We are Trae and Adrianne Briscoe, and we are long-term missionaries in Western Kenya. In a nutshell, we create leaders and advance the Kingdom of God through teaching, discipleship, and the development of sustainable income sources. It all sounds very fancy, but basically we help others achieve their full potential in every aspect of their lives.

But enough about us, let's talk about the people we really care about. We work closely with two men in Kenya, Geoffrey and Hannington, and their heart is not to just provide for their families but their communities as well. However, becoming financially stable in rural Kenya can be a long and uphill battle. Our goal through this fundraiser is to provide the men with the resources to not only start a project but move towards financial self-sustainability. "Microfinance project" does not sound like the most fun and glamorous thing, but it is, however, very important.

So the big question is "Why is this important?" Recently when we asked Geoffrey and Hannington what their biggest financial burden currently is, they both answered that it is the pressure of school fees. We are thankful that both men see the value of education for all of their children, and we want to continue to foster that. They see this future microfinance project as not a way to get a bigger home or have nicer clothes, but a way to feed their families and invest in their childrens' futures.

A little blurb about the Kenyan school system: it's very expensive to get an education. At any level. Even if it's the worst public school in your county. The sad truth is that it costs a lot of money for children in low-income rural areas to get a decent education. For most kids, they aren't able to complete high school because 1) it's unaffordable and 2) many need to stay home and help their parents earn money.

Hannington and Christine Nalawali have three biological children and one adopted daughter. In Kenyan culture, if a child is orphaned, they are sent to live with any available extended family. There is no volunteer process or assessment of if a family is able to take the child in, it is just seen as a duty in the extended family. The Nalawalis were chosen a year ago to take in the young girl very suddenly, though they were not financially able.

Geoffrey and Martha Omurwa currently have two boys and one girl, with a surprise baby on the way. Right now we are helping Martha to get proper medical treatment during her pregnancy, but we want to set them up to have a strong financial foundation when the baby arrives. Update: we just found out this week that Martha might be having TWINS! A sonogram has been scheduled and we are anxiously waiting for more news.

Our project for Hannington and his family will be a new chainsaw. He is already doing work with a much older one, but it was already in rough shape when he got it a year ago because he bought it used, which is so often the case here. With a new, reliable chainsaw, he could do 10 times the work. Money raised would also buy him the supplies he needs to maintain it so it will continue to run for many years, as well as purchasing some trees to jumpstart his first big cutting project with the new chainsaw.

Our project for Geoffrey and his family will be a welding machine. He will make things like gates, security grates, and bars for windows, which are all things that Kenyan homes are built with. Geoffrey will also hire some other men in his community to assist in the welding projects. Money raised would also buy him some supplies such as rods and safety gear.

Both families live in rural towns in Western Kenya. In rural communities in Kenya, there aren't many companies to work for, so most people have to do independent work or start a small business. However, being an entrepreneur can be difficult if you don't have the startup money, so many people are stuck between wanting to work to have money, but not having the initial means to do it. Supplies like chainsaws and welding machines can be hard to get ahold of in a rural area. Also, they can be more expensive to get, especially with the pay average is so drastic between a Westernized city like the capitol Nairobi and the rural town where the supplies are being sent.

Both men are spiritual leaders in their extended families and communities. Geoffrey and Hannington have willingly devoted their time to furthering the Kingdom of God and impacting their communities in Western Kenya. Just to briefly brag about these two, they mentor children through soccer programs, head up days to clean their towns,  train Bible leaders through the colleges they started, advocate for students struggling in school, counsel their neighbors…we could really go on all day, but you get the picture. To summarize our point, they are total rockstars, but without all the recognition and online fan clubs.

We use microfinance projects so that they are financially stable for years to come. Instead of just paying directly to send their children to school for a couple of years, we want Geoffrey's unborn child to graduate from high school in 18 years with money made from the welding machine. We want to equip the fathers so that the children can continue to afford school and not have to stay home and work. These projects will affect both the families and their communities long-term.

We are anxious to raise the money as soon as possible because we want the families to be able to eat and not be worried about having the money to keep their children in school. Also, Geoffrey's baby (or babies!) are arriving in a few months, and we want the project to be well under way so that they are prepared for the new arrival to their family. Up until now, we have funded projects ourselves to help them keep their heads above water, but we want to make a huge financial commitment to both families this month. We are currently using all the financial resources that we have, but we need the extra help. These microfinance projects are important because they will insure that these families have the resources to provide for their children, so that the family as a whole can continue to focus on strengthening and bringing the love of Christ to their communities.

No gift amount is too small! Every dollar is a blessing and brings us closer to our goal. Geoffrey and Hannington are continually grateful for all the help they receive.

We do work under Christ Life Missions, which is a 5013c, so all donations made even through GiveSendGo will be tax deductible.  Giving through GiveSendGo is fast, easy, and secure. GiveSendGo is offered to non-profit causes at no cost. That means all contributions go towards the project and not overhead. However, we have opted for 2% of the donations to go back to GiveSendGo as a thank you and so that they can continue to offer this wonderful service to others.

If you have any further questions, you can reach us at adrianne.briscoe@christlifemissions.org. You can also learn more about us and what we do in Kenya at thebriscoesabroad.com.