FARMINGTON — When National Day of Care first began building homes in Kenya, the organization's founder Ronna Jordan was shocked by the community's involvement in the process.

Often, community members donated land and worked alongside the teams of missionaries from National Day of Care. The faith-based Farmington nonprofit sends missionaries to countries worldwide, though mostly in Africa.

Jordan was also surprised by how little it cost to build a house in Kenya. Building one home cost $400.

"I've never seen a dollar go that far," she said.

Last year, National Day of Care mission teams built their 400th house. To celebrate the milestone, the organization will host a free concert at 6 p.m. April 14 at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 211 W. 20th St., Farmington.

"For $400, you build a home, and now we've built 400," Jordan said.

National Day of Care began building houses three years ago after Jordan and a team of missionaries met Jared Okello, a prominent Kenyan politician. Okello had a dream of building homes for the people who had been displaced by post-election violence that spun Kenya into a civil war and displaced around 600,000 people. Many of these people were driven out of their homes and the houses were burned.


Okello became the Kenyan Logistics Coordinator for Houses of Hope — the project National Day of Care helped create to build the houses. National Day of Care partnered with Volunteers in Missions, another faith-based nonprofit, to establish Houses of Hope.

During the concert, Okello is scheduled to deliver a message either in person or via a video.

Jordan started mission trips to Africa in 2000 to help AIDS orphans.
In 2003, she and her husband founded National Day of Care with the main purpose of helping orphans.

The moment that made Jordan "throw caution to the wind" and start National Day of Care occurred while she was walking through an orphanage in Africa with its director.

"I looked over and saw a little baby in a crib," Jordan said.

She asked the orphanage's director about the baby's name. Her name was Shawna, the director replied.

Jordan was shocked. Her eldest child is also named Shawna. She said that moment made her realize that the baby in the crib could have been hers.

Since she started National Day of Care, many churches in the Four Corners area have used the organization to sent missionaries to Kenya. Jordan said about 10 teams go each year.

The organization plans to continue building houses and has set a goal to construct 1,000.

The concert later this month is called "Concert of Lights." Jordan said it refers to a comment Okello once made about the Houses of Hope "lighting up the Kenyan sky." The concert will feature Carla Smith, a traditional African American Gospel singer.

"To me it's just the greatest, greatest music," Jordan said, describing the style of music. "They sing from their heart."

In addition to Smith, Rachel Corley, one of the most well-known worship leaders in the Farmington area, will also be singing. Corley leads worship at Pinon Hills Community Church.

There will also be a children's choir.

Jordan is also going to sing. She plans to sing a Swahili song that she learned during her time in Africa. Jordan spent 20 years touring as a singer and songwriter before she founded National Day of Care. She said she tries to combine her music with her mission work.

"I call myself a musicianary,'" Jordan said.

Hannah Grover can be reached at; 505-564-4652. Follow her on Twitter @hmgrover.