Impossible, thought Guduro. She never imagined that she and her five children could experience such immeasurable joy – not after all the heartbreak and suffering they had endured.
So it’s easy to imagine her surprise and delight when her joy increased, again and again, multiplying on itself beyond all she could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
And there’s no mistaking the source of this overflowing joy: It’s the provision of God, through the compassionate generosity of Food for the Hungry (FH) supporters. And it arrived in the form of a growing goat herd.
Before Joy Arrived
Guduro’s story of increased joy began with heartbreaking sorrow. She’d been abandoned by her husband. Suddenly left with no source of income or a place to call home. Guduro found herself on her own to raise and provide for her five hungry children.
Making matters worse, her Kenyan community is among the hardest places to live on earth. Here, extreme poverty traps families in a cycle of hunger and lack for generations. Even two-parent households struggle to survive. What hope could there be for a single mom?
It was a dark day for Guduro. Life as she knew it was over. She worried what would happen to her children. What future they could scrape together without a father to provide for them?
But Guduro’s life beautifully echoes Psalm 30:5: “Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
Her new day began when generous partners of FH provided five goats to allow the family to start a herd.
Goats Multiplied, Joy Increased
Along with the gift of five goats, FH provided Guduro and her children with training in how to care for their new livestock. It wasn’t long before the family had milk and meat. Now, at least they wouldn’t go hungry. Relief washed over Guduro. She started to smile again.
But the good news didn’t stop there. The four female goats, along with one male, began to reproduce. Soon there were extra goats to sell, providing funds to buy other essentials for their family, including school supplies, household goods, and even medicine to protect both the humans and the goats from disease.
As her growing herd produced increasing amounts of milk, Guduro was also able to sell the excess milk to purchase vegetables at the market and provide a more balanced diet for her family.
Today, Guduro and her family have a herd of more than 20 goats. And with each new addition, their joy increases.
Joy Increased for Today, Hope Increased for Tomorrow
This gift of goats provided exciting transformations. One of the most exciting was how it empowered Guduro and her daughters to break through gender stereotypes in their community.
Everyone thought shepherding, or goat-herding, was a job for men. But Guduro’s daughters have proved they can do the task just as well as her sons, filling them with a sense of pride and accomplishment sure to transport them into a brighter future.
In fact, the whole family is learning that – as they work together to care for their livestock – they are rising out of poverty. As their joy increases with each new goat born to their herd, they see their potential is truly limitless.