By: Brandy Lovelace   |   Posted: May 06, 2024

Davis could barely think beyond his gnawing stomach before a church, a sponsor and a cow helped him dream for his future — and see Christ in all of it.

The Cow That Helped Lead a Boy to Jesus

Davis could barely think beyond his gnawing stomach before a church, a sponsor and a cow helped him dream for his future — and see Christ in all of it.

Written by Brandy Lovelace
Photography by Emily Turner

MOMBASA, KENYA –– Standing in the yard in front of Davis’ house, you can see tangible signs of hope everywhere you look. The room that was built onto the end of the house. A backpack on a bench filled with notes from his electrician courses. A small hut to the side that Davis built to practice his masonry skills and seek out silence for his studies.

And just around the corner, a cow. It’s tied loosely with a long rope, and along the side of the house sits a row of milk buckets. Each morning, they’re filled with fresh milk and then sold down the long dirt roads of Davis’ neighborhood.

It’s a simple scene, a simple business model. But that cow seems like a miracle to Davis — a tangible reminder that his little family was not forgotten.

Davis stands with cow

One of Davis’ earliest memories is of being forgotten — abandoned by his father when he was just a boy. Davis’ mother struggled to care for her seven children. Often, Davis and his brothers and sisters went to bed hungry. Davis, always a leader, set out to find work doing odd jobs. But it never seemed to be enough

When Davis’ father left, their landlord threatened to evict them. Even in the months when they could scrape together the money for rent, they had nothing left for other expenses. And the landlord refused to make any repairs to the home, which grew increasingly damaged each rainy season.

“Because my father left, the man who owned the house tried to take it back from us,” says Davis. “It was a very difficult time. I had to bear the situation and take care of my mother. I had to work and help the family. I did construction work and mason work. I tried to do both work and school, but I never had time to do both.”

The day Davis’ mother enrolled him at the Compassion center in his community, nobody knew the relief that would come. Most immediately, staff brought Davis and his family groceries and made sure his school fees were paid. With that burden lifted, Davis was finally able to begin thinking of his future. For one of the first times in his life, he asked himself: What do I want to be when I grow up?

Davis holds picture of sponsor in front of house

Davis holds a photo of himself and his sponsor Caleb in 2010. When Caleb’s family visited Davis in Kenya, they were moved to give a gift that allowed Davis’ family to buy a cow.


Soon after Davis joined Compassion’s program, he was sponsored by a family in the U.S. with a son, Caleb, about the same age as him. They began exchanging letters, and the whole family even visited Davis in Kenya. When his sponsors saw the difficult conditions that Davis lived in, they were moved to give a gift that only accelerated Davis’ ability to dream about a life beyond poverty.

The staff at the Compassion center worked with Davis and his family to determine that a cow would be the most beneficial use of the gift, and that cow meant that Davis no longer had to focus primarily on his physical well-being. The hunger that had once consumed him could translate to hunger for his dreams to create a better life for his family. He used the money from selling milk and calves to make repairs to his home, providing a safe, secure place for his entire family.

Elizabeth sits and prays with Davis

Elizabeth prays with Davis at his Compassion center.


“Our dream is to see him having a very big ranch of cows and having a dairy farm and even having a factory,” says Elizabeth, a volunteer at Davis’ Compassion center. “There is a farm near Davis … and it is not working now. We used to go and buy yogurt there, cheese and butter. And that is our dream, that one day Davis will have that big dairy farm because of that one cow that he got from Compassion.”

Davis was filled with hope and purpose for the first time. He was surrounded by people who held big dreams for him — and he began to learn about God’s love and plans for his life. Although he was raised Muslim, Davis began to share with his mother about the love he had found at the church and the hope he had found in Christ. His faith was contagious.

“I was Muslim before, but because I saw the support and the help and the spiritual aspect in the program, I converted to become a Christian, and I am proud of it,” says Saumu, Davis’ mother.

Davis with his mother

Davis with his mother, Saumu, and some of his siblings.

Davis with siblings

Back in the yard of their home, one of Davis’ older brothers looks at Davis with pride. All of his siblings celebrate his ability to dream and achieve. “When Davis is helped, we are all helped,” says his brother. “We are all lifted up when he is lifted up.”

Davis is currently enrolled in college, where he is studying to be an electrician. “My life is very nice now because when I’m in college, I learn the skills which will help me to live better,” he says. “With the skills, I will not be jobless.”

His hope is to find steady, fulfilling work after college and help his family break the bonds of poverty.

Help a Family Generate Income

Davis with cow

Empower them to create a stable livelihood.

Davis with cow