Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Last year we started learning how to do a sewing school in Kenya. Most all of the clothing people wear in Kenya is either from the ‘matunda’ (thrift stores on the street) or made by tailors in their shops on treadle machines. 

I really wanted to be able to teach women how to use an electric machine and patterns for several reasons. The quality of the garments would improve, they could produce more garments in less time, and they could make ethnic clothing to sell abroad thereby increasing their income. My hope is to enable them to improve their life by moving out of the slums and providing for their children food, clothing and schooling. So the vision of a sewing center with a sewing school and outlet for sales of their products began.

I didn’t know how I would ever be able to have enough machines to start the school so when one of my friends incidentally heard about a ministry called “Threads of Hope” I immediately contacted the director, Al Barrett. After a phone conversation or two and emails we made a connection. I was able to obtain several machines through the gifts of sponsors.

After a visit to the Threads of Hope center in the Masai Mara last week we now have 6 machines and 3 sergers….. a good start! The trip was great. 

We met Deb Duren who manages the center and we became fast friends. I was able to help there by instructing the teachers on how to use the electric machines. They were so excited to be able to make a button hole on the machine rather than having to do it by hand! Learning to use the serger brought smiles and laughter! They got so excited! The potential is limitless for these ladies to advance and change their desperate lives of poverty.

This week, here in Nakuru, we started our second semester with 2 beginners and 2 intermediate students. We are using James and Beatrice’s small living room for classes so we can’t accommodate as many students as we have machines. We’re looking for a place we can rent or build so we can have at least 9 students at a time. We have classes 4 days a week. It’s a lot of work but a labor of love.

We’re investing in a business that can employ widows, single moms, and high school girls and encouraging small businesses that will enable families to become self sufficient. We need to raise funds to cover cost for the machines, tables, chairs, student fees, and rent. This is an investment that will really pay off. The goal is to train teachers and eventually the center will be totally run by local Kenyans.

One of our sponsors decided to give a complete set up – including the machine, table and chair, to his mother in law as a Christmas present. He told me later how she cried when she read the card explaining her gift and said it was the best Christmas present she had ever received. It is truly better to give than receive.

Please help. We need your prayers and donations. No amount is too small.

We also need workers. There’s so much to be done in StoneHouse Ministries to establish our churches, our school and the sewing center. Consider a trip to Kenya. It will change your life. You won’t regret it. J

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Dossie said...

Hey there dear friend! That's a fantastic post. The pics are great and it's always good to see your smiling face. I would love to come to Africa soon. You'll have to pray for my husband if it is God's will. ;-) Perhaps next summer or the summer after that? I hope!! The work you are doing is so exciting and I would love to be there to support you.

Love, Dossie

Hashachar said...

awesome post, and awesomely encouraging comment, Dossie! I can think of a few other friends I'd love to see join you there, too. May God bless this post, and touch His people to give give give, as much as you are giving of your time and talent there, Havi. (That's a true prayer, not just a typed comment!) I've watched you all thru the 20 years I've known you to give and give and give until you were tired to the bone, and it's inspirational to know that still you live your life that way --- giving All for the One Who Gave His Life for You! God Bless our Nakuru Sewers! :) ~ Love, Hashachar

Unknown said...

Thank you for the comments. I had to lol at "God Bless our Nakuru Sewers. there's open sewage here in the slums and the area we have our center is called "Sewage". So maybe we should ask God to Bless the Seamstresses, taiolors....anything but 'sewers'!! lol

Mala Willcutts said...

Dear Friends,
Loved the blog and love all God is doing to open doors there for sewing school. Will pray for more room and helpers to help. Love you!

David Noah Taylor said...

Our brother Jeremiah wrote some encouragement for us and we wanted to share it will our readers....

"Just a quick note to let you know that your blog provided a great teaching aid for my students today. We read an article on Kenya as a reading assignment last week. This week I followed up with your blog for all of my students to get an idea of what life is like for students in Nakuru. I think they felt very fortunate for what they have when it was over. This a quote written by a young man who was convicted by what he saw in your blog pictures. "It was crazy, because we as Americans really don't care about getting an education. They would die for it and they would love to have clothes like us but they don't have the money." My next question to them will be if they want to buy a uniform for a child to go to school in. -J. :)"