Meet Stellah JepchirchirOctober 2, 2013 by Diana Coombs
By Colleen Costigan, Professional Volunteer
Meet Stellah Jepchirchir.
Stellah’s mom died when she was seven months old in a motor accident.
Her father’s identity is unknown so her Aunt Margaret took over her care. Stellah knew her Aunt Margaret as mom.
When Stellah was six, she was told to pack a bag for boarding school, which is very common in Kenya. She was excited for the opportunity to go to school! Stellah didn’t realize she was going to a Children’s Home until she saw all the kids welcome her at the gate. For the first few months, Stellah was confident that she was unlike the other children because she still had a mom. In fact, the parents at the Children’s Home asked the kids if anyone felt his or her parents were alive.
Stellah raised her hand, “Yes, my mom is alive. I am not an orphan.”
Zipporah Matekwa, Stellah’s mother at the Children’s Home, was torn.
Should she let her keep false hope or shatter her with the news of her mother’s death? Albeit painful, Zipporah knew she had to tell Stellah the truth.
At six years old, Stellah remembers the conversation clearly. She wrestled with God after learning the news about her birth mother. God told her, “I have blessed you with new parents”. She felt her heart shift into peace and acceptance. Stellah now loves and appreciates her family at the Children’s Home although she admits it isn’t always easy. She misses her family of origin desperately and looks forward to her visits back home.
Stellah’s faith and relationship with God continues to grow. In January of last year, she asked God for direction about how she should get involved with sports.
God didn’t respond . . .
through words . . .
but she felt a nudge . . .
towards the high jump.
As the brave, bold, and eager young woman she is, Stellah decided later that day to give it a try. She loved it! Stellah joined the track team at Brook of Faith and placed second in her first competition.
We both agreed God doesn’t always answer questions in a clear-cut way saying, “Stellah, go do the high jump”. Instead, He tends to nudge us in a certain direction so we can look back and realize, “Oh yes, God did answer!”
Stellah is a self-confident and eager young woman with many qualities of a leader. She is dedicated, determined, and driven, especially with school. She sings. She plays the guitar. She helps with chores. She is especially kind and welcoming to the visitors and has a great sense of humor.
Stellah’s hope for the future is to teach Kiswahili and she is off to a good start. She made Kiswahili note cards for me within the first week of my arrival to Kenya. Stellah not only has a passion for teaching but also an incredibly thoughtful heart. She yearns to “help others with knowledge and to teach good morals.”
Stellah asks for your prayers for her education, specifically her class eight exams November 12-15th. These exams will determine her fate for high school. And as the God-centered child Stella is, her final prayer request is that, “she will continue to walk in the path of the Lord”.
Thank you Stellah for your faithful, eager, determined, and thoughtful heart. You are a blessing to the Kipkaren Children’s Home!