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Orphan’s Promise Helps Build a Library in Kenya

One woman gives a gift to the orphaned girls in Africa that enables the facility to build a new library. Read Transcript


[AFRICAN MUSIC PLAYING]

NARRATOR: Jen loved Africa-- the natural beauty,

the diverse culture.

But mostly, she loved the children of Africa,

and she longed to reach out to orphans through education.

Sadly, Jen never made it to Africa.

She died after a seven year battle with cancer.

Those who knew and love Jen decided the best

way to honor her life was to establish a library in Africa

for orphans-- a memorial gift through Orphan's Promise.

We were honored and had the perfect location

for a library-- our newly built girls in Makindu, Kenya.

[SINGING IN SWAHILI]

Three of Jen's four children traveled to Africa

to attend the dedication and share their mother's story.

Her oldest daughter Alyssa remembered even

as a young girl, her mom talked about helping children

in Africa.

She had a dream--

[SWAHILI TRANSLATION]

That she would visit the children and the orphans

in Africa--

[SWAHILI TRANSLATION]

So that she could help and she could love them.

Even while being sick for years, she had her dream.

[SWAHILI TRANSLATION]

But we are able to be here for her.

[SWAHILI TRANSLATION]

NARRATOR: Jen was a teacher and loved

helping children learn to read.

But even more special was her compassion for children

who had suffered loss.

Her own mother was orphaned and adopted,

and through marriage Jen became an adoptive parent as well.

She was 22.

She met my father, and she always

joked that she fell in love with us-- my older brother and I

from his previous marriage.

And she met us, and she fell in love, and she married my dad.

And she took care of us and was the best thing

that's ever happened to me.

Ever.

My mom was literally the most amazing person I've ever known,

and I admired her more than I've ever admired

anyone else in my whole life.

NARRATOR: Ally helped her mom through the toughest part

of her illness, the final year.

And to see her mom memorialized through the library

is especially meaningful.

All I can think is just, wow.

And I'm just totally amazed at God,

and how He can bring great things out of such a tragedy.

So like even though it's so sad that my mom died,

like look what came out of it.

Orphan's Promise in partnership with family and friends

presents Jen's Library of Hope.

[APPLAUSE]

Dedicated in memory of Jennifer Sortino.

May her love for the Lord and heart of compassion

live on in the children who learned

and thrive here so that all would

come to know Jesus Christ.

NARRATOR: Orphan's Promise is dedicated to helping

orphaned and disadvantaged children like these

by providing food and shelter but especially education.

And learning English through reading

is a very important component in helping

them break out of poverty and sickness the plagues

their country.

Orphan's Promise brings kind of a light to just the children

and focuses really on what matters.

Focuses on the future, it focuses

on bringing up another generation

to be whole and be happy to rely on God.

NARRATOR: Jen never made the trip to Africa,

but undoubtedly her spirit remains here

in the pages of these books that will bring education

to children for years to come.

What a fitting legacy to an amazing woman.

Jen's Library of Hope.

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