A Clovis nurse recently celebrated the first anniversary of a nonprofit organization that she started to help slum dwellers with health care in Nairobi, the capital and largest city of Kenya.
Alyssa Singh, 23, who works at Children's Hospital Central California, mainly in the Craycroft oncology center, started Imani International Care in Clovis in July 2012 to work with Imara Healthcare Centre, a clinic in a large slum in Nairobi.
"Imani" means faith in Swahili. Singh's nonprofit is currently trying to raise money to renovate the drainage and sewage system at the clinic.
A lifelong Clovis resident and a 2008 graduate of Clovis East High School, Singh worked as a volunteer nursing student in Nairobi in the summer of 2011 after her junior year at Seattle Pacific University. She fell in love with the people but had her heart broken over their living conditions and lack of health care.
Upon her return to the United States, she considered returning to Nairobi to help as a nurse after she graduated. But during her senior year she says she felt God's calling to do something else — to start a nonprofit in Clovis where she could advocate for the slum dwellers as well as raise money.
"The nonprofit is how God wanted to use me," she says. "It wasn't to (physically) take care of the people but to be an ambassador."
She visited Nairobi for three weeks in March. She plans to return this winter. In the meantime, she continues to seek volunteers and financial support. Checks payable to Imani Care International can be mailed to 1951 Norwich Ave., Clovis 93611.
Church helps widow needing new roof
An 84-year-old widow/charter member of St. Matthew Baptist Church needs a new roof at her home but can't afford the costs. So the small Fresno congregation hosted a Raise the Roof charitable fundraiser for congregant Emma Ross on Sunday.
The special service featured the church's youth department doing poems and monologues as well as songs and praise dances. About 50 people were in attendance.
Fresno Council Member Oliver Baines recognized the youths for their efforts — and Ross for her dedication and faithfulness in praying for Fresno and its officials.
The church asked for $10 donations — and $756 was raised.
Donations are still being accepted. Checks and money orders can be made payable to St. Matthew Baptist Church c/o Emma Ross and mailed to St. Matthew Baptist Church, 1808 S. Crystal Ave., Fresno 93706.
Lutheran congregation names new pastor
Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Clovis has a new pastor, the Rev. Ron Valadez.
He replaces the Rev. George Thune, interim pastor for about 1 1/2 years.
This is Valadez's first pastorship. He was recently ordained in his hometown of Gettysburg, Pa. His first time in the Clovis pulpit is Sunday.
Lord of Life Lutheran Church, which is at 1521 Tollhouse Road, presents services at 9:30 a.m. Sundays. Details: (559) 298-2548.
Fresno synagogue is recipient of award
A small Orthodox Jewish congregation in northeast Fresno is the recipient of the 2013 Fresno Award for community synagogues.
Chabad of Fresno received the award that is presented by the Fresno Award Program, which honors local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to the community and make Fresno a better place to live and work. Chabad of Fresno also won the award in 2012.
The synagogue is at 1227 E. Shepherd Ave. Details: (559) 432-2770.
Ecclesia awards honorary doctorate
The Rev. Floyd Harris Jr., assistant pastor of New Light for New Life Church of God, was recently awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Ecclesia University of Divinity International.
Harris submitted a 20-year historical overview of his involvement in civil rights in the central San Joaquin Valley as well as nationally and internationally. He also is national president of National Network in Action, a civil and human rights organization.
Celebrant Singers to perform in Visalia
The Celebrant Singers will present their 36th annual Homecoming Concert at 7 p.m. Aug. 10 at L.J. Williams Theater, 1001 W. Main St., Visalia.
The group is returning from a summer of ministry in Portugal, Central America and the United States. Members also will talk about their faith experiences during their travels.
The event is free. An offering will be taken. Details: www.celebrants.org or (559) 740-4000.
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6304 or firstname.lastname@example.org.