2021 Q1 Update

An Update from Last Year: 2020

We are entering into the fourth month of 2021 and the children of CEO:Mission are breaking from school for the month of April. As I look upon a picture from a previous celebration,  I see a deep hope when the children in Kenya gather together to prepare and share a meal and when I see their smiling faces, laughter can be heard. Seeing them pose for a picture while drinking soda from a glass bottle is a reminder for us; pleasure can be that simple if we will let it be, just that simple.

Greetings to you sponsors and supporters of CEO:Mission. May this update find you all in the best of health and under God’s abundant blessings. CEO, along with the rest of this world, has been endlessly busy. Covid-19 restrictions put a swift halt to all plans for a 2020 return to Kenya for our team. With international travel closed most of the year and several other regulations and uncertainties, it was heartbreaking to cancel our “Groundbreaking” plans. Showing great maturity in their faith, it was of course agreed our return would wait for God’s divine timing. However, blessings come in all shapes and sizes. Donations received to help support the return trip were donated to the general fund to help the immediate needs of CEO children which is never in short supply. At this time we do not have a scheduled return date penciled in on our calendar. As much as myself and others from the Kenya team would love to go back, it just isn’t that simple. There are many things involved such as vaccines, visas, passports, fundraising, Covid-19 restrictions, etc. During a pandemic, all of these areas become an ever growing challenge.

Fundraising is the area most impacted over the last year for CEO. During the last decade, quarterly Gospel Sings and various fundraisers have provided opportunities for supporters to donate to CEO, which in return provides for school supplies, clothing, bedding, medical care, food, and tuition. Through a small but VERY significant handful of dedicated donors, CEO received financial provision through God’s impeccable timing. A very humble and ever grateful thank you from the entire CEO:Mission family. While I cannot inform you of any scheduled fundraisers in the immediate future, I can update you on a very exciting one that was started to provide building supplies and livestock, etc.. With the assistance of our liaison Michael Bushebi and V.P. Jessica Peden, a brochure was created to allow supporters to donate in a more tangible form.

To date, just over $1,000 has been raised toward the future self-sustaining orphanage, the vision of CEO:Mission. Donors have invested in a variety of items found on the brochure. Options available are sorted by Current Need, Building Needs, and Future Needs.This is an ongoing program and works as a perfect gift for anyone on your shopping list year round. If you are interested in donating to this program go to  spokanefellowship.com and click on the “Donate” button (be sure to select CEO:Mission in the dropdown box)! Currently, one acre of land has been purchased and paid for in full through many fundraisers, including donations given by numerous supporters. The one acre of land is located in Sikhendu, Kenya, within approximately one half mile of schools the children attend. In 2020, crops of corn and beans were planted, but due to heavy rains, much of the crops were destroyed. Edina and the children gathered what was salvageable and were able to divide it amongst the children providing food for the families. It is in the plans to replant this year. A small temporary structure can be built to shelter a gardener to tend the crop as it grows and the first stages of planning for the future orphanage can now begin . Stay tuned for more updates as they happen. 

2020 brought with it more than just Covid-19. Schools closed, curfews were set into place, inflation hit the Kenyan economy hard. Flooding was so severe one of the children residing in Mumias needed temporary shelter when the family was evacuated from their home. But through all of this, none of the children, guardians, or CEO team in Kenya, have become ill or tested positive for Covid-19. Praise the LORD! He has protected His children of CEO:Mission all year through.  Despite the hardships 2020 pressed upon them, through faith and perseverance, 7 students have taken their exams to enter high school. Please say a special prayer for each as they ready themselves for the next stage of their lives. 

Eugene Wabomba, Daisy Nasamba, Samuel Shikuku, Samuel Wekesa, 
Mercy Namanda, Melody Juma, Idris Onyango

Along with these children, several others have taken exams to move onto the next grade as well for a grand total of 12! Education is the #1 path to overcoming poverty in Kenya and for CEO:Mission, tuition and education expenses have become the largest expense. If you feel led to contribute to our largest need, please visit spokanefellowship.com and follow the prompts to give online. Make sure to select CEO:Mission in the dropdown box to get your donation to where you want to help.

I would like to leave you with a feel good story, an update if you will. I want you to know how important you really are to CEO:Mission, to the lives that are changed and even saved. I want you to know you matter and to say, Thank You.

Anne Arana


In July, 2016, the Kenya Team visited the Headmaster’s office at Shalom School. There was one desk, no glass on the windows, and we all sat in plastic lawn chairs as we waited for three children to be brought in to meet us. While we waited, our ears absorbed  the sounds around us as we sat silently, watching several chickens wander in and out of the room . When the children were brought in, they looked a bit confused, our arrival was not announced, and I am sure they felt every bit as overwhelmed as we did. As they were introduced to us, gifts of flip flops (called slippers in Kenya) were given to each child and dresses were given to the two girls, sisters. I have never seen such sorrow on a child’s face like I saw on Stella and Elizabeth’s that day. 

We were told their story; loss, abandonment, illness. But their faces told so much more than what was being said. They never smiled, they never spoke. They just stood and did what they were told to do.

      Over the last five years, God has placed both of these young ladies under the wings of CEO social worker Edina and they have both been faithfully sponsored. Stella underwent surgery on her neck to remove a growth in 2020 and she recently endured oral surgery as well. Today they are both thriving and are one of several testimonies CEO has the privilege to share. 


Sincerely grateful,
Anne Arana | President

Posted by Cary Peden

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