James is a pastor in Kisumu, Kenya. Being orphaned as a teenager, James dropped out of school and started down a bad path, believing like many, that he was dependent on others in order to make it in life. He says that even after receiving and being transformed by Christ, he didn’t recognize that he could take responsibility for making changes.
Then one Sunday afternoon, he attended a meeting of local pastors and some LIA staff. In James’ words, “I was impressed by LIA’s vision and I welcomed it with all my heart. Many NGOs are working in Kisumu, but many of them do not offer solutions to the problems that are ailing the communities in the city. What many of them do is offer relief, and relief cannot bring a lasting solution to the problems the communities are facing.”
He continues, “LIA’s training demonstrated how if the community is empowered they can take care of their problems and get solutions without depending on someone from the outside to come and solve their problem. So, through capacity building, these people are able to stand for themselves.”
Through LIA’s partnership in his community, James says, “My mind was opened and I realized that I can actually do something to change my life.”
Becoming a part of a savings and loans group with his church and other churches in the area, James has had the ability to start and expand a motorcycle transport business. He currently has two motorcycles that he rents to others. This gives him the opportunity to help those people with their businesses, while also generating income to support his family and giving him time to be involved in ministry.
James dreams of expanding his business in the future by buying an automobile, so that he can be even more financially independent and free to serve his community. “It’s not easy, but with God all things are possible.”
Today, Life in Abundance has phased out of James’ community. Yet through leaders like James, the empowerment that came through trainings and programs still has impact and the hope of Christ continues to be spread.