Sunday, April 11, 2010
One of our dearest friends, Jackton, from Kenya was in town this past week for a fundraising dinner along with Irene, another staff member at Made in the Streets. Even though this was our first time to meet Irene (she started working for MITS after we moved back to the States), we fell in love with her immediately. We made an instant connection with her and loved the way she brought joy and light into a room. This was the first time for Asher and Jonas to meet any of our friends from MITS (well Asher had met Mbuvi but I am not sure how well he remembers him). The two boys fell in love with our Kenyan friends. Today was our last day with them and we all dreaded the good-byes. It's always a very sad day for me when we have friends from Kenya visit and we have to see them go. I am so thankful for their time with us and thankful to hear all the amazing things that continue to go on at MITS and how so many boys, girls and even mothers with babies are being drawn into this family and being shown love and gaining hope for their lives. As we drove away from church and left our friends with their last leg of hosts, tears fell from all of our eyes, including the boys. Asher even said, "I don't want to go home, I want to see Jackton." We look longingly into the future when our paths will meet again.
While today was a sad day with our friends leaving, I was filled with even more sadness. Above is a picture of Lucy, who was my student while we lived and worked with MITS. Lucy always struggled with authority and it was very difficult for her to change from her past life on the streets. She began acting out violently against some of the other girls. And after many "second chances," Lucy was eventually returned to the streets. I continued to ask about her from friends in Kenya about her whereabouts. Lucy grew up on the streets with her mom and seemed unable to find a way out of them. She became pregnant, which is almost inevitable when you are a girl on the streets, and had a baby boy. This was the last I had heard about her until today. David was asking Jackton about her and later told me that Lucy had committed suicide. Lucy's mother recently learned she was HIV-positive. I don't know if Lucy was. I don't know what drove Lucy to taking her life but I know that she was living a life so unimaginable to me. I can't imagine having to live on trash with my baby and having to find food for him daily or myself. I don't know what has become of her baby but hope to follow up with some of the staff members who work on the streets. I share this story so that Lucy's life will be remembered and not go unmourned. I loved her dearly and hope that from this tragedy I can find a way to help another girl struggling on the streets, and hopefully, this time she will find a way out...she will find hope...she will find a future.