Arlan’s Updates

Orphanages of Kenya is now baking delicious homemade bread!

What memories does the whiff of fresh baked bread evoke in you? Happy thoughts of childhood; a familiar, wholesome, amazing taste; crusty on the outside and fluffy on the inside? A new Charcoal Bread Oven was recently bought for the Orphanages of Kenya from donations and now our orphans will also be able to share in those memories! The local director, Pastor Bonaface, brought in two professionals from Kenya to train the cooks how to use the charcoal bread oven and how to bake bread and cakes. The children were so excited and said it was the best bread they had ever had “in their whole lives”! (In fact, it was the only fresh bread they had ever had!)

The charcoal bread oven opens up so many other options and doors for the orphans too! Not only will it provide fresh bread for the children and help them to be more self-sustained and save money, it will allow the children to learn how to make bread; possibly teaching them a skill that would enable them to make a living someday. The new oven bakes 20 loaves of bread or 4 birthday cakes at a time which will give them an opportunity to sell products to the surrounding community to help support the orphanage. There is also baking classes available in Nairobi which would open up other possibilities of a trade school for our children, should they not be able to go on to college. They would be taught how to bake and decorate cakes and queen cakes.

Charcoal ovens are very popular in Kenya and are as easy to use as gas or electric, yet less expensive and save on energy. Ours is a medium sized, four level oven, purchased directly from the factory in Nairobi from Cookswell Jikos. It is advertised that they would even be able to bake pizza, muffins; roast meat and vegetables like zucchini; even roast a goat and a half! The acacia tree, as well as tree branches, twigs, and corn cobs are readily available in the area to be made into charcoal using a small kiln.  Fresh bread, clean water, an education and a family that loves and cares for them.  It doesn’t get better than that!

Two new Solar Systems Donated!

It’s easy to take our electrical lighting for granted. Can you imagine arriving home from school after dark, to a home with no electricity! The children then eat dinner and settle down to finish out the evening with chores and homework in the dark. Without light in the evening, the children’s learning and exam scores suffer.

According to the World Bank Fact Sheet, about 1.3 billion people live without electricity and are plunged into darkness when the sun goes down. The Orphanages of Kenya compound has no access to electricity. Only two options are available for providing light: Kerosene and Solar energy. Kerosene is a “dirty fuel”. It is expensive; a common cause of accidental fires; and again the World Bank Fact Sheet, indicates the smoke and soot production “cause respiratory illnesses that lead to premature death”. Solar energy is clean, renewable, and an inexpensive energy source.

This spring we were able to purchase two new solar lights systems from “We Share Solar” and have installed them in the newly completed girl’s dormitory. The girls are so excited and are now able to see clearly in the dark and are able to continue to work on their chores, reading, and homework on into the evening. Our children desire to do well in their studies so that they might pursue higher education. By allowing them to study into the evening, they are better able to achieve this goal.

Pictured with the children in front of the new girl’s dormitory, is the Solar Suitcase kit from We Share Solar. We Share Solar obtained grants to put together suitcase size solar generators. They offer the kits to student programs who volunteer to assemble the generator kits as an education and global service learning program. The kits are then donated to deprived areas or sold to needy buyers like us!

Thank you for making this all possible!

2016 Balloons Over Bend Fundraiser

We were so very grateful for everyone’s hard work and efforts these last several days leading to last nights event (July 22, 2016). Even more beautiful than the colorful lit balloons, was your display of love towards many guests in service of food and drink. The evening was flawless (the vanishing of cheesecake included) which evidenced God’s hand at work amidst our toil. The music, setting sun and countless smiles made the evening melt away quickly until final spectacle of illuminated polyester caused me to think, “the end is near”. But then, team work kicked into overdrive as chairs, tables, small appliances, food containers, sound equipment, and tent poles danced towards their origins with hands that had brief rest. This event was quite a success and we are happy to announce that it raised about $8600 clear of expenses for use to care for our orphans! A very big thank you to all who donated and have given us the ability to use these funds for greater purposes! May you be blessed abundantly. Efforts of fund raising totaled about $20,000 in the month of July. We are still receiving donations that will be used soon to make ready for adding more children and serving our present family better.

Winter 2016 Newsletter

Last year this time we had just arrived to see 16 children and the staff, during their holiday break, occupying the land. One of our missions was to add children as we would travel about the country seeking those children most in need. The result was 20 children rescued and many new challenges within the facility. Think about how your family would be affected if you doubled in size over a short period of two months.  While observing the needs and before returning from that trip in March, we began to plot a path to having our own source of water and become less dependent upon our neighboring supplier and less vulnerable to weather…  Read More in the Winter 2016 Newsletter

Update Dec 2, 2015

Update on Arlan Mendell & Mark Hamrin in Nairobi, Kenya  –  On behalf of the Orphanages Of Kenya, we are thrilled to report that the fresh water well was drilled 574 feet with 60 gallons of water a minute. This was at a cost of $22,000 (raised from our Walk for Water in September 2015).  An additional $6,000 was needed to complete the setting of the pump, pipe, wiring, and diesel generator.  $4,000 had originally been set aside to build another dormitory.  This money, along with an additional $2,000 that came in  last week, will be used to complete this Phase 2!  For Phase 3, it is our hope and desire to now raise another $1,200 to be able to purchase a storage tank and provide a stable platform large enough to store water not only for the Orphanage daily needs and watering of gardens, but also to sell water to the water truck that makes weekly delivery to the community and provide water for widows in the community.

Please pray for physical strength for Arlan and Mark to complete the tasks that lay ahead; for opportunities to build relationships with those in need in the community; and for the funds to come in to compete phase 3 of the project.  They now have only three weeks remaining to complete this task!

Arlan, Bonface, and Mark took the orphans shopping for Christmas, with money donated from “Christmas in November” at GBC. Arlan mentioned that for many it was their first time to buy something they needed and wanted.

God is good!
Thank you for all the prayers and financial support

Christmas in October

Good news was received early this morning as my phone alerted me that a text had come in from The Promise Land. Well drilling equipment rolled onto the property and was setting up to begin boring for water. I wish I were there at this very moment to witness the sight. We have struggled for several years to bore a hole for our own water. God’s plan though has prevailed for this time and we are thankful to see this happening. We will arrive in time to assist in decision making of final meters to be drilled, what type of equipment to set for pumping, site of water tower and its height and so forth. With a rainy season upon us, it is good to see the equipment ready to find the water pocket awaiting our need.

We are finalizing our Christmas in October fundraising effort to benefit the children in The Promise Land. Most of our orphans are growing in stature and with that, all have been in need of new clothing and especially the newest of children added in the January – March trip last winter. Most of the children came to us with only what they were wearing. Our resident children shared what they had to supplement the immediate needs. As a result of the need, we made plans to give opportunity to those here on this side of the globe to participate in clothing the children. A tree looking close to those trees native to our land in southeast Kenya, was set up in our church lobby. Ornaments and gift tags with specific needs were placed in the sparse tree limbs. Over the month of October people stopped to see what was going on, pulled tags and made donations to our precious children. Each Sunday was a blessing to see people stop to see how they could help. We are pleased to report that we received an approximate total of $1100 which will be taken with us on Nov 1 and will be spent to make our children more comfortable in their home in The Promise Land. It will be our great joy to represent the many donors in shopping with the children as we purchase: shirts, skirts, pants, socks, shoes, coats, blankets, sheets, pillows, etc. we thank all of you who participated in this event and are extending the giving period online through the “donate” button. These final funds will be used for more generic needs to benefit our children such as plates, cups, cookware, buckets for showers, etc. and will be wired to us for spending while there through Dec. 14.

Thank you to:  sponsors, donors, supporters in prayer and deeds for this way in which we get to represent your giving. Thank you, Lord for moving on hearts to share in their abundance, with the less fortunate a world away.


Walk For Water Success!

We are pleased to make some announcements to all who are involved in the serving of orphans.

First, we have exceeded our goal to travel to Kenya in November with $20,000 for the development of a well and related construction. Since April, we have talked about the need for our own water, elevated storage tank and piped delivery systems.  And since that time we have received donations of all amounts with a fundraiser to finalize the need of $20,000. The amount thus far that has been collected is $21,187.00!


Upcoming, we are doing a Christmas in October drive where we are collecting money to be used to give our children in Kenya a gift of personal use such as clothing from caring individuals here in the USA. Look for more details to come on this through our website or FaceBook.  We are very thankful for the funds given and yet to be collected that we will be able to carry those dollars and steward them for the water project and Christmas gifts, Nov.1 – Dec 14th. It is our great pleasure to represent you to the children of The Promise Land outside of Kitengela, Kenya. And again, on behalf of our board and children,

Thank you, Arlan

Walk for Water | Event

More and more these days, the answer to the question “How are you?” is quickly answered with one word: “Busy”. It seems that our lives have gone into hyper-speed as we push ourselves to the limit, making the most of the time that we’re awake. There’s nothing wrong with running full speed ahead, but even the fastest runners need rest. Additionally, when we’re running hard, we tend to miss things right around us. We fly past the small details in life, and rarely take time to slow down and look. For our friends around the world who lack the basic necessities that we often take for granted, we’re asking you to partner with us as we slow down… and WALK! For more information, please Click to SEE INVITATION >

If you are not able to walk, and would prefer to donate, please visit out Walk for Water Wish List page here: Wish List



Orphanage Update 7/22/15

The renovation of our simple kitchen (cooking over a well vented, open fire) included the installation of two commercial wood fired cook stoves which will make life much easier for our cook!  Previously, hours were spent each day keeping a fire going and under sometimes very smokey circumstances. Not to mention sweat occasionally dripping into the open pot!  Also, the food was often tainted with a smoke flavor.  This stove addition is huge. Now serving up to 80 servings per day during weekdays and the ability to heat water for cleaning and bathing during meal preparation. We are thankful for those who helped during the fundraising for these cook stoves in April.

We succeeded in finding a tractor operator to plow our field in order to get the crops in before rains came in mid April. Thus, we have a corn maze and beans that should be ready to harvest a few weeks from now (7/15). We will possibly replant another crop of onions this time around. These crops are beginning to supplement our groceries to a larger degree. Other things that grow in TPL are: papaya, mango, sweet potatoes, and regular potatoes. The children each have charge over at least two trees that they water and tend. They enjoy gardening and it teaches responsibility.

Lastly, our Form 1 (9th graders) who are in Western Kenya (Victory Academy, Kamburi) are on a midterm break and doing well with grades. The school they are attending is overseen by Pastor Justus Amunga who was instrumental in getting the orphanage started almost 8 yrs ago in Nairobi. He and wife, Jane, have been working with us to add needy children to TPL. We were able to rescue about 13 children from that area alone last February. It is a blessing to see children in a learning center under the watchful eye of Justus and Jane. Their school sets on the same campus as their orphanage for older children. The Academy is about 10-11 hrs from The Promise Land and our children there (4) return 1-2 times per year during major breaks at Christmas and Spring break.

Thank you all for reading and for your support of this ministry.

Arlan Mendell

Update from 2/10/15

It’s 11:21pm and it’s been another long day in paradise. We saw some pretty country today as we returned. Tea plantations, sugar cane and bananas. It was of course dark when we reached Nairobi so the kids did not get to see the big town. They were laying all over ea other like puppies.
At one point much earlier while driving I asked Bonface, what’s that horrid smell. He looked back and spoke to the children for a few minutes then answered that the last two we picked up had chiggers eating on their feet. It was a rancid smell and Bonface said we’d get medication for them in the morning. If I’d had more for breakfast, it would’ve probably come up! We opened windows which helped. But it pretty much lasted the next 9 hrs home. It was otherwise a normal trip with the usual flipped tractor trailers and a few autos to go with. We stopped about 4:45 to get some sodas, bread products and a pee break. They are now eating some Ugali before bed. Arlan