The Impossible Made Possible

January 3, 2024

By Iris Richard

For over 25 years we’ve been involved in full-time service with a poor community in Africa. Kenya has become our home. We have experienced ups and downs, faced challenges and setbacks, and enjoyed countless victories and much progress during our time of aid work.

Nevertheless, when COVID entered our world, there was another level of extreme circumstances, especially in the marginalized communities, which is where we work.

We regularly pray for supply of the abundant needs we encounter, but during this time, the dwindling economic situation all around the world, and especially in our region, brought us to our knees. With poverty on a steep incline, our workload took on a new dimension.

And as the number of people contracting the virus steadily increased, I found myself caught up in a flurry of worries, wondering how we’d make it through this crisis. Not only did our work depend on the support of well-wishers, but the many restrictions put in place in the wake of the pandemic brought countless new challenges for our small team. Our aid work and outreach programs with informal schools ground to a halt when all learning institutions closed indefinitely. We had no idea how we were going to continue our projects, or how we would find support in the weakening economy.

Our faith was being thoroughly tested, so we decided to meet each morning for desperate prayer. Claiming promises from God’s Word took on greater significance as we put our faith in the following verses:

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7).

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14–15).

Then it was time for action. We shared impressions and testimonies online of the increasing struggle the marginalized were facing for their daily survival, hoping that this plea would motivate some kindhearted folks to step up and help during these tough times.

Aware that the financial pinch affected not only the poor, but also most businesses, especially in our African country, we were doubtful that our seemingly weak attempt at creating awareness would bring many positive results. However, knowing that God often uses our difficulties to strengthen our faith, we had the assurance that things would work out.

After a number of “I’m sorry, I can’t help you” replies, just before we almost gave up, the near impossible happened. We received a call from an acquaintance we had almost forgotten. He explained that he desired to help the poor and had been praying about who to contact. He said that God had shown him that we were the right people to make the best use of the donations he would like to contribute.

Because one man, in the midst of the pandemic, heeded the call for help, a new ministry was born! We have since been able to provide weekly food rations for hundreds of needy families. A team of young volunteers helps us distribute sizable care packages to elderly, disabled, and bedridden folks, as well as patients with cancer, TB, and AIDS each week.

After this man’s example of giving, others stepped forward, offering to help in various ways. As a result, empty baskets were filled, lives were touched, and faith in God’s goodness was rekindled.

Here are some jewels we gleaned from this “impossible” situation:

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