Sunday, March 25, 2007

Empowered Lives: Paul Sigilai

Paul Sigilai was born in 1961 into a polygamist family. Sigilai’s dad rarely had time for the children. While in elementary school, Paul lived with his mother. However, by the time he went to high school in 1978, he moved in with his father and an angry stepmother.

Paul was seeking encouragement and companionship, and he found it in a group of friends. Sadly, these friends also introduced him to cigarettes and alcohol. By the time he completed high school in 1980, Paul was an alcoholic. He got a job as a technician with Kenya Telecommunication Company and stayed with this company for 10 years. But the stress of his alcohol addiction made it unbearable for him to continue his job. He chose to retire.

Barely thirty years old, Sigilai started squandering his retirement money, mostly on alcohol. In 2003, his wife kicked him out. A year later, he returned to her, promising to change. The change was always short-lived. Paul couldn’t stay sober for more than 2 months until he’d succumb to alcohol once again. After his son prayed for him and begged his father to quit drinking, Sigilai was able to stay sober for 6 months. But once again, he was overcome by his addiction.

Paul hit rock bottom, and wanted to take his life. God brought a friend named Samson across Paul’s path. Samson had just recently graduated from ELI’s Drug and Alcohol Rehab Program, and he convinced his friend that he would find the tools to do the same if he’d check into rehab.

If you’d ask Sigilai what’s different this time around, he’d tell you that he’s no longer trying to win the battle on his own. God is by his side. Sigilai quotes John 14:6 as his life verse. Since he know knows Jesus, he has faith that Jesus will continue to lead him in truth and in life. And that includes a day-to-day victory over his alcohol addiction.

Paul is looking forward to seeing his son over Easter break so they can celebrate together how God had answered the boy’s prayers.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Please join us for the AIDS campaign

I know you cannot physically be present at this week's HIV/AIDS awareness campaign. However, through your prayers, you can join in what God's going to be doing in people's lives.

Here's what Allison shared from Kipkaren, Kenya:

This week, we've been extremely busy preparing for a large HIV/AIDS campaign that will be held in Kitale on Friday. This campaign is a bit different than our others as we have partnered with a big company in Kenya called the Agriculture Development Corporation (ADC). The Managing Director of ADC, Kirwa, is our neighbor in Kipkaren (though he resides in Nairobi). When Kirwa heard about what we were doing in the area of AIDS Awareness, he wanted his company to be a part of it. In the area where we are conducting this campaign, ADC has 12 large farms with over 10,000 employees. This is an exciting opportunity for our team to venture into a different sector of society--the working world.

We are expecting about 5,000 people to attend and are preparing to test 1,000 people for HIV. As always, there will be bicycle races for men and women and a football (soccer) game as well as our favorite band from Nairobi, "Kijiji," to draw and entertain the crowd for the day. Please keep our team in your prayers on that day.

We will be traveling in a caravan of four vehicles at 5am Friday morning as the place is about a two hour drive from Kipkaren. Please also pray for safety on the roads. We are expecting great things and give you an update next week of how things went!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Work hard. Play hard.

Last Saturday, the Kipkaren staff held the first-ever ELI Kipkaren Cup at the Brook of Faith field. (That's ELI's new elementary school in Kipkaren.) Training Center staff challenged Brook of Faith/Children's Home staff to a football (soccer) match.

The Training Center staff kicked dust in the eyes of the Children's Home and School staff, beating them with 3 goals to 1.

Says Allison, "It was such a fun afternoon though we noticed the next day the wazee (old people) were limping. They are obviously not as young as they used to be. Thanks goes to Arap Rop for organizing this match. There will be more in the future."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Photos from Kenya

Photographer couple Michael and Emi Heddens recently visited Kenya. They posted some of the photos of their trip on their blog.

They write of their time in Kenya, "This doesn’t even begin to do justice to the things we saw and the people we met while in Africa this past month, but we’ve had so many people ask, we thought we’d give a sneak peek into out trip."

Be sure to check it out!