Money at Heroes (Part One)

What Happens After Heroes?

High_School_Girls.jpgAt Heroes of the Nation, we continue to invest in our children once they finish high school, and we always see a great ‘return’ for our efforts! The Heroes of the Nation Post-Graduate Endowment Program (PGEP) is a very clever Kingdom way to invest in the nation of Kenya through the graduates of Heroes Academy. Our children graduate with hearts that are healed, knowing why and how to serve, and wanting to see IMG_2357 (1)the Kingdom advanced in their families, neighborhoods, communities and nation.

PGEP was started by Titus and Elizabeth Hug of Spokane, WA. In the beginning,  it was conceived as a way to help our kids continue on to post-high school education so that they could follow their dreams and change their world. But as the PGEP grew, it has been developed to facilitate, guide and assist our kids in making decisions about their futures, whether that’s college or vocational training, running for office, or starting a business straight out of high school.

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Violet and Weston Gitonga with Titus Hug and college graduates via PGEP

Our program coordinator seeks to understand our kids and their strengths as well as learn about their dreams, and then comes alongside them as a mentor, helping them to set solid goals and find their way forward. The program then finances the students’ goals, helping them to achieve those plans. The possibilities open to them are as varied as the kids themselves.

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One of our high schoolers, Joseph, with classmates.

One of the unique aspects of PGEP is that the students who go through the program are empowered to pour back into the PGEP financially and also through mentoring younger students who, like them, need a guide into their future.

If being involved in the Heroes of the Nation Post-Graduate Endowment Program interests you, please reach out to us at susie@htn.org to find out more.

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Parnering with God

HTNpics (1280).JPGCaring for orphans and those who have no voice is huge in the heart of God, and it is our mission at Heroes of the Nation. We get to co-labor with the Lord and faithful partners to rescue orphans one person at a time.

As we love them by providing for their physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs, their hearts are set free to run with Jesus and carry hope and healing back to their families, communities, and nation.

Undergirding this boots-on-the-ground ministry is the unseen network of faithful, caring people who partner by providing financial support. Without their help, we would not have all that’s needed to complete our mission.

Sponsor Claire and her child, Scholar

Yes, sometimes love looks like praying for hope and healing. Sometimes it comes in the form of kind instruction, a hand to hold, or a new blanket. But equally vital, sometimes love looks like financing a child’s future. In fact, for those who live half a world away, our Child Sponsorship Program is the easiest and one of the most effective ways to have a huge impact in the life of an orphan.

For just a sample of the difference sponsorship can make and the relationships that can grow through funding a child, check out this previous post and see how Theresa’s faithful sposorship helped nine-year-old Hannah not only finish school but graduate college and set up her own successful business in Kenya.

HTNpics (1136)How much does it cost to sponsor a child? Surprisingly little. A full sponsorship is $60 per child. Too much of a stretch? A quarter sponsorship is $15 per child per month; half sponsorship is $30 per month, etc.  Or go the other direction–you can sponsor more than one child at a time! Also, you can make your sponsorship payment annually or bi-annually if you would prefer not to pay monthly.

Want to choose a child to sponsor? It’s a super simple process. Just go to our website at www.htn.org , click on the “Learn More” tab, and select “Meet the Children.” On this page, you’ll be able to read about each child that is up for sponsorship. Which one causes your heart to leap with possiblity? Or maybe more than one! Just select the red “Sponsor Now” button for each child. This will send you to our “Give Now” page.

Here you’ll find a secure form for your personal details and payment information. You’ll also see a note that says, “If sponsoring a child for the first time, please include the child’s name that you’d like to sponsor in the “notes” field below.” Enter your child(ren) here.

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Within a week of selecting your child(ren), you will receive a photo and profile of each child that includes a short biography as well as all his/her favorites. In addition, you’ll also get a sponsorship packet explaining about our program and how you can communicate with your child(ren). It’s so fun! Your child(ren) will send you a letter four different times a year, and a photo two times a year. Our kids love writing to their sponsors, and of course love receiving letters in return.

Claire and Scholar, March 2018

We can also help you send your child(ren) a gift on holidays and special occasions. Plus, once a year we offer a very affordable team trip to Heroes of the Nation made up of only sponsors who want to meet their child(ren) face to face and experience Heroes of the Nation and Kenya for themselves. Every sponsor is invited to participate in this life changing opportunity!

A little money goes such a long, long way in the life of a child in Kenya. Sponsoring is a great way for families, grandparents, singles–whoever!–to share love and care with a young hero or two.

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What TLC Looks like at Heroes of the Nation

HTNpics (1016)As we explored in last week’s blog entry, no matter what children have experienced before they join the HTN family,  we make sure they have what they need to thrive physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. Depending on the individual and his or her particular history and personality, the journey to health in these realms is relatively short. For others, this can be an ongoing process.

HTNpics (1137)It’s easy to spot a child who has been at Heroes from a young age; they are very confident, whereas some of the kids who come in at a later age tend to have more to issues to work through. If they come to Heroes as older children or teens, they’ve had more time to potentially suppress emotions and negative experiences, and often believe things about themselves and God that isn’t true.

For example, one of our recent graduates was in another orphanage and public schools up until he entered Grade 9.  He’s a wonderful young man and loved by everyone, but he still struggles with lack of confidence more than those who have grown up at Heroes of the Nation.

HTNpics (1114).JPGWhatever their age, at Heroes, we’re always observing our kids. When we see a need of any kind, we address it. Often times, counselors will work with a group of kids, leading them into an encounter with the Lord in which each receives from and interacts with Him in their own way and for their own personal reason.

High schoolers tend to rely heavily on Jemimah, our counselor, for help. Jemimah grew up at Heroes, went off to college to get her degree in counseling, and returned to bless our program.

HTNpics (745)And of course, we pour on the love. Teachers, while still maintaining the proper level of respect,  love, encourage, empower, and connect with each child, especially the little ones. The housemothers dispense love and hugs abundantly.

Another very important ingredient in the healing journey is that the kids have each other.  They are always holding hands, hanging on one another, sitting together in a group, etc. Tapping into this wonderful dynamic, we pair kids together of the same grade, and also connect them to someone older who has a similar personality, likes, and/or who has walked through similar grief and trauma.

HTNpics (883)With all these pieces in place, a child living at HTN has a safe and nurturing enironment in which to grow up into the hero they were always meant to be. They become secure in the love of their God, their HTN family, and their friends. They’re excited and hopeful for their future and passionate to help bring about positive change in their communities, their nation, and ultimately, the world.

To learn more about HTN, who we are, what we do, and meet our wonderful staff and kids, check out our website. Want to visit our kids in Kenya? Contact us here to start that conversation. Blessings until next week!

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Onboarding a Hero

HTNpics (849)At Heroes of the Nation, one of our core values is to help each child develop a strong identity, because children who know who they are, what they’re passionate about, and that they are loved learn that with God, nothing is impossible.

Our vision for each hero is to nurture them spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically in such a way that they can grow up to become healthy adults who know Jesus as their friend. From that solid foundation, they can become individuals who invest in others, bring positive change to their families, and impact their communities and ultimately their nation.

HTNpics (846)At HTN, we are always mindful of the unique challenges that orphans experience, and how best to care for their hearts. They need to come to know on all levels that Jesus will never leave or forsake them, no matter how difficult life may be or what life was like before coming to Heroes. So we are always seeking how we can cultivate an environment at HTN where healing and growth is centered around the perfect love God has for them.

HTNpics (1266)When a child arrives at HTN, we begin walking with them through that healing process. One of the ways we do this is through counseling. Newcomers meet and chat with staff members who are trained in how to help all ages of children work through past traumas, abandonment, grief, anger–whatever they may be struggling with.

HTNpics (904)From loving housemothers to dedicated and caring teachers, staff members, and fellow heroes, everywhere the child turns, there is someone reflecting the love and nature of Jesus, pointing him or her toward not just health but the deep-seated knowledge that his or her destiny is huge, gifts unique, and value priceless.

HTNpics (864)Psalm 68:8 says, “God places the lonely (solitary) in families…” (NLT) and that’s what happens for orphans and endangered children that come to Heroes of the Nation. They are enveloped into a great big family, one that knows their names, enfolds them in acceptance, and speaks blessing and destiny over their lives.

To learn more about Heroes of the Nation and all that goes on behind the scenes, visit our website or contact us to arrange to visit the HTN campus in Kenya and see for yourself!

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Caring for our Heroes

500 kids…

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That’s a whole lot of people who need love, encouragement, empowerment, and clean laundry! So, how do we it at Heroes? How do we serve each child, from the smallest to the tallest, and keep the ship moving at the pace of life?

HTNpics (1229)Well for one thing, the Heroes home is a highly organized place. Every staff member and student has their own important tasks that contribute to the well-being of the whole group. With over 60 staff members and over 500 children giving to the whole, it amazing what we can accomplish!

HTNpics (781)Organization is key. Our Heroes are housed by age and gender in a total of 5 dormitories, each dorm holding between 75 and 120 children. 3 of the dorms have a housemother (or housemothers in the case of the youngest children) who oversees the physical space as well as all the children’s clothing and bedding.

The mothers make sure that each child is able to complete their daily hygiene and chores (physical cleanliness, making bed, brushing teeth, keeping their things in order, etc). They also oversee the cleaning of their dorm daily, mopping the floors, cleaning the bathroom facilities, washing bedding, and more.HTNpics (16)

The High School boys and girls have their own separate dorms, but do not have a housemother sleeping in the building. Instead, they have student prefects who have a gift of encouragement and organization, and who help their dorms run well. These individuals are elected by students and staff, and it is quite an honor. In addition, two female teachers look in on the high school girls’ dorm at night and monitor any of their needs, while two male teachers do the same for the high school boys.

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Laundry
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Showers

Highschoolers take responsibility for their own environment, cleaning and caring for it with a high standard for orderliness and appearance. We also have a housematron who oversees the housemothers as well as all the high school students’ dorms, and ensures that issues don’t get overlooked.

HTNpics (1224)If a child arrives at class disheveled, under-prepared, emotionally upset, or seems out of the ordinary in any way, the teachers communicate with the housemother and then together as a staff, they address the needs of that young hero. This flow of care ensures that each child is not just adequately accounted for but really nutured emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically.

HTNpics (1010)Yes, 500 children take a lot of care. But no one staff person is alone in meeting all the needs of any one child. Instead, each child has multiple adults watching over and guiding him or her through life. This system has been honed over the past 17 years Heroes of the Nation has been in existence. Every piece of the picture is tried and true, and in place to ensure that each one of our heros have what they need to grow, learn, and dream!

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To find out more about Heroes of the Nation and all the ways you can help nurture our heroes, check out our website, meet some of the children on our sponsorship link, or even arrange to visit the Heroes of the Nation campus in Kenya.

Mission Possible!

IMG_3035Come the end of March, another amazing mission team will roll up to the open gates and welcoming hearts of the Heroes of the Nation community. This is rich ground, seeded over the years by the love, nurture, and teaching of the staff and by many previous teams. Like those who’ve gone before them, the team will carry with them a passion to listen to the Father and do what He’s doing, cultivating the seeds and bringing encouragement. Excitement is building!

IMG_3514 (1)Team programs–what the team will do while in Kenya–are designed well in advance of their arrival by collaborative effort on the part of the team leaders, our African director, Violet Gitonga, and Kari Brekke Kahoro, a Norwegian missionary who came to serve at Heroes over 6 years ago, and decided to stay.

The March 2018 team is made up of 5 teenagers from the US, England and Canada, 5 BSSM second year students from the US, Taiwan, and Mexico, a worship leader from Nashville, TN, and a missionary from South Africa. The theme will be KIDS CAMP and they will focus on worship and the creative arts, activations in the prophetic for kids, and experiencing Father’s embrace.  The team will also add to previous years’ foundation of Moral Revolution teachings, and of course, lots of playtime with the kids!

IMG_3045Each team member will have an opportunity to plan their own part of the program, each bringing his or her own unique perspective and passion to our kids in different sessions over the week. During these times, we break our young heroes into small groups so that each one can receive needed ministry and encouragement, connect with our visitors, and create life-long friendships. We also plan a program for our incredible staff, making sure we take time to recognize their sacrifice, their hearts and their commitment to God.

IMG_3146 (1)All in all, the visiting teams and everyone at Heroes has so much to share and learn from one another. Though the teams come ready to pour themselves out, inevitably, they receive much more than they give.

Sound like something you’d love to be involved in?

Contact us to inquire how to you can join an upcoming team, or how you can help in other ways.

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