Kenya Reflections : Anna Johnson
As I reflect on my trip to Kenya, I can’t help but think there is something sacred about sharing in one another’s stories– speaking the words that make us feel more vulnerable than maybe we’ve ever felt, yet have us coming out stronger and braver on the other side. I met many women in the small town of Maai Mahiu who had this kind of vulnerable bravery. They would warmly embrace our team as we stepped into their homes, whether we already knew them or not. We would tell each other where we’ve been and how we got to where we are now, only by the grace of God. We’d look each other in the eyes and say, “I’ve been there. My story is a lot like yours.” And then we’d bow our heads and pray, believing with all the faith we’ve got. It is no wonder they call these women the “Women of Courage.” They do the likes of this every week— come together to worship, pray, and share about what He’s doing, all in the midst of whatever kind of life they are living, because He is who He says He is. They’ve tasted and seen.
The ones who started this Women of Courage ministry are a part of a local church, Rift Valley Fellowship (RVF), which began when one family said Yes to going where no one else would go, to loving whom no one else would love. The leaders at RVF are dedicated to those in the community. They make weekly check-ins to more families than I can count on my fingers. They go out into hard, and many times dangerous places to bring people back to the safety of their homes, and do it again, and again, and again when the people keep going back. Some of them are on staff to care for children in the Lulu Place part-time girls’ home for girls, and soon-to-be Way of Hope boys’ home.
This was my reality for a few days, but for the ones who stay? It is their every day. I have learned so much about Christlikeness from them, and I am immensely grateful that they would have me to be even a smallest part in their story. In this town, this small truck-stop town, where they have what is named the “HIV Highway,” where 80-90% of the economy is due to human trafficking, where addiction abounds in every way— I see with my very own eyes light breaking through, and winning. I see it in the most beautiful joy of my friend Mary’s smile. I see it in Maggie’s independent and loving strength. I see it in Peter’s peace and boldness. I see it in Isaac and Esther’s hospitality. I see it in Rose’s songs and dances of praise. And it’s all Him who is the Father of Light. His very presence with us. The Hope of Heaven ringing true, pressing us on.
Ways to Partner and Pray
Read more about our partnership in Kenya.
Pray with us through August and September.