By Naomi Yoder, MITS Ministry Intern
i had heard a lot about mits before this summer. from personal stories of different peoples’ experiences in kamulu and eastleigh to information that i found from the media, i had heard a lot about mits before my feet even touched the ground here in kenya. so, in beginning my two and a half months here, my ears had already heard of mits.
my ears had heard of the constant football, or soccer, games where students showcased their skills. but my ears had not heard the shouts of sheer joy and the “dorm 3” chants that came on a normal saturday night to celebrate a sweet victory.
my ears had heard of the many street children that had found a home as a mits student in kamulu. but my ears had not heard the names of the stephen’s, the gloria’s, the charles’s, the faith’s that are more than just passing faces in a picture on a media platform.
my ears had heard of these children that loved to dance and definitely knew how. but my ears had not heard the simple fun that learning how to “crank that soulja boy” or take silly snapchat filters would be for a group of girls just wanting to know more about the world like we all do.
my ears had heard of the mornings in chapel and the time dedicated to praising God together. but my ears had not heard the innocent voices lifting declarations to heaven saying “you put a song in my soul and i want to let it out” as they give no hesitation in letting that song out.
my ears had heard of the different foods, of the ugali and rice and the chapati with chai. but my ears (and my hands) had not heard the sizzling oil in the pan that would grill (very hotly) the chapati to a wonderful golden brown.
my ears had also heard of children that loved and knew jesus. but my ears had not heard of a young boy, obed, nicknamed “the young preacher” simply because he loved to give encouragements in chapel or a girl, corazone, who would be writing me notes telling me “never lose hope in your dreams God will make them success.”
my ears had heard of students that had come from the streets and had brought a story and a past with them. but my ears had not heard the students’ wrestling between bringing their past into their present and future with questions in class of “how do i forget my past” and “how do i know God even when i leave mits.”
my ears had heard a lot about mits before this summer, but the truth is that there is so much that i had not heard.
but that is part of the beauty in coming and doing life here in kamulu: i have the gift of hearing more of God’s presence here at mits. because before this summer, my ears could hear information and stories of shouts of joy and names of students and heavenly praises and testimonies of jesus and hard questions, but they stop at stories. and they stay distant as stories. but here, in this month of life in kamulu, my ears could hear the real thing. and everything that i got to hear this month only allowed me to hear more of the realest thing: jesus.
because that is also what happens with jesus. we hear about Him, and we can hear stories of Him. but everything changes when we hear Him in our lives, when we hear Him personally calling to us saying: my son, my daughter, my child, I love you. it becomes personal, it becomes real in those moments, and that is how i have felt here at mits: that it has all become real.
my ears had heard of you, mits, just as my ears had heard of you, jesus, but as i hear the real thing, i cannot help but fall in love with these people and this home here in kamulu, in eastleigh, in kenya, just as i have fallen in love with jesus.
because my ears also still continue to hear you, mits. and all i can hear is jesus.
By AG Jacocks, MITS Photography Intern
Mornings are spent together in fellowship at the chapel. The sweet sound of many voices lifting up praises to the Lord can be heard by people walking outside. This time allows teachers and students to come together before the start of a busy school day. Psalm 59:16
Adolescence is the phase of life that most kids are in when they go to the streets. At this age, kids are growing the most physically and intellectually. MITS is helping to foster healthy growth at the center in Eastleigh and at the school in Kamulu by providing basic needs and guidance. Proverbs 22:6
Devotional is a daily occurrence at the Learning Center girls dorm. This time is used to sing, pray, and encourage one another throughout the week. I can hear their joyful voices singing every night around 8pm and it is so sweet to hear their daily devotion to worshiping our Lord. Psalm 100:2
Excitement was the first emotion that I felt when I got to meet the students on May 23. This excitement has only grown as I have gotten to celebrate their own achievements and triumphs. So far peak excitement has been seeing so many students being baptized! Romans 12:11
Investing in others is such an important part of what MITS staff does on a daily basis. You can see the impact of the Eastleigh team on the kids at the center because they come back week after week! You can also see the impact that the Kamulu team has on the students through the transformations that they go through from intake to graduation. Colossians 3:23
Nakuona means “I see you” in Swahili. MITS embodies this so well by seeing street children as God’s beautiful creation, instead of what others might see as worthless. This desire to help street kids in Eastleigh was sparked by the founders Charles and Darlene whose heart aligned with God’s in seeing others. Genesis 16:13
Transformation is such a powerful part of each student’s testimony. Even I have seen the difference in confidence from the children at the bases to the learning center students to the skills students. God sure is moving hearts and changing lives through MITS! 2 Corinthians 5:17
Helping others is just an unspoken rule at MITS. Whether it is cutting vegetables in the kitchen, teaching in the classroom, or fixing a toilet; students and staff alike are so willing to help one another with a smile! Matthew 5:16
What an amazing day! Since 2012, International Day for Street Children has been celebrated globally on April 12 to acknowledge the strength and resiliency of street children around the world. Millions of children worldwide rely on the streets to survive. Over 60,000 of those children are living on the streets of Nairobi.
One of the greatest needs of street children is clothing. Children often end up living on the streets with nothing but the clothes on their back. This year, with your help, MADE IN THE STREETS raised awareness and funds to provide clothes to those children in Nairobi, Kenya.
Through your generosity, you were able to provide new clothes and care to over 200 street children in need! Thank you to everyone who participated, spread the news, and gave. Street children are worth celebrating!
Check out how the team celebrated in Kenya...
The month of December includes some of the best seasons of the whole year. December means winter weather season; the holiday season; and Giving Season. As we close in on the end of 2021, there are some great giving opportunities that will make a lasting impact on kids who are currently living on the streets of Nairobi.
In a matter of minutes, you can give a secure donation online and make an immediate impact. You may also choose to give your gift in honor or memory of someone, and your loved one will be thrilled to know that their impact on you prompted you to be generous toward street children in Kenya.
Stock donations are one of the best ways to maximize your impact and reduce your taxes. MADE IN THE STREETS makes it simple and easy to donate stock and make a life-changing difference for street kids. For more information on making a stock donation to MADE IN THE STREETS before the end of the year, contact MITS’ Executive Director Brad Voss (firstname.lastname@example.org / 817-688-6675) or MITS’ Finance Director Ericka Maple (email@example.com / 615-300-5724)
Monthly Partners are the Champions of MITS who go above and beyond to considerably impact the monthly operating expenses of loving and serving former street kids who are enrolled in the MADE IN THE STREETS boarding school program. Monthly Partners can choose a monthly donation level that helps to cover the ongoing costs of food, housing, education, and mentorship, and more for each of the students seeking to change their life in the MITS program. MITS Partners are paired with a current student and agree to donate monthly at one or more of four different levels ($25, $50, $75, $150). Some partners even choose to cover the entire monthly expenses for one student ($400). In addition to the essential financial support, MITS Partners also send and receive letters and updates from the MITS students, along with special news and fun surprises.
Prefer to send a check in the mail? That's great!
Make checks payable to MADE IN THE STREETS and mail to the following address:
MADE IN THE STREETS
409 Franklin Rd
Brentwood, TN 37027
Anyway you give, it matters to street kids; thank you for for generosity!
Congratulations to MITS Graduates of 2021!
This past Saturday was graduation day! We are so proud of the hard work and determination this group of students has shown throughout their time at MITS.
Watch the video below to hear from MITS Graduate Doreen about her experience in school and how she is asking you to pray for her.
Scroll down to see photos from graduation!
Eastleigh Gets Creative
This month, the Eastleigh Centre hosted its first art show! All pieces were created by street kids in Eastleigh. During the weeks leading up to the show, they came to draw, paint, and sculpt together.
September 29th was A Day of Sharing!
This 24-hour online fundraising event brought supporters, donors, staff, family, and friends together to support the MITS' mission to love and serve street kids.
Sunday was dedicated to celebrating the lives of street kids and sharing in their stories. The day culminated in an online event, where team members, street kids, and students shared their struggles and triumphs and told how God is moving in Kenya.
What an incredible day! In total, the MITS family gave over $96,000 through more than 85 gifts to make a difference for students and street kids in Kenya. That is remarkable!
So what does that mean?
It means more meals for street kids, more opportunity for them to learn about the love of Jesus. It means more children coming off the streets to become students and get the chance to pursue their dreams. It means more graduates supporting themselves and feeling proud of who they have become.
Thank you for joining us, for celebrating with us, and for sharing!!
Didn't have a chance to give or watch the online event? It's not too late! Click here.
A Day of Celebration
Since 2012, International Day for Street Children has been celebrated globally on April 12 to acknowledge the strength and resiliency of street children around the world.
Worldwide, millions of children rely on the streets to survive. Over 60,000 of those children are living on the streets of Nairobi, Kenya.
During the week leading up to IDSC, the supporters of MITS came together to raise awareness and funds to meet the needs of those children living on the streets of Nairobi.
The goal: $10,000 to provide meals for 2,000 street kids.
Halfway through the day, an anonymous donor posed a challenge: if you raise $7,500 by 7:30 PM CT, the challenger will give $2500, reaching the goal.
Supporters and donors rallied together and rose to the challenge. Together, you raised $10,457 - that's food for 2,091 street children, going above and beyond our goal!
What an amazing day! Thankful to everyone who supported, shared, gave, and celebrated with us.
Over the last few weeks, Kenya has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases throughout the country. With cases rising and limited access to vaccines, the President has issued new restrictions in Nairobi which are expected to last for the next 60 days. Beginning last Friday, some of these restrictions include: a nightly curfew from 8pm to 4am; no in-person dining at restaurants in Nairobi; suspension of all face-to-face teaching at all schools and universities; and the suspension of public gatherings and in-person meetings within the counties of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nakuru.
What does that mean for MITS? In Kamulu, the team is taking appropriate precautions with social distancing and sanitizing stations. Literacy students have moved to virtual learning in their dorm areas. Skills students are remaining within the Skills compound and studying in small numbers. The team and students are adapting and education continues!
In Eastleigh, programs are currently on hold. The MITS team is working closely with local authorities to provide food and care for street children in small numbers.
As always, the mission to love and serve street kids continues! None of that is possible without you. Your support during these times means the world to our team and students. If you would like to help the team through these challenges, click the button below to give. Stay tuned for updates.
We are blessed to have a board of directors who freely give their time as they meet quarterly and provide valuable guidance to our ministry. We recently had three outstanding new members join our board. Introducing...
When you do this for 20 years, you're bound to pick up a few stories and lessons along the way. Thoughts, impressions, news, and highlights from our staff, visitors, donors, students and alumni.