Video: Unshaken

Posted Sep 18, 2012 by 0 Comments

I was upset.  Frustrated.  Angry.  Helpless.

As I sat on Pastor Fred’s couch, listening to him describe the latest crisis on the horizon for Tumaini Church, I wanted to do something.  To fix the situation.

But there was nothing I could do.

It came as quite a surprise, then, that I left Kenya a week later overflowing with hope…

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s go back to that day on the couch at Pastor Fred’s.

Massively Frustrating

According to Fred, government bulldozers were on their way to demolish a large swath of Kibera Slum to make way for an interstate bypass highway.  Over 1000 people would lose their homes, many local businesses would be crushed, and the livelihoods of many of these families would be thrown into jeopardy.

An illustration showing Tumaini Church and the demolition area. Go to http://bit.ly/UhRE13 to browse the satellite image for yourself.

Along with the homes and businesses, Tumaini Church was going to lose about half of their property, including many classrooms for their elementary school, the Hope Academy.

Without school buildings, the 300+ students attending the school were at risk of missing out on some of the most formative years of their education.

It was a massively frustrating thing for me to learn.  But the worst part of it all is that there was nothing I, or anyone else, could do.

No Options

You see, Kibera Slum is technically an “informal settlement.”  Although many families have been living there for several generations, they are still considered “squatters” living on government land.

When government officials came to warn the community that the demolition was coming, they told people, “You shouldn’t be surprised. We gave an official notice. When? Back in 1996.”

Try as they might, the leaders of the community had no option but to begin disassembling their houses and businesses in anticipation of the destruction crews.

It struck me as a pretty hopeless situation.  But as you’ll see in this video I created while I was there in July, there is still a glimmer of hope in the midst of the darkness!

Take a look, then continue reading for the rest of the story…

Up to Today

As expected, the demolition crews arrived at the end of August and flattened the designated area.  It came as no surprise to me to hear this, but I was still majorly frustrated.

Thankfully, Tumaini Church was able to disassemble many of their buildings and has started reconstruction on their remaining property in an attempt to keep the Hope Academy open.

By the end of the month, they are hoping to have the buildings re-established.

To do this, however, they need $7000, which they simply do not have.  They are moving forward in faith that the money will come.

A Hope Academy teacher addresses some of the students in 2011.

And this, my friends, is why I am so excited for the future of this incredible ministry.  Even when faced with unbelievable odds, they choose to persevere.  They are unshaken in their faith that God will carry them through this.

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If you feel led to support the rebuilding of Tumaini Church financially, take a look at the Next Steps below.

Keeping a tiny school open in a remote corner of a distant slum may not be the most glamorous way to use your money for the kingdom, but I know that it will directly help the lives of hundreds of people for generations.

And who wouldn’t want to be a part of that???

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Next Steps
    • You can support the rebuilding efforts of Tumaini Church by writing a check to World Next Door or via our online giving page. Simply designate the funds “Tumaini” and we’ll make sure it gets to the right place.
    • If you want to stay connected to what’s happening in Tumaini, take a look at the Facebook page I set up for the ministry.
    • Finally, please consider praying regularly for the work of Tumaini Church and the Hope Academy. They are pursuing justice in a place that desperately needs the kingdom.
    Next Steps

About the Author: Barry is the founder and Executive Director of World Next Door. A storyteller, traveller and giant nerd, he lives to compel suburban Americans to get engaged with social justice and find their place in God's kingdom revolution. His ultimate dream is to adopt a pet monkey named Kevin.

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