Our Kenya Country Director (Andrew Guuru) arrived safely in Atlanta Saturday night.  He’ll be here for a couple weeks (as he is each year) to plan and work face-to-face with the U.S. staff.  This year, however, Andrew brought a humbling gift with him….

Our recent announcement that we would begin working in Haiti made its way to some of our communities in Kenya.  The people heard of the tragedy and devastation in Haiti and our decision to respond.  They took up a collection through the local churches and asked Andrew to bring it with him.  Over 55,000 Kenya shillings ($800) was collected from twelve communities!  One of the communities (Kahuria) isn’t even officially a 410 Bridge community yet.

To us, it’s a great example of the story in Mark 12 and Luke 20…  The Widow’s Mite.

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.  Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

In our world, collecting $800 from 12 communities wouldn’t be big news but that’s because we give out of our wealth…  our abundance.  The people of rural Kenya, however, gave out of their poverty.

To put this in perspective, I did some quick back-of-the-envelope math.  The average wage in rural Kenya is about 50-100 Kenya shillings (Ksh) per day.  That means, on average, that about 750 people gave the equivalent of one full-day’s wages.  If 750 people gave one full-day’s wages here in the U.S., that would be about $87,000.  Humbling indeed…

We’re greatly encouraged by their generosity and we hope you are as well.  We see this as another powerful example of what can happen when we build a bridge to mobilize and unify the Body of Christ.  The funds will be used to help 410’s relief effort in Haiti – most likely rebuilding children’s homes, churches, etc.

So…  thank you 410 Bridge Communities.

If you want to leave a comment or two here, we’ll be sure they get back to our friends on the other side of the bridge.