Plans to Give Hope
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."
—Proverbs 31:8-9 (NIV)
Christmastime is a season full of traditions. Our church family pursues continuing service through the tradition of giving the offering collected at Christmas Eve services to a ministry outside the walls of Summit. We do this because investment in ministry matters and we know that God uses so many different avenues to carry out his will.
This year, the entirety of the offering collected at Candlelight Services will be given to One Lamb in Nairobi, Kenya. One Lamb began in 2011 when Ciru Mutura was called to meet the needs of vulnerable children. The organization works toward ending the exploitation of children due to poverty in their communities. One Lamb’s programs give these young girls resources and skills to benefit their lives while also sharing the truth of God’s grace and love.
From a place of humility, Ciru positioned One Lamb within a school in the slums of Nairobi to seek out girls in need of help. Ciru says, “By working at the school, we get to find the girls who are being exploited within the community, and they would never be visible to the outside world.” Her posture is one of learning and understanding the best—and even unconventional—ways to rescue these girls now, but also to work toward preventing their exploitation in the future. Her mindset is one of humble obligation to find a need and discover how it can be met.
When Ciru set out to begin One Lamb, the need to share the gospel with the girls was obvious to her. “Our lives are so short,” she says. “No matter what we’ve been through, if we don’t have the gospel, eternity is so long. ” God put everything in place to show them they are loved by him, and they readily accept his love. Ciru wants the girls “to know who they are in Christ because of God’s grace and God’s love, how precious they are that Christ would die for them, and that they are loved and special. And even though they have been through such a hard time, that God has a really good plan for them.”
One of Ciru’s favorite things about her work is sharing new experiences with the girls such as going to the mall or seeing a movie. “Childhood is about making memories,” Ciru says. She also loves to spend time making art and crafts with the girls. She says that they love art and expressing themselves through creating. The girls develop a strong bond of sisterhood as One Lamb seeks to empower and equip them for their futures. This bond destroys any insecurities they bring into the programs and encourages them to embrace creating change in their community.
“Childhood is about making memories.”
—Ciru Mutura, founder of One Lamb
You can see the genuine love and care Ciru feels for the girls. She wants them to know their worth and that they are so precious. She says, “It’s so nice to see them giggling like little girls again.” When she speaks about the girls, you feel the heartbreak with her—but you can also feel the joy she experiences when she sees them light up at the things we so often take for granted. “Just amazing,” Ciru reflects.
Following this Christmas Offering, One Lamb plans to establish a vocational center to further equip the girls as well as begin a computer lab and implement improved transportation systems for them. They also hope to work inside the slum community more to get to the root of the exploitation problem by promoting discipleship to create a cycle of respect.
Ciru invites us to pray with her for guidance and for God to show her what else and how else she can address these needs in the slums. She says we can also pray for the girls’ experience and healing—that they would know they are so loved and that they can put their trust in the Lord.
One verse Ciru always shares with the girls to equip them spiritually is Jeremiah 29:11. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” We hope you will consider giving to this year’s Christmas Offering as we partner with One Lamb and Ciru to help give the girls hope and a future.