Evrlyne Waithera of the Samburu Tribe (a sub-tribe of the Masai), was born in 1995, and the sad truth is that her father was a drunk. Atlhough he had some cattle, he didn’t take care of his family, so Evrlyne’s mother did the best she could to get food and water for Evrlyne and her younger twin siblings, Rose and Eric.
Still, there was not enough food, so at age 4, Evrlyne was sent to another family to care for their children in exchange for food. However, she was treated as a slave and abused there. Desperate, little Everlyne ran away to her maternal grandmother, who let her stay, enrolling her in kindergarten, and for six years, she was safe.
However, when she was 10-years-old, Evrylyne returned to to see her mother and father. Instead of a happy reunion, her father immediately forced her to marry a 32-year-old man because her father wanted the bride-price (dowry). During her first 3 years of marriage, Evrlyne gave birth to two daughters, Jackline, first, and then Diana. In this culture, her husband’s mother was supposed to care for the young wives, making sure they are fed and that the babies have some food, but Evrlyne’s mother-in-law did not do this, so Evrlyne and her daughters had very little food and water.
She said, “When my baby would cry, I would cry too, for I didn’t know what to do, and I had no one to help me.” Evrlyne appealed to her own mother, but her mother did not have the authority to help her. However, once Evrlyne learned that her father had died, and she knew her mother could then help.
So at a time when her husband was not at home, Evrlyne, now 14-years-old, took the two babies, and with the help of a friend who carried Jackline for her, they began the 120 km journey towards Rumruti, where her mother lived. This friend also gave Evrlyne food and paid for transport whenever it was available to them.
Once she arrived in Rumruti (previously called The Remote Area) the bishop of the local church, Bishop Daniel, and his wife, who were close to Evrlyne’s mother and family, offered help to Evrlyne. The church raised half of her school fees, and the school covered the other half, while a very kind teacher helped her to purchase food and school supplies, and also provided her a place to stay while in school.
Evrlyne’s husband came to Rumruti to take her and their daughters back to Maralal, but Bishop Daniel stood against him and required that Evrlyne and her girls be allowed to stay in Rumruti while she attended school. Thankfully, the man agreed, and Evrlyne’s mother along with the Bishop’s wife cared for Jackline and Diana while Evrlyne was at school.
In 2011, when Evrlyne was around 16 years old and still in school, her mother died. At this time, because of the special friendship of Bishop Daniel and his wife with Bishop Weston and Violet at Heroes of the Nation, Jackline, Evrlyne’s oldest daughter, was accepted into Heroes, along with Rose, Evrlyne’s younger sister. A year later, Jackline’s younger sister, Diana, followed.
Evrlyne was so relieved and happy that they would have all their needs met, be safe from the hunger and abuse she herself had endured, and that they now have opportunities because of Heroes.
Evrlyne graduated from high school in Dec. 2017. What she has suffered has not made her bitter. Instead, she wants to continue her education in Early Childhood Development. Heroes has invited her to take part in their Endowment program and attend college to fulfill that dream. As of May 2018, Evrlyne completed her first term, and although the work is difficult for her, she is doing well. There are still some current challenges for this brave young woman.
- There is no home for her or her daughters and sister to return to during school breaks, and they are passed around to various famlies who mistreat them.
- The bush is dangerous due to snakes, wild animals, and too many drunks makes it unsafe.
- Food is very hard to get.
- Everlyne fears that her daughters will be married off, even ‘illegally’, or taken back by their father.
Thank You, Jesus, for rescuing Evrlyne, Jackline, Diana, and Rose. Thank You for the safety of Heroes of the Nation, and for watching out for them when they are on break, Thank You for all the thoughts You have in Your kind heart to give them each a future and a hope in You.