So, I just got back from a couple-week vacation in the States. It was so good to just rest, and to be encouraged by friends and family, church and community. I re-discovered a peace that I had lost somewhere along the way. And, praise the Lord, now I feel refreshed and filled and ready to begin again.
It’s difficult to believe that I’ve been in Nairobi for over a year now. It has been a journey, and I have been changed, and the Lord has been faithful.
I’m currently living near downtown Nairobi with a couple of very dear friends, Ann and Eunice. We have been blessed with a home near the boys, and have had opportunity to bless others with hospitality that flows out of the abundance of our Lord’s love. We’ve been able to welcome sick boys, hungry boys and crazy-dancing, movie-obsessed boys. And we’ve been blessed by the fellowship of these boys: boys who gladly cook with us, help us to clean, bring us water when we are without. We’ve, in some small way, shared life with these boys, shared with them in their joys and struggles, and in their dancing and their crying. And we’ve been blessed (enlarged, if you will) because of it.
Up to now, we’ve focused our efforts on the streets–feeding programs, football, bible stories and trying to connect children with established ministries. We’ve learned a lot about the boys and about life on the streets, learned from other ministries and built really strong relationships. But now I think it’s time to shift our focus a bit.
After prayer and brainstorming with my community back home, we’ve come up with a three-part plan:
Part 1: Building community within the established local church (Shauri Moyo Baptist).
Shauri Moyo is a diverse church located near the center of the city, ideal for reaching out for street kids. The church has already reached out to the boys, welcoming them to services and inviting them for meals. Also, since Mwangi lives on the compound, and has a heart for the same ministry, it is an ideal starting place. We will try to develop community within the church by gather a group to participate in intentional times of prayer, meals together, bible studies and serving together. The vision is a reflection of the early church, with members loving one another, serving one another, and caring for one anothers’ needs.
Part 2: Inviting older street boys into the growing community.
Part of the problem the older boys have reintegrating into society is the lack of a solid support community. By inviting the boys into the Christ-centered fellowship of an established church community, the boys will be able to make connections that will help them re-enter society successfully. They will have opportunity to live and serve among believers as equals, learning that they have also been gifted by God to bless others. The support of a community will help them to make relationships within the society, and to find help as they begin a life off of the streets.
Part 3: Supporting the church in their efforts to begin a rescue center for younger street boys.
The church has been working to begin a rehabilitation center for boys under the age of 14. They have established a good plan, and are now in the fundraising stages. We want to support the church as much as we can in this plan to bring boys off the streets, and reunite them with their families after rehabilitation.
Please pray with us as we begin working toward these goals, and continue our interactions with the boys on the streets.