Kenya Development Fund
A Missionary Arm of the Agape Christian Fellowship, Brattleboro, Vermont USA
Pastor Michael Gantt has been traveling in East Africa for more than 20 years. He has been active in leadership development, church planting, and a variety of service oriented missions in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Sudan, and Kenya. He has baptized hundreds in the muddy rivers of Kenya and preached to thousands in crusades in and around the Central Highlands of Kenya. However, his heart has never been crusades in big stadiums. He much prefers to take a small band of zealous believers into the bush and plant a church among tribal groups or to sit with project directors and outreach specialists with NGO's who reach into the very heart of their nation with compassion and zeal. And it is appropriate that this should be so - for the church he as served as Pastor for over 30 years has arms that reach around the world. The small community based congregation in the Green Mountains community of Brattleboro, Vermont has arms that reach around the world. Even though by most accounts Agape Christian Fellowship is a small church, from its ranks it has sent missionaries to the furthest reaches of the globe - Mexico, Guatemala, Cameroon, Brazil, Russia, Nova Scotia, and more.
The Agape Christian Fellowship established the Kenya Development Fund in 2012 for the purpose of underwriting infrastructure and economic development for the Deaf in Kenya. Currently the fund is focused almost entirely upon the development of the Immanuel Christian School for the Deaf, but is interested in the future of Deaf ministry throughout the country through the Immanuel Deaf Churches of Kenya.
A HAND UP - NOT A HAND OUT!
Agape Christian Fellowship is an independent, full gospel fellowship located in the southeastern corner of the state of Vermont. Agape grew up out of a home bible study in the early 1970's and has always demonstrated a heart toward the poor and disenfranchised of our community. For over 26 years the church has hosted a weekly soup kitchen for the homeless and needy. Since the early 1990's the church's pastor, Michael Gantt has been involved in a number of humanitarian and church development projects all over East Africa. He has conducted leadership development conferences, preached in large crusades, helped in the planting of churches, and led medical and humanitarian projects from Sudan to Zimbabwe.
Around the year 2004, Pastor Gantt came into contact with a small school for the Deaf in western Kenya. The school operates under the auspices of a fine organization called DEAF MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL that oversees deaf schools and churches all over the world. Because of the uniquely difficult circumstances of the IMMANUEL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF in Ringa, Kenya Pastor Gantt has acted as an "advocate" for the school in the United States - seeking out sponsors for students and raising funds for the establishment of economic development projects, vocational training, and emergency relief efforts on behalf of the school. During the past several years, he has helped to raise funds to purchase land so that the school can grow it's own food. The school now grows some fine crops which has helped to improve the diet of the children in addition to providing a marketable commodity to produce income for the operation of the school.
An Egg & Poultry Production project has also been launched which is operating very effectively at this time with nearly 700 chickens producing eggs and providing meat for the children at the school. Obviously the egg and poultry production also provides additional income for the school. Both projects - farming and raising chickens - is also providing valuable vocational training as well.
Recently, we were able to finance the construction of a new 65 bed dormitory and are in hopes of building a duplicate facility by the end of 2013. Several of the students were recently tested and moved on to a government supported High School program to continue their education. Immanuel Christian School for the Deaf is attempting to continue their support through their high school years. The purpose of the Kenya Development Fund is to provide a lift, a "hand up" so to speak to a great little school which is desperately attempting to provide hope to a group that has had little to hope for. Please check our Projects page to keep up with the various projects that are underway to provide had hand up for the students of the Immanuel Christian School for the Deaf and the Immanuel Deaf Churches of Kenya.
The Ongoing Vision of the Kenya Development Fund is to provide a "hand up" to a little school that is laboring to provide hope to a people group who has had little to hope for.