Graduation and a New Life

June 16, 2014 by Diana Coombs

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Helen used to illegally brew alcohol for 16 years in order to gain income to support herself and her family. Last Friday, she gave her testimony for graduation day after a weeklong training for over 40 former brewers at the Kipkaren River Training Center, with local government officials, village chiefs, and ELI Kenya staff in attendance. She expressed her vision of continuing to help people out of brewing and exhorted the group of graduates to do the same.

“I wanted these [people] to be brought, to come out of brewing so that we can do our best in developing our country,” she said through an interpreter. “So I think all of us, we are now becoming light as we go back to our villages.”

The group of former brewers – consisting of 45 women and one man – were trained on a variety of subjects, taught by ELI Kenya staff from the Kipkaren and Ilula training centers as well as the Kipkaren Children’s Home. The topics included horticulture, poultry, composting, critical thinking, business, soap making, cooking, baking and more.

Yet the training did not solely focus on trying to meet the physical needs as a means of life transformation.

“They were coming to change their business and to change their lifestyle, but exactly what God did, it was different from what they were thinking. Because God gave life. Instead of changing their business, God gave life,” said Pastor Stephen “Stone” Mwei.

On the second day of training, Pastor Stone shared a message on Galatians 5:16-29 and John 1:12, speaking about life by the Holy Spirit and being a child of God. That day, 40 people made the decision to accept Christ.

“It is not about the business of brewing, it is not about the business of doing business to get money, to get wealth. But we get real life. And our lives have really changed because we have received Jesus to be our personal savior.”

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