Saturday, January 26, 2013

Women Helping Women

Many women in Nakuru struggle every day to take care of their families. As one woman said when speaking to our women’s group, 

“The burden of the family is on our shoulders.”

The ladies work very hard to find ways to make ends meet in the slums. They are willing to do anything to stop the continuous cycle of poverty they have been stricken with all their lives. We are now working with them, teaching them crafts to sell in the marketplaces. Our future desire is to start a sewing school to teach them the art of sewing. This is a good opportunity for them to learn a trade that will sustain them. Most people in Nakuru have their clothes handmade by a tailor. The demand for tailoring is high.

We need sewing machines and supplies to get started. This is a list of basic needs to start the school:

            4 Machines                     $75 each
2 Sergers                        $75 each
6 Elec converters            $20 each
6 Tables                         $30 each
6 Chairs                         $20 each
1 Large work table          $50

  Each set up will cost $145 which includes 1 electric sewing machine, 1 converter, 1 table and 1 chair. Also needed is fabric, scissors, patterns, straight pins, thread, needles etc.

     Here are a few stories of their lives. 

Ann Nyambura Muriuki
I came from a very humble background. Born in second place of fifteen children. I am a mother blessed with three children and married to a polygamist man with two more wives. I dropped out of school in high school due to lack of school fees. 

This was a genesis of falling into hands of polygamist man because I was running from poverty. In the year 2008 I was affected by post election violence which led me to flee from my home county to Nakuru. 

This gave my husband another chance of having another woman. This was to put a hot nail in a wound. Life became unbearable for me and my children. The road became rough. It was not easy at all but by the grace and mercy of God we never got finished by problems. In the year 2010 the business I had corrupted (failed) and I was left doing nothing. 

After a while I came to the world of Art and Craft where I started weaving polythene kiondos (basket like bags) and wall decorations, wall mats and that’s where I met with Mr. and Mrs. Noah and StoneHouse Ministries. Currently I am in bead work designing different things from beads.

I believe in what God said I will be. I believe in power of a word of God and prayers. Though I had succeeded in farming and business before by election violence and everything I had got finished (was destroyed). I believe in restoration in a better way. In the book of Job 14:7-9 it gives me hope. Yes it has not been easy road for me and my children after experiencing many hardships and disappointments. But now I am focusing with what is ahead of me, hoping good things are coming on my way. I love my work very much and I am working very hard to give it success. Yes, I am Ann Nyamuura Muriuki, I am 45 years old.

Jane Kamau
My names are Jane Muthoni Kamau. I live in Rhonda in the town of Nakuru. I have been married to Daniel Kamau and I am a mother of four children and they are all ok. I have three girls and one boy.

We have gone through a lot raising our children and even taking them to school. We have gone through hard times of sickness one of my children named Tracy got sick when she was six months old and was admitted to the hospital for four months without responses to treatment. She was on a drip and given medication without knowing what she was suffering from. I used to cry to God without eating or drinking anything except water. Tracy was not eating or breastfeeding.

God heard our prayers just the way He heard the cry of Haggai and gave water in the wilderness. A doctor gave me a letter to connect me with another doctor in Nakuru who knew what was wrong with the child. Even thought the doctor was demanding thousands and thousands of money which I did not have at the time. My child was healed by God and the child was well and in a good healthy body. I thank God even today for healing my child Tracy.

 I did not have money to feed my children and feeding them was very hard. Their father does not have a job. I talked with some women and told them what I was going through. They encouraged me and one of the women taught me how to do knitting bags so that I could sustain my life. That woman gave me money to start off. I came across a man and he said he will help me sell my bags and the man betrayed me.

I thank God for holding my breath and my life. God provided food and water for us. People separated themselves from me and God never left me. God is my protector to me and my family. I taught my children how to pray and ask God for what they wanted. I could not provide for everything they wanted because their father was not working. My children know that humans cannot help but our Lord who is in heaven. Glory be to God yesterday, today and tomorrow and forever. Amen

Alice Chuma Shikhoba
I was born in the year 1957, the month of June. I am the third born of the late Mzee Amyayi and the still living mother Emily Omondi. I was born in Butere district where I grew up.

I was taken care of by my real mother from birth up to the age of two years where my mother divorced my father and they parted ways. From this tender age of two years, I was taken care of by a step mother. From this age life changed and there was full of ups and downs. 

There was a lot of mistreatment from my step mother. She was brutal and inhuman. My breakfast, lunch and supper was beatings and many problems made towards me. She did not consider me as part of her family. I was like a maid in the house. I was to perform every duty in the house.
My father came to hate me a lot. He called me a problem maker. In my life, I did not see any door of a classroom. There was no school fees to take me to school. My father sent school fees but my step mother used the whole of it to take my half brothers and sisters to school leaving me aside. She did not take me to school. Because of lack of education I was forced to get married at the tender age. I got married in the year 1970 at the age of thirteen years. I got married to the late Mr. Alfred Shikhoba. We were blessed with 14 children but nine children died. Five children are still alive. Marriage was not a solution to my problems.

 It was like running from the frying pan to direct fire. There was no source of income to support us and make us going. We lacked money to take our kids to school. There was nobody to sponsor our children’s education. We ended up practicing art work. We started molding pots for sale. We molded pots and sold in order to make our life going and to make money to take our kids to school.

In 1987 the market of pots went down. This made us to travel to urban center together with my husband. We went to Nakuru town to improve our lives. This was a problem too. Luckily my husband got a job; he was employed as a watchman. I remained in the house as a housewife with nothing to do but take care of children.
In 1991 life became very difficult. I decided to start a business to support my husband’s small salary. I roasted maize on the streets. I roasted maize up to the year of 2001. In 2002 I was sponsored to train on how to press wool into yarn. In 2003 my training ended and I began my personal business of pressing wool into thread. I did this as I sold the yarn to companies.

In the year 2011 my beloved husband died. He left me with the five children and the grand children. My life became more difficult. I was to work more harder to get a living. Due to this continuous pressing of the wool I had knee problem. I had pains in my knees. I was unable to press the wool.

I started basket sewing in order to make some money to buy food for my family and to pay rent. I am also supposed to take my grand children to school. All this needs money to happen. I am still sewing baskets to earn a living as a mother and as a single parent to my children. I am everything to my family. My life was full of art work and struggles for the better and for the best of my family as a whole. I wish I had a body to sponsor me through these hardships, more so on my grandchildren’s education. Be blessed.

The next two ladies, Elizabeth and Loice are Ann's daughters.

Elizabeth Adhiambo
I was born the year 1974 in Butere district where I grew up from. I am the first born of the late Mzee Alfred Shikhoba and Alice Shikhoba. I still have one parent who is my mother.

In my life I did not see any door of a classroom. I did not attain any. This was because of the state my parents were in. there was not money for school fees. I grew up just a non educated girl.

I got married in the year 1996 to Andrew Aswani who is my husband up to now. We are blessed with six children who are all alive. The first born is in grade three and the last born is six ninths of age. It has been very difficult to ensure that my first is going to school. This year I almost dropped her from school due to lack of school fees. We have been getting her school fees from the well wishers. Right now I have four children school and all of them we need to pay school fees.

My husband does not have a permanent job. He looks for a casual job from different institutions where the contract can last for one day. He looks for jobs in construction sites so called ‘Mujengo’ in Kiswahili. Since he also did not go to school. I completely do not have a job at all. I sometimes wash clothes for the well wishers in order to get money to supplement what my husband usually gets a day. Also to make some savings for rent payment at the end of the month.

We end up sleeping with hunger due to lack of food. This has been affecting our young children who are still growing and still very young. They end up going to school with hunger.
Concerning health, due to my problems I do encounter, I have developed high blood pressure. I sometimes become unconscious and even have difficulties in breathing. I cannot perform heavy duties because I sometimes feel short of oxygen. Moreso if I perform for a longer period of time.

All my life I have encountered many difficulties. I thought getting married will solve my many problems but all has been in vain. After getting married is when I have encountered many problems in life. I sometimes feel like taking away my life but I have children who still need a mother and they are still very young and innocent.
Because I don’t have any education at all, I have wished to get a body which can sponsor my children’s education which is a headache to me and my husband. I also wish I had any opportunity to get a job even of low class but permanent in order to sustain my family and for my family to get education and food.

Loice Adko
I was born in the year 1983 as a third born of the late Mzee Alfred Shikhoba and mother Alice Shikhoba who is still alive. I was born in Butere district.

I went to school but only reached grade four where I dropped out of school due to lack of school fees. This was because my parents were in a state that they could not raise money to pay school fees.

I got married to Alfred Ouma in the year 2003 and we were blessed with two children who are still alive. The first born is in standard two while the last born the top class (kindergarten). My marriage was not a success. We had a lot of domestic problems with my husband. He gave beatings all the times and tried to send us out of his house. I ended up developing a serious disease which put me down. He did not take me to the hospital, rather he told me to go back to my parent so that I can be treated. 

When I refused he decided to run away from me leaving me with nothing. He left me with the kids, no food and no money to pay rent since I was not working I did not have a job. He left me in the house very sick. I decided to go back to where I was born, back to my parents. This is where I am staying till now. Problems multiplied, I was to feed my kids since they were still very young. At the moment my parents had no job at all.
In the year 2011, my father died. This is where I experienced many problems. There was no source of income in the house. My mother had no job at all. I was supposed to continue taking care of her. We had no money to pay rent and also to buy food. Children were waiting to be taken to school. There was no money to take them to school.

I decided to roast maize on the street in order to get money to keep us going and surviving. I worked harder and harder despite being sick. Sometimes we ended up sleeping without food because we had nothing to eat. We had no money to buy food. My kids were being sent from school to go and bring school fees which was not there at all.
My health continued deteriorating; I became a sick ling person. Every time I became sick. Sick without food. I ended up developing kidney failure. I have a problem with my kidney this year. I became very sick almost dead but God took care of me. I was taken to hospital by well wishers. I was told by the doctor that I need a kidney transplant. 

This is something that has not happened due to lack of money. I was told my health is very critical and if kidney transplant will not take place the situation will worsen. I was told by the doctor not to perform heavy talks, but how can I stop it and yet my family need food and also my children need to go to school? I have not stopped yet, I am still toiling for the better and for the best of my kids and my aging mother.

I have been so weak since I separated with my husband, life has been so difficult. The most problem I have is on my children’s education because of my health. I wish I had a body to sponsor my kids and also at least to take care of my health. Help me out on this issue of kidney transplant. After wards I can get a permanent job to take care of my remaining family and my aging mother.

Beth Wairimu
Beth Wairimu was born in 1972 in a family of twelve. I went to school from primary to high school in those years I was supported by my elder brother because my parents were not able to. In 1997 I engaged to a brother and we arranged to marry but unfortunately he got in an accident and died. Next year I got married to a non believer and we were blessed with two girls. The first born is waiting to join high school and the other one is in class five.

I have passed through many marital problems and also sickness. I have been taking medicine now and then because I suffer asthmatic problems. This year I am happy to join Mercy and Grace Ministry and I know the Lord is taking us far.

I hope you have heard these precious women's heart’s cry and are inspired by their tenacity to overcome their difficult circumstances. Please consider helping us help them. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Hello dear family and friends; 
We miss all of you so much and want to thank those of you who have already written helping us  to stay up to date with the ‘goings on’ back home. We are thankful to be here in our new home and doing the work we have been given to do. We want to keep you up to date with what’s happening here so… here goes.

Our Church... StoneHouse Fellowship is Growing!
Our first Sunday back was wonderful; the gathering being filled with people excitedly sharing all that God had been doing while we were in the U.S. . The first three guys with ties were men visiting from Nairobi.More on them in the next blog.  It was so much fun to be welcomed home by the StoneHouse church family. Lots of hugs and hand slapping greetings  were popping everywhere. News ranged from how some folks had really begun to spiritually change for the better to the fears some people still had. We are growing in number and our home groups have increased from seven to eleven with about five to ten people per group attending.

The men and women helping with the leadership of StoneHouse are really starting to come together as well. Anyone helping with leadership is required to complete a course of selected teachings comprising of what we believe and expect from men and women handling responsibility. Leadership training is on Wednesday and Sunday mornings at 10 am and last about an hour and a half. Yet the best sign of growth is that our love is increasing for each other.

We are currently looking for a bigger place to accommodate that growth. Much prayer is needed as we are over capacity now and really need the space. Please, please take this up in prayer.

Single Sister’s and Widows Self Help Group

Talk about great reunions….   

There was lots of hugging and smiles everywhere. 

These ladies have been very since busy since we left!

 My wife Cynthia and these industrious ladies are beginning to produce some real marketable products. We are now in the process of getting the right documents to start a business selling homemade crafts.

Already Nakumat and other business have said they would be interested in selling some of the ladies wares.  Pray we can quickly obtain the proper documents to begin selling these ladies’ crafts.


We visited our primary school this week photographing the next group of children in need of assistance to attend/keep attending school. All of them are so sweet. We are hoping and praying for new sponsors to choose a child and enable them to get the one real hope of leaving the slums…. An education. Here is a practical way for our thoughts and our Father's to be realized in the lives of these children.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Here are four cuties that need a helping hand. From right to left they are Mishell, Ivy, Awadi, and  Tina. 

Here is the link that tells more you more about LEARN and how you can ‘educationally adopt’ one of these precious children.

Reaching Out

More and more of the employees in West Side Mall where we teach each Saturday are asking if they can visit our church. One of the food court employees, twenty three year old Lavenda, is coming next week to have dinner with us. She told us she doesn’t have a mother and father and needs to talk to someone about her life. We are so looking forward to being with her and sharing over a good home cooked meal.

Well there you have it. At least till next week. We will be trying to consolidate all our blogs into just  two and will let you know when we make the change.

 All our love … your friendly neighborhood Kenyan missionaries.   Dave and Cynthia.