4/26/15 Is God Enough?
FACTS & INFORMATION ABOUT KIBERA
There are approx 2.5 million slum dwellers in about 200 settlements in Nairobi representing 60% of the Nairobi population, occupying just 6% of the land. Kibera houses almost 1 Million of these people. Kibera is the biggest slum in Africa and one of the biggest in the world.
There are many opinions and varying reports and facts about Kibera Slums. I won’t add to reports, I will only say from my experience in one small corner…
My first visit to Kibera was 12 years ago – to a school called Anajali. Wellington was the headmaster at the time and all I could do was to match he and his wife with Prayer Partners from my church back in Colorado. They were appreciative. I did what I could. I was moved by the Joy in the midst of the extreme conditions and poverty. Twelve years later it is still extreme and I am still moved.
Now we visit ‘Angaza Kids’ zealously led by Popo who believes in every last one if them! The joy and laughter even had Bev and I playing ridiculously fast paced games (as if we were 12 again)!
Yesterday we spent the whole day with our Kenya Youth for Christ friends in Kibera. The center is an oasis of sorts (relatively speaking of course). Leaders John and Collins live nearby and their hearts for the children is undeniable.
Through the years it has grown to accommodate nearly 100 kids on a Saturday who come for songs, dance,
teaching, tea and a meal. It feels good to be in the midst – it feels safe in a place that is not. Throughout the week students come for after school studying and small group teachings. They are happy to be together. The leaders are incredible and committed, understanding firsthand the challenges these kids face…
Bringing laptops to help with a small computer lab, clothes for kids, school supplies and books – balls and jerseys this year!
Last November two team members laid tile in the gathering hall – BIG news for all – and a healthy alternative to the old cement that had open dirt holes and cracks throughout…Ben and Mike (who came from Portland to lay the tile) were likely more moved by the experience than the weight of the tile itself!
Yesterday the tile was covered with little feet and lots of Joy. The kids barely noticed us as they are enamored with the YFC leaders and the chance to learn and grow. Collins was teaching them the Golden Rule and they were all ears! I got the chance to do some teaching with the help of “batting at balloons” and it invited squeals of delight and yes, a bit of chaos. 😀
The children are often taught songs and sayings as these are the tools they have – no fancy props or books to take home – only what they can hold in their minds and hearts… One song that Collins had them sing was about the challenges of being sad and lonely and hungry…and what “can I do?” “I can talk to God – I can talk to God”…
Makes one wonder: Is God enough? The Joy in these kids suggests yes, God is enough…they hold more of His love in their little beings than entire churches back home…It’s true, Jesus loves the little children…all little children of the world…He hears their prayers.
We all need to answer the call to whatever life or lives are put before us – no matter where you are – it may be just around your corner! You may have a messy life, but still something that someone else needs. It’s a give and take. God only knows who is being blessed more….just ask anyone from the outside who has stepped inside the YFC Center in Kibera Slums…!