Saturday was an incredible day! Twenty-five precious ladies from ten different StoneHouse churches came hobbling, crying, laughing and very excited. We were able to host eight of those ladies for two nights. They knew that this special day on Windy Hill, was just for them and they were full of hope.
My beloved wife Cynthia, for some time, had been burdened for this particular group of disciples, who are largely overlooked in many Kenyan churches. Almost all of them said… “Before we came to StoneHouse no one cared for us … we were on our own”. All we could do is wonder why that could possibly be. They were such valuable women of God, full of both compassion and age tested wisdom.
After registering for future ‘Gathering of Widows’ and filling out questionnaires, as to their personal stories and present conditions, the teachings began. Their stories were jaw-dropping accounts of the abuse widows endure in Kenya at the hands of fellow tribe members, family, and relatives. All claiming to be ‘Christians’. Widows have little or no rights.
The teachings came from their fellow StoneHouse sisters, people familiar with the actual living conditions for most Kenyan widows. They were taught not to consider themselves unimportant but to grow in the areas of serving the Body of Christ, prayer, hospitality, giving. The faces of these ladies glowed with gratitude.
After lunch (prepared by David our cook, Beatrice, Fancy and Janet, the serving sisters of Miti Mingi) a wonderful surprise walked through the door. Our beloved friends and fellow Mennonite missionaries, Luke, Jamila, and their nine children, representing Christian Aide Ministries, brought thirty-pound boxes of food, vegetable seeds and ten dollars cash for each one of the ladies. What a wonderful family! The children served like little ministering angels.
Throughout the day, widows from ages 30 – 88, came together to Celebrate Life. We talked about serving each other and our neighbors in love and good works, as we tasted the goodness of the Lord. They gave their ‘widows’ mite’ in a collection which in turn, was given to the oldest widow among them. And then they prayed to God, their ‘Husband’, with thanks for His provision.
Then it was cake, pictures, and sweet good-byes till next time.