Sounds like derogatory words, huh? That’s only because you don’t know what we’ve been up to in Kenya! Our definition of "Women’s Work" brings hope to women who live as victims of poverty, abuse and neglect. We’ve been working with women by helping widowed moms lay a biblical foundation that blends income-generating, raising healthy children and sharing the gospel in meaningful ways. We’ve started training at Covenant of Peace Church with 5 beautiful widowed mommas, the pastors, and our multi-talented trainee, Carolyne. These few participants lend toward better interaction, easier facilitator training, and more depth of understanding. None of these women can fade into the background, something they do so easily.
We open the class with sweet acapella praise to God and prayers for each other. Then we move into an object lesson, like balancing an egg on its tip. They each have one minute to try.
“What?” the Pastor (of a faith church) shakes his head.
“It can’t be done.”
The women giggle in anticipation. Mark hands him the egg. He fumbles with it on the small table. It wobbles a few times and then, stands. His quizzical face breaks into laughter. The women also balance the egg. Smiling at the success of a seemingly impossible task, they are ready to learn.
Mark made the chalkboard that diagrams the lesson – Who Is Christ In You? The women pair off and examine scriptures that tell them that Jesus is their
SAVIOR, DELIVERER, HEALER, FRIEND, SUSTAINER,
PROVIDER, FATHER, COUNSELOR …
We discuss the difference between “knowing about God” vs “knowing God.”
They share stories about how God has carried each of them in times of hardship. Stoically they expose their woundedness, and I want to weep. How hard it is for a young widowed mom in Kenya who has nothing and needs to feed her children. We move into a time of forgiveness. The women confess their offenses on paper, and we burn them in a hole Mark dug around the back of the church. The pastor takes the shovel and buries the ashes. He shows them he’s there to support their freedom.
Back to the chalkboard and more diagrams of the next lesson – Who are You In Christ? Again the women look up scriptures and read aloud that they are
More than conquerors, Servants, Ambassadors,
Adopted Children, Christ’s bride, Dearly loved,
Citizens of God’s Kingdom, Fruit-bearers,
New Creations, Joint Heirs in Jesus...
We distribute small balls of clay and talk about modeling a Godly life by staying soft and pliable in the Master’s hands. They are thinking, squeezing the clay into bowls and flowers. Next we hand out fruit and discuss what could prevent them from producing fruit of the Spirit. We share about service to God from the heart; that being a servant is who they are, not just what they do. We encourage them to beware of the enemy’s schemes, how he whispers lies that they are not appreciated or have nothing to offer. They are rulers in the Kingdom, practicing self-discipline and overcoming evil with good.
We end out time together with role-playing. The women act out real life situations that will try their faith, that will test their fruit. They practice responding in the spirit, instead of reacting in the flesh. The egg comes back out and we remind each other that when things look impossible – God will do a miracle.
The spiritual base for practical training is being set. We rejoice at the women’s progress, their questions and comments, their willingness to move on regardless of tremendous obstacles. Women’s work. It’s part of what carries the next generation. It’s valuable in God’s kingdom.
|Mark making chalk boards.|
|Carolyne, learning to be a facilitator.|
|Sharing with the women.|
|The women symbolically bury their offenses.|
|Balancing an egg - it's possible!|
Please pray as this training expands outward to other widowed moms. We have many more small group trainings scheduled in various churches that will be facilitated by Kenyans. This coming week we visit Joyland ( a school for physically challanged children) and back to Covenant Home to play and pray with orphans. God's heart is for the fatherless and our desire is for Him.
hugs from the haugers oooo