December 2, 2013 by dianahom
By, Amy Rogers
Empowering Lives International we have had the blessing and privilege of serving with Michelle Kiprop for the last eight years in ministry. We are grateful for the many ways that God has used Michelle to bring hope and healing to so many in Kenya. In October, Michelle, along with her husband William and son Ryan launched a new ministry called Hope Matters. Michelle will continue to fulfill her calling and passion to bring comprehensive healthcare to needy communities throughout Kenya. We are grateful to the Kiprop family and all that they have contributed to the ministry of Empowering Lives over the last eight years. We pray God’s abundant blessing on their family and new ministry. We look forward to all that God will do through the work and ministry of Hope Matters in the years to come.
November 27, 2013 by LoriEaton
Meet Debbi Hawney. Debbi is an ELI alumna, having traveled to Kenya in both 2010 and 2012 as well as a great champion of the ministry. Debbi’s love for God and her desire to see people worldwide come to know Him and be empowered is inspiring. As she has faithfully followed God, through both the good times and the difficult, He has used her to impact many lives for His kingdom. (more…)
November 14, 2013 by dianahom
Riziki and Chantal stand in front of their home
She answered our questions with no hint of emotion. It was almost as if she was numb to the pain and poverty that is the reality of her life, so, I was surprised when her answers were filled with hope.
“Do you sometimes feel God’s Love?”
“How do you feel God’s love?”
“He takes care of me and rescues me from my problems.”
Chantal has hope even though her circumstances speak otherwise.
She rents a six foot by six foot wooden shack in the middle of a slum in Bukavu, D.R. Congo. (more…)
November 12, 2013 by dianahom
On Sunday, November 17, North Hills Community Church is hosting a blood drive through Blood for Missions. This blood drive will benefit ELI’s ministries because for every pint donated, $20 will be given to sponsor a child for 2 months in ELI’s South Sudan School! For more details, visit northhills.us or call 909-945-5440.
Date: Sunday, November 17
Time: show up anytime between 10 am – 2 pm
Place: 10601 Church St., Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
*To donate, you must be 17 years old (16 if a parent is present), healthy, have no tattoos in the past year or have traveled to any malaria-risk areas in the past year.
November 7, 2013 by dianahom
By Colleen Costigan, Professional Volunteer
Meet Sandra Cherop
Sandra and I bonded right away when I was in Kenya for one month last year. Why? I carried her on my back from the medical clinic to the Children’s Home. She was so ill with malaria she couldn’t make the two-kilometer walk.
From that point on, we were good friends. And I think we would both agree that saying goodbye last year was difficult.
October 17, 2013 by dianahom
We drove out to an open field to see a war plane. I honestly didn’t know why we were doing that or what to expect. The car was parked on the dirt road and all of us climbed out. I followed our Sudanese friends through the dry field and started to recognize remnants of a plane in the distance. The colors it was painted camouflaged itself in the tall dry grass. When we got to the plane, we all began to examine it, climb on it and talk about it.
How did it get here? (more…)
October 10, 2013 by dianahom
By, Colleen Costigan, Professional Volunteer
Meet Mercy Chelimo
I think God must have divinely inspired her mother and father when they selected a name for their daughter. I can’t think of a more fitting name. Mercy’s eyes exude just that, a spirit of mercy and compassion. And if you make eye contact with her or tell her a joke or do something to get her to smile, you will see her face light up the entire room. Chelimo is her Kalenjin tribal name which means “born when taking the cows from being fed”. (more…)
October 3, 2013 by dianahom
I learned this saying in history classes throughout my school days as a child and into college: “Those who don’t learn the past are doomed to repeat it.” There are some great events and people in the past we learn about and want to repeat or emulate, but, there are also events and people we learn of that we don’t want to be influenced by. It wasn’t until I stood on the very soil where millions of people were killed that the wise saying I learned sank in.
My colleagues and I had a layover in Kigali, Rwanda, on our way to Bukavu, D.R. Congo, to visit ELI’s school. Micah and I decided to take the short drive to the Kigali Genocide Memorial. To be honest, I didn’t know much about what had happened in Rwanda and why so many people were massacred in 1994. As I stood looking at the mass graves below, I couldn’t believe that it all happened when I was 11 years old! Genocide happens in my lifetime? I was shocked! I thought that was something of the past like when I learned about the Holocaust in world history classes. Even that seemed far removed even though it happened during the time period when my grandparents were born.
Mass graves located at the Rwandan Genocide Memorial
- What caused this modern day genocide and why was it hitting me so hard? (more…)
October 2, 2013 by dianahom
By Colleen Costigan, Professional Volunteer
Meet Stellah Jepchirchir.
Stellah’s mom died when she was seven months old in a motor accident.
Her father’s identity is unknown so her Aunt Margaret took over her care. Stellah knew her Aunt Margaret as mom.
When Stellah was six, she was told to pack a bag for boarding school, which is very common in Kenya. She was excited for the opportunity to go to school! Stellah didn’t realize she was going to a Children’s Home until she saw all the kids welcome her at the gate. (more…)
September 26, 2013 by dianahom
By Colleen Costigan, Professional Volunteer
Multiple times over the last year people have asked me what I did last summer in Kenya and then of course what I will be doing in the year ahead. I usually explain that part of my job will be spending time with the orphans at the Children’s Home in Kipkaren – helping them with English, with homework, and just spending one on one time getting to know them.
I say “I’ll be living with 100 orphans” like its no big deal, as though the word orphan has become a part of my every day vocabulary.
When I catch myself saying orphan so nonchalantly, I’m often shaken back into reality when I see the reaction of those I tell.
You mean they are all orphans?
You mean both of their parents are dead?
You mean they were left abandoned and unattended and didn’t have anyone to take care of them?
I see the look on your face, as you try to process what that means. (more…)
September 19, 2013 by dianahom
Our team of 8 boarded onto the small plane and took up every seat available to fly into South Sudan. We packed lightly as the plane could only hold a limited amount of weight. As the plane sped down the runway, I had no idea what was ahead of us. I was warned that it would be hot, but, I didn’t realize there would be no reprieve from the hot sun. As we flew over the land, I saw that it was flat, dry and held very few trees and plants. As the time went by and the more I looked out the window, I realized we were far from any comforts of modern civilization and in the middle of “nowhere”. (more…)
September 5, 2013 by dianahom
Bukavu is a city in the Southern Kivu province in D.R. Congo (DRC). It shares a border with Rwanda and has been plagued by war for many years; a war caused by various groups trying to gain power, territory and protect its own interests. To this day there is still instability within the country and tensions run high. Within Bukavu, there are several zones; one of those zones is Keredi, and that is where ELI’s school is located. (more…)
August 30, 2013 by dianahom
We are looking for more sponsors to support the children in our schools in Africa. We are about half-way there to fully sponsor the children. As families across the nation and world start shopping to go back to school, please remember the children in our schools who are also going back to school.
$30 will pay for 3 children in a slum in DR Congo or village in South Sudan to attend ELI’s schools for one month.
Educating children will educate the community. These children take what they have learned back home and teach their families. Receiving an education also increases their future earning potential by 10-20% thus helping their future and their future family. Worldwide it is proven that education helps break the cycle of poverty within generations as children learn about hygiene and how to better take care of themselves, girls learn about motherhood and other life skills are learned.
August 28, 2013 by Micah Albert
The sound of the plane was deafening and terrifyingly familiar. Though they never knew for sure where it came from or where it was going next, one thing was certain: when the Antanov airplane from Northern Sudan flies overhead, it could be the last sound you ever hear. People were about to die.
For 23 years, the people of South Sudan lived an anxious existence. Years of concern for your own survival and that of your family’s survival developed more ulcers than farms. There is no time or place to cultivate the land when a war is at your door. Life became a nomadic existence where you prayed to see the next day and where you were fortunate if you had a big enough hole in the ground to hide in.
Fighting continues along some of the North and South borders, but the civil war that raged for decades has come to an end. July 9, 2011 brought hundreds of thousands to the newly constructed “Freedom Square” in the temporary capital city of Juba, South Sudan. Front and center in the square is a massive array of flags from around the world. In the middle, however, there was a new pole that rose higher than the rest. It would become the tallest flag, the flag of the new South Sudan. When the flag went up, people fell down. Ambulances were at the waiting as many people, so overwhelmed by the reality of independence and what the potential of freedom could mean, had their knees buckle, fainting from the combination of heat, anticipation, memories of the past, hopes for the future and just sheer joy.
August 14, 2013 by admin
God has blessed us with a very important opportunity to change not only the environment in a community but to change the futures for needy and suffering lives here in East Africa. Your care and investment in this project will help in so many ways. The timing is crucial because right now is the rainy season and the absolute best window for us to move into action.
July 29, 2013 by LoriEaton
Written by Sarah Ackerly
A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This, too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?
I count myself very fortunate to have experienced the truth of this verse during my time as volunteer with ELI. I was given the opportunity to use my artwork to create murals around the ELI campus in Ilula as well as in Kipkaren’s Brook of Faith Elementary School. Every day that I painted ended with a sense of real satisfaction, and I thanked God for bringing me to Kenya and allowing me to do work that makes my heart glad.
July 11, 2013 by dianahom
Are you home this summer with no plans?
Are you looking for a way to do something fulfilling that will impact Africa while staying in the USA?
We would love your help! Join the AWESOME team of ELI volunteers!
We are in need of volunteers this summer and throughout the year. You could be doing things such as:
– Assemble mailings and stuff packets or envelopes
– Data entry
– Write child profiles or other materials
– Be a voice for those in need by becoming an Ambassador for ELI
Fill out a Volunteer Application
July 5, 2013 by dianahom
Do you want to make a difference using the skills you have?
Do you have a heart to connect people from all over the world?
Are you organized and detail-oriented?
Can you commit to spending at least 1-2 hours a week in our office in Upland, CA?
If you answered yes to all of the questions above, you may be the person we are looking for! We are currently looking for a volunteer/intern to help manage and improve our Pen-Pal Program, providing an opportunity for caring individuals to get to know a child in one of the ELI children’s home in Kenya. If you would like to apply for this internship opportunity, fill out an APPLICATION. We look forward to hearing from you!
June 21, 2013 by dianahom
Our Ilula Children’s Home director, Laban, was phoned by another local Children’s Home in Kitale. They wanted to visit our Children’s Home and organize a debate with some of the children from each home. The topic to be debated would be, “Secondary School (High School) is the only way to success”. (more…)
June 19, 2013 by LoriEaton
Written by Tori Greaves, Intern
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:25-26
I cannot count the number of times I have heard these verses, either in a sermon, as a word of encouragement, or as a challenge. But because of the way we live in America, it is a hard concept to grasp. We are always saving and planning. And thanks to things like retirement funds and insurance, we may never have to wonder how we will eat or where we will live; let alone what will we eat tomorrow. Instead, we have to be creative when applying this passage to our own lives, asking ourselves questions like, “Will I still have this job next year?”, “Should I go back to school?”, or “Will I be able to provide the right opportunities for my children?” But whatever the question, the command is still the same: trust in the Lord, for He is the one who provides and sustains. But to actually build up that trust within our hearts, perhaps we could use some help from those to whom God’s sustaining power has been made unmistakably clear.
A few weeks ago at the Ilula Children’s Home, the kitchen noticed that they were running low on corn flour which they use to make ugali—a staple food for all Kenyans. Because of the rising costs of school fees and food in Kenya, ELI staff has worked hard to save wherever possible to make ends meet financially. Since corn flour is universal, and also a huge business for companies here, it is a simple and acceptable way for fellow Kenyans to give to one another. For this reason, the Children’s Home solicits donations from churches and local businesses, allowing them to support the Children’s Homes and be part of what ELI is doing. This, alongside other initiatives like bread-making and tree-planting, are all part of an overall plan to help the Children’s Home become self-sustainable.
This time, however, the donations of corn flour had run out. (more…)