We Are The Missionaries Of Africa
“Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’”(Luke 18:16)
It is one of the best known passages of Scripture -- and every time we read it, we are reminded of Jesus’ great love for those who are too easily pushed aside and forgotten. If you will recall, Jesus’ disciples were rebuking the people who brought their little children to Jesus -- those who were asking our Lord to bless them. In the mind of His disciples, the Master was too busy to be bothered with something so insignificant as a little child.
But Jesus let His followers know in very plain language how special children are.
This passage came to mind as a read a letter I received recently from one of our missionaries working in Nairobi,Kenya, Fr. Bill Moroney. You may remember Fr. Bill as he served as the Director of Development here in Washington, DC, before returning to work in East Africa. He has been in Kenya for nearly 10 years now and continues to reach out to the poor and those in desperate need.
This particular letter concerns the needs of children living in the enormous slum regions in the city of Nairobi as well as in Mombasa on Kenya’s east coast.
The slum regions of Mombasa and Nairobi are little more than sprawling communities of shelters made of corrugated tin, wooden poles and plywood -- built in areas filled with mounds of garbage and human waste. Disease and death are rampant. Some officials estimate that these slum communities are home to more than one million of Africa’s poorest men, women and children. The communities have no electricity, no running water and -- for the most part -- no formal schools or medical centers. They are places filled with hopelessness, despair and violence.
Children who grow up in these slums become old before their time. The extreme poverty, violence and horrors they constantly witness rob them of their childhood. All to quickly, little boys and girls see life as something to escape. By the time they are just a few years old, they have seen so much tragedy . . .
. . . they even forget how to play.
As is explained in Fr. Bill Moroney’s letter, the children of Kenya’s slums have been wounded by lives of extreme poverty, neglect and being forced to live without even the most basic life necessities. Yes, they need food. water and education -- which we are providing. But they also desperately and urgently need counseling -- counseling and therapy that could quite honestly save their lives.
With effective, well-trained counselors -- these little ones will be helped to move through the pain that is so much a part of their lives. Counseling will help reduce the anxiety, depression and risk of suicide that are an ever-present part of their daily living. And the children saved today could grow to be leaders that will change the face of Africa tomorrow!
My friend, is there some way you can help reach out to these children
who have known suffering for far too long?
As you might imagine, the cost for such a project -- to train volunteers to provide outreach to thousands of suffering children -- is quite a lot. But if we were able to send at least $30,000 -- the lives of hundreds of desperately poor boys and girls living in the slums of Kenya would be impacted forever. And the positive impact on these children’s lives will be felt throughout their society for years and decades to come. Without a doubt, reaching out to these boys and girls will make an incredible difference! I pray that you will be as generous as you possibly can!
Your Missionary Friend,
Denis P. Pringle
Director of Development