Stories of abuse – physical, mental, and sexual abuse. Stories of a young girl repeatedly raped by a neighbor until she becomes pregnant. Then she was cast aside with her younger sister becoming the target.
Stories of poverty. Stories of a family of seven children with no food found in their home and no ability to communicate.
Stories of neglect. Stories of a mother who just stopped feeding her small intact, and when he didn’t die fast enough, she placed him under a bush to die.
As I listened to many of these stories of the background of the children at Belwop Rescue Centre in Kenya, I was devastated. My heart ached. Tears were choked back as the pre-teen girl told me of her sister’s rape and pregnancy.
As I heard story after story, I expected to feel sadness and despair. Instead, with each child that I got to know, I saw joy and hope and a love of life. I saw Jesus!
Their smiles light up the darkness. Their hugs warm the world.
Sitting on the steps of Mum’s house as they play with my hair taught gentleness.
Teaching a 5th grade creative arts class taught kindness.
Learning in a Swahili class taught humility.
Cooking mandazis (the Kenyan version of vetkoeks) taught patience.
Making up silly stories about princesses floating down rivers of chocolate taught faithfulness.
Holding hands and sitting quietly because words were not needed taught joy.
Hearing the hard stories and seeing the joy on the other side taught love!
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34
Belwop is a safe house for 30+ children who have been rescued from horrible situations. These children do not even exist as far as the country of Kenya is considered. There are no papers, no birth certificates, no birthdays – nothing to prove that these precious little people exist. In fact, Belwop basically means “BEtter Life WithOut Papers.”
We went to Belwop to spend time with one of the ER interns that is serving in the Belwop Shine Academy which is a small school that started this year. We also went to talk to Veronica, the mum at Belwop, regarding future interns and needs. Mostly, I went to love of the kids 🙂
I left Belwop blessed with a new family in Kenya.