She went home determined to make a difference...
— Hannah Otazu · Monday, July 3, 2023 —
Sandra Doty had traveled to Guatemala numerous times with various organizations prior to 2016 when she traveled there with Orphan Outreach. She distinctly remembers going home and telling her husband that this time, the trip was different.
“I remember being really impressed with how well the trip was organized and executed and just with Orphan Outreach in general. The organization’s obvious love for children and absolute insistence on the highest standard of care for the children that they served had a strong impact on me and I knew I wanted to be a part of this organization,” Sandra shares.
Sandra and her family continued to travel with Orphan Outreach, and her passion for global orphan care ministry grew with every trip. In 2018, an invitation was extended to serve on the Orphan Outreach board. Sandra gladly accepted and she and her husband, Elmer, have generously invested their time and resources ever since- and not just in Guatemala.
While having lunch with Orphan Outreach President Emeritus Mike Douris one afternoon, Sandra asked, “What is the most pressing need of Orphan Outreach right now?” Her heart began to break as she heard stories of the ministry’s education program in Bungoma, Kenya. The existing school building was made of mud and sticks which had to be constantly repaired, and the classrooms were very small with no electricity and few windows, Students were often sick due to worms found in the mud floors which would burrow into their feet. The Kenyan government and school board threatened to close the structure down if funding for a permanent building was not secured, which would mean the end of not just an educational opportunity for more than 300 children in the remote farming community, but access to nutritious meals, healthcare, and more.
She went home that afternoon determined to make a difference, and she and Elmer prayed unceasingly about the plight of the children who saw education as the only way out of their impoverished circumstances. They both felt the Lord leading them to meet the need.
In January 2023, Sandra, Elmer, and others traveled to Bungoma to tour the Michael Douris Education Center, a school building providing safe and secure classrooms for its students, a computer lab and library, and even handicap-accessible restrooms.
“I have heard it often said, ‘To whom much is given, much is required,’” Sandra reflects. “But perhaps a better way to say it is, ‘The only reason God blesses us is so that we can have the privilege of blessing others.’”