Preserving a family in crisis

What does it look like when a vulnerable family’s first line of support is their own local church? What does it look like when a non-profit plays second fiddle and merely supports the heart and the efforts of those within the local community? This is the territory that Kingdom Families and our partnering churches live in.

At the end of February, Kingdom Families got a visit from Pastor Evarist Samson of Hebron Revival Church in Bonite village. Pastor Evarist is a valued member of our community and the chairman of Global-Effect’s pastoral network. We had already heard through his wife that there had been a death in their church and we were grieved to hear.

A man from their church had a wife and three kids and was employed at a local produce job. In Bonite, there is a large carrot business and one of the important jobs is washing the carrots in the stream that runs through the front of the village. Alongside other men day after day, he got into the water for hours on end and washed carrots which were then sold by the women of the community. One day in February, he became sick very suddenly and tragically passed away in a matter of days of a water-borne illness. His wife and three children ages 8, 6 and 3 were suddenly widowed and fatherless.

Pastor Evarist Samson with his wife Aingaya and three children.

In sub-Saharan Africa there is a violent exchange between poverty and death that leads to immense family separation. Impoverished people take risky jobs or lack access to health care which then leads to death. When death happens, the family then goes deeper into poverty which just exacerbates their whole life cycle. Death and poverty back and forth, back and forth.

From the moment the father passes away, a family such as this becomes susceptible to separation. Many women in her situation, due to the sudden death and poverty that surrounds them quickly react by placing their children in an orphanage to ensure material provision for her kids and alleviate her own economic hardship.

What’s the solution? Our philosophy is that the local church is the solution. In a time of need, this recent widow turned for counsel and assistance from her pastor and his wife. To us, Pastor Evarist and Aingaya are the heroes in their community. Already beloved by their church and truly caring for their needs, this couple sought assistance on behalf of this vulnerable family and approached Kingdom Families.

Kingdom Families collaborated with Pastor Evarist on a strategy that would give this woman time to grieve and plan without worrying about the immediate financial burden. We devised a short term support plan that would enable the woman to get back on her feet with the assistance of her church. Kingdom Families sent one of our staff to multiple church services at the church and delivered support while encouraging the widow over a three month period from March to May. In that time, we covered groceries, rent and gave her the necessary capital to start a small business of her own selling carrots.

Because we believe that people are inherently capable and don’t wish to encourage dependency, Kingdom Families prefers short term support to families such as this one from Bonite. All in all, we were able to care for a widow and three orphans for less than $200 over a three month period and see the family preserved and empowered. That is the affordability and effectiveness of family based care. When the final disbursement was given this month, the woman smilingly said to our staff, “let it not be the end of us seeing each other, let’s pray for each other and let’s visit each other.”

We look forward to keeping up with this wonderful mother of three and are grateful for the pastors that are ministering to her in the community. An auntie from her home village has come to stay and help with the kids, so in every way we are seeing God turn loss in to gain. Please join us as we pray for this family and church.

With a glimpse of the social services that we’re leading in Kilimanjaro, we’d love to ask that you give a donation to help families such as this. A one-time donation of $200, or an ongoing donation helps to keep kids in families or be returned to families. As we celebrate mothers today, let’s remember mothers such as this one that was in need and the church, both locally and globally served her and empowered her. You can make a donation by clicking here.

Published by

Brandon Stiver

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, living and working in Moshi, Tanzania. My wife is named Melissa and we have three children: Moses, Promise and Shepherd. We are directors over an orphan care ministry called Kingdom Families; advocating for the needs of orphans and vulnerable children and assisting families to welcome them into their homes as sons and daughters.

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