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Vision: is to establish sewing and trade schools to benefit the graduating students in the slums and other disadvantaged regions of Kenya.  A very high percentage of these graduating students will not attend university and will graduate lacking a skill or trade. The intended purpose of sewing schools is to teach and train these graduating students with the very marketable and honorable trade of tailoring/sewing equipping them with a means by which to support themselves and their families of the future.

Sew What: Located in the slum of Kasarani Kenya, on Lake Navaisha in Kenya Africa . . . part of the Rift Valley was established in 2017.  Since it's establishment, it has graduated just less than 100 students in the craft of tailoring and sewing.  The school is now self-sustaining through the production of school and other work uniforms.

Stitches and Beads - Established in January, 2020 Is the second, and newest sewing/beadwork trade school established in in Kenya.  Located in Marigot, Kenya, the “Stitches and Beads” school averages a class size of 10 to 15 students at a time training them to sew as well as bead.  This provides the students with a trade which is certificated by the Kenyan government, they may rely on for income to support themselves and their families for the rest of their lives.

A very important mission and by-product of this new school is the production of reusable sanitary feminine products to girls in rural areas.  There is a great need in the Kenya area, especially for school-age girls for reusable sanitary napkins.  The lack thereof has had huge impacts on the girls of Kenya as they miss entire weeks of school at a time during their menstrual time of the month causing them to fall behind . . . become discouraged and in some cases even giving up on school altogether!  Click the button below to view a video about the sanitary product issue for the young women in Kenya.

The shortage of sanitary products for young women in Kenya is nothing short of devastating. These girls are publicly shamed for their menstrual cycles and often choose to skip weeks of school to avoid embarrassment. Watch this impactful video for insight into this real problem and how we're working to change their lives for the better.

The “Stitches and Beads” school is currently located in a rented building in Marigot, Baringo County, Kenya, Africa.  The most immediate goal of Crossing Boundaries for the school is to purchase a parcel of land and build and furnish their own building for the school.  Having their own building would afford the school more stability in knowing they have a permanent location as well as adding to the efficiency of their operations being in a building specifically designed for their purposes.

School Management:

Crossing boundaries has partnered with Ron Hogue of “Good Works NOW” ministries for the day to day management of the “Stitches and Beads” school.  Ron has a proven track record over the past 29 years having established numerous ministries in and around Kenya as well as around the world..  Consequently, it was not a very far reach for him to incorporate his management teams to take on the day-to-day management of the school.


“Stitches and Beads” is following the model of Crossing Boundaries’ first sewing school; “Sew What” in Kasaroni to become self-sustaining by manufacturing uniforms for schools and businesses as well as beaded goods for retail sale to tourists in the area resorts.  Numerous sales arrangements have already been made with deliveries over the next several months.

Who are the Players: The group working to make these schools a reality is:

  • Funding: In 2014 Crossing Boundaries, a 501C3 non-profit relief organization was founded by Emerson and Velda Rickstrew to facilitate their relief efforts for the Kenyan people.  Funding for the "Sew What" and “Stich and Beads” trade schools has been through tax-deductible donations and gifts received through Crossing Boundaries.


  • Velda Rickstrew and Kris Larkin: have been involved in mission work in Kenya since 2006.  Beginning their involvement with sewing curriculums in Kitale, Kenya in 2010.  Missionary partners through these times have been Saddleback Church, Orange County, California and Gateway Church, Southlake, Texas.

  • Ron Hogue: Ron is the president and founder of Good Works NOW. He founded Nations Training Institute in 2001, which is the training arm of Good Works NOW. He has been involved in the international training of emerging church leaders since 1994. He has spoken at training conferences and seminars around the world and has printed materials in China, East Africa, West Africa, Southeast Asia, India, and Central America. He has planted and led churches in British Columbia, Canada, California, and Texas. 


  • Deb Snell; an American Missionary (in Kenya since 1982) is the Alumni Director of this government school; St. Andrews Tarabete and manages the Sew What sewing arts school.

  • Crossing Boundaries:  In 2014, Crossing Boundaries, Inc was established by Emerson and Velda Rickstrew of Colleyville, Texas.  Since its establishment Crossing Boundaries has helped countless Kenyans by providing water wells in dry, impoverished areas; by developing vocational training opportunities; by providing resources for street kids/orphans to obtain education grades 1-12 and even university or trade school; and by training church leaders on solid marriage principles for their families and churches.  For more information about Crossing Boundaries, Inc you may visit their website: 

Kris Larkin and Velda Rickstrew are charged with all fundraising activities including retaining professional fundraisers as well as organizing fund raising events.

Crossing Boundaries is the funding vehicle for the school continually ensuring that all gifts and donations are taken in and responsibly spent.  For more information about Crossing Boundaries Click Here

Look at what our Fundi/Sewing Instructor said about our students:

"Many of the students are already using the machines . . . some are quite clever!"

We are currently working to strengthen our donor base to help continue to support this new ministry.

We are excited at the possibility of providing this much –needed ministry to the youth of Kenya.

We truly need your help and we would be honored to have you involved on the ground floor of this ministry.  

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