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Kenyan Widows EatingChristian Concourse

Christian Outreach to the Elderly of Kenya, Africa

 

Mary McKeever, our friend and a dedicated missionary with Worldwide Discipleship Association, has brought to our attention a great opportunity for expressing Christian love to the elderly overseas:  many of the widows in and around the village of Orucho, Kenya, Africa need our help.

Mary ministers during the school year on the campus of Purdue University, discipling young college students in the teachings of Jesus Christ.  She has also made trips to Kenya, Africa, training indigenous ministers there in the Christian faith.  It was on these trips that she established ties with a Kenyan pastor, Peter Onyango.  By their connection, Mary has been able to help Peter in amazing ways to provide funds for a solid Christian witness in this very poor part of Africa.

Christian Concourse Ministries invites you to join with us in helping the elderly in Orucho Village.  This is where Rev. Joseph Peter Onyango lives, near Kisumu, Nyanza Province, Kenya, Africa.  Peter is a Kenyan pastor who has a burden for orphans and widows.  He and the members of his fellowship have taken a few very elderly, very needy widows under their care.  There are many, many more who require assistance to survive, but Peter and his church have no funds to provide the mosquito nets, firewood, food and medicine.  Can you help in any amount?  Will you pray about it?  Read on....

 

Kenyan Widow Praying

Below is text from letters Rev. Onyango sent us telling us of their plight and his vision for ministry to the elderly widows in his area.  [Note: Rev. Onyango's letter has been edited somewhat for grammar and annotated in italics for clarity.]

 

Dear Jerry

Thanks for your concern to the elderly in Orucho Village near Kisumu, Kenya. We are situated at the foot of Orucho Hills, overlooking the Kano Plains and the shores of Lake Victoria in the extreme background. We are centrally positioned in the midst of the Nilotic Luos [a people-group in Kenya] of the Western part of Kenya in Nyanza Province. Luos are predominantly known for their beliefs in outdated cultures such as the culture of Wife Inheritance requiring that a widowed woman must have sex with a man in order to cleanse her in the society. Without this, she is unacceptable. The culture here gives the girl child very limited chance of going to school. It also marginalizes women as second-hand [second-class] creatures, thus making them voiceless.

This area doesn't have much economic activity since its land is arid and the rainfall pattern has made it unpredictable to harvest any crop. So generally people survive on manual labor such as charcoal burning, sisal twining, and stone quarrying. Only the energetic men and women can make it. The nearest market [Katito] is 12km [about 7.5 mi.] away from this village and the nearest tarmac road is also 12km away. The nearest clean drinking water is 9km away uphill. This place is annually affected by floods usually in the month of April and then severe drought for the rest of the year. The volcanic road embedded from the top of Orucho Hills has spread in all parts of this village making it impossible to drill water. Water becomes a very rare commodity here. In most cases domestic animals, wild animals and human being share the same water pond. In such a long distance struggle to get the basic commodities and requisition of strength and vigor to work it out has left the old and the aged with no choice but to just get old and die. Most of them are waiting for their deaths in their huts. Its a life of helplessness. They are hopeless ! We have over 289 elderly in this village, but the ones we are taking for consideration are: 

-  the serious elderly who are sick
- Those with totally no one left in their families
- Those staying alone
- Those with grandchildren to take care
- Those with Physical disabilities.
- Those without shelter and are living in open roofed huts.

Our first personal effort, on a daily basis, is to ensure they are warm. So we pray to supply them with firewood every day, every week, wash their clothing, mend their torn mosquito nets, clean the room and the surrounding, wash them, cook for them Porridge or Ughali [like corn mush], medicate them and finally feed them with the word of God with often taking fellowship groups to such huts. This activity is weekly carried by our caregivers leaders of all our church's cell groups.

It's while doing this that God has confirmed in his voice to us to make this a ministry. Since we started with only one elderly [who later died], the number has increased so much and this has now become overwhelming to us. We can't do it alone. It needs a joint initiative of people of common call to come together and minister to these elderly.

It's also important to note that we are centrally positioned in the heart of this village connecting Yogo, Rae, Nyarombe, Achego, Sare, Wangneno, Olasi, Charare, Holo, Nyaduong, Withur , Oren, Waradho,Kuth Awendo, Kanyangoro etc. Networking these places with relief support has been very difficult for the past ten years but, thanks to Mary McKeever of WDA who helped raise funds which enabled us buy a Van which has been of great blessing to us.

Just as I said, water harvesting is done here only once in a year. We have built a rarely expansive roof in this village [on the church]. This was purposely done to enable us harvest as much rainwater as possible and store them in the four water tanks we currently have. This stored water is to help the Orphan pre-school , the elderly, physically impaired, the expectant mothers, the sick etc. The tanks can store up to 40,000 liters only though in a single harvest we can harvest up to 400,000 liters ! It means we aren't able to store more water because of lack of storage tanks. One super storage tank now goes at $1,250. plus transportation. My desire is to have 2 such tanks. I will be sure to provide water to the needy for about 12 months constantly ! I SAY constantly and periodically ! Water is life and it should be made available.

Our proposal is meant to have over 100,000 liters reserved for sale to the community at a subsidized rate so as to use the proceeds to take care of the elderly. About 27,000 liters is also to help irrigate our farm so as to produce maize, vegetables, tomatoes, cassavas and even the fruits we have planted such as mangoes, oranges etc. At this stage, I am again appealing for any well wisher to minister to this community in terms of water provision facilities.

The six elderly who are in a serious need of constant care [Note the word constant] are :

1. Dorice Okiro 78
Had given birth to a son who died ten years ago. That left her with four sons. She is partially blind

2. Christine Odiko 75
Had four Sons. One died and left her with three orphans. The remaining sons abandoned home and are staying in Nairobi for fear of dying if they come home. They also don't support her. She is also partially blind.

3. Salina Awuor
Does not remember her age but seemingly around 79 or 80 Left with 3 orphans. She can't move. Has a small hut

4. Dorca Aduda - 81
Has no House. Living under a big mugumo tree. Her two sons died and left her with a total of seven orphans. She moves a little bit but not much. She is pneumonic and looks frail and sickly

5. Damaris Odiyo
Has lost memory of everything. Does not talk anything meaningful to report . She keeps on asking "Hasn't Mary [McKeever] brought any food this week?" All her four sons died. She is left with four granddaughters and two grandsons. She can't see properly. They have a good hut built by her late sons.

6. Beldina Juma Does not know her age but we think she is around 81.
She has an ulcer and Mary has been supporting her almost monthly. Hers is also difficult since with ulcer she needs to eat. Her monthly
expense is $96.

We have several others whom we have identified but without resources we can't include them.


WAY FORWARD
1. We are seeking to establish and register this ministry of the elderly as a community Faith-based NGO [non-governmental org.] once we identify the stakeholders

2. To expand it from 6 to 35 so as to at least reach a 25% goal on ministering to the elderly.

3. Set up an income-generating project meant to feed and care for them with the proceeds coming thereof.

4. To build a home where we can easily take care for the above six . Because we have always reliably learned that other people steal food brought to them.

5. To designate one Water tank of 10,000 liters to the elderly for use during the dry season.

6. Plant 400 seedlings which can be used as firewood. This, we have done.

7. Transport them every Sunday to church for spiritual nourishment. This, we are also doing.

etc

May be, If God is talking to us and also talking to Jerry and Dar regarding the plight of these loved ones, then we ought to put our heads together and move from here onwards. We intend to work very closely with anyone who is doing this as a call and vision from God and not for any monetary or material gain. Whoever is called to this must accept the sacrifices we make here standing in the gap so as to help these elderly. He/she must also have a basic idea of Kenya, geographically, politically and religiously so as to help him understand the people we are serving better. God is our main provider and we believe he is using his servants for this purpose.

Sorry for writing long. Every time I start to talk about the elderly, I find myself saying MUCH tearfully. Someone may ask me "Why hasn't any NGO [non-government organization] come to the aid of these elderly?'. My answer is, almost all the government and non governmental bodies here work in cities where they enjoy publicity but none is willing to come right into the rural most part to see for themselves the pain and agony of poverty. It has been difficult to get even one who is willing to go. That is why I call this village an abandoned village or undiscovered village of Kenya !

Dear Jerry

Its important to let you know that regarding the plight of the 6 [mentioned above - we understand another one of these widows has died], we earnestly seek for a weekly support for about three months then after that we can go by monthly support. Please let me know how possible this will.

Thanking God for You
Peter

 

   

Jerry,

 

We have been ministering to 6 [widows] since they were categorized as in the worst pathetic condition. They needed an urgent constant care for them to come back again to stability. It was sickness [malaria], coupled with malnutrition, lack of clean drinking water, suffering cold etc.

But its important to note that , given the resources, we can reach up to 35 elderly whom we have identified need constant care. In about 9 huts [very small] we have elders who are again living with orphans who were orphaned by the dreaded Hiv Aids. The six [widows] we talked about last week are the immobile group, they cannot move or walk. They are not able to move completely.  The heavy rains have subsided though its still very cold here. As a result of the rains the mosquitoes have multiplied.

This is what we require per every elderly per Month.

Food - $56
Water treatment - $2
medication - $23
Paraffin/ Firewood - $7

Total = $88 Per the Elderly every month. Its also important to note here that The Elderly staying with orphans will need roughly $200 every month.

We buy Clothes, blankets, shoes only once every Christmas Day in a year.

Blessings

Peter

 

  
Again, we ask you to consider prayerfully what you can do to support Peter as he seeks to show these elderly Kenyans the love of Christ.  Send your donations to:

Worldwide Discipleship Association
Peter Onyango's Account
P. O. Box 142437
Fayetteville, GA 30214
  
WDA will handle the transfer of funds and send you a receipt for your contribution.  Because he is overseas, they retain a reduced rate of only 4% of the donations for Peter to cover these expenses (a very reasonable amount in our opinion).  If you have questions, you are welcome to call us at (757)714-3133.

Thank You!

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For Kenya Map click here.

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