“My name is Emily Chepkemoi Manju. In March 2007 when the clashes started in Mt. Elgon my husband was killed. He left me with 10 children. Life became very miserable when I lost him. Everyone ran away from me because I totally had nothing. I lived a very miserable and unhappy life because no one loved me. I went to church and I met pastor Philip, who really stood with me. At home there was nothing and we were very poor. When I got home that day, I felt God in my life and I felt God telling me that he still loves us despite the struggles. I encouraged my children to trust in the lord, even though I was their only parent left. People despised me so much but I insisted in trusting the Lord and went to church and that’s where my pastor got all of us and encouraged us to be strong with the word of God. One day while in church, the pastor shared to us about Fruited Plains and their corn seed. Later, I became one of the beneficiaries. I was very happy and said; ‘thank you Lord because you have seen me. I was a neglected woman but now you’ve used Mike and Michele to reach out to widows like me.’ I took the seeds given to me, went out to the kids and told them ‘God loves us so much and now we are going to have food. Let’s all turn to the Lord for He provides.’ We planted the seed and continued trusting in the Lord for a good season. For once we found peace in our home because we rested assured there was going to be food that year. We took care of the crop in that year (2009) and God remained faithful indeed since we had a bountiful harvest.
We now had enough food to share to others also in need. I decided to share the seed because it was given to me by the brothers and sisters from the US who had no clue who I was. Who was I to deny the neighbors around me in dire need of the seed? I have even shared some of the seeds with those who were running away from me saying that the kids were a burden. Yes, I trusted in the Lord and when the time for harvesting came, I had a bountiful harvest.
I had enough food in my house and the people started calling me the rich woman. I told God thank you so much because if people have seen me as a rich woman then it’s you Lord. God’s grace was sufficient to me and my family, and I challenged my kids to work hard in school now that we had enough food and money for school fees. I was so happy that God had good plans for us. Yes my children are in school and it’s because of Fruited Plains. I am able to sell the seeds and pay their school fees. I thank God so much for my children and Fruited Plains. Back home I have a storage full of maize. I have enough food and sold some to raise school fees. I have put aside my seeds for this season. I thank God so much for using Fruited Plains to bless me.”
“My name is Sophie Chemtai. This is my home and I have 4 children. So when my husband died, I suffered so much. I used to go to look for day laboring in order for me and my children to get food to eat. If I don’t go look for day laboring I won’t eat. Sometimes I don’t get any day laboring so I go back home and sleep with my children on empty stomach. In the morning I wake up again and go look for day laboring which usually takes up to 5:00 pm in the evening. When I come back home I find my children asleep and they could not wake up because they were too weak to wake up because of hunger pains. So when my husband died, I was so much stressed. I cried so much daily and I asked God, ‘why did you take my husband from me? I am too young in age. I am suffering with the kids please God help me’. I wake up hungry and go look for day laboring. When I get I come back, prepare porridge (cereal) for kids to take and in the evening I prepare them ugali and life continues.
Then that is when Fruited Plains came with the seeds and I became one of the seed beneficiaries. Before I used to suffer so much. I thanked God so much because they brought the seeds and it helped me in my house. I sold some of the seeds to pay school fees and buy house household items. It helped me so much and I thank God. I thank God so much because you loved me. You gave seeds to help women like me because they suffered. Life is now very good. I no longer have hunger in my house and I thank God. My kids can now eat and are very happy because we know have plenty. I shared some of the seeds and gave to a neighbor. She planted them and has helped her so much. She was very grateful because I shared with her. I used to cry so much at night, and I thought that people had ran away from me but God loved and remembered me through you Mike and Michele and all people of Fruited Pains. I just can’t thank God enough for you.”