For almost 10 years, Destin’s Mission Love Seeds Charity has helped people locally, across the United States and around the world. Founder Barbi Carroll has always had a heart to help children have better lives — physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
After working in the Philippines, Haiti, Mississippi and Alabama, as well as Destin, Mission has decided to extend its outreach to help Breath of Heaven Children’s Home in Watamu, Kenya and Athena Marler Creamer, USA director of fundraising. Started about a year ago by Pastor Samuel Omondi Oguna and his wife, Josephine, the orphanage is home to 28 children that range in age from one to 13.
Watamu, a small village on the Kenyan coast, means “home of the sweet people” in Swahili. The area has developed an international reputation for its pristine white-sand beaches and reef-protected lagoons.
As the poorest orphanage in Watamu, Breath of Heaven struggles to provide a home environment, a school, and a church ministry with very few resources. Pastor Samuel operates all the projects, and his needs are many. But his immediate prayer is for food.
“Our hope is to raise enough funds to provide for some of these needs, like food and medications,” Carroll told The Log. “We also hope to provide ways to help the cleanliness and safety of the orphanage.”
Food and milk are the immediate needs. The children have a daily ration of porridge made of black flour and water; occasionally, rice and meat or fish. They eat only one meal, sometimes two, and many weeks they exist on nothing but rice and beans.
“Three times a week they are treated to a cup of black tea, with a little milk and sugar,” Creamer told The Log. “The Pastor’s cupboards stay bare.”
Three sips of milk a week. Pastor Samuel and Josephine pray every day for food. Sometimes the adults fast and give their food to the children, and sometimes they fast for spiritual reasons.
Pastor Samuel says, “To feed the children would be about $250 a week, and that includes meat, not everyday, and milk everyday.”
Pastor Samuel holds a clinic at his church every Saturday to help the children and others in the village and surrounding area that are infested with jiggers — small insects that look like fleas and cause parts of the body to rot. Jiggers often enter through the feet. Once inside a person's body, they suck the blood, grow and breed, multiplying by the hundreds. Affected body parts — buttocks, lips, even eyelids — rot away.
It costs $60 for a treatment for 194 people. Jane Carron, president of Generous Heart Ministry, said her organization will sponsor four treatments for 800 people.
The number of treatments a person needs depends on how severely they are infected, Pastor Samuel said, but it is usually two or three. He also indicated they need a sprayer, which costs $66, to rid the buildings of insects.
“At this time, both the school and church have a dirty dusty floor, and when it rains it is almost impossible to walk, due to the floor being slippery and muddy,” Carroll said. “But those needs are now taken care of.”
In addition to medical treatments, Generous Heart Ministry has also donated funds to pay for a concrete floor in the school, and an anonymous supporter will pay for the floor in the church.
To offer the children some added comfort, beds are needed.
“The beds will be handmade and painted a pretty bright color,” Carroll said. “One double bunk bed costs $225 to make and the orphanage could use 10 beds.”
A tax deductible donation goes a long way to help someone and help Mission bring a smile and a real “Breath of Heaven” to these children in need. No donation is too small. If you would like to donate, visit www.missionloveseeds.com and click on Donate or mail checks to Mission Love Seeds, 55 Country Club Drive E., Destin FL 32541.