I admit that we were a little star struck by our guests today. My girls scurried around the house getting things prepared, and they watched out the window anxiously waiting for their arrival. Finally Isabel proclaimed, “ They are here!”
Today we had the privilege of hosting two Leadership Development Students with Compassion International, who are here from Kenya for the summer. We fed them waffles and bacon!
Both Daniel and David grew up in the slums of Kenya and both were sponsored children through Compassion. Now in their mid-twenties, David and Daniel are here in the U.S. to tell their story and work for Student Life, and to inspire others. They will go back to Kenya in August and finish up college.
My family hasn’t been the same since our visit to Kenya over a year ago. The girls saw a big world and their eyes were opened to poverty. Isabel started her ministry, “Shoes for Kids” and I started working for Compassion leading trips. Today, having these two young men in our home allowed us to have a little “Kenya” come back into our hearts.
Both David and Daniel lost their mothers when they were young children. Both grew up in the slums where there were a lot of drugs, prostitution, little food, and no chance for education. Both told us how they had to trust God for every meal and food was scarce. David told us about how his 11-year-old sister had to work as a housemaid for $2 a month after the death of their mother, and basically lived as a slave. David, on the other hand, ended being sponsored with Compassion International.
David and Daniel became leaders in their community. “I give God all the glory,” said David, and he spoke of a God who answered all his prayers. He told us that most of his friends from the slum are now dead. Does sponsorship make a difference in a child’s life? The answer is obvious.
As I listened to David and Daniel, I was struck with their confidence and their joy. They would giggle and joke around. They liked our dog and said he looked like a little rug. Men don’t usually strike me as beautiful, but there was something so beautiful about these guys and their spirit.
I had a million questions for these guys. I wanted to know what they thought of America? What did they think of the church? What was it like to travel? What did they like about America? What didn’t they like?
Daniel and David commented on our distractions in America. They said it makes following Christ difficult. David is encouraging Christians to pursue intimacy with God. He said, “I was surprised by the lack of prayer. In Kenya we pray all the time. We wake up at 3am and pray. We get in the car and pray, then we pray over communities, and God answers our prayers.” He then told us he is encouraging American Christians to be like David in the Bible. Though we have everything, we know that everything belongs to God and we give it all to Him.
After all my questions were answered we got on the subject of our kids. Isabel then shared about Shoes for Kids. Daniel and David were very encouraging. David told Isabel that here in America, shoes are not that big of a deal, but in Kenya and other countries with poverty, shoes are a huge deal. He told us the story of receiving his first pair of shoes at age seven, when he became a sponsored child. Daniel told us that he never owned a pair of tennis shoes until he was in high school. Then the guys took pictures of all the shoes we had collected and told Isabel that they would pray for her ministry. We gave them some shoes to take back to Kenya to share with their family.
What a total blessing to start our weekend with such amazing guys. Today I was reminded of just how powerful and great our God is to take two orphans, who once lived in the grips of extreme poverty, and today can speak with great confidence about a God who saves. Truly our God can move the mountains. This is the power of sponsorship. This is the power of God.
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I hope all is well. Yes, the guys were so much fun to have over.
That’s so awesome Patricia! I have to admit, I’m a little jealous that you get to spend time with those guys and host them in your home. What a treat! I don’t know them but be sure to tell them I said Hi and I’m praying for them and their families. Their country is so close to my heart.
Perfect. I will tell Isabel and maybe sometime in the next couple weeks we can drive down to bring them to you! It will be great to meet a fellow advocate! I will be in touch.
I would be happy to take to some shoes to Peru…
Since you are in the area, let me know if you are interested in taking some shoes to Peru. I am excited you get to hang with Ella and Siladad and Ian too. What a fun trip!
Diane, I am glad you are encouraged. Debborah is surrounded by some good leaders too (and her son). I will be praying with you!
This post is such an encouragement to me. I’ve been praying that God will provide godly role models for Debborah’s son. Knowing these two men came from a similar area – if not the same area – as hers gives me confidence that God can and will provide the godly influence that little guy is going to need. 🙂
I love Isabel’s shoe ministry and her passion for it…it’s very inspiring!