In the late 1800’s a family moves to the Kisumu area. One of the children, James, becomes a missionary to the Congo but returns to Kisumu to settle with a wife. James donates land for the first AIC church in Kisumu. One of his grandsons is Pastor Martin Chamah.
In 1997 Pastor Chamah and his wife Edith found themselves taking in children because parents in the communities around them were dying of AIDS or killed in fighting. Shortly after, retiring missionaries with African Inland Mission, Sieg and Ursula Grafe, appealed to their supporters to continue supporting this couple as they worked with the orphaned. This was the beginning of Bethel Children’s Home. (click to enlarge)
In 2007 several members of the Board travelled to Kenya to help repair and paint the orphanage. In 2012 Africa Inland Mission asked that the work of the orphanage become independent from them. In June 2013 charitable status was granted and the name was changed to Bethel Rays Of Hope Ministries to better reflect the future direction of the ministry and encompass all facets of the ministry. The name of Bethel Children’s Home was used for the orphanage. A Trust was established and Edith Chamah became the Director of the ministry with a new home built on the donated property in early 2014.
A school was started on the property to educate our growing number of children in 2016, and we opened it up to children in the slums around our property. Today we teach about 250 children.
In 2021, our dear director Mama Edith, passed away from illness. Her death left a huge hole in our ministry. We are happy to say we have a new director who has taken over for Mama. Sharon Atieno grew up in our orphanage, and after graduating from college, she has decided to put aside her career for now to help ensure the continuing care of our children. She is doing an amazing job and we area grateful to her for stepping into this position.