International Ministries

Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?

April 28, 2015 Journal
Join the 2972a432a74b4583829edc19ff319dbd9e825c34d424d8aee9fa0e79b5eacefd Tweet
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Both provide options for income for impoverished women!
I came home one evening several weeks ago not feeling well, so I lay down. An hour later, I was awakened by the sound of a smoke detector. I opened my bedroom door to discover a strong chemical-like smell. I closed the door, and when I opened it again, the house was filling with smoke.

The police arrived first, in remarkable time, followed by the fire department. They filtered in and out of the house, from time to time calling out questions. Was anyone else inside? Did the house use natural gas? Was there a basement? Finally, their search revealed the furnace to be the source. A few days later, a repair person identified the problem more precisely - an electrical short in the water pump had caused the wires to burn, sending out smoke and the potent odor that lingered for weeks.

I had, many times, considered what I would do if I was ever faced with having to exit a house quickly due to fire. In reality, I found that in those brief moments, there was little time to grab even the relatively few items I would hope to salvage. As I stood making quick decisions about what to do next, the smoke and odor intensifying the pressure, I felt I had little option but to accept what was happening. If there were flames burning in another part of the house, what would be lost would be lost.

One of the engines that responded when my home was filling with smoke
One of the engines that responded when my home was filling with smoke

 The box on top of the water
The box on top of the water
pump reveals the burnt wires
For so many in the developing world, lack of options is a constant reality. In Zambia, lack of education, job skills, and opportunity causes many women to feel they have to accept what is with little hope for change.
One of the ways the Baptist Convention of Zambia (BCZ) hopes to empower women is by training them to raise poultry, the sale of which can provide a steady source of income.
One of my colleagues in South Africa, who trains people in both poultry farming and health building skills, gave an example of the impact this type of project can have: Thandi* is a bright, compassionate single mother living with HIV. She moved from a rural home to the city and worked four days cleaning houses for $28 a week. In 2012 she was trained in health and poultry skills. She hatches 100 chicks to sell each month, and she sells both chickens and eggs. Her income is now $100 weekly. Thandi was able to move back to her preferred rural home to care for a relative who was dying, and Thandi shared chickens with her. One of the most exciting aspects of Thandi’s story is when she asked, “How do I become a missionary?” She didn't just ask the question; she responded to serve her rural neighbors. She has started Bible groups, a feeding ministry for young children, and she trains others. She performs HIV, sugar, and pressure testing and makes referrals. Thandi’s ministries are largely self-funded though poultry production!

I hope that the scare in my home is as close as I ever come to a house fire. Having few good options can be a terrible position to be in. I also hope that, as I come alongside the BCZ in their ministries to women, we will see many women transition from having little opportunity, to having the skills and resources they need for abundant and fulfilling lives.

Training women in poultry farming is just one of the ways the BCZ plans to assist women. More to come in future journals...

*Not her real name
 Thandi was successfully trained in poultry farming
 Thandi's poultry business
more than tripled her income
Would you like to HOST A FUND-RAISER AROUND A POULTRY FARMING THEME? Sponsor an egg soufflé breakfast, quiche lunch, or chicken dinner. For children's activities, have an egg-in-spoon run (use plastic eggs) or toss a rubber chicken at a target.
Now through June 15,
new gifts of support can be doubled!
Host a poultry-themed fund-raiser
If you've been thinking about having your
church or group learn more about this ministry,
the next 6 weeks is a great time for that!

Through the Matching Gift Opportunity going on now through June 15, any new gift or gift given above regular support can be matched dollar for dollar. Contact me to receive materials or schedule a presentation. Please read below for more details.
For your gift to be doubled:
* Give a single gift or become a regular supporter. For new, regular supporters, your first gift(s) marked for the matching opportunity can be matched, and subsequent gifts sent after June 15 become part of the ongoing support needed for prolonged ministry in Zambia

*If you are already supporting regularly, give in addition to your current support or increase your support levels (gifts already coming in on a regular basis do not qualify for the match)
* Important: Clearly mark the gift for the Spring Matching Gift Opportunity
You may give
* By mail with a check or money order made out to International Ministries with “Matching Gift—Kathy Charland” on the memo line
Online at 
Write "Match - Kathy Charland" in the special instructions
* By phone at 800-222-3872 x2323 (state that the gift is for the 2015 Spring Matching Opportunity when you call)
* Postmark gifts between April 15 and June 15, 2015. The opportunity will end on June 15, 2015 or when the matching pool is depleted – whichever comes first

* Please share the matching gift opportunity with your friends, church, or anyone with a heart for missions to encourage them to participate! You can share via email, Facebook, or Twitter using the "Share/Tweet/Send" buttons below

Thank you for your support of the ministry in Zambia!




Click here to support this ministry through the Matching Gift Opportunity --- Please be sure to mark the gift as "Match for Kathy Charland"