God’s gifts and talents extend to all his people and when he created Elisha he specifically gave him the ability to make beautiful art. Coming from the coast of Kenya, Elisha was born into a very large family, the second of twelve children. Life can be unpredictable living in a developing nation and when he was only twelve years old, Elisha’s father, walking home from work in the mines, was robbed and left for dead. Despite their great financial need, Elisha was able to receive scholarships and finish secondary school (high school), and his family was able to survive through small business efforts. But knowing their great need, Elisha went to Nairobi in hopes of making a better life for his family.
His first encounter in Nairobi would forever change his life. Elisha had always been interested in the arts. He stumbled across an old man on the streets of Nairobi making banana bark art and was drawn to the man and his abilities. Within weeks of this meeting he was living with and working under the man, making a small living for himself. But after just 6 months the old and now drunken man kicked Elisha out of his house and would not longer teach him the art. Even though Elisha found himself in a tough situation he was thankful to God for this opportunity because it provided him with this new ability, proving to be a useful tool. Elisha began his own business making banana bark animal cards and found a small market for his product, but he knew it wasn’t enough and had to find a better market.
Elisha didn’t want to give up on his future in the arts, therefore he went hunting in the market for opportunities to sell his cards and found Francis, the man that opened up a huge door for him. He had instant business with this man and found his life to pick up a little. But God knew what he was doing. In 1998 Elisha met Don Rogers from while he was buying his cards at Francis’s shop. This started a relationship that led him to KipKaren with ELI to train others in banana bark art. This is where he also met Kathy and Christina. Life seemed good for his family until a series of circumstances led Elisha to lose contact with Heavenly Treasures. Unknowingly, a year later in 2004, they would randomly meet in the markets of Nairobi. From this point on Heavenly Treasures has been the backbone of Elisha’s business, thus giving him the ability to support his family fully. He is humbled by the fact that God has given him the opportunity to work with Heavenly Treasures. In the future he hopes to be able to train and pass on his talents to other needy people in order for others to see the love of God in their lives.
After almost 10 years of working with Elisha, Heavenly Treasures has
seen Elisha's life change and grow. He is able to sell his products at
local markets as well as to HT! We visited him at his
workshop in April 2012. He gave us a demonstration of how he makes the
cards, go to his house and spend time with his family. His daughter is
able to go to school and she is doing well.
This is his incredible card making process!!
1. Elisha strips the banana bark of the outside fiber and uses the interior for the design. So much of the bark is actually gone to waste and it's quite a process to strip the bark!
2. He then uses a template to cut out the banana bark into an animal shape.
3. Then he hand draws in the details on the
4. Using his hand made glue, he prepares it to be put on to the card and smooths out any bumps.
5. All finished!!
EVERY PRODUCT REPRESENTS A CHANGED LIFE!!!!