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.
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