Archive for the ‘BRYCE HOMES FOR WIDOWS & CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL’ Category
From Understand the Times
Roger Oakland is currently in Kenya visiting the Bryce Homes Feb 21 – Feb 28. We will be posting trip reports when Roger can get internet access and send them. Please keep Roger and his team in prayer during this time.
Here is one of our slideshows on the Bryce Homes in Kenya. This is a vibrant ministry that is founded on the Word of God and focused on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Roger Oakland has returned safely home from his trip to India. Thank you to all who prayed for him during this time. Below are the links to his daily reports while there, including a report about Bryce Homes in India. If you would like to become a regular supporter of Understand the Times and Bryce Homes International, click here.
Reporting from Understand The Times, International
As we come to the end of 2016, we thank the Lord for the wonderful things He has done with the Bryce Homes in several different countries. The Bryce Home program is an Understand The Times, International ministry; however, Lighthouse Trails readers are a big part of the Bryce Homes. The donations that come from the LT readers have especially helped to make the Bryce Homes in Kenya program what it is today where an increasing number of widows and children are being helped significantly, both physically and spiritually. We hope you enjoy this end-of-the-year slideshow of the widows and children in Kenya who are part of the Bryce Homes program. You will notice several new families in the slideshow. As many of the original Bryce widows have been able to become self-sufficient or even partly self-sufficient, other impoverished widows and their children can become part of the program.
The Bryce Homes program is an outreach to Christian families (particularly widows and children) throughout the world, providing them with basic survival needs, educational costs, biblical mentoring, housing, and opportunities to start and run small home-based businesses. If you would like to support this amazing and Gospel-focused missions work, please visit the Understand The Times website.
By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times International and Bryce Homes International
Without a vision the people perish (Proverbs 29: 18).
Understand The Times has been serving the Lord in Kenya since November of 2011. We have seen God work among us in the development of a program that has become a blessing to many widows, orphans and needy families and recognized by the government of Kenya. While physical needs have been met, our goal has also been to raise up ambassadors for Christ who will make a spiritual difference to the country of Kenya.
Over the past year I believe that God has placed a vision in my own heart with regard to an ongoing ministry that will impact the country of Kenya. We have been blessed with men and women of God who also have a vision for their country but are limited by the resources they have to make a difference. We want to come alongside them as best we can.
At present, we have over 40 Bryce Homes in Kenya that have been established since 2011. In keeping with our vision to provide education and sound biblical teaching, I believe the next step is to establish a Discipleship Training Center in Kenya. This center will also train widows and their children to establish small business opportunities. The first step will be to locate and then purchase a plot of land for such a facility. Click here to continue reading.
By Roger Oakland
(Director and founder of Understand the Times, International and Bryce Homes International)
If you have follow our reports from our Bryce Homes over the years you will see that we have a policy. It goes like this: We report, and you decide. We do not beg for money. We provide information with regard to specific needs as we see them and then let people respond according to their own desire.
We have also found that if we do not let people know about certain needs or problems, there is no response from the people. Obviously, with over 80 Homes in the Bryce Homes Program in seven countries, we cannot respond to every need. Nor do we feel that we are called to do so.
Our underlying motive in our program is to have the poor work towards self-sufficiency. However, it is obvious in many situations, hopelessness overpowers the ability to do much working until we can assist them out of hopelessness.
This coming month we feel led to tell you about the situation with Widow Phoebe and her four children in Kenya. The rains in Kenya right now are relentless and the temperature is very cool. Phoebe lives in a deplorable shack that has a leaky roof and no stove for heating. She cooks outdoors on a fire surrounded by three rocks on which she balances her pots. She has one mattress for herself and four children.
The bottom line is that we would like to construct Phoebe and her family a new home comparable to the others we have already constructed in Kenya for widows. She owns her own small plot of land. The three-room house would cost about $2500 to $3000. In the past, people have designated funds to Kenya for this purpose. Maybe someone or several others would respond to this need. With the resources that come in, we will build this house and others as God provides through His people.
LTRJ Note: The following update was written by one of the Kenyan board members of the Bryce Homes in Kenya program. The Bryce Homes in Kenya program has been supported by Understand the Times and Lighthouse Trails readers for over four years now. We hope you will prayerfully consider becoming part of the support system for these Christian families in Kenya. If you are looking for a place you can trust to give your missions donations, please remember the Bryce Homes (founded and directed by Understand the Times and their Canadian and US boards).
During our visit to the Bryce homes for the distribution of August food support, we took time to proceed with the assessment of various income-generating activities being practiced by some of the widows.
It is worth to note that stress and depression is the root cause of backwardness in most of the households in Kenya and even globally. The worst affected lot are women, especially the widowed who have many children to attend to. Majority of such homes are never sober enough to engage in any activity that may provide their daily bread. This has been realized as a result of various Bryce Homes in Kenya begin to lead a more or less self-sustaining lifestyle. The basic food support provided on a monthly basis relieves them from stress hence settle to undertake some SBO activities.
We profiled three unique households with attractive SBO engagements. This is in addition to the many others we wrote about previously. Some of them are discussed below.
1. The case of Margaret
Margret initially, before she was introduced to the Bryce Home programme, exhibited an exhausted life. Even though she had some parcel of land with water that could sustain crops, she lacked the energy or capital to hire labourers to assist. We then thought of providing to her family in terms of the food and overlooked her farm. She however gained strength having been under the programme for a number of years. She could then till the swampy land and little by little began to plant vegetables, arrow roots and maize. She plants the vegetables during a dry spell when the commodity is scarce. She therefore makes reasonable income by selling the vegetables especially to schools where her children learn. This has since relieved her from paying a lot of fees.
Margaret poses on her vegetable farm. The crops will be ready for the market after
Her arrow roots have also rocked the market as many people prefer such natural food stuff to other processed products with chemicals. She supplies them to some hospitals where most people with patients buy from her
Margaret joyfully shows a harvested arrowroot. She says it is her best
escort for breakfast.
Margaret surprised us when we learnt of her unique way of saving her proceed from sales. She has no idea of saving money by the bank. She however keeps it under her pillow throughout the year and converts it into the livestock. She has since bought two cows and some poultry. We advised her to open a bank account for her future savings. Her vision is big and calls for more advice and assistance to succeed.
Margaret shows us her two cows bought after saving her proceeds from the sale of vegetables.
In conclusion, we learnt a lot from Margaret and from now on we will not despise any humble SBO engagement by any of the households. We believed this will minister to many people especially other widows who are idling.
2. The case of Maurine
Maurine is a new widow under Bryce Home program and has learnt a lesson from Margaret. Since February this year when she was registered under Bryce Home, she immediately began to visit Margaret to find out what was behind her success. She curiously thought Margaret as well as other widows/women under Bryce Home program receive money on a monthly basis. This is when she learnt that Margaret only benefit from the food support which provides her with energy to do her work. Maurine immediately embarked on farming of some bulb onions which has significantly begun rewarding her. Maurine also supplies her ripe pawpaw to the hospital for sale to the people with patients.
Maurine poses on her bulb onion garden. She says she has a long way to go though
She will make it.
The pawpaw behind Maurine’s temporary house.
Generally we, the Bryce Home Board in Kenya, have realized the miraculous ways in which this program has changed the lives of the vulnerable. There is now need to take a lot of time in going round occasionally to provide the necessary guidance to other widows who have been under the program but with insignificant progress. We believe, by doing this, all will be guided to acquire self-sustaining future. Even meeting the cost of educating their children will be achievable by themselves.
TO VIEW MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS REPORT, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times, International
It has been some time since I have written a personal note sharing about the progress in the ministry of Understand The Times and expressing things that are from my heart. Those who are close to me know that the last six months have been among the most difficult days of my life. This may come as a surprise to those who are not close to me or are, at best, indifferent to the ministry of Understand The Times. One of the greatest difficulties has been to learn of those who have professed to be friends who, at best, are no friends at all.
If you are close to my closest friends and my family, you know I am not exaggerating. In short, the ministry of being a watchman is not a glorious one nor does it bring any honor or position with it. When a man or woman is called to serve God, there are no guarantees there will be great times of blessing or an overabundance of encouragement. And, in fact, even the closest friends and relatives can turn their backs on you, sometimes out of misunderstanding the calling of a watchman and even sometimes out of fear of the price it costs to be one or to be associated with one. Check out the Old Testament prophets. Click here to continue reading.