Not a Saloon…a Salon

Fanice, Lydia, Daniel, Cynthia and Cecilia, standing in front of their tin rental home in a Nairobi slum

Lydia never dreamed she would be a widow. She had just given birth to her fourth child—a long-awaited first son named Daniel. And then it happened. Her husband, Peter, died unexpectedly of heart failure. Lydia found herself alone, trying to raise their four children by herself.

Lydia, a trained beautician, would take work at any hair salon that gave her an opportunity, but she was only able to bring home about $12 per week. The single room she rented for her family cost $31 per month. There wasn’t much left over for food and other necessities.

The government of Kenya provides free primary education for all children, but Lydia’s oldest daughter, Fanice, was just starting secondary school, and the fees were $435 per year. And Lydia’s twins, Cynthia and Cecilia, would be out of primary school in a few years.

Some days Lydia couldn’t find work. And there were even a few days when she had no food to feed her family. During those times, her church family helped her as best they could out of their own poverty, but it still was never enough. Lydia found herself struggling against hopelessness and despair. She prayed for the Lord to help her open her own hair salon, but she knew it would take a miracle. Her pastor wrote to me and asked if Heaven’s Family could help Lydia with a grant to start a saloon (not the type of small business that Heaven’s Family usually helps widows start!). Further investigation revealed that he meant to write “salon” rather than “saloon”!

God heard Lydia’s prayers. Because of gifts to the Widows & Abandoned Women Fund, she received a grant to open her own hair salon. Her clientele is now growing, and she is prospering. There is food for her family every day. In her gratitude, Lydia wrote “I give thanks to the Heaven’s Family for helping me out of sorrow and tears.” Thank you for caring.

Lydia in her new shop with one of her clients

We have been transitioning the Widows & Abandoned Women Fund for the past few months so that we cannot only help trustworthy Christian widows in very poor nations with grants, but low-interest loans as well. We believe this is a way that we can better steward the funds entrusted to us while economically empowering widows. We now have three Widow’s Micro-Banks in Kenya, and soon will have more in three other countries. I love it when I see God’s plans come together! May He be glorified by our deeds!

Becky Servant
Director, Widows & Abandoned Women Fund

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