our origin story
The dream of Timothy’s House orphanage on the Ayiengah property began in the 1890’s. Justus Ayiengah’s grandfather, the tribal chief near to what is now Busia, Kenya violated a long-standing local taboo by allowing a missionary from England to stay on his land and eventually converted to Christianity. Later the missionary was martyred in Uganda by three tribal chiefs. Justus’ grandfather violated another taboo by allowing the body returned to his estate and then shipping it to England for burial.
Justus’ mother remembers as a little girl being told by Chief Ayiengah about the missionary’s visit and the impact it had on him, particularly about his desire to start an orphanage for the tribe. She remembers dreams and visions about this as well.
In 2016 Greg Hintz, a pastor from Wickenburg, Arizona, visited Justus in Busia, Kenya, and was moved by these stories about dreams of an orphanage. Working with Justus and several members of The Place church, Timothy’s House began to take shape.
The AIDs epidemic led to the death of many adults in the region which resulted in so many orphans that the families and communities were not able to effectively respond. Justus’ initial purpose of the orphanage was to feed and educate the children of Busia.
In 2016, Justus and Nancy Ayiengah traveled to The Place church to speak about the needs of the orphans in their village. At the time of their arrival, there were 3 children sponsored in the community. Shortly after their departure, that number had increased to 125.
In 2019 Pastor Rex Dawson, the Executive Director of Timothy’s House, visited the orphanage and assisted the Ayiengah family in adding farming facilities and a water tower. Rex and Justus connected immediately and developed the current vision for Timothy’s House, which includes the orphanage becoming self-sustaining so it can provide nutrition, education and resources for independent living to its graduates.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the economic shutdowns that resulted from it increased the number of preschool-age orphans in Busia substantially. Timothy’s house used this time to build a schoolhouse, a kitchen, a corn crib, a fish pot, a security wall, two pig pens, and a safehouse for trafficked youth.
As of 2022, the orphanage has grown to a staff of 16 and services the educational and nutritional needs of over 300 children, most of whom are housed with volunteers in the five surrounding villages.
The beginning of 2023 has promised great hope for the children and staff with the building of additional classrooms, as well as office space for the staff.