She lives in the slums of Kariobangi in Nairobi, Kenya, but through her work with Have Hope, she is able to afford food, clothing, pay her rent, and pay for her children’s school fees.
Hilda is a widow and a mother to 11 children.
When we arrived to her home, she was outside working on another batch of paper bead bracelets. Her hands were hard at work. She takes pride in what she does and she loves that she is able to not only do something she loves, but also be able to support her family through it.
When we asked Hilda how we could be praying for her, she simply asked (as any mother would), to pray for her children. To pray that they grow up to be strong, smart, and spiritually sound. She asked us to pray that they focus and do well in school and that they do not drop out. Child truancy in the slums is rampant and keeping kids motivated to stay in school is a challenge, but Hilda is setting an example for her children.
Our first and second days in Kenya we spent time with Maureen and Oliver from Mercy House and they took us around to introduce us to some of the artisans and we even got to visit the Mercy House homes. You guys know how much I love Mercy House as I’ve talked about them a bunch before, but after seeing the work they are doing firsthand, I can honestly say that this is one of the most remarkable ministries I have ever come across.
This is what the paper beads look like BEFORE they become paper beads… They are cut into strips of paper, rolled up, glued, and varnished.
And this is the end result… beautiful artwork that was made with loving hands and provides opportunity, employment, and dignity to women.
These are some of the women from the Have Hope artisan group. The joy among them was contagious! They have overcome so much and together, through their work, they have formed a community of women who encourage, lead, support, teach, strengthen, challenge, and love each other.
The last few days here in Kenya have been tough, but good. Long, but rewarding. Productive and encouraging. I will share more about some of the other projects we are working on as soon as I even begin to wrap my mind around articulating them in a way that does them justice.
Our team was so honored to be able to spend time with Maureen and Oliver our first few days here and really just listen and learn from their experiences and their wisdom.
We have a few days left here and I am just asking for prayer for strength as some of our days are tough and long. It’s hot and soooooo dusty (I can’t even begin to tell you how dusty). But the old and familiar relationships that we are continuing to strengthen and the new relationships we are forming are so important and so meaningful.
I am so thankful. So so thankful.