Wouldn't You Like to Do Something Good for the Women of the World?
(with "Voluntourism Journey to Kenya" letter)
The moment I write the title “Wouldn’t You Like to Do Something Good
for the Women of the World,” I am afraid I will lose my male readers.
So before continuing, let me make the point that in all of history one
of the greatest advocates for the empowerment and the advancement of
women was our Lord, Jesus Christ. Read Luke, the whole book, and ask
why the beloved physician included so many stories of Christ’s
interaction with old women, young women, healthy and unhealthy women. I
have concluded and have often taught that Jesus was the Healer of
Women. He believed in them, sustained them, often commended them,
traveled with them, looked on them as among His chief boosters.
when I ask the question, “Wouldn’t you like to do something good for
the women of the world?”, I am extremely conscious of the fact that
Christian men (as well as Christian women) must become active advocates
for helping to improve the appalling conditions that entrap and degrade
a good 80% of the women of the world.
I often wake up thinking, Oh thank God that I get to do what I do.
For some reason I have been positioned to be in a place where I can
influence the betterment of women in over 100 countries in the world.
The men on the Board of Directors of Medical Ambassadors International
have allowed me to be champion of the Women’s Cycle of Life training, a
unique, learner-centered, highly participatory teaching methodology
that seamlessly integrates Scripture with practical lessons on women’s
In fact, David and I leave on April 11 to
take Women’s Cycle of Life training with African counterparts. As a
member of the Board of Directors, I have taken the weeklong training
TOT1 (Training of Trainers One); now I am credentialed to take the
training for WCL. This means I will be able to train Women’s Cycle of
Life trainers as well. So hats off to the men on the Medical
Ambassadors International board who are some of the greatest advocates
of doing something good for the women of the world that I know. They
have found funding for us, pushed us to become better organized and are
highly interested in encouraging the growth of this division of the
Medical Ambassadors ministry.
I honor the men of the church who have become champions for the
underprivileged, under-resourced women of the world, for those women
who live in an atmosphere of oppression and abuse.
Will you pray for us as we are in Africa?
• Pray for travel mercies—that is a phrase that has poignant meaning as David and I age.
that the filming we will be doing for Medical Ambassadors International
will go well; it is extremely difficult to capture the footage
necessary with some of the travel and communication differences that
occur in cross-cultural environments.
• Pray that our
work with the team of Global Bag Project colleagues will go well and
that we will move quickly to self-sufficiency for the Kenya GBP Project.
READ THE "VOLUNTOURISM JOURNEY TO KENYA" LETTER BELOW.
We would love to get to know you better…
Won’t you join us on a Voluntourism Journey to Kenya !
September 29 – October 9, 2012
and I will leave from Chicago on Friday, September 28 and land in
Nairobi on Saturday, the 29th. The 10-day experience will end on
October 9 when many of us will fly back to the States.
Will you prayerfully consider whether this opportunity is God’s idea for you?
voluntourism program, a careful balance of focused tourism and hands-on
interaction with our African friends, is open for registration. We are
looking for men and women who can contribute their skills to the
on-going growth of Global Bag Project Kenya. If you have any of the below skills, we would welcome your help.
• Experience with the tourism industry
• Sewing expertise
• Marketing ideas
• Fundraising experience
• A background in business; entrepreneurial instincts; marketing ideas
• Simple construction abilities
• Love of shopping (particularly in tourist markets!)
• Previous exposure in developing countries
• Pragmatic problem-solving capabilities
• Relational gifts
• Joy about cross-cultural diversity
• Writing, social networking, and/or photography skill-sets
Global Bag Project workers in Kenya are widows with HIV/AIDS or single
mothers without husbands to help them raise their children. We cannot
emphasize how important it is for compassionate men to come alongside
our friends and demonstrate concern and support in tangible ways.
Global Bag Project seamstresses in Kibera slums
Global Bag Project seamstresses at Africa Int'l University
will be housed in the beautiful Kijiji guest houses at Africa
International University (in the suburb of Karen outside Nairobi) where
GBP Kenya has friends, an office and a sewing room. We’ll take most of
our meals on campus in the Kijiji dining room. This will allow us
optimum time to meet and get to know our African colleagues on the
campus grounds and in the nearby Kibera Slums and to do volunteer work
at this site.
Kijiji Guest House
The tourism part of our journey will include:
long-established development projects such as Amani Ya Juu (the mother
of all sewing centers starting with a handful of refugees now employing
over 80 workers). Kazuri Beads, begun by Englishwoman Susan Woods over
30 years ago, which now employs over 300 workers and ships products all
over the world. We will visit the artist colony at Kitengela Glass
where the motto is “Nothing Is Wasted” (it certainly isn’t). This is a
visually stunning experience. Trust us!
Kitengela Glass Artist Colony Art
Imaginative building on Kitengela compound
toss in some history—tea at Lake Naivasha Country Club in the Rift
Valley for a taste of British Colonialism, lunch at a working tea farm
beneath the Ngong Hills, and end with a two-day, two-night safari in
the Maasai Mara during the remarkable migration season as thousands of
zebra and wildebeests migrate back to the Serengeti in Tanzania.
Believe us, this is a sight to behold, and for some, a
On safari in Nairobi, Kenya—spotting lions
The Serena Safari Lodge
The volunteer part of the journey will include:
“Flipping” houses for a couple of seamstresses who need a little
neighborly help; this will entail simple improvements to make a few
homes more habitable for these families.
- Making décor
improvements in some of the guest rooms in Kijiji. This will entail
hands-on work, shopping in the roadside markets for furniture upgrades
and decorations, and paying to have the rooms repainted. Year-round
guests who stay at Kijiji often buy bag products from the curio shop or
- Working in the sewing rooms to create new bag
product prototypes and teaching additional sewing skills that need to
- Attending church at Nairobi Chapel.
- Shopping for fabrics in the Somali fabric market or in the tourist markets for sewing projects.
The sewing room in Amani Ya Juu
Tent Church at Nairobi Chapel
The Somali fabric market
Cost of the trip:
land fee, not including airfare. This is a high-end fee, including
costs for the safari, and a stipend (which you will be receipted for as
a donation) to capitalize buying fabrics, contributing to emergency
funds, purchasing sewing machines, and purchasing décor for the Kijii
guest-house rooms. We are negotiating an alternate safari event, hoping
to reduce the fee by around $1000.
Registering for the trip:
you wish to join us, we need you to inform us by April. This intent
requires a $500 down-payment. If you choose to cancel, the $500 can
only be returned if you cancel by August 15. After that date,
down-payments will have been made to venders, and refunds will
unfortunately not be possible. After April, we will make air-travel
plans in case there is a group that wants to leave and return to
Our voluntourism journey will actually begin in May with twice-monthly conference training calls.
This way you will be acquainted and informed before landing in Kenya.
you register, we will send detailed information, a firm list of
recommended reading, further explanation about the donation stipend
included in your fee, alternate safari event to cut costs, Web links
for doing your own research (all the necessary travel information that
comes with a journey of this kind—vaccinations, visas, etc.).
Karen Mains via e-mail at email@example.com or our Mainstay
Ministries office phone (for further questions and a live voice) at 630-293-4500. Checks can be made payable to Global Bag Project and mailed to Box 30, Wheaton, IL 60187.
I can’t think of anything more wonderful than including people we love in this exciting, high-impact growth event.
David and Karen Mains
Karen's Blogs for This Coming Week
Link is http://blog.karenmains.com/blog/thoughts-by-karen-mains.
Titles for this coming week are: "Reading Chagall’s Stained-Glass
Windows"; "Finding the New Power Saw"; "Prayer Is Not What You Think It
Is"; "How to Keep Alive the Interior Life"; "Slings and Arrows." Karen
is capturing finding God in her everyday life. If you check out the
blogs and think they would help others, will you please use the link to
send them on to your Facebook friends?
The Soulish Food e-mails are
posted biweekly on the Hungry Souls Web
site. Newcomers can look that over and decide if they want to
register on the Web site to receive the biweekly newsletter. You might
want to recommend this to friends also. They can go to www.HungrySouls.org.
“I often wake up
thinking, 'Oh, thank God that I get to do what I do. For some reason I
have been positioned to be in a place where I can influence the
betterment of women in over 100 countries in the world.'”
Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion
by Gregory Boyle
Tattoos on the Heart
by Gregory Boyle was recommended to me by three people and the book was
given to us by two friends! Every one of them said, “You must read this
book.” David jumped first into the pages and his response was so
positive that I read the book concurrently—when he was at work or busy
with other things.
All I can say is that I laughed and I
cried and thanked God for writers who can make the work of God real in
the world in such a way that captures the reality of grace. Brother
David Boyle has run Homebody Industries, a gang-intervention program in
the heart of the Boyle Heights district of Los Angeles, and tells
stories both uplifting and heartbreaking of walking through these
neighborhood with faith enough to believe that God would be present in
the most desperate of circumstances.
All I can say is, “You must read this book.” It will renew your faith.
Some reviews from Amazon.com:
heard Fr. Greg Boyle speak a few years ago at a conference in Los
Angeles and he is without question the best speaker that I have ever
heard. What is so impressive about his faith journey is that it is
lived. The stories of human transformation described in the book are
some of the most moving and inspiring spiritual narratives that I have
encountered. At a time when it is so easy to become so cynical about
institutional faith his writing breaks through with a spiritual force
that reminds us of true meaning of faith.”
“It’s about what
it means to be human, to seek the goodness within ourselves and
everyone and everything around us. It is thoroughly entertaining,
instructional, thought-provoking, inspirational, faith-restoring … I am
halfway through the book and torn between devouring the rest in one
sitting or drawing it out as long as possible. It’s one of those books
that you know you will be sad when you reach the end because you loved
it so much.”
magazine writes: “Jaw-dropping. Boyle takes us through the human
lifecycle of fall/grace/redemption again and again. Reading this book
is a spiritually cleansing experience that won’t leave you the same. Tattoos on the Heart welcomes all of us to join in the “no matter whatness’ of God’s unconditional love.”
Buy From Amazon.com »