Tag Archives: christian

A Story of Alphons Otieno

AlphonsGroupPic

St James UMC missionary team builds a new home for Alphons (2nd from right) and his guardian (3rd from right) to fulfill a dream despite challenges he faced early in his life.

Alphons is an orphan aged 16 years old and is a resident of Sidho location, Obumba sub-location, Wakesi village, Kisumu District .He is the son to the late Caroline Akoth Odhiambo and Joseph Odhiambo, his parents died when he was 10 years old leaving him with his paternal aunt mama Ruth Ogallo who is just doing some peasant farming for survival. It is very unfortunate that this young boy is epileptic and he has suffered a lot but because of God’s grace he still lives to see the day.

Alphons was the only child to the late Caroline and Joseph and therefore when he was growing up he wanted to achieve the best to keep their home standing. He really loved school and could always make sure that he doesn’t miss school so that at the end, he achieves his ambition of becoming a great doctor. It is unfortunate that Alphons may not be able to achieve his dream because when he was in class six, he could be frequently attacked by the disease that he was forced to drop out of school so that he can try getting some medication. It has been six years now since Alphons left school but despite of that he is still determine to go back to school and continue with his education.

Alphons is now a grown up, still staying with his aunt Ruth which sometimes is always difficult for many people considering also the condition of Alphons. Ruth has been good to this boy and has been helping him even whenever he is in a difficult situation. Ruth resides in just a small house in their rural home and being that this boy was also growing up very first, there was a serious need for Alphons to have a place where he can at least rest in comfortably so early this year (2018) he requested to be built for a house. Alphons dream of having a shelter came to pass through the ST. JAMES UMC Team who came recently and wanted to build a house and we found it wise to give Alphons the chance to benefit and therefore on the 29th of October 2018, through the help of the ST. JAMES UMC TEAM and LIFE FOR CHILDREN MINISTRY, a house was built for Alphons.

It was a great joy for Alphons to see that finally he had a place to shelter in. It was a wonderful day for him and he was the most happiest person ever that he didn’t know how to express it but simply said, “thank you God for the work you have done to me and thank you to our friends from US and finally to Life for Children Ministry, continue with the same spirit and continue helping those who vulnerable just like me, thank you and may God bless you”.

Microfinance and the Nafuu Womens Group

She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
     and her lamp does not go out at night.”

Proverbs 31:18-19

Life for Children Ministry has helped over 1,000 people in business

The Naafu group is one of many groups that routinely meet to help and encourage each other’s businesses

In the rural areas of Kenya, finding consistent work is a struggle for many people. Most families rely on subsistence farming for their daily meals. Sometimes this is enough, but most often, it is a struggle to depend solely on this type of farming, especially after an exceptionally brutal rainy season. When the Husband and/or Father of the family is able to find work (usually some type of manual labor) the money from that can be used to supplement the nutrition of the family, pay school fees, buy clothes and other things the family might need. However, finding consistent work in villages is very difficult.

One of the ways in which Life For Children ministers to the local community in Kisumu and Wachara, is through a microfinance program called MEDD. The program has helped over 1000 men and women start small businesses since it’s conception in 2011. MEDD focuses on men and women in the community who have business minds but do not have the means or opportunity to open their own businesses. MEDD trains these individuals with business skills, the most important of which is a savings account. Small loans are then given to them based on their ability to save. Little by little they are able to build their businesses without the burden of a huge debt hanging over them.

Nafuu Women’s Group was started is under the leadership of Emily, the MEDD Microfinance Officer in Wachara. These women came together as a group to support each other in their individual business efforts. The word “nafuu” is Swahili for “comfortable” in English. Nafuu truly captures the spirit of this group. The members came up with this name because they want every woman to feel comfortable in the group. Their businesses range from selling basic need items (flour, tea, bread, washing powder) from a small shop windows to selling fish to tailoring and clothes making.

Each week they meet together with Emily to discuss how they businesses are doing and to make payments on their loans or to their savings.

Recently, I was able to visit the Nafuu group and I asked the members this question: “What does having your own small business mean for you and your family?” One of the women responded “I don’t have to wait until my husband finds work to feed my family, I am able to do it with my business.”

We praise God for all that He is doing through Life For Children ministry to give hope and life to the village of Wachara.

Houses for Widows

Family based care for orphans is a vital and much needed ministry of Life For Children. Many of our children have been placed in the care of their grandmothers. Often times, these women have been widowed due to HIV/AIDS. LCM saw the need from the beginning to also include widow care into their ministry model since they play an important role in the lives of the children. One of the ways in which they support Widows is to provide safe and stable homes for them and the children in their care. A safe, stable, and secure house can be built for approximately $1000.

Wilfrida Awiti is no stranger to Life For Children Ministry. She has been the guardian to Samson Odhiambo from the time when he was a small child up until the time he aged out of the LCM program. During her time as a guardian with LCM Wilfrida was faithful to attend the former bi-weekly fellowships at the office when her health would allow. She formed deep and meaningful relationships with the other guardians. Currently, she is 71 years old and although she does not have any LCM children in her care today, Wilfrida does have several small children who are dependent on her. She has also remained faithful to attend the fellowships with our guardians once month in Chiga, provided that she is in good health.

Recently, during one of our visits to Chiga to make home visits with some of the children, we were invited to come to Wilfrida’s house. Upon arrival, we noticed that her house was in very bad shape due to the recent rains that have come. Every time it rains, some pieces of the walls begin to fall off. In addition, sometimes the rains cause water to surround her house. At night, when it rains she fears that the house may fall onto her and the children in the home.

Outside of Wilfrida's house crumbling from heavy rains

Outside of Wilfrida’s house, water pooling on each side

Inside damage from heavy rains

Corner of house damaged from storms

Due to the extremely unsafe conditions, especially during this rainy season, Life For Children was able to build Wilfrida a new home.

Construction on the new home took only three days to complete. We praise God for providing this home for Wilfrida. She expressed to us that she is thankful to LCM and the donors who provided this new home for her. She also stated that she is sleeping peacefully at night and does not worry about the safety of her home.

Constructing the house for Wilfrida

A hardy tin roof is added to the framed house.

Wall consruction

LCM Worker, Maureen, helps with mudding wall

Wilfrida (center) is grateful for a safe and stable home

Wilfrida (center) wants to thank you for building her a safe and stable home

Wilfrida Awiti

Wilfrida Awiti

Urgent Appeal: Life for Children Ministry Pastor’s Training support

In October 2016, Life for Children Ministry is leading a full week of training for 60 lay pastors in Kenya and we would like to ask for your help. Will you please read the note below, pray for the training pastors and the lay pastor students, and consider joining us in supporting this important mission?

In Eastern Kenya, outside the cities, thousands of church groups are led by lay pastors. These lay pastors serve because they are called. The vast majority have no formal seminary training. These pastors serve small churches in villages. A few may have a church building, others meet in borrowed or rented space or in school class rooms, and a few meet in the open under trees. These are known in Kenya as indigenous churches. Their church members are generally poor and not well educated. Some pastors know only a few Bible verses and teach them repeatedly. Training is badly needed.

Several years ago Michael began asking US pastors who came to Kenya with their church short term mission teams to teach small groups of pastors. This training was very well received and has been a valuable resource for those able to attend. This year, in October, five pastors and teachers from the USA will lead a full week’s teaching for 60 lay pastors. This is the largest group to be trained and can have a major positive impact on the effective outreach of churches in the area.

These lay pastors, in most cases, are as poor as their congregants. Life for Children Ministry will need to cover the cost of their transportation, hotel room, meals and incidentals. The cost will be about $60 per day per student or $300 for the week. For 60 students the total cost will be $18,000. The five pastors making the trip are raising funds to help with these expenses but cannot raise the total amount. We anticipate the Mission Team will provide about $10,000 of the total. We need your help to raise the remaining need of $8000.

These students have been thirsting for this training and we do not want to disappoint. Please respond by sponsoring students by the day for $60 each, by the week for $300 each or with the gift you feel called to give to assure these pastors receive this badly needed training.

Donations can be done online using the General Fund or Project donation buttons on the Life for Children Ministry website. Please be sure to annotate the payment is for “Lay Pastor Training” during the payment process. Information for check payment is also there if needed.