Newsletter Contents:

1.  Kenya: The Face of Poverty by Barbara Collins
2.  Kathy on Kenya by Kathy Wozniak
3.  Pat's View by Pat Joyce
4.  Letters from Kenya
5.  What's New on the Web  A list of new material posted on the GWTW Website.

6.  Worthwhile Projects - Kenyan ministries needing our help.

 

KENYA: THE FACE OF POVERTY

by Barbara Collins

 

Poverty has a face. I know because I have seen it. I first saw it in the church. Every church from now on would have a dirt floor. Every bench we would sit on would not have a back. However, on some occasions, churches provided a chair, and we were blessed. Needing to go to the toilet necessitated going to an outhouse. On the way, I jokingly said to some men in Kitale building a new one that I wouldn’t be able to wait on them to complete their job! The toilets most everywhere we went except for the two hotels in which we stayed in Kitale and Bungoma were on the floor!

Electricity is a luxury item which one of the two pastors of the Covenant City Church in Kitale had at the time. Although the night we had a scrumptious dinner at Dawson and Elizabeth’s, the electricity was off as the power company decides whenever it chooses to simply cut the power throughout the city. Our host and hostess, however, were Albert and Christine, who treated us royally in their home on a previous evening. In place of a living room, Kenyan homes have sitting rooms where seating usually takes up at least three walls to provide plenty of room for guests.

Our first encounter with culture came at a luncheon for staff in Kitale the day after we arrived. Then, we saw our task was not only to encourage the women and enlarge their perception of self-worth, but to remove the erroneous, unbiblical concepts men have learned from their culture.

When I discovered the first group of women with whom we would meet were widows infected by the HIV-AIDS virus, I cried out to the Lord because I knew only He would be able to bring a word of encouragement to them.  They were widows because their husbands died of AIDS. Their children, who came with them, are destined to be orphans sooner or later. May this ministry arm of the church multiply rapidly since some 130 million mostly women in Kenya are infected with HIV. Later that afternoon, we visited two homes where the women were too sick with AIDS to come to the meeting, laid hands on them, and prayed for their healing.

Click Here for the remainder of Barbara's article on Kenya.

Kathy on Kenya

Kathy Wozniak is an experienced missionary who the Lord in His mercy sent with us to Kenya.   Through her ministry, Shofar Sounding, she has traveled to various areas of India and Nepal.  Prior to forming her own ministry, she attended Bible school in Australia and made trips to the Philippines and India. Today, she ministers not only overseas, but in churches here in the U.S. 

Kathy is an accomplished musician who is known as a composer, teacher, vocalist and worship leader.   Her most recent album, Kathy's Call, is a beautiful collection of hymns done with her own original arrangements.  But, it was in her capacity as "experience missionary" that God used her to keep us mostly healthy and functioning in Kenya.  She quickly became part of the God's Word to Women team, and we expect to continue to minister together in the future.  The following is her perspective on our trip to Kenya. 

“The Lord gives the word [of power]; the women who bear and publish [the news] are a great host.” Psalm. 68:11 (Amplified.)

When Pat Joyce first told me of the proposed trip to Kenya, two responses came. First, I was thrilled and tickled to see such a transformation in my friend. This same lady once said, “I am not called to go; I’ll be glad to send . . .” She was very adamant about it back then. Now, more than 15 years later, my friend was like a young child getting the most precious gift for Christmas and enjoying every minute of it. The second thing I felt was a tug in my own heart saying “I want to go, too.” However, being already committed to another country, Nepal, going to Africa seemed financially impossible, not to mention impractical. When she invited me to join the God’s Word to Women team, I said “No.” Fortunately, she listened to God and called me back. This time I stopped listening to “the practical voice” and actually prayed with a “listening ear” to the Holy Spirit. God said very definitely, “Go.” I am still finding out some of the reasons why I was on this particular team, and some of the reasons why we went at this particular time.

Let me say, this experience has been wonderful! To be part of a team of strong women—women who have no problem knowing they are, first and foremost, called by God. These women know they were formed as women and move in God as the woman He created. This fact has been “eye-opening” and freeing. Some might consider it a challenge. I consider it a timely grace.

To read the remainder of this article, click here.

Pat's View

God sent us to western Kenya to plant a seed of truth, but He seldom has a single purpose in His direction. Kenya was an eye-opening experience.

Before this trip, I'd had limited opportunity to speak. The Lord graciously let me be part of God’s Word to Women where I soaked in the truth of biblical equality. He prepared me, and I was thrilled as He anointed the message far beyond my abilities.

For all my wanting to teach, I found myself tiring of repeating the same things. Jesus taught not just for three weeks, but for three-and-a-half years. Rarely did He show frustration even when no one seemed to “get it.” In Kenya some “got it” and some already “had it;” we just added to their ammunition. God gives us choices. We can choose His way or yield to our own carnality. I did a bit of both. I like my creature comforts and got irritable when hot and tired.

The arrogant attitude of most males—even children—angered me. It’s good to know Jesus didn’t like it either. The preference for sons and the undervaluing of daughters sickens my heart. While I have encountered the same spirit here, it is shameless in Kenya.

The encouraging thing is knowing the truth was spoken, and God’s Word does not return void. Ample proof of early results are confirmed in the emails received since returning home, some of which are included in this newsletter.

Since I already wrote the blow by blow of the trip,  you know my perspective.  Click here to read the whole thing.  You may also want to check out So You’re Planning a Mission Trip—Things You Don’t Need to Learn From Experience which includes some things we knew and some we discovered.

Worthwhile Projects

Everywhere we went in Kenya we found worthwhile projects that needed help to be put into place, moved to the next level or completed.  If you are looking for an opportunity to minister through giving, you will not go wrong with any of these. The people are honest, and you can be assured that your money will go for the intended purpose and not to line pockets or pay exorbitant administrative costs.

There are projects to help support HIV/AIDS widows and their children as well as those who are now orphans.  Most are looking to purchase a few acres of land for crops and some livestock for meat, milk and income.

A young missionary is called to Sudan and needs only a little help to be able to go. 

Schools need supplies and books for their libraries as well as support to allow them to take students who cannot afford school fees--these include orphans and the children of widowed mothers.

All the pastors and leaders need Bibles and study materials.  Many of the people do not even own a New Testament. We bought a Bible for a pastor, who had been functioning without one, and he was not the only one. 

Ever wish you were rich so you could help everyone?  We feel that way about each of these projects.  For a list and links to more information, click here.

   
   

Letters from Kenya

Letters from those we met in Kenya speak to the impact of God's Word more eloquently than anything we could say.

The first is from Christine Onyango, wife of Albert and our hostess in Kitale. 

I hereby want to take this opportunity to thank you so much for coming over here and being a blessing to the church and especially the women. Your ministry was an eye opener to many of the women that were feeling inferior and considering themselves unable to serve the Lord in the capacity that God has called them due to the traditional beliefs!! Your ministry and devotion to the calling on your lives and willingness to help other women rise and see themselves as the Lord sees them is a great encouragement. My prayer will always be that your health be sustained by the Lord so that you may reach many other places with the message.

The women, (HIV/Aids infected widows) you ministered to and showed the love of Christ, have seen a reason to live since they feel appreciated despite the way they are treated by some of their relatives. Some of those women are going through very difficult times in relation to the way they are considered by the people around them. However, when you were here and ministered to them, hugging, laying hands on them, they felt appreciated and many are confessing having seen the power of Christ's love. I pray that you will come again soon God willing!!

From Elizabeth Mudenyo, wife of Pastor Dawson of the Kitale church.

God's Word to Women, you have made us realize that God is not bound by nationalities, denominations, or class, and that he has no discrimination rule. The only requirement He has is just us, (women), and we choose the freedom to live our life as God intended it to be.

Finally, it has been a time for us to loose the chains that bound us for along time (I like the way Barbara puts it - stand up and shake it off!). Personally I realize that am not a slave to my job, to my husband or to my children, but a precious child in God’s sight worth much value.

After sitting under your teachings, I felt a sense of worthiness.  I stopped degrading myself and made up my mind to stand up to what the Lord God has called me to be.  The courage and confidence and authority I saw in you, convinced me that God is not a respecter of persons, and I can serve him too. For the first time, I taught in church last Sunday, and the other women in church led the service while others led in praise and worship. It was powerful.  My topic was PUTTING AWAY YOUR PAST.  I believe it was a word from God for the women to stop looking back to where they have come from and to concentrate on their future because that’s what the Lord is interested in. It was a time of repentance of guilt and unforsaken sin that hindered God's divine purpose in our lives being accomplished

We are stirred up. Pastors Dawson and Albert have now realized they have wives that are not only called but CHOSEN!

Many thanks to the Lord who enabled you to reach this far.  We are praying for you. Keep going strong.

Received July 31 from Dawson, Elizabeth's Husband .

This is Dawson, husband to Elizabeth. Well, my  heart is full of joy as I write this mail to you. There has been a drastic change in our lives, that is me and Elizabeth. Elizabeth has drastically changed, and there is a courage that can't be explained in her.

This month has seen Elizabeth rise up and take her place. She is now fully in ministry. I am ready as a husband to give her my full support. She will be going to Tanzania soon for a week, and I fully promise to support her. I am so amazed and perplexed at this.

Thanks for coming to Africa. For years I had been praying for this. For sure you have saved me a lot of energy, resources, time and training. It took God to send you to speak life to my wife. I am so blessed for real.

The following from pastor Julius who came a long distance and brought a bus full people to three different meetings.

We are getting blessed by the teaching and the materials sister Pat left me with and it was a great honour knowing you all and please you are welcome to share the need we have here in Kakamega concerning helping widows with children and let me hear from you.
 

From Wambeye and Loice Wafula in Webeye

God’s Word to Women Ministry tremendously blessed and touched many lives during the Biblical Equality for Women Seminar in Webuye. This was a timely meeting. We believe that God strategically placed them to bring this truth at the appointed time. Women were lifted and placed where they belonged from the beginning.

Female pastors were ignited to carry on the work of ministry and stand for undiluted Biblical truth. The questions that women had on why God chose to put them down, and yet He says He formed them in His likeness and image are gone. The misunderstanding that men had has been shattered and replaced by God’s original plan and purpose for both male and female. The challenge is that God’s Word to Women teachings threw them over board.  For the youth who attended; it placed them in the right standing and a foundation to rely on.

The Pan Paper High school girls were encouraged to pursue their dreams without fear. We believe that they will affect many lives everywhere they will go after their high school education.

It is hard to drop the male dominance at once, but we believe it will die to its roots by and by as the truth replaces culture and traditions of men.

May every drop of sweat that you shed on our land for this course be the beginning of a seed that will bring forth many seeds of God’s truth that will fill the entire world. This truth is planted in Webuye forever, and we trust that it will live on even after we are gone.

From Bishop Frederick Mulei, head of Mustard Seed Ministries

“Now pastors and other men have known that women must be allowed to work as equal partners with men in all spheres. This was God's original plan before the fall.  After the coming of the Messiah and reconciliation of the human race with God through His shed blood men still subject women to the curse.  I remember God promised deliverance for both men and women through the Seed of a woman.  So keep on preaching; this is what God wants people to know and accept Him without prejudice.”

From Fred and Sara Barasa in Watoya

Women in our churches  are not the same.  Their lives have been transformed.  You lit new fire of revival in them.   I tell you even Sara (his wife) now is able to stand and preach, sing and testify with boldness

What’s New
on the Web

We want to call your attention  to new additions to the website.  You can always find the latest by clicking on "What's New?" found at the top of each page.

 

A Woman Condemned by Katharine Bushnell. This booklet was sent to God's Word to Women by John Bushnell, a great nephew of Katharine. Bushnell confronts  the double standard of sexual conduct and the disgrace of women who were often coerced into sex.  She uses an event in China to illustrate the barbaric nature of actions our society considered culturally appropriate.

 

What is PASCH?  God's Word to Women has been working to improve resources for those suffering abuse or working with the abused.  PASCH, Peace and Safty in the Christian Home, is an excellent organization with an informative website.   GWTW has had a link to their website for years, but their information needs to be more visible on our site.  Therefore, we are posting some of their basic documents in the hope of reaching a broader audience.

 

Symptoms of Abuse from the PASCH website gives not only symptoms of abuse but also what to do and how to do it to escape a dangerous situation including pre-planning.  This article is also useful to those assisting victims of abuse.

 

So You’re Planning a Mission Trip—Things You Don’t Need to Learn From Experience by Barbara Collins, Pat Joyce and Kathy Wozniak.  We knew some travel tips before our trip to Kenya, but it would have been great if we had known all we know now before we left. 

 

Report on the Trip to Kenya by Pat Joyce

 

Kathy on Kenya by Kathy Wozniak

 

The Face of Povety by Barbara Collins

 

Worthwhile Projects  If you are looking for an opportunity to minister through giving you will not go wrong with any of these. The people are honest and you can be assured that your money will go for the intended purpose and not to line pockets or pay exorbitant administrative costs.

 

 

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