Sasa! My name is Brittany Meyer. I attend Grace Community Church where I had the privilege to join We Are Kenya on a mission trip in August. I was blessed to serve in Soweto, Kenya at the Provision Education Center for two incredible weeks where the pastors, teachers, and children became very much like an extended family.
After visiting the school in Soweto and getting to know all of the kids that are a part of We Are Kenya, I was overcome by their enthusiasm for education, their incredible intelligence, and their many talents. These kids truly make the most of what little they have. While they don’t have the same opportunities that are afforded to children in the U.S. public schools, they still have great hope for their future. Their work ethic and diligence were an inspiring breath of fresh air. The support is tremendous as each teacher does an absolutely fabulous job of not only encouraging these students to have dreams and goals, but also to work toward them. Throughout the two weeks that I was able to spend living and learning alongside these children, I had many opportunities to talk with kids of different ages about what they wanted to be when they grew up. Many students had aspirations for exciting and fulfilling careers such as a teacher, a pilot, a doctor, and a professional soccer player. They were all such ambitious little ones! One little girl I met named Ivonne, was very adamant about growing up to be a successful lawyer. She had her eye on the prize and possessed determination that I’ve never seen from a 9 year old. Just before returning home, I shared the following verse with Ivon to provide her with some encouragement and hope.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
In reality, most of these students will not be presented with the opportunity to have the professions they dream of. The employment rate in Nairobi, Kenya is around 40%. A pastor in the slums explained to me that the employment rate for people in the slums is less than 26%. I was also told that a lot of people come to Nairobi in search for jobs but find themselves living in a slum like Soweto. The Lord has plans for us all but he calls upon the ones he has blessed to act and respond to the need of the least of these. Providing financial support, encouragement, and prayer goes a long way to helping these children become part of the 40% that become employed in the future. Faith and education play key roles in keeping their dreams and goals alive. As I was writing this blog, I received one of my daily devotional emails with this exact scripture as the inspiration. The author points out that, “The scripture tells us that without vision, people perish. If you don’t have a dream or vision for your life, then you’re not really going to reach your fullest potential.” I encourage you to help be a part of the change this holiday season and invest in the hopes and dreams of our children in Kenya. Happy Holidays! Bwana asifiwe! (Praise the Lord)