A man, a website, and 175,000 lives: the story of KenyaRelief.org

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(WIAT) — Steve James founded KenyaRelief.org, but it was not his initial plan, it was the one laid at his feet.

“I would have never gone to Africa,” James said. “I never really had any interest in going there.”

That changed in on September 13, 2001, two days after Americans were brought to their knees. James and his wife Greta were knocked down again when they were told that their 19-year-old daughter Brittney had died at college.

“It’s like the most crushing thing a parent can hear,” James said.

But because of how Brittney had lived her 19 years, her dad was able to stand up and go to Kenya to meet Newton, a boy his daughter had supported with $24 a month since she was 16.

James met Newton, hugged him, and then he looked around at life in Kenya.

“Stunned. That I had so much in life and so many people didn’t have anything,” James said. “They had hope.”LINK: Visit KenyaRelief.org to find out how you can help.

So as a medical professional, while in Kenya James went to work. He started in the local hospital, at the peaks of Africa’s AIDS epidemic.

“It was a hospital full of skeletons, people, who were dying, and there wasn’t much hope for them,” James said. “I worked in surgery, and I didn’t have anything. I didn’t have any tools, I didn’t have what I need to practice safe anesthesia, but I did the best I could.”

The seed was planted. The man from Cullman wanted to do more. Not just for his daughter’s legacy, but as a man of faith. So he started a website.

In 15 years, KenyaRelief.org has treated over 175,000 Kenyans in their medical facilities where 22 teams of doctors, nurses, teachers, and more make the trip every year.

“My teams have totaled over 3,500 Americans and Europeans, that have come, volunteered, paid their way,” James said. “And their lives are changed.”

That works both ways, other than the hands-on medical treatments, they started the Kenya relief academy has over 500 students.

Brittney’s name is there too. An orphanage with over 175 kids who have been saved at the Brittney Home of Grace.

Brittney’s soul is in heaven, but her heart is in Kenya

“I don’t know she would be doing the big thing her daddy’s doing, but she would be a part of it,” James said. “She’d be in the trenches, Brittney would.”

James will take your prayers, your time, or your contributions.To learn more visit KenyaRelief.org.

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