We arrived in Nairobi on Monday, mid-day. The contrast between the quiet, calm life at Athi River vs. the bustling city was a bit overwhelming at first. The city is about as big a New York or any other big city I’ve been too–the difference is that there’s no order. Chaos. Our Hostel is just outside the city in a quieter neighborhood which is nice to have a quieter place to rest. As we walked into the city center the street kids would just run up to your side yelling “Mzungu! Mzungu!” and asking for money. It’s heartbreaking.
The second day we were here, we split into groups and just did a prayer walk around the neighborhood that we are living in, trying to get God’s heart for these people. One thing we noticed is the pure joy that emanates from their eyes. We also noticed the extreme contrast between the people who are just surviving—not living. Versus the people who are living and joyful even if they don’t sell all their bananas. This is one man who I met filled with such great joy.
Wednesday we went into the slums. I’m finding it hard to even begin to put into words and capture everything that I saw there. I felt more peace in the slums than I did in the city, that is for sure. I also loved seeing Gods beauty that even in the midst of the dirt and filth shined through–for instance the blue sky with beautiful clouds–the same blue sky that shines over the rich parts of town. There was a sunflower popping up out of the dirt amongst the shacks. Oh Gods beauty is and fingerprints are there.
I loved what one of our team members, Ben, said when looking into the eyes of one of the children: “The Kingdom of God is in His eyes, do you see it?” The children were so amazing. They would follow us around and say “How are you!” Because that’s what they call white people “How are you’s” haha. I think it’s because all the white people who would visit would asked them “How are you?” so they thought that’s what we were called. There was one little girl that I just couldn’t take my eyes off of, she just stared into my eyes and wiped my hair away from my face and put it behind my ear. The Kingdom of God was so much in her eyes:
“Be still, and know that I am God.”
This is what Papa keeps reminding me to do. Know that He is God. Know that He is Good. Know that he has a plan. Know that he brings peace at the core.
Here, we see poverty & injustice in the natural. It’s in front of our naked eye; but there is blessing and treasure stored up for these people that we can only see in the supernatural. In the Western world we see blessing with our naked eye–yet there’s so much injustice and torment by strongholds in the unseen. I think it just flips. But God is the same. Why I was privileged enough to grow up with tangible blessing, I have no clue. I know I don’t deserve any of it.
Lastly, we sat with a few of the widows in the slums and just listened to their stories. It was so powerful to hear what they’ve been through, yet they end their stories saying “by the grace of God I’m here.” What faith! I aspire to have that kind of faith.
So today we decided to buy some fresh fruit (oh my goodness! the fresh fruit here!!–it’s so cheap and so good) and take it to the street kids–just spend time with them. As we were walking we stopped to pray for this man who had a messed up leg and this homeless woman came up to me and handed me her baby—I was standing there just holding it as she asked for money for milk. I was at the point of tears. She had another baby held in some fabric on her back—I just gave her some fruit and had to walk away. My group left that area while another group stayed to pray with the man with the messed up leg. We walked to a hill that’s in the city where most of the street kids hang out but none of them were there. So we waited for a moment and this little boy named Peter ran over to us (We pass by this hill on our way to our hostel so we had met him before). He was telling us he could only stay for a moment because he was going to hear a preaching by a mzungu. Tyler asked him more about it and Peter said, “yea, a mzungu just like you but taller–he gives us food and then preaches every friday.” So we asked him to take us as well. We followed him a bit and then he led us into this sketchy door..I was a little worried…we went up like 5 flights of stairs to the roof of this building. There stood an extremely tall dutch man who has a ministry with the street kids and women. He is friends with a couple back at the Bush Base and we are going to start working with his ministry more! How amazing is that? God provided a new ministry to work with! Ahh..I love it.
There’s so much. I can’t put into words everything I’m feeling for the world around me right now, but so far its been so enlightening, heartbreaking, joyful, peaceful and just full of God depositing deeper understanding of His love.
I’m so happy to be in a place of being used by Papa, to reach and show love and hope His sons and daughters of Kenya!
Thanks for all the encouragement and prayers so far!