Saturday, August 31, 2019

Sensible Shoes Ramada-Mariani

As if Ramada isn’t far enough off the main road, which is it, Mariani is even farther after turning of the secondary road. So much so that I began to wonder if there were any people in this place at all and how on earth we would find 100 children to serve with Sensible Shoes ministry. Hidden behind tall bushes along the narrow trail were stalks of already-harvested maize waving in answer to my question. We soon found a tree under which sat a dozen people, eventually accumulating to more than 50, gathered at the last minute to hear an encouraging word from the white woman.

Mariani Baptist Church has been active for almost 25 years in an area where people live beyond what we would consider a reasonably walkable distance from any other church or school. This separation from urban life made the people of Mariani-Ramada the perfect recipients for our Sensible Shoes ministry.

How could we possibly say no to shoes and prayer for
an old woman who'd done nothing but serve others
for her entire life (and had no shoes).

In this place, both young and old received the gift of foot washing, prayer, and a new pair of sensible shoes. The true blessing came when the first young man whose feet I washed and over whom I’d prayed took a basin, filled it with water, and began washing the feet of younger children. And when I looked up, the oldest man in the group sat next to the pastor who were both washing the feet of the children and praying fervently over them. To understand the beauty of this act, it’s important to understand that in African culture women serve men and older men or men of high “status” (such as pastors) are particularly catered to. So to find these older men alongside the youth washing the feet of children with me simply filled my heart with gratitude.

Baraka, which means blessed, immediately began
serving other children and stayed throughout.

Pastor Raymond invited me to visit this church, which is not his,
and quietly began serving the children.

Mzee also began serving with any pomp. I could hear
him praying in whispers over these children.

Pr Isaac (right) served by matching shoes with children
while Onesimus (left) translated for me as well as aided
in shoe matching.

Gathered together after foot washing, shoe fitting, and individual prayers, we prayed corporately over the distant future of these children. We prayed they would be spiritual leaders in their families and churches, that they would be leaders in business practicing Christ-like character, we prayed that they would consumer government positions and make decisions aligning with Scripture, we prayed that they would one day become presidents of nations. We continue to sow these prayers into coastal Kenya believing that God is faithful and will answer our prayers in the days to come.

Your gifts make this Sensible Shoes ministry possible and your prayers make our vision for these children possible. Thank you from the depths of my soul.