|Jeff, Richard, and myself.|
We then traveled to Kakamega, a city of about 100,000 persons, to meet the business owners from the Deliverance Church. We really enjoyed the worship and the service, especially because they sing some songs in English and translate the message as well! One thing that was very unique about this church was the way they give their tithe. The picture to the left shows Pastor Charles Keya (who attended the second BAM class that I taught) receiving the envelopes of tithe from each person. Everyone giving a tithe lines up and places it directly in the Pastors hand. He spends a few seconds with each person, warmly greeting them, sharing a few words, laughter, thanking them for their faithfulness, and the person then finds their seat. I found it fascinating to watch. I've seen many different churches handle tithing differently - many processes which have made me squirm. But there was something about this - about giving your tithe to a person, rather than a plate, to a person who represents the church and the ministry, that was special and unique. There was something about the affirmation received in that. And undoubtedly, in the 52 subsequent business visits that we made over the next few days, over and over again, the businesses told us about how important tithing is to them. Maybe this church is on to something. It's true that our tithe is between us and God, but there is definitely a community aspect to it as well. The tithe was in envelopes so there was no evaluation of the gift, just a receiving with a smile, a hug, and a kind, encouraging word.
The businesses that we met with were a wide, wide range of service industry, retail, wholesale, manufacturing, and some farming. Many were very solid SMEs (small and medium size entrepreneurs) with 20+ employees. Several were small businesses and a handful were micro-businesses. We will begin teaching their class on October 27 and will travel to Kakamega every week for 12 weeks to teach each component. The church had 120 businesses ready to take the class, but we decided to split it into two groups of 60 each. The first class that I teach will be in English only, and the subsequent class will be in Swahili. I'm very relieved that it is English only as it allows a lot more content to be covered rather than losing time in translation! For the pilot project, we needed to conduct a baseline survey to assess where the businesses are prior to starting the training. Let me introduce you to some of the businesses.
|Ushindi Snacks operates out of a very cramped building. Here we see some of the mandazi (Kenyan fried bread that are eaten with chai on a daily basis) being produced.|
|And here the women are bagging the baked goods for delivery.|
|Jeff interviews Keziah, owner of Rejoice Boutique, a successful clothing store that has been open for twenty years.|
I am in need of a prayer partner for each business going through this training. A prayer partner will pray for a business for the twelve weeks of class, praying through each aspect of the training as the business owner works to apply it to his or her business. If you are interested in being a prayer partners, or are interested in more information, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Lastly, a picture of a truck we drove behind for a bit. Since these huge logs were not tied down in any way, I decided I'd rather pass than stay behind. Unfortunately, as I passed, the road narrowed, with a two foot drop off on the side so I had to inch very close to the truck. Poor Jeff ducked as he thought the log (on the right) was going right into our car. We thank God for traveling mercies daily here!