Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Giving Out of Their Poverty

The James 1:27 Project is amazing because it is not only changing the lives of people, it is changing their futures. It is giving hope. What a thing we take for granted...hope. We hope our kids get into good schools, grow up to live successful lives, are well liked. The parents (mainly mothers) in this part of Kenya hope their kids don't die from disease and starvation. Many hope that they will survive living with AIDS long enough to be sure their children are going to be cared for when they die. They hope that their children will be some of the blessed few to get any kind of education.

This is a community of people who have learned to pull together and care for one another. They are realizing that together they are stronger. Community is good.

They take what is given to them and share. Some have goats to raise. Some have chickens. Some have a garden. The hope is not that The James 1:27 Project will fix everything for these folks. The hope is that through the Project, they will be given a hand up. The skills that these widows are learning can be passed down to their children. There will be a whole new generation of children who grow up knowing how to garden, take care of goats and chickens, function as a community and most importantly, care for and love each other with the love of Jesus because The James 1:27 workers have led by example. {Meshach (the man in the first picture) and his wife Elizabeth are the main workers there. They are living very meagerly in order to help as many people as they can! They are expecting their first baby any day now. Please keep them in your prayers!}

One of the ways that these widows are contributing to improving their lives and the lives of others in their community is making beautiful baskets to sell!

Here is an example of one of their amazing finished works of art...

Birdie's Dad recently went to Kenya to encourage the people working there and those that they are helping! He said this...

 "I was asked by one of the older widows 'what can I do to help'? This question came from a woman who has been very alone in a very poor society. She was asking me what she could do to help some of the other 34 widows and 50 orphans gathered together recently at a small village near Machakos, Kenya. I was reminded of the widow who 'gave all she had' in the Gospels." 

The Widow’s Offering {Mark 12:41-44}
41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. 43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

{The aqua colored bags on the floor contain baskets in production!}

Birdie's Dad also had this to say...
"God has shown me from this brief time in Africa, where I was asked to teach them, how much more I need to learn of Him and His ways. It is truly more blessed to give than to receive. The small investment of time and money I have made out of obedience to the Lord is already paying wonderful dividends now and also do so in the life to come."

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