2023 Christmas Reunion Banquet

2023 Christmas Banquet Title

This year’s TOA KIDZ Annual Christmas Reunion Dinner was full of joy and many surprises. Amidst the fellowship and of course some light moments here and there, two things stood out.

I watched as the children introduced themselves with confidence and told the crowd their school’s name and their grade, including our “Little Big Shots.” For most Glory at Christmas BanquetGlory Speaking at the Christmas Banquetof them (especially the youngest) it was their first time speaking in front of many people. I listened as child after child validated the support they have received by mentioning the grades they had attained in school. Most of them had attained grade A or B in most subjects. Sitting at my table, I thought about how they have taken their educational opportunity seriously. This pool of bright minds is being prepared for a future that would otherwise not have been attained without the support of our partners.

Then came the most striking moment of the event when our “guest speakers” stepped to the microphone to share advice with their fellow students. Each one was a former Treasures of Africa Children’s Home resident and is now in college. Their speeches were filled with scriptural counsel and divine reasoning which dispensed knowledge and understanding with clarity. Their words mirrored the many years of biblical teaching, mentorship and instruction received while at Treasures of Africa.

Glory spoke about how she overcame challenges she faced in her studies and how she used those challenges to get closer to God and know Him deeper. First, she spoke about valuing advisers that God has given them. She narrated a story of how she had been advised to repeat Form Five and she agreed, though she didn’t want to. The result was the attainment of a Division 1 score on her National Exams in her final year of Advanced Secondary School which enabled her to go on to college. She also told a story of how she was the one helping other students in class while in college with their studies but when the time for taking her exams came, her fellow students would pass, and she would fail. This happened twice, but she never stopped assisting other students. By the end of semester exams, she studied harder, trusted God and passed her exams well.

Witness emphasized the importance of being obedient to parents and listening to their advice. She said, “I used to be a strong-willed girl and never wanted to be told by anybody what to do, but I have decided to focus that strong will toward academic performance and setting a good example for those coming after me.” She emphasized the fact that parents have good intentions at heart for their children and that their advice is aimed at giving them a bright future. She encouraged all of us to work hard in whatever we do, follow God, and live for Him.

Innocent was very honest with the young students and encouraged them not to make the mistakes he made when he first went to college. He explained he did not take things seriously and ended up failing. He is now back in school and doing well, but warned the younger students not to waste their opportunity as it may not be available again.

Samweli at Christmas BanquetSamweli shares a poignant story as he admonishes the crowd to have a heart of gratitude toward God for their livesSamweli or “Big Sam” as we love to call him, crowned all the speeches as he talked about gratitude. He is studying clinical medicine and he told us about an experience he had in the hospital just the previous day in the maternity ward. He witnessed the death of a mother who died during childbirth, though the baby survived.

This experience awakened him to think about the necessity of having a heart full of gratitude. He implored us to take every minute of our lives seriously and be grateful to God for life and for everything He has done for us.

I left the dinner feeling like I had been in a meeting of choice speakers who spoke about some of the most important things in life and faith. It opened the eyes of my spirit to see things differently with simplicity. Knowing where the speakers came from and that they were speaking from the abundance of their hearts, our hearts could easily connect with theirs as they drove the message home.

Observing their perspective and pattern of thought and divine reasoning one can only conclude that these children are poised to serve God’s purpose in their generation. Seeing who they have become is evidence of the value our sponsors have contributed to their lives. Every financial support, gift and prayer is slowly, surely, and decisively driving these children into their divine destiny and greatness. With their kind of focus, confidence, and fear of God anyone would be right to say that the dew of a shining future awaits them. Thanks a million, to all donors who have tirelessly supported these “Treasures of Africa.”

Kioko at Christmas BanquetPastor Geoffrey Kioko SimonAs I conclude my thoughts on this keyboard of my computer, I leave you with these Bible verses from Ps 41:1-3 in the Passion Translation.  

God always blesses those who are kind to the poor and helpless. They’re the first ones God helps when they find themselves in any trouble. The Lord will preserve and protect them. They’ll be honored and esteemed while their enemies are defeated. When they are sick, lying upon their bed of suffering, God will restore them. He will raise them up again and restore them back to health.

Editors Note: Geoffrey Kioko Simon is a founding Trustee of Hidden with Christ Ministries in Tanzania. He has worked side by side with Executive Director Rita Langeland for over 20 years. He is an anointed minister of the Gospel and a professional Business Consultant with his own company in Nairobi, Kenya. He also consults for the Kenyan government on security matters. Pastor Kioko will be visiting the USA in March of this year. If your church would like to host him and invite him to minister, you can contact the HWCM office in Virginia at (434) 849-7967 and we will put you in touch with him directly.

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