Ashby Grange cell has been supporting that part of RUSH’s work concerning the widows of the town.
In 2001, Lucy and Andrew Amakowa moved to Kakamega to bring up their family after working in the slums of Nairobi; they set up a business running a shop, bar and hotel. The plight of local widows sitting on her steps moved Lucy’s compassionate heart to once again reach out to those in need. She contacted Joan and a friend Janet who she had met with working in the slums to come and work with her……and set up RUSH..
Each Tuesday the widows (and also widowers) gather in a hall where there is praise,worship and preaching from the Word. There are team leaders for many of the villages around Kakamega; these can identify and care for those in need I their area. Sometimes there is a meal and when we vsited we left clothes for the children in their care from Gill Janes, in response to her son Alex’s compassion. Some people have had houses built for them, some businesses set up and other support.
This Tuesday they gave us a demonstration of dancing, singing and drama. Will preached and they then gave us gift which included a live rooster with legs tied, bags of fruit, tomatoes, eggs, vegetables, a branch of banannas and 3 goats.
That was Tuesday.
On Thursday three of us – Maggie, Caryl and myself went with Lucy, Joan and a pastor into the interior on Home Based Care. This was very moving. One person we visited we visited was an elderely man, Naftali, 62. He was HIV positive and had been dying in town and his landlord would not keep him.
He had sold his land and left his relatives forty years ago (a bit like the prodigal son). When Lucy heard about him she fed him twice daily. Eventually, with much dialogueing and talking to the tribal elder in town who finally agreed to write a letter, she located a nephew who would have him. The nephew finally agreed to take him as he remembered his uncle all those years ago when he was a child and his uncle still had his likeness.
RUSH then built a mud hut for Naftali in a field beside the nephew. It was this hut that we all went into. It was a real privilege to see Lucy cooking porridge for him, teaching the women cleaning and washing care. She had brought basics for him – porridge with additives, glucouse powder, oil, matches, soap, salt, sugar and bread.
She instructed the taking of vitamins and the retro-viral medicine. He was so grateful to Lucy calling her his daughter and that she had brought him back from the dust – Lucy was moved to tears by this – it was so touching.
She rolled her sleeves up and modelled real serving including sendingthe driver to town to buy a mattress and fodder for the cattle. The visit was so comprehensive and inspirational.