It all started with a vision 25 years ago: to help improve the lives of the African people, to ease their suffering, to give them hope of a better future, and to share the love of God.
When Larry and Debbie Kitchel founded Christian Mission Aid in 1986, they had witnessed the aftermath of other aid and relief organizations in East Africa coming and going, leaving little lasting development behind. Larry and Debbie used their own savings to contribute to whatever projects they could and worked tirelessly from the garage of their home in Nairobi. They prayed fervently with their staff, trusting in the Lord’s guidance every step of the way, and were determined to raise local leaders to make a lasting impact in the areas they reached.
What started with two humble servants in Africa now encompasses over 200 staff in Kenya, Canada, and the United States. Larry passed away in the spring of 2011, but by the grace of God, Larry and Debbie’s vision continues today, and 25 years later, CMA now reaches millions of people in Kenya, Uganda, and South Sudan. Despite these incredible accomplishments, Larry and Debbie always have attributed the success of CMA to the working of the Lord. As Larry used to say, “To God be the glory!”
Going beyond providing emergency aid and relief, CMA focuses on raising local leaders to create sustainable change in their own communities. The organization has been blessed with outstanding growth over the last 25 years – planting over 3 million trees in areas affected by rapid desertification, training pastors and community leaders to plant thousands of churches all over Kenya and Uganda, providing over 10,000 sight-giving trachoma/cataract surgeries and 400,000 people medical care in South Sudan, and so much more. Today, the organization is pushing forward, excited about the things to come, fully trusting the Lord’s guidance every step of the way.