Celebrating Bob Carter
It is with a great deal of grief and joy that we recognize the passing of Bob Carter, one of the founders of this God-given ministry. We are grieved that our beloved friend is no longer with us. However, we have joy knowing he has entered glory in the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We also have joy as we remember the life of this exceptional man.
Everyone who met Bob, quickly became a friend. He truly cared for all others putting them before himself. We saw the truth of this both here in the United States and in Kenya where even as an outsider, he overcame many barriers to win the trust, respect and love of the Kenyan people.
In many ways Bob was just like anyone else. He raised his family and worked as a salesman for a steel fabrication company. He loved Jesus and served Him in various ways through his local church. It was later in life when he found his real purpose. At a time when most people slow down and retire, God called Bob and his wife Ethel to do something even they could not imagine.
Bob and Ethel took their first mission trip to Kenya in 2001. They were there to help a Kenyan pastor, but soon discovered God had other plans for them. They saw orphaned children of all ages roaming the streets without adequate clothes, food or education. God burdened their hearts so much that they had to take action. Over the next seven years, Bob and Ethel traveled back to Kenya, navigated a foreign legal process, raised money, found property, built the orphanage, hired a staff and continued to follow God’s leading at every step. On February 15, 2008, Bob had the joy of watching the first children come into The Hope Centre. Those children along with the hundreds who followed them have received not only the basics such as food, clothing and shelter but more importantly the love of Jesus Christ as people like Bob and our staff have shared the Gospel both in words and loving actions.
Back in 2001, Bob could not have imagined the effect Living Hope Ministries International would have on Kenyans and Americans. Over 200 children’s lives have been improved by the orphanage. Sixteen new churches have been planted. A staff of Kenyans have been steadily employed for nearly 10 years, a rarity in rural Kenya. Dozens of short term volunteers and interns have served at the Hope Centre, an experience that always changes lives. Hundreds of supporters contribute to the ministry by sponsoring children and praying for the ministry. As a result of the efforts of all these people, nearly 4,000 people have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
The numbers are miraculous. But Bob Carter is remembered for much more than numbers. His love for Jesus and for others was an example to us all. Jesus taught us that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind. He also taught us the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. We saw this during the first team trip to Oyuma. The team was headed out to do door to door evangelism. Bob’s legs were hurting that morning, so he decided to stay behind. However, the Holy Spirit urged Bob to get up. Bob walked to the next house and greeted the man living there. The man was opposed to Christianity but allowed Bob to come in because a Mzungu had bothered to visit him. Bob shared the Gospel and the man prayed to receive Christ. Bob was obedient to Jesus. Even in pain, Bob loved God and loved others. We can’t help but to think Jesus gave Bob to us as an example of how to love God and love others. We miss Bob greatly.