From Tragedy to Triumph

Today the 4 of us met with the 28 ladies of The Olive Tree Microfinance group. Our meeting began with a “change of venue”. Just to show you how things go in Kenya, our time with Olive was all arranged at the Friends Hotel, just across from the Kakamega Church. An hour before the meeting the hotel called to tell us we have go find another venue because they had “caught a bigger fish”. Some other group had booked for 150 and we only booked for 30, so we were out. But this is Kenya! Things like this are to be expected. Within 20 minutes another venue was secured above a place called “The Snack Shop”. When we came through the entrance the place really looked bad, but after we climbed three flights of stairs we found a lovely conference room that was just great. On the spur of the moment all 28 ladies shifted gears and all made it to the meeting.

We have meant with the Olive Tree Members before, but a great and glorious transformation has taken place in the last few months. God has given all of us a new plan for microfinance that really, really works. It’s based on small groups! We no longer make loans to individuals, we make loans to the group and each member of the group is committed to help the other, even to the point of paying back a loan that cannot be repaid. I won’t go into the details here, but it’s brilliant. Four of the woman gave testimony to how being a part of this microfinace group has changed their lives. All of us were moved to hear powerful stories of tragedy to triumph. It’s so uplifting to see what a woman plus God plus and loving support group can accomplish in this world. Many of these woman have moved on from poverty to buying new houses, hiring employees, opening other outlets, sending kids to college etc. Now they have become a tremendous inspiration to other women as they share their stories of how God gave them wisdom and creative ideas that made them successful.

My friend Dr. George Matimbai always says: Let us “Aspire” to “Inspire” before we “Expire”. Our mission in Kenya is to “Inspire” inspire people who will inspire others, who will inspire others, who will inspire others………

God is the business partner of all these women and they have all pledged to do nothing in their business without asking him and to do nothing that will not be pleasing to him. If you had been with us today in the meeting you would have seen that God is certainly well please with these lovely women.

Praise God for showing us the fruits of our labors in the success of the Olive Tree Microfinance Ministry.

We arrived in Nairobi late tonight from Kakamega and we are all tired.

I want to ask you to pray for all of us because we all have been suffering from stuffed up heads and coughs. But especially pray for Danielle. She is running a fever and has had a very hard day.