Ten years ago now Mary Indagiza started feeding children from her home in the Kibera Slums. Her and her husband John didn’t need to live in the slums, but chose to live there because they felt God had called them to share Christ. In 2008 Mary’s little feeding operation immediately went large when, on a single night in Kibera, more than 6000 people were murdered in the streets. The result of this was that John and Mary instantly had more than 30 children huddled in their house who were now orphans. Many of them had watched their parents die before their eyes. John and Mary didn’t know what to do so they reached out for help from their friend at Daystar University, Osborn Obayo. Osborn Obayo didn’t know what to do so he called his friend in America, Richard Vicknair. Thus the Kara Kibera Children’s Center was born from a single night of terror. From there, the center has grown to what it is today; a feeding center, a primary school, a children’s health center, a community center and a church.
John and Mary have lived with their 6 children in a tiny one-room shanty inside the slums for 18 years now. It was a single room divided by several sheets that hang from the ceiling. There entire family slept on the floor with little room between them. There was no running water and no toilet. These were more than a block down the road. Just outside the door of their place there was an open sewer full of trash. You get the picture. Valerie was traumatized every time we went there. After our visit last year, all of us set our hearts to pray that God would open a door for them to have a new place.
Well during this trip the Lord suddenly opened a door for them to rent a 2 bedroom house just a few blocks away. They didn’t go looking for it, it came looking for them. A woman called and said “I am leaving the area, and I would like you to rent my house”. Their income was too small to afford the $200 per month so we put our heads together to increase their income and make it possible. With great joy they began to move forward to rent the house. The had the cash in hand, but for some strange reason the landlord kept saying that she would come, but never showed up. They kept calling and calling, because they were eager to secure the place. Little did they realize that God was standing in the way of this deal, because he had a much better deal for them. Mary had put the word out to a few friends that they were looking for another place to live. Last Saturday they got a called from a watchman at a gated apartment complex nearby. The watchman said “Mama Mary, I am seeing that someone is moving out of our apartment complex, maybe you should come and see”. Mary did just that and what she found was a very lovely and clean apartment with a big kitchen and a big sitting room for the same price as the other place. Now when I say this, you can’t think “American”, but by Kenyan standards this place is a rare find near the slums. The landlord asked John “What do you do for a living?” “I am a pastor”, John said! “Then the place is yours”, the landlord said. They moved in, in a flash just minutes after they talked to the landlord.
Valerie and I visited today to fellowship and pray over the new apartment. What a beautiful place! On Sunday, after Mary moved in, she stood in the living room and cried; overwhelmed by the goodness of the Lord and by his meticulous care for them. Their youngest son kept visiting the bathroom the day they moved in because it was like a dream to have an indoor toilet. If they had rented the first place they would have had no running water. Valerie and I went and saw the first place after our visit and believe me, there was no comparison! We are all so thankful to the Lord and happy for John and Mary and their family.
Ministering right up to the last minute.
Bless you all at home,
See you soon
Richard and Valerie