On Tuesday we met with the Sanctuary Shakers and Karagita Lemonade Life Groups in a joint meeting. The small narrow church in one of Naivasha’s largest slums was filled with joy, laugher, and praise. Together we sang, prayed and shared letters and stories of prayer partners. For me, it was truly a ‘seeing is believing’ moment. Three years ago when I visited, this had been one of the toughest locations to visit – but today, it was one of my best days.
I witnessed complete transformation in the OVCs. 3 years ago they could barely look up to speak their name and share their story with us. Today they proudly stood, introduced them themselves, warmly welcomed us, and presented reports by the chair person and group treasurer. These OVCs now have purpose and direction. They plan to continue meeting with each other even after graduation.
I also had the opportunity to meet Bernard, the youth our family has partnered with for this program cycle. We have been praying for each other and exchanging letters. He asked so many questions about my boys and my husband and I learned more about his extended family and life circumstances. We have truly grown to know and care for each other over these years. My heart is full!
We spent the afternoon visiting OVC businesses. First stop was a delicious lunch at Lilly’s Café (photo). Lilly is one of the program’s graduating OVCs. She runs a successful restaurant and employees three other youth from her neighborhood. We stopped at Stephen’s vegetable stand (photo), Pauline’s clothing stand, Nancy’s Salon (photo) and finally, Lilly’s Salon (different Lilly). It was such a special treat to have a few of the group leaders spend the whole day with us as we visited around town.
What a joy to celebrate these great successes of the Lemonade Life and Shakers groups. They are definitely making lemonade from the lemons dealt to them while they shake up their community! ~ Loran VanWormer