|   Posted: December 01, 2020

A single light brought physical, academic and spiritual transformation to Dennis and his family.

From Darkness Into the Light

A single light brought physical, academic and spiritual transformation to Dennis and his family.

Dennis sits at his table working on his homework

It’s 7 p.m. and the sun has just set over the small community in Kenya where 11-year-old Dennis lives. As the blackness of the night sky overtakes the day, the sounds of chickens clucking and goats bleating fill the air. But inside Dennis’ house is a single, blazing light.

That light is a very big deal for Dennis and his family.

Dennis’ mother and her husband spend their lives caring for their family. They work on farms and in homes to provide for their children’s most basic needs. And they, like many other families in their community, could not afford electricity with their limited income.

No electricity meant that the children could not do their homework after 7 p.m. when the sky got dark. It meant that if they needed to stay up late studying, they had to use a kerosene lamp or light a large stick on fire. And kerosene cost nearly one-third of their mother's income each month.

“When using the kerosene lamp, I kept squinting while reading and would start the next day with aching eyes,” says Dennis’ older sister, Nduku.

Living without light affected the children’s grades, especially when they didn’t finish all their schoolwork before nightfall. But all that changed when the Compassion center where Dennis is registered implemented a solar light program. With the help of lots of generous people like you, the center provided solar-powered lights for the homes of all 298 children in their program, including Dennis’.

“This family was using fire,” says Josephine, the director at Dennis’ Compassion center. “They would go to bed by 7 p.m. since they didn’t have enough firewood for lighting. When they got solar lighting, they were so happy, especially the children, who could now study.”

Dennis stands in front of his house

Now that Dennis has solar lighting in his home, he can do homework into the evening. And his grades are reflecting the change …

“Solar lighting has really helped me improve my grades,” says Dennis. “I am currently top of my class. I hope to be a doctor so that I can treat people.”

Having light in their home has also impacted Dennis’ family spiritually.

“We have come from the darkness into the light,” says Muendi, Dennis' mother. “The Word of God has even penetrated further into our lives. Now we have light and can easily read our Bible every night.”

And to top it off, solar lighting turned out to be an even bigger blessing when the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year. As it did for many families, the pandemic significantly affected Dennis’ parents’ income. They could not go to the farm to work, and many homeowners were on lockdown. They would have never been able to afford kerosene lamps during this time.

But the solar lighting meant that they did not incur those costs. Plus, Dennis’ older sister was able to study from home by using her father’s phone. Before, he would have to walk to charge it. But now, with solar power in their home, he doesn’t have to leave to charge his phone. “Using my dad’s phone, I can access online classes through a platform provided for free,” she says.

Solar lighting has impacted Dennis’ family academically, spiritually and physically. It’s allowed Dennis, his siblings and other children in their community to aspire toward better and brighter futures.

And through your sponsorship, you’re shining a similar light. You’re partnering with a church to help provide for the most urgent needs faced by the child you sponsor, even in the darkest of circumstances.

Want to help more kids like Dennis have living conditions that will help them escape the cycle of poverty? Click here!