Through the blessings of His Grace Bishop Athanasius Akunda of Kisumu and all Western Kenya, I am Father Agapios Habbil Lipesa Omukuba, a canonically ordained priest working under the spiritual leadership of His Grace Bishop Athanasius Akunda. Apart from my pastoral duties, I am also the care provider and the founding director at Saint Tabitha Orphanage which was founded in the Kibera slums and later relocated to the Kisumu Diocese because of security issues.
I was born into a poor family. My parents were not able to provide for my education. I could go to school most of the time without a school uniform. Daily meals was also another struggle.
When I entered high school my dear father tried his best to raise funds for my school every year for me to complete my four years in high school but he was unable.
The most important period in my life was when I was introduced to the Orthodox faith and I accepted baptims. I became a committed member and the priest who was in charge of the parish where I was attending the services was always following my progress both in school and at home.
Part of my high school fees was paid by an Orthodox patron and he was also my spiritual father. He advised me to go to the seminary after completing my high school studies.
By the grace of God, I was accepted into the the seminary just immediately after completing my high school .While in the seminary, I was appointed to be the Sunday school teacher. By interacting with the children I discovered that most of the children were from poor families and they were facing the same problems I was facing when I was young. I requested the Archbishop Seraphim to allow me to give food to the children every day after the seminarians have eaten and he accepted.
RI advised me to be teaching them every Saturday and Sunday then we serve them juice and bread.
After my graduation, I was assigned to a parish which was near the seminary as a Catechist.I was later ordained a priest.I served two parishes before I was assigned to a parish in the Kibera slums which is the biggest slum in Africa.
I found Kibera to be the most dangerous place for the children. Most of the parents are temporarily employed . Children suffer the most. I decided to start the orphanage in order to help the children who had no future in life. I rescued more than 10 children at first and I took them to school. I was able to provide them with meals and they were staying in my house together with my four children.
After a long struggle I found a dear friend and mother who was ready to join me. She asked me to name the orphanage after Saint Tabitha which I accepted.
Due to security concerns, we decided to relocate the orphanage from the Kibera slums to the Kisumu Diocese where we are at present through the support of our dear Mother Catherine Sofikitis.
Currently, we are renting the property. We have set up projects for the children. We have a dairy cow which produces milk for the children, poultry farming where we have eggs for the children and also pigs.We lease the land every year for planting maize and vegetables.
We are looking forward to buy land and build our own buildings to avoid the issue of monthly rent.
We shall also have a enough space to set up income generating projects for the orphanage.
I kindly appeal to you to help Saint Tabitha Orphanage so that we can help change their lives for the better. Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated.