Monday 30th July

We had a pretty good flight, although none of us got much sleep. Praise God for safety, though, we arrived well.

We had a brief rest, but got rushed onto Outreach Community Church’s base at number 10 Mathare Valley. It was fantastic to meet Social Worker Paul, as he has been instrumental in the organisation and communication of the camp from the Kenya end. We seem to be on the same page and it is good to learn from each other.

Later on, we went through Mathare Valley (where all our campers come from) for a visit. We travelled through to the middle of the slum where we visited one of the schools briefly. Standing on the roof of the new brick classrooms (the ones built after the fire and partly paid for by BGS), we had a panoramic view of open sewers through busy mud streets. Houses of sharp and rusty corrugated iron are packed into the 500m by 2km stretch of valley containing 600, 000 people. The river we went over on the way was simply a larger sewer with piles of rubbish, engulfed in smoke from the bootlegged alcohol makers. Filthy children with smiles and snot trails scampered to shake hands and chanted the classic ‘ow are you?’A few jolly adults and a few more unnerving characters also greeted us along the way. In the words of Pete ‘it was crazy, man...it was freaky... it was scary...it was humbling... and sad’.

We went to visit one of the girls’ homes, called Zipo, who is about 12 and coming on camp. She is originally from Uganda. There is a reasonably large group of Ugandans in the area, effectively refugees due to the LRA. She is an orphan but is looked after by her Aunt (a maid) and her Uncle (a struggling street vendor). Her face lit up when we described all the crafts, sports, trips and singing we were planning. That was encouraging.

We met five of the counsellors (Isaiah, Celine, Mercy, Rosa, and Edith) who were great and welcoming, but shy and quiet. It was great to put faces to names too.

Will found this prayer by William Wilberforce in his daily devotions book. It seems rather apt.

“Stir our hearts that we might have the holy boldness to struggle for justice until we die. Give us vision larger than those we create for ourselves. And root us in humility, Lord, that we might climb towards your heights through service. Amen’

Other prayer requests:

·         Wisdom and practicalities when buying all the camp stuff.

·         Continued good communication when planning.

·         Bonding with the new counsellors we don’t know so we can work well as a team.

·         Safety on those crazy roads.