About us

Agape is the word the Bible uses to describe the transformational love of Jesus Christ for all of us, and forms the cornerstone of all our work to reconcile children with God and family.

About us

Agape is the word the Bible uses to describe the transformational love of Jesus Christ for all of us, and forms the cornerstone of all our work to reconcile children with God and family.

our story

How we started out and our core beliefs

the team

Get to know our staff and ministry partners

join us!

Discover opportunities at Agape

ON Campus

Explore our two Kenyan campuses

Our founder, Darla Calhoun, in the early days of Agape

Our Story

Agape began in Kisumu, Kenya in 1993 as a response from the compassionate heart of our founder, Darla Calhoun, RN. Darla was working in community health in the villages and small towns surrounding Kisumu. Whenever she came to town for supplies or to pick up her mail, she would immediately be surrounded by groups of begging street boys.

They were dirty. They were hungry. Some of them were sick. Many of them were high from sniffing glue. All were desperate. And she knew in her heart she needed to do something to help them.

She began giving them small bags of peanuts to eat or pieces of soap so they could bathe in nearby Lake Victoria. As the number of boys flocking to meet her grew, she began to meet with them in one of the town parks.

Alarmed by the prospect of as many as 80 to 100 street boys all gathering in one place at the same time, city officials told Darla she would have to end her meetings in the park…

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At that point she boldly asked the city to provide land where she could care for the boys. In the meantime, she rented a small house, hired a cook and a guard, and invited five boys to leave the streets and come live at what she called, “Agape.”

The city did donate land for the ministry and the local Kisumu Lions Club helped fund construction of the first dormitory building on campus. By 1995, there were 16 boys living at Agape in that single building.

Today, Agape has two campuses and employs a dedicated Kenyan staff of more than 128 teachers, house parents, guards, and administrative personnel. Two missionary couples oversee our operations, train and equip the staff, and help provide guidance and direction for the ministry.

To read more about Darla’s story, get a copy of her book, Agape’s Children, available in our shop.

Our founder, Darla Calhoun, in the early days of Agape

Our Story

Agape began in Kisumu, Kenya in 1993 as a response from the compassionate heart of our founder, Darla Calhoun, RN. Darla was working in community health in the villages and small towns surrounding Kisumu. Whenever she came to town for supplies or to pick up her mail, she would immediately be surrounded by groups of begging street boys.

They were dirty. They were hungry. Some of them were sick. Many of them were high from sniffing glue. All were desperate. And she knew in her heart she needed to do something to help them.

She began giving them small bags of peanuts to eat or pieces of soap so they could bathe in nearby Lake Victoria. As the number of boys flocking to meet her grew, she began to meet with them in one of the town parks.

Alarmed by the prospect of as many as 80 to 100 street boys all gathering in one place at the same time, city officials told Darla she would have to end her meetings in the park…

Accordion Close

&nbsp

READ MORE

At that point she boldly asked the city to provide land where she could care for the boys. In the meantime, she rented a small house, hired a cook and a guard, and invited five boys to leave the streets and come live at what she called, “Agape.”

The city did donate land for the ministry and the local Kisumu Lions Club helped fund construction of the first dormitory building on campus. By 1995, there were 16 boys living at Agape in that single building.

Today, Agape has two campuses and employs a dedicated Kenyan staff of more than 128 teachers, house parents, guards, and administrative personnel. Two missionary couples oversee our operations, train and equip the staff, and help provide guidance and direction for the ministry.

To read more about Darla’s story, get a copy of her book, Agape’s Children, available in our shop.

Our Values

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We know of God’s love for us through Jesus Christ.
Agape is the Greek work for God’s unconditional and sacrificial love for the world, which was expressed most clearly in His sending of His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for every tribe, every tongue, and every nation to reconcile to Himself a people for His own possession as they trust and believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. (John 3:16, Col. 1:20-23, 1 Peter 2:9-10)
God's love transforms people
We teach our staff, children, and their families to accept God’s loving gift of salvation by trusting and believing in Jesus Christ, and after recognizing God’s love for them, we teach them to love one another in return. (1 John 3:16, 1 John 4:7-12)
Children belong in family
The Lord instituted the the immediate or extended family unit as the ideal environment for raising and nurturing children. Therefore, when we rescue a child and bring them to one of our Agape campuses, we immediately explore the child’s family situation with the goal in mind of ultimately reconnecting and reuniting that child with their immediate or extended family. When the family situation is not conducive to providing appropriate care for the child, we endeavor to work with the family to build an acceptable environment for reintegrating the child with the family.
Children are valued by God
Every child is of ultimate worth and value to God, so much so that He sent Christ to die for them individually that they might be reconciled to Him. Therefore, we endeavor to help children value themselves not on the basis of how they have been treated by others, but on the basis of God’s love for them. We seek to provide an environment of acceptance and unconditional love to support and encourage each child and to deal with each child on the basis of their individual needs and circumstances.
Children need care and protection
Every child possesses a basic right to safety, shelter, food, clothing, and medical care, and Agape endeavors to provide these things for each child undergoing rehabilitaiton on Agape’s campuses. In the field, Agape’s staff are trained to utilize a home assessment tool to ensure that a child is never reintegrated into an unsafe home situation. Agape only reintegrates children with family members’ homes that meet our established thresholds for the child’s care and protection.
Children need emotional and spiritual care
Every child has the right to grow and fully develop emotionally and spiritually. Agape comprehensively assesses every child to identify their individual emotional and spiritual needs. Based upon these assessments, Agape develops personalized rehabilitation plans for each child to ensure that they have the tools and knowledge to heal and grow. We train and equip our staff on an ongoing basis so that they can assess, counsel, and teach the children in our care. We employ trained counselors, social workers, and pastors to develop and implement programs of care for each child. In a non-coercive way, we regularly present the life changing message of the Gospel to every child and provide daily opportunities for them to grow and mature in their walks with the Lord.
Children should realize their gifts and talents
Agape assesses each child academically and develops individual remedial education plans to help children close any educational gaps in their backgrounds and gain vital skills. Agape maintains a low student-to-teacher ratio to provide the individual attention, tutoring, and encouragement necessary to meet each child’s individualized academic goals. After reintegration, Agape assists families with primary and secondary school fees based upon the child’s academic performance and the financial needs of the family. For those children that will not finish primary or secondary schooling, Agape assists families with obtaining vocational training for their child so that they can find employment and live independently once they become an adult.
Christians are responsible to help children

The Bible clearly details God’s heart for children, especially those who find themselves orphaned or separated from their families. Exhortations to seek just for the fatherless and to visit the orphan in their affliction are found in both the Old and New Testaments. All Christians have a calling to minister to the needs of at-risk children at home and around the world. Therefore, Agape does everything it can to make the world aware of the plight of street children and to communicate the magnitude and urgency of this global problem. We endeavor to enlist people to pray for street children. We seek people to support Agape with their finances. We encourage people to participate in short-term missions teams to see firsthand God’s work through Agape to minster to these precious children. We challenge people to consider whether the Lord might be calling them to become missionaries with Agape to minister personally to these children.

Our Statement of Faith

Central to Agape’s ministry are the core beliefs of our Christian faith. These are an integral part of what we are as an organization and of what we believe as individual members of the Agape family.

  1. We believe that the Bible in its entirety in the original writings is the inspired inerrant, infallible and authoritative Word of God. As such, we submit to it as the standard for our conduct.
  2. We believe in one God eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  3. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious death and our atonement through his shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His imminent personal return in power and glory.
  4. We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ provides the only grounds for justification.
  5. We believe in the regenerating ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose power the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
  6. We believe in the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and eternal life.
  7. We believe in the spiritual unity of the Church, which is the Body of Christ, composed of all who are regenerated through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  8. We believe in the reality of heaven, hell, and Satan, which gives urgency to Christ’s command to reach the world with the Gospel.
Our Mission Statement

Reconciling children to God and family through the Good News and transformative love of Christ.

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We know of God’s love for us through Jesus Christ +
Agape is the Greek work for God’s unconditional and sacrificial love for the world, which was expressed most clearly in His sending of His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for every tribe, every tongue, and every nation to reconcile to Himself a people for His own possession as they trust and believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. (John 3:16, Col. 1:20-23, 1 Peter 2:9-10)
God's love transforms people +
We teach our staff, children, and their families to accept God’s loving gift of salvation by trusting and believing in Jesus Christ, and after recognizing God’s love for them, we teach them to love one another in return. (1 John 3:16, 1 John 4:7-12)
Children belong in family +
The Lord instituted the the immediate or extended family unit as the ideal environment for raising and nurturing children. Therefore, when we rescue a child and bring them to one of our Agape campuses, we immediately explore the child’s family situation with the goal in mind of ultimately reconnecting and reuniting that child with their immediate or extended family. When the family situation is not conducive to providing appropriate care for the child, we endeavor to work with the family to build an acceptable environment for reintegrating the child with the family.
Children are valued by God +
Every child is of ultimate worth and value to God, so much so that He sent Christ to die for them individually that they might be reconciled to Him. Therefore, we endeavor to help children value themselves not on the basis of how they have been treated by others, but on the basis of God’s love for them. We seek to provide an environment of acceptance and unconditional love to support and encourage each child and to deal with each child on the basis of their individual needs and circumstances.
Children need care and protection +
Every child possesses a basic right to safety, shelter, food, clothing, and medical care, and Agape endeavors to provide these things for each child undergoing rehabilitaiton on Agape’s campuses. In the field, Agape’s staff are trained to utilize a home assessment tool to ensure that a child is never reintegrated into an unsafe home situation. Agape only reintegrates children with family members’ homes that meet our established thresholds for the child’s care and protection.
Children need emotional and spiritual care +
Every child has the right to grow and fully develop emotionally and spiritually. Agape comprehensively assesses every child to identify their individual emotional and spiritual needs. Based upon these assessments, Agape develops personalized rehabilitation plans for each child to ensure that they have the tools and knowledge to heal and grow. We train and equip our staff on an ongoing basis so that they can assess, counsel, and teach the children in our care. We employ trained counselors, social workers, and pastors to develop and implement programs of care for each child. In a non-coercive way, we regularly present the life changing message of the Gospel to every child and provide daily opportunities for them to grow and mature in their walks with the Lord.
Children should realize their gifts and talents +
Agape assesses each child academically and develops individual remedial education plans to help children close any educational gaps in their backgrounds and gain vital skills. Agape maintains a low student-to-teacher ratio to provide the individual attention, tutoring, and encouragement necessary to meet each child’s individualized academic goals. After reintegration, Agape assists families with primary and secondary school fees based upon the child’s academic performance and the financial needs of the family. For those children that will not finish primary or secondary schooling, Agape assists families with obtaining vocational training for their child so that they can find employment and live independently once they become an adult.
Christians are responsible to help children +
The Bible clearly details God’s heart for children, especially those who find themselves orphaned or separated from their families. Exhortations to seek just for the fatherless and to visit the orphan in their affliction are found in both the Old and New Testaments. All Christians have a calling to minister to the needs of at-risk children at home and around the world. Therefore, Agape does everything it can to make the world aware of the plight of street children and to communicate the magnitude and urgency of this global problem. We endeavor to enlist people to pray for street children. We seek people to support Agape with their finances. We encourage people to participate in short-term missions teams to see firsthand God’s work through Agape to minster to these precious children. We challenge people to consider whether the Lord might be calling them to become missionaries with Agape to minister personally to these children.
Our Statement of Faith +

Central to Agape’s ministry are the core beliefs of our Christian faith. These are an integral part of what we are as an organization and of what we believe as individual members of the Agape family.

  1. We believe that the Bible in its entirety in the original writings is the inspired inerrant, infallible and authoritative Word of God. As such, we submit to it as the standard for our conduct.
  2. We believe in one God eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  3. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious death and our atonement through his shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His imminent personal return in power and glory.
  4. We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ provides the only grounds for justification.
  5. We believe in the regenerating ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose power the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
  6. We believe in the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and eternal life.
  7. We believe in the spiritual unity of the Church, which is the Body of Christ, composed of all who are regenerated through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  8. We believe in the reality of heaven, hell, and Satan, which gives urgency to Christ’s command to reach the world with the Gospel.

 

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Agape Leadership

Our Board of Directors and key ministry partners impart discerning leadership and organizational guidance to further the impact of family reunification, in Kenya and beyond.

Board of Directors

wesley corbitt

President and Executive Director

Darla Calhoun

Secretary and Founder

Jeff Alger

Treasurer

Dan Blackman

Vice President

Larry Keillor

Vice President

Dan Blackman

Vice President

Larry Keillor

Vice President

Our Staff

Without a doubt, one of Agape’s greatest strengths is the 128 Kenyan nationals and full-time missionaries who make up our staff. These men and women work tirelessly to welcome rescued street children, lead them to Jesus, care for them, teach them, encourage them, and eventually get them home. Meet some of our key staff leaders below.

WINNIE AWUOR

Child Welfare Manager

SELESTINE OKUMU

Child Welfare Manager

JOHNSTONE ENDEKWA

Facilities Manager

ANNE OGAGA

Academic Manager

HELEN ACHIENG

Counseling Manager

JOEL MUSEBE

Redeem Manager

JOSEPH OKUMU

House Parent Manager

GEORGE OMONDI

Administration Manager

LEBAUS ONYANGO

Government Relations Manager

ANNE OGAGA

Academic Manager

HELEN ACHIENG

Counseling Manager

JOEL MUSEBE

Redeem Manager

JOSEPH OKUMU

House Parent Manager

GEORGE OMONDI

Administration Manager

LEBAUS ONYANGO

Government Relations Manager

Jerald Chibayi

Child Welfare Manager & Government Liaison

Winfred Otieno

Rehabilitation Manager

Keziah Onokah

Administration Manager

Julius Sere

House Parent Manager

Julius Sere

House Parent Manager

KATIE SURATT

Creative Design & Communications

STEPHANIE LEMINGS

Bookkeeper

Join us

Be a part of this amazing mission. We’re looking for like-minded, passionate missionaries who will join us at our newest campus in Kitale, Kenya.

If you’re a college junior or senior, consider a valuable internship in Kenya for two months. Read the job description and send us your internship application* today.

*2019 intern applications are closed

Join us

Be a part of this amazing mission. We’re looking for like-minded, passionate missionaries who will join us at our newest campus in Kitale, Kenya.

If you’re a college junior or senior, consider a valuable internship in Kenya for two months. Read the job description and send us your internship application* today.

*2019 internship applications are closed

Volunteer Application

Get on-the-ground, real-life experience with our kids and staff on a short- or long-term
mission trip. Put your gifts and talents to work by volunteering today.

Note: due to an overwhelmingly full schedule, we are not currently accepting any more
visitors for 2019.

2 + 3 =

Our Campuses

Our two campuses support our mission to rescue, redeem and rehabilitate vulnerable and at-risk children by providing the space and facilities necessary for us to implement the Agape model. Our primary priority has always been to teach these hurting children that their true hope lies only in the REDEEMING love of Jesus.

Through our four-week transition class, daily devotions, weekly worship services, and a staff who values discipleship, children find forgiveness for their pasts and hope for their futures. Our discipleship program focuses on Godly character traits and boys are challenged to not just make a, “decision” for Christ, but to lead lives that bring Him glory and honor.

Our counseling team takes each child through a process of dealing with their past traumas and determining the factors that led to their life on the streets. Classes in anger management, spiritual warfare, and discipleship encourage children to face issues in their lives while giving them tools that they can use throughout their lifetime.

Kisumu Campus

Our 1.5 acre campus houses two dorms with a capacity for 54 boys and 30 girls, allowing us to successfully rehabilitate and reintegrate over 450 children per year.

Kitale Campus

Our second reunification campus opened in July 2018 and currently houses two dorms with a capacity of 30 boys and 14 girls, allowing us to successfully rehabilitate and reintegrate over 300 children per year.

 

But Agape is not a long-term care program. We believe that the best place for children to be is with their families in their home communities. We seek to reintegrate a child back to their home as soon as we possibly can. We visit each child’s home to determine the truth that led to the child leaving and work to counsel and encourage families in their role as providers for their children.

Our staff also continues to share the word of God with the family, the lasting effect of which is often an entirely transformed family!

Agape and its amazing staff and comprehensive systems of reintegration [are] nothing short of a miracle from God.

 

Dan Hamer
overlake christian church, redmond WA

Agape and its amazing staff and comprehensive systems of reintegration [are] nothing short of a miracle from God.

 

Dan Hamer
overlake christian church, redmond WA