1 John 3:17 (NIV)
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?
The streets of Nairobi are filled with homeless children, wandering aimlessly about, begging to survive. And the most disturbing fact is that their numbers are increasing at an alarming rate!
Since the dawn of urbanization, children who once were valued as signs of prosperity, now find themselves mistreated and rejected. Many run away from homes where even their most basic needs are not being met. Parents just can't afford them anymore, and days without food are hard on these youngsters! There are also many homeless children who have been orphaned by HIV, and still others are born out of wedlock and abandoned, due to cultural stigma.
Many of these street dwellers eventually join the ranks of criminals as drug dealers, purse snatchers and pick-pocketers. Others turn to a life of begging, depending upon the mercy of those who have a bit more money. Girls aren't better off. Many end up in street prostitution, selling themselves as cheap as Ksh 30 or 0.40 US$.
All of these kids are desperate and all they worry about is survival. Who will feed them if no one cares for them? Who will clothe them, when everyone sees them as a nuisance? At least they have a place to sleep: the street! And if they are lucky, they can use cardboard as their shelter at night.
But there was one person who wanted to make a difference. Maria Githua walked these streets as well, but with a different purpose in mind: How could she help these poor kids?
She started small by renting a home in a well-to-do neighborhood. She filled the rooms with bunk beds and invited in as many kids as could fit in her house. One day the government decided to close the doors of the orphanage. As the officials were nearing her house, neighbors quickly laid themselves on the street, preventing them from even reaching the house.
Eventually, Maria took a step out in faith and purchased some land. A dorm was build, then two, and Christ Our Refuge Children's Home was birthed.
More and more children have accepted Maria's offer and have moved from the slums to luxury. They didn't need to worry about food with Maria. Nor about comfortable bedding or shelter either. She is preparing these children to become responsible citizens, the future hope of the people of Kenya. The monetary needs are huge, but praise be to God, they are always provided for.
Maria's motto is simple and clear; "That no child shall sleep in the streets of Nairobi, no child shall sleep hungry, lonely and rejected and that all the children rescued shall know of Jesus' love for them. That the children shall know we are Christians because of our love."
Do you walk your streets with God's perspective in mind?
Dear Lord, open our eyes as we walk the streets around our home. Help us see the ways that we can show Your love to those that are there. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.