Saturday, February 25, 2012

Benta's Story

Benta’s deep brown eyes hold a story she’s reluctant to speak.  She stares at my face, searching for something to encourage trust. I smile weakly and urge her on, 

“Please Benta.  If you can share…” 

She continues gazing at me and the words tumble out.

My father had two wives.  
I am the second child of the second wife.  
I was not educated.
I married young, but I loved the man. We lived a good life.  
I learned to read and write. I had a son.  
We were a happy family.  I became pregnant again … 
my husband died…” 

Benta hesitates for a moment, hanging her head. 
She lifts her eyes at me again

“In a short time, I had nothing.  
My son and I were starving.  
I thought I must abort the child I carry.” 

Tears slid down her smooth ebony skin. 
She doesn’t wipe them away.

“There was nothing. 
How could I bring my baby into the world to starve?” 

We wait in a circle, 
listening to the meaningful silence sagging the air heavy.  
We could feel Benta’s throbbing wound. 

What would I do if I were starving - no food for days and my 
small son crying to eat?  How would I feel holding his thin 
body against my swollen belly throughout the dark night only 
to have nothing to offer him when morning broke?  Would the baby weight in my womb burden my thoughts with worry?”

Hard to imagine when I’ve never gone hungry. Judgment 
comes easy when the belly is full, home is comfortable 
and threats of death don’t hover like vultures. 

Part of the ministry in Kenya is to hear these women’s stories.  
To really hear them - let their sorrow touch us, let their 
courage find us, let their desires to truly live burn like fire in 
our hearts. Our passion connects with their pain, and together 
we look to God for answers.

Benta’s desperation led her to church. The pastors embraced 
her and invited her to join the DIG training. She attended 
every session - watching, discussing, praying, learning. We talked, planned and moved forward with her vision to sell 
grains. After submitting a proposal and receiving a donation 
to start her ministry/business, Benta found a place near her 
small home, close to her children. Yes, her children. Benta did
not abort her baby. She birthed a girl and named her Winnie.  

God turns nothing into something.  
He provides food for the hungry.  
He offers hope for the hopeless. 
He does that through us - 
through you, 
through me,  
through Benta. 

Benta's ministry business serves her, her widowed sister 
and their four children. As a family they testify that the 
Lord defends the cause of widows and the fatherless.
Psalm 82:3, Isaiah 1:17

Asante sana 
for your prayers, encouragement and support. 

hugs from the haugers oooo