Our Origin Story
Forgotten People Connection began with a fishing trip.
In 2010, Allen Remley was invited to go on a fishing trip with a friend from England. While Allen cast his hook into the lake, trying to land ‘the big one’, his friend was casting another kind of hook, trying to capture Allen’s heart on behalf of the people of Africa. Knowing Allen’s passion for needy people, he spoke of the work he was doing in Africa and invited Al to come along to put a roof on a school he was building in Kenya.
At first, Allen wasn’t that interested, since his focus at that time was on India, where he’d been doing short term missions for over a decade. However, several weeks later, the hook was set when a package from England came in the mail. In the package was a story that clearly expressed the desperate circumstances of the people of Mount Elgon in western Kenya, and Allen’s heart was drawn to Africa.
A couple months later, Allen found himself in Kenya helping put a roof on a school. He learned that the people of the area were referred to as the Forgotten People, because the political ruler of the area had overlooked them for the last 40 years. Seeing the great need of the people in this region, Al determined to do what he could to help them. Forgotten People Connection was born out of the relationships developed with the people of Mount Elgon, and a growing number of communities in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
Forgotten People Connection is headed by Allen Remley and his wife Kathie, and is over-seen by a board of five directors. It’s focus is on partnering with the forgotten peoples of Kenya, Uganda, and the world, to create sustainable development opportunities that will enable them to walk out of poverty. It is a registered Canadian charity.
Kenya continues to hold a very special place in their hearts.
The Man Behind the Mission
As a young man of 19, I (Allen Remley) had an encounter with Jesus Christ that changed my life direction forever. It was then that I discovered that God is not silent, He still speaks today as He has in the past. In obedience to the voice of God, I felt a clear calling to go to India, and it was there that I came face to face with the reality of extreme poverty. I came to understand that as a Canadian, I enjoyed a standard of living that most of the world could never imagine.
As I wrestled with the reality of the human need around me, I was driven to the Bible, where I learned that God’s people are commanded to show compassion to the poor. I discovered that part of my job description, as one who claimed to be a follower of Jesus, was to care for the needs of these people (Matt. 25:31-36).
One experience in particular changed me. I was in Hyderabad and came into contact with a young married couple who were struggling to care for the needs of their family, and were facing a desperate situation. I prayed with them, but offered no material assistance. The next morning, God spoke forcibly to me through.
1 John 3:16 & 17. I knew John 3:16 from the time I could crawl, which emphasizes God’s love for us, but I had never considered what the apostle John says in the first of his three letters. It reads, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?”
I knew at that moment, that I had to move beyond prayer to action. I took most of the money I had to assist that family in their need. As I did that, fear tried to grab hold of me, as I imagined myself living like a beggar on the streets of India because I had just depleted all my resources and had no apparent way of replacing them. What I discovered in the coming days and months is that I could not out-give my Father in Heaven, who shortly thereafter blessed me with more resources. This act began a lifetime pattern of giving to the needs of others, and then receiving a blessing myself.
As I moved out in obedience to the voice of God and invited others, who were also learning to hear to come with me, Forgotten People Connection was born. It has been our prayer that we, as Canadians, would be moved with God’s compassion for the needs of people and realize that we have been blessed, so that we can be a blessing.