Ninampenda Yesu


"Muzungus......muzungus...munzungus muzungus muuuzuunnnguusss!"
What starts as a slow whisper quickly turns into chaotic shouts of excitement. The children of Mathare have spotted us and word of their pale visitors is spreading fast. As we hurriedly weave in and out of the maze of paths that will eventually lead us to the Gospel Disciples Victory Church, children reach out to touch us. They shake our hands, give us high fives–some even hold on to our clothes. Their eyes light up with a contagious joy as smiles spread across their little faces; alive with the curiosity of something so different and new. Although more reserved and respectful, their parents, grandparents, and adult family members are just as excited to see us. Why do you think this is?

It's not because we're building a new building—we're not. It's not because we're bringing money or supplies—we're not. It's because they cannot wait to share their stories with us. Like a child eager to show their friend all of their barbies and their new fairy bed spread upon a first playdate, they want to show us their homes, tell us about their families, and testify to the transformation they are experiencing.

Friends, I will not paint a picture of poverty here. I will not speak of a lack of anything. I will not tell sob stories. Over the next few months I will share the stories of transformation. I will tell of empowered communities. I will share stories of independence, freedom, and redemption. I will proclaim God's faithfulness to His people. This trip is not about feeling sorry and having to do something. This summer is a journey in which the Lord will use me to tell stories that will glorify His name and His works.

“Not for our sake, GOD, no, not for our sake, but for your name’s sake, show your glory. Do it on account of your merciful love, do it on account of your faithful ways. Do it so none of the nations can say, “Where now, oh where is their God?””
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭115:1-2‬ ‭MSG‬‬

I thank you ahead of time for your prayers. I ask that you pray for the communities I will be visiting this summer: Mathare and Kibera first and foremost, as these are the communities we will be fellowshipping in the next few weeks. Pray for their transformation as the work of Life in Abundance empowers them to own their communities. Pray for families that stick together and live lives that honor God. Pray for the local churches as they are the hands and feet of Jesus in areas where the needs are great. Most importantly, pray that God's name would be proclaimed throughout these slums; that's my Jesus would be glorified in unlikely places and unlikely situations.

That being said...Story time!

Meet Roselyn. She's a member of Gospel Disciples Victory Church in Mathare, and boy oh boy does she love Jesus. Widowed in 2007, Roselyn learned to rely on God for her strength and joy. After the loss of her husband Roselyn was faced with the challenge of supporting herself and her three teenage children. With encouragement from the church she opened a dare care business that began to thrive. Today, she says that her daycare empowers women to provide for their families. Although Roselyn's children are grown, she has stepped into the role of "mom" again.

This is Michelle. As a baby Michelle was crippled and left with Roselyn. She devoted herself to taking care of Michelle. Roselyn and Michelle have been home from the hospital just two months after spending almost three months living there as Michelle was under the supervision of doctors. Today Michelle has been healed and Roselyn praises God for this. She can walk and run with the other children her age. She is also a huge help to Roselyn in the daycare (she is not quite school age yet). Roselyn believes she's been placed in the lives of all of these children for a reason, and that reason is to show them, and their families the love of Jesus. It was an absolute joy meeting her today. Roselyn is truly a light. I learned so much from her story of sacrificial love. She is overflowing with joy in a way that makes her shine—I heard this called Jesus eyes one time. That's what Roselyn has, Jesus eyes; a love and light that is visible to all.

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