First United Methodist Church

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News & Devotions

Panua – Post #6

From Pastor David~

We have had a tremendous week in Naivasha!  Kenya is a beautiful country with warm and friendly people.  The Panua staff has welcomed us with open arms and has made sure that we have been immersed in their ministry each day.  Truly Panua brings hope!

One of the most powerful images of this for me, was watching the transformation of a young woman named Teresa. We met her Monday along with her Panua youth group.  Polite but very shy, she would not make eye contact and would hold her hand over her mouth when she spoke – even when we encouraged her to smile. Through stilted conversation we learned that she dreamed of having her own hair salon.  But she was clearly struggling. Later we learned that her primary caregiver, her grandmother, had recently died.  We encouraged her and shared our love for her.  Susie did an excellent job at connecting with Teresa as a loving mother.

On Tuesday we saw Teresa at her Panua beautician school.  When she saw us she smiled slightly and waved. Then she caught herself and started to draw back. We continued to encourage her and let her know that we did care.

On Wednesday Teresa  came out to greet us. Scott and Roy asked her to show us what she was doing. Roy even asked her to add a braid to his hair.  When we left Teresa was smiling and chatting with us, excited to show someone what she was learning.  The change in 3 days was amazing!

I know there is much that has to come yet in Teresa’s life.  But it was clear that there is power in knowing others are interested and that they care about you.  Add to that job training and a community network that supports you undersigned in the love of Christ and you begin to have hope!

This is just one snapshot of what Panua is doing in hundreds of lives!  Thank you for all you are doing to support this Kingdom work!