PLEASE PRAY FOR US TOMORROW
Tomorrow morning we will go with Kathy Pryor down to the Ministry of Lands to meet with government officials about the paperwork for the YWAM base in Mombasa. The local tribe, called Degos have come to the base and told them that their 99 year lease is now up and they are saying that they want the land back. A new lease was applied for several years ago, but it seems that the Ministry of Lands has “Lost” the paperwork. This is something that happens all the time in Kenya. There could be some corruption in this, but we are praying that the information is just misplaced and can be found if someone has the incentive. Going into the chaos of Kenyan government is always an experience. There are several officials who we have contacted through Osborn Obayo who we hope will help us get what we need. Anyway, please keep include us in your prayers today. May the Lord go before us!
YOU REAP WHAT YOU “SEW”
Today we visited a place called “Amani ya juu”. Amani ya juu, means “peace from above” in the Swahili language. This wonderful work really illustrates how one woman with a vision can have an impact of thousands of broken lives. At the Amani center in Nairobi more than 90 women from a variety of East African nations work together sewing and making a wide variety beautifully made African items.
Amani began in 1996 with four women sewing placemats together in Nairobi. One of these women was an American named Becky Chinchen. Originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Becky’s vision of working with marginalized women emerged from her own experience as a refugee. After fleeing the civil war in Liberia with her husband and four daughters, she found herself in Kenya among other refugee women. She saw the need to affirm the dignity and worth of those around her. Along with Magdalene from Mozambique and Lucy and Veronica, both from Sudan, she gave birth to Amani ya Juu, “Peace from Above.”
From a loan of only $500 ,Amani now has offices in 11 different countries where thousands of women from desperate situations partner with them in business. They do not need experience or training because the centers train them to become entrepreneurs. Each woman becomes her own boss, goes at her own pace and sells her wares back to Amani for export all over the world.
Visiting the Nairobi center was a very moving and pleasant experience. We asked to see the whole operation and a sweet little woman named Dorcas came downstairs to be our tour guide. As we moved through the rooms we saw dozens of happy women making all kinds of things. Dresses, children’s clothes, placemats, quilts, purses, table covers, jewelry, souvenirs, and more.
At one point we stood in the prayer room and chapel where all the women gather two times a day for prayer and worship. The relationships between the woman at Amani is based on faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Amani women participate in singing, praying, and Bible study as part of daily activities. They also visit one another’s homes and care for one another.
The ultimate products of Amani are not just clothing and housewares but the women themselves. Out of the ashes of conflict and death and poverty, these women have regained stability and are sharing the gift of peace in their homes, communities and nations.
Seeing this ministry was a real revelation to us because this is what we see for the Widows Center that we partner with in Majengo. The facility in Majengo is perfect for this operation. All of us could see something like this starting small and growing into a ministry that can help hundreds, even thousands of widows. We can’t wait to share the vision with Nancy Odwaro and the widows leadership team when we visit them in one week.
It’s so wonderful how the Lord helps us to see in advance the way forward to help people in need.
God is good.
Richard and Valerie