Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Aftershocks

Wednesday will mark the one month anniversary since I've returned from Tumaini. Forgive me if I've already shared this information, but while I was there, I was informed that the small boy, Isaac, that captured my heart last year, had run away from Tumaini. It had been 5 months that he had been gone.

I was so upset that everyone acted like it was no big deal. Mum and Paul, the manager, seemed like there was nothing they could do and really didn't want to talk about it. They focused their time on the children that remained at the home. I on the other hand, didn't understand why they hadn't gone to get him, why they'd let a boy, 14 years old (but looked like he was 10) live on the streets by himself, that they would let this child of God be disposable like so many other children are in Africa. I was more than bothered by it and found myself crying and trying to take matters into my own hands. Here is the journal entry from that night:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What a wonderful surprise! James came back today. He walked into Mum’s house about dinner time. He came in with his sweater on and his hood on his head. After looking at him for about 3 seconds, I jumped up and gave him a huge hug. He said that he had missed me so much. It was so good to see him. We only have 2 ½ days left here and we are going to make the most of it!

He says tomorrow we are going to share stories with one another. I’ve missed him so much. I asked about Isaac and he told me that he wants money and didn’t want to go to school- that’s why he’s still on the streets. David Kariuki told me that he wished to take me to the streets to see Isaac because he talked a lot about me. I don’t know how I’d be able to handle that. It breaks my heart just to think about the condition he might be in. Then, selfishly, what if when I walk up, he doesn’t recognize me because he is high? I wrote to David and told him that I wished to go look for Isaac if he is willing to take me. I’ll pray about it and let God lead me. Until then, I pray that he is safe and realizes that he has a very good life at Tumaini and comes back.

As much as I wanted to go back to the streets, I wasn't sure that I was called to do so. After some thought about how it would effect me, and Isaac, I sent this email to David:

I hope you are safely traveling back to Nairobi and that this note finds you doing well when you read it. I have been thinking about the comment you made about taking me to the streets to see Isaac. I would love that very much if you are willing to help me look for him. We fly back to the US on Dec 24th and our flight does not leave until 11:30pm, so I was thinking that if we get into Nairobi early enough, Kennedy can take us to meet you somewhere and we can look for him until it's time to go to the airport? Let me know your thoughts. I know it's Christmas Eve and if you'd rather spend it with your family, I can certainly understand that. I just miss him very much and think about him very often!

But it wasn't mean to be. David was spending time with his family and was not able to take us to find him. I've been in touch with a former employee of Heart for Africa through her blog and I think you should take a look at it here.

She and her husband Steve, have made it their mission to go out into the unsafe streets of Nairobi and rescue not just Isaac, but both Joseph's that ran from the home 3 weeks ago. God bless them!

The life these boys knew before being taken to Tumaini consisted of huffing glue to stay warm, make them forget they were hungry, and it was cheaper for them to buy. They knew stealing, beatings, running from law, and being a family for safety. You would think that being at a home where they are fed, clothed, bathed, and taught would be perfect for them. But ever since David Kariuki, once a street boy himself, left the home, these boys feel they have no one to turn to, no one to help them cope, no one to help them understand. My heart breaks for these children.