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Widow's Day

written by Nicole Van Ee

Here at the mission house in Kakamega, it sounds like morning ALL day! Roosters are constantly calling to each other. Good thing the roosters are so boisterous. I stumbled out of bed this morning and within 10 minutes I was joining the team to greet the widows who were EARLY. Now, if you know time in Africa, ‘on time’ is shocking! I think these dear ladies were excited to see their friends from Canada after a year. 

Today was a glimpse into what it may sound like in heaven. A large, colourful tent was set up, and we were blessed by the presence of about 50 ladies and a few of their children. The singing. Wow! One of the ladies, Grace, who is new to the program, led the whole group with her beautiful voice. The passion and praise to God was so uplifting. 

This Ladies Day was educational even for me! Gardening techniques were discussed, and the ladies brainstormed ideas how to produce a better crop the following year. To top it all off, a few of the team cooked Nasi for us all! What a treat. 

As much as I would like to share about each widow, a few of their stories stick out to me. Grace, our vocal lead, has a heartbreaking story. She has lost her home, her husband, and her son, and is now living in abject poverty. It is really a riches to rags story. Yet, through this all, in a group of ladies she had never met, she poured out her heart to God in worship. Tears streamed down her beautiful face as she led the group of widows in songs of praise. 

The devotional was on the book of Ruth with so many parallels to the lives of these dear widows in Kenya. 

Once the downpour of rain stopped, ladies started to trickle out towards their little mud houses. Our team had the privilege of visiting four of the homes this afternoon. Each visit had its ‘Rose and Thorn’ story, as Elyce aptly named. 

Pamela stood out to all of us today. Her gentle spirit and noticing others are definitely gifts from God. At the Women’s Day meeting, she was the first lady to notice Grace, our new widow friend. Pamela got up and welcomed Grace to come and sit with her and introduced her to ‘her’ group of friends. They all decided together to go visit Rose and share in her life and story. They have been on that difficult journey as well.

 During our visit with Pamela, she was chosen to be the test group for the crop rotation project VOH is hoping to implement. It is so encouraging to see her shine for Jesus. 

The last visit today touched all our emotional strings deeply. Brenda was a widow who passed away a year ago of complications from diabetes. She left behind four sons. Our hearts were so touched and encouraged by how her oldest son Peter, 19, has taken on the roles of mother and father to his younger brothers. Of course my tears flowed as I thought of my own boys.. my mother's heart was broken… yet so proud and thankful to see these boys trust in God. Please keep these boys in your prayers. 

There is SO MUCH MORE that I would love to share… but this post is getting a little long already.

❤️One of the verses that was on my heart to share in the visits was from Isaiah 41:10-13. God really is with these ladies. He will never leave nor forsake them. He is holding their hands through all the dark valleys they are experiencing. 

Thank you for joining us in prayer for these dear Kenyan sisters. With all my Love - Nicole 


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