“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:27 (NLT)
Madame Rebeccah is the headmistress of Light School just outside the town of Kakamega. She has faithfully led a small school that feeds and educates 155 children from the poor area of town. She had a heart condition that threatened her life just a few years ago, but God has performed a miracle through the doctors in Kenya and she has recovered. I have written before about her love for the children, but today some of our team got to witness another side of her ‘heart’. This heart beats stronger and harder than her physical heart.
While part of our team repeated the seminar for the educators at Light School, a group of the women on our team rode a few miles away over dusty, rutted roads to visit a community of widows that Rebeccah has been ministering to for several years. The last mile or so took them up a road so narrow that had they met another vehicle, someone was going to have to back up! Once they arrived though they were greeted by a joyous chorus of singing from a group of about 25 women. These are the forgotten ones. In their particular culture, women have only a little ‘value’ if they are married. If they become widowed, they are almost outcasts, left to raise their children on their own. Oftentimes they lack the formal education needed to make a living. Rebeccah saw the need and had to do something.
One of the principles of microfinancing in third world countries is for women to form a cooperative. They all contribute a little bit to a common treasury so if an unexpected need comes up they have resources to draw upon. They all share when someone has a need and rejoice when someone in the group receives good news. Rebeccah is helping them regain their dignity and giving them a path to greater independence. Our Bellevue ladies sat under a tree with the widows and heard their stories and prayed with them. Both groups of women were encouraged by the other. For the widows, knowing that our team cared enough to take the time to come all the way to their village and meet with them was a precious gift.
Today’s travel was a long, hot and dusty round-trip ride from Kitale to Kakamega. The roads that weren’t under repair had foot high speed bumps every mile! But our team would have chosen the road again to be able to spend time with the sweet group of widows and children at Light School. Friday we travel back to Nairobi and will spend the afternoon with Baron Muga’s classmates and teachers at Africa International University. Thanks for praying!