A Dream So Big isn't just a story about a family in Kenya, but a story of hope and healing as well, both for the Peifer Family and for Kenyan children that their ministry impacts. It is also a story of God growing a family in ways different than they expected through the gift of adoption. They fell in love with the Kenyan children and saw the many needs for better education, nutrition and better living conditions. You can read more about this ministry at Kenya Kids Can.God healed broken hearts and grew them as a family in ways they never expected in Africa while using them and their ministry to impact the Kingdom for Him in ways they never expected because they were willing to go when He called them. It is written with humor and honesty as they their joy and sorrow of daily life. It is the story of a family that said yes to serving and 13 years later are still serving through a ministry that cares for MKs, feeds 20,000 Kenyan schoolchildren and sets up solar run computer labs for kids in Kenyan public schools.
A Dream So Big is the story of a broken and hurting family, who leave the comforts they know, to commit to a year of service in Kenya. During their first year, they realize that they have come to love the place that God has chosen for them. Not only that, but God has given Steve Peifer a burden for the children in the schools of Kenya, who lack sufficient food to focus on learning. With renewed enthusiasm, the Peifer family returns to Kenya, where they will not only work at the Rift Valley Academy, a boarding school for missionary children, but also put into place a feeding program for thousands of starving children in their region.
As time passses and the feeding program grows to include more schools, Steve is led to begin changing more for the children of Kenya, through introducing them to computers. Through generous donations, solar powered computer centers are built at various schools. Little by little, change is being made because of the obedience and sacrifice of many.
I absolutely loved reading this book. I found Steve to be quite humorous at times. He also had the ability to move me to tears and make me ponder many things during my read. I felt transported to Kenya and could feel Steve's heart beating for the children who were seemingly without hope. I could sense the love of God for the people of Kenya, through the feeding program and sacrifice of so many. This story will forever be in my mind and heart.
I was privileged to review a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions express in this review are my own.
"A Dream So Big" is a memoir by a missionary in Kenya. This is the story of why this family went to Africa on a short-term mission trip (which turned into a long-term one), about his work at the missionary school as a dorm parent, teacher, etc., about the differences between American and Kenyan cultures, and about their travels to various parts of Kenya. It describes how Steve's heart was touched by the sight of children faint and crying from hunger and how he started a program to provide free lunches (and, later, computer training centers) at nearby schools.
Kenya and its people are vividly described. Steve made me really care about the Kenya kids and missionary kids. The situation of the poor in Kenya really touched my heart. I wasn't aware things were so bad there or that that it costs so little to feed one child for a month. I'm glad Steve is providing a way for people to help the Kenya kids. I'd highly recommend this book to those who like stories about other cultures and/or missionary stories.
I received this book as a review copy from the publisher through Booksneeze.
"A Dream So Big: Our Unlikely Journey to End the Tears of Hunger" by Steve Peifer (with Gregg Lewis) is a moving look at how one family's journey through grief led them across the world to Kenya, Africa and how God has used them mightily in that nation.
Steve and Nancy Peifer were not planning on having a third child, but God had other plans for them. Their son, Stephen, was born with Trisomy 13 and died eight days later. As they grieved for their son, they began to feel a need for a change of scenery to escape the all-consuming grief. They met with friends who had worked as teachers at Rift Valley Academy, a boarding school for missionary kids in Kijabe, Kenya. Though that meeting, they found out that there was a need for dorm parents. They signed up through African Inland Mission for a one-year stint, packed up their belongings and their two older sons, and headed for Africa. One year turned into over 14 years.
Over the course of their work there, they have each served in various capacities in the boarding school. Steve had occasionally helped with relief missions delivering food to the families of school kids in nearby villages. But it was entering a classroom and seeing an entire room of kids lying in the dirt because they hadn't eaten in days and were too weak to sit up that caused an eventual shift in Steve's focus and ministry in Kenya.
After soliciting donations, he launched a feeding program through area schools that would provide a hot lunch to students. After these programs began, enrollment increased. As Steve continued to ponder how to help the Kenyan people pull out of the dire poverty and hunger that they lived in, he decided to open computer centers to train students in technology in the hopes that they would be better equipped for the future. The programs have continued to expand and now include Kenyan leadership. Steve continues to work for Rift Valley Academy as their guidance counselor.
This is an amazing book that brings to light such a serious subject that most Westerners would probably prefer to sweep under the rug. The issue of hunger is foreign to most of us in America, but a life-or-death reality that occurs daily in so many other parts of the world. I felt caught up in their journey and found myself cheering them on as they opened their first two feeding programs, as they expanded to include more schools, as they opened their first computer center. It's a fantastic example of how God can use ordinary people for His glory, how God can turn grief into something incredibly beautiful. I highly recommend this book. Be prepared to have your perspective on life altered!
If you are interested in more information about Steve's ministry with the feeding programs and computer centers, please visit their website at kenyakidscan.org.
(I've received this complimentary book through the Book Sneeze program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)
This is a story worth sharing and a story worth reading. The Peifers' experiences in Africa range from humorous to gut wrenching. Through it all Steve Peifer shares it with honesty and humility. He constantly points out that it is not he nor Nancy, who have helped many Kenyans, but it is in fact, the Lord working through them and others. His candid assessments of his own weaknesses were encouraging. We are all flawed. Yet, the Lord can use us all. We just need to be willing. This is the central message I found while reading A Dream So Big.