In the Eastern lakeside town of Busia sits Butula, a quiet community of traditional fishermen. The pastors in the area formed a fellowship that has stood for over 20yrs, dubbed “Arise & Shine”. In July of 2012, a number of pastors got involved in PA programs and straight away got their 16-member fellowship to work with PA.
In the years before PA got involved, the members eked out a living fishing from the dwindling stock of Lake Victoria. Without a regularized market, or government facilities such as refrigeration, the community has languished to be among the poorest Counties in Kenya. The church in Butula, and in deed in Busia at large, was running out of ideas on how to make the Gospel relevant to the members; Church membership was erratic and the offering / tithes irregular. The pastors often felt out of their depth on how to rise to the needs of the community, both to spiritual and financial growth.
Arise & Shine
PA inspired the pastors in the area to put more fervor in their then 15-yr old fellowship. By conducting various training sessions and joint outreach, the pastors got a boost of new energy. Thru the training sessions, the pastors began getting ideas on how they can become better “tent-makers” in their own communities.
PA often encourages chapters to begin a savings & loan association – to better leverage on collective savings. With the savings in Butula, some pastors like Pst Steve Haudo opened shops who later engaged his wife as a business partner. He later diversified to actual tent-making, hiring out tents for events.
Pastor Augustine sought to supply common place vegetables and grew his home garden to now cover over an acre of land on farming supplying capsicum, tomatoes, onions, etc. From living under a dollar a day, Pst Augustine recently made Kes 120,000/ (approx $1200) from a single season of tomatoes. He has inspired the youth in the region to venture in to animal husbandry, mentoring them into taking up commercial poultry farming.
The fellowship of Arise & Shine has opened the minds of Butula community, moving them from the reliance on fishing to seeking out other alternative forms of income. Their 21-yr old fellowship has stood the test of time, inspiring the community spiritually, building alliances between churches as well as providing practical income-generating schemes.