Last Saturday we went to Shuname again to spend time with the girls. Our team was accompianed by a couple from the U.S. who were visiting for the week. So introductions were made again and the older girls shared what they wanted to do when the finished high school. Lanette and Nancy (11th and 9th grade) want to be nurses, Susan (11th) wants to be a teacher or counselor, and Philip (11th) wants to pursue a musical career or become a doctor. Later I talked to Susan and she told me that she didn't know what the future held, but that she knew that God had a plan for her life and she was trusting Him with it. She then taught me how to cut the meat into small pieces for their dinner that night. I kept getting teased that if I was to be a nurse I'd have to get used to this kind of work. Nancy asked for my help in Biology and I did my best to remember all I had learned in my sciences (i should know well by now). I had given the girls some of my old Christian CDs so we had some dancing and singing to MercyMe and thier new favorite song "I can Only Imagine". It made me so excited to think of the day when we all will be together in heaven one day, singing praises to our Father God. We ended our time in prayer and singing as usual and hugged good-bye.
Sunday we had an interesting experience at the English speaking Church, Nairobi Chapel. We all missed the fellowship of Kibera Church. However, there was an interesting interview that occured at the Church with a lawyer who was involved in mercy ministries in areas like Kibera. It was really encouraging to hear her speak out about invovlement with the poor as many in this Church were middle to upper class Kenyans with little to do with those living in Kibera, only 20 minutes away. Pray that God might move in their hearts to reach out to their fellow brothers and sisters and to get invovled in ministries to the poor.
Monday through Thursday we were in Muthiga, which is a slum that is so different from Kibera. There are green rolling hills and red dirt and very little visible sludge or trash lying all over. It is beautiful and peaceful looking, but the poverty is evident in the lack of nutrition I see in the children. During our time, in the mornings we would work on the little piece of property owned by the Church. They wish to build a school there someday soon and so we are getting the land ready for it. I used a machete to cut the weeds and tall grasses as well as just pulling weeds that were everywhere. We dug a few holes and planted little trees. Our hands are now dyed red from the soil. In the afternoons, we did a Bible Study for the younger children not in school or who had returned from school. We acted out the story of Daniel in the lions den, to the story of Naaman and the servant girl (using the Jesus Storybook Bible of course!). We sang songs in both English, Swahili, and Kikuyu(most of the kids are of that tribe). They colored and then we'd play games of all sorts. The girls would grab my hands and make me sit while they pulled and braided my hair into all kinds of knots. I would practice my swahili and they'd giggle at my attempts and mimic my voice. I love just sitting there with them singing praise songs and teaching them best I can. The language barrier is more of a problem here than anywhere we have been, so it has been a big challenge to all of us. Please pray that God's love would be evident through the way we interact with them. Pray that many of those children would come to the Church and come to know Jesus. There are a few older boys who we know aren't believers, so pray that God would use this time to spark their interest and that they might come to know Him.
It was great to see many of the same kids returning who I knew from last year. A few recognized me and I got a huge hug from one of them, Lucy. It was really encouraging to see that she remembered and that she would actually give me a hug and show me that kind of affection, when all I got were hand shakes from the others. The last day, I finally got to see some of the older girls I knew from last year and that was exciting. We wont be returning for another couple weeks, but it will be exciting to see relationships build as we will be spending about 3 more weeks there before we leave.
Saturday we will have our first VBS in Kibera and about 300 children are to come. Please be in prayer for that ministry opportunity as many of the children do not attend the Church who will come.
Mungu Akubariki! (God Bless!)
p.s. I'm reading a book called "three cups of Tea" and it's very inspiring. I would highly recommend it (although I'm only about half through it). Makes me want to climb mountains and build schools for street children in Africa.