gave them to faithfully follow His leading for the past ten years.
Not everyone is called to pack up their lives and move overseas. Every once in awhile, though, God calls men and women to do just that. When Margie first went to the Baby Centre in 2006, she couldn’t have imagined how God would use this place to totally transform her life and the plans she had for it. Her knack for finance was something WGM needed in Kenya, and 2008, she had moved into the apartments above the Baby Centre.
Life at the Baby Centre wasn’t always about playing with or holding cute babies. As the field treasurer, Margie had a very important role to fill, one that presented challenges she’d never faced before. Very quickly, she had to learn to fully depend upon the Lord for everything. Moment by moment, day by day, she leaned into Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s power at work in her life. “I would get up in the morning and ask, ‘Ok, Jesus, what are we going to do today?’ Each day, I was in over my head, but also confident that God would show me the way.” During her time in Kenya, she was also deeply impacted by adoption. Scripture came alive for Margie during this time as she gained new perspective into what it meant to be adopted into God’s family. As she leaned into the Lord’s power in her life, He was more than God. He was her Father.
Lacey knows that it can be easy to let life revolve around herself. It’s easy to become selfish, especially in college, a time of life when everything seems to be about students. Having heard about the Baby Centre for years, Lacey, a student at Bethel College, decided it was time to take a step and make this place personal. She didn’t want the babies to be simply a picture on a support card. She wanted to hold them, to hear their stories, to feel their fingers wrap around her own and to play with them. So she decided to travel with a team of 17 people on the October 2016 team. As she loved on the babies at the Baby Centre, God began to work on her heart. She saw the men and women on her team work tirelessly to finish a playhouse for the kids in Wing C. They poured themselves into this project to see it to completion. It was a little gift that would provide great joy and feed the kids’ imaginations as they played together. As she watched the looks on the kids’ faces as they played on the playhouse for the first time, she was reminded that this world is a giant place, filled with people and stories other than her own. In that moment, God challenged her to step outside of herself to see the hurting people around her in everyday life and to serve them like her team served the kids.
We’re excited for the years to come as we continue to partner with the AGC Baby Centre, a place of hope, a place of redemption. Our prayer is that the Lord would continue to open doors for the Baby Centre, that kids would find love and care and that adoptions would be abundant.
Take a Step…in partnering with the AGC Baby Centre
- Pick up a sponsorship packet in the Grand Hall! Not only can you financially support a baby at the Baby Centre, but these packets can also serve as reminders to pray.
- Like the Baby Centre’s Facebook page to stay up to date with all that is going on.
- Talk with someone who has been to the Baby Centre. Listen to their experiences and find ways to pray for the babies through their stories.