Wapendwa (You are loved!) - Return to ministry in the Kuwinda slum by Chris

We are super blessed to be able to return to doing larger, planned ministry in Kenya as we wait to head to New Zealand.  For a longtime, the lock down measures made it nearly impossible to do anything but unplanned, so-called "street ministry" which is one-on-one encounters while walking to the store and back.  As of June 6th, the Kenyan president loosened some of the restrictions caused by Covid-19.  Thanks to that, we were able to reach out to a local Kenyan friend who is a priest and to inquire about ministry opportunities for our family.  He advised us about a local parish that has a chapel outpost in one of the nearby slums, called Kuwinda.  The name of this slum in Kiswahili means "to hunt" and it is an interesting name when I think about the fact that The Holy Spirit moved in our family to go out and "hunt" for ministry....to go out and hunt for those who are most in need and to show them the love of Jesus!  So our friend setup a meeting for Karen and I with the local parish priest.  The Holy Spirit was already moving in him as he had already compiled a list of 65 families in desperate need during this time.  These folks are who comprise most of the local day-laborers in this area.  A lot of that type of work has dried up during the pandemic which has caused tremendous suffering for these families.  We came across a kit assembled at the local supermarket which comprised of 2 kg of wheat flour, 2 kg of corn flour, 500 g of a local bean called green grams, we augmented this kit to include 1 kg of cooking oil, 1 kg of salt, 1 kg of flour and small pack of tea leaves.  

The basic staples for each family
Loading all of the food from the local supermarket into our vehicle

Jack & Michael happy to help unload the vehicle

We invited two local Kenyan friends to help assemble all of the donation bags

We had decided that June 20th was the day that all of the families would send a representative to the church to pick-up the donation.  We wanted to also give each family something that would last after the food was all gone.  We decided to color signs that say the Kiswahili word "Wapendwa" which translates to "You are loved" or as Google translate says "Dear friends".  We spent time as a family coloring 65 of these signs and then had them laminated at a local shop so that they would last as a memory of the fact that they are loved.
Anna, Jack & Michael dropping off the colored signs for laminating

The day of the event, we showed up early and sang praise & worship music while we waited for everyone to show up.  We followed the parish priest's lead on how to go about things.  He allowed us to share with everyone after the food was distributed.  If you are interested in what I shared, I will paste it down below.  Karen and Anna were also able to share what Our Lord put on their heart to share.  We all shared in Kiswahili, but I will paste it in both Kiswahili and English.
We had to stand by while each person came to pickup their food.  Before Covid-19, we
probably would have handed them to each person individually.

After the people received their food, they stood with proper social distancing 
to allow us a time to share with them.

Down below is what I shared with the people a few days ago at the event.

First in Kiswahili:

Bwana asifiwe!  Napenda kuwakaribisha nyote hapa leo.  Ningependa kusoma kifungu kifupi kutoka kwa bibilia ambacho kinaeleza kilichotuchochea kufanya hivi leo.
Barua ya kwanza ya Yohane, sura ya tatu, aya kumi na sita hadi kumi na nane:
“Njia ambayo tulijua upendo ni kwamba alijitolea maisha yake kwa ajili yetu; kwa hivyo tunapaswa kuweka maisha yetu kwa ajili ya ndugu zetu. Ikiwa mtu ambaye ana njia ya kidunia anamwona ndugu anahitaji na akamkatalia huruma, upendo wa Mungu unawezaje kukaa ndani yake? Tupende sio kwa maneno au kwa hotuba bali kwa tendo na ukweli.”

Natumai kuwa nyote mnaweza kuhisi upendo wa Mungu Baba, amani ya Bwana wetu, Yesu Kristo na umoja wa Roho Mtakatifu hapa leo. Chakula hiki kibariki kila mmoja wako na familia yako ili kila wakati ukumbuke kuwa unapendwa na Baba yako aliye mbinguni.  

Mungu awabariki sana!!!

and now in English:  

Praise the lord! I would like to welcome all of you here today. I would like to read a brief passage from the Bible that explains what prompted me to do this today.  It is from John's first letter, the third chapter, verses sixteen to eighteen:
“ 16 By this we know love, that He laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But if any one has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth.”

I hope you can all feel the love of God the Father, the peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ and the unity of the Holy Spirit here today. This food will bless each and every one of you and your family so that you will always remember that you are loved by your heavenly Father. 

May God bless you all very much !!!

We would like to thank all of our beloved mission partners that made all of this possible through their generous donations!!!

We'd love to hear from you via email:

If the Holy Spirit is nudging you to support us financially 
so that we can continue serving those in need, please visit:

or call Family Missions Company at (337) 893 - 6111.

Thank you and may God bless you and your family!

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