Pastor George and our team pose before going down in Gituamba slums. (Victoria is taking the photo)
I am enjoying posting reflections from Belinda Shelton that I have taken from her blog to friends back home. I hope you enjoy her fresh perspective from her first time down into Gituamba slums to spend time at Uzimatele Educational Center.
We had all new adventures today. We drove into a slum community to meet Pastor George. He and his wife run the Uzimetele School. It was started because the Muslims built a training center in the community. The people who are predominantly Christian decided they didn’t want their children being influenced by the Muslims so they asked Pastor George to start a Christian school. He made a deal with the government (who receives funds from the Muslims) to not increase the size of the training center for 6 months and give him a chance to start the school. He was able to get the first building built before the 6 month deadline (it’s built right behind the training center). We met Pastor George at his house which is at the top of the hill; the school is at the bottom. As we walked down the long, dusty, muddy, rocky hill, we encountered cows, goats, dogs and all sorts of smells. As we got closer to the school, several children from the community who don’t attend the school started following us out of curiosity. As soon as we got on the school property, the students started peering out the doors and windows. Soon they came out for recess and began grabbing our hands and hugging us. –Belinda
Melody and George lead the way down the steep path to the school for children in Gituamba slums.
Houses along the hillside
A view from the hillside of the slums across the stream
Melody and Belinda have been friends for many years
Cheryl with child who followed us along the path
Children who follow us along the path
Cheryl embraces a child who has followed us along the path before going in to the Uzimatele school yard.
I (Melody) am amazed at the progress made in the school and grab Pastor George’s hand to congratulate him on God’s goodness in this place. I am so happy to see a new classroom and a new administration office. All the school rooms have painted signs over their doors. The grass is all trimmed for a large play area for the children. My favorite surprise is a flagpole with the Kenyan flag in the middle of the schoolyard. I sense a new dignity in this place. God has done so much for His people. I am so grateful for all our friends that help make this place a reality for the children and their caregivers in Gituamba slums. God has not forgotten them. He is the lifter of their heads. YES!
I’ll be sharing more soon from the time spent with the school children and their teachers at Uzimatele Educational Center.
Please continue to pray for us and our first team. God is blessing us abundantly.