[For Day 3, I thought it would be fitting to allow Elisa Reino, a former student/soccer player of mine, to share her experience with you in regards to our first event on African soil. Elisa just graduated from high school and plans on taking a Gap Year to travel the world before college. An African mission trip isn’t too bad of a place to start. Enjoy…]
Once we arrived at Subiaco Centre (where we are staying), it must’ve been around 1 am (local time). So let’s make that 31 hours of total travel time. And, with the 7 hours of time difference, no one went to bed until 3 am. Hello, Sleep Deprivation.
I originally had my alarm set at 6:15 am, or so my Shark Freestyle watch said. But, because of “madisunanne,” we decided to change it to 8:30 am. It didn’t matter really, because the two of us never heard it. I don’t know if it was because we were just that tired, or because of the 50 lb. blankets suppressing any audible sounds.
Anyhow, the day began bright and early with some breakfast and devotions. Then, we headed off to the Covenant Street Ministries to meet the boys and the workers there. It was quite the experience. “Moses the Great” asked the boys why it was that we were there, and among the plethora of answers, a few really hit home: “Because they remembered us; because Jesus loves us; because we prayed for them.” How is it possible that someone so young and innocent could have gone through what these once “street boys” went through- abandonment, hunger, starvation, rape, and even watching their friends get shot and then burned? Thankfully, God is good. Through Pamoja Charity’s newest ministry, these boys have been rescued from the streets and now have a chance to live life. Without us (Pamoja Charity), these boys would not have made it. Without them, we would not understand God’s greatness.
After touring the boys’ residence, seeing the rabbit breeding project (which they prayed would multiply, and indeed it has!), and taking pictures with Dennis, our security guard, we climbed back into the bus and left towards our next destination. It was a smooth ride… at first. But then the road shifted from cracked asphalt to cracked dirt with all its luxuries: pot holes, ditches, and muddy trenches. Poor John had a full bladder; we were in a hurry, to say the least.
Once we arrived at our second stop, the Kware Care Centre, ate lunch, and gathered up all the children, we again climbed into the van and headed off to the field for a multi-sport event. By this time, everyone had used the bathroom, so there was no rush!
the kids eating lunch before the SAINTS program, a physical education program with rotating sport stations including soccer, track and field, archery, and more…
At the field, set-up was a bit tedious, but quick nonetheless. Then we gathered up all the Kware kids (since it was their village), and we were off. With Mama Janet as our group leader, we went into the slums and gathered as many kids as we could to come to the field for our event. We don’t really know the exact number, but a good guess would be that there was around 250 kids present, not including any passers-by or any of the kids’ parent(s).
In charge of the soccer station, Leah and I set up cones and flags for the kids. It was a little awkward at first telling the groups of 20 what to do, but because the kids were so willing to listen, it was really no trouble at all. It did get a bit hectic because of the short time we had with each group, but overall, the boys and the girls did really well. It’s funny how almost everyone knows how to play soccer here, and well at that. You could take a kid from the US and tell him to pass, dribble, or make a move, and I’m sure that he/she would not have the skills that these Kenyan kids have; even the girls are experts at passing and trapping the ball. The boys are especially good at performing tricks and dribbling the ball at nearly a sprint. And don’t even think about beating them at foot juggles!
After a beautiful sunset, all the kids were asked to group together for a picture, and wow, what a sight. Every child was smiling, ear to ear, never having asked for a better day than this. I, along with the others in our team, felt so honored to have been able to share in that moment. To put it mildly, it was an amazing day filled with lots of love and laughter.
All good things must come to an end though, and soon after, we were loading up into our van yet again. There were no sad faces at our departure… the kids were happier than before, even running after us in the van and trying to hitch a ride. Unfortunately for them, the mzungus (“white people”), must move on for a night’s rest after a full day of activities.
We could not have asked for a better start to our African adventure.