by Christian Yoder, MITS administrative coordinator
It smelled like earth and tasted of chai. It dressed in bright fabrics and knew the meaning of hospitality.
It has lively music and busy streets, with chapatti on every corner and some of the best mangos around.
It was a place I’d never been, which felt new and exciting, but it also brought memories with it.
About a year and a half ago, I was in a different part of Africa, in a tiny village in Uganda, learning a song that would touch my heart for months. One morning during chapel at MITS, we happened to sing that same song, and I could hardly believe what I was hearing.
It goes like this:
“Who has the final say?
Jehovah has the final say
He makes a way where there is no way
Jehovah has the final say”
That is what I witnessed while in Kenya: Jehovah having final say after final say in story after story that I heard.
I heard a lot of stories during my short time there. Stories of despair turned to delight, of abuse turned to love, of fear turned to hope. Stories from staff members, stories from students, from graduates and street kids. I heard Mary talk about the last 8 years of her life since graduating from Made In The Streets and how she came to live in her own home and run her own salon. I met Collins, who is currently living on the streets of Eastleigh, and heard him talk about hope and his belief that “my God will provide.” He believes that his God will have the final say.
It made me think about my own story, about ways God had been faithful to make a way for me and faithful to continue speaking His love in my life. I was reminded that we all know suffering and hardship and pain, but those things do not get the final say. Jesus gets the final say, and it’s the same love spoken here as it is there. Only in Kenya, that love speaks Swahili.
I did a lot of research before I applied for this job at MITS 5 months ago. What do they do? How do they do it? Who is being impacted? What are people saying about this organization?
And it seemed amazing (which is why I applied for the job), but I didn’t quite know how amazing it was until I went.
It was more than I knew and better than I’d hoped, more than can be put into words or even captured with a photo. But I feel honored and blessed to take part in the story that God is writing along the streets in a small country in Eastern Africa. Honored to have an opportunity to impact a life and blessed to have mine impacted.
I realize not everyone gets the gift of going. Not everyone has the ability to travel to Kenya, to smell the smells and see the sights, to shake the hands of some really lovely people. But everyone has the opportunity to be a part of the story, and, if you’d like to know, I would love to tell you how ;)
Not everyone gets the chance to go……but if you get it……I urge you to take it.
And if you do, I have a few suggestions…
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.