Mizizi is the swahili word for “roots”. In keeping with the theme of what the word Mattaw means, which is “planting” of the Lord, we found that Mizizi (roots) gives meaning of depth and being firmly established. We have found that these mamas are the roots firmly keeping together what family they have remaining which is usually a burden for them. Our mission is to reach the widowed and single moms that are in desperate need of help and hope. Our hearts are to simply bring comfort to those that feel forgotten. Our mamas have been through deep sorrow and hard trials but we find that they have deeply rooted faith in Jesus and in need of us to come alongside them as their family in Christ and relieve some of their burdens whether thats spiritually or physically.
Meet our first group of widows.
There’s around 40 in the widows group in the surrounding villages where Mattaw Children’s Village is located. On average, around 30 will actually make it to the meetings where they meet every other Monday in a different widows home. This is usually due to the distance some walk and others can’t make it that far. It’s incredible how far these ladies can walk at such an old age. This group was formed years ago on their own. Not long after starting Mattaw Children’s Village, they invited us to come. Since the first time we met them, they’ve welcomed us with the biggest arms wide open. We have simply come alongside to continue encouraging them in the word of God and speaking life. We often find widows just simply want to be heard, cared for and spent time with. Time is free so we began going since 2008.
What an answer to prayer she was and the timing she became part of the Mattaw family was perfect timing. We had been meeting with the widows from time to time but it wasn’t until Christy came to be a part of Mattaw Ministries in 2012 that we established Mizizi. Christy’s prayer was “how can we best fulfill the scripture in James 1:27 on meeting widows needs in their distress?”. She spent much time with Dorcas, one of Mattaw’s school teachers who also has a huge heart for widows. Her and Dorcas would meet with widows and single moms weekly by going to individual houses and see firsthand how they live and how we could help. Christy soon found that helping the grandchildren was the immediate need they had. Through Mizizi, we began sponsorships for certain widows that are in extreme poverty. Also we look to find sponsorships for young widows in the surrounding area that no longer have any family and depend on the little they are able to make daily which is usually a few dollars a day. The mamas sure love Christy!
Dorcas has lived most of her life in the surrounding area where Mattaw is located. She is our head teacher at the Mattaw School located on the property of Mattaw Children’s Village. She has a calling and heart not only to the Mattaw Children in regards to their education but also to widows and single mothers. She too is a single mom who has endured many heartaches and trials from an abusive husband that is no longer in the picture. She has overcome many obstacles and is a strong woman of God. Out of her heartache, God gave her a passion to see other women in similar situations walk in freedom in all areas of life by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. What is unique about her starting with the first group of Widows we meet with often is that her mom age mates with these women and most of the widows were like moms to Dorcas throughout her life. One of the widows that is now almost 100 years old still remembers singing at Dorcas’ wedding. There is a lot of rich history found through these ladies lives that we are blessed to be a part of.
Some of our mamas have lost their children, leaving grandchildren behind for them to care for. Often they are too weak to keep caring for their grandchildren. In some cases we put the children in Mattaw Children’s Village. If the widow is able to care for the grandchildren then we seek to find sponsorship to put the children in school and bring them food either weekly or monthly, depending on how dire the circumstances are. We’ve had two cases so far that the widows either had children that were neighbors and in desperate situations or in cases such as Rosie.
When her parents passed away, her grandmother (who was part of the widows group below) cared for her until the grandmother passed away leaving only Rosie’s brother to care for her. She also has an older sister but she is now married and the husband is not welcoming of Rosie. The older sister still visits Rosie though. Because the brother was still in high school, it was best that Rosie be placed in a family at Mattaw. Rosie is thriving as a daughter in house five at Mattaw Children’s Village now.
Rosie with her brother and sister
Rosie in 2014
This is one of the younger widows who has children that were in great need of school fees and they needed food. In everything we do, if we can empower people rather than give handouts, we try to do that first. In many cases, these women are working hard for very little pay. With sponsorship, we are able to come alongside what they’re already doing and help relieve some of their burdens and stresses such as school fees for children and grandchildren and possibly supplement with food.
Dorcas and Christy want to continue finding the widows in dire need of help and hope. Dorcas has a vision to expand to help widows in Pokot region. This is a very remote place found north of the region we are in now. She has already identified several and will be making a big trip to go before us on her own to get the real details on the ground before we visit as a team. We look forward to sharing more soon!
If you would like more information or would be willing to sponsor one of these children, single moms or widows, you can email Christy: firstname.lastname@example.org