To Our Loving Family and Friends,
Today we travelled to the slums of Nairobi known as Mathare. The experience was fulfilling and life changing in so many ways.
Had the opportunity to go to Mathare for a leadership conference. Mathare happens to be one of the largest slums in the world and I was truly struck by the pure joy and humbleness I saw on the faces of the people I encountered. We were also blessed to spend some time talking to some women from the church and were able to break down with them how to study the Bible, it was truly an interactive and blessed time.
Harry did his first of two days of teaching for the pastors of a number of different churches today. The group was responsive and eager to learn. Praise God. He was kind of flattered and told he should come and be a missionary in Kenya.
Tuesday was the first day we went to Mathare, the biggest slum in the world. Before we got there I tried to picture what it would be like. I imagined a lot of metal shacks in a dusty, dirty area with very poor people. Having been in Kenya for a couple of days prior, I noticed that everyone seemed poor, and everywhere seemed dirty. As we stepped into the slum and walked thru it before we left, I noticed that things were worse than I imagined. Yes, I was right about the things I predicted I would find, but not on the scale I was imagining.
I found what surprised me the most as Adam, Pastor Wandera, and I walked down to the river below.
The sewage pipes emptied onto that hill and flowed down into the river. There were other houses towards the bottom of the hill and the sewage would just run around the house. Chickens were trying to drink out of the sewage. Kids were washing clothes (with I don’t know what kind of water) sandwiched between the sewage and the river.
Something else that surprised me was that there were kids at the top of the hill playing in the dirt as happy as could be.
After Harry and Mike finished the training session for pastors, we went to a school for needy children. When we pulled up, we could hear a group of kids singing. As we walked in, their faces filled with joy and they sang for us.
We introduced ourselves to them and Adam gave his testimony.
Afterwards, we spent some time playing with them. I did some flips for them, Adam and I did some balancing games with them, and Nereida and Lisa sang some songs with them.
Something that stunned me was that the kids were asking to touch our hair. When I would be standing in front of them, they would come up to me and feel my hands.
They would ask Adam about his freckles. I don’t think they had ever seen people with appearances like ours. They looked at us like we were from another planet. It really showed me how different the lives of these kids are from those of us who live in the U.S.
It’s crazy to think that kids have lives like these (way worse than what we complain about in America), yet they are still running around with big smiles on their faces like nothing’s wrong.
We’ll never fully grasp the hardships that the people of Nairobi face daily, but we will pray and tell their stories about having hope and love in a place you wouldn’t expect as often as we can.
Love You All,
The Nairobi Missions Trip Team