Hope in the slums. We are all HIS beloved.

I pray this morning for the Lord’s provision and justice for ALL HIS CHILDREN after working in the slums the past few days. O how I find myself in a space of silence and attentiveness to anything and everything surrounding me while I am there. I see so many beautiful faces in such desperate need and yet precious smiles lighting up along the way!

On the first day we had the opportunity to go deep into the slums and visit families with the intent to show them the love of Jesus in a tangible way be it through meeting their most basic needs: provision of sugar, beans, flours, peas, butter…etc. We sit together, share life and ask to pray for them, usually a widow, a sister, grandmother or a single mom…caring for multiple kids in the size of a small bathroom made with mud walls and tin roofs to secure their home.

After visiting two families we went to a secondary school to participate in the Jitambue (“self-worth” in Swahili) Project and hear the impact it is having on their lives. It was so sweet hearing how these young girls have been eternally impacted by the Swahiba Youth team showing up, leading and educating them on positive reproductive health and the Hope of Jesus.

We closed the day with one of the most humbling and beautiful experiences I have ever taken part in—washing the feet of orphan children, and then putting a brand new pair of sneakers on their feet. I cannot explain the absolute joy in their eyes as I washed and dried each foot and shared the love of Jesus and told each child how Jesus washed the feet of His children because HE loved them so very much. The smiles and laughter on their faces I will treasure all the days of my life.

The next morning I awakened early with great anticipation of witnessing the Jitambue Conference in Kibera, live and in action. As our team drove up to the church, I saw over 500 teenage girls laughing, singing and dancing. My spirit was overwhelmed with great joy as I heard the conversations and receptive ears regarding positive reproductive health education and the Truth of the Lord–that He has great plans for their future and will never leave them nor forsake them.

The conference started early in the morning and lasted into late afternoon. There are over 10 schools from the Kibera slums involved in the J-Project (conferences & weekly club meetings), but our vision is to reach every girl within every school in Kibera! Over 30 Swahiba staff & volunteers serving all day long…faithfully, diligently and selflessly. O how their passion, fervor and service for Jesus continues to amaze and convict me.

The program continued to flow throughout the entire day . . . from music, group dancing, to a slew of guest speakers that include a trained counselor sharing education on positive reproductive health with a biblical perspective, a representative from the United Nations encouraging perseverance and strength to press on amidst the trials for their education, and Candice sharing the abundant love God, the Father has for each and every one of them. Then, two precious girls shared their testimony of how the J-Project has provided support, education, mentorship and the love of JESUS over the course of their secondary schooling. WOW! We closed out the day by passing out sanitary napkins to each girl—an item taken for granted in our western society which allows them to continue to participate in school in the short and long-term. Their smiles and gratitude upon receiving these is, O, so humbling to me . . . to receive a sanitary napkin as a gift? What different value we as Americans put on things . . .

I think though, what pierced my heart the most, was looking over to the gate entrance at the close of the day and seeing the hundreds upon hundreds of girls exiting this safe place . . . only to enter back into the slums. As I watched, a precious little girl came up to me and said,

“I just wish today would never end, that it would last forever!”

My heart immediately hurt for her . . . for all the girls . . . but then the Lord reminded me that each of these girls are His & He created each with a plan and purpose for His glory. And I said to her,
“I know sister, but the GOOD NEWS is that JESUS is always with you and in you, and the Swahiba staff go home with you. They are going to be there tomorrow and the next, encouraging you and loving on you as Jesus loves on you!”

Praise the Lord for He is good, and His love endures today.

In Christ Name,
Raeanne

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