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Local Partner Rachel Karanja: Giving hope to family | Projects

Local Partner Rachel Karanja: Giving hope to family

“When we came to Limuru 13 years ago, the call into ministry was a prompting out of the need to offer relief and hope to the internally displaced persons after the 2008 election violence in different parts of Kenya. That time we received and gave shelter and food to many families who were fleeing political violence in the rift valley.

Fast-forward into 2020, the church is more established and but faced 3 tripartite enemies; covid-19, floods and locusts.”Rachel and Joseph Karanja The global outbreak of coronavirus has had a huge impact on families and people living in Kabuku area where the Karura Community Chapel- Kabuku is currently located.

Local Partner Rachel Karanja who is the wife to the presiding pastor Joseph Karanja is working through the church to feed families in Kabuku area.“We have so far reached like 300 families from Kabuku area; Ngecha, Tigoni; Gatimu and parts of Limuru having expended to the tune of a half a million Kenya shillings that have come in mainly in kind through food donations,” says Rachel Karanja.

She observes that the need is ever there and increasing every day as some families have now been fed 3 to 4 times since we started 2 months ago. “On May 20th for instance, we had more than 100 who were stuck at the church gate needing help.

The church was giving 30 people shopping and when word went out that there was food distribution at the church, many people came and the need was really overwhelming,” says Pst Joseph. And as the Swahili say: hakuna msiba usio kuwa na mwenziwe (every problem comes with another one) it was very sad that while Rachel was leading the food relief efforts in her area, 2 dams in the flower farms burst and causing a lot of floods within Kabuku Majiri on May 6th.

This was like a double tragedy to the flower farm workers who were already on compulsory unpaid leave due to suspension of operations by their employers due to coronavirus. The floods affected some of the flower farm workers a s well as dozens of homes which were destroyed causing many to become homeless and needing clothes.

The relation relief in Rachel Karanja’s words has widened once again as was in 2007 to provision of shelter and clothing for like 9 homes which were vacated.

Rachel is very thankful for her local partners: Karura Community Chapel under the leadership of her spiritual leader Ngari Kareithi; Student Arise Ministry (SAM) Africa, Karura Community Chapel- Kabuku; Limuru Highlands; CMS-Africa and Barnabas Fund for the support in making the church become the light of the world.

Thank you all for helping us shine before others, that they may see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven,” says Rachel quoting from Matthew 5:14-16

Here are select COVID 19 beneficiaries from the church support to communities

 Ahmed Mugo

Ahmed is one of the minorities in Kabuku area due to his religious inclinations. I am an Islamic cleric born and raised in Kabuku area, lived and served in many part of Kenya but now raising my family of 5 children and 1 wife here at Kabuku. Ahmed tells me that “you know its man- human beings who get into problems and problems don’t discriminate based on color, tribe, creed or religion. It is us human beings who discriminate each other based on our individual biases.”

I used to work with Bilal Muslim but work came to an end a few years ago and now I am just a freelance religious teacher who is struggling to make ends meet in terms of raising support for my family,” says Ahmed.  I work as casual laborer in the neighbourhood to be able to feed my people because many companies have closed but even the daily casual jobs have become rare.

He further says that since Coronavirus started; his life has been a bit inactive and so there is little or no financial income which has caused his family unknown sorrow, pain and anguish. He says that he has 2 children in secondary school and 2 in primary and 1 who is not yet going to school; all of whom are in the house expecting to feed.

Its due to this hardships that he registered as a minority at the village elders as among people needing support and is thankful to Allah for making the church come to his aid by enlisting him as beneficiary of the relief Programme..“Through the Nyumba kumi (ten houses) initiative;

I have now received food support for my family 3 times,” says Ahmed.He is grateful for the church for not discriminating him based on his religion as he too is a man who has a family in need.

“In my understanding every person is a human being created in the image of God and the church has been very helpful in giving people dignity in this area during this hard economic times occasioned by COVID-19,” says Ahmed who adds that this is the very first time that he has depended on the church and not fellow Muslim for support especially during this holy month of Ramadan.

This is actually the first time I have actually come to a church since I converted to Islam.In conclusion, Ahmed says that he has come to the realization that the resources of man are limited but the resources of God are everlasting. We are thankful to the church for reaching out to needy people across the community without discrimination.

Petronilla Ilagosa

Petronilla, a mother of 5 children is from Western parts of Kenya at a place called Kaimosi. I used to work at a flower farm called Selector within Limuru area for years but was involved in an accident that left her with a broken bone injury in her left hand.

Her resultant disability led to her husband who also used to work in the flower farm to abandon her and go back to his ancestral home in Vihiga. Petronilla has been left helpless with her children and when coronavirus started life became even more complicated.

I can’t do anything cause of my lame hand and I feel very bitter that my beloved husband left me because of the disability,” says Petronillah amidst tears as she adds that she has sold many of the household items to pay rent and buy food in the last 3 months Petronillah thus lives by faith and although she attends another church Africa Divine Church (ADC),

she is grateful that Karura Community Chapel came to her rescue during these tough economic times due to covid-19.

Petronillah has been supported by Rachel’s church so far with beans, ndegu, cooking fat; and flour for the last 4 times since the outbreak of coronavirus in Kenya.

“I sincerely don’t know what I would have done with my children who are still of the school going age,” She says adding that we would have probably died of hunger and starvation by now. Since we can’t repay you good people, my prayer is that the Lord would enrich you to be a blessing to others in future.” She is evidently thankful for those who are supporting them and prays to God that he may richly bless them.


Gertrude Khumwa

Gertrude who is a mother of 4 children came to Kabuku area in 2019 with her 2 children because of failed marriage back home in Kakamega. When I came to look for work, I left 2 of my older children with my father in Kakamega where they are schooling and I came with the 2 young ones,” says Gertrude,

When Gertrude came to Limuru area, the only readily available work for her was the flower farm work where she worked in the weeding section. She started working in a flower farm and was able to support herself and her family but since March, things have been a bit tough for her as they were send away from work.  

“I lost my only source of income - Ksh 6000; per month that I used to pay rent with Ksh.1500 as well as support my children. Gertrude is really grateful to the church for the support she has received thus far- 3 times that has helped her and her two children to keep hope alive,” says Gertrude carrying her youngest of the children who is barely 1 year old.

Alice Wanjiru

Alice is a widow who used to work in a flower farm at Kabuku but when COVID-19 came up, all employees were send packing as there work came to an end. Alice has 4 children and she was in great need before the church came to her rescue by feeding her together with her children since March 2020. When she worked in the flower farm.

Alice has sick children and she is not able to take them to hospital because of hard economic times and the fact that there is no job and so the income has greatly gone down.The children all girls are of school going age to school but are now at home.

Alice used to make Ksh. 250 per day and was able to support her family but since the companies were closed, she is really grateful to God for the church coming to her aid. “I have received support from the church in form of Maize and Wheat flour, fresh maize, beans; vegetables, cooking oil and clothes and pray to God to bless the hand gives for us the needy,” says Alice. 

Her prayer: “May the Lord God who is the husband to the widow and father to the fatherless greatly reward the church and all her partners- CMS-Africa and Barnabas Fund for coming to the rescue of the power and lowly in Kabuku area like herself.