IN Network works to get kids out of slum

By November 17, 2008

Kenya (MNN) — Kibera is known as the "place of darkness."
Sewage from Nairobi drains into this slum located about a mile away from the city.
Approximately 1 million people, mostly women and children, are crammed into the
one-square-mile area known as Kibera.

"There are no smiles on the faces of these children, and
there are odors that you'll never forget," said IN Network president and CEO Rody Rodeheaver.

IN Network is bringing light in this darkness and working
to get the children out of this slum.

"Our IN Network Kenya staff have developed relationships
with some of the key churches in the Kibera slum, with the sole purpose to help
those pastors disciple and mentor the people in their congregations," says Rodeheaver.
"They can be part of a volunteer core that would work with the children of Kibera
and bring the children of Kibera help."

The IN Network program in Kibera is taking care of these
slum children by providing meals and clothing, and also getting sponsors to
provide them an education. Volunteers who mentor these children would be there
to make sure essential needs were being met. Weekly follow-ups with the child
would ensure that they had a place to sleep and something to eat.

"The two things that are going to change the lives of the
children of Kibera are: one, to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ;
and two, to get an education that will give them the power to walk out of Kibera,
find a job and begin to make a life for themselves away from the poverty and
hurt of this place."

Every Saturday, IN Network gathers slum children to a
central place in Kibera for worship, games and evangelism. Sometimes the only
warm meal the children will have for the week is at these meetings, and food
packets are also handed out for them to take home for their families. Rodeheaver
states that these meetings can gather as many as 400 children.

"These kids were thanking the Lord for their eyes, and their
feet and hands, and they were so grateful that God had given them all these
wonderful things," he said.

These kids literally have nothing, but they were
expressing gratitude because they had come to know Christ and had realized
meaning and purpose that went beyond just the poverty of their situation."

Many children have come to Christ and became involved in the
local church. IN Network is working to get sponsors for the children to pay for
their education. Although the education in Kenya is "free," kids often have to
buy their school supplies; some have even had to buy their own desks. Sponsors
of these children would provide money to purchase these supplies for them, so
that through an education they can have a way out of the slum.

"As they get their education, they have more and more of an opportunity
to break out of the power of Kibera," says Rodeheaver.

For a partial scholarship, the monthly cost is $32. The
full scholarship of a child costs $64 per month. Rodeheaver states that the
cost is higher because of the multitude of needs IN Network meets for these
children. Not only does the program provide for slum children, they often
provide food for the kids to bring back to their families.

Rodeheaver desires to share the story of Kibera with many.

"In a place that has such a reputation for darkness, there
is a wonderful light of Christ's love shining and bringing hope," he says. "People
in America can be part of the solution, part of bringing hope to the children
of Kibera."

If you would like to bring hope to a child in Kibera, click
for sponsorship information.

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