"We are here for the day of the harvest!"
A Recent Article In the Lancaster New Era
A vision becomes reality
By Ryan Robinson
Published: Sep 17, 2005 11:38 AM EST
LANCASTER COUNTY, PA
On a plane from Florida to Philadelphia last year,
Eugene Weaver’s mind was in Kenya.
Weaver said he lost sleep over the decision.
“I debated whether I could do this and I almost decided to stop,” the 55-year-old said. “I knew I’d either be making a terrible mistake or I’d find the purpose I’m here for.”
Weaver said he then had “a vision” that marked a turning point in his life.
“I was looking over the clouds and I saw a row of beds with children in them, and they were pulling up a blanket.
‘It can’t be because they were cold, not in Kenya,’” Weaver thought to himself.
“The blanket represented my love for them and I thought, ‘if I don’t do it, who will?’
“It was a vision,” Weaver said. “I don’t think I was sleeping. It put such a passion in my heart.”
When he spoke about building an orphanage, Weaver said church members told him they could see and hear his passion.
Weaver and his group of 22 volunteers, mostly from his church, transformed passion into hard labor during their trip to Kenya Sept. 1-14.
They and some Kenyans the church hired finished constructing the foundation for the 48-foot-by-100-foot, two-story building.
No power equipment was used.
The volunteers moved huge mounds of dirt by shovel and mixed concrete in wheelbarrows during the nine-hour work days.
Kenyans showed the group how to build pillars out of rebarb and wire, and rocks were used instead of blocks for the building’s footers.
Temperatures were in the 70s and 80s, so it wasn’t unbearably hot. But all the workers still got a dark tan by the end of the two weeks, Weaver said.
“A few guys became dehydrated and we were constantly buying bottled water,” he said.
The group persevered and Weaver said the orphanage can be finished by May 2006. It is on a six-acre lot the church bought last October, about 90 miles northeast of Nairobi.
Kenyan workers paid by Harvest Fellowship will finish the building.
Weaver had previously traveled to Kenya three times in the last three years.
He said Americans have culture shock when they see Kenya’s poverty for the first time.
Kenyans can find manual labor work for as little as $1.25 a day.
Many children sniff glue bottles to try to relieve their emotional pain from losing their parents to AIDS.
“It bothered me that so many children were on the street in Thika, and Nairobi was worse,” Weaver said. “I really had a burden for these children.”
One man Weaver met looks after seven children. None of them belong to him, but to his nephews and nieces who have died.
One of the little boys lived in a tiny, mud-block hut with a roof made out of the lids of 55-gallon drums.
The boy jumped at the chance to have his following year’s schooling paid for if he works on the orphanage until the end of this year, Weaver said.
The orphanage when completed will house 50 children — from infants up to about 16 years of age — and two house parents.
Weaver now sleeps well at night and does not doubt he made the right decision in pursuing the orphanage.
“I’m way beyond that,” he said. “I can see a training school. It’s going to happen.”
Two hours after returning from Kenya Wednesday, some of Weaver’s group rode on a float about the orphanage in the Denver Fair parade.
Walkers handed out informational pamphlets and accepted donations.
So far, the church has raised about $33,500 of the $100,000 it needs for the entire project.
Please consider making a secure, tax deductible donation today by clicking the donate button below. Please note that Harvest Blessings Center, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) organization in Pennsylvania (EIN #452722417).
School Building Project:
...or send contributions to “Harvest Blessings Center” to Harvest Blessings Center, P.O. Box 93, Stevens, PA 17578, or call (484) 291-4422.
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