Kenya (MNN) — Extreme poverty is common for the children of Kenya, with 50% of the population below the poverty line. A Buckner International mission team has been ministering to the children of Kenya for over three weeks now. However, they are finding that they are equally–if not more–blessed by these beautiful children's joy despite from their circumstances.
The team with Buckner International has been in Kenya since the second week of June, working with Baptist Children's Center to minister to the kids of Kenya. They teach Sunday school lessons, help conduct school lessons, work with the staff, assist at the clinic, cook meals, and just spend time with the kids. The medical portion of the team traveled all over Kenya in the first week, and their work was certainly cut out for them: in just the first two days of the trip, they treated over 600 people.
Buckner International got involved with Baptist Children's Center 10 years ago through efforts of the Buckner Kenya Office. They are currently planning a celebration of these 10 years of ministry and all God has been able to do through them.
One of the most moving moments for team members so far was when they visited the Kibera Slums of Kenya, the largest slum in Africa. It is estimated that there are over 550,000 people living in the Kibera Slums. With 750,000 people per square mile, it is also one of the most crowded places on earth. An aerial shot of the slums show simply mile upon mile of layered tin roofing overlapping house structures and pathways between the metal homes below.
"Our eyes were completely opened to true poverty that we had never experienced before. It is crazy how poverty and wealth can be such close neighbors," states one team member.
Despite such poverty, the children of Africa have an infectious joy and have even been an encouragement to the team members. The kids love playing volleyball, drawing with sidewalk chalk, playing duck-duck-goose, and every other activity children around the world love.
One team member says, "The [Baptist Children's Center] is a place where these kids have 16 brothers and sisters and act like one big family. We have been so blessed to get to know each and every one of these kids and their individual personalities."
Recently, the Buckner team was able to buy Bibles in Swahili to hand out to the children. They were also able to invite children from eight different orphanages around Kenya to come and pick up donated shoes. These new shoes were donated through Buckner's Shoes for Orphan Souls program, and "each student left with a big smile," says team member.
Buckner is currently preparing for another Shoes for Orphan Souls shoe drive in October. These shoes donated will go to benefit children in Ethiopia and Mexico. Please consider donating to help these groups of children in the same way their team has been able to bless the children of Kenya. Pray that the Lord would do a great work through the Kenya team as they finish their time there ministering to the kids. Pray also that both the team members and the workers and children of Kenya would be blessed.