Joseph, Stacey, Derrick, Mary, David, Sarah………
My list of names could go on and on. But these are just a few of the precious children I have met on my trips to Kenya. I have held hands with them, I have shared the love of Jesus with them, I have danced with them, I have read stories to them, and I have played games with them. Their smiles and laughter are contagious and their eagerness to learn is often inspiring. I think most people that go to Kenya with us would say that the ministry with the children in the schools and villages are their favorite part. I’ve been there 5 times now and seeing them run and scream with excitement when they see us never gets old!
The last few times I’ve been to Kenya, though, the part of the ministry I’ve been involved with has shifted from the children to the women in the villages. This has been both rewarding and challenging, but I have learned so much. I love the friendships they have with one another, the way they selflessly serve their families, the way they always open their homes to us, and also their eagerness to learn. As they have shared their lives with us, we have become aware of the many hardships that most of them face. They love their children and want them to have every opportunity they can but so many times this is not feasible for them. School in Kenya is not free like it is here in the states. They have school fees plus the cost of uniforms. For so many women I’ve talked to the choice comes down to sending their kids to school or having enough money to feed them. Or they send them to school, but they have not eaten which makes it difficult for these kids to concentrate and learn to their full capacity.
One of the best books I have read in the last few years is called Revolution in World Missions by K.P. Yohannan. If you were to look at my copy of the book you would see page after page of highlighted and underlined sentences. One of my favorite quotes of the book is this: “We cannot say we love others if we ignore their spiritual needs. Just the same, we cannot say we love others if we ignore their physical needs. Jesus came for both.” Nourishing the Nations is providing for both the spiritual and physical needs of these children. We are working with our pastors that we have formed great relationships with over the years. They are feeding kids 3 times a week in their churches. This is making it possible for many parents to be able to send their children to school. They are being fed healthy meals which makes it easier for them to excel in their studies. The pastors are also taking every opportunity to share Jesus with these kids and their parents. This feeding ministry has given them new ways to love on and minister to the people in their villages. Psalm 9:18 says “For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever. “ Our hope is that these children understand that there is a God in heaven that loves them and cares for them. When these children are able to obtain an education and if they love God and strive to honor him in all they do, we pray that it has a ripple effect across their country and changes things for this next generation.
I want to end with one more passage from Revolution in World Missions:
“As I studied the gospels, it became clear to me that Jesus understood well the principle of reaching the poor. He avoided the major cities, the rich, the famous and the powerful, concentrating His ministry on the poor laboring class. If we reach the poor, we have touched the masses. The battle against hunger and poverty is really a spiritual battle, not a physical or social one as secularists would have us believe. The only weapon that will ever effectively win the war against disease, hunger, injustice and poverty is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To look into the sad eyes of a hungry child or see the wasted life of a drug addict is to see only the evidence of Satan’s hold on this world. All bad things in this world are his handiwork. He is the ultimate enemy of mankind, and he will do everything within his considerable power to kill and destroy human beings.”
Please consider joining Nourishing the Nations as we seek to change Kenya, one child at a time. For only $25 per day or $300 per month you can help us feed and minister to these children and their families. To donate, simply go to www.nourishingthenations.org and click on the donate tab. You can also mail a check to Nourishing the Nations, 2916 Dustin Dr., Odessa, Tx, 79762. All donations are tax deductible and greatly appreciated.