Wednesday in Kibera
Today is pastor Mike’s birthday, so we woke up this morning in celebration of him. The MCF staff baked Mike a strawberry birthday cake (his favorite) and the whole family sang songs to him. We asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday and he said that he would love to go into the Kibera slum to be God’s hands and feet, so we said a tearful goodbye for now to our good friends at MCF and headed back into Nairobi.
On the way out, we picked up a 13-year-old boy named Glenn, although he prefers that we use his new name John that he received at baptism. John was just rescued from Kibera back in May of this year and this would be his first trip back to see his family.
John’s mother Celestine came to Nairobi 15 years ago from a town near the Uganda border after dropping out of school in grade 8. Her parents could no longer pay school fees or provide food for her, so she had to move away on her own and get a job as a house helper. After her employer passed away only a few months later, Celestine was forced to go into the Kibera slum. She met a man who provided for her and soon became pregnant with John. John’s father left Celestine for another woman and passed away a few years later.
Celestine now has three children ages 13, 7, and 4. She pays rent to live in another woman’s 150 square foot, two room house while she is away working but the woman is coming back soon and Celestine will have to find another place for her family to live. She washes clothes during the day for her neighbors and mops the floor at a bar nearby for money to pay rent, for school fees for the children, and for food and water. Many weeks, the children have to stay home from school when there is not enough work to be found and John would go into the city to carry luggage for people or to beg for food at waiting cars in congested traffic. He would often not be able to make it back home and end up falling asleep in the park, where the police would chase him away and beat him.
Luckily for John, both he and his mother had come to know Jesus. Celestine worships at a nearby church in Kibera, she reads her bible and prays for her children. Even when John would run away to the city, he would catch a free bus that would take him to church. They both prayed for Jesus to provide for them. And God was faithful. Celestine came across Bangkok who lives in Kibera and works with MCF to provide security and seek out desperate cases that need their help. MCF stepped in to rescue John before he . Praise God for answering their prayers! Praise God for Bangkok! Praise God for MCF! Praise God!
John tells us his dream is to be an electrical engineer. He is well on his way.
Celestine would like to run a clothing shop or a hotel and cook for people so she does not have to worry about finding steady work to pay for food or schooling for her other two children.
Please join us in prayer for this family and all those like them living in Kibera. God is faithful. You can be confident that he will provide for all who believe in his holy name.
God bless you!