Heaven's Family Magazine
May 2011 Issue

Who Needs God?

The Micro-Loan Fund at Work in Kenya

Dick Samuels


Jennifer Naliaka has a lot to smile about these days

Who needs God? Jennifer Naliaka certainly didn’t. For her, life was good. She was married, had three healthy children, and one was on the way. All their needs were met. Besides, Jennifer did dabble in religion, occasionally attending a local church in her home village of Saboti, Kenya. Who needs God?

Life changed, however, when Jennifer’s husband unexpectedly died of typhoid fever. After his funeral, his family seized all of Jennifer’s possessions, a practice that, tragically, is all too common in some parts of Africa. They left her with only a small two-room house and the tiny patch of land on which it stood. Finding herself a desperate, pregnant widow with three children, Jennifer was forced to work in the fields for a dollar a day—when she could find work.

Who needs God? In desperation, Jennifer cried out to the Lord. He had been waiting.

Soon afterwards, a neighbor invited Jennifer to a church that met in a home. Although they were quite poor themselves, the believers there reached out to Jennifer and her children, sharing some of their food and, on occasion, some money as well. A seed of faith was planted in Jennifer’s heart. Before long, that seed bore fruit. Jennifer gave her heart fully to the Lord.

Although the joy of the Lord was clearly evident in her heart, Jennifer continued to struggle in her poverty and dependency. One day, however, her pastor, Cleophas Makona, told her that with the help of Heaven’s Family’s Micro-Loan Fund, he had become a micro-banker. With a small loan, he said, he could help her start her own business. Jennifer could hardly believe something this good could be true, but she had learned to trust her pastor. She gratefully borrowed $58.

Pastor Cleophas helped Jennifer get her new business—operating a fruit stand—off to a good start. She set up a table along the dirt road in front of her small house and began selling fruit that she purchased wholesale by traveling to area farmers.

Jennifer soon had a thriving little business as her neighbors began to buy her fresh produce. No longer a burden to others, Jennifer is now able to pay her children’s school fees, stock a pantry full of food, and help care for other poor widows in her village. And Jennifer has since repaid her loan. She is now hoping to receive a second, larger loan so she can expand her business.


Jennifer, with sons Felix and Yonah, now enjoys the “fruit” of her little business

Who needs God? Jennifer Naliaka does—every day and for eternity.

The Bigger Picture:

Heaven’s Family currently operates 23 micro-banks in 8 nations, which serve to economically lift poor believers, like Jennifer, by means of small-business loans. Your gifts to the Micro-Loan Fund help end the often generational grip of poverty—and are an answer to the desperate prayers of the poor.

Help fund a micro-loan


This Month's Articles

Strategic Stewardship

Charitable Gift Annuity

Parting Shot: The Graduates

We received this photo from a Heaven’s Family-assisted Christian School in a heart-breaking Nairobi slum. As best we can understand, these children are all graduating from kindergarten to first grade.

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