Category: USA Office

Celebrating Ministry Together – 19 Years

March 28, 2014 by Angela Vincent

19 year ann2

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”  

Mother Teresa

For we are God’s workmanship. created in Christ Jesus to do the good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.      Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) 

This month we are celebrating! It is the faithfulness of God and friends like you that has helped us put God’s love into action for the past nineteen years! It is our nineteen-year anniversary this month and though we have seen thousands come to Christ and out of poverty – we cannot forget that with your help we are changing the world – one life at a time.

Yakobo could not feed his children and the pain he felt in his own stomach was nothing compared to the pain in his heart  – knowing that as a father – he was not able to provide the feed his family needed for that day.


Don Rogers and Yakobo – 1993

What happened next changed the course of both of our lives.  We worked together with our hands and hearts to make a product – a cement water storage jar – that he might be able to sell for income – but we failed dramatically at the task.  That next week in a city far away I met a man during a “chance” encounter who just happened to be training people how to make the jars.  Yakobo attended the training and the course of his life change as he began to provide for his families need with this new business income.

Today Yakobo is the director of Empowering Lives Tanzania and has dedicated his life for the glory of God and to actions that will bring others out of the chokehold of poverty and Spiritual darkness.  He is one of over 150 national servants who now serve full time with ELI among four countries – doing things we cannot, but empowered by what we can do through our prayers and support.  For these almost two decades this has been a team effort and today – as I reflect on the faithfulness of God and His people, I am deeply moved and thankful. The magnitude of what God has done is beyond what I could have ever imagined.

Thank you for your partnership and prayers.  We see and feel a special momentum from God in our work at this time and I believe that this year, as we approach our 20 year ministry anniversary, will be one of our most productive years in terms of changed and empowered lives in our ministry history.  We have done this together because of your partnership. More lives like Yakobo’s are about to change course and for the faithfulness of our loving God and for your support – we are truly and forever grateful.

Empowering lives together,



Today is the Last Day

December 31, 2013 by Don Rogers

year end 2013 5


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…
Empowering lives,

Don Rogers
Founder / Director

donate today button

PS:  Every gift today is so important and will be matched by another generous donor! Help us reach our goal of $20,000.


Women brewers accept Christ

Thank you, Kiprops!

December 2, 2013 by Diana Coombs

By, Amy Rogers

Kiprop Family 2012 (web)

Empowering Lives International we have had the blessing and privilege of serving with Michelle Kiprop for the last eight years in ministry.  We are grateful for the many ways that God has used Michelle to bring hope and healing to so many in Kenya.  In October, Michelle, along with her husband William and son Ryan launched a new ministry called Hope Matters.  Michelle will continue to fulfill her calling and passion to bring comprehensive healthcare to needy communities throughout Kenya. We are grateful to the Kiprop family and all that they have contributed to the ministry of Empowering Lives over the last eight years. We pray God’s abundant blessing on their family and new ministry. We look forward to all that God will do through the work and ministry of Hope Matters in the years to come.

Donate Blood, Save Lives & Send Children to School

November 12, 2013 by Diana Coombs

Blood for missions

On Sunday, November 17, North Hills Community Church is hosting a blood drive through Blood for Missions. This blood drive will benefit ELI’s ministries because for every pint donated, $20 will be given to sponsor a child for 2 months in ELI’s South Sudan School! For more details, visit or call 909-945-5440.


Date: Sunday, November 17
Time: show up anytime between 10 am – 2 pm 
Place: 10601 Church St., Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

*To donate, you must be 17 years old (16 if a parent is present), healthy, have no tattoos in the past year or have traveled to any malaria-risk areas in the past year.

Volunteer with ELI

July 11, 2013 by Diana Coombs

resized lunch pic

Are you home this summer with no plans?

Are you looking for a way to do something fulfilling that will impact Africa while staying in the USA?

We would love your help! Join the AWESOME team of ELI volunteers!

We are in need of volunteers this summer and throughout the year. You could be doing things such as:

– Assemble mailings and stuff packets or envelopes
– Data entry
– Write child profiles or other materials
– Be a voice for those in need by becoming an Ambassador for ELI

Fill out a Volunteer Application


Pen-Pal Internship Opportunity

July 5, 2013 by Diana Coombs

pen pal

Do you want to make a difference using the skills you have?

Do you have a heart to connect people from all over the world?

Are you organized and detail-oriented?

Can you commit to spending at least 1-2 hours a week in our office in Upland, CA?

If you answered yes to all of the questions above, you may be the person we are looking for! We are currently looking for a volunteer/intern to help manage and improve our Pen-Pal Program, providing an opportunity for caring individuals to get to know a child in one of the ELI children’s home in Kenya. If you would like to apply for this internship opportunity, fill out an APPLICATION. We look forward to hearing from you!

Thank You, Katie!

March 12, 2013 by Diana Coombs


At the end of 2012 we said farewell to Katie Cook as she transitioned out of ELI to focus on community development in her neighborhood. We were very sad to see her go. She has been a huge part of ELI serving as the Short Term Team Ministry Coordinator and then the Community Engagement Coordinator. Katie was first introduced to ELI 4 years ago when she invited ELI to be a beneficiary of her non-profit business, Africa Hope, which sold t-shirts to benefit charities working in Africa. We were so drawn in by her compassionate heart, creativity and energy that we needed to have her as our new Short Term Team Ministry Coordinator. She did a great job preparing teams and interns serving in ELI, Kenya. Her care for people has been evident to so many as she spent her time to listen to people’s concerns, answer questions, train and pray for each person. There are many who can say she was more than a coordinator, but, she was a friend and mentor.


Matching Campaign Exceeds Goal

February 5, 2013 by Angela Vincent

Thanksgiving to God

You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 2 Cor. 9:11 (NIV)

Your generosity is making a world of difference among poverty stricken children and families in our world and we are so grateful! The investment that you made recently during the ELI matching gift campaign was combined with the generosity of others to help us surpass our goal for a combined total of $86,871. This is encouraging beyond words! It is especially powerful to me, knowing that these funds will enable us to reach and help empower over 3,000 families this year. That is over 10,000 lives that will have a brighter future and greater hope because of our combined efforts. Thank you for joining us in this journey of empowering lives and putting God’s love into action.

A few days ago I was walking in a village here in Kenya and met a man who was so filled with thanksgiving that it made my day! He told me that his life has been greatly impacted by the ministry of ELI; because of the care of our staff and the training he received, he and his family are on a totally new path that is filled with hope and direction. I am so thankful to be a part of this ministry and to know that we have friends like you who help us bring transformation to thousands of lives each year, changing the world, one life at a time!

Empowering lives together,

Don Rogers

Founder / Director

Founder Don Rogers Featured in APU Life Magazine

December 13, 2012 by Angela Vincent

Founder Don Rogers, APU’s Alumni of the Year, has been featured in their alumni magazine, APU Life. Check out the article here.


December 3, 2012 by Angela Vincent
Several ELI Board members and champions of ELI have committed to giving towards a special matching fund totaling $30,000. You can watch the power of your dollar double while bringing hope and empowerment to more than 3,500 needy lives in Africa.
Your donations towards our general fund will be matched dollar-for-dollar through the end of the year, totaling $60,000. These funds will help us to train and educate needy families while sharing the power of God’s love.

Several ELI Board members and champions of ELI have committed to giving towards a special matching fund totaling $30,000. You can watch the power of your dollar double while bringing hope and empowerment to more than 3,500 needy lives in Africa.

Your donations towards our general fund will be matched dollar-for-dollar through the end of the year, totaling $60,000. These funds will help us to train and educate needy families while sharing the power of God’s love.

Happy Thanksgiving from Empowering Lives International

November 22, 2012 by Angela Vincent

This is a special time to give thanks and we hope that you are blessed. There are few things in life as rewarding as knowing that you are making a concrete difference in the lives of people in need. It is with grateful hearts that we lift our thanks to God for each of you as we journey together to see orphans cared for with the love of God, and the needy empowered with ideas and skills for a brighter future.

Here is a link to an important (3 minute) message I hope will be an encouragement to you.

Azusa Pacific University Honors ELI Founder Don Rogers

October 23, 2012 by Angela Vincent

This past weekend, ELI Founder Don Rogers was honored as the Alumni of the year at Azusa Pacific University. At a dinner for over 800 guests, Don had the privilege of sharing about the amazing work God is doing through ELI in East and Central Africa. He shared the story of when God first captures his heart in college and he told God he would go anywhere to serve Him. Soon after, God confronted Don with an opportunity to go to Tanzania. Don remembered how that first trip changed his life, causing him to see the impact of true empowerment rather than hand-outs. ELI was birthed out of the desire to see lives transformed in a holistic way.
We are so proud of the way Don has allowed God to work in and through him, both here in the US and in Africa. To see Don in action in Africa, check out the video below.

New Internship Open at ELI!

October 3, 2012 by Angela Vincent

We are currently looking for an intern to help create and manage our Pen-Pal Program!

The Pen-Pal Program is designed to provide an opportunity for caring individuals to write and get to know a child in the ELI children’s home in Kenya, beginning what could potentially be a life-long relationship! To get started, we need an intern willing to help us create the infrastructure for this program, and then run and implement the program accordingly.

Intern duties and qualifications below:

•    Develop and improve the system of keeping track of Pen-Pal correspondence
•    Fulfilling new requests by matching a Pen-Pal with a child
•    Be comfortable corresponding with Pen-Pals via email/mail/phone
•    Reply to requests in a timely manner
•    Creating profiles of the children; ability to work in Word
•    Ability to navigate an online database to store and gather information
•    Handle confidential information while working in our database
•    Work in Excel to keep track of correspondence between Pen-Pal and children
•    Collecting letters from Pen-Pals and children, reading through them to look for inappropriate content
•    Detail oriented
•    Spend a minimum of 4 hours a week devoted to the Pen-Pal Program
•    Be flexible in helping the office with any other duties

We are flexible and would be willing to accommodate schedules within reason.

To inquire about an application, please email Katie Cook at

Ischara- A lament written by Living Spring youth

September 19, 2012 by Angela Vincent

This summer I had the amazing privilege to share at Living Spring Church in Garden Grove. I told the story of a girl named Ishara, who through a series of hard circumstances, was led to attend the ELI school in the middle of a slum in Bukavu, D.R. Congo. This church youth group not only spent all summer raising incredible resources to partner with our school in Congo, but took it a step further.

They wrote a song.

A lament that tells the story of Ishara, as well as our own culture here in America. It is an incredible reminder of what others go through worldwide, and how our own hearts can be so distracted from what really matters. (more…)

When a Garage Sale Begins to Change Lives…

August 29, 2012 by Angela Vincent

This week I caught up with an amazing ELI volunteer named Bethany. Bethany is pretty much a hero at our office because of her creative commitment to being an ambassador for ELI! Seriously, every time we look around she’s doing something amazing and innovative to raise funds to be used for training people in East Africa. Today when we spoke, I asked Bethany to share about the garage sale her church college group put on to help empower families through ELI. Here is what she shared:

How did you decide you wanted to do something for ELI?

I am always trying to figure out creative ways to bridge the gap between fundraising and the work ELI is doing in Africa. I was thinking of an event where we could bring advocacy and awareness together so that people know what their money is going towards. My goal was to bring what ELI is doing in East Africa closer to home. ELI does such great work, it’s sustainable and I want people to know that. People are less willing to give money unless they know it’s going to actually make a difference on the ground. I wanted to show people “Hey, here’s what ELI is doing and here’s how you can partner with them”, and it happened to take the form of a yard sale!

How did you get people together to help out?

The college group I’m a part of really has a heart for reaching out in Jesus’ name. About two years ago ELI gave me an Ambassador Packet that shared about how to throw a Garage Sale for Good. The garage sale turned out really well, and our group was actually really excited about doing it again.  This time our group wanted to take it a step further and improve on what we did last time.  My college group is really supportive so they were excited to jump on board. I told them what to do and they rolled with it. (more…)

When Children Change the World- Water of Life Church and Fish Ponds in Tanzania

August 16, 2012 by Angela Vincent

Vicky and I at WOL.

In the Spring, I received an email from the Christian Education Coordinator at Water of Life Church in Fontana. She wanted to know of a project that the kids in the children’s ministry could be learning about and raising money for this summer. I shared with her the need to help fund one of our newest income generating projects, the fish ponds in Tanzania. The Tanzanian government has been a huge advocate in buying the fish that we cultivate in the ponds, which provides jobs for people in the community, and helps fund trainings for needy families in life giving skills!

Fast forward to this weekend, where I went and spoke to the children at Water of Life. (more…)

In Memory of Jeremy Van Liew

August 13, 2012 by Angela Vincent

For two summers, ELI was blessed to host team member Jeremy Van Liew  in Kenya. Jeremy was from Nuevo California, and attended Nuevo Community Church. This past week we heard the news that  Jeremy went to be with the Lord at age 27 as a result of a brain aneurysm. We were heartbroken to hear the devastating news of his passing, but thankful to know that he is resting with his Savior.

Jeremy came to Kipkaren in both 2006 and 2011 and served with a humble heart and gentle spirit.  (more…)

Summer Cultivate has Arrived

August 9, 2012 by Angela Vincent

Be sure to be on the lookout for our Summer Cultivate magazine. As usual, it’s full of good stories and photos. We’re excited to share it with you!

G-PA: A Man Who Lives Love

July 18, 2012 by Angela Vincent

On a sunny day almost two years ago, we received an inquiry from a man who wanted to come and volunteer at our ELI office. His name is George, and over the past two years George (or G-pa as we affectionately call him), has left a most beautiful legacy in our office as a man who cares deeply about how God is moving in Africa, but also about the people here in the US, including us ladies in the office.

The first thing we noticed about George was his radiant demeanor. He always walked in with a sparkle in his eye, giving us all hugs, and cheering us on in the work we were doing. Like many Grandpas, he loved to bring us special treats when he came to the office. He would show up with fresh baked pastries from a local bakery, or home-made fudge. To say that he blessed us in an understatement! (more…)

Roaring like a Lion- VBS at the The Bridge

July 11, 2012 by Angela Vincent

“My God is not dead! He’s surely alive! He’s living on the inside. Roaring like a lion!” These very words were shouted in worship from the lips of 300+ kids and volunteers almost every day during Vacation Bible School (VBS) this summer at The Bridge (church) in Chino, CA. To be able to plant that truth in their minds to a beat and rhythm is almost guaranteed success for remembering it days, weeks and months later. The reason we do VBS? To plant truths like this and to watch God move! And move He did! Like a lion! I’m quite positive each kid walked off the campus with a contented heart full of love and fond memories every day.

I’m humbled to have this opportunity to testify of God’s amazing love and faithfulness that overflowed on and from our campus the last week in June. I’m Kay Hilt, the Director of Children’s Ministries and the Director of Mission at The Bridge in Chino. And I have had the amazing privilege of partnering with ELI over the past several years which include sponsoring two girls from Ilula, leading two teams to Ilula in 2007 & 2009 as well as interning in Ilula for a month in July 2010. I am truly blessed to be in relationship with everyone at ELI. (more…)