Day 8: Kinangop

A series of unfortunate events? Not really!

Jun 19, 2019

I was here 5 years ago and the changes have been dramatic – in such a good way! They recognize themselves now as businesswomen, entrepreneurs, and farmers. They spoke about managing finances and making investments with the money they’ve earned. They spoke about children successful in university and grandchildren in school. The women looked healthy, happy, and as always filled with unshakable joy.

There is no one better to teach us about keeping a positive attitude and having unending faith than the widows we visited today at the h.o.w? Ministry Women’s Empowerment Center. Michelle has said of them before, “When these women pray for rain, they walk outside with an umbrella.”

By Jaley Montgomery

Day 8 - KINANGOP - Tuesday, June 18, 2019

This morning we woke up and were faced with what seemed to be a series of unfortunate events. Our hotel (which is amazing and the staff is incredible) had a miscommunication and was not expecting us for breakfast, the restaurant we went to for breakfast seemed painfully slow (but was delicious and had wonderful workers!), our bus broke down on the way back to our hotel in the afternoon in the middle of a dirt road, and I fell down (graceful, I know) and skinned my knee up.

But you know what? Not one bit of that mattered. Breakfast was delicious and allowed more bonding time between team members. We were so full and ready to start our day after that amazing food. Also, we had breakfast in the first place. How many people near us had to go without today, and not just breakfast?

Our bus just so happened to break down about a 3-minute walk from a service station. We walked to the service station and a child followed us. We didn’t speak the same language but we communicated with a lot. She stayed with us until it was time for us to leave, she hid behind things glancing up with big beautiful eyes and a bright smile when I’d look in her direction.

The service shop just so happened to have a bandaid part to get us back to the hotel. Half way back an empty safari van passed by and our driver flagged him down. The other driver drove us to our hotel so our driver could go straight to the shop to get the actual part needed. Our driver said, “We drivers look out for one another.”

This time of waiting just allowed even more time to bond with our team. Paeton, Cassidy, Natalie, and Sara Ruth are all sorority sisters from Pi Beta Phi at the University of Arkansas. These women are amazing people. They are thoughtful, creative, fun, and sincere. I am so enjoying getting to see more of their personalities and how they are interacting with others on our trip. And, I have really enjoyed working together with Kelley again. She’s an incredible music therapist with wonderful insights. We also laugh a lot when we are together which is always nice.

No one complained during our series of misadventures. We all seemed to band together and make the most of it and I’m so glad it worked out that way. We just seemed to know that God had gone before us and that He would work it all out, which is exactly what He did.

There is no one better to teach us about keeping a positive attitude and having unending faith than the widows we visited today at the h.o.w? Ministry Women’s Empowerment Center.

Michelle (h.o.w? Ministry founder and executive director Michelle Outman) has said of them before, “When these women pray for rain, they walk outside with an umbrella.”

Today we heard testimony after testimony of how God has “sent the rain” for these women. Be it a farm animal, a crop, land, or finances – I was amazed at how God has been so faithful to these women.

I was here 5 years ago and the changes have been dramatic – in such a good way! They recognize themselves now as businesswomen, entrepreneurs, and farmers. They spoke about managing finances and making investments with the money they’ve earned. They spoke about children successful in university and grandchildren in school. The women looked healthy, happy, and as always filled with unshakable joy.

Not only has their testimony changed but their farms seem to be thriving (even though there was a drought). They welcomed us into their homes with great pride and stories of the Lord’s provision. The new center for the women is just incredible. It has electricity, running water, and flushable toilets! They have a much larger space to work and worship. I was so moved to hear stories of extreme forgiveness, women providing for each other, and again I was so moved by their faith.

God is working in these women and in this rural part of Kenya. I’m so inspired by them and their faithfulness to God. After hearing their stories and meeting with them all day, I had no doubt our car needs (and all of our needs) would be met on this trip. What’s a change in plans to wait at a service shop? What’s a skinned knee? It’s all nothing in the grand scheme of things, because as the women at the center reminded us time and time again, the Lord is with us, He is mighty to save, and He holds us in the palm of His hands.

 


In the top photo, Jaley greets the widows while Keziah translates. The banner and photo in the window honors Dawn Schnur, a frequent January mission team member who passed away last year.

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Jaley Montgomery (standing with Keziah) is on her second mission trip with h.o.w? Ministry. The first one was in 2014, when she helped Josephine get a new cow and water tank. She shares a heartfelt account here: Josephine's Story.

Jaley is a visiting assistant professor of music therapy at the University of Evansville in southern Indiana. From Mt. Vernon, Indiana, she holds a bachelor of music in music therapy from the University of Evansville and a master of music with an emphasis in music therapy from Colorado State University.

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