Matthew 25:34–40 says:
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
Every day in the village we see people who are hungry, who are thirsty, who need love and care. Every day, the love and kindness of strangers who might never step foot in the village comes to meet the needs and offer hope so desperately needed. Story after story holds witness to the way God is using people to love and care for His own.
Matthew 25:35 speaks to feeding, quenching a thirst, and welcoming a stranger in as a friend. I think there are two places in particular where this verse is in action regularly—our dormitories and our growing church community.
What a difference the 2 dormitory buildings are making in the lives of our children! We just moved about 20 more children into the dorms over the last week and I know more stories will be added to the countless we already have that show how God is working in the lives of people through these new homes. I’d like to share a couple of stories with you here, though there are so many that speak to the importance of the dormitories in the lives of all who live there.
Last week, an old woman walked from Moi’s Bridge to come to our school. She has an orphaned grandson in her care and was so desperate for help that she walked between five and six hours to get to Makutano. She is at least 80 years old. She told us the story of the child that she cares for and asked if we could take him. We listened, asked lots of questions, and then Davis and I looked at each other and agreed to take him in. Davis told her that we would board him in our dorm and look for a sponsor to help. She started crying and immediately stood up and started praising God and thanking us. It was a very emotional moment. The child is now happily in the dormitory and doing well.
We had another child walk to Likuyani to find help. He had come to Likuyani some months ago to visit an ailing aunt, and he felt she was the only person he knew to go to for help. I guess he knew at some point in his life he would run away and seek help from this woman because he walked here from beyond Rondo on the way to Kisumu. It took him 15 hours to get here and he said he ran much of the time. When he got here, his feet were swollen and in bad shape. We asked him how he knew to get to Likuyani and he said that when he was on the matatu on his last visit to his aunt, he memorized the route and he followed the road all the way here. I asked him if anyone ever bothered him along the way and he said “no.” He is also an orphan who was much abused by relatives and was moving from place to place. When he arrived in Likuyani, this ailing great aunt came to Davis for help. We took this child in and he will have a good, safe place to live for the first time in his life.
The children who find their way into the dormitory will find not only welcome and regular meals, they will also find the kind of nourishment that goes beyond that which meets the needs of the physical body. These children find love, peace, and joy that feeds the brokeness many of them carry. Their sponsors are feeding them in ways they might never even realize.
Another place that welcomes the people and feeds them in ways only love and the Holy Spirit can is the church community that is developing and growing. Our new multipurpose building at the Heritage Academy location will be the new home for the church each Sunday. Two weeks ago, the first service was held in the new facility. There were 52 adults and so many moving children we couldn’t get an accurate count. The service was so special. Pastors Joseph and Mapesa were smiling most of the time because they were just so happy. Mapesa has had a vision for quite some time that this will be a big church and life changing for the village. At the end of the service, they dedicated the church leaders. I counted around 20 that came forward to be prayed for and there were some not present. It is thrilling to watch this movement of the Spirit.
Each of us, in small or great ways, can address the needs of those who are considered “the least of these.” The dormitories and church in Makutano are by no means the only place where needs are being met on a regular basis—there are so many other places, too, that are touched by the love of God through His people. No matter whether you feed, or clothe, or love someone in Africa or right around the corner from your house, God can use you to change a life!