Stories from the Global Church

Here you will find stories from the global church by ELCA global missionaries, scholars, and churchwide staff, brought to you by the ELCA Global Church Sponsorship team.

Knitting and self-reliance

Posted on July 16, 2013 by Hand In Hand

The Rev. Michael Fonner and Leslie Weed-Fonner are ELCA missionaries in Kenya. Michael is the pastor of the Nairobi International Lutheran Congregation, which supports a knitting school for local women. In their July newsletter they wrote about the work of the school. To support Michael and Leslie, or another of the ELCA’s over 200 missionaries in the global church, go to

The knitting school helps its students become more self-sufficient.

The knitting school helps its students become more self-sufficient.

The Nairobi International Lutheran Congregation has three wonderful schools: a nursery school and a sewing school, about which we will be writing in the future, and a knitting school.

The knitting school has about 25 students. They are young women, many of whom bring their children to school and most live in the area close to the church.  They are training so they can knit warm clothes as both a service to their communities and, importantly, as a way to support themselves and their families.  Teacher Rebecca is not only highly skilled in knitting and as a teacher, but she is also a mentor figure for the students, leading daily prayers and Christian singing.

As a program of the congregation, the knitting school is both an outreach to the local community and an “income generating activity.” These are important to the Nairobi International Lutheran Congregation and the Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church, as we work toward self-reliance and financial independence.

Congregations supporting the ELCA Global Mission work in Kenya are participants in the life-giving ministry of the Nairobi International Lutheran Congregation knitting school. Women are trained in a vital way to support themselves and their families while warm clothes are provided to homes where there is little heat during the cold season. We thank you for your commitment to ELCA Global Mission. This is “God’s work. Our hands.”!

One Response to 'Knitting and self-reliance'

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  1. Britt Vickstrom said,

    on August 12th, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    What a great story!

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