Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hope Fellowship - Sunday, May 30

Friends - On Sunday, May 30, I'm briefly speaking to Hope Fellowship Church in Cambridge, MA, where Katie and I are members.  It has been our home for the past 2 years while I've completed my Masters in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School (graduated this past Thursday).  Here are the comments I shared with the church today.
"I've always loved kids and consider it the responsibility of all of us to defend them and provide for them, regardless of culture, country, or income level.  Now, as an expectant father, even more so. I'm glad to be here with you today to talk about kids.
In 2004, I was living in Pennsylvania and just a couple weeks before coming to Harvard for grad school, I was asked to not to and instead travel with my church to Zimbabwe to see how we could get involved in the AIDS crises as a church.  I went to Zimbabwe, unsure of when I'd go to Harvard - if at all.
I went to Zim and then went again. In January 2005, I met a woman named Mrs. Mpofu sitting under tree, watching her 2 children (Peterson & Prudence) watch her die.  Who would take care of them? Provide for them? Sitting under the tree with me was Obert - a Pastor.
Over and over, Obert and people in his church were saying, I don't know how God's going to provide, but we will care for these children. Obert still helps look out for Peterson and many more, like Neatness, who you will meet on video soon.
There, I felt God calling me to start the ministry of Forgotten Voices, where we would demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in Zimbabwe (and now Zambia) to meet the physical and spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities.
We are now equipping about 160 churches to meet the needs of about 5,000 kids in 3 specific ways:
1) Unique Needs: Local churches, like Hope, know the needs of its neighbors.  Some of our projects involve paying school fees, food, seed, or medicine. Each is different, meeting unique needs.
2) Credit to Local church in Africa: The people who receive support from the local church do not know anything about Forgotten Voices, limiting dependency and creating a genuine opportunity for the church to create income overtime to support the project on an on-going basis.
3) Seminaries in Africa: We work through graduates of accredited seminaries in Africa, so denominations and graduates can share lessons with each other and build a more equipped church for the long-term.
I finally came to Harvard in 2008 to see how we could grow to help thousands of churches. Now, after graduating this past Thursday, I'm returning to Pennsylvania to lead the ministry of Forgotten Voices full-time. As a missionary, in part supported by Hope, I want to invite you to join me in 3 three ways:
1) Pray: Wisdom for how we are going to equip these churches and join them in what God is calling them to do. Wisdom for me to apply the lessons I've learned.
2) Giving: 
  • Immediate: We have an immediate need of almost $50,000 due before the end of July, to help us keep kids in school. Prayerfully consider giving toward that goal.
  • Join or start a TenTogether Team. Ten Together is a new initiative where we are asking you to gather 10 people in your community friends, family, coworkers or neighbors. Each person gives $10/month to Forgotten Voices and each team gives at least 10 hrs of service to a local project in the USA to model the African church responding to the needs of people. Find out more today at Our goal is to start 1,000 teams of 10 by the end of 2010. $10 + 10 hrs = Massive Impact for kids!
  • Missionary Support: As a missionary, partly supported by Hope Fellowship, I need to raise $2,500/month to care for myself, my wife and our daughter. Prayerfully consider supporting me. You can give at

3) Volunteering: As I'm leaving Boston now, we need help in 2 areas. a) Church Relations - people to connect area churches in Boston with the ministry of Forgotten Voices -- you can contact Nate & Ellen Shaffer, volunteer Directors of Church Relations, if interested; b) TenTogether - people to champion this inititative throughout the community - to kids, high schools, colleges, Sunday school classes, coffee houses, etc. Contact me at if interested.

Thanks for listening. You can give at and find out more about TenTogether at
In conclusion, Curtis and friends of Hope, every night pastors, like Obert, are crying out to God to provide resources to fulfill the "YES, we will care for your kids" that they spoke earlier that day to a dying woman. Today, here in this place, through the ministries of Forgotten Voices, we know who they area in Zimbabwe and Zambia and they know who the kids are and what they need. I invite you to join us in equipping them to do what God has called them to do.
Now - I invite you to meet one of my friends by video. Her name is Neatness, a young 14 year old girl in Zimbabwe.
Thanks for having me.

-Ryan Keith,
Member, Hope Fellowship Church
President, Forgotten Voices International

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Join us mourn Elizabeth

On the 29th of April I wrote a blog requesting for prayers from Christians around the world for the recovery of Elizabeth Njalila. She was a 17 years old orphan with a heart complication and one of the many orphans Forgotten Voices, through local churches in Zambia, has been giving a chance to renew their hopes of a future in education after the loss of their parents.

I am very sorry and sad to inform you that Elizabeth could not make it and she went to be with the Lord a couple of days ago. Join us in praying for peace, comfort and the Lords grace as we mourn her.

Your fellow servant in God's ministry,


Monday, May 24, 2010

Be a Voice for Ndeke ECZ

Impact: 48 primary and secondary kids in school; 20 adults trained in homebased care; funding to supply orphans and caretakers with health & food needs

The winding road back to Ndeke reminds us of Zimbabwe’s urban areas every time we visit them.  The smiling faces within the church remind us that the loving touch of a neighbor helping a neighbor brings joy to the giver and the receiver.  Every day of the week, the church seems to be filled with programming aimed at improving the health of the community – physically & spiritually.  This is the transformative power of a church – to know and understand the unique needs of the people.

Forgotten Voices is proud to support this local church effort, in partnership with the community leaders that call Ndeke home. Help us continue helping Ndeke and local churches like it by investing in them at

Thank you for being a voice for Ndeke ECZ.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Helping to make life better

Vivian Kanema's baby could not walk or stand up for the past three and half years because of her condition. The baby was born with some complications which included cerebral palsy. This made the young mother's life unbearable. Vivian is a double orphan and dropped out of school when no one was willing to pay for her education. She later got pregnant. However, life became even more difficulty when she gave birth to a baby that had cerebral palsy.

With the help of Forgotten Voices' ministry through the local church of Twapia ECZ, the child has been receiving some attention from Arthur Davidson Hospital, a children's hospital nearby. She has been undergoing some physiotherapy and now can stand up on her own and with the help of a walking chair, she can walk. "One day my baby will walk, and hopefully play with other children as a normal child would"; is always her mother's prayer.

The story of Vivian's baby reminds me of the story of King David and Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 9. Mephibosheth was crippled and could not walk without assistance, but David showed him kindness and he ate at the King's table all his life. David was said to be a man after God's heart; less wonder he acted this way to the needy. The local church has demonstrated the love of Jesus Christ to this little child whose voice could easily have been shut out and ignored. With the help from the church Vivian's life has been made a little bearable and she is thinking of continuing with her education in the near future.

Remember to donate to the ministry of Forgotten Voices in its partnership with local churches of Southern Africa; you will be helping to make a child's life much better.

Your fellow servant in God's ministry,


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day 2 days later - Ode to Moms

Friends - I'm so excited about my mom, Valerie. :) She brings joy to the lives of all who meet her.  This past Sunday, I really enjoyed taking my mom out to eat fresh seafood in Boston and celebrating her lifetime of love for my 2 sisters and I. This year, was especially great, as my wife, Katie, and I await our daughter's arrival sometime in the next month or so. June 4 is our due date. Celebrating Katie's new role as a mom made this Mothers Day even more personal for me.
Two days ago, we all had a chance to celebrate our moms, grandmothers, wives, sisters, and friends who are moms. You may have also taken time to remember a lost loved one - a mom who is no longer with us. Whether it was a great day of laughing with your mom or remembering the happy memories, I love Mother's Day.

My mom joked about funny things that happened when I was a kid, like when she ran over my foot by accident, told me to stop crying and sent me to school. :-) I was really ok, but my memory gives me incredible sway still to this day. :-) But we also talked about the serious times, when she was doing things without me even knowing it. Being a mom is often a thankless job, but a vital one in the life of a child.

With the ministry of Forgotten Voices, we have the opportunity to equip brave men and women in local churches across Zimbabwe and Zambia, who are faithfully sharing the love of Christ like a mom to children who are not their own, but loving them as if they are. At Forgotten Voices, we see LOTS and lots of stories of people taking in children who show up on the doorsteps or churches because the kids have no where to go after losing their moms. We see aunts and sisters or grandmothers caring for the children of a deceased family member.

I remember walking into a homestead and meeting a 73 year old grandmother to 24 children, 15 of them school aged. The woman had lost all 6 of her children to HIV/AIDS related illnesses, leaving all the kids under her care. We met during my first trip to Zimbabwe and Forgotten Voices started providing funds to the local church to send some of the children to school, as well as provide seed for the family. You can hear an interview I did about this story here.

Over the next 2 years, as I got to know her, GoGo (grandmother) told me that she did it because "it is the right thing to do and these children need me." The woman was confident and stable in her declaration. She felt that God would provide because He would want her to care for the kids.

You and I, as we celebrate our own moms, have the opportunity to equip women like my friend GoGo, who dares to believe like a mother -- that God will provide for our needs.

Please consider making a monthly gift to help us take care of GoGo's grandchildren (9 of which are still in school) and thousands like them all over Zimbabwe and Zambia. Without your motherly love and equipping local churches to play the role of mother to thousands of children orphaned by AIDS, our mission to equip them would not be possible.

Thanks for loving kids, loving moms, and helping local churches in Africa do the same!