It is always hard to say goodbye to friends new and old. This week we made some incredible new friends. These new friends are teachers and staff at the Furaha school who treated us like family, students who hugged our necks so sincerely and melted our hearts with smiles all week long.
Both Josh and I are thankful for so any moments! We both had an opportunity to spend time in the classrooms with kids, learning with them and getting to know them. I (Jenn) spent quite a while hanging out with the grade 6 students. Their curiosity about everything was so exciting. They leaned in and learned a new silly song from me, we made graphics and mini movies on my phone, and talked about computers and art (by the way none of these students own an iphone or computer, many of the parents do have a phone called Impesa that is used to help find jobs and transfer money around). One student drew a rooster on the board and I tried to draw a picture of my dog and car, which was actually quite comical – his drawing was much better. Meanwhile, Josh spent time with the 8th grade students talking about how lungs work – and specifically how his is a bit different since he only has one lung.
The amazing thing we discovered this week is how easy it is to connect and find joy in spending time with these students and teachers from a completely different culture. We are both equally fascinated by one another and have completely different worldviews. At the end of each day, I was left with a desire to keep learning more about how the kids and teachers think, about their hopes and dreams, and about their deep sense of faith. Even today, I want to better understand how each of them maintain hope in a place like Huruma (one of three large slums around Nairobi).
While the people are incredibly beautiful in so many ways, there is no denying the fact that this is a hard place to live - and the complete poverty does create many questions of faith. How could this be a real place? Does God see this? (And yes he does.) I find myself torn by how to balance the life I have as a middle class American – with a house that is the size of about 10 shanties (homes) in Nairobi, that is average size in Minden – with all of this poverty. Now that we have seen this, how do I respond, how do we respond?
God totally grabbed my heart yesterday morning as we prayed alongside a teacher who lives in the Huruma slums and gives back so much everyday to help change the future of this community. This woman is talented, educated and could move out of the slums but she stays because of Furaha. She prayed, “Lord forgive us for forgetting about you, for the times we snap our worship away from you and think only of ourselves.” Yikes!
Today, we ask that you take a moment to consider how you can make a difference in the lives of people living in extreme poverty. Pray that God will continue to open your heart and lives to this issue.
Take some time today to see what When I Grow Up is doing or to research extreme poverty in the world. Click here to go to When I Grow Up's site.
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Traveling a Browns
This page highlights many of our adventures of traveling our nation and world.