Can you imagine sleeping in bed with your husband one night and sleeping in a cemetery among gravestones the next? This is the tragic story of Mary, a widow who endured this situation before she found happiness at the Nyasi Kinship Project in Kenya.
Mary never imagined that she would become a widow at 35. Her husband was a loving man who worked hard to provide for Mary and their children. Mary enjoyed every day of her marriage. Then came “the Black Saturday.”
Heartbroken and Hopeless
"Black Saturday" is what Mary calls the day she became a widow. Her husband was killed in a fatal motorcycle accident. “It’s just like yesterday,” Mary said with her face down, wiping the tears from her eyes. “And whenever I remember this day, I feel cold.”
Mary spent the next month in a state of shock. Her in-laws took her late husband’s belongings and left her with one mattress, one blanket, and some utensils. Her landlady claimed that women without husbands weren't allowed to live at the property. The landlady also knew Mary’s children weren't going to school due to unpaid tuition fees. So Mary and her children were evicted.
Mary was profoundly depressed. With no job and limited education, Mary didn’t know what to do. So she froze.
Mary had nowhere to go. Her own mother died when she was ten, so she grew up in different houses, traveling between strangers’ homes as a house girl who cooked and cleaned. When she was alive, Mary’s mother never introduced her to any relatives, or even to her father.
With nowhere to go and no one else to turn to, Mary took her children to a cemetery. “When we were thrown out of the house, I said to myself: I’ll go with my children to my mother’s grave. We will either die there, or her spirit should help me.”
That night, Mary and her children laid down to sleep at the cemetery. The children were cold and very scared. Mary assured them that in the morning, everything would be okay. She prayed to God that it would be true.
A Fresh Start and New Hope
The next morning, a Good Samaritan was attending a burial when she saw Mary and the children seated in the dirt beside a grave. The woman left her ceremony and walked over to Mary and spoke to her. Mary says that God chose that woman and blessed her to provide Mary with hope.
Mary and her children were led to the Nyasi Kinship Project. That night, and every night since, there were beds to sleep in, hot meals to eat, a church to pray in, and a loving new family to welcome her. She never had to sleep in the dirt in a graveyard again.
Mary says one of the most important things about Nyasi Kinship is the opportunity to meet other widows like her. She was surprised to see the range of ages among the faces of the widows at Nyasi. And it made her realize that she is not the only person who has experienced loss. This helped her move on and build a happy life.
Today, Mary lives positively, moving forward while holding onto the memory of her beloved husband. Her children are able to attend school, and Mary herself has renewed passion for life as a caregiver with other widows.
Mary has tremendous gratitude towards you, the generous donors who contribute and uphold the Kinship Project she calls "home."
“We love you so much,” Mary says. “May our dear loving, caring Father forever be with you.”