Yesterday, on the way home from football, Mashangi told me he wanted to go to church with me. So this morning, I passed by Riverside on the way to church, and asked him if he was still wanting to go. He was, so we set off for church. On the way, Chwaki, Jimmy and Odongo decided to come as well. So we set out for church, all of us laughing hysterically as we rode a tuk-tuk through Nairobi. Mashangi was pulling at his ears, telling me that he was trying to open them, to hear the Word of God.
As we arrived at church, the boys asked me to hold their msi (jet fuel in gin bottles) and glue. So, I entered Shauri Moyo Baptist with four boys, and 5 bottles of msi/gum in my purse. As we walked in, I was hit with the terrifying realization that the Swahili service was at 11 am, and I had brought boys who have a difficult time paying attention to a 15-minute story each week to a two-and-a-half-hour church service, in a language they don’t even understand. I braced myself for disaster.
But, praise the Lord, it wasn’t so bad. Everyone at the church was welcoming and friendly. The boys danced and sang throughout the beginning of the service. While the pastor preached, Odongo slept, Jimmy sat quietly, and Chwaki and Mashangi read the sermon on the mount from the Swahili Bible on my iPhone. When the time came for the offering, Chwaki emptied his pocket into his hand, and out the coins he had, he gave a few shillings. Jimmy and Mashangi did the same. Humbling.
The boys waited in a nearby hoteli while Eunice and I went to a street kids ministry meeting at the church. The meeting was beyond encouraging. The spirit is working in the people of the church, and they see the boys and are touched with compassion. Plans are moving forward to begin a ministry there, and I am (very) excited to be a part of it.
In the afternoon, Eunice and I headed to Dandora to visit Sam, David and Ford. On the way home from the hospital on Friday, Sam was walking down a busy street. Near him, a child was playing with a toy made from wire and a small tire. The toy got caught in the spokes of the bicycle, and the man on the bicycle fell, along with several dozen eggs he was carrying. Sam rushed over to help, and was blamed for the accident. He was asked to pay 960 KSH for the eggs, and when he didn’t have the cash, the man took his floor from his small house and his radio. He called us asking if we could help him, so we went to check out the situation.
We weren’t able to get in touch with the egg man, but spent a happy couple hours hanging out with the boys, hearing about their struggles and dreams, and laughing a lot. I’m amazed at these boys. At 17, I was still a child. My parents still provided for me, and I was without a lot of worries. These boys have been on their own for years. When they are sick, there is no one to care for them. They work long, hard hours doing dirty work before most of us are out of bed. When rent is due, they pay. They have no one to turn to when they are arrested for no reason, or when all of their rent money is stolen. They have lived on the streets, and they have survived. And they have retained their spirit, and their joy.
I continue to learn from these boys. I learn from them when they give out of their poverty. I learn from them when they forgive those have hurt them, and when they share the little that they have with joy.
We are praying now for someone to disciple these boys. Please pray with us that God will put a man in their lives who is willing to walk with them, and to show them how to walk after Jesus.