Ripples International Founders Tell Their Story...
The Curious Newspaper Headline That Jolted Chidi And Mercy…
One day, Chidi and Mercy were reading the newspaper, flipping through various stories when suddenly something caught their eye.
They gasped in wonder as they studied the story in great detail..
40% in HIV infections? That’s almost HALF the community!
Something Has To Be Done…And Done NOW!
After reading that saddening newspaper story, the couple was convinced that God would rather have them leave the comfort zone and offer part of their lives to the service of humanity.
With these revelations and confirmations, their hearts became even more restless and made them seriously consider the option of resigning from stable jobs to start an accountable organization to serve the needs of children and families.
Setting Out Into The Unknown
As much as their hearts were settled on the assurance of the divine calling, Chidi and Mercy had the fear of economic survival.
In this seeming confused condition, they prayed to God, sought counsel from well meaning people and waited upon God.
Armed with faith in God, family savings, encouragement from friends and a determination that could not be deterred, they started on a journey that where they would later realize the true cost of the call.
Answering The Call
In the words of Ripples International Co-Founder, Chidi Ogbonna…
“Having heard the divine direction to settle in Meru [Mercy’s home town], we walked out of our old lives, rented a house in Meru town and started the work in line with the divine calling.
Our driving force was to fully answer God’s call in our lives, serve God in our generation through helping children, families and the oppressed.
However, choosing to move to Meru did not happen without some second thought.
It meant giving serious considerations between giving part of our life experiences in service to humanity and resisting the temptation of getting a huge salary at the end of the month.
We were focused and determined.
We had to do what was necessary to save lives and give hope.
We thank God for gracing us with hard working, dedicated and supportive staff and partners through whom the organization has grown constantly.”
Mercy and Chidi’s beautiful young family after responding to the call to move to Meru before 2006. The young family stayed in a small rented house as they set up a bookshop and a center for HIV screening and education.
It was on a memorable trip to the USA over 10 years ago that Mercy Chidi met Paul and Linda Higdon. This amazing couple took time out of their busy schedules to escort Mercy around the States, as well as introduce Mercy to a number of Donor Organizations that continue to support the Ripples International vision to this day.
How Did The Ripples Story Begin?
The Death Of Baby Gatwiri
“In 2001, Chidi and I had a real life encounter in Meru that brought tears to our eyes. One baby died out of neglect. Baby Gatwiri.Why?The family saw no use of taking care of an HIV positive dying baby. Our hearts were painfully pierced with this experience out of which God confirmed to us the need to start a rescue home where such babies would not have to die but find love, hope and life.“
Why Are People Abandoning Babies?
In the course of our work, we discovered another shocking and equally disturbing trend in society. Babies, as young as 7 days old, were (and still are) abandoned by their families.
Reasons Given For Abandoning Babies
A New Life – A New Start Baby Center
To us, every baby deserves a right to life – whether born with HIV, or born into poverty, or unwanted by family.
Therefore, years after the main mission of saving lives was began, another cause was born – the cause of saving rehabilitating abandoned babies by giving them a home, education, shelter, healthcare and ultimately a new chance to life.
Hence, New Start Baby Center was conceptualized and established under Ripples International.
13 Years of Saving Lives
What’s Behind the Name, ‘Ripples International?”
“As the rain and the snow came down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth.It will not return to me void but will accomplish what I desire and the purpose for which I sent it”.