A Kenyan Widow, a Massive Slum, and Powerful Gospel Light

A Kenyan Widow, a Massive Slum, and Powerful Gospel Light

Gerald Ngaruiya – June 1, 2017

Rising from Poverty through Biblical Solutions

When her husband died, Elisheba, a 40-year-old widow, struggled to raise her 5 children. She’s one of many rural Kenyans who migrated to Nairobi in search of a better life, only to face the high cost of living in a big city. Elisheba scrambled to feed her family, provide for their medical needs and keep up with rising rent in a one-room, iron-sheet home in Nairobi’s vast Mathare slum. Thousands of people in the slum rely on low-paying jobs such as washing clothes for neighbors or selling food on the roadside, never able to rise above crushing poverty. They also lack basic services such as clean water, proper drainage or public schools.

Today, however, Elisheba is rising from the ashes of poverty, thanks to local ministries that partner with World Poverty Solutions. Elisheba first received support when she was brought by a friend to Light Tabernacle Centre, a local community church in the slum supported by WPS. Pastor David and the congregation helped her buy food and enrolled her children in Mathare Light Academy, a school run by the church.

Elisheba then benefited from another ministry, a program designed to help struggling people lift themselves from poverty and become self-sustaining. The program is called “table banking groups,” a community-based savings-and-loan program. Pastor David helped start five groups, rallying community members to pool their resources to help each other avoid catastrophes, start businesses, and increase their income.

Through her table-banking group, Elisheba was able to save 50 cents every week. That helped her pay for her daughter’s high school education. The group also helped Elisheba start a business selling small earthen pots designed for cooking and growing flowers. Today Elisheba leads her table-banking group, where she saves her increasing income and helps make loans to others. And her business is growing. She plans to recruit 9 other women from her neighborhood to join her in selling the earthen pots.

Elisheba’s story of change resonates with many in her community. “She is a testimony,” says Pastor David. Elisheba’s daughter, who was able to attend high school, is a Sunday school teacher at Light Tabernacle, serving in the same church that transformed life for her family.

It has all been made possible with your help. Thank you for bringing gospel hope to the most impoverished, helping them rise to abundant life.