meeting Sharon, by Pete Rockx

Witnessing God at work on our Mission Trip to Eburru, Kenya

(July 17-31, 2018)

Although it has been too soon to process all my mission-related experiences, I can say with all certainty that I saw God at work throughout the trip. From His positioning Sheryl Stokes (another team member) and I next to a Tanzanian Pastor and church planter at the check in line at Dulles who invited MBC to help his ministry in Dar-es-salaam, to seating my wife Pam and I next to a young African female doctor returning to the U.S. from a family visit in Botswana and who after talking to us expressed an interest in going on future MBC medical mission trips…. God was at work.

One of the desires Pam and I had in going to Eburru was to find a student who was attending Camp Brethren Christian School (CBCS) to sponsor, and to develop a relationship with that child while in Kenya.  We were looking for a girl. God honored our prayers. On our first evening in Eburru, the team was briefed on the student sponsorship program at Camp Brethren Ministries, and provided us newly printed pictures and brief bios of those eligible for sponsorship. While it usually takes a while for Pam and I to come to agreement on important matters requiring a decision, it didn’t take much time before we focused on Sharon Kariuki, an innocent looking 3 year old.  Our hope was to meet her and learn more about her family situation before making a final decision.  Finding her amongst the 400 kids on our first day at the school presented a challenge, which God quickly took care of when one of our team members thought they spotted her near the dining hall. A quick confirmation from one of the teachers, and we were connected.  Shy at first, Sharon quickly warmed to us and allowed us to carry her on our arms for a short time before she rejoined her classmates, waving good-bye as she walked off. Our selection was affirmed on a personal level, and reaffirmed after learning that she was the youngest of three in a family being raised by her mom, Veronica, whose husband had left her and is not providing any support.

We soon met Veronica, whose job is to wash student clothes (by hand) at CBCS.  We found her to be a delightful lady, who despite her circumstances, projected friendliness and joy that can only come from someone whose hope rests in the Lord. In the days that followed, we were able to have brief encounters with Sharon, Veronica, and Sharon’s siblings, an older sister in grade 2 and a brother, who was later sponsored by Mark and Allynne Yates other members of our team. Late one afternoon after school Pam and I walked with Veronica, her children, and Mark and Allynne from the school to their home. The route took us down a dusty dirt road past cornfields and a number of small mud and block-built homes for about a mile – a route the family walks each day.

Upon arriving at her home, which was a one room apartment with one window, approximately 12 feet square with a sheet covering the doorway, Veronica invited us in. The room was divided by a clothesline with an assortment of sheets hung on it to divide the sleeping area from the family area where we stood or sat on well-worn chairs. A single light fixture with wires showing and no bulb hung from the ceiling.  As I looked around the dimly lit room, I noticed a few dishes and pans stacked in one corner and a small-unlit charcoal fired single burner stove on the floor nearby.  Glancing around, I didn’t see any food.  After a short time of casual conversation, I asked if I could pray for Veronica and the family, and Mark inquired if she had any specific requests.  In response, she said she’d like God to provide her a home and some land that she could farm to provide for her children.  We prayed for God’s provision, and soon left, only to see Veronica leave as well, leaving her children in the care of her oldest daughter.

It was dark as we continued to walk toward our camp to join the rest of our team for a balanced meal of vegetables, potatoes and a meat dish. On our way, we passed a small block building with a pass through window facing the road.  There stood Veronica at the window buying a small sack of corn meal (maze).  After we had passed, I looked back to see her walking away in the direction of her apartment and remember thinking “God is good” – she and her children will have something to eat tonight – but also feeling we should be doing more for her and others like her because there is so much more to do.

If you share in that feeling and desire to help those families like Veronica’s in an around Eburru through Camp Brethren Ministries, please consider sponsoring a child and/or donating to one of their programs including their partially completed high school, please go to the David’s Hope International website for more information at www.davidshope.org. To God be the glory!

– Pete Rockx, MBC-PW Kenya Mission Team Member (8-4-18)

“He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done.” Proverbs 19:17

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