A Special FACEBOOK Live update from Don with Hillside Community Church in Cherengany Village yesterday and today July 8th!
A Special FACEBOOK Live update from Don with Hillside Community Church in Cherengany Village yesterday and today July 8th!
Be Encouraged! Together we are empowering lives! Watch this brief VIDEO that gives you glimpses of our day at ELI Ilula (Ukweli / Truth) Training Center – Eldoret Kenya
What an incredible day we have had in Ilula Kenya today.
Early hugs for orphans heading off to school, breakfast devotions, visit to Living Room Intl., tour of the training center, Children’s Home, planting trees for remembrance of the team, 2 hours of crafts and fun with 100 orphans, meeting 45 Women of Change who have arrived today for training, setting up a recording studio, after dinner worship, team meeting, wow ! Here are a few snapshots of the day.
TONIGHT Hillside Community Church Team arrived and the Children in the ELI CHildren’s Home had so much fun hiding in the dark while the unsuspecting team walked into the dark training hall. Then the LIGHT WENT ON and the children shouted WELCOME HOME !!! Handshakes and hugs and beautiful songs followed. The team is tired BUT so happy and a few tears of joy were shed in celebration. God is good and ELI welcomes Hillside and is excited for the days of ministry together that are ahead!
Read Emmy’s amazing story of Transformation below in this blog post
and also in the new NEWSLETTER available at http://empoweringlives.org/MULTIPLIED/
“CHEBIWYO! CRAZY WOMAN!” People would scatter to avoid her and others would beat her openly. Her life was hard even before her husband died. His weekly beatings crushed her self-worth and when he passed on, her brokenness turned to so much anger that she would wander and wail loudly through her village in unending drunkenness. Her five small children suffered from constant neglect and preferred not to see her. They begged her to stop brewing and selling illegal alcohol which had turned their mud home into an illegal brewing den filled daily with dozens of alcoholics.
Peris, a reformed brewer, showed Emmy a door of hope that eventually led her to a week-long ELI training. The transition out of drinking and poverty was not easy for Emmy but her new relationship with God and other Women of Change (Reformed Brewers) helped her step by step until her renewed concern for her own children led her to start a Sunday School outreach! Now she is not only planting food with her new skills but planting a church with her new found friends and love of God.
Last year there were a handful of children who use to walk with her over 5 miles up the mountain to the closest church. Now over 50 children gather near the roadside to hear her lessons. Around a dozen adults are now coming and they often bring corn cobs as a tithe. Emmy was even recently given by election the high honor of being one of the community elders – a person of wisdom and positive influence. People are still amazed at the miracle of change they see in her life, children, and leadership. She is no longer “Chebiwyo!” Today they call her “Mchungaji” which means “Pastor.”
Your gifts and prayers helped make this possible. You are the catalyst in this process to provide life-changing programs to thousands of people who, like Emmy, had lost hope. Thank you! We celebrate the new life that she has found and invite you to help reach others hoping for the chance to discover New Skills and the love of God.
Your care makes all the difference for people like Emmy.
Help bring change to another life and family – visit empoweringlives.org/trainings
What Everlyn recently said to the chief and hundreds in the village put into motion another meeting that needs your prayers and could change the course of life for hundreds!
If you have been following the impact of your support of ELI you know how God opened a door to reach hundreds of brewers of illegal alcohol with the love of God and alternative skills for business!
Today on this Valentines Day, Dennis (ELI Kenya Manager/Trainer) shared that a couple of weeks ago Everlyn (One of the reformed brewers) was invited by two village chiefs to address 300 people in a village on the devastating impact that the brewing business had had on her life and family. She shared her personal testimony of change that took place after graduating from one week of training with ELI staff at the training center and quoted Matthew 11:28 where Jesus invites a crowd to bring their burdens to him so that they can find true rest.
At the end of the meeting, the chiefs were quite impacted by her sharing and agreed to have another meeting with only illegal brewers. That meeting took place this past Thursday (2/8) and 150 women in the brewing business showed up and listened to Everlyn share with God inspired passion! She told them how ELI provides ideas rather than money and how the new business ideas and God’s love broke through and changed the course of her life and family!
Yet another meeting is now on the calendar and your prayers are greatly needed! On March 1st a couple Empowering Lives leaders/ trainers will be visiting the village for a “Pre-Training” meeting. The women will be challenged to take the bold step to come out of the brewing business and attend a 4-day ELI training designed just for them.
Please mark your calendars and pray for March 1st ! That the 150 women will come to the village meeting to discuss with ELI staff – That hearts will be open to change – That they will agree on a date to come for the training – That the chiefs will continue to be supportive – That the women who do come to the Training Center will be changed from the inside out. Our greatest prayer is that they will then be used by God to transform more women, just like Everlyn has courageously testified to see LOVE BREAK THROUGH!
Empowering Lives Founder and International Director Don Rogers and his family are heading to East Africa during June and July. Your prayers are appreciated as they travel around, visiting staff and ELI sites in Kenya and Tanzania.
You can follow along on their journey by visiting their personal family blog, Rogers’ Neighborhood.
There are times that we hope to give so that another can be blessed.
GIVE A GIFT THIS CHRISTMAS to your family or friend that will honor them and also make an impact in the lives of people in need. Make a donation and download a gift card that you can present to your friend or family member letting them know that in their honor, a needy family in Africa has received the gift of training!
Right now, hundreds of women are hoping to be able to attend a life-changing training at the Ilula Training Center near Eldoret, Kenya. These are women who are currently brewing and selling alcohol because they lack skills in an alternative business and the courage to make the change.
THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON, YOU CAN HELP make a difference for women and men who desire these skills but lack the resources to pay for the full week of training. Give a gift this Christmas to your family or friend that will honor them and make an impact in the lives of people in need.
Learn more and take action. Discover more about the ALTERNATIVE GIFT HERE.
Gladys life will never be the same. Because of the training she received at the ELI center in Kenya she found a new life in Christ and skills that will help her for the rest of her life! She is now attending church and sharing her new skills with her children and neighbors. As she said to us recently “I do not want to be blessed alone. I have knowledge now that I want to pass on so that others can also receive this hope and change.”
As we come to the close of this year there are many lives hanging in the balance between despair and hope. Your year end gift today will help make all the difference for a person like Gladys – in fact – we have over 400 people who have seen the impact of our training and are hoping for a chance to come. Your gift today will help change the course of their future. It is a privilege to know that together we are…
Founder / Director
PS: Every gift today is so important and will be matched by another generous donor! Help us reach our goal of $20,000.
Empowering Lives integrates several strategic ministries so that a life can be empowered in a holistic way. Alcohol addiction is a significant problem in Kenya and for over ten years ELI has been reaching out to people and providing steps along with a community of care so that addicts can come out from their addiction and reconcile with God and also with their family if they are willing.
This unedited video was taken at the end of 2012 during a special ceremony held at a village church in Kenya when around a dozen people “graduated” from a month long rehabilitation program. The complete video holds the precious reunion of over ten families. This particular short portion of video captures one of the “Graduates” first giving a very brief testimony, and then publicly asking if his family is willing to forgive him for the wrong he has done. The first one to respond is his wife who… well, watch this moving moment and see for yourself. The others who follow are all brothers, sisters, and family members – overwhelmed with joy for the transformation that has taken place in Timons’ life. This is made possible because of the prayers and support of friends of Empowering Lives.
Has this ever happened to you? That moment when you pass someone or someplace and a flood of memories surfaces like a submarine bursting through the ocean ceiling. That happened to me recently as I was driving near Mwanza, Tanzania and felt compelled to pass by a village where I lived 16 years ago. During those days the plague of poverty and lack of ideas and opportunity brought over a dozen Tanzanians and myself to our knees to pray and then to our knees to work as we filled small plastic bags with soil and seeds. Together we prayed that the thousands of seeds we had planted would germinate to become small trees that would strengthen the environment and generate income for people who were suffering because of poverty.
Not only did those seeds germinate but so did many other ideas as like minded people came together to begin a new ministry called Empowering Lives International. Over 15 years have passed since that first project was initiated. As I drove by that same village recently I felt compelled to pass by the same compound that was once filled with trees and hopeful lives to see, if by chance or providence, I might meet someone I might remember.
Just pulling off the road at that point brought back many memories but I was not prepared for what I was about to see. First of all – the tree nursery that we began over fifteen years ago was still there – BUT – it was ten times larger than before! As I walked in among the neatly arranged rows of small trees, flowers, and colors, I approached a small group of women who were busily filling tubes with soil and chatting as they worked. I greeted each person one by one and felt that I recognized the last woman. I stared until I remembered who she was. A moment that took place 15 years ago came forward in my mind and I asked if she was the one. And she was.
Our Communications Director, Micah Albert in the Kerio Valley in Kenya, terribly missing the target with a traditional bow and arrow. (Photo: Don Rogers)
Yes, the insects grow big here in Africa.
After a few weeks of being back at the ELI Children’s Home for holiday, 20 of the children from the ELI Childrens’ Home Ilula and 7 from the ELI Childrens’ Home Kipkaren (Kenya) head back to High School today. It is amazing to see the educational, physical, and spiritual growth that is taking place in these young people. One of the High Schools where several of the children attend remarked that they desire to have MORE of our children in their school. “They have such a mature outlook and demonstrate such respect for the teachers and others – we hope that the other students in the school will follow their example!” Thank you to all of you who pray for and help support the almost 200 Children in the ELI Homes in Kenya as well as the over 1,000 children in the ELI schools in So. Sudan and DR Congo.
Water is key to life. ELI has partnered with and helped to stimulate a group of community leaders from the Simit area in the Kerio Valley of Kenya to come together and use their strength as a group to make a difference in their declining community. Soil erosion and deforestation have had a devastating impact on the village of Simit and the surrounding region. This week, key leaders from the area have assembled at ELI’s training center in Ilula, Kenya for training and the making of a strategic plan and way forward. A proposal to the government is in process and many other activities are now underway. The people use to say there was no hope, but now, they are feeling and seeing hope return as tree nurseries are being established and plans for a better future are in place, as are community leaders to help implement the directives that come out of the meetings they are having this week.
The streets were filled with people moving rapidly to and from the market – dodging the river flow of motorcycles and well equipped four wheel drive vehicles.
The city of Juba at one time was abandoned. There were no motorcycles, and people moved about with great caution, not knowing if a soldier would come out from around the next building or if an airplane would fly over dropping what as one child once wrote, “fire from the sky.”
Juba soon became the capital city of a new nation called South Sudan. After decades of war, this city is on a completely new course. Its personality has changed from one of fear to one with a future which shouts for continued change as buildings and roads are being remade or built for the first time. Flood control pipes are being pushed into newly dug trenches, and scaffolding wraps around new structures on every other corner. People are returning to the city and surrounding areas with great anticipation, but there is a problem. (more…)
The visiting team from Water of Life Church (Rancho Fontana, CA) has been an amazing help to our work. Their hard work and love for God is evident and a great blessing. Today, they painted the Ilula Training Center dining hall, worked on roofing the new button mushroom production house, did beading jewelry with kids and played games at children’s home. All are doing very well. Thank you, Water of Life!
That is all that James Boit owned as he began the year in 2010. And yet, through a powerful ELI training, he was able to use those two chickens to make a profit beyond his wildest imagination. I was amazed as I sat at his home and heard his story.
James was a struggling farmer who heard about an ELI economic training that was coming to his village. He decided to attend. After attending 10 weeks of the training, James had enough training, skills, resources and knowledge to radically alter the course of the year for his family and entire village. He learned a variety of skills throughout the training, but his favorite ones had to do with chickens.
James never thought that his two measly chickens could provide much for his family. Maybe a few eggs throughout the year, but that’s it. After the ELI training, he saw the amazing potential those two birds held. Through the training, James learned what to do with the eggs that were laid. He was to hatch a certain percentage of the eggs, sell a certain percentage and eat a certain percentage of them. Then with the new chickens that hatched, he again was to hatch a certain percentage of their eggs and sell a certain percentage. By keeping careful records of each chicken and managing them well, James’ chicken population began multiplying exponentially.
With the profit he started making from selling the chickens and their eggs, James bought two sheep. Those sheep then began to reproduce, and by the end of the year, he had 13 sheep. He sold eight of them and kept five to continue to reproduce in the new year for him. With the proceeds he made from selling the sheep, James was able to supply seeds and school fees for his entire extended family.
Now, as he begins 2011, he is walking into the new year with 200 chickens, five sheep (two of which are pregnant), plenty of seeds, fertilizer for a crop and sufficient school fees for his children. James and his family look forward to seeing what God has in store as they dream about the profits that will come from beginning a year with 200 chickens instead of only two. If two chickens got them this far, there’s no telling what 200 chickens will do for them.
The Boit family rejoices and thanks God for this miracle in their lives. They want others in the community to learn the same skills they received, so they have turned their home into a demonstration farm where others can come and learn from them and gain skills and knowledge. As I sat in their yard and saw the abundant blessings around them and villagers streaming to their home to receive empowerment, I praised God! What a joy to get to be part of stories like this.