Summer 2018 update: A trip postponed, a new center, and lots of sheep!

I wish I was writing you from the beautiful country of Kenya with this update of our ministry work.  Our 2018 June team was to leave the USA for a 2-week service trip to Kenya on June 16.

Unfortunately, at 3:30 am on June 3, I woke up with excruciating pain in my neck, shoulder and pain also radiating down my left arm. After a work up in the emergency room and a MRI it was determined that I had a ruptured disc in my neck and needed to have surgery.  Surgery was successful and I’m now wearing a cervical collar and am homebound for 6 weeks of healing and recovery.  We plan to reschedule our trip for October.  Please pray for my complete healing.

The Lord has continued to bless many women and children in Kenya through h.o.w? Ministry.  Here’s a summary our many activities this past year. Please enjoy this update.

July 2017 – h.o.w? Ministry received an appeal from Moses, the founder and director of Children’s Garden Home and School, for financial means to cover a needed surgery for one of the adolescent girls, Diana.  h.o.w? Ministry was able to pay for Diana and her escort to travel to India in September and get the needed surgery she required.  After surgery and a few weeks of healing and recovery, Diana returned to Kenya healthy and pain free, and I was able to visit with Diana and personally give her a big hug during our January trip.

September 11 – We held agroundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the h.o.w? Ministry Women’s Empowerment Center in Kinangop. Through photos, videos and updates from Keziah, we were able to watch the The Lord’s vision come together.

October 5 –  h.o.w? Ministry rented and filled a local theatre to watch the Mully movie,  a wonderfully made documentary about the life and ministry of Charles Mully, father to the fatherless in Kenya.  If you haven’t seen it you’ll want to be sure you do. Visit for more information.

November 5  – We participated in MissionFest where h.o.w? Ministry was one of more than 50 area ministries showcased. Volunteers at the event packed 100,000 Kids Against Hunger meals to send to children in need in Haiti.

December 2 – We held our annual Christmas Open House, where many in our area came to learn about the widows and artisans who create the handmade jewelry, baskets, ornaments, art and household items we sell. This day is a favorite and we look forward to seeing dear friends and meeting new ones who come to shop and sponsor a widow and her family for Christmas.

December 23 – Christmas came to Kinangop when Keziah and her family delivered the sponsored gifts for our widows and their families:  bread, tea, sugar, flour, cooking oil, soap, lotion, beans, rice and a chicken.

January 9-11, 2018 – We held our 4th annual Arise Women’s Conference in Kinangop at the h.o.w? Ministry Women’s Empowerment Center.  We began by dedicating the h.o.w? Ministry Kenya Headquarters and Women’s Empowerment Center to the use and glory of God.  The sweetest reunion took place as our team and the widows greeted each other. After a time of praise and worship led by the widows they began to speak of what a difficult year 2017 was for them due to the severe drought. They were appreciative of the emergency food donated by sponsors this spring, when many of them had little to eat or feed their families. God heard their prayers and answered them through many sponsors from the USA.

One of the widows, Julia W., shared how she had begun selling dry goods and flour in her shop. She told of many women in her village who came to her shop needing help because they had nothing to feed their children, many of whom were crying at night because they were so hungry. Julia said she gave away all of her store inventory. Her store is currently closed because she gave all of her food that was for sale to those in need. That’s just one of the amazing testimonies we heard. These women who have so little in money and things are filled with so much love, mercy and generosity.

We gave each widow one of 31 sheep donated by sponsors on Day 2 of the conference.  The women were excited to learn hands-on new skills of how to shear a sheep, how to card the wool, spin it into yarn, then wash and dye the yarn in preparation for weaving.  Water is heated on a fire before adding dye and salt, then it is put back on the fire for more heating and stirring before it is pulled out, cooled, wrung and hung out to dry.

We took the widows’ walk to visit the homes of our dear women, distributed clothing and dental kits, enjoyed morning tea breaks, and ate lunch together each day while our friendships continued to grow and our hearts were knit even closer together.

After ward, the team enjoyed a  2-day safari on the Masai Mara where they saw all 5 Big Five animals: leopard, lion, elephant, water buffalo and the rare black rhino.

The last week we spent at Children’s Garden Home and School, where friendships deepened through conversations and play. The team took individual pictures of students, teachers, staff and class photos for the 2018 Yearbook that h.o.w? Ministry board members Julie Wolpers and Janet Elliott created. Julie also brought power strips and mousepads for the computer lab and helped their technician identify working computers and monitors from those that needed repair.  The children entertained us with their athleticism, dancing and singing talents by performing for our team.

April 21 – More than 80 people came out to support our 5th annual 5K Run/Walk For The Least of These at La Croix church.  We could not do it without the generous support of our 5K sponsors:

Great Commission Sponsors

  • Cheryl Mothes, Edward Jones
  • Medicap Pharmacy, Cape Girardeau
  • Cape Girardeau Urology Associates, Dr James Outman III

Least of These Sponsors

  • Cape Girardeau Honda
  • Bruce & Lorna Gibbar
  • Larry D. Boyer, CPA

Servant Sponsors

  • Patrick Furniture
  • The Limbaugh Firm
  • Alliance Bank
  • Bank of Missouri
  • RE/MAX – The Tracey Hagan Team
  • Nip Kelley Construction
  • Mike Jones State Farm
  • Anchor Pointe Wealth Management LLC
  • Chap Arnold Insurance Agency, Inc.

Justice Sponsors

  • Mollie Paperie
  • Bennett Family Dentistry
  • Myra Sander, Ritter Real Estate
  • Kyle McDonald, Farmer’s Insurance

In-Kind Sponsors

  • La Croix Church
  • My Daddy’s Cheesecake Food Giant
  • Julie Wolpers
  • Hillin and Company
  • Plaza Tire Service
  • Muy Bueno
  • Barrel 131
  • Wings Etc.
  • Starbucks

In May, our dear Keziah was featured in Flourish magazine’s Summer 2018 edition.  Written by the editor, Mia Pohlman, the article on Keziah discusses what inspires her, issues women face in rural Kenya, and her passion for serving the least of these as the Kenya Coordinator for h.o.w? Ministry.

May 10 – h.o.w? Ministry participated in the third annual Flourish Ladies Night Out, a celebration of women who live and work in Southeast Missouri. We enjoyed an evening with friends as they shopped, sampled foods, watched demonstrations, and learned more about living their best life.

Saying thank you for your continued support seems inadequate.  Your prayers, service and financial contributions are empowering women, saving children and fighting poverty, Together, Keziah, the h.o.w? Ministry Board of Directors, and I wish to express how grateful we are that God allows us, together with you, to serve Him through h.o.w? Ministry.

Please visit our website at to read more about our widows and our travels there, view jewelry, baskets and more available for purchase in our online shop, or to make a tax-deductible donation.

For the least of these,

Michelle Outman
Founder and Executive Director, h.o.w? Ministry
helping orphans and widows