One of the many highlights of my trip to Africa last summer was visiting Samuel Teimuge in Kenya. Samuel, who worked with Del even before Spirit in Action was founded in 1996, is local role model in Eldoret, Kenya. He and his family are integral to many development projects, including Empowering Lives International, Samro School, and the Ukweli Training Centre.
Last year, Samuel shared some words of wisdom with our SIA Small Business Fund Coordinators. Here are some of his insights on leadership, encouragement, and community development:
- We have learned a lot especially from Del Anderson and the self-help group in CFOI and this really encouraged us to start small. We learned that when you do things with your eyes towards other people that is when you succeed.
I want to use the scriptures Proverbs 14:23 since it is one that is really outstanding even as I teach people about development. “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” And that really is true for all of us. You know many times people talk, talk, talk, talk, but the Spirit in Action business plan starts from where you are, so instead of talking you do something that will really help, not only to your family, but also to others.
- There is one scripture that has been leading us in our home. 2 Thessalonians 3:7-11 “For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves as a model for you to follow. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘If a man will not work, he shall not eat.’”
- When our first-born finished high school, we employed him during the day we did not want him to be idle so we paid him 1,500KS (~$17) a month so he was in the dairy cleaning and feeding the cows. And do you know why we do this? So that they don’t get messed up; so that they don’t go to town to watch movies. That is what we have done here: our children are helping us, even as part of our ministry.
- So, as a development person, you will face a lot of challenges. God gives to us, so that we may help other people. If God has given you a skill, then that is what you need to share. We need to be generous. We need to act truthfully and faithfully.
- I was in America and our host was a good friend. I asked, ‘Do you know how to grow economically in Africa. Teach us, so that our economy in Africa can grow.’ He had only two words: “Be honest.” Honesty is the key. And be truthful. And that was the whole lesson.
- So I want to give a challenge to you – that you become a role model, even as you are a coordinator. We have to know, as coordinators, how to motivate, how to encourage.
- So friends, God has given us a ministry. A ministry that is so wonderful. And behind all these people [coordinators] there are so many people who have benefited from these programs, and they are saying ‘thank you Spirit in Action, for doing that.’ Yes, thank you, Del, who I believe one day we shall see again.