Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, is home to about one million people, and has one ventilator.
There is limited access to running water, let alone clean water, and medical facilities are scant. Many people live in small, densely packed shelters made out of mud and wood
with corrugated metal sheet roofs. An outbreak of coronavirus here would spread very quickly and have severe consequences. Mercifully, so far, Kenya has had few confirmed cases and related fatalities from the virus.
Pastors Chris and Joanne Okumu have lived in Kibera for over 30 years, following the calling they believe that God has put on their lives to serve the people living in the slum. As well as operating a Church in Kibera, they run four schools, a nursery, a medical clinic, a water pumping station and a boarding house for girls. God has used them in incredible ways.
As news of coronavirus broke around the world, Pastor Chris saw the approaching need – to educate people about hygiene and protecting themselves from catching coronavirus.
Going out onto the streets of Kibera, Pastor Chris began to share the importance of handwashing in the prevention of spreading the virus. As some people don’t have access
to clean water, Chris also sent out tankers of water to be distributed for free, alongside copies of the Gospels and sharing the Word of God and ministering to people.
As the Kenyan Government issued a lockdown of the larger cities in Kenya, the four Soweto Academy schools needed to close. The 1000 children who attend these schools receive a daily meal there; with the schools closed, a new way of feeding needed to be found. Instead of cooking the food on the school sites, students were invited to come and collect dry meal packs that could be taken home to be cooked. Students come on to the school sites, one at a time, to collect food to see them through the following few weeks.
Usually, Feed The Hungry serves ‘wet meals’ – meals that are cooked and served, rather than handing out the dry food packs, as this reduces the risk of food being misused or sold. However, in these unprecedented times, the priority is to make sure that the young people continue to receive a regular meal.
The risk of coronavirus to the people of Kibera is great. Pastor Chris shared, “I believe that if Corona hits us the way that it has hit America and other countries, most of our people will die. So keep us in your prayers.”
There is limited access to running water, let alone clean water, and medical facilities are scant. Many people live in small, densely packed shelters made out of mud and wood with corrugated metal sheet roofs. An outbreak of coronavirus here would spread very quickly and have severe consequences.
Pastor Chripnus (Chris) Okumo in Kenya has been distributing rice meals and Red Letter Gospels to families. Pastor Chris operates a successful water bottling facility. Now, he allows people to come get the water for free. So far, 60,000 meals have been donated to his community, with another 40,000 on the way.
Pastor Chris is our partner in Kenya. The schools are still closed in Kenya and their outreach has consisted of working in the slums of Kibera. Pastor Chris explained the people in these slums are living in extreme conditions with as many as seven living in one room. He said they are still out of work and the government isn’t allowing them to leave their homes. Pastor Chris has been spending every day in these slums providing water and dry rations of rice meals and helping to rebuild homes destroyed by flooding.
“Had Feed The Hungry not been there, many people would be dead.” –Pastor Chripnus
He has handed out fortified rice bags of providing food for 414 families in Kibera as needed. They are writing down their contact info as they serve them water and food. They want to make sure they are following up with the recipients rather than just having one-time interactions. They have also been passing out Red Letter Gospels to the people of Kibera.
It has been difficult to speak with people because of the face masking but having the contact info for the people will make it easier to follow up for discipleship. Pastor Chris referred to himself as the “Slum Dweller”.
Farming God’s way is doing amazing. Check out the photo of the cabbage being grown below! Pastor Chris has been able to supply 300 pastors with meals, as they have no food as well.
Pastor Chris gave us a beautiful update recently. We were able to make a connection with a ministry called, SERV in Kenya. SERV provided 57 boxes of rice meals to Pastor Chris. We know this meeting was one of divine appointment.
Pastor Chris reported, “The guy (from SERV) was so happy that he has gotten somebody like us on the ground. He says that he had prayed the Lord to bring him somebody like me. And I told him that I had been also praying for the Lord to supply me with somebody like him. So we matched.”
They gave out all 57 boxes within one hour and each family received five bags. They were able to share the Gospel and hand out copies of the Red Letter Gospels. Praise God for meeting both physical and Spiritual needs.
The need is still great as Pastor Chris shared they were not able to help everyone. He said there are still many children scavenging for food and wondering where their meals are going to come from with the schools closed. Please pray the Lord would continue to provide in unforeseen ways.
SERV has an additional 20,000 meals they are going to provide in the coming weeks. Praise God for his provision for the people of Kenya.