Welcome to the Family

Francis Nene and Dennis

Welcome to the Tumaini family, where 58 kids call each other brother and sister, have a mother, aunties and uncles, and lots of guests to love on and take care of them.  Last August, leaving this precious family that had welcomed us with open arms was the hardest day I had faced in a long time.  But the welcome we received yesterday made the entire year worth it.  In all honesty, I was terrified that the kids wouldn’t remember us, but as we came into view their eyes lit up and Rachel Wahu ran straight into my arms! I cried a little. I spent the day playing hard and running all over the shamba (farm) with my beloved

my brother Albert

kids, and a few new additions to the family as well. If possible, I think they may love us even more than when we left last summer – you know what they say: “distance makes the heart grow fonder” and I know the fulfilled promise to return means the world.  I also got to spend some time with Albert, who I have kept in contact with through facebook, and refers to me almost solely as “sista” rather than Eileen.  The day was exactly what I needed, and we topped it off as a team with our first matatu ride on our own – success! We are now one step closer to independence in Kenya!

chang'aa brewing in Mathare

Today we went to the slums of Mathare.  Despite having visited on our trip last year, I was still unprepared for the things we would see.  No matter how many times you see it, watching a family of 7 live in a 9×9 ft room with poop literally at their doorstep doesn’t become ordinary and acceptable. Knowing there are  far too few schools, far too little food, and far too little hope for a better life just leaves a knot in your stomach that doesn’t adhere to the “out of sight, out of mind” ideology.  As we walked through the narrow alleys between tin houses the kids all wanted to touch our hands and kept repeating the only english they know, “how are you? how are you? how are you?” And after walking on mounds of trash and dodging the streams of sewage which run through the middle of every street/path we arrived at the sewage-filled river where there were men making an illegal brew called chang’aa, which leaves its victims not only addicted and drunk, but blind and even dead.  But there is Light in the dark and the Light is put on a stand for all to see through the Inspiration Centre, who’s purpose is to empower the youth to change their city.  They strive to teach kids their value and their ability to impact their city through Christ as they send kids to school and teach them to be leaders in their community.  It’s a wonderful ministry and I can’t wait to be a part of what they are doing to bring hope and change to Mathare.



~ by eileendekker on June 5, 2011.

One Response to “Welcome to the Family”

  1. Eileen!!!

    I miss you guys… and am so happy you guys are there. I’ll be praying for you.! This sounds amazing… and please tell albert and moses I say Hi!! 🙂 And anyone else! LOVE ALL OF YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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