This morning our van pulled up to a street in the middle of downtown Nairobi at 5 in the morning. We got out and began to wake the huddles of women, babies in between each grown body, clutching each other for warmth. We listened to our friend Boniface preach and passed out packages of milk to each woman and child. The women sat and nursed their babies as they listened to us. In my opinion, this was the most heartbreaking and difficult visit we have had on this trip. Most of the babies were born out of prostitution or rape and as I talked to a woman named Hannah, I could see the intense fear in her eyes. The women didn’t even have shoes and so 3 of the girls took off their own shoes and handed them to the women. We prayed with them, but as I laid a hand on Hannah and her baby, Angel, the fear still didn’t leave her eyes. She told me she knew Jesus and that she hears Boniface preach every time he comes. She had been kicked out of her house 10 years ago, is now 23 years old, and now has a year old daughter and a son who has disappeared. I couldn’t comprehend having to live in fear of being raped every night. I don’t know what the pains of hunger are or the fear for your baby’s safety. I don’t know how scary it is to go into labor with nowhere to go. I don’t know what it’s like to have no shoes or blankets and live in the cold. I don’t really understand any of this or why they are considered the “least” and not me. We drove back to the hotel in shock, but encouraged by Boniface’s words at breakfast. We gave him money to buy diapers and blankets for the women and there will be another team headed over there tomorrow morning. We can only pray and trust that God has His hand on their life.
After street ministry this morning, we met with the Honorable Samuel Pogishio, the Minister of Information and Communication at the downtown offices. He shared with us a little bit about his role in parliament and then told us about his future plans for Kenya, including his goals to make Kenya the technological hub of all of Africa. After visiting so many desperate and broken places like the slums, meeting with Pogishio gave us the perspective needed to know that the future of the poor and women in Kenya does not have to remain so desperate. We asked him a lot of questions about his future plans, and we were particularly interested in the threats of al-Shabaab since the invasion of Somalia since we have noticed such heightened security.
We continued our political visit day with a trip to the U.S. Embassy, where we instantly felt as if we had stepped out of Kenya and into the U.S. It was shocking how different things felt and looked. We were escorted into the embassy and given a tour. We met with a man who works for the political arena in the U.S. embassy and he shared a lot of information about the U.S. role in Kenya and their goals for Kenya, which included improving democracy. This visit complemented the trip to Pogishio’s office and gave us yet another unique perspective to the influences in Kenyan politics. We were very hopeful after these two visits that the quality of life for the Kenyan people will improve with time. Both visits were very interesting examples of leadership over the places and people we have grown to love and we were so honored to be hosted at each.
After a quick lunch at an American style pizza place, we headed to New Life Home Trust orphanage. The orphanage was created by a British missionary couple and it has run successfully on volunteers ever since. We got a chance to play with and feed the babies and toddlers. Watch our video for the day to see more of this. It was so sweet spending time with these adorable babies. We had such a great time with the kids!
~Posted by Hayley