Today (Wednesday, October 15th)
After yesterday's tour of the slums in Community 2, we headed back to the school with several different purposes in mind. Our group split up - several people served on a medical team (taking vitals, diagnosing health concerns and prescribing medication) and the rest of the group served at the school by providing a Vacation Bible School (VBS) for the classes. We served in several different ways (crafts, music, games and bible lesson).
Dave Zook and I had the pleasure of serving in the craft room for today. To go along with our theme to "Bring the Light", each child had the chance to make a "candle" out of construction paper, glue and.....GLITTER!!! Oh, how the kids love glitter! What a joy it was to watch each child receive their supplies with great excitement. They hang on every word we say! While putting the pieces together was fun, more than anything, the children (and us!) enjoyed tossing a bit of glitter onto each child. They would let it rain down on them with complete joy! The joy of the Lord filled my heart as they gathered around us as close as possible to get more and more glitter - they had it in their hair, on their hands and on their faces!
During our first session of classes, when the children were finished with their crafts, they began singing "This Little Light of Mine" without any of the adults coaching them to do so. What an incredible moment to be sure! These precious school children know the reason for the light, they know who the Light is and they love to sing about that Light....Jesus!
Several classes came in and also offered to recite memory verses from scripture that they had learned in school. One by one, a child would give a reference (John 3:16 for example). The rest of the class would repet the reference and then recite the verse word for word! They are learning His Word at this incredible school that was created to serve our great Light!
After VBS and a fabulous lunch provided to us by Missions of Hope, we again divided up. Some working on the medical team and other going into the slums to make home visits. We used some great tools provided to go into the shanties of dear Kenyan people and teach them the gospel, educate a bit about HIV prevention and care, and show them methods for creating cleaning drinking water for their families. What a time of fellowship this is for everyone in those little shanties - the 8'x8' homes where they welcome us with open arms and open hearts. After sharing the word, we had the blessing of providing the homes with mosquito nets to help ward off malaria. Each home was extremely grateful and gracious. All glory goes to the Lord who knows their needs and is finding ways to meet these basic - yet mostly unmet - necessities for living in Mathare Valley. It sounds cliche', but it truly is heart wrenching to see these deplorable living conditions - worse than any Americans could ever imagine without seeing with their own eyes. Yes, the Word of God is alive and is spreading throughout this darkened place. The Light is getting brighter in Mathare Valley!
We then returned back to the Grace House (our home away from home), had the evening meal together and packed gift bags with all the donations generously given by our WRCC family. These bags will be given to the children later in the week.
There are so many things to take away from today. So many, in fact, that I fear that nothing I say could in any way do justice to the experience we are having, the way the Lord is working and the love of these precious people.
With that said, my greatest "take away" from today is this: I remember the last couple of weeks in church singing "This Little Light of Mine" while preparing for this trip. I knew that the Lord was granting us the opportunity to share the Good News of His light to this dark world. And it has been incredible to see this great team share the Light of God - to be His hands and feet - in such a fabulous way already in the short time we have been here.
What I hadn't counted on as much? Experiencing the ways in which these great places - Missions of Hope, CMF, the schools, etc are teaching those around them to be the light in an even greater way - day in and day out in the Mathare Valley. More than anything perhaps, the children they are training and leading and discipling are being equipped with strong biblical truths and being loved like Christ - so that they may grow and one day share the light with everyone they meet! God's Word is powerful and alive - and it will continue to spread...
...UNTIL THE WHOLE WORLD HEARS.
This little light of mine...I'm gonna let it shine!
Rachel Brolsma, team member