Plant a tree – Empower the future

August 14, 2013 by admin

God has blessed us with a very important opportunity to change not only the environment in a community but to change the futures for needy and suffering lives here in East Africa. Your care and investment in this project will help in so many ways. The timing is crucial because right now is the rainy season and the absolute best window for us to move into action.

Professional Volunteer- Sarah Ackerly

July 29, 2013 by LoriEaton

sarah painting

be still

Written by Sarah Ackerly

Ecclesiastes 2:24

A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This, too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?

I count myself very fortunate to have experienced the truth of this verse during my time as volunteer with ELI. I was given the opportunity to use my artwork to create murals around the ELI campus in Ilula as well as in Kipkaren’s Brook of Faith Elementary School. Every day that I painted ended with a sense of real satisfaction, and I thanked God for bringing me to Kenya and allowing me to do work that makes my heart glad.


Volunteer with ELI

July 11, 2013 by dianahom

resized lunch pic

Are you home this summer with no plans?

Are you looking for a way to do something fulfilling that will impact Africa while staying in the USA?

We would love your help! Join the AWESOME team of ELI volunteers!

We are in need of volunteers this summer and throughout the year. You could be doing things such as:

- Assemble mailings and stuff packets or envelopes
- Data entry
- Write child profiles or other materials
- Be a voice for those in need by becoming an Ambassador for ELI

Fill out a Volunteer Application


Pen-Pal Internship Opportunity

July 5, 2013 by dianahom

pen pal

Do you want to make a difference using the skills you have?

Do you have a heart to connect people from all over the world?

Are you organized and detail-oriented?

Can you commit to spending at least 1-2 hours a week in our office in Upland, CA?

If you answered yes to all of the questions above, you may be the person we are looking for! We are currently looking for a volunteer/intern to help manage and improve our Pen-Pal Program, providing an opportunity for caring individuals to get to know a child in one of the ELI children’s home in Kenya. If you would like to apply for this internship opportunity, fill out an APPLICATION. We look forward to hearing from you!

A Friendly Debate

June 21, 2013 by dianahom

IL debate

Our Ilula Children’s Home director, Laban, was phoned by another local Children’s Home in Kitale. They wanted to visit our Children’s Home and organize a debate with some of the children from each home. The topic to be debated would be, “Secondary School (High School) is the only way to success”. (more…)

Heaven Sent Manna

June 19, 2013 by LoriEaton

Maize Blog Post2

Written by Tori Greaves, Intern

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:25-26

I cannot count the number of times I have heard these verses, either in a sermon, as a word of encouragement, or as a challenge. But because of the way we live in America, it is a hard concept to grasp. We are always saving and planning. And thanks to things like retirement funds and insurance, we may never have to wonder how we will eat or where we will live; let alone what will we eat tomorrow. Instead, we have to be creative when applying this passage to our own lives, asking ourselves questions like, “Will I still have this job next year?”, “Should I go back to school?”, or “Will I be able to provide the right opportunities for my children?” But whatever the question, the command is still the same: trust in the Lord, for He is the one who provides and sustains. But to actually build up that trust within our hearts, perhaps we could use some help from those to whom God’s sustaining power has been made unmistakably clear.

A few weeks ago at the Ilula Children’s Home, the kitchen noticed that they were running low on corn flour which they use to make ugali—a staple food for all Kenyans. Because of the rising costs of school fees and food in Kenya, ELI staff has worked hard to save wherever possible to make ends meet financially. Since corn flour is universal, and also a huge business for companies here, it is a simple and acceptable way for fellow Kenyans to give to one another. For this reason, the Children’s Home solicits donations from churches and local businesses, allowing them to support the Children’s Homes and be part of what ELI is doing. This, alongside other initiatives like bread-making and tree-planting, are all part of an overall plan to help the Children’s Home become self-sustainable.

This time, however, the donations of corn flour had run out. (more…)

Special Message from Don Rogers

June 6, 2013 by Micah Albert

Plant a tree – Empower the future

God has blessed us with a very important opportunity to change not only the environment in a community but to change the futures for needy and suffering lives here in East Africa.  Your care and investment in this project will help in so many ways. The timing is crucial because right now is the rainy season and the absolute best window for us to move into action.

Here is the Problem:  People depend on trees for their main fuel needs in the village.  All cooking is fueled by firewood or charcoal and all construction is done using trees as main posts for roofing, walls, and furniture. Trees are coming down but not being planted. The forests are being destroyed in massive numbers which is having a devastating effect on the environment, animals, weather patterns, and local village economy.  Along with this deforestation there is soil erosion – top soil being washed away which impacts peoples ability to grow food not to mention the dangers of mud slides that this past year killed over a dozen innocent families near the Kerio Valley.
As a growing organization that is reaching more and more people with the message of Christ and key ideas for breaking the cycle of poverty each year – we know that we can reach even MORE if we are able to become increasingly self sustaining financially within the countries where we serve here in Africa.

This project is important to help solve both of these challenges.

We are stepping in faith to plant just over 15,000 trees which in terms of ministry sustainability will bring a net income of over half a million dollars within 8 years from the trees alone.  Then there is the VETIVER GRASS that is being planted between the rows of trees, along the perimeter of the property, and on certain dedicated plots of land. There is the capacity of planting more than 30,000 plants that will multiply by 5,000 % within the first year (One seedling will multiply to become 50). The government and other environmental groups are now recognizing the importance of this special grass for controlling soil erosion (there is no other plant that does this better) and will be looking  to buy the seedlings.  ELI will be on the forefront in the nation in growing vetiver grass seedlings and the positive environmental impact is immeasurable with the added bonus of income from the sales which can reach

This income means that we will be able to reach more than 2,600 MORE families with life changing training every year – year after year or provide full care for more than 50 orphans annually.

The environmental impact is vital and important – The income potential is real and translates to be thousands of changed and empowered lives.

Your gift – given to this project will have a multiplying impact on needy lives and we are grateful for each dollar that is enough to plant and help sustain more than two trees or vetiver grass seedlings.

Will You Be One Who Goes?

June 6, 2013 by Cathy



Check out ELI’s opportunities to serve like David, Andrew, Sarah, Ryan, Tori, Kimberly and Steve did! Visit the Go To Africa link on the ELI website to get more information. Will you be one who comes to empower and equip?

William Jessup University Team in Kipkaren

June 6, 2013 by Cathy



Every summer ELI hosts visitors from all over the USA at our various ministry sites. Currently Kipkaren is enjoying Cameron, Karyssa, David, Denise, Emili, and Kasey – students and staff from William Jessup University. Integrating their love for Jesus and soccer, this energetic team is ministering to the children and youth in western Kenya in a unique way…sports outreach ministry. This week they are making daily trips to ELI’s Brook of Faith Academy to share the love of Jesus with almost 300 kids through a VBS program. Next week they will visit six primary schools in our area to teach kids soccer skills, leadership, and how to be a great kid who loves the Lord.

Kipkaren Property Update

June 6, 2013 by Cathy



Community development often means being a catalyst. At our Kipkaren River Training Center we are seeking to inspire the community to think outside the box in terms of economic development. Employing innovative ideas for sustainability, work has been taking place to create a fish pond, environmental development around the pond that will sustain the fish, spring containment and natural water purification with vetiver grass, and beginning steps toward the creation of a large blue gum forest. All of these ideas are things that an individual or small cooperative group can do to provide economic security.

It is our prayer that as the community sees these sustainability ideas in practice, some will be inspired to try themselves. As the environment around us changes due to deforestation, climate change, and population growth it is important to continue seeking new ways to act as good stewards of what God has given us. It is also our aim to broaden ELI’s own base of sustainability within Kenya.

To view a brief video on how this property development continues please click here.

226-pond-digging (1)



Photo of the Day | Kenya

June 3, 2013 by Micah Albert


Intern Ryan English unloads food-aid to the areas hit hard by recent landslides. (Photo: Micah Albert)

Photo of the Day: South Sudan

May 27, 2013 by admin


Sun setting over ‘Rock City’, Juba South Sudan. (Photo: Micah Albert)


Power of the Paint Brush

May 27, 2013 by Cathy


“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” Colossians 3:23

Empowering Lives International delights in pairing up ministry needs with ministry gifts. Each year as our Team, Professional Volunteer, and Intern season rolls around we pour over applications, praying about how God might use the talents of visitors to further His kingdom.

How can one minister with a paint brush? Currently ELI is hosting Sarah Ackerley, a Professional Volunteer who really knows how to use this tool beyond what most of us can do! As an illustrator of children’s books, Sarah has been integrating her love of art, children, and Jesus into her ministry activities in the village of Kipkaren, Kenya.

Educating orphans and vulnerable children is a special task and ELI’s Brook of Faith Academy staff wanted to transform the nursery school classroom into an inviting place, something that matched the enthusiasm and love that the teacher, Mrs. Chebii, lavishes on the children. Partnering with Sarah and her creative talents, this once drab classroom has become a place that invites the children into a learning adventure. With “Noah’s Ark” as a theme, Sarah has used her paintbrush to inspire kids to seek Him! The results are amazing….a true Colossians 3:23 expression of a talent!

How might God be asking you to apply your talents in Kingdom building activities? If you’d like to explore a service opportunity as a Professional Volunteer or Intern, click here for more details.

Photo of the Day | South Sudan

May 23, 2013 by admin


Exploring the streets of Juba, South Sudan. (photo: Micah Albert)


Back to School

May 9, 2013 by dianahom
9th grade students

9th grade students


It’s back to school for our children in Kipkaren and Ilula. It was great to have all the children home for the school holiday. In addition to playing and catching up with each other, the older children (8th grade and high school) went through additional school tutoring as well as participated in a vacation bible school that a short term team from Water of Life Church in Southern California hosted. (more…)

Letters All Around

April 29, 2013 by dianahom

How sweet it is to receive a letter from a friend! All 200+ of our children have received letters from their sponsors and friends and they are so excited to write back. Thank you to everyone who wrote to the children for Write to Your Child Month!

All the children receiving letters

All the children receiving letters

More photos…


Home for the Holiday

April 18, 2013 by dianahom

The month of April brings all the children home from boarding school and reunites the Children’s Home. Across the nation, Kenya school systems have breaks during the months of April, August and December. This month, the children are enjoying being all together again. They are spending their time playing, tending to the gardens and baking bread. Please pray for them and our house parents and staff as they spend the month together before all the children return to school in May.

Dickson gardening


A Relaxing Day Trip

April 17, 2013 by dianahom

Linus (security), Benja (security), Reuben (kitchen), Abraham (kitchen), Aaron (herdsman) and Mr. & Mrs. Kemei (house parents) enjoy their time away.


A little time away can refresh and strengthen a person. This is what our house parents and Kipkaren Children’s Home staff experienced when they took a day trip to the Uganda border where they were able to spend time together as a team, enjoy a new environment, browse the local shops and take time to pray. The ladies enjoyed their time as they found nice clothes, handbags and shoes at affordable prices. (more…)

Photo of the Day | Lake Victoria, Tanzania

March 12, 2013 by Micah Albert


Sunset on the shores of Lake Victoria, Tanzania. (Photo by Micah Albert)


Thank You, Katie!

March 12, 2013 by dianahom


At the end of 2012 we said farewell to Katie Cook as she transitioned out of ELI to focus on community development in her neighborhood. We were very sad to see her go. She has been a huge part of ELI serving as the Short Term Team Ministry Coordinator and then the Community Engagement Coordinator. Katie was first introduced to ELI 4 years ago when she invited ELI to be a beneficiary of her non-profit business, Africa Hope, which sold t-shirts to benefit charities working in Africa. We were so drawn in by her compassionate heart, creativity and energy that we needed to have her as our new Short Term Team Ministry Coordinator. She did a great job preparing teams and interns serving in ELI, Kenya. Her care for people has been evident to so many as she spent her time to listen to people’s concerns, answer questions, train and pray for each person. There are many who can say she was more than a coordinator, but, she was a friend and mentor.


Share our Story