Harriet is a beautiful, shy 15 year old girl. She is in form 1 grade 9 at MCF Ndalani and she was rescued from the Kibera slum back in February of this year. When you look into her eyes and see her struggle at giving you a real smile, you can still see some of the pain from her old life. In talking to MCF staff and mission trip members that come back year after year, that seems to be very common and they describe how much that hidden pain fades in the children over time. Some just take longer than others depending on the severity of their experiences. Harriet isn’t there yet but for those children that are far enough along in their recovery to share their personal testimony with you, we get a small glimpse of the darkness they once lived in and see how MCF and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ have brought them back into the light and filled them with the Holy Spirit. I could listen to the same child give their testimony 1000 times and still be brought to tears every time. You just have to focus on the joy and power of God’s love and blessings just like the children do.
When we approached her mother’s home, Harriet ran ahead of the group and we heard joyous screams as the two greeted each other. This was the first time that they had seen each other and spoken in 5 months. As all 11 members of our group were invited into the 15 foot by 15 foot space, we quickly recognized a sign that God had called us to the right place as Harriet’s mom was wearing an Atlanta Olympic Games tshirt. She had no idea that the people bringing her daughter to visit today were from the US let alone Atlanta, GA. Harriet started to tell us about her family’s life in Kibera but she was overwhelmed by emotion and had to step outside. Her mother continued to tell us how she cares for 4 younger siblings (one of which was suffering from tuberculosis), an older brother who has severe mental health issues and frequent seizures, and an older sister with HIV who refuses to take her expensive medication. The sister is the only one that is currently able to work for money to provide food for the family and pay the $35 per month for rent. The mother described how she had fallen down and broken her arm back in March of 2015 and was in an arm cast for 8 months. She tries very hard each day to return to her former work of washing clothes but her arm still causes her great pain. She began to weep as we gave her a box of food to feed the children and then we prayed over her. She asked for prayers for her children’s health and for her ability to work again. Let’s all lift her up in our prayers and call to our merciful and almighty God for the healing that she needs. Let us also pray for Harriet that she may find peace and comfort to focus on her studies so that she can come back to her family one day and help to support them.