Our brave business man, Elijah

There I was. . . .once again. . . in church.  Physically present.  But wrestling.  With my monkey mind.  Wondering if my life had purpose.  Disappointments and defeats flooding my sensitive soul.

And then I looked up and saw Elijah, one of our BEAM Kenya scholarship students, standing in front of the church. . .

He nervously tucked in his shirt, showing off his shiny red belt as he stood next to the Pastor whom he calls his “best friend”.  I was ready for a sales pitch.  We have a generous friend who gave Elijah about fifty leather belts a few months ago so he could sell them to save money for other business ventures.

Turns out, he wasn’t selling belts in front of the church (duh).  He wanted to share his testimony.  He grabbed the mic, shaking.  Tears flowed as he spoke, “My mom died about 10 years ago. We were living by ourselves in the house. . .four of us.  I was paying my own school fees.  A woman eventually took us into her home even though she already had many children of her own she was trying to provide for.”  Elijah went on to say how grateful he was to God for getting him a scholarship to Brook of Faith last year.  I was beaming with pride (and crying) as I watched him be bold and vulnerable about his real, raw, and ever-present pain.

Maybe the counseling is paying off?

Or maybe he’s just an incredibly brave and sensitive soul?

As Elijah continued to share, my mind flashed to that day in 2013 when we first met.  I’ll never forget it.  Elijah stood out to me in the slums because he was breeding and selling rabbits to pay his school fees to attend a local government school.

The quality of the government schools is often poor.  Children don’t go to school consistently for a variety of reasons: no accountability, no parental support, not enough money, etc.  For the slum kids, dropping out of school is the norm.

For three years, I kept his picture. I looked at it often, knowing Elijah was an orphan and his opportunities were few. When we decided to get scholarships for more children from the slums to attend Brook of Faith Academy in January 2017, Elijah and his sister were at the forefront of my mind.

Elijah is in 7th grade and has an uphill battle with his education.  He is 17 and still learning to read and write.  But he is incredibly hard working and business savvy.  We believe God has a path for Elijah and it is our responsibility to help him discover his unique gifts.

Thank you, Elijah.  One day you will read this, and you will know just how much God used you to remind me of the victories. . .and the hope.  Keep selling those belts!

With love and gratitude,


*Please consider a monthly or one time donation to support the BEAM Kenya mission to advocate for the emotional, spiritual, and education needs of impoverished children in Kenya*


Sign up below to receive Humbled Warrior in your inbox and you’ll never miss a post!


  1. Barbara Costigan says

    Loved meeting Elijah. He’s got a great personality and strong work ethic. Thanks Colleen for providing the vehicle for his opportunity and thanks for the family that is sponsoring him. He is thriving.

Speak Your Mind