• Latest from @liaint

  • Contributors

    • Dr. Florence Muindi
      Founding President / CEO
    • LIA Team
      International
    • Tom Kemner
      Executive Director

Launching Phase 3

April 30th, 2016 | Posted by | LIA News | Events | Kenya | LIA News | Uncategorized

IMG_4866

“Walking this ground and knowing that in 60 weeks this project will be completed stands as a testament to the faithfulness of God” – Dr. Florence Muindi

On April 7th Life in Abundance broke ground on the 3rd and final phase of the LIA Center in Kenya. Dr. Florence Muindi, President and CEO of Life In Abundance International and Dr. Samuel Mwangi, Chairman of the Building Committee and a member of the LIA International Board had the honor launching the project.

Many years ago, Dr. Florence Muindi, LIA’s founding president/CEO took a prayer walk along Lake Langano in Ethiopia. During that time, God asked her to dip her hand in the sand and grab a fistful. HE then revealed to her, “As many as are the grains of sand in your hand, so will be the leaders who will be empowered through the work of Life in Abundance”.

Phase 3 Ground BreakingDr. Florence Muindi and Dr. Samuel Mwangi breaking ground on Phase 3 site

The LIA Centers in Kenya and Jamaica are the establishment of God’s words to Dr. Muindi at Lake Langano. LIA’s training centers serve to train churches, organizations and community leaders around the world in LIA’s community development model and how to implement it in their own communities.

Phase 3 of the LIA Center, Kenya will be the accommodation wing for the center, having 21 rooms with a few additional meeting rooms and lounges. It has been a wonderful journey of faith as we work to see the LIA Center building project completed.

Phase 3ALIA Center Kenya Phase 3

As we broke ground for Phase 3 of the LIA Center, Kenya on April 7th, we were humbled and in awe of how far we have come and how many communities and lives will be changed and transformed from this place.

IMG_4821Dr. Florence Muindi and James Gatere handing over building project to the contractor

LIACenterPhase 1 & 2 of LIA Center Kenya



LIA Center, Kenya Groundbreaking – April 7th 2016

March 10th, 2016 | Posted by | LIA News | Events | Home Page | LIA News | Uncategorized
Proposed LIA Center, Kenya

Proposed LIA Center, Kenya

Many years ago, Dr. Florence Muindi, LIA’s founding president/CEO took a prayer walk along Lake Langano in Ethiopia. During that time, God asked her to dip her hand in the sand and grab a fistful. HE then revealed to her, “As many as are the grains of sand in your hand, so will be the leaders who will be empowered through the work of Life in Abundance”.

The LIA Centers in Kenya and Jamaica are the establishment of God’s words to Dr. Muindi at Lake Langano. LIA’s training centers serve to train churches, organizations and community leaders around the world with LIA’s community development model and how to implement it in their own communities. This is a model that has been implemented, refined, monitored, evaluated and replicated with hundreds of churches in twelve countries across Africa and the Caribbean.

Ground Breaking

Former LIA International Board Chairman Dr. Peter Okalet and Dr. Florence Muindi with members of the LIA Senior Leadership Team at the Phase 1 & Phase 2 groundbreaking ceremony on May 4th 2014.

We know first-hand that training is the key factor to empowering people to participate in and own the transformation of their community. This is why developing our training centers is central to the mission of LIA. It is our goal that through our training centers, ministries in various communities, countries and continents can be equipped to serve the poor and the vulnerable for the long term.

Clerk of Works, Nelson

Nelson, the Clerk of Works overseeing construction of Phase 1 & 2

On April 7th Life in Abundance will be breaking ground on the 3rd and final phase of the LIA Center in Kenya. Phase 3 will be the accommodation wing for the center, having 21 rooms with a few additional meeting rooms and lounges. It has been a wonderful journey of faith as we work to see the LIA Center building project completed and we continue to see the favor of God on this vision. We’re most grateful to the partners and friends of LIA who have believed in this vision and have come alongside us to cater for 45% of the building cost of Phase 3. This is no small miracle and we are so grateful.

We still have a long way to go and funding for the building project is still coming in. So please celebrate with us as we break ground on April 7th and pray for God’s hand to be on all aspects of this project: from the provision of funding, to the approval of plans, to the laying of bricks. Thank you for choosing to be a part of this journey with us.

LIA Center, Kenya

Life in Abundance Center, Kenya

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with the project.

 

 

 



Prayers answered; LIA – Kenya refocuses its healthcare strategy

June 4th, 2015 | Posted by | Uncategorized

_MG_5361

In April this year Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta presided over the graduation of 10,736 recruits at the National Youth Service College. The National Youth Service (NYS) is a government program that was reestablished in 2013 to empower youth by involving them in important national projects. These include service in the armed forces, national reconstruction programs, disaster response and participation in transformative economic activities.

In his speech President Kenyatta commended the NYS recruits for the new reconstruction and transformation economic projects they had started in Kibera, Mathare, Kiandutu and Nyalenda. All of these projects started in 2014, and what makes this so special is that all of these communities are the same communities in which LIA works!

In fact one of our church partners in Kibera mentioned that the new roads being built, the garbage dumps being cleared, the sewer lines being connected, the new government services station being opened, they are all along the same path that the Pastor’s Fellowship would do their prayer walks. The alleys and byways that they would walk through praying for God’s transformative work have been torn down, cleaned out and are being rebuilt. Kibera is changing in a way that didn’t seem possible.

We cannot underestimate the immense power of prayer. As Proverbs says, it is the Lord, through our prayers, who truly does command the hearts of Kings.

Part of the government’s strategy in the slum upgrading projects for these communities is to set up primary healthcare medical clinics that are highly subsidized. These new government clinics have been mandated to meet a high standard of care, and bridge the gap that our wonderful staff in our LIA clinics and the medical teams that so frequently come and partner with us have filled for so long.

So as the government comes in to take up its role in these communities, LIA has decided to gradually scale back the primary health care services we provide in order to allow the government to take up its responsibility to provide reliable healthcare for the communities we serve.

This refocusing will allow LIA clinics in Kenya to bolster various medical care services that the government has yet to take up, primarily dental care. As LIA – Kenya transitions the team is excited for this new chapter as the ministry is being called to more closely to walk along side the government to better serve the communities we work with and bring about sustainable transformation.



Ruth’s Eye Opening Training

April 2nd, 2015 | Posted by | Kenya | Economic Opportunity | Kenya | Kenya | Kenya Blog | Kisumu | Home Page | Leadership | Home Page | Micro-Enterprise | Uncategorized | Kenya | Vulnerable Children

2

One of the programs that LIA is rolling out in the impoverished fishing community of Kisumu, Kenya, is the guardian program. In this program guardians of at risk youth are identified and the local church – and in partnership with LIA – servers to not only support them but empower them to uplift the children that are in their care.

Ruth is one of these guardians. As the sole provider for her five grandchildren, four boys and precious baby girl, it is no surprise that every waking moment is devoted to her children. Ruth, who’s gray hairs betray the youth in her face, lives on the outskirts of Kisumu in a community called Nyawita. Nyawita is one of the poorer suburbs of Kisumu town.

When asked about her grandchildren its clear that her primary priority is that they go to school and do well. Many of the residents in Nyawita do not have much more than an 8th grade education, and as a result work low wage, unskilled jobs. Ruth is adamant that her grandchildren have a better future so that is why her local church in Nyawita felt it was important to stand with her for the sake of her children.

“Its bad luck to say your age” Ruth says “and I need luck because I want to be around to see my grand children become professors”. So in her old age –that will not be mentioned—Ruth was equipped with economic empowerment and resource mobilization training through her church’s TOT. Through this training Ruth confesses her eyes were opened as she discovered how to work smarter, not harder. This not only allowed her more time with her grandchildren children but also helped her to start saving, eventually joining a revolving fund set up by LIA in her local church.

The revolving fund group is made up of other guardians of at risk youth in the community of Nyawita and although the purpose of the group is resource mobilization, they also there to support each other through the challenges of trying to raise children in Nyawita.

“My ambition is that my grandchildren never need to worry about anything other than succeeding in school. I invest my energy in them because they are the future and they deserve a future.”



Full Recovery – The Murage’s

February 14th, 2015 | Posted by | Kenya | Economic Opportunity | Kenya | Kenya | Kenya Blog | Mathare Valley | Home Page | Micro-Enterprise | Kenya | Microfinance | Uncategorized

1

Pastor Emmanton Murage and his wife live and serve in the Mathare slums in Nairobi, Kenya. Though he believes that The Gospel is truth and life, Pastor Murage felt a burden to see the people in Mathare impacted in a sustainable way and knew there was something more that needed to be done. In 2011 he ran into one of LIA’s project officers, and after hearing what LIA does he became convinced that LIA was what he and the community needed. He quickly joined the pastors’ fellowship, which was established to be a space where pastors gather together to support one other and collectively work to transform Mathare.

After a year of working closely with LIA to implement transformational development for his church body and community, Emmanton began experiencing chronic pain. He went to the doctor to have some tests done and returned to the office a week later, hoping to get some medication that would help him manage the symptoms. When the doctor called Emmanton into his office, he didn’t have medication or good news. Emmanton’s pain was being caused by a brain tumor that would have to be operated on immediately.

The cost of surgery was enormous, especially considering the Murage family’s income, but all of their family rallied behind them with no questions and they managed to meet the 500,000 KSh (just under $6,000) fee by selling most of their possessions. Pastor Murage had his surgery in March of 2012 and walked out of the hospital tumor free, with no complications to speak of. But upon arriving home, a new challenge awaited him – financial recovery for his family.

The hospital bills had depleted all of the Murage’s savings and his wife was not bringing in much income, however Emmanton needed to get his family back up on their feet quickly, and was desperate to find additional sources of income. He leaned on his fellow pastors from the fellowship, who had begun a revolving fund with the help of LIA. After consulting his fellow members, Emmanton took out a loan to begin a small business that would supply eggs to local businesses and restaurants.

3 2

Pastor Murage worked very hard and his business has grown significantly since he borrowed from the revolving fund! He has been able to produce enough eggs for him to pay back the loan, open up a store front, afford a car for deliveries, and (probably his proudest accomplishment) put his oldest son through college. His wife began baking cakes with the surplus of eggs from the chickens and the couple is now delivering eggs and cakes all over the region. The Murage family’s complete recovery and faith has inspired all of us at LIA, and we know that God will use their testimony and their businesses to continue to restore Mathare.

4



Lucy’s Transformation

January 8th, 2015 | Posted by | Kenya | Healthcare | Home Page | HIV/AIDS | Kenya | Kenya | Kenya Blog | Kenya | Kenya Blog | Kibera | Home Page | Micro-Enterprise | Kenya | Microfinance

IMG_8470

Olympic Road in Kibera is lined with kiosks and makeshift businesses. Everything from welding stalls, vegetable stands, saloons, thrift shops, to carpentry workshops can be found on this main vein of the settlement. The raging matatus and buzzing marketplaces can be overwhelming, but once the rules of the road are learned, the organized chaos is much more manageable.

Amongst the chaos of the Olympic Road stalls sits Lucy Adhiambo, a slender, shy mother of three who owns a small tailor shop. The dust from the carpenters shop next door has caked the sign that hangs over her business, making it easy to miss Big J Dry Cleaners and Tailoring. But Lucy’s quietly vibrant spirit catches your attention.

This was not always the case. Before opening Big J, Lucy was a stay at home wife whose husband worked odd jobs to provide for the family. They had been together since she she became pregnant at age 13 and was forced to marry him. Nearly 12 years into their marriage her husband fell terribly ill as a result of contracting HIV. This prompted Lucy to go get tested, and she soon discovered that she was also positive for the virus. A year later her husband died.

Because they had been married for so long and he had always been the provider, Lucy felt that when her husbdan died, her life had also passed away with his. With no marketable skill set to for a job and no school fees for her children,  Lucy spiraled into a deep depression and even decided to stop taking her ARVs.

Pastor Godffrey of LIA partner church, St. John ACK, heard the news about Lucy and decided to visit her in her home. When he arrived, it was clear that her depression and refusal to take ARVs was taking a toll on her body. “She was so thin, and her health was failing her” he recalls.

After a lot of convincing, Lucy finally allowed Pastor Godffrey to start counseling her through her depression. “She just didn’t know how to pick up and move on. All she had ever really known was how to be a good wife and a good mother, and now she had to become something more–a provider.” In addition to the spiritual and emotional guidance he was providing, Godffrey also connected Lucy with the LIA clinic in Kibera so she would regain access to ARVs and receive regular checkups with a caring and godly staff.

IMG_8454

As her health improved and she became more involved in the church community, Lucy’s hope for life, especially a life in Christ, became very strong. During a Training of Trainers (TOT) and skills seminar being held at St. John’s, Lucy became very adamant that she wanted to learn tailoring. The church body was able to find a tailor that would take Lucy on as an apprentice, and in July of this past year she became a certified tailor.

Through the revolving fund group set up by LIA in partnership with St. John’s, Lucy was then able to take out a loan and open up her own tailoring shop. A couple months later she had paid off the loan. Her business was steady, she was back to being healthy, the kids were back in school, and they even helped her with the shop. Silvia, Lucy’s eldest, is often at the shop with mom, and even Maurine stops by when she doesn’t have to babysit the youngest, Collins.

Silvia, a 17 year-old junior in high school, isn’t sure if she wants to be a tailor when she grows up but she definitely enjoys working with her mother. This year Silvia will be prepping to take the Senior year exams that will get her into University and Lucy could not be more proud.

IMG_8466
With great determination to pick up the shattered pieces of her life and make something new in Christ, Lucy has restored her family’s health and safety, and she how radiates confidence. We are so honored to witness her transformation and play a role, alongside her church, in the restoration process.



Serving the Children of Mathare

June 17th, 2014 | Posted by | Home Page | Children | Home Page | Kenya | Kenya | Kenya Blog | Mathare Valley | Home Page | Micro-Enterprise | Kenya | Vulnerable Children

mathare

Earlier this year, LIA initiated a new orphaned and vulnerable children program in the Mathare slum in Kenya. This program aims to equip six churches in Mathare slum to improve the lives of its community in an integrated way. As part of this equipping, LIA will support the local churches in meeting the needs of 50 at-risk families and an additional 20 youth living on the streets.

Last month, I had the joy of worshiping at Deliverance Church, meeting the pastors and some of the women of families who are being served.

Already this year, so much has been accomplished:

  • The churches have been trained through LIA’s signature “Training of Trainers” program and members of the church body have been trained as community health evangelists
  • 50 at-risk families have been identified and regular visits to their homes have been made by the trained members of the church
  • The guardians of these families have received training on effective ways of saving and 30 of these guardians are ready to begin their first economic empowerment activity
  • Even better, the guardians have begun to seek the advice of the local church on various spiritual, emotional, financial and social aspects. Four of these guardians have already accepted Christ in this short season!


Overall, the local churches are reporting a restored sense of hope in these hurting families! At Deliverance Church, I was able to experience the joy of some of the beneficiaries as they displayed some of the beautiful jewelry they make as an economic empowerment initiative.  (This morning my daughter, Claire, left for school wearing one of those necklaces). Jessica, a mother of four, is one of those women. For the first time, she is able to provide a more healthy life for them. What a blessing to experience transformation.

Thank you for equipping the local church to meet the needs of these beautiful faces. This is what it looks like to Transform. Together.

If you’d like to support this program for future years, please consider making a gift.

– Tom Kemner



Guest Post: Kibera Medical Clinic

June 9th, 2014 | Posted by | Home Page | Kenya | LIA News | USA

mi2 interns with Kibera pastors

Ana Lossing is one of LIA’s 2014 Mi2 interns, serving with us for three months in Kenya. Mi2 is a global internship program offering college students a unique three month experience of real-life missions and development in healthy and effective missions models.

Yesterday, we visited the medical clinic at Kibera slum, outside of Nairobi. Kibera is the largest slum in Africa, and possibly the largest in the world. At the clinic, they have Mother and Child Healthcare, a general medical clinic, a pharmacy, a lab, and dental services. The offer their services at a very minimum price, so the people in Kibera can afford it, but it can still be self-sustaining.

Life in Abundance (LIA) helps manage this clinic and partners with 13 pastors (4 of whom are pictured above) from Kibera to help holistically transform their communities.
How do they do this? LIA mainly works by mobilizing the local church, so these pastors are the ground people for this ministry. The pastors know their communities and the needs, so LIA works with them to help develop programs, and LIA equips them to mobilize their communities as well as their local resources in order to transform their own communities.

For example, one of the main projects in Kibera is the shoe project. The leaders in the church identified individuals that would benefit from this economic opportunity, and LIA, in partnership with the churches, brought in a person to train these individuals in shoe-making and helped connect the Kibera communities to where they could obtain the supplies. Now these individuals, and others that were taught by the first group of individuals, have expanded this opportunity, using the skills they learned to make many different kinds of products to sell.

Carole (who we work with at LIA) told us of one woman in Kibera who was caring for her 3 grandchildren. Not only was she living in poverty, but she suffered both emotionally and psychologically after losing her 3 children. She was identified by her church as someone who could benefit from this shoe project. In the beginning, she would not talk to anyone; she would come and do her work and then leave. But after just 2 weeks in this program, she began to talk to people; she was happier. She is now a successful business woman, and is even wealthy enough to move out of Kibera, but she has chosen to stay because she loves her community.

This is the kind of transformation that LIA works for: transformation of the whole person, of the whole community. And they want the community to own that transformation, to know that they were behind the renewal of their community. Furthermore, they want the local church to be returned to it’s rightful place, the place it was intended to be, of being the engine behind community renewal and restoration, so that through his bride, Christ is glorified.

Please pray for a dental assistant, software that will allow easier recording of pharmacy services, and the ability to offer child delivery at the clinic.



New Container Clinic in Kibera

May 13th, 2014 | Posted by | Home Page | Health | Kenya | Healthcare | Home Page | Kenya | Kenya | Kenya Blog | Kibera | LIA News | Home Page | Serve | USA

Completed Clinic with Team

Last week, the team from Homes of Living Hope visited LIA in Kenya to help install the new clinic that will serve the Kibera slum community. This new clinic is made from a shipping container (like the ones you see in the photo below) and will now allow LIA’s local church partners to serve even MORE people form this hurting community. What a blessing it was to see this in action last week, and what an even bigger blessing this gift will be to the people we serve. Thank you Homes of Living Hope for partnering with us in this Kingdom work!

Below is a quick recap video, as well as some photos from the installation process.

5

3

4

2

1

 



Spring Pledge Drive: Kenya OVC

November 6th, 2013 | Posted by | Home Page | Children | Home Page | Kenya | Kenya | Kenya Blog | Kisumu | Kenya | Microfinance | Kenya | Kenya Blog | Thika | Kenya | Vulnerable Children

Last April, we hosted our annual Spring Pledge Drive, where we asked the LIA family to commit to coming alongside LIA with a monthly gift that supported one year of an orphan and vulnerable children program in Kenya.

We wanted to take a moment and fill you in on some of the progress that has been experienced during the last six months. Read about two OVC programs in particular – Thika and Kisumu:

In one area of Thika, 75 orphans and vulnerable children and their families have been enrolled in the LIA church partner program. They are currently receiving support in the form of tutoring, educational supplies, food and much more. The program will continue to develop to help these families provide for themselves for the long-term.

Not far away, LIA is seeing the sustainable change in 75 families further in the transformation process. These guardians have been trained on income generating activities and have established savings and loan groups with revolving funds so that members have access to micro-loans to initiate their own businesses.

A truly beautiful picture of the stages of transformation and the renewal that comes from the church being empowered to serve it’s most vulnerable!

Similarly in Kisumu, a group of 104 guardians have been trained in income generating activities and are looking to start their own businesses. They too have formed savings and loan groups to support one another and provide micro-loans to guardians who are ready to start their own business. Five women in the area have already begun!

Take for example, Lorna. After receiving training and a micro-loan through LIA church partners, she started a hair salon and is not only providing for her two children, but she has even created jobs for two other women in her community!

In addition to those 104 guardians benefiting, there are 507 youth that are receiving food, medical support, tutoring, education materials and more. The foundation for long-term change has been laid and we are excited to see what God has in store for this program during the next few years!