This was the best. How can I go back to a day of gifts + eating + gifts + eating? The comparison will forever be in my head and I don’t know what I will do with it but at least for this Christmas, being with the children of Mathare was a privilege. The only thing missing in my Christmas was those who I love back home, my family and friends are irreplaceable. BUT, God has not replaced, but added to those I love.
Arriving to the Inspiration Center I was greeted by many of “my kids” who know me as “teacher Kaylie”. Friends like Moses, Godfrey, Maura, Peter, Edwin, Jaime, Rachel, Molly, Wanga, Janet, Lynne, Sherry, Samson, Grace and her kids, Meta and Kirk, Sam and so many others that I have gotten to know surrounded me this day; it was just so good. I am astonished that in just 4 months time I have been practically drowned (in a warm fuzzy Christmassy way) in a community of youth and children who are from a rough slum.
When I got there they had already killed the goat (O darn!) and so after talking with people a bit I settled down on the side of a make-shift stage and pulled out face paints that mom had sent to me. Immediately a crowd of children form and so Jaime, Grace, and I must have painted about a hundred faces. Butterflies, Spiderman, Flowers, and the words “merry Christmas” were the most popular requests. We took a break to food and so the line of kids that was in front of me just re-formed outside of the Inspiration Center (now the kitchen) with about 50 children, each with their own cup, bowl, spoon, waiting for their Christmas feast. When I saw the amount of kids, plus knowing how many adults there were among us, I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough, but somehow there was plenty! Every child got rice, chapati, cabbage, lentils, and mbuzi (goat!). After everyone was fed the music was cranked and there was lots of dancing on the little stage outside Inspiration. The majority of people at this celebration were children. I don’t know where the kid’s parents were but I did not meet any that day nor do I know whether there would have been any other celebration for these children had Moses not bought 2 goats and planned this entire annual event. The Inspiration Center operates like one big family… there’s a dad, then lots of aunts and uncles, all watching out for these children in various ways; filling different roles in their lives. Without this “family” there would be a huge hole in the kid’s lives and, I fear, a huge voice of hope, love, and faith absent.