Friday, December 7, 2018

Sisal Plants and Handcrafts





Sisal is one of the most widely used natural fibers in the world and can be obtained from the leaves of Agave (Agave sisalana) plant. It thrives in tropical and sub-tropical climates in temperatures above 77 degrees Fahrenheit and with generous levels of sunshine. Kenya is one of three locations that produce the highest quality sisal, with Tanzania and Brazil being the other two.

Its spectacular sword-shaped leaves create a rosette up to 6 and a half feet tall and are densely packed with smooth, straight slightly yellow fibers. Sisal is naturally resistant to water damage and maintains its integrity without the use of synthetic chemicals, which is instrumental in its worldwide success. Originally harvested to make twine and ropes, its uses have expanded and integrated into textiles. The highest grade sisal is reserved for the manufacture of baskets, rugs and other luxury home furnishings.

This week we met with one of many women’s groups in Machakos, Kenya to provide Christ-centered business education to sisal basket-makers. These ladies are master crafters with the strong fibers. As a result of our work together, they have several new product ideas for which the sisal plant can be used. Stay connected to find out what they will be.
Guest Blog Writer: Cindy Faber







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Friday, November 9, 2018

100 Christmas Dollies 2018: Beneficiary Announcement


Just a few years ago, Pastor Karisa and the leaders of Sanctuary of Praise Watamu were inspired by lessons from our Entrepreneurship Series to invest in a greenhouse as an income generating project to benefit the church. That project has been producing tomatoes seasonally and the money used to make improvements to this roof-only church. While this activity is enough to qualify for the 100 Christmas Dollies gift, this year God really did something quite remarkable among his people.



Early this year Pastor Karisa invited Surprised by Hope to conduct a church health survey among its members. We presented results to church leadership, which required a great deal of vulnerability on Pastor Karisa’s part, and together they clarified the direction of the church. By the grace of God, that activity brought a deeper strength and unity to the church vision, which multiplied giving and encouraged them to join together in constructing a permanent structure to hold up its existing roof.

Notice the walls are made from black plastic.



We are humbled that God would use us all to bring transformation to the church building and its people, and Surprised by Hope is honored to award the 100 Christmas Dolly gift to Sanctuary of Praise Watamu.


Who Qualifies
  • Several criteria qualify a church to receive the 100 Christmas Dollies gift.
  • Attending an Entrepreneurship Series conference.
  • Applying Christ-centered business lessons toward positive change in the church. We acknowledge that there are many ways to apply our lessons and that not all of them are tangible. However, our goal is to leave a tangible, long-lasting legacy and so we aim at selecting churches making physical improvements.
  • Evidencing self-motivation toward tangible church goals without expecting this gift.
  • Experiencing life in community where our gift is but a small portion among the giving of many members.

How it Works
  • Choose the one (or several) dollies calling your name.
  • Make a tax deductible donation of $25 per dolly using PayPal, or send a check in the mail to the U.S. address at the bottom of the home page. Don’t forget to include your dolly number(s) in the comment field.
  • On Christmas day we will provide a hot meal to the church and a simple Nativity message to the children with a gift of all the sponsored dollies.
  • Watch for a picture of your dolly with his or her new Kenyan mommy or daddy on social media or via email.
  • Then we’ll use your donation money to invest in the final phases of construction for Sanctuary of Praise Watamu. Watch for future progress updates.
  • Pray regularly for the child who received your dolly and for the church.

Read About Previous Gifts

Stay Connected



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Monday, July 30, 2018

Sensible Shoes: Kilifi

The Inner Healing ministry team served the children of this little primary school near Kilifi Town with 100 pair of Sensible Shoes. The children were so lovely in their welcome and their songs. As it happened, they were almost exactly 100 in number and almost all the shoes we had were the right size for these precious ones.

As is our custom, we taught the children a simple less on about walking in the way of love from Ephesians 5:1-2. When asked what it meant to love someone, they were very insightful: be kind, respect, obey, help, give, and more. What humbling examples of love, these children were.

We washed every foot and all their toes as we prayed for them to also walk in love. Once these excited little ones were finished, we prayed over their future lives. We prayed a growing intimacy with the Lord, that they would have healthy encouraging spouses, that they would have positions of leadership in the church where people sought them out for guidance, that they would have successful businesses, that they would have positions of leadership in the government, that one among them would become president someday, and that they would never lose their way.

Please continue to pray over these children and all the children who participated in Sensible Shoes ministry these many years. God bless you.




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Monday, April 30, 2018

Sensible Shoes: Kanani

Pastor Karisa organized a wonderful meeting with the Kanani Elder who in turn organized 100 children, which turned out to be about 250. I love how Pastor Karisa always sees an opportunity for evangelism beyond his own church area as many of these children do not attend church. Two little girlies who do attend church led singing along with Pastor who taught a few new songs with funny sounds. I offered a message about walking in love (Ephesians 5:1-2) and reminded the children how much they are loved and how they ought to love others. Because of flooding at the pump stations, the area has been without water for some time which means we were unable to wash these beautiful feet but our prayers will be unending.

When asked, Pastor commented that many of the people in this coastal area feel that praying for the future of their children is hopeless. They struggle to see anything good coming from this area. So our prayers for the 40-year future of these children to have the strength of the Holy Spirit in their lives, to have healthy marriages, to have successful businesses, to have positions in government, and that an ethical, honorable, and compassionate president would come from here were not in vein.

Thank you so the many people who made this ministry possible. I am so blessed to be your hands and feet here on the coast. You are making a difference, a BIG difference.

Here with the local leader at his home where more than 200 children gathered.


This little punkin boy came right to me and wrapped
himself around me. Such a beautiful smile, but
he knew it was customary not to smile in photos.









You might see shoes on these feet, but you cannot see the condition they're in.


Children EVERYwhere!


100 Pair of Sensible Shoes






Here are the singing girl leaders.

This mama carefully approached me and said, "thank you!"

The program was wonderfully organized and God was with us.

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Sensible Shoes: Kagombani

Kagombani PEFA Church

We were blessed to offer Sensible Shoes ministry on January 6, 2018 (though I forgot to post to the blog) at Kagombani PEFA Church just outside Malindi. Pastor David arranged so many lovely children and some well organized mothers to help and we were all blessed.








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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Bugs and Pests of 2017

I hesitate to post now, lest there be more between now and 2018. But here is a collection made just for you. Welcome to coast.

This green mamba slithered out from the branches of
the tree in front of my house. Where he went after that
nobody knows.


Something supped on me in about 20 places just like this.

One of about 20 frogs found in my bathtub throughout the year.



All kind of bugs, many of which I killed before I took a picture.


A giant slug. How on earth do these things get inside.

This is an ant straw. Inside are thousands of little eggs.


Perhaps the most disgusting. The ants found a space under a food box,
another time under the printer (which they ate up and no longer works),
yet another under a duffel bag, and lastly under a storage box.
Four times this year. Just beyond YUK! This is what boys were made for, I'm quite sure.

He was my welcoming party. How he got into the fridge, I'll never know.



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