The team has seen many things this week. It has been a mixture of joy, fun, and excitement facing off against compassion, heartbreak and injustice. The slums are a place of desperate poverty and sheer contentment. Yesterday was our last time in Mathare on this trip.
This was an emotional time for our students and adults as we spent a time with the 15-16 year old students at the Polytechnic School (a technical school teaching hands-on skills)interacting in small groups and praying together. Our team of girls has LOVED being able to speak to the women here about their beauty and God's love for them. In a culture where women are not as valued they are shy and often hesitant to accept this, but for sure they are smiling more since we've been here.
From the school we went for a quick visit back to AIC Zion, where we met with the 260 children and their 5-6 teachers for the last time. We took with us two suitcases of donated stuffed animals. One was full of little green turtles with handwritten notes from the children at the Bible Chapel. The other was all donated from the Red Boxes we did. You would not believe the joy these animals brought to the children. Then... as we had extras left we gave some to the teachers. I watched our students emotions run high as the teachers walked with a sense of pride over their new possessions. We left Mathare with a very emotional group of students and adults, dreaming about how we can partner in long-term ways with a school where children could be sponsored for education, given three meals a day for seven days a week, and provided medical assistance for about $60 a day.
Also yesterday we spent the morning in the Chapel service at NIST. NIST is the Nairobi International School of Theology where Wayne and Dee Johnson teach. Wayne and Dee have helped us set up this entire trip as our contacts from the Bible Chapel, and they are doing an amazing work through NIST. I believe the school has about 150 African students from all over the continent. We have met Nigerians, Sudanese, Tanzanians, and of course Kenyans. It was a beautiful service as a few of our team joined the campus worship team to lead worship. Kristin Momyer, a student from Penn State, shared her testimony before Dee (also a Penn State grad) preached on the Great Commission.
Last night was also a special time. We came back to our hotel--a very nice place--and had dinner with the staff and students of the Campus Crusade ministries on the colleges of Kenyatta University and Nairobi University. There were probably 30 students and ministry leaders as we took dinner together and then held a roundtable discussion sharing testimonies and stories of college ministry in the US and Kenya. The missionaries the Chapel supports, Wayne and Dee Johnson, work with Campus Crusade as missionaries, and though they are teaching at NIST they continue to disciple many of the leaders of Campus Crusade in Nairobi.
As always, we appreciate your prayers! Today half of our team will return to a rural area to do evangelism with John Kisia. The other half will go back to Beacon of Hope to do home visits to HIV positive families in the area of Ongata Rongai. We will share as soon as possible!