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

More Sewing Machines on the way…

Dear Ones,

This is the correspondence I sent along with the money details for the two new machines. Thank you again to Pat T., Lisa C-J, and to Sheila N. for your generosity.

Please keep Rev. Wangai in your prayers for guidance and protection. It is a fairly safe area, but I always get a bit nervous when it is time for him to pick up money for new sewing machines. I don’t want to plant a negative thought, but rather a positve flow of divine grace and prayerful protection.

I am sorry it took an extra week to send the money on to him. Last week we sent our youngest son, David, (age 17) off to college.  And the he got homesick right away… So, of course my mind, and e-mails and phone calls were with him…I think he is doing better now. He is now taking it “one semester at a time” instead of merely “one day at a time.” Progress!

Blessings and joy,

Mary Kretzmann

Dear Rev. Wangai,

I just sent you money for 2 more sewing machines, which will bring the total to 8.

May the Ladies continue to find work to keep all of these sewing machines busy. May they grow in prosperity, and continue to be generous toward each other, and toward the orphans in their group. Please continue to guide the Ladies in prayer and Christ-like service and compassion.

“Suffer the little children to come unto Me – for such is the kingdom of heaven.”

As the work grows, I hope that the mothers will be able to afford the basics for all the children, such as food, shelter’ and school fees. But please keep other luxuries at a minimum. Paramhansa Yogananda said this:

“Simplicity of living plus high thinking lead to the greatest happiness!”

Please note – he does not say “poverty of living” but rather “simplicity of living”. The Ladies have been in poverty – but now they are on their way to a beautiful “simplicity of living”. This is a great blessing. As they grow in holy simplicity, with their needs met, please teach them to be constantly in a state of Love and prayer with Christ. May their hearts be full of Him. May their hearts shine with divine contentment, gratitude, and generosity.

“…And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me…”

40“Mfalme atajibu, `Ninawaambia kweli, kwa jinsi ambavyo mlivyomfanyia mmojawapo wa hawa ndugu zangu walio wadogo, mlini fanyia mimi.’

For these Ladies – “the least of them” right now are the orphans left behind by the lady who died…

May these ladies and the whole congregation somehow love and guide those children. Those orphans need school fees first, because they have lost their mother. School will keep them busy and will give them guidance. I want all of the children to have school fees, but please give it to those orphans first. And in return, I expect those orphans to be grateful and well behaved in school. Please make it clear to them that they must do their very best with this gift of schooling. It is God’s grace in their lives. They must not squander it.

Please let me know if the women will soon be making enough money for food and school fees for all the children.

Do the women still have new orders for items to sew? Should we still go all the way to 10 machines? Do they still have enough work for 10 machines? Or should we buy 2 goats next?

Sewing is the best financial foundation for the Ladies – but I want to be sure they have enough work for 10 machines. Let’s watch their progress over the next few weeks. And then please give me a report. It is very good when the Ladies go out to get orders for more items to sell to the schools and hospitals. Please do let me know if they are still busy and successful in getting orders. This helps me understand your local economy.

Finally, I am very glad to know the women are praying, and also that the ministers are enthused in the West Pokot District. However, it is very important that we meet the goals first for these first Kushona Sisters in Kitale. I want these ladies to get out of poverty into a beautiful, God-loving simplicity that is generous toward others in need. As God blesses them, they can then let God’s blessing flow through them to others. It is a very holy commitment that these Ladies are caring for the orphans in their group, under your direction. So – I want to be sure this project is on solid ground first.

(Please forgive me – but Swahili is the correct language for Kitale, right? )

Oh! I just did a search and look what I found:

So – please tell me about the ministers in West Pokot District. Are they also serving widows and orphans? One idea I have is that we get 2 goats first for the Kushona Sisters, and as the herd grows they can give 2 goats to the people in West Pokot. But please tell me about their ministries first. Or is the west pokot district under your direction? Please tell me more…And please teach them to pray in these ways you have learned…

God bless you, and all of the people in your spiritual care.

kwa heri…

In Christ’s Love,


Rev. Mary Kretzmann

Sent: Wed 8/18/2010 2:33 AM
To: Mary Kretzmann
Subject: Re: greetings

dear rev Mary.
we thank the lord for you every day,receive greetings of  the name of our lord Jesus Christ.
we are very fine and blessed and we are thanking our lord for the care and protection.
Every body here is doing fine and well..we spent the weekend in .3
district and we discussed more about our new ministry, ANANDA -KENYA  prayer ministry .they are very excited about thee new ministry.they are now praying for it and its future in doing the work of the great commission.
women are doing good work with my guidance,and praying  ceaselessly for the project and for you.
receive their greetings. pass my regards to  your family and all
our children are fine and sent you their greetings

GOD bless you
rev wangai

The New Machines Arrived! Total: 6

Dear Friends of the Kushona Sisters,

I just received this e-mail from Pastor Wangai. Please know his thanks extend to all those who are helping them.

UPDATE: I just received a check from Lisa, and a donation is promised from Sheila for next week. So I’ll wait for Sheila’s before sending off the money for new machines.  This give the ladies a chance to adjust to each new increase. I am sure there are kinks to work out. I also think it is a divine flow that lets them fully appreciate the beauty of each new gift.  But the rate of increase is also very good – it keeps them hopeful and inspired.

So they are now at a total of 6 machines, and we will be adding one or two more next week.

Greetings to you, Reverend Mary.

I thank you for the quick message you replied . The money I received and I bought 2 machines and I have handed them over to the Ladies in the project.
The Ladies are so happy for the help you have provided for them. They say you cater for their needs together with the orphans. So the project is on-course. And we continue to receive orders from outside. Everything am ensuring is going on according to plan. So we pray for you. Be blessed. May you be strong in your ministry and in your Family.
Did John of North Carolina sent the book?
Be blessed. We love you in Jesus name servant of God
Hope to hear from you.
Rev. Wangai

So many thanks to all of you friends of the Kushona Sisters.

God bless you all.


Mary Kretzmann

PS – The book he refers to is The Second Coming of Christ by Paramhansa Yogananda. John has indeed sent the money for the book, but the postage is $50.00 to Kenya!  But I do have a goal to get that to Pastor Wangai – also before Christmas. I am moved that this step toward very moderate sustaining, prosperity is also the opening for Paramhansa Yogananda’s incredibly deep and beautiful teachings on Christ to more fully enter this congregation in Kenya.

There are many strong Christians in Africa. They have not lost their faith, and they are not “allergic” to the G-word (God) unlike many westerners. LOL.

Originally – when Yogananda came to the west – he wanted to inspire the churches from within.  But that is only happening very slowly here. But with Pastor Wangai, it is happening very directly. He has been part of the healing prayer council for many years, and he reads my newsletters.  But he fully identifies with being Christian. And that is beautiful, too. And this new book, will take it deeper for him.

Two More Sewing Machines Coming!

Many thanks for two donations that will allow Pastor Wangai to purchase two more sewing machines. These donations are from Nicole deAvilla and her friend, Janet G.  I will also post here when the machines are actually acquired by him, which will probably be in the next day or so.

I mentioned in an earlier post the idea of getting goats for them to raise. They could use the milk themselves, and eventually to sell the excess milk. (Goat milk is valued there for its healing powers, and so it commands a good price.) The women were understandably enthused about the idea of the goats, and were eager for this to  happen. They even rebuilt a broken down goat shed – large enough for an eventual herd of 10 goats. That impressed me!

But their enthusiasm for the goats was beginning to crowd out the goal of getting them up to the total of 10 sewing machines. So, I realized it is good to continue with that goal, because in the beginning, the goats will probably add to costs until they are producing milk for sale. I felt like a Mom having to set limits, for now, for the sake of the greater good.

So it will be good for the cooperative to have all the sewing machines first, to have a financial base.  These two new machines go a long way in that direction. It is nice to be past the half way mark!

I told them, however, that some people really want to help them get the goats, and hopefully before Christmas.  In fact, Mary G. told me that her  family wants to buy a goat to give to the widows instead of buying little things for each other this Christmas. She said it feels more like Christmas to help these women and children be happy and cared for in this way. And I know of another California family in which both of the teen children are touched by the idea of helping them get goats.  One wanted to do a bake sale soon.

I explained all of these things to Pastor Wangai, and this is his gracious reply:

Rev Mary,

Praise the lord. We are fine here in the Lord.
I have been very busy working. And I believe the spirit of the  Lord has spoken to you as that is also what the women wanted. To add the machines as the project will help the young and old alike. The ladies who wanted to be helped by the project are quite many and the project will do them good.

The widows are going on well with the prayers about the goat project. We are glad for what you have said.. I’m also grateful and glad and thank you on behalf of the women..
We have also received another tender for uniform .
We are praying for you.
Greet ANANDA prayer ministry members.
Greetings from the church, we love you.
Rev Wangai