When I grew up, I remember long Summer evenings playing football in the streets of my neighborhood, riding bikes through the woods with my friends who lived nearby, and having those same friends around my dinner table with my family. It was natural for us to spend time with and build relationships with those who lived within proximity to us.
Today, it seems like something has changed.
I watch our neighbors stealthily open their garage door, drive in, and close it before getting out of their cars. I hardly see children playing outside. When we try to talk to neighbors or invite them over, it's often met with trepidation.
The people next door might as well live thousands of miles away.
Meanwhile, in Kenya, I see photos of Pastor Linus in his home with locals who come by to rest or have a bite of food with his family. In our times there, we are often introduced to neighbors and friends who live nearby and who share meals and tea with us. Discussions, sometimes serious and sometimes comical, ensue and time is well-spent engaging in conversation with one another.
The people next door really are the people next door.
What Pastor Linus has done in Kenya seems to be a feat that is unimaginable. He has led a growing school to such capacity, he has had locals begin more and more attend his church, he has built relationships with those around him and in his community. But friends, Pastor Linus hasn't done anything that you or I couldn't do. Pastor Linus has been obedient to God's call on his life to love the people around him, care for them, and share the gospel with them.
God asks us to do the same thing.
Our mission in Misiri isn't different than what your mission should be here at home.
You should be working to meet and build relationships with those closest to you and to share the gospel with them along the way.
It may be easier and less risky for us to support organizations like ours who are working in struggling places, and while God does call some of us to do that - He calls all of us to reach out to those around us.
Be a bright hope and shining light of the gospel of Jesus Christ, right where you are.
That's our mission in Misiri and I hope it's your mission wherever you are.
FROM GARBAGE to CHRISTLIKE
A letter from Pastor Linus
Joyce, my administrative assistant, reported to me that she had found a family of four siblings eating from the garbage outside our church. The next day, strange kids came to my office to see whether I had anything to take to the garbage because they had nothing to eat from the garbage. I had no garbage except papers!
The third day was the same.
This time I took one of the children, Lucy, the first born, to Christlike Academy to have something to eat.
What followed afterwards was a letter from the area chief (government official) requesting me to consider Lucy to join Christlike Academy. It took us several days to change our decision about not admitting more kids since the more we became strict, the more needy kids came.
Lucy is the first born of Peter and Irene. She is 14 years old and in Grade four. She ought to be at least in Grade 8 according to her age, but due to the poverty in her family, she left the school together with her siblings. Lucy and her family spend nights without food. She comes from the Misiri Slum. Her mom Irene has been ill for the last 2 years. Irene spends most of her time under the hospital ceilings.
As if it is not enough, Peter got deep cuts last month, having been suspected to be a thief.
One early morning, he went to look for a manual work to feed the family. He was carrying a jembe and a panga (machete). A scared old lady raised an alarm and angry youths went for assistance. Since he was a stranger in that village, Peter was beaten and cut and left to die.
He is now recovering from the Tigoni Hospital.
Lucy’s family is a good example of people living below poverty in Misiri Slum.
Pray for Lucy as she begins her new life as a pupil at the Christlike Academy.
Lucy has raised our enrollment to 397 (221 girls and 176 boys). Hallelujah!