Building Houses and HomesMay 26, 2016 by Diana Coombs
The rain mixed with hail, which made the night miserable and cold. The old woman had little strength, yet she managed to push her bed across the room to where some of the thatched grass still remained above on her deteriorating mud hut.
I arrived to the old woman’s home late the next day and greeted her with a smile. Her cold reception surprised me. She was the grandmother of Margaret, one of the girls at the ELI Children’s Home. We had come to visit, share chai (Kenyan tea), and pray before we returned home.
One rickety chair stood inside the woman’s hut. The other ELI staff and I sat down on makeshift stools of firewood. There was no chai.
We talked for a few minutes and walked around. I saw the hole in her roof and the muddy floor where the rain had fallen throughout the night. We prayed together, and as we prepared to leave, our Children’s Home Director requested that we give an impromptu gift to help her. You see, while she was waiting for us all day, she did not leave the home as usual to find work for her day’s food.
For this old woman, life was barely livable. Frailty, lack of resources, and deteriorating conditions mired her in poverty.
But our staff soon returned. With just a few people, we repaired her roof, and we brought a dairy cow that could sustain her – made possible by the generosity of friends like you! She now has daily nutrition and income from the milk. These days, when Margaret comes to visit, her grandmother can receive her with joy and not as a burden.
ELI has the privilege of providing sustainability that extends from children like Margaret in our Children’s Homes out into the wider community. Because of you, Margaret’s grandmother now has a cow and restored dignity. Because of you, we can give Margaret a house that is safe, warm, and dry; a quality education; and a home filled with spiritual mentors and loving siblings and parents.
This is sustainability. A full life. A home.
By Don Rogers
Founder and International Director
Empowering Lives International
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