The Rest of the Story…I shared the story of my “baby” getting to experience the desire of her heart by going deep into the slums of Kenya to “Reach the Unreached!” It has taken me several days to compose myself after she called and shared with me who she met living inside this tin shack. As she described the family to me, the tears began to fall. I tried to keep her from hearing me cry so that I would in no way hinder her from speaking every word that was spilling from her heart.
My 14-year-old stepped inside this small, dark, dirty home of “nothing,” and was greeted by the two smiling faces that we all see in this photo. They are the five-year-old and three-year-old of a 26 year old, single mother who also has her one-year-old baby living with her here. As the team inquired of her needs and how they could pray with and for her, they learned of her heartbreaking story, and it is this story that has had me crying the “ugliest cry” for days now.
This young mom of three ran away from her abusive husband to find a better life for her and her children. I cannot even begin to imagine how this tin shack in the mud, garbage and sewage was her better option. Every day, she leaves her five-year-old along to care for the three-year-old and baby while she goes and sits among a pool of women hoping that she will be the lucky one to be selected that day to wash someone’s laundry so that she can feed her family. In the United States, what she does each day would be called “Child Endangerment.” In Africa, what she does each day is called “The Norm.”
As my girl and the team sat on the dirt floor of this mother’s home, they asked her what she needed most and how they could pray for her. She only asked for one thing…the school fees to send her children to school because not only would going to school give her children a better life than the life that she is living, which is every parent’s desire, but it would also ensure that her children would have food to eat each day. When asked how much she needed for the fees, her reply of $8.00 a month might as well have been million dollars to her.
And it is those words, $ 8.00 a month, that I have not been able to stop repeating in my mind over these last two days since I heard them. You mean the amount I spent last weekend on a 2 hour movie that bored me to tears would send both of her children to school for a month. $ 8.00, the amount of the tip on just one of my dinners out, would keep her three children from being left alone all day every day.
$ 8.00, the amount I paid for one watermelon yesterday at the grocery store, would ensure her children would be fed each day for an entire month.
$ 8.00, the amount that my “baby” girl has already committed to pay herself each month to ensure that her new “Unreached” friends will be “Reached’ even after she is gone.