In 2007, Papa Ken had severe malaria and was admitted to a clinic for two days. It was there that he met Awinjo Joyce. This girl was 16 years old and full height, but only weighed 67 pounds. She was saved and sang in her church choir, but her stomach was bloated and lumpy. Papa Ken took took her for an ultrasound, and was with her when the doctor found large masses in her abdomen that were affecting her liver, kidneys, and spleen. The doctor was positive that it was lymphoma.
For the next week Papa Ken took Awinjo and her mother to various doctors and labs for tests, and the best diagnosis was advanced lymphoma, which is cancer in the lymph system. The treatment is chemotherapy, which Awinjo could not survive in her weakened condition, and no one could afford it anyway. She was born out of wedlock and her father abandoned the situation. Her mother then got married to another man who sent Awinjo to live with her grandmother. She had been staying with this poor widow and eating only cassava millet bread, which is poor in nutrition by itself. Papa Ken brought Awinjo and her mother into the third house on the compound so that we could at least give her good food and a lot of prayer.
Awinjo died in late October 2007, and Papa Ken was left grieving with a lot of questions. He went to pray at a local church and God spoke clearly to him that, “Out of death comes life, John 12:24.” In other words, when we die to ourselves, we really begin to live and can bear much fruit for the Kingdom of God. He also said that there was to be a ministry that was to be called “Awinjo House”. Awinjo means, “I have heard,” and implies that Papa Ken had heard the word of God, it had gotten into him, and had done something there that he would obey. So the third house became Awinjo House at that time.
Awinjo House currently has over 30 orphaned or vulnerable children living in our community. Our desire for each child is that they would experience God’s love in 4 specific ways:
A Bible verse that we want to define Awinjo House is Psalm 127:4 “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, are the children of one’s youth.” So our desire and our prayer is that we would sharpen these children like arrows during their time at Awinjo House, and then they would be shot out like arrows from Awinjo House into Tororo and the countries in East Africa to proclaim the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.