Summer holiday with a difference for Deborah
who is going to do Mission Work in Kenya .
LISBURN teenager Deborah Griffith will be
taking a summer holiday with a difference this year, as she will
be travelling to Kenya to help children at an orphanage.
The excited 16-year-old will be visiting the
Huruma Children's Home in Ngong Town, near Nairobi, which is
home to over 120 children.
Deborah will be travelling with the Rev. Dr.
Gilbert Edgerton and his wife Margaret, who are friends of her
father Rev. Albert Griffith, Pastor of the Lisburn Church of the
Nazarene, as well as with another young missionary.
"I can't wait, I'm really excited, I'm
counting the days," stated Deborah. "I first heard about the
trip at the Faith Mission Easter convention in Bangor from
Reverend Edgerton and I was really interested in it.
"I will be working in the orphanage for three
weeks from July 7 until July 27, playing with the children and
teaching them." The home was opened by Mama Zipporah and her
husband Pastor Isaac Kamau in 1989 for some of the destitute and
orphaned children of the Ngong area. The children are mostly
abandoned, abused or orphaned and Mama Zipporah's objective was
to give the children a loving home, a family, education and a
brighter future and she has integrated the children into her own
Deborah is so determined to go on the trip
that she has delayed a hip operation she needs until August. As
well as this she is currently in the middle of taking her
modules for her GCSEs, and is organising having her injections
for the journey.
She said: "I had a hip operation two years
ago and I should have had another one but I made sure that it
was put back so I can go to Kenya. I'm also in the middle of my
modules so I'm trying not to get too excited until after my
exams and I have to have the rest of my injections, I've had
four and need six more."
She has also been busy organising raising the
funds needed for her to travel to Kenya.
"It's just over �1,000 for the visit. I had a
praise night on June 12 with a band to raise money. I've been
sponsored by some people and Ronnie Thompson the funeral
director has been really good. I've even had strangers giving me
money, there was someone heard that I was going and they gave me
a cheque for �100." Whilst travelling to Kenya to help the
children may be exciting, Deborah also realises that it may be
difficult to see the children living in such poverty-
"I've been told not to feel guilty about
being better off than the children, I've been told to just give
as much love as I can. Reverend Edgerton was very emotional the
first time he was there and didn't want to go back but he knows
that someone has to help.
"Reverend Edgerton and his wife have given up
their Church and will be staying a year in the central belt in
Africa. The project he is working on at the moment is to try to
build a new place for the boys to sleep as there are 70 boys in
one room and only 30 beds.
"The home won't turn any children away, some
of the children have HIV and some homes won't take children with
HIV but Huruma take all children. The police sometimes just drop
children off at night; they will just knock on the gates and
"The home takes photographs of the children
when they first go in to the orphanage and then a couple of
months later to see the improvement in them, and the difference
As well as helping the children, Deborah will
also be experiencing a real taste of Africa on her visit.
"I will be getting a real taste of Africa
whilst I'm there, not just the poverty," said Deborah. "I'll be
going on safari which is something I've always wanted to do, I
love animals so it will be brilliant to see proper wild animals.
I'll also be going to see some of the shanty towns in the area."
Deborah is also bringing some goods with her
on her visit. She said: "I'm bringing a bag of clothes and books
with me, mostly educational books for the school. There's a
container going out so I'm going to go into the loft to find
some books from when we were young, I've been told to bring
classical books for the children to read.
"I've been involved with working with
children before and I definitely enjoy it. This is better than
sitting at home during the summer, I was bored last summer so it
will be good to do something constructive. I'm just really
looking forward to it."