Cang Ai’s Renaissance

01Apr

Cang Ai’s Renaissance

Things didn't go so well during the first 22 years. Due to seasonal water shortages in their village, Ni Kung, his wife and children, along with 14 other families, decided to relocate. So they moved from the mountains of Chin State in 1984 to a lower elevation in order to pioneer a new village, which they named Cang Ai. There they cleared land, built simple bamboo homes, planted small vegetable gardens, and raised a few chickens and pigs. The stream from which they watered their gardens was half a mile away, but it flowed year round. Still, life was not easy, and when I first visited Cang Ai in 2006, only seven families remained in the village.

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01Apr

Rizwana’s Smile

Rizwana always keeps her cheerful smile ever-ready to light up her face at a moment's notice. Just seven years old, she has a lot to smile about, especially considering the tragic life she so recently left behind. Some of Rizwana's earliest memories are of her father beating her mother. Her young mind could not understand adult problems, much less why such violence would ever be thrust into her life. She only knew that one day her father was gone, and she and her mother moved in with relatives. He eventually returned, with a promise to change and a request for reconciliation. A few weeks later, however, Rizwana's mother's body was found in the street. She had been strangled by her husband with a towel.

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01Apr

Beatrice’s Chain of Capital

It's the same the world over. To survive, everyone needs some capital, whether it be financial, educational or social. Like so many others in Africa, Kenyans Beatrice Kimanya and her husband, Peter, had very little of any kind of capital. They owned a small plot of land on which they grew vegetables six months out of the year, but it netted them only $13 each month. Neither had any marketable skills or the benefit of an education past primary school. They, along with their five children, were imprisoned in poverty. The family often ate just one simple meal a day. Beatrice and Peter were especially disheartened that they could not afford the nominal fees to send their oldest son, Hillary, to secondary school (primary school is free in Kenya).

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01Apr

Goats from Sheep

Can goats come from sheep? The answer is "yes," when the sheep are God's people! You may recall that Heaven's Family provided several tons of food last year for hundreds of Turkana tribal believers suffering drought in northern Kenya. Our Turkana family literally danced with joy for God's lifeline of provision, but when the last kernel of corn was consumed, they were back to where they began, once again facing unrelenting poverty.

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