Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
-Matthew 28: 19-20
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Jim & Susie Horne
On my way home today…
Going nowhere slowly - stuck in Mombasa traffic on the way home on a rainy day after several meetings in Tiwi. Traffic is Mean! Its war! I’m tired, frustrated, angry, vengeful and so I make sure nobody is going to get the best of me...I nose out a car within an inch of it to make sure they it doesn't get ahead of me.
Then she comes to my window. I can’t look. I won’t look. There are so many like her. She’s young and obviously poor. She has a sheet of clear plastic tied to her to cover her from the rain. She is just tall enough to see inside my world - air conditioned SUV with Michael Buble’ singing “Home’ on the disc player. I want to be home so bad. I have to move forward because the traffic is moving...40 feet. She follows. She’s back at my window. Can she see my billfold in the console? Can she see that it is fat with Kenya shillings that I just got out of the ATM yesterday? I’m out of coins. If I’m going to give her something it has to be folding money. People don’t give folding money to beggars. I only do it when I’m out of coins.
I still haven’t looked her full in the face yet. The traffic moves. Please don’t follow me again. I already help support over 1000 kids and employ over 100 people to help manage a lot of ministries. I’ve given and given. I don’t have anything. My coins are gone - given to a beggar on the other side of the channel from where I’ve just come. She follows. She’s seen my wallet. I’m going to have to give her folding money. It’s a lot of trouble. I must concentrate on the traffic. Don’t look her in the eyes! Don’t do it. You can escape this pain if you JUST DON”T LOOK! I look!
Eleven, twelve or thirteen I guess. But then I realize she isn’t alone. Under that sheet of plastic is a baby. Born....like, yesterday almost. She even motions the baby toward my window so I can see it. “If you can’t help me, then help my baby,” her eyes say. I have to give her something now. I reach for my wallet and then the traffic moves again. She follows. She won’t let me go without getting something from me. Now I’m frantic that I might be out of reach for her. Please hurry! Lord let the traffic stop again! It does. I reach into my wallet, the car moving slightly forward...I grab a load of bills and run the window down to put ‘em into her hand.
In fear some thief will reach in, I quickly begin to run the window back up. She’ll probably just walk away to the next car. She finally got to me. Who’s next? Onto the next car she goes.
She thinks, “Maybe I can get enough to buy my baby something to keep her warm.” But before she is gone, she speaks. I didn’t expect it. I thought she would say nothing as often happens. If she did say anything it would be in Swahili. But In English, she speaks in the sincerest voice I’ve ever heard in my life, “Thank you.” I’ve never heard those words sound that way before. I’m gutted…and guilty. The traffic moves...it’s clear and I’m off to the races, but I’m in deep thought now. Where is that girl and her baby going to sleep tonight? How?... What?... When?... And what about the fathers of these CHILDREN! Questions. Questions that make me angry! I want to scream at something. Someone. Then these questions move me to tears as I drive toward home.
God whispers.......“I love her and her baby as much as I love you. You are My answer for her needs. I’ve blessed you and prospered you so that you can bless her.” “Well Lord, ya gotta forgive my poor soul. I only gave her a few $. But at least its more than most are going to give her.” Then, in a change of tone I mutter to myself, “Is the Kenya government really going to close all children’s homes? They have a solution? Ahhh! NO! NO WAY! They have nothing and they are begging the World Bank today for 75 billion shillings after having received 210 Billion recently! They have no solution! What a crock! This makes me so mad! They are going to try to close all the children’s homes in the next 3 years?! And do what for girls like this?
I express myself angrily as I bang the steering wheel. Then I remember that the Lord is present and listening...I calm down. But where is that girl and her baby going to spend the night? Where will this mother’s sweet head lay? And her sweet baby. I picture her on the sidewalk near the street. Trying to keep warm...trying not to think of what might happen to her in the night. Wondering if she will get enough money tomorrow to keep herself and her baby alive another day.
Our ministries are the pipeline to sponsor 1000 underprivileged children in schools. Life Spring Children’s home is home to 18 young, abandoned kids. Mercy’s Light is home to 4 young teen girls with babies. As much as the government of Kenya wants to close all children’s homes, it will be a long time coming. The needs far out-way the solutions to the problems of abandoned children and unwed (or wed too early) teens. We need your help! We need it now. Join us and be a solution for children like this one in my story today.
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Jim and Susie Horne
Ministering in Kenya
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