Experiencing CommunitySeptember 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.