The Power of Words

Written by: 
Debbie Davidson


Proverbs 18:4. “A persons words can be life giving water – words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a babbling brook.”
I struggle to find words to describe today and associated feelings, but I will try. This morning we asked that everyone arrive at 8am so that we could start leadership sessions by 9am.  
We were met with excitement and enthusiasm. The small groups completed their presentation back and one of the women provided a recap of what they had learned the day before. They have been challenged to spread the information and remain passionate about protecting the vulnerable even when it gets hard.  
We provided information surrounding the effects of sexual and physical abuse on children and suggestions of how to respond. There were many people in the group who were able to talk about local resources creating an invaluable networking opportunity for the participants. 
One woman shared a story that her daughter had been sexually assaulted when she was a child. That daughter is now a doctorand her mother works with victims of sexual assault.  There were tears in her eyes when describing how the early trauma has affected her daughters life and how guilty she feels that she never reported it and her daughter feels that she never got justice. Later in the morning, she shared that she no longer felt guilt as we showed her through stories that she did the best she could. 
We introduced the topic of Post traumatic growth as a way of turning a negative into a positive.
Shonah, Sydney and Debbie showed such courage when sharing their stories of childhood trauma and how it influenced the person they are now.  

I find it amazing how quickly we can create connections with each other through the telling of stories and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. After we closed the leadership training at noon, we observed the different small groups meeting to arrange times and dates for their follow up. They clearly understood that they are responsible for what happens after this. It is up to them to take small steps that will cause the ripple of change through their community. 
30 women from the community came after lunch for a Women’sHealth and Puberty discussion. They asked insightful questions and went away with a reusable menstrual pack and more knowledge of how to teach their children about their bodies. 
On the way home we stopped at all the widows’ homes that we had visited on Saturday and Sunday to deliver a food package. 1 months’ worth of food in a bag about ½ the size of a green garbage bag. Rebecca, our last grandma that we visited, wanted us to take a cow home as a thank you for the joy we gave her. 
I will think about that when I complain of being hungry and that there is nothing good in the fridge to eat. Could I live for a month on Maize, beans, rice and oil? 
Tomorrow we leave Kakamega. We will miss this community and our cozy little house (and our cooks who spoiled us). Leaving a little of our hearts behind but looking forward to new friends and adventures. 

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