- Special Sections
- Public Notices
So how does a girl raised in Meade County end up living in Nakuru, Kenya, as an adult?
It all comes down to faith for Teresa June Webb.
“I’ve done a lot of short term mission work in a lot of different places in the world,” said Webb, now an ordained minister.
Years ago, during a mission trip to Nakuru, Webb realized she wanted to return there. In December 2008, she did.
“God just kind of directed me back here,” she said.
Born in Alabama, Webb lived in Battletown in Meade County long enough to consider it one of her two hometowns. Huntsville, Ala., is the other.
Webb received a degree in theology from Impact International School of Ministry and certification from Iris Harvest School of Missions in Mozambique. She also joined the Mission Society to continue her ministry in Nakuru, working with Kenyan pastors to help girls escape from forced marriage and genital mutilation.
In 2011, Webb was accepted as a career missionary with The Mission Society.
She calls Nakuru home.
In July, Webb started working with a drilling company to drill a well at Mt. Paka in Kenya. So far, success is elusive.
“The first one was dry,” she said. “We’re not giving up.”
Additionally, Webb started a church and has shared the Gospel with the people of Kenya.
Though many missionaries work there, the scope of Webb’s work includes much more.
“There are very few here that are doing what I’m doing,” Webb said.
Working with the Pokot and Samburu tribes, Desert Rose Girls Rescue is an effort by Webb’s ministry, Desert Rose Ministries, to combat early childhood forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
Girls often are given up by fathers who get dowries in exchange. Then the girls, generally ranging from 12 to 15 years old, become one of several wives to a 50- or 60-year-old man, Webb said.
“They’ll run away in the middle of the night with only the clothes on their backs,” she said.
Some of the girls go to Webb, who finds a place for them in a girls’ home, such as Sure24 Girls Home, which opened in March. She tries to find them American sponsors.
“Some of them have never been to school,” she said.
Webb cited a case of a girl who had just turned 13 and was in the first grade.
Those who don’t escape face female circumcision, without anesthesia, performed with a razor blade, piece of glass or unsterilized knife used on other girls, Webb said. Girls subjected to the procedure risk infection, AIDS and even bleeding to death.
“These girls probably have some of the greatest needs ... and the least amount of people helping them,” she said.
Sponsorship helps pay for supplies, school fees, food, medical care and clothing, among other things, for rescued girls.
“I’ve got more girls than I’ve got sponsors,” she said.
Though orphanages, churches and other places for street children exist and are needed, Webb aspires to provide true homes and a vocational school for the girls. By empowering them with skills and education, the DRGR project seeks to help the girls and women “uplift their own living standards, raise healthy families and participate positively in nation building,” she said.
“Our ultimate goal is to send them back to their home so they can help their community,” she said.
The work, she said, does take an emotional toll, and Webb is doing the work alone.
“I’m praying for help,” she said.
GETTING TO KNOW TERESA JUNE WEBB:
City of birth: Athens, Ala., “but left there as a baby and moved to Kentucky.” She graduated from Meade County High School.
City of residence: Nakuru, Kenya, East Africa.
Favorite music: Contemporary Christian, classic rock, country and Bluegrass.
Favorite book: The Bible.
Favorite movie: “Gone With the Wind.”
Hobbies: Backpacking, kayaking and deer hunting.
Robert Villanueva can be reached at or (270) 505-1743 or firstname.lastname@example.org.