Tito Musyoki Rural Community Development (TM Ministries) organization has come a long way and has touched the lives of so many people; but its start was simpler than you’d probably think. You see, TM Ministries started as a jar full of coins that was on the shelf in my family’s house in East Lansing, Michigan. After my grandfather passed away in 2004 and my family went to Kenya for his funeral, it was very obvious to my siblings and me how very different the lives of our cousins were compared to ours. We travelled with suitcases full of clothes and books we loved to read, yet some of our cousins didn’t have clothes without holes in them—let alone books we so easily had access to. It was definitely a shock and not something we were used to seeing on the streets of East Lansing. We tried our best to help and at one instance, my little brother Shalord gave away a pair of his shorts to a little boy whose clothes were so badly torn. There and then the boy pulled down his torn shorts and wore his “New” pair of short. When we returned, we couldn’t easily forget what we had seen and experienced, so we decided to save up some money to send to those who needed it most. We got an old spaghetti jar and started filling it with coins. Slowly by slowly, the jar filled up with birthday money and any coins we found lying around the house. When people asked
about the jar, we told them what it was and tried to get them to donate some money, too. As the jar filled, we realized we wanted other people to read and become engrossed in the books that we loved. That is when we decided to collect books to send to our cousins. Not only did we donate some of our personal books, but we also asked friends and teachers to help. It may have started as only a few boxes, but a few years later, we filled our whole basement with books. Today, those books can be found in the library in Tala, Kenya. I can still picture that plain old spaghetti jar with Titus Musyoki Rural Community Dev. (TM Ministries) written in my mother’s handwriting on a name tag. This organization has blessed me with opportunities like marching through the streets of Tala calling for people to “read for knowledge and read for fun,” coordinating medical camps, and organizing Vacation Bible School. In all these experiences, I’ve seen how TM Ministries has grown from a small jar and a
simple desire for helping others to the organization it is today—focused on improving the living standards of rural communities and promoting a healthy Christian lifestyle. I hope to be part of this organization for many years to come.
TM Ministries Read Campaign: “Read for Fun and Read for Knowledge”
By Shaddi Achieng Okello