Monday, September 11, 2006

Solis Foundation

As promised in the first couple paragraphs of my previous post, here is my journal entry while in Kenya, dated Tues., Aug. 30th, 2006. This one is specifically about the organiztion with which I went to Africa, whose mission is to help those stuck in a postion of abject poverty get out of their pit of quicksand:

"Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written, 'God's Spirit is on me,
he's chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor,
Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners, and
recovery of sight to the blind.
To set the burdened and battered free,
to announce, 'This is God's year to act!'"
- Luke 4: 17, 18.

Samuel, pastor at a church in Moorsbridge and principle of a school there, was explaining to us tonight at dinner how exciting to the community is the prospect of contributions from Solis Foundation to help get some businesses off the ground. The potential, willingness, ability and desire are all there in the people of Moorsbridge. The only thing lacking is the start-up capital; and that's what we provide, as well as on-the-ground training to help insure the success of the businesses, and in turn, an improved life for the people, freedom for the battered, the good news for the poor. It's a mirror of the great Day of Jubilee; one's debts are forgiven and his land is returned to him. Samuel says that being trapped in poverty over time is what kills their fires of hope.

On Saturday upcoming, unfortunately after we'll be gone to Lodwar (in Trukana), Roland, Training Director for VEF in Kenya (pre-existing partner to Solis Foundation), will be slaughtering three cows in a commemoration event for the ancestors. He has told three hundred people, and expects one to two thousand; this gives a taste of the hunger of these people for something American's take for granted as being on the value menue at various nearby burger joints. Rolan gives a glimpse of the great feast that awaits the thirsty, for they will drink from the fountain. "You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat." (Mathew 5: 6 (Message paraphrase version).

In two days around Kakamega we've visited about twelve businesses. It's the norm that within six months to a year each of the five team members of the business has gone from shoelessness, death-colored and ragged shirts and pants, and a lack of basic needs such as soap, matches and kerosine (much more necessary in a place where electricity is like the Aston Martin in the richest guy's driveway), to a new and shiny pair of shoes or sandals (something we not only take for granted, but something much more needed in a place of scorpions and malaria), a very colorful and lively patterned dress or shirt, a fulfillment of basic needs such as soap, matches and kerosine, and a newfound sense of pride and accomplishment contributing to a whole new state of emotional and spiritual health that shines through the big huge smile and gleam in their eye as they look directly at you and say, "Mizuri Sana. Buena Asafiwe. Asente.", which in Swahili means, "I'm doing very good. Praise the Lord. Thank you very much."

Two women in particular whom we met today, one whose business was a hotel along the road and the other's being a tomato-selling business in a small "rural" town ("rural" means something different in Kenya than in America!), before being given this opportunity, were literally beggars in their respective areas. Now they are making a profit the equivelent of 50 to 100 U.S. dollars per month in an environment where the average income is one to two dollars a day, which is in itself a misleading statistic, as most (the "average person") actually make fifty cents or less in a day. One year ago strangers were resentfully throwing change at the beggar on the corner. Suddenly the same faces are coming as friends to borrow money from her! Alfred, whose six-month old business is a kiosque that sells a variety of goods, is even investing his fifty to one hundred dollars per month (it varies) into a plot of cabbage plants which, in about two months time, will yield a larger return. The fires of hope are able to spread quickly in dry desert.

And speaking of return, I think of this: "I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: 'Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They're his people; he's their God. He'll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good - tears gone, crying gone, pain gone - all...gone.' The Enthroned continued, 'Look! I'm making everything new. Write it all down - each word dependable and accurate.'" (Revelations 21: 3-5: The Message, paraphrase).

Solis is a new life given by an organization to a battered people started by a man named Genesis (one of the team members with whom I went on my trip), who simply listened to the winds of the Spirit upon his heart. If anyone would like to be a part of God's movement through Solis Foundation, or if you just want to do what you can to help those to need it badly, you can visit the website at There you will see instructions on how to give, if you would like, as well as more detailed information on the organization and what it does. Thank you.

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