Bringing Yogananda to Kenya

I’ve started a “Go Fund Me” page to help raise fund to buy a small plot of land for a church for this group. Please see more at the link below:



Hi Everyone,
I just received this message from Rev Wangai. The photos are blurry, but they give the general idea. I recently sent him money to cover the childrens’ school fees. If you would like to make a contribution to help them after this flood, I will forward on to him any donations I receive. I still use Western Union – but the processing fee is $15.00 each time. I would like to switch to paypal – but I am not sure if that can work well on his end. Anyway – even the tiny bit of support that I am able to raise for him does seem to help.



Please send to :

Mary Kretzmann
14618 Tyler Foote Road
Nevada City, CA 95959

Dear Rev. Mary,

Receive greetings in Jesus name. I have been busy due to the heavy rains that we have had. I was looking for a place to put the children because where we used to stay is now flooded. This area is where most of our members rent houses because they are cheap and most of the widows can afford. We are asking for support for food for the ladies, some of them their property was carried away by floods. I was getting the kids out of that area as you can see in the photos.

i have sent several photos for you to see how floods have affected us.

Yours Rev. Wangai

Kenyan lion cub saved by mum

Sending along this extra piece on saving life in Kenya:
Cliffhanger! Lion cub saved by mum in dramatic scenes caught on camera as he cries out pitifully for help
Clinging on for dear life to the side of a vertical cliff, the tiny lion cub cries out pitifully for help.
His mother arrives at the edge of the precipice with three other lionesses and a male. The females start to clamber down together but turn back daunted by the sheer drop.
Eventually one single factor determines which of them will risk her life to save the youngster – motherly love.

The drama begins: The mother arrives at the edge of the cliff as her son cries out for rescue after being trapped when he slipped

On the brink: Four lionesses look over the edge before aborting their rescue mission because of the sheer drop
Slowly, agonisingly, the big cat edges her way down towards her terrified son, using her powerful claws to grip the crumbling cliff side.
One slip from her and both animals could end up dead at the bottom of the ravine.

Just as the exhausted cub seems about to fall, his mother circles beneath him and he is snatched up in her jaws.
She then begins the equally perilous journey back to the top. Minutes later, they arrive and she gives the frightened creature a consoling lick on the head.
The dramatic rescue, captured by wildlife photographer Jean-Francois Largot, was played out in Kenya ’s Masai Mara game reserve.
Despite the presence of wardens to deter poachers, day-to-day life for the lions is not without its dangers … as the cub learned the hard way.

Rescue mission: The mother inches her way down the cliff face to rescue the terrified cub before locking him in her jaws and making her way back up the cliff face

Motherly love: The mother gives her son a lick to say that all is well in the pride following the drama

Greetings and photos

This letter came in earlier this summer – I am sorry I did not forward it on sooner; I will do better on this in the future! Promise!


Mary Kretzmann

PS – Click on the photos to enlarge them. I will be trying to adjust the ones that are sideways or upside down!

Dear Rev. Mary,
Receive greetings in Jesus name. We had a great seminar it was for teaching prayers. I have taken the responsibility of teaching even the children myself about the prayers. Your teachings about prayers have lifted us spiritually, and we are happy for them. the goat project is going on well. The chicks are also doing very fine. The machines of the sister shona is also doing ok although there is no much work for the shona sisters because people are busy ploughing and planting and there is a lot of sunshine the food ie maize 2kg is $ 1 the little money they get they use it to buy food for themselves and the children.
I am happy for the women because they are very eager to learn more about the prayers.
I have sent you photos of the seminar we had as i was teaching, one i was teaching, the other one people were praying, then kids taking food being served by my wife, Kids playing. The last term the kids were very happy since you paid their school fees they were never sent back home for school fees.The schools were closed and were re-opened on 2nd/May/ 2011. Receive greetings from all the members. We had one pastor from Nakuru branch under the Ananda Kenya Prayer Ministry. He was very happy of the projects that were going on because he had not come for sometime. I usually send copies of prayers to our other churches so that they continue learning as we are doing here. Receive greetings from my family, my wife and kids send their greetings. Greet all our Ananda members there. once you receive the photos kindly inform me.
God bless you
Pastor Wangai


Rev Wangai Rukwaro leading healing prayers

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

September update

Excerpt from my recent healing prayer newsletter:

…I have been in touch with Rev. Wangai Rukwaro of Kitale, Kenya. He is the pastor of a Christian congregation, and he has been a member of the Ananda Healing Prayer Council for many years. His ministry cares for 40 widows and their children, who struggle to support themselves as best they can.

A couple of years ago our family sent him money at Christmastime to buy a treadle sewing machine so the women could better support themselves. (Otherwise they did very low paid working like washing..) We were impressed

A couple of years ago our family sent him money at Christmastime to buy a treadle sewing machine so the women could better support themselves. (Otherwise they did very low paid working like washing..) We were impressed that they showed great industriousness.

This summer Rev. Wangai told me about 4 new orphans resulting from the death of one of the widows, and he was hoping somehow I could help find monthly support for the children. (This is a typical method to support such a ministry). However, my “main” ministry is theAnanda Healing Prayer Ministry, and I wasn’t ready to take on such a big new project…

Later that morning, I prayed for guidance on how to help the children. Instantly an inspiration came to my mind. It was so quick, and so fresh an idea, that I took it as an answer to the prayer. I felt the blessings of Paramhansa Yogananda, and the idea was this: Could the widows form a cooperative society together, to help each other with their children in life, and even (God forbid) if some of them should die? It is hard to think about such things, but it is a necessity in any one-parent home, and especially an impoverished one. I wrote and asked Rev. Wangai if they had 10 treadle sewing machines, could the women bring in enough extra money to help even feed these orphans? He said yes, with 10 machines, that would be feasible…

In the next couple of months some friends on the healing prayer council assisted me in getting the number of treadle sewing machines up to the total of eight! This has helped the women very much. They work cooperatively in using the machines, and in healing each other with childcare. And I have been assured that those orphans are now well loved and cared for by some of the older women in the congregation.

Now instead of getting 2 more sewing machines, we have the goal of helping them purchase 2 goats. They have already repaired an old shed that will serve as a goat shed, and can hold up to 10 goats as the herd grows. This will provide milk for the children, and if they have extra, goat milk gets a good price in Kenya as a health food. (If you want to help with this, please write to me at the Ananda address.)

Pastor Wangai (near the window) leading healing prayers

This process has touched my heart deeply. I have been watching it blossom from the other side of the world as a new cooperative spiritual community. They continually send their loving gratitude and their prayers for all who have helped them. It makes such as difference. Pastor Wangai, in honor and appreciation of this, has named the group “Ananda-Kenya Prayer Ministry.”

He has asked me to give them spiritual direction from afar. This sparked my memories of years ago when I myself had a treadle sewing machine – before we had much electricity at Ananda. I had 2 little children and I would sew for much-needed extra income. The sound of the treadle was peaceful, and gave a rhythm to my inner prayers, and practice of the presence of God. It was a very special time.

I asked Pastor Wangai to guide them with a prayer each morning. (The machines are all together in a simple building.) I also suggested that they strive to “pray unceasingly.” They could pray for all of the children – showering them with prayerful love. (For more on all this you can search “Kushona Sisters” to find my blog online…)

He was very happy to share this with them, and they were very inspired by it. I also taught him the “Jesus Prayer Meditation” and asked him to teach it to the women. Nayaswami Kriyananda taught this to a Catholic priest many years ago. It is the hong-sau meditation, but uses the prayer: Lord Jesus Christ (inhalation) have mercy on me (exhalation).

Last week he asked for further instruction and inspiration because he was leading a 3 day prayer seminar. I suggested that he teach them all the Divine Mother healing prayer technique (see previous photo). I also suggested the Prayer of St. Francis, and sent it to him in English and Swahili. It is such a sacred prayer, and will help the women to live a sacred and holy life together in Christ.

Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

Pastor Wangai teaching the St. Francis Prayer

Paramhansa Yogananda wanted to help infuse Christianity with the experience of deep inner communion with God. My heart is touched watching this unfold so far away – but as a new branch of our spiritual family. In any spiritual community, it is important to support the body, mind, and soul, while holding fast to Yogananda’s ideal ofPlain living and high thinking lead to the greatest happiness!”

God bless you all!


Mary Kretzmann

Director of Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry

14618 Tyler Foote Road, Nevada City, CA 95959

Two more machines soon!

This is a short note to say I have received two donations, and one more is expected today or tomorrow.  These will allow me to present Rev. Wangai with 2 more treadle sewing machines! Thank you to Pat T., Lisa C-J, and to Sheila  N. for your generosity. As you can see from the other posts,  it makes a big difference in the lives of these women and children.

Nicole DeAvilla, another donor, gave me permission to share this paragraph from her recent email to me:

…Recently I have been listening to lectures on CD about early Christianity.  The one I am listening to now is about St. Paul.  The lecturer keeps describing the churches and communities that Paul founded as Intentional Communities.  There is much to muse upon in the ideas of Yogananda about world brotherhood colonies/intentional communities as well as what is happening with Rev. Wangai and the Kushona Sisters…

I quite agree! It has also reminded me of the spirit of community as described in the New Testament.  I don’t have time to develop these thoughts here right now…but please do feel free to add you comments below in the comment field, or send them to me via e-mail.

I’ll send an update soon…

Nicole also suggested that it would be nice if sometime Rev. Wangai could send photos of the uniforms they sew for schools, etc.  I agree. I only ask for photos once in while because he is not the one who owns the camera.  I hope he is not charged for the photos. I’ll ask. It may be a friend of the congregation who does this for him.  But it is very worthwhile because it keeps us inspired, and connected to the project as it develops.


Mary Kretzmann

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