We started our day spending time with legless Kana Claver, whom I met five months ago when he was still a beggar on the streets of Bujumbura. Kana was tortured during Burundi’s tribal wars, and consequently had to have both his legs amputated. Kana came to know the Lord through Bienvenu’s ministry. (You can read Kana’s full story in our January magazine by clicking here.)
Through a $500 grant via our Handicapped Christians Fund, Kana opened a shop in a marketplace where he sells a variety of beans, rice, and a number of other items. He has gone from making about 50 cents a day begging to an average of five dollars a day from his shop profits. Those profits have enabled him to put his young children in school for the first time in their lives, rent another room in their rented house so that they now have two rooms of living space, provide better food for his family, own a cell phone, and take his children to the doctor when they’ve been ill. We’ve also provided Kana with a hand-propelled tricycle. He formerly got around by scooting on his hands, or by using crutches and crude prosthetic legs.
We’re making a short video about Kana in order to promote the Handicapped Christians Fund, and Kana agreed to re-enact his former begging strategies in downtown Bujumbura while I filmed him. During one sequence, I hid in our parked car while he begged along a busy sidewalk, holding out his hand. Hundreds of people with good legs walked right by him during the fifteen minutes that I filmed, and not one person gave legless Kana anything. Later, as Bienvenu and I replayed and watched that video, Bienv said, “This makes me think of what it will be like on the day of judgment, when the Lord will show us all our deeds.”
We spent much of the rest of the day visiting Christian women who were formerly destitute, but whose lives are improving through small-business and home-building grants, as well as some micro-entrepreneurs who have benefitted from our Micro-Loan Fund. A few of their photos are below. Thanks for helping Heaven’s Family make a difference in all of their lives. — David
With a $600 HF grant, Miriam recently bought land and built a three-room mud-brick house. Through another $300 HF grant, she has started a small business that sustains her and her two sisters.