21 January 2012
Today was our first full day in Kenya. We woke up early, prayed and got ready to go. Steve came to pick us up from Maggie’s house. and we headed to Kibera. I can’t put into words the anticipation and nervousness I had to see the slum. On the way there, we passed an advertisement for a Kenyan hospital that read, “First World Class, Third World Pay”. Throughout the day that statement played over and over again in my head. It is a statement of service, one that we in the US don’t always abide. Our friends here treat us with love and acts of service. They may not have a lot, but they give us first world class service.
We pulled into Kibera and as we approached the top of the hill that over looked the 700-800 sq kil of slum, I immediately felt my throat to close up and my lips start to tremble. Approximately 1.5 million people live in the small radius of Kibera. They children are taught a phrase to say when they see white people, “How are you” which they just repeat over and over again as we passed by. The homes in Kibera are made of mud and sticks, packed side by side. The unpaved road is barely wide enough for a single car to pass through. No pictures could ever really explain. We rolled up our windows and took no pictures. It would be very disrespectful to ride through and snap pictures as we were tourists on a joy-ride.
We pulled up to the Wings of Life School in Kibera to meet Pastor Jane and Pricilla. They greeted us with smiles and hugs. We walked inside and immediately felt the love of Christ. Earlier I was wondering why a women like Priscilla- an intelligent, smart, beautiful, independent and business savy women- would remain living in Kibera. After leaving, I understood. She couldn’t leave, how could she? These precious children are beautiful and they rely on her for their education. Her sacrificial love was that of Jesus Christ.
We sat down to talk to Pastor Jane and Priscilla, talking about the future of Be Free and our partnership together. We were able to buy some more beautiful Papers of Peace, Ropes of Hope and Freedom Cuffs. I am so excited to get home and show them off!
We said goodbye to the kids, Pastor Jane, Priscilla and the others, loaded the truck and left. On our way out I saw a sign hanging over a door that read, “Chill and Stay Alive Self Empowerment Group”. Here they wake up each morning and have to find a way to stay alive. We wake up and decide what to wear. Again, I can’t explain the emotions that I was having. I am excited for the continued ministry in Kibera with Be Free.