Sewing projects, goats and school fees

I received this letter today from Rev Wang. My reply follows after the 2 photos :

Dear Reverend Mary,
I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ. I have paid the tuition fees for those children. I  have also bought uniform for the others. And i hope they do well in school..

Water hyacinth (as free chicken feed)  is not found at our place, it can be found in Lake Victoria far from Us. Instead we are using the chicken feeds from the shops. The chicken we have are layers but the eggs are used for incubation. At first we bought three dozen of chicks,now they are 120 chickens, and we have sold 50 chickens. Chicken feeds are very expensive for us but we are trying.

And we have build a goat’s house. Goats can feed from from under zero grazing. From the pictures you will see those five 5 goats.We bought  4 goats, and now we have 5 goats.The manager will be Lucy Nyambura (in the picture), she is a good manager and a good teacher.

The sewing machines are used in veranda because we don’t have buildings for them so we pay the space in veranda.There is  a plot (50 by 100) nearby that someone want to sale. The plot cost 1500 Dollars and is paid in two installment.   So if you can help us with that cash we can buy the plot and we use for both worship and projects.

Thank you and Please reply.

About the widows and children, are all well. God Bless you.

Reverend Wangai

My reply:

Dear Rev. Wangai,
Thank you for your letter and the pictures. I am glad to now you are selling some chickens to make some money to help pay for chicken feed. Could you possibly also sell some eggs to help pay for the feed? Then you would be getting some money every day from the eggs. 
Is it possible for the children to find some leafy greens and bring them back to the chickens? Or are they already free-range chickens? Your flock has grown quite a bit and that is wonderful. 
I am glad to know the sewing projects are doing well. The goat pen looks very nice. I especially appreciated the care that someone put into preparing the long branches to use them as poles for the fence wall. It is very nicely done.
I am sorry to say that I do not have money to fund the purchase of the plot, but I will let some people know about the opportunity. 
Thank you again for all you are doing for the ladies and the children.
God bless you.
Rev. Mary


Rev.  Wangai told me earlier this spring that sadly, one of the widows had died, leaving behind 6 children.  He asked if funds could be sent to cover the school fees and uniforms of these orphans.  In my reply, I asked him for an update on how the projects were going with the sewing, goats and chickens.

I have forwarded him some money to cover the school fees and uniforms of these orphans, and  little extra to cover some feed for the chickens.  I used some of my own money for this, plus I had a few small checks left over from the last time I raised fund for the Kushona sisters.

Rev Wangai’s ministry is for AIDS widows with children, and so he may need our help from time to time to cover the school fees and uniforms of the orphans. I am hoping the sewing projects can help fund the food and basic care of the orphans.  Please let me know if you would like to contribute toward a fund for these things.

He writes:  “…The  tailoring  project gives us some cash for food. The  project has really  changed the lives of  these women...”

I realize it might be good to have a modest account set up where I could keep some funds to cover these items as they come up. I would love to see them to be self sufficient eventually – but I think they might need a boost like this from time to time. If you would like to contribute, my address is listed in the “About” page.


Mary Kretzmann


Letter from Rev. Wangai:

Dear  Rev,  Mary.
Greetings  in the name of  Jesus  Christ. I  happy to let you know that i received your letter.The letter i sent you had pictures of orphans and widows while i am giving  them food.The  tailoring  project gives us some cash for food. I  also  walk out  looking  for  tenders for the tailoring  project.The  project has really  changed the lives of  these women.Goats are well and there is food from the fields and we also buy little from the  shops. Chicken food is what is now costing much.I  am asking if we can get money and buy school uniforms for the orphans so that they can join others.The students  can as well join this semester if we get money for school uniform and fees.I have sent you the picture again, kindly  let me know if you are able to open it. Church and women do remember you in prayers.

God  Bless you,
Rev.   Wangai

And here is my reply to him:

Dear Rev. Wangai,

Thank you for the update and photos.  I am glad to know some money is coming in from the sewing projects. That is very good. And I very pleased to know that the goats are fed from the fields.  Thank you for managing these projects so well, on top of your  other ministerial duties. As time  goes on, please tell me if any of the ladies can help manage some of the projects, under your supervision.

Your mentioned some problems with affording food for the chickens. Has the chicken feed gotten more expensive? There is worldwide inflation on the cost of food right now, unfortunately. I think grains have really gone up, and this would affect the cost of chicken feed. How many chickens do you now have? Are they laying eggs? Can you sell some eggs to cover the cost of feed?

I found this interesting story, but I don’t know if you have water hyacinths nearby.
Kenya farmer uses water hyacinth for chicken feed

I am sending you some money to help the  children get back into school with new uniforms, as needed.

Please give my love to all.

Love in Christ,

Rev. Mary

2 More Goats!

Dear Friends,

I received this e-mail this morning with a picture of the 2 new goats. The new chicks will arrive soon. Thank you for all the good you have done! Rev Wangai mentions that the sewing project is going well. In my next letter I will ask for details on the sewing.

I will be sending a small gift of money for Christmas as it approaches. This will help him to give a modest Christmas party for the children, as well as provide for some expenses that come up as these projects develop. At this point the goats are not producing milk (or therefore, money).

He rented a nearby 1/2 acre of land with some “semi-permanent” structures on it (huts?). Anyway – he will plant napier grass on it for the goats. There is also “bore hole” water on the land (a well). All this he got for $50.00 a year! But to buy the plot would coast $5000.00! So I said – well – renting sounds pretty good!

Recently I have suggested that he teach his congregation this daily affirmation:

Daily affirmation:
Focus deeply at the spiritual eye, and repeat three times:

“I will with my own will, which flows from the divine will, to be healthy, to be well, to be prosperous and spiritual, to be well, to be well.”

Paramhansa Yogananda

Date: Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 2:33 AM
Subject: goats

Dear Rev Mary,
Receive greetings in the name of our lord Jesus Christ. We are very happy to let you know of the progress, this morning we managed to procure the goats and their are very fine animals – good milk grade.

Rev Wangai and a helper - with the 2 new goats

We are sending you the photo. the picture was taken this morning so only one care taker was present.
The new chicks have not yet arrived since they are coming from far. Sewing project is going on very well. The prayers you have been sending are very beneficial and of great help to the women.  There is a great change in their spiritual life.

Receive greeting from the ladies and my family.

God bless you mightily

Rev Wangai

Thank you all again – What a blessed way to start Thanksgiving!

God bless you all!


Mary Kretzmann


More goats & chickens soon!

Dear Friends,

I just sent Rev. Wangai money for 2-3 more goats, and chickens (they already have 2 goats and a dozen chickens)… Your combined generosity has allowed me to do this and help them get up to a moderate goat dairy much more quickly than I had anticipated! Thank you!

It is important to note that without your help – the cost of dairy goats for these widows would be entirely prohibitive. It is life-changing that they have this opportunity now.   You’ll note that I mention the “barn” (really a repaired shed).  I was relieved that they had this shed to fix up – because the cost of building a structure would have escalated the project beyond the scope of this effort.

I  enclose part of my e-mail to him, below. We stay in touch, and he seems to be managing the project well. He understands the principles of delegating practical authority, while yet remaining strong in his spiritual guidance of the congregation.

I have reserved some money to cover the postage costs to send to him the book, The Second Coming of Christ, by Paramhansa Yogananda.  It is already purchased, now I have to wrap  it up securely to send it. I will also include a few other small items in the box. It feels like a blessed event that this book is getting shipped to Kenya. I will coach him from afar – by suggesting a few short passages at a time.  Many Christians in Africa have strong faith, and these blessed words can take that faith to a deeper level.

If any of you would like to go in on a Christmas season gift for the widows and orphans, it would be most appreciated.  A friend of mine said that her relatives will be  doing it together as a family gift.  This is all still a rather informal effort – and please know that 100% of the money goes to this project.

God bless you all.


Mary  Kretzmann

PS – I will post pics soon when he sends of of the news goats and chickens.

Excerpt of my recent e-mail to him:

Dear Rev. Wangai,

…Please use the money to buy 2 goats and many more chickens, plus feed and supplies, OR you may use it to buy 3 goats and a few extra chickens. Please decide according to what makes the most sense to you right now.  If the barn will hold only 10 goats, it may be best for now to simply increase the herd by 2 more, so there will be room for the baby goats, when they are all born. Or – if you decide there is indeed enough room – this is a good time to get 3 new goats. But you can talk it over with your man there who knows about goats, and make the decision.

I have purchased “The Second Coming Of Christ” and I will be preparing a package to send to you.

…Please use this payment in the best possible manner to set up the operation.  You have done very well with the resources so far, so I trust your judgement…

News: Today I will be making a better video of the affirmation, “I will with my own will….” A man in our Ananda Community has better video equipment and he helps us make videos that look more professional. It will also be easier for you to understand what I am saying., and thus easier for you to teach the affirmation.

May the blessings of Christ be ever with you, your family, and your congregation.


Rev. Mary Kretzmann

The new chickens!

Below is photo of Rev. Wangai with two of the widows taking care of the new chickens, which look big and healthy!
I am also getting ready to send him money for more goats, because I have received more money for this. I will sit down this weekend and see what is possible for them, with what has come in.
I’m sorry this note is so short! But I thought a little bit of news is helpful! As Thanksgiving approaches, it warms my heart that we have already helped their lives be more bountiful.
Mary Kretzmann
PS – I also sent Rev Wangai a copy of “The Beatitudes, by Swami Kriyananda” – (scroll down to see it…)
I thought this would be helpful in his ministry.

Sent: Monday, October 25, 2010 4:52 AM
To: Mary Kretzmann
Subject: Greetings

Dear Rev. Mary,
Receive greetings in Jesus name. How are you going on with the ministry. We had a good service yesterday. The women are doing well in the three projects, chicken, goats and machines. I took a photo of the chicks although they were not taken properly they spread in the house, the women there are the ones dealing with the chicken. i will take the chicken only. the sewing material photos has not been complete yet but i will send it as soon as it is ready together with the chicken photo. We are praying for you.

God bless you
Yours Rev. Wangai

Rev Wangai with two of the widows, and the new chickens

The Beatitudes, by Swami Kriyananda

View this document on Scribd

Goats have arrived!


The goats have arrived, and I was also able to send him some extra money for a dozen indigenous hens, and extra sewing material.  There is a bit more money left to send. I am currently on the east coast, and I will send the money once I am back home. I want to see how things go with these new chickens, etc.  I may have enough money for him to get one or  two more goats. (The goat shed can fit 10 goats.) People have been generous. THANK YOU!  We will see how it all goes!

In the photo you can see that these are European style dairy goats, as opposed to the small pigmy style African goats. The pigmy goats are good for a source of meat, for those who care to use it that way – but they are not so great for milking.  These dairy goats are made available by the agricultural institute in Kenya. These were highly recommended for milk production.



PS –  Here is a series of notes from Rev. Wangai .

Sent: Mon 10/4/2010
To: Mary Kretzmann
Subject: Re: Goats

Dear Rev. Mary,
Receive greetings in Jesus name. I am very sorry for delaying the photos.This is
because the camera man delayed me I don’t have my own camera. I am happy to
inform you that I have the goats at home and have taken two photos with a small
group. The women are very happy. even in the photos as I hand over the goats to
them you can see they are very happy.
I have bought materials and I have ordered and paid a dozen hens as soon as I
get them I will send you photos. We had a great service on Sunday.Receive
greetings from our church members and also from the women with a lot of joy.
Receive greetings from my family,the church and the women.
God bless you so much i love you. Waiting to hear from you soon.
Yours Rev. Wangai


To: Mary Kretzmann
Subject: Re: greetings

Dear Rev. Mary,
Receive greetings in Jesus name. Sorry for delaying in replying this email i was
a little busy.I received the money and I thank you so much. I have gone today
and paid for the goats. so I’m just waiting for the delivery of the goats, once
they are delivered i will take a photo and send it to you. We have bought 8
machines at the moment and 5 are the only ones working in the sewing cloths but
three of them are for training. We don’t have any extra money because the money
we got (FROM SELLING PRODUCTS) we used it for the kid’s school fees.

We are getting tenders but we don’t have materials. About the chicken, the Hybrid
chicken are a bit high because a day old chick is 100 Kenya shillings. The chick
will stay for 5 months for it to start laying eggs which will be very expensive,
I prefer we buy the indigenous hens because they also lay eggs and one goes for
$5 and its only one month to laying. therefore it is not very expensive as the
hybrid one.

God bless you,
I will send you a photo of the goats and the children, and another one with the
goats and the women then send it to you.

Receive greetings from my family, church and all the congregation as i wait to
hear from you soon.

God bless you
Yours Rev. Wangai


Dear Rev. Mary,
Receive greetings in Jesus name. I am happy to hear from you.Yesterday we had a
good service and all our churches are going on well. The sewing machines are ok,
the ladies are working hard. I wanted to inform you about the goats, they
started from the central Province, right now these sides they are not many here,
they are very rare, only in the agricultural institutions and I would prefer
that grade because it is the best and it is found on that price only
. They can
not change the prize, they are very expensive but very good breed. because its
productive and the products are good as in milk and meat.

We can buy from other small farmers but they cannot be the hybrid I want so we can waste money on a fake breed that’s why I preferred to buy from the agricultural institution.

I don’t want to quote a less amount and end up not buying the goats that will be wrong.

Pass our greetings to your family, the church and all friends.
yours in the Lord
Rev. Wangai.