The Whole Child and St. Rita’s

by Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt | 11.30.21

We all have stories. Stories that explain the past, inform the present and direct the future. Our stories are built around our personal beliefs — about ourselves, our culture, our responsibilities, and, of course, our religious beliefs. As a Christian, I believe that “life and its gifts and abilities … can be lived with faithfulness, creativity, and with a generous and responsible stewardship.” (e-Devotions: Inbox Inspirations from Rev. Bob Dannals, August 11, 2021)

And thus, our involvement with Father Francis Limo Riwa and the effort to build St. Rita’s Church in Kenya. About a decade ago, Steve said he wanted to support a charity that would help someone who wasn’t like him. For those who know him, that is relatively easy to do and thus we became supporters of an orphanage and school operated by Fr. Riwa in Meru, Kenya. 

Over the last ten years, we’ve been involved in projects to provide clean water to the school (a septic system), to feed the orphans (due to repeated droughts and famine), to clothe them (the high school girls make their own clothing and that of the younger children), to facilitate literacy (the boys’ school had a library but not the girls’ school. REALLY?), to provide higher education to the girl high school graduates (both to change their individual lives and impact life in Kenya), and now to provide a space sufficiently large for all of the orphans and nearby people to worship. 

The Whole Child — physical, emotional, and spiritual — is essential for optimal development and health. The building of the church is the next chapter in our story dealing with this special orphanage that has grown to care for and educate almost a thousand children at any given time. 

The church will be named St. Rita’s, after the patron saint of the Impossible, abused wives and widows. If your story and beliefs resonate with this need, then we encourage you to join us financially in this undertaking to provide for The Whole Child. Donate today and help us build St. Rita’s Church.


To donate please use the button below. Use the form on our contact page to get in touch with Steven & Elaine directly with any questions. Thank you in advance for any support you’re able to offer.


Leave a Reply

This is a moderated site. Your post may or may not be made public.