Survivors of relationship abuse need your help this winter.
Last spring, law enforcement and community agencies around the United States reported that the number of calls for help dramatically decreased as stay-at-home orders became the norm. That’s good, right? Unfortunately, it’s not good. Numbers went down because survivors were unable to leave an abuser and safely report the abuse. They were stuck at home, under an abuser’s thumb 24/7. The pandemic and its accompanying restrictions presented barriers to getting help. Because a survivor was with the abuser more often, they had fewer chances to seek outside help and support.
I have the privilege of serving as the program manager of the Kingdom Workers health education efforts in Nigeria. I find that few people are aware of the long relationship WELS and Kingdom Workers has with this African country. The greatest joy of supporting this work comes from stories from the field.
It was a cool summer afternoon when I first met Laura, Kevin, and Michelle. We sat in a spaced-out circle on Laura’s porch. A gentle breeze carried with it a sprinkling of sawdust from the project site just to my left. “A special construction blessing,” Principal Kevin Festerling said with a smile as he brushed the sawdust off his shirt.
And that’s exactly what this project was—a blessing. A blessing for Laura, Kevin, the students at Kingdom Prep, the volunteers from Kingdom Workers, and an entire neighborhood. And it all began with Laura’s husband Matt.
For the last eight months, we’ve become accustomed to the routine of washing our hands several times a day.
The combination of soap, scrubbing, and water produces a preventative measure against the spread of diseases, like the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19.
On a bright, sunny day I made my way to Mpemba. This is an area just outside of Blantyre, the city I live in and where Kingdom Workers Malawi is headquartered. Although not far from Blantyre, the area feels very rural.
We turned off the main paved road onto a bumpy dirt track winding through plots of corn interspersed with village homes. As we drove, I thought about how beautiful this country is, and I felt grateful to the people I was about to meet for being willing to share their stories.