By Stephen Bailey, Director of Strategic Growth
The Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone, but at MADE IN THE STREETS we give thanks for you everyday. It’s because of people like you that this Kingdom work continues to change the lives of street connected youth, and we want you to know how much we appreciate you!
Now the end-of-year giving season is upon us and like most non-profits, MADE IN THE STREETS depends heavily on end-of-year giving to reach our goals and balance our budget. We look forward to officially kicking off this exciting time on November 29th with Giving Tuesday 2022.
Truth is, although it is the end of the year, it’s only the beginning of the next chapter of the MITS story. Through the blessing of your generosity MITS was able to assist more people than ever this year! However, we have an opportunity to do even more. Giving Tuesday matters because it provides MITS the resources to meet the mental, physical, and spiritual needs of the world’s most vulnerable children. Your donation of your hard-earned dollars is completely transforming lives!
Giving Tuesday is the perfect opportunity to honor a “hard to shop for” friend or family member with a unique gift. Or, take advantage of the tax breaks that come with charitable giving. If you need any guidance about how to make year end gifts, including stock transfers, please contact our Director of Finance, Ericka at email@example.com.
If you love MITS, help us spread the word! You are making a difference!
We are so excited to introduce MITS newest U.S. staff member, Stephen Bailey! Born in Canada and raised in Texas, Stephen graduated from Abilene Christian University with a degree in Human Communication and later got his masters in Communication Studies from Texas Christian University. For the past 10 years, Stephen has taught Communication at TCU and Tarrant County College. Before that, he worked with urban youth in Fort Worth as the Executive Director of Fortress Youth Development. Stephen also has a passion for music and the arts! Touring for years with a band and theatre company, leading worship, and working with a creative studio are a few ways that passion has shaped his career. Stephen has been married to his wife Stephanie for almost 27 years. They have 2 daughters: Rainey and Emily Rose.
What brought you to MITS?
"I've been a fan of MITS since the beginning. I was familiar with the Coulstons and their work and the heart they had for street connected kids, but had mostly watched from afar. When Brad became Executive Director I began to pay closer attention because he is a friend. Finally my family decided to dive in and visit MITS! Unfortunately, our trip was planned for the summer of 2020 and got cancelled. But our hearts were set on helping. I had not spoken with Brad for awhile and called him out of the blue to catch up. We got together and he told me about this position. After seeking the Lord and wise counsel from a variety of people, my wife and I felt like this is where God was leading us."
What are some words you live by?
"Know what your BIG yes is and you'll know what to say no to along the way."
"If you only obey what you understand, God looks just like you. Yield to what you don't understand."
"Don't compare your highlight reel to others bloopers. Or vice versa."
"Your critics aren't the problem, your focus is the problem. Stop focusing on your critics. They're distracting you."
What is your ideal weekend?
"A long meal with friends and family and a lot of conversation and laughter. A round of golf with my wife, brother, and another fun fourth. Go listen to some live music."
What excites you most about working for MITS?
"I believe I am joining the MITS team at an incredibly exciting time! So many people have labored in the past to grow MITS to where it is today. Now that the groundwork has been laid, my family and I are honored to participate in God's vision, mission, and strategy to shape the future of MITS. What a blessing to witness how God brings together people of different cultures and with a wide variety of gifts to impact the world!"
By Lauren Fieldhouse, MITS Marketing and Social Media Intern
I came a couple weeks after the rest of the interns arrived in Kamulu so I am actually writing this after only being here a little over a week. But you don’t have to be here long to know that this place is special.
I am starting my senior year at Pepperdine University studying marketing communication and nonprofit management. I had heard about Made in the Streets from my classes and a couple of friends who supported the organization. I never would have dreamed that I would get to see their work firsthand in Nairobi.
I read something in a book called The Good News About Injustice by Gary Haugen a couple years ago that changed the trajectory of my life forever. He writes, “God knows that the powers of darkness and evil can manifest themselves into real things. And while never neglecting or subordinating spiritual needs, Jesus calls his people to respond to hunger with food, to nakedness with clothes, to imprisonment with visitation, to beatings with bandages, and to injustice with justice.”
I understand the fact that I did not need to travel halfway across the world to respond to this calling. My relationship with Jesus changes every interaction I have, whether I am in Malibu or Nairobi. My prayer will always be that I lead a life of love and obedience. I daily ask that Jesus is between my lips and the words I speak, in my mind and the thoughts I think, and in my eyes and His people I see. That being said, I find this season of my life so special because I get to learn from new people who are committed to that same calling in a different part of the world.
Since a lot of my first week has been navigating my new role with staff, I want to express my gratitude and admiration for the people dedicating their lives to these kids. If you have never had the chance to see the ground work firsthand, let me encourage you with this — the heart of this organization is beating hard, fast, and strong. They give so much of themselves to the work being done here. Their time, their energy, their prayers… with Christ at the center of it all. Even in my short time here, it has been an honor to watch them live out Jesus’ calling on their lives. I believe that leaders have a huge impact on what a group is able to accomplish. As I have received instruction from the teachers and administrators on how to do my job, I have loved getting to watch them as they do theirs. I only just arrived and my flight home seems too soon, but the people running this organization are committed to long obedience. They are moving forward with legs and lungs of endurance. They are showing up. How special it is to get to learn from them. To all the MITS staff, thank you.
Hopefully as the weeks go on, I will be able to put more words to my thoughts and events happening here. I am sure there will be big things, small things. Good things, hard things. But just this for now. Thanks for reading.
By Chey Howell, MITS Teacher's Aide Intern
This summer has been an awesome adventure and experience so far. I am very grateful to God for leading me to do his work. I have enjoyed every minute of being here in Kenya. I am a teacher's aide so I get the opportunity to work alongside MITS amazing staff. We help teach the kids core subjects and bible class.
So far this summer God has led me and shown me just how good he really is. Working with these kids that have gone through things that kids should never have to experience is sad and it has also opened my eyes even wider. Seeing the presence of God in all of these kids' lives and knowing that God has a plan for each one of us has strengthened my love for the lord even more. I really enjoy getting to hangout with all of these kids and hearing their stories of how God has and is continually working in their lives as well as mine. Every other Friday I go into the town of Eastleigh with the MITS staff to help with the MITS outreach program. Seeing where these kids used to live and the environment that they were in was very sad. I saw a little boy about 2 or 3 years old and he was all by himself trying to find food out of the dump on the side of the road. It was heartbreaking. But being able to see these kids coming from the streets to the MITS program is amazing and transformational.
Just having the opportunity to see these kids feel safe, loved, and happy is overjoying and none of this would ever be possible without our wonderful and almighty lord. This program started because of two people who loved the lord and loved helping others. I am so grateful to be a part of this program. It really has been a life changing experience! I enjoy getting to see how much love and kindness is shown to each of these kids and the presence of God is everywhere at MITS and it's awesome!! I am looking forward to the rest of this summer I have here and how God is going to continually show me how to be a light to others and spread the word to others.
One of my favorite verses is Matthew 5:16 and it says “in the same way let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven”. So I will continue to be a light to others and show everyone just how wonderful God really is.
By Naomi Yoder, MITS Ministry Intern
i had heard a lot about mits before this summer. from personal stories of different peoples’ experiences in kamulu and eastleigh to information that i found from the media, i had heard a lot about mits before my feet even touched the ground here in kenya. so, in beginning my two and a half months here, my ears had already heard of mits.
my ears had heard of the constant football, or soccer, games where students showcased their skills. but my ears had not heard the shouts of sheer joy and the “dorm 3” chants that came on a normal saturday night to celebrate a sweet victory.
my ears had heard of the many street children that had found a home as a mits student in kamulu. but my ears had not heard the names of the stephen’s, the gloria’s, the charles’s, the faith’s that are more than just passing faces in a picture on a media platform.
my ears had heard of these children that loved to dance and definitely knew how. but my ears had not heard the simple fun that learning how to “crank that soulja boy” or take silly snapchat filters would be for a group of girls just wanting to know more about the world like we all do.
my ears had heard of the mornings in chapel and the time dedicated to praising God together. but my ears had not heard the innocent voices lifting declarations to heaven saying “you put a song in my soul and i want to let it out” as they give no hesitation in letting that song out.
my ears had heard of the different foods, of the ugali and rice and the chapati with chai. but my ears (and my hands) had not heard the sizzling oil in the pan that would grill (very hotly) the chapati to a wonderful golden brown.
my ears had also heard of children that loved and knew jesus. but my ears had not heard of a young boy, obed, nicknamed “the young preacher” simply because he loved to give encouragements in chapel or a girl, corazone, who would be writing me notes telling me “never lose hope in your dreams God will make them success.”
my ears had heard of students that had come from the streets and had brought a story and a past with them. but my ears had not heard the students’ wrestling between bringing their past into their present and future with questions in class of “how do i forget my past” and “how do i know God even when i leave mits.”
my ears had heard a lot about mits before this summer, but the truth is that there is so much that i had not heard.
but that is part of the beauty in coming and doing life here in kamulu: i have the gift of hearing more of God’s presence here at mits. because before this summer, my ears could hear information and stories of shouts of joy and names of students and heavenly praises and testimonies of jesus and hard questions, but they stop at stories. and they stay distant as stories. but here, in this month of life in kamulu, my ears could hear the real thing. and everything that i got to hear this month only allowed me to hear more of the realest thing: jesus.
because that is also what happens with jesus. we hear about Him, and we can hear stories of Him. but everything changes when we hear Him in our lives, when we hear Him personally calling to us saying: my son, my daughter, my child, I love you. it becomes personal, it becomes real in those moments, and that is how i have felt here at mits: that it has all become real.
my ears had heard of you, mits, just as my ears had heard of you, jesus, but as i hear the real thing, i cannot help but fall in love with these people and this home here in kamulu, in eastleigh, in kenya, just as i have fallen in love with jesus.
because my ears also still continue to hear you, mits. and all i can hear is jesus.
By AG Jacocks, MITS Photography Intern
Mornings are spent together in fellowship at the chapel. The sweet sound of many voices lifting up praises to the Lord can be heard by people walking outside. This time allows teachers and students to come together before the start of a busy school day. Psalm 59:16
Adolescence is the phase of life that most kids are in when they go to the streets. At this age, kids are growing the most physically and intellectually. MITS is helping to foster healthy growth at the center in Eastleigh and at the school in Kamulu by providing basic needs and guidance. Proverbs 22:6
Devotional is a daily occurrence at the Learning Center girls dorm. This time is used to sing, pray, and encourage one another throughout the week. I can hear their joyful voices singing every night around 8pm and it is so sweet to hear their daily devotion to worshiping our Lord. Psalm 100:2
Excitement was the first emotion that I felt when I got to meet the students on May 23. This excitement has only grown as I have gotten to celebrate their own achievements and triumphs. So far peak excitement has been seeing so many students being baptized! Romans 12:11
Investing in others is such an important part of what MITS staff does on a daily basis. You can see the impact of the Eastleigh team on the kids at the center because they come back week after week! You can also see the impact that the Kamulu team has on the students through the transformations that they go through from intake to graduation. Colossians 3:23
Nakuona means “I see you” in Swahili. MITS embodies this so well by seeing street children as God’s beautiful creation, instead of what others might see as worthless. This desire to help street kids in Eastleigh was sparked by the founders Charles and Darlene whose heart aligned with God’s in seeing others. Genesis 16:13
Transformation is such a powerful part of each student’s testimony. Even I have seen the difference in confidence from the children at the bases to the learning center students to the skills students. God sure is moving hearts and changing lives through MITS! 2 Corinthians 5:17
Helping others is just an unspoken rule at MITS. Whether it is cutting vegetables in the kitchen, teaching in the classroom, or fixing a toilet; students and staff alike are so willing to help one another with a smile! Matthew 5:16
What an amazing day! Since 2012, International Day for Street Children has been celebrated globally on April 12 to acknowledge the strength and resiliency of street children around the world. Millions of children worldwide rely on the streets to survive. Over 60,000 of those children are living on the streets of Nairobi.
One of the greatest needs of street children is clothing. Children often end up living on the streets with nothing but the clothes on their back. This year, with your help, MADE IN THE STREETS raised awareness and funds to provide clothes to those children in Nairobi, Kenya.
Through your generosity, you were able to provide new clothes and care to over 200 street children in need! Thank you to everyone who participated, spread the news, and gave. Street children are worth celebrating!
Check out how the team celebrated in Kenya...
The month of December includes some of the best seasons of the whole year. December means winter weather season; the holiday season; and Giving Season. As we close in on the end of 2021, there are some great giving opportunities that will make a lasting impact on kids who are currently living on the streets of Nairobi.
In a matter of minutes, you can give a secure donation online and make an immediate impact. You may also choose to give your gift in honor or memory of someone, and your loved one will be thrilled to know that their impact on you prompted you to be generous toward street children in Kenya.
Stock donations are one of the best ways to maximize your impact and reduce your taxes. MADE IN THE STREETS makes it simple and easy to donate stock and make a life-changing difference for street kids. For more information on making a stock donation to MADE IN THE STREETS before the end of the year, contact MITS’ Executive Director Brad Voss (firstname.lastname@example.org / 817-688-6675) or MITS’ Finance Director Ericka Maple (email@example.com / 615-300-5724)
Monthly Partners are the Champions of MITS who go above and beyond to considerably impact the monthly operating expenses of loving and serving former street kids who are enrolled in the MADE IN THE STREETS boarding school program. Monthly Partners can choose a monthly donation level that helps to cover the ongoing costs of food, housing, education, and mentorship, and more for each of the students seeking to change their life in the MITS program. MITS Partners are paired with a current student and agree to donate monthly at one or more of four different levels ($25, $50, $75, $150). Some partners even choose to cover the entire monthly expenses for one student ($400). In addition to the essential financial support, MITS Partners also send and receive letters and updates from the MITS students, along with special news and fun surprises.
Prefer to send a check in the mail? That's great!
Make checks payable to MADE IN THE STREETS and mail to the following address:
MADE IN THE STREETS
409 Franklin Rd
Brentwood, TN 37027
Anyway you give, it matters to street kids; thank you for for generosity!
Congratulations to MITS Graduates of 2021!
This past Saturday was graduation day! We are so proud of the hard work and determination this group of students has shown throughout their time at MITS.
Watch the video below to hear from MITS Graduate Doreen about her experience in school and how she is asking you to pray for her.
Scroll down to see photos from graduation!
Eastleigh Gets Creative
This month, the Eastleigh Centre hosted its first art show! All pieces were created by street kids in Eastleigh. During the weeks leading up to the show, they came to draw, paint, and sculpt together.
When you do this for 20 years, you're bound to pick up a few stories and lessons along the way. Thoughts, impressions, news, and highlights from our staff, visitors, donors, students and alumni.