The Real (Estate) Situation in Kenya
Today there is a family of 6 living in a 5x7 shanty in Mathare Valley slum. There's barely enough room for the entire family to sleep on the mat on the floor. The father, a day laborer, finds work when he can. Some days he walks for miles trying to find a job to feed his family. This month he worked 9 days and he made $10.
The monthly rent on his family's tiny home is $6.
Just a few miles away, there's a large 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom estate enclosed by a mortar compound, gates and guards. There's barbed wire around the top to keep unwanted people out. The house has a servant's quarter, lush landscape and a hefty price tag. It sells for $1.8 million US dollars, an astronimcal price even in wealthy America.
This is the real estate situation in Kenya.
Mercy House currently resides in a house more like the second. From it's conception as a Rescue Center, we provide a safe, secure unmarked home in an undisclosed location for our often endangered girls. The asking price on the house we lease, with escalating rent every year, is 1 million US dollars. Once we bring in 4 additional girls this Spring, we will be at capacity.
We thought we might buy land at some point in our future and build something modest, yet suitable for our growing ministry. But in a real estate market that doesn't make sense, the cost of land has dramatically increased since 2010, making 3 acres in Nairobi, more than 5 million US dollars.
While Maureen was in the US in January, we met and discussed our options at length. We have come up with a couple of creative ideas, and have a lead or two on something we can afford, but simply put, we need (another) miracle. We want to help as many girls as possible and to accomplish this, we need a permanent home for long-term sustainability.
Many supporters and donors look at our 2012 Annual Report and are amazed at what God has done (we are too!), and at first glance it might seem the $115,000 US dollars we've saved for a home would be enough in a developing nation like Kenya. But as you can see, we have a long way to go.
This home and this organization were created from nothing. We have no doubt God will provided exactly what we need at the right time. We are asking God to supernaturally do what we cannot. Please pray with us.