Today didn’t go according to plan. At least, not like it has happened for the last four Fridays. Elisha and I drove to juvenile prison – 28.4 KM either way – today without knowing we were going to end up sewing buttons for the girls. It is an encounter I have been avoiding ever since I met Truphy during a coaching training earlier this year.
“I welcome all of you to Kamae,” she said, a warm breezy smile splitting her face. “We are the first institution for girls in the whole of Kenya!” she added.
“How many girls do you have?” someone asked.
“We’ve 19 girls,” she replied.
“We’ll come soon,” the whole room replied. I won’t, I said, silently mouthing the words.
Little did I know I was going to meet the girls and sew buttons for the first time this year! Elisha and I had already met and spent time with the boys. Being Easter Friday, we shared with them what the gospel and good news means as well as John 3:16. I personally believe that God is so loving that He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to redeem us back to God through His death, burial and resurrection from the dead. That is what the gospel is all about.
Most of the boys gave testimonies concerning what God is doing in their lives and it was amazing how they referred to being in prison as God’s way of protecting them from harm. I found it amazing for boys to relate their imprisonment to God’s abounding love and how it led to their salvation and walk with Jesus Christ. At 11:54 am, Elisha and I were ready to travel back home – another 28.4 KM.
However, God did not answer my prayer of not bumping into Truphy. We were just about to get into the car when I saw her and heard her call, “James, I can’t believe that you were leaving without meeting my wonderful girls!”
“I was actually avoiding you,” I said. “I’m sorry for doing that for the past four Fridays. Please forgive me!”
“I will forgive you after you have met and spoke to my girls,” she insisted, all the while smiling.
“Okay,” I said. “Let’s go.”
The moment I saw the girls I knew Elisha and I were going to do much more than just saying hi and a word of encouragement. And just like had told us – many months ago – the 19 girls we met today are the most wonderful girls I have met behind bars! And yes, we are adding them to the growing Lifesong Kenya family.
In the end, we replaced buttons and repaired torn blouses while Elisha sang a song. On our way home, I looked back to what happened for the last 7 hours we spent at the juvenile prison – with the boys and girls – and strongly believe Elisha and I spent Easter Friday causing ripples into the expansive ocean. And just before I sign off, allow me to share this image taken from inside a toilet in Mesora Buru Buru.