Heifer Update for Oct. 5, 2020
Today we will visit Benjamin Masembi Kyengo from Kenya. Benjamin lived a hard life before Heifer. He was married at 22, had 3 children, and worked on the dock – loading and unloading cargo for low pay. With his savings he bought a gas stove, not knowing it had been stolen. One of the men who had stolen it pointed the finger at Benjamin. He spent 2 years in jail in a room with 100 inmates and ate 1 meal a day. Visitors were only allowed once a year.
Upon release he learned his 9 year old son had died. He, his wife and two young children moved out of the city. In 2003 his wife, Agnus contracted pneumonia and died. He was then loading and unloading tractors for a living. “Life was too difficult,” he said, “So I left that job and started repairing shoes.”
Benjamin was a devout Christian and became a preacher. He met Serah while traveling with his church. They married later and adopted two orphans. Heifer International had been in contact with him and started him in a new business venture. Furnishing him seeds to raise Brachiaria, which is very good cow fodder and very drought resistant. And it actually increased milk yields. The family now earns $400 from twice-yearly harvests, selling their fodder to members of the dairy co-op. Next, Serah says she wants to buy a cow and earn additional income.
Benjamin is happy to be learning new skills and developing a business that will sustain his family in the coming years. Both parents and children live by “Heifers – 12 cornerstones for just and sustainable developments.” They regularly share their Brachiaria with neighbors. One daughter, Annastacia, hopes to become a nurse, and said her parents have taught her “To love one another.” As should we all!
Heifer Update for Oct. 12, 2020
I received word today that our Heifer Representative, Lindsay Duvall was just released from the hospital after receiving treatment for COVID-19. Four days in the hospital and now 14 days of self-quarantine. Please join me with prayers for Lindsay, for a full recovery.
Pastor John announced in this morning’s service that Heifer International had matched our donations of 4 Irrigation Pumps and 1 Gift of Water for Life. Well, I have received the news that they have also matched the donations of another 3 Irrigation Pumps. I think that between Lakeview and Heifer, we have retired 14 young girls of their daily chore of fetching water for the crops. I can envision the smiles on their faces as they now attend school. (many for the first time). What a blessing you have been throughout this program.
Heifer Update for Oct. 19, 2020
It isn’t always about cows, goats, pigs, chickens and others. Sometimes it’s about small insects called cochinillas that grow on nopal cactus. They are famous for the deep red coloring of the carminic acid they produce to repel predators. That liquid is the foundation of a unique red dye that is used in Guatemalan’s lively textiles.
Rosalinda Tay Mendoza continued the heritage of her families dyeing process. She said they used leaves and tree bark and conuinillas.
Heifer helped Rosalinda to raise cochinillas on imported nopal cactus. With Heifer training, she became an expert in cochinilla production. The vivid colors of the dyes has allowed her and her group to design many beautiful and unique garments.
But just like many Heifer recipients, Rosalinda has gone further, she envisions using cochinillas for cosmetics like lipstick and blush. Heifer doesn’t know which came first, the cochinillas or the vibrant talents and tenacity of Rosalinda Tay Mendoza.
Heifer Update for Oct. 26, 2020
That note was from a 15 year old in Bangladesh. Her mother, Aeysha, fled an abusive marriage with Amina when she was a baby. She worked hard hours in the field, but it wasn’t enough. She couldn’t afford food for Amina, and not even a thought of her going to school. But, a Gift of Chicks gave them a start.
Amina is now thriving in school, her mother a leader in the community. Aeysha helped found a co-op, is vice-president and shares her gifts with others in need. She passes on seeds and animals. She teaches courses on animal management, sewing and more. Their wish now is that we continue to stand by those in need.