MITS: Saving LIVES

IMG_1924Made in the Streets is truly SAVING lives. During my time in Nairobi, I had the opportunity to visit some of the bases in the Eastleigh neighborhood where many of the MITS students come from.  A base is a group of mainly boys who are homeless that live together in a loose community.  Older boys send out younger boys to scavenge for food and money through either gathering plastics or metals in the trash dumps or through stealing.  It is a difficult, difficult life.  Many of the boys are addicted to glue.  This is not Elmer’s glue that is non-toxic.  This is the hard stuff–industrial glue used to repair shoes.  It is potent and attacks the central nervous system so that those who huff it do not have to feel the cold or the hunger that a life of poverty has forced upon them.

These are the kinds of lives that MITS is saving.  

The staff of MITS goes out to the bases they know of and build relationships with the guys and girls there.  They share the gospel with them and tell them about the different programs that they have for them at the Eastleigh center.  It is here they can get a shower or do some laundry and get a little respite from the drudgery of life on the streets.  Those students who come back week after week and show initiative and desire for change are the ones they matriculate into the farm and school at Kamulu after going through the requisite paperwork for guardianship.  It is a wonderful partnership.  The students who want to be saved are given the opportunity for the safety, education and training required for success in life.

The students I met at the bases are in the midst of a difficult, terrible life.  A life of wondering where the next meal comes from literally.  A life of hunger, addiction, and poverty both physical and spiritual.  A life that generally stoops to crime for survival.  When I met with them, most of them were in a stupor because of the glue or airplane fuel they were sniffing.  They were barely coherent.  I kept thinking these are teens who have been forgotten, lost, abandoned…hurt.  No adults to care for them.  No family infrastructure to protect them.  But this is where Made in the Streets steps in and provides family, safety and education.

Made In The Streets showed me first hand REAL Youth Ministry.  I was told that MITS was one of only three organizations that work with adolescent age students in Nairobi.  Most non-profits work with infants and toddlers, but so many teens are forgotten and left to fend for themselves.  Most of the students I met looked so much younger than they really were because of the growth stunt that the glue and the malnutrition has caused in them.  Kids who have already lived lives of adults.

But at MITS, life there is so different for them.  There is structure, safety, love, good news and family that is freely given in order for them to be given the opportunity to thrive and grow into the men and women God created them to be that the streets tried to beat out of them.  There now exists a sparkle in the once cloudy eyes that glimmer a bright hope.  A hope that they know what it takes to make it and they will.  When they sing of hope in chapel, they SING of HOPE.  The students of MITS sing of a ” hope [that] does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” (Rom 5:5)

 

Please learn more about Made In The Streets by going to www.madeinthestreets.org

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