Greetings from Kenya! Today is the third day in our journey to give our Pastors David Miller, Scott Smith, and Roy Terry a glimpse of Panua; the OVC (youth of Panua), the neighborhoods they live in, the groups that they now call their families, and the businesses they are doing to make a sustainable life for themselves and their siblings.
This morning we visited some of the businesses the youth are training for. We saw furniture making, welding, group gardens and a hair salon. We also visited the KCC group and took a tour of the community including the garden they farm for an income generating activity for their group. One of the highlights was the house that Panua built for Joseph. It is certainly the nicest house in the community and you can see how proud he is to show it off by the smile on his face.
After eating lunch at one of the favorite local establishments, Mother’s Kitchen, we went far into the hill country to see the home of George Munene. Most of you have already been introduced to George. He is the youth that we show in our Panua video (click here to watch) which explains how he lived with his 3 siblings in their grandfather’s house and had little to eat since he was only doing small jobs. Panua gave him some support of onions and potatoes. Within a short period of time he had doubled his crop and the amount of money he was making. He was on his way to being a successful farmer and grateful for the support he had through his participation in Panua.
Today, Larry Brown (Panua board member since its inception) and I witnessed how God has truly used Panua to change a life. George is one of the first Panua graduates. When he started in 2010 he was living in a mud house lined with newspaper. Now, 6 years later, he has a farm of 8 acres, which is large in Kenya, 6 cows, 3 sheep, chickens galore, fields of onions, maize, potatoes and something else. He employs 9 people to help him work the farm. He has connected solar panels to his house to provide electricity and has multiple rainwater collectors for irrigation. He now has a house, a barn, and several other buildings. George, his wife, and 2 daughters are one of Panua’s great success stories!
Larry and I have seen Panua come a LONG way. I think we were both overcome with emotion as we walked through George’s fields, petted his cows, took pictures of his beautiful wife with one of their daughters, and saw the face of a man who was truly grateful for what Panua has done. All we could do was just put our arms around each other and cry. Not only was George grateful, but we were, too. Panua IS a transformational ministry for all! God is good!
-Susie Rush, Panua Board Member (2010-present)