For those with a desire to participate in a Zumba fundraiser, doors open at Covenant Baptist Church outside of Shepherdstown at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 21. Two hours of zumba led by several local instructors will have participants' hearts racing as they not only enjoy the exercise but raise funds for an important project at the church.
According to staffer Gail Scheffers, the $10 entry fee will go toward funding a mission trip to Kakamega, Kenya in August. So far, nine women have committed to travel to Kenya where they will minister to orphans at the Victoria's Children's Home. Scheffers said that this trip marks the fourth time Covenant has sent individuals to the orphanage since 2007. She has traveled each time, she said.
The orphanage was founded by a Kenyan woman who decided to minister and help children who live on the streets in Kenya. In Kakamega, there are, on average, 400-500 kids living on the street, Scheffers said.
Orphans at Victoria's Children's Home in Kakamega, Kenya will benefit from funds raised at Saturday's zumba event at Covenant Baptist Church.
Covenant has chosen to support the orphanage through missions giving as well as through sponsorship of specific children by church members. Those sponsors receive correspondence from their orphan and, as in Scheffers case, she will visit in person with the child she sponsors.
"We host a birthday party for the orphans as well as help provide food, supplies, shoes and other needs," Scheffers said. All money raised by Saturday's event will go toward providing for those needs.
In addition to ministering to the orphans, Scheffers said that this year the women will offer a conference designed specifically for the Kenyan women.
"Women in Kenya lead such hard lives," she said. "We will encourage them not only spiritually but in their daily living to better themselves as well." Health education will be provided as well as encouragement for the women to learn a trade, attend university or learn skills to help them in a professional career.
The group will speak at a women's prison to offer encouragement to those women as well. Scheffers explained that sometimes women are jailed for such things as not being able to pay their bills. There is not the same type of justice system we have in the United States, she said. The women traveling from Jefferson County hope to have a positive effect on the Kenyan women.
In addition, the group will meet with leaders of a native group in Kenya who are attempting to help teenage girls there. A focus on teaching about personal hygiene and efforts to assist unwed mothers is of great importance in the area.
For those wishing to support the work being done by Covenant on behalf of the orphans at Victoria's Children's Home or other projects to be embraced by those traveling to Kakamega, attend the zumba event or simply purchase a ticket. Door prizes will be given throughout the morning's event and the ticket holder does not need to be present to win.
A variety of gifts have been donated by businesses around the county.
For more information on other ways to help the mission project, contact Scheffers at gscheffers@covenantmail .com or call the church at 304-876-2212, ext. 33.