October 10, 2018 | Lauren McClelland

Embodied Hope

As we made our way down the bumpy, orange road in Nairobi, I couldn’t help but begin to imagine what I would be walking in to. Who would I meet? What would I see? Our van turned the corner and as the gates opened, we were immediately met with the most beautiful African greeting: singing and dancing of course!

We then shared a meal with all the sweet mothers, their children and Young Life mentors. As lunch ended, I was excited for what would happen next. In typical Young Life fashion, two leaders got up to bring laughter and huge smiles with a silly skit, which lead into GAMES. Watching these young women jumping around, laughing, throwing their hands in the air, and running away from being squirted with water was such a gift. As the mothers played, the children played as well, being watched and taken care of by the leaders all around. As games ended, we were able to quietly chat with Jamila, a team leader for Young Life and YoungLives, who shared that she would be giving the Word that afternoon. She told us she couldn’t believe that the earlier skit was about hope, something she did not know before arriving that day, as her talk was also focused on the hope of Jesus. We were able to pray over her and watched as she spoke about Jesus being our hope in all things. She referenced the story of the bleeding woman in the Bible.

If this woman could have hope after 12 years, surely, we could also have that same unending faith in Jesus as our ultimate hope.

After club came to a close, the young women were able to hear from the VP of YoungLives, Karil Connor, and Dyan Larmey. They surprised the mothers with beautiful new Bibles, that each had a cover of the Kenyan flag. As Karil and Dyan handed out each Bible, they were able to speak over and pray for each mother and child. After all the Bibles were handed out, we were able to connect with and talk to all the YoungLives leaders about their ministry and their hearts for their young mothers. We then encouraged, challenged, and prayed over the leaders before we left.

As we all piled into our van, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with gratitude to catch the smallest glimpse of how these young mothers’ lives are being touched by Young Life. I felt so inspired by every woman who said yes to being a leader; who are committed to loving these mothers who have been cast to the sides of society, who are willing to walk alongside these women to constantly remind them that they have a Savior and Comforter and Healer and Redeemer in Jesus. It was a beautiful day to see the hands and feet of Jesus in Nairobi, Kenya.

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