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Africa Day 2: Caring for Orphans and Widows

15 Feb

Africa Day 2: Caring for Orphans and Widows

Two young students, twin sisters, who attend an indigenous Christian primary school that we visited this morning

Today began with a visit to yet another indigenous Christian primary school that was started by a friend of ours, a widow named Naomi Nyongesa. Naomi has planted thirty-six house churches in her region of Nairobi. Her Christian school that we visited this morning is for children from several of those house churches, most of whose parents cannot afford to send them to any school.

Their “school building” is a windowless tin shack with two doors that provide some ventilation. Some of the children were obviously malnourished. Naomi told us that she would like to provide the children with one meal each day, but they can only afford to give the children water. Her school would be another worthy project for the Christian Education Fund that I mentioned in yesterday’s blog.

We spent the rest of the morning visiting Christian widows whom we’ve helped start small businesses through the Widows & Abandoned Women Fund. Becky, who directs that fund, was particularly blessed to meet widows whom she had previously only seen in photos sent by their pastors. Most live in tiny one-room tin apartments along with three or four children. But all were so thankful for their business grants and expressed interest in receiving micro-loans to expand their businesses.

Some of the widows told us that when they lost their husbands, their husbands’ families immediately confiscated all their possessions, which they justified by claiming that his property was their inheritance. Such greed is apparently culturally acceptable in parts of Kenya, even though it results in the utter destitution of widows and their children.

Around mid-day we headed for the Nairobi airport to catch a flight to Kitale, near the Ugandan border, where we assist an orphanage and have, in the past, served refugees after tribal warfare and post-election violence. We discovered that our flight to Kitale had been cancelled, so the airline flew us to Eldoret to get us within a two hour’s drive. Eldoret made international news during Kenya’s post-election violence for appalling indiscriminate slaughter of innocent people. A group of Christians were burned alive as they took refuge in their church building. As we drove through Eldoret on our way to Kitale, it was hard to imagine that the throngs of people whom we saw walking along the road and in the marketplaces were capable of such evil. Only God knows what lurks in the hearts of those who have not been born again.

Below are a few photos from this morning. Thanks for your continued prayers. — David

A cute little student at Naomi’s Christian school and pre-school

Not everyone was happy to have their photo taken this morning!

Becky with widow Esther Wamjiru, standing in front of her clothing and variety shop, started with a grant from our Widows & Abandoned Women Fund

Widow Irene Wangeshi standing in front of her dirt-floor house, where she lives with her three children. It is as deep as it is wide. Irene will soon open a green grocery store with her grant from the Widows & Abandoned Women Fund.

Widow Lydia Karora with her son, Daniel. Lydia has three other children. She just received a grant from the Widows & Abandoned Women Fund and will soon be opening a beauty salon.

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