Today is Mashujaa Day in Kenya, also known as Heroes’ Day. It is a national holiday to honor those who fought and contributed to Kenya’s independence. Seems only fitting that I’m here with Compassion who are fighting to save children’s lives, spiritually as well as physically.
Today, we visited the Mango Kubwa Child Development Center. On the way we passed two men riding camels, several men herding goats, and a man carrying a goat on a motorcycle. I wish I had pictures to show you but it’s frowned upon to take pictures of the people here. Many of them want money for the privilege. So, you’ll just have to trust me.
I was able to take photos at the CDC, where they take care of 315 children each week. They honored us by praying over us, performing many dances and songs, and acting out the story of the good samaritan.
Interesting fact, the kids are fascinated by arm hair. They will sneak up to you just to touch your arms.
This is Melvin. Melvin is much better at taking selfies than me. He is currently 19 years old and has been a sponsor child since the age of 3. He is going to a tech school to become a mechanical engineer.
As Melvin was showing me how every child with Compassion has a folder that basically tracks everything about their life, this little girl came and crawled up into my lap. The children are amazing here despite the circumstances they are growing up in.
This particular CDC is next to the 3rd largest slum in Nairobi, with over 250,000 people living in quarters smaller than many of our closets. That’s not an exaggeration, I went inside one to visit one of the children’s homes. It couldn’t have been bigger than 100 square feet and 7 people lived in the space. It was made of mud, tin, and sticks and felt like a sauna, and it’s a cloudy day here. All the kids who attend this CDC come out of those slums.
They are responsible for waking up, getting ready, and walking themselves to and from the CDC. Children the same ages as my children, walking through the same streets that buses and motorcycles drive on. And yes, the streets are just as crazy as you would imagine.
Compassion provides them with much needed meals, classes, and medicine. But more important than that, they provide them hope. Hope in the name of Jesus.
Hey, if you just stumbled upon this post, I want you to know I’m in Kenya with Compassion International for a week. I wanted to document my experience to share with my family and friends and anyone else who may be interested. I will be back sharing my thoughts on leadership, church growth, and more next week. If you want to follow along with the blog, make sure to subscribe to get email updates delivered to your inbox each week.