Written by Sunrise Baptist Church staff member Scott Rempel
Women of Worth
Mission Goal: To help support Women of Worth in Kenya and purchase land for them to build a home for 30 young abandoned girls and staff.
After 20 years with Washington State Social Services, Diane Calhoun felt the Lord calling her to serve some of the most invisible and vulnerable people in East Africa. Originally planning to go to Southern Sudan, she ended up in Kenya, founding Women of Worth (WOW) Restoration House and rescuing young girls abandoned on the streets.
Orphaned girls are on the bottom of the food chain in developing countries, and ministries like Women of Worth delivers them from a common fate of being trafficked and abused by providing a home, education and spiritual training, resulting in them growing up to contribute to the surrounding community as Godly women, wives and mothers.
Initially Diane moved to the slums of Nairobi, providing a home and education to over a dozen girls, and feeding over 100 steet boys once a day.
Sunrise Baptist Church in Custer, WA has an annual Harvest Fest weekend which features cross-cultural mission projects, a missions speaker and a fundraising banquet. There are usually three projects for ministries Sunrise supports monthly or which have ties with members in our church.
Sunrise first joined forces with Diane after she had been serving in Kenya for two years. With new partners to help her expand the ministry, Diane dreamed of ways to become more self-sufficient and provide a more wholesome environment for the girls. An initial project was for funds to rent land to raise crops, chickens, and provide some playground equipment for the children. Unfortunately, because the land didn’t have a wall around it, all the crops were stolen.
Needing a more secure location for the girls, Diane rented a home in a more rural area 2 hours outside of Nairobi. She and her 15 girls now have a rented home with a wall around it where they can raise chickens, but don’t have enough land to help grow their own food.
In partnership with Women of Worth, the plan is to purchase 2 acres of land, build a wall around the property for security, and build a 5 BR home capable of housing and educating 30 orphan girls and staff. The whole project is expected to cost $70,000, but should pay for itself in less than 10 years in rent saved, along with doubling the number of girls who can live there and raise much of their own food.
The first phase is to purchase the land. Last September, Sunrise raised $6,431 that was matched by a $5000 gift from Converge Cornerstone Fund Matching Grant Program. This is about half of what is needed to purchase the land. Once the land is purchased, cash crops and a garden can be planted which will further reduce expenses. As funds become available, the next steps are to build a wall and the home. As a church, Sunrise is committed to seeing this project completed and will feature it during the next several Harvest Fests. Hopefully other individuals and churches will join forces with Sunrise to finish it earlier.
Thirty orphan girls will be the initial primary beneficiaries. New girls will benefit as older girls are able to leave to start their own families. Sunrise also hopes that members from Sunrise will have an opportunity to serve at the orphanage as teachers and to help care for the girls. Ultimately, the surrounding community will benefit by these girls becoming salt and light as they grow up and contribute to the community around them. As well trained believers, they will be equipped to reach others for Christ.