Assessment of the challenges faced by single mothers on their spiritual growth in the seventh-day Adventist church in Nyanchwa Station Kisii County
Moturi, Ruthline Bochere
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The study was about an Assessment of the Challenges facing Single Mothers on their Spiritual Growth in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The objectives were to establish the biblical and theological foundations for single mothers on their spiritual growth in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, to determine the effects of the challenges faced by single mothers on their spiritual growth in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, to examine the influence of the Church on the spiritual growth of single mothers in the Seventh Day Adventist Church and to establish strategies of supporting single mothers in their spiritual growth in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. This study used the descriptive survey research design. The Marxist Theory of Feminism was used. The study was conducted in Kisii County which is in Western Kenya. The target population in the study included 5 Churches within the Nyanchwa Station, South Kenya Conference. The researcher employed a census sampling method from the 5 churches with a sample population of 105 participants. The main instruments of data collection for the study were questionnaires, focused group discussions, and oral interviews. To ensure the reliability of the research instruments, a pilot study involving 4 churches was conducted. The data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics by employing a computer package for social science (SPSS) version 20 to generate the results presented in form of tables and charts and NVIVO for qualitative data. The study established the biblical and theological foundations for single mothers by referencing single mothers in the Bible. The study determined that the challenges faced by single mothers included; difficulty in accessing good medical facilities, financial strain, low self-esteem, self-doubt, guilt, work-life balance, emotional instability, limited time, which negatively and significantly influence their spiritual growth. The effects of these challenges on the single mothers’ spiritual growth were that they were prone to physical and psychological abuse and exploitation, overwhelmed and lacked closer monitoring and relationship with their children, stigmatization, and depression. The church’s role was to positively influence the spiritual growth of single mothers. The study also established that as a strategy of supporting single mothers on their spiritual growth in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, they organized enrichment programs for single-parent families, planned recreational activities for parents and children of single-parent families, and preached truth, not opinion. However, it established that the church did not organize help for unexpected emergencies, organize a co-parenting program and the church did not remember birthdays and holidays. The findings in this study revealed that the church has a ministry for women which supports those single mothers in the church, though not all are catered for. Other findings in the study showed that the government has developed policies of soliciting special kitties that support women and vulnerable members of the society economically. Lastly, the findings of the study reveal that single mothers need to be nurtured by church members to grow spiritually.