On Monday 29th July, a team of sixteen people flew to Nairobi, Kenya, for a ten-day trip to support our Mission Partner, Centre for Urban Mission (CUM).
We started our time in Kenya at the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) base in Athi River, which is about an hour east of Nairobi. The team spent a day and a half together settling in and doing some home visits to those with disability. We then split into two different teams – the fi rst, led by Erin stayed on at YWAM to do more work with the base leader, Joram, and the disability programme.
The second team, which I had the privilege of leading headed to central Nairobi to spend time with Simon Peter, Daniel and Mercy from our Mission Partner, Centre of Urban Mission (CUM), visiting various schools and churches where they run their education and Christian discipleship projects.
CUM’s aim is simple: to transform slums through the ministry of local churches. It recognises that God works through the local church to transform both the individual and the community. Kibera is the world’s largest slum and visiting it was a diffi cult experience for some of the team. Jack said, “the impact that it had on me was overwhelming. It was hard for me to take in how little they had, whilst still being happy and joyful. It’s one thing hearing about slums, but it’s quite another to see them and realise how different these people’s lives are compared to ours. I will keep these memories for ever as they have made such an impact on my life.”
I honestly didn’t know exactly what the trip would entail but as I expected, God had great plans! God’s presence shone through especially when we were visiting the schools – the joy and happiness that the children displayed, despite how little they had, was amazing! They were so pleased to see us! Knowing that I had been able to make a difference to their day, however big or small, really impacted me. I saw God move amongst our team as we faced some challenging moments and when we were pushed further out of our comfort zones than we would have liked. God strengthened us and encouraged us to push on and continue with His work. Simon
The trip to Kenya really has changed my life because it has led me to rethink my decisions about what I want to do over the next few years. It has been an amazing experience with the most wonderful people and it is something I will never forget! – Lucy
It has been amazing to see God’s love at work in Kenya and to be able to encourage our fellow brothers and sisters in the faith. – Gregory
While we were not able to change the circumstances of the people we visited, we were able to remind them of their value. Perhaps one of our greatest gifts that we offered was to share was our time and to show the love of the Father. In return, their joy strengthened us all. – Margaret
There were moments before we left when I was a little bit worried about what the trip would entail. Now I feel so privileged for having been a part of this incredible team. There has been laughter, tears, joy and sadness, but above all togetherness, with both our church family and CUM in Nairobi. – John
We were humbled by your visit and that you choose to be with us for the few days that you were here. On behalf of Mercy, Dan and Bishop Meshack and all the community leaders that you met – we are truly grateful that you chose to spend time with us. – CUM Director, Simon Peter