Africa, December 2019, Vol. 84 No. 9

Winnie Gathu

As I grew up, I always wondered what my Mum meant when she said angels were watching over me. She would always say that angels are up in heaven, but at the same time, here on earth. That is confusing, right? Well, it has taken me several years to truly understand what she meant, and I can attest that it is true today.


Do you have a friend who would do absolutely anything to help you when in need? How do you feel when you see them going out of their way to help you? I know for sure that I feel happy, loved and indebted, regardless of how close we are. Now, can you imagine someone who doesn’t know you, has never seen you and, even more surprising, has no reason to help you, going an extra mile to see you happy and comfortable? That is exactly what happened at the Thogoto Home for the Aged in Kikuyu, Kenya.


Last year, I wrote an article for Africa magazine (April 2018) on my experience of visiting the Thogoto Home for the Aged. Early this year, I received a call from Father PJ McCamphill telling me that we had received an amount of money from well-wishers who had read the article and were moved to help the aged people. That was exciting, and at the same time surprising to me, since that was not at all expected. Do you see what I mean by angels? 


You, as the well-wishers, took the initiative to send your contribution, not even knowing where this home was and who the people were. Instances like this, remind me that God is always with us, and that he is a loving and mysterious God. You have no idea how much you touched these people, let alone the help that you gave them.


When I received the good news from Father PJ, I immediately called Jane Gaturu, the head of the Home, to let her know. The excitement and joy in her could be felt through her voice. She kept saying thank you, and honestly that made me feel like she was expressing her joy to the wrong person. I just wish you could all have been there to listen and receive the thanksgiving and praise that came from her heart.


Having informed Jane, she gave me a list of things that were needed in the Home – beds, washing machines, gas cookers, food stuff and diapers, among other things. With the budget that we had, we made a decision to buy beds, since that seemed the most important and immediate need. With the help of my Jumuiya (Small Christian Community) Chairman, we managed to get an amazing carpenter who made for us 32 beds in total. He completed them in two weeks. It is amazing to see how people can be so caring and supportive when other people need help. The carpenter was amazed by your support and in that spirit he managed to give us a very good deal. He charged us way below the market value. What can you say to that other than acknowledge the many angels on earth?


On the 19th of August, we arranged to go to visit the Thogoto Home for the Aged with my Jumuiya members, to deliver the beds, as well as other basic needs like foodstuff and diapers. That was one of my best days this year. Seeing the joy of the elderly people as they watched the beds being assembled and fixed in their dormitories, made me feel so overwhelmed and indebted to you. I could not help but thank God for you, and if I felt this joy, how about the elderly people? 


It is with much joy and gratitude that I write this article as a form of thanksgiving and appreciation to you all. You are truly angels to me and the elderly people. The message I got from Jane and the elderly people is “May God bless you abundantly” and one of the elderly residents said with much joy: “Now I can sleep in the new dormitory, and that is all thanks to you.” May you receive this thanksgiving and may God bless you and continue opening doors for you to be angels to more people in the world.


Winfred Gathu is from Kabatini outstation in Kiamaina parish in Nakuru Diocese, Kenya.

An accountant/economist by profession, she is currently working as a freelance writer.

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