FOOD DISTRIBUTION TO WIDOWS & ONE WIDOWER: Thanks to friends' generosity we had enough money to get some small food items for widows. We spent a morning packing bags with four 2-kilogram tins (about 9 pounds) full of maize (grown on the church property) 10 bars of soap, 2 kilos of sugar (a rare treat), a bag of salt, 100 grams of tea leaves, and a tub of cooking fat. We packed 100 bags. Next day 80 widows came to the church (in their best clothes). The rest was distributed later. What an amazing sight. Most of them came wearing their lesos – a large piece of material that is used for any number of things. It is tied around them like an apron. (We talked about them in the last blog.) When they received their food packs they spread the leso on the ground, put the pack(s) in them, tied them securely and hoisted them to their heads to carry. We don’t know how they do that. The packages turned out to be heavy, but, with few exceptions, they all carried them. Now there was one very old widow who came later and she just couldn’t carry the package. She lived near by so John said he would take it. We walked down the road with her and she sang, in Luo, all the way. She was singing, amongst other things, “God is So Good”. She would intersperse her singing with a spate of conversation – mostly one-sided for we didn’t understand her. We have since visited her home. Her name is Alseba, she’s abot 4’9”, and is 89 years old. Then we had one widower - William. He's been a widower for about a year, and is a bit helpless. He was a very happy man when he received his food. A week later he came to church and came forward to commit his life to the Lord!
DRESSES FOR THE DESTITUTE WIDOWS: The following Saturday we distributed new dresses to the destitute widows. Before we came to Kenya this time - before we knew the amount of money we would have, we had asked Violet if we should buy them clothes or food. She responded that as much as the truly need the food, when given the choice of that or a brand new dress the women would choose the dress. (Women are the same worldwide!!) Well we are happy to say we could do both, but we could only give dresses to the most destitute of widows. Oh my! Those ladies were so precious! The one who we walked down the road with earlier in the week was there – barefooted. She beamed! She sang! When we were finished, we had a group photo taken and they spontaneously began to sing Amazing Grace (in Luo) and that just did it! Amazing Grace was one of the songs we had at our wedding. Marty just cried and John was deeply touched as well; it was so much more meaningful than ever before. Then when we told them it was sung at our wedding they reacted as women do - with awwws and smiles and laughter! Several of the women asked that we send their thanks back to all of you who made it possible for them to have their dresses. Then they wanted a photo waving to everyone! (Waiving to people who aren't able to be there is a favorite and common thing to do here - even if there is no photo being taken. It is our responsibility to take the greeting back with us and give it when we see people.)
Happiness is a new dress! Below - a very old widow on her way to get her new dress. Since we were pretty certain that William wouldn't want a dress, we bought him a mattress; he had been sleeping on the floor. He was delighted!
This will do for now! There is so much more to tell you all and a lot more that we are doing here. We will continue to update you well after we get back home.
Please receive our blessings and fondest wishes!