Does anyone care? …Does God even care? I imagined those questions racing through the minds of the women whose stories I was hearing—women who lost their husbands and who then found themselves struggling to feed their children as they faced famine and Kenya’s soaring food prices.
My involvement began a few months ago, when two of Heaven’s Family‘s national missionaries visited several famine-stricken villages in rural Kenya to preach the gospel and plant churches. During their visits, the two missionaries noticed that there were many widows who desperately needed help. While our goal is to provide more than just a temporary solution to pressing needs, our missionaries informed us that months of food scarcity had taken its toll. The widows and their children were very weak. In response, we quickly sent money from the Widows & Abandoned Women Fund so that our two missionaries could purchase emergency food supplies to save the lives of a number of widows and their children.
I want to share the stories of two of those widows, both believers, and their children.
When thieves broke into Anna’s home in 2003, they shot and killed her husband. She and her eight children were left with only a small plot of ground with a mud house and garden. In the years that followed, they struggled to survive on what they could grow themselves and the seasonal field work Anna was able to find. Because of Kenya’s famine, work has been especially scarce this year. Many nights Anna and her children went to bed hungry.
When our national missionaries delivered our emergency supply of corn, beans, and other essentials, Anna told them, “I thought I was dreaming when I saw you coming with food.”
Eight years ago, Elda’s husband, a pastor, died from meningitis, leaving her with eight daughters to support. Her youngest was only one year old. Elda took any job that she could find to provide for her family, but mostly worked as a seasonal farm laborer since there aren’t any opportunities for permanent employment in the rural area where she lives.
To make matters worse, Elda’s oldest daughter, sexually abused over a long period of time, had two little girls—adding two more to the number of mouths to be fed. Because of Elda’s low income, she was doing all she could to keep her family of eleven alive on less than $10 a week!
When our national missionaries delivered our emergency food supplies to Elda, they discovered that she had gone several days without food. They told us, “Elda has so many things to give God thanks for. If not for this she was starving. God bless those who gave towards this.”