Kenya seems very much different from my last visit. The KLM crews are now staying in downtown Nairobi, there are no police with riot gear, and no reports of violence. While the leaders have yet to settle their difference the Kenyan people very much want things to stay calm. I even went to Mathare Slum today and there is calm there. Buildings are being repaired and repainted. There is talk from the people of a healing nation. That was my first message when I arrived in Kenya – welcome to our healing nation.
The last two days have been spent preparing for the trip to Marsabit. Tonight 16 of the 18 team members are here in the apartment. The Peace Bus sits in the parking lot with hundreds of bed-nets on top, the back of the bus packed with medications, musical equipment, HIV/AIDS test kits and sanitary pads. We will buy food in Nyharuru and in Marsabit. We are taking the Partners for Care staff – three nurses, three social workers, four Aids counselors and the praise and worship team – Sammy and David. S.N. sports evangelist will be joining us. He has purchased Peace Balls, nets and a trophy. He is setting up a peace tournament.
The reason for the trip to Mathare Slum was to see Nick and Charles. For those who don’t know my friend Vickie Winkler introduced me to Nick and Charles a few months ago when we needed to hire AIDS testers (VCT counsellors) to go with us when we doing the testing iniatives for Professir Orego. They are young men who grew up in Mathare Slum and are amazing Christians. They run an organization called Community Transformers – mobilizing volunteers to make home visits in the slum to 150 people infected with Aids and they have 250 children come for fun. Food and Christian fellowship on Saturdays.
During the burning in Mathare they stayed helping people carrying out the injured on stretchers and promoting peace as they could. Nick and Charles already had five children living with them. They are relatives whose parents died from AIDS. During the violence 12 more children were brought to them to care for as they were separated from their parents. These includes the three street boys I found on the streets of Nairobi when I was here last time. I had asked Nick and Charles to care for them. They had rented two more 10X10 rooms for the children. Njokie had gotten the school age children uniforms and they were in school.
Nick and Charles are not funded and the money they receive is when they are able to do AIDS testing. Vickie has provided help for them getting them furniture and renting a building for their Community Transformers work.
I had never visited Nick and Charles because I have grown to love them like family and I really did not want to see where and how they lived. But I know after sitting in their one room today with them that something in me has changed. Today I did not care about they did not have – a kitchen, a bathroom, a bed for themselves, etc. I have seen so many without here in Kenya that I compared what they had with the nothing of many others. But more importantly I saw the joy of Jesus Christ in these young men. Nick and Charles are always happy – never in a bad mood. I asked them if they were always like I see them – happy, laughing and joking and they said yes – and they told me they had God to thank for that!
I thought how many people I know including myself who have so much and can be in a bad mood! I really saw how it is not what we possess but it is how we manifest God’s love.
More tomorrow on how we are helpng Nick and Charles place all the children!
Blessed to be in Kenya,
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