Ashley Biles Associate Editor
October 8, 2013
No matter how big or how small in numbers, when a dedicated group of people come together for a common goal, great things can happen. In late July of this year, Macedonia Baptist Church began the process of collecting shoes to donate to an organization called The Soul Project, which gives shoes to children and adults in need throughout Africa. In just over two months, the church, along with the help of several others churches and community members, was able to collect 1,500 pairs of shoes to donate to the cause.
“I have see churches with thousands of members who could not collect this many pairs of shoes,” said Martin Kumi, founder of The Soul Project. “You have done very well.”
Kumi, a native of Ghana, West Africa, came from a poor family and never owned a pair of shoes when he was a child. When he spoke to the congregation this summer, he told of how he used to pay one of his friends a nickel to borrow a pair to wear during the week. However, many times he was too late and the shoes would have been loaned to another friend, leaving Kumi to have to walk the several miles to school barefoot. He told the crowd how he remembered being 10 years old and wondering why all of his friends had shoes and clothes and he did not. He knew then that he did not want anyone to have to go through what he had gone through.
When he was a child, Kumi cut his foot badly on a knife and was in dire need of medical attention. Sadly, his family was so poor that they had no money to buy food, let alone pay for a doctor; so he began to do the only thing he could, pray. He prayed that if God would let him live and help him get to America, He could use him in any way He saw fit. Kumi came to America in 1994 and it was 15 years before he felt God gently reminding him of the promise he made many years ago.
After losing his job in 2007, he was unsure of what direction he should take in his life, but he knew he wanted to help others in some way, so he began to pray that God would show him the way. All it took was finding one pair of shoes in the garbage to lead him down the road that would ultimately create The Soul Project, a non-profit organization which provides shoes to children and adults in need in places such as Ghana, Liberia, Haiti, Jamaica and the United States.
“When you say yes to God, everything you need will follow,” said Kumi. “He can use your past to help others.”
He noted that the goal of The Soul Project is simple: Give shoes, save lives; which is exactly what those who gave to this project have done. Kumi stated that the shoes collected at the church will be delivered to Liberia in January of 2014.
Macedonia Baptist would like to thank the Mother’s Ministry, First Baptist Church, Community Care Thrift Store, relatives, employers, other churches in the community and anyone who donated to the cause.