Here is a moving letter of gratitude Kapu Africa (Midwest Food Bank East Africa) received from Andrew and Ruth Ouma of Hope Community School:
Kibera, the largest informal settlement in Africa is home to over 1.5 million people who are now staring at death due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the slum dwellers live from hand to mouth – they do casual jobs such as working on construction sites, doing laundry and household chores in upmarket areas, and they get paid daily. With the current lockdown (nobody can go out or come into Nairobi County), non-essential jobs closed down, and curfew imposed from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am, Kibera people are seriously constrained, and they are not able to put food on their tables. Most of them may go without food for 2 days, and they are in danger of starving to death, unless help comes from above. The plight is incomprehensible. One of the ladies who is widowed and a mother of three children told us her sad story, tears freely flowing down her cheeks;
"I usually light fire, place a pot of water over it, and tell my children to go out and play as I prepare food, while in the real sense, I have no food to cook. This is my strategy of keeping them off when I don't know what to do, and they are starving."
This is just one of the many touching stories in this place; however, we believe it is the best time to be the church, and show practical love. We are most grateful to Kapu Africa for partnering with us in this noble mission of feeding the starving families of Kibera. Initially, we received a donation of 30 bales of Tender Mercies and 30 bales of Unimix porridge (this amounted to 1,470 Kgs) which we have successfully given out, together with cabbage and cooking oil, to about 500 needy families. Kapu Africa has since been donating 5 metric tonnes per week, allowing us to feed 2,000 households weekly for the past nine weeks. The beneficiaries cannot control their tears of joy when they receive foodstuff to take home, as they confess they will not sleep hungry again. They are amazed at the love of Christ, and always pray a blessing over the people who have remembered them in their time of need.
During this period we have had the privilege to feed our Muslim friends on Fridays, especially when they invite us. We have made a total of four such visits and are given the opportunity to share the gospel for about six minutes each time. The results are incredible. We have witnessed about 32 Muslims make commitment to know Christ. In total, we reached about 1,300 Muslim households. This act of love has greatly touched the Kibera community.
The need to feed the starving families remains massive, and we cannot manage the swelling numbers. Crime rate is beginning to soar because many people have no means of surviving. Things may get out of hand if the current situation does not change. Women are always walking around with handbags from morning to evening, looking for places where food is donated. Our projection is to feed 5,000 or more, if resources are available. We would be most grateful if we could receive more donations, resources permitting.
We wish to sincerely thank every person who has been part of this blessing to the needy, your contribution is saving many lives. Thanks to Christine and Godwin for visiting us from time to time. Thanks to all who pray for Kibera. May the Lord bless you and may grace be multiplied upon you.
Ruth & Andrew