From Bridgette: A Hand Up
Yesterday we traveled through the central part of Kenya, through the miles and miles of tea and coffee plantations through the beautiful Rift Valley on our way to visit Pastor John, his wife Mary and their family. He runs a ministry in this area for widows and has taken in 6 children in addition to the 5 of his own. Several years ago, he planted and harvested our first Hope Farm as well as a Widows Farm nearby. The Hope Farm has already harvested 3 large bags of beans alone this season…which will feed his extended family as well as the large group of widows that he helps support. Because there is a good bit of time between harvests on their own farm, there is no source of income for the widows. So he has taught them how to make soap detergent, which they have been selling in the local Mai Mahiu community, providing necessary income for them and their families.
This is what our journey here is all about…partnering with the Kenyans so that we can provide them with a hand up…not a hand out. Everything we do together is about self-sustainability, and seeing this in action first hand helps me to realize how transformational this is for so many here. Teach a man to fish, right? Because these women have created a business with a viable source of income, they are empowered to invite other widow friends to join them in their efforts. They now have purpose…as well as a sustainable way of providing for their families! All because Pastor John taught them how to fish! The ripple effect of one small act of kindness can become monumental.
What if ALL of us could reach out with one act of kindness to someone every day? The act may be a single compliment…or sharing advice based on personal life experiences. You never know the effect one small act can have on someone else. I find it is contagious…as one widow making soap in a small Kenyan village has become a self-sustaining business of 12 empowered women. We are all blessed in some way so that we can be a blessing to someone else…no matter where we call home. All we have to do is teach someone to fish.