September 15, 2016 by Diana Coombs
We have the privilege of partnering with many wonderful people and churches here in the US. Cornerstone Community Church has become part of our ELI community through their support and service. Read some of their story as you consider your own role within our community.
This past July, we sent a team of five to visit Empowering Lives International, our global partner in Kenya. We loved learning from, encouraging, and enjoying deep fellowship with the ELI community.
One of the days we traveled into the “high country” to join Dennis, the Ilula Training Center Manager, in a follow up meeting with seventeen ladies who had recently attended training in May. It was truly a highlight of the trip for us. The high country was as picturesque as the Alpine foothills. The rural remote villages were scattered with sheep and cattle grazing among the maize and tea crops. The village chief and some of his supporting staff welcomed us as we visited several homes of the former brewers. We were welcomed with glowing smiles and traditional chanting and dancing as we received warm but formal embraces. They were chanting “embrace and love.”
I was impressed at just how quickly many of these women have made positive changes in their lives, and how proud they were to share their stories. One woman explained, that prior to the training she was so focused on brewing that she didn’t bother to bathe her children. But now they are well cared for and her home has expanded with the profits earned from her chips and food catering business. Another woman was proud of the increase and diversification of her small crops. Another, her “kukus” (chickens). But the common theme among them all was a beaming smile and a proud look in their eyes that said, “I am somebody. I have dignity. I am special. Look what I am doing with what I have learned.”
Nowhere have I seen the love of Christian community or the warmth of hospitality better demonstrated than by Kenyan believers. They beam the love of Christ, and reflect that warmth and humility to those around them. ELI has been such a tremendous blessing to partner with, and we enjoy being a part of God’s Kingdom-building in ways that uphold the dignity of the poor while teaching the love of Christ.
What a blessing it is to be a part of this global community who are truly empowering lives!
Global Missions Leader, Cornerstone Community Church
Do you want to partner with ELI by going on a trip to Kenya and experiencing firsthand the amazing work that is being done? If so, click here for more information.
July 22, 2016 by Diana Coombs
As you know, one thing we aim to do is equip the people of Kenya, young and old, with the knowledge and skills they need to change the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. We see this happening daily in each of our programs through our Children’s Homes or our Training Centers. The change we see is what motivates us to keep moving forward each day.
But did you also know another huge motivation for us is when we see lives in the U.S. equipped and changed for God’s glory? We love to involve our families, friends, neighbors and churches to invest their gifts, talents and time in the work God is doing in Kenya. As soon as someone says, “Yes” to the call, we work to equip them with the knowledge they need in order to serve in Kenya through a variety of resources and training. In my role as Short-Term Ministry Coordinator, I have the privilege of seeing this happen on a regular basis and I never tire of seeing lives changed—here at home and in Kenya—through this process.
This year alone, we will have over 60 people go to Kenya and God is using them in a variety of ways: from running a youth camp, making home visits to former brewers and offering encouragement, taking photographs and capturing stories, putting decorative touches in our dormitory, and so much more. Each of these people have been called in a special way to serve God. When they willingly step out of their comfort zone to learn about what God is doing in the world, they come back with a new perspective on life and share this with those around them—a life equipped to make a difference.
Here is a glimpse at some of the lives that have been equipped and changed:
A team from Cornerstone Community Church in Wildomar meeting together and preparing for their trip to Kenya. They are in Kenya as this is being published!
Jayme is a student at APU who first went with a team in 2015. She spent this past year interning in our office in Upland and then went back to Kenya as an intern in May of 2016.
Even the lives of our families are changed! This is my dad Bill and my son Noah in Kenya last year.
Will you be one of these lives? How are you answering God’s call?
For more information about going to Kenya, you may visit our website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Short-Term Ministry Coordinator
October 5, 2015 by Diana Coombs
The following video was created by Azusa Pacific University student Rachel Mallasch (email@example.com). She, with two other APU students, came and served alongside Empowering Lives International in Ilula and Kipkaren, Kenya at the beginning of the summer.