The Presbyterian Church
As development within the village began to expand and public areas like the health clinic, the water well, and the schools garnered more attention, it soon became apparent that the people needed a place to worship. With the help of both Kenyans and Midwesterners, Pastor Nzioka acquired a large piece of land from the government in 2013; it was just the right size to house a church and a children’s home, two places of refuge for those living in Thwake.
In partnership with the Heartland Presbytery, the Kikuyu Presbytery of East Africa helped establish the Thwake Presbyterian Church, construction of which was completed a mere six months after the land had been obtained. Thwake villagers waited until Pastor Nzioka and his friends from Kansas City made it back to the village in 2013, and one Sunday while they were there the Kikuyu Presbytery held a dedication ceremony and officially opened the church. It quickly filled with over 100 new members, and remains a thriving congregation to this day.
The Children’s Home
The Thwake Village Partnership recently finished construction of the Children’s Home. Because of the prominence of AIDS, many children are left without parents to care for them or, in some cases, they find themselves under the guardianship of extended relatives who are unable to financially care for all of their needs. Since young girls are at a much greater risk than young boys, Pastor Nzioka and villagers in Thwake agreed that a home for young girls should be the next project to come to fruition. The Children’s home will house 12 school-aged girls and a full-time live-in House Mother to care for them. They will attend school with the rest of the children from the village at Thwake’s primary and secondary schools, but they will live, sleep, and eat at the Children’s Home. According to Pastor Nzioka, this is one of the best ways to show the community how much they are cared for. There’s no agenda, other than to show love to the most vulnerable of the Thwake population.