The rains continue to fall in Kariobangi Estate, Nairobi.
It has been an extraordinarily long rainy season here in East Africa.
Kenya is taking proactive measures to release dams in parts of the country in hopes of avoiding further tragedies like the one that killed 47 people near Nakuru earlier this month.
People living at the margins of the city always struggle the most when environmental calamity strikes. Their homes and livelihoods are at greater risk. Their resources are already stretched thin.
A view of Kariobangi from the Ark School
A lot of what Erica and her urban team do is cultivate resiliency. Helping groups establish a foundation of trust and loyalty. Working together with them through problems. Building capacity to weather storms and raise the level of wellness in their families. These groups create an important source of identity and support for the members. It is empowering to know that no one needs to face adversity alone.
Earlier this week, we visited the community of Kariobangi with friends from CBM. We met with the Ark Sisters, one of the many self help groups that the CBM urban ministry team has helped to form and train in Nairobi. As a group of Muslim and Christian women the Ark Sisters have come to share their lives with one another. They save money together. Learn new skills together. Support one another during times distress and celebrate each success. As a group they have formed a sewing business selling in local markets and exporting to Canada.
By using a faith-based approach to community development, the SHG program is building a depth of love and spiritual strength that is integral to the health and vitality of the group members and their families.
The source of our resiliency is knowing that we have a God who is worthy of our trust. "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright." Psalm 20:7-8
"Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected.
Sustainability is about survival. The goal of resilience is to thrive."
Erica with Ark Sister, Aisha
Please join us in praying for the members of the Ark Sisters and the CBM self help groups throughout Nairobi. We pray that these groups continue to grow strong and resilient.
We pray for the people of Kenya and Rwanda who are working to safe guard against further fatalities from the heavy rains and flooding. We pray for the families who are grieving from the loss of homes and loved ones.
Please pray for us and our colleague John Chan, who will be joining us over the coming week to review CBM partnerships and programming in Africa. We pray that these will be fruitful meetings that will help our partner churches to thrive.