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By Lacey Gardner

Off to Africa! The Reagans prepare for mission to Kenya


Shaye Reagan and her son, Harrison, of Wellsville are counting down the days until their trip to Kenya in East Africa!  Their time will be split between two locations – one home in the capital city of Nairobi and the other in a rural setting called Bukura.  Between the two locations there are 100 kids, newborn all the way through young adults.  Shortly before accepting a position on the US-based fundraising board, Shaye heard a story of how many of these children find their way into this home.

Last May, Irv and Ruth Schwandt received a knock on their door.  It was a police officer with a toddler in his arms.  This child had been found abandoned, sick and malnourished.  Despite already having a (very) full home, Irv and Ruth took this child with open arms.  Their day immediately shifted, prioritizing medical care for this child.  The days that followed also changed.  One more child became part of their family and part of their home, which is so much more than an institution.  Irv and Ruth began saying “yes” to moments like this in the late 1990s; they continue to say “yes” despite being in their 70s.  They continue to spend their lives on behalf of the oppressed, the hungry, and the naked.**

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This single story – of which there are 100 more – became the point that Shaye determined she wanted to help.  Her role is to help raise funds for this home and in a few weeks, to visit these kids and become connected to the wide array of their stories.  Now, she is asking the community to help as well.  In Kenya, items like shoes, socks and underwear are extremely costly because they have to be imported, as there is no manufacturing in-country.  Shaye and her traveling companions are taking suitcases of these items to help outfit the children who live there.  Please consider sending the following items, and become part of the beautiful stories that are unfolding in these homes.

Please drop off the following items at the back door of Immaculate Conception School on Maple Avenue in Wellsville NO LATER THAN Friday, June 3rd at 5pm:new packages of socks, all sizes new packages of underwear, all sizes, New or like-new shoes, all sizes (there are toddlers, 17 and 18 year old young adults, and everyone in between – no size is off-limits!)

Shaye plans on updating the community about her trip upon her return.  Please stay tuned!

**  Isaiah 58:6-7,9   Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

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