What if you were not born in a family of means, in a country of influence? What if you lived in a country besieged by corruption, disease and neglect of human rights? What if your family didn't value you because of your gender? Imagine for a moment that you are Anne...
Being part of a large family, Anne grew up in an area overwhelmed by poverty, lack of education being the biggest obstacle to opportunity. With so little land to farm and so many needing to eat, Anne saw her life ending in an abyss of hopelessness. She wanted more but didn't know how to move out of the vicious cycle of eating the proverbial seed met for planting. She chose a path many young and ambitious Kenyan girls fall prey to - marrying a man who was already married because he promised to send her to school. As a second wife, Anne's position in the community quickly slipped deeper into the dark abyss. Her dreams of school were thwarted as second wife duties overwhelmed her - finding water, finding firewood, finding food, but never being able to find enough of anything. Anne survived slightly above a slave status. She gave birth to two children; then her husband died. After his burial, the first wife's family chased Anne and her children away from the compound. She was denied any inheritance.
Desperation drove Anne to the city where she struggled to provide for her small son and infant daughter. She arrived at a church that welcomed her, introduced her to Jesus, but could do little to help her life become sustainable. This was about the same time God let us bring the Discipleship Income-Generating training to Kenya. The pastors introduced us to Anne and a friendship began. Her desire to learn, grow, and become all God intended mixed beautifully with the DIG program. Instead of eating the seed, Anne was given the opportunity to receive the education necessary to plant the seed, nurture it and watch it grow into a blessing.
Today Anne manages a maize business. Her basic needs are met and for her that's a blessing. She cherishes the blessing of feeding her children everyday. She delights in helping feed three orphans whose mother deserted them. She offers her community a staple grain at a fair price to make the traditional ungali. Anne shares her story with her neighbors and customers - God provides. She's been blessed to be a blessing.