following is from a letter from Dave Osborne
Children are living on the streets in Kisumu,
Kenya as with many other cities around the world.
For many, one or both of their parents have died
from AIDS. Others have been discarded or run
off by a step parent. Some have run away because
They sleep on sidewalks, in empty lots, and in
gutters underneath the sidewalks and streets.
Many , many, are addicted to glue. They inhale
it to get high. One boy told me, "I cant
sleep without glue". It helps them not feel
cold, not feel hungry, not feel lonely, and generally
avoid the pain of their existence.
Many people think of them as "street rats".
I am trying to discipline myself to refer to
them as children who live on the street, rather
than "street kids". Thats a pejorative
label that is difficult for them to shake.
Some churches will not allow them in their services.
One pastor said in referring to the children
on the streets, sometimes you see something so
long, you no longer see it. They are thought
of as a bother. They steal and cause trouble.
Many people dont believe they can change.
Growing up in the Central Valley of California,
my dad was the director of a Christian home for
boys that needed help. I left to attend Biola
College and after my first year, they went to
Ecuador to serve as missionaries.
Biola, I worked in a group home for troubled
youth in Santa Barbara, as well as where
my dad used to be the director. I received
a M.Div. form Talbot Seminary, and went on
to get an M.S. in psychology at California
State University, L.A.
worked in a Christian counseling center in
Orange county as a licensed marriage and
family therapist for ten years and also served
part time on staff of the Evangelical Free
Church in Fullerton, and the Anaheim Vineyard.
At the Free Church I worked with support
groups and with singles. At the Vineyard,
I was working in Compassion ministries with
I left California to work with a Christian ministry
in Colorado. I had been asking God for a
call for three and a half years.
friends of mine that I had worked with back
at the boys home my dad had directed had
moved to Kenya to work with children living
on the streets. I received one of their newsletters
that touched my heart and decided to go visit
them for a month last year in the middle
of May and see if God might stir my heart.
days before I was to leave, we had gone out
early in the morning to wake up some kids
that may be sleeping in a vacant lot and
invite them to the outreach. A young man
took us through some allies and streets to
another part of town.
one alley where they just through out garbage,
I saw a boy reaching down into the garbage,
eating some food that had been thrown away
with his hand.
came out of that alley and saw a boy across
the street, coming up out of a hole in the
sidewalk. He looked like he was just waking
up so I figured he must have been sleeping
in a hole. I walked over to see where he
had slept. As I looked down, I saw that it
was the gutter that ran underneath the sidewalk.
It just broke my heart.
Ive got to do something about this! I thought.
Ive been to several developing countries
on short term ministry trips and seen lots
of poverty but for some reason, God has chosen
Kenya as the place for me to minister. It
was at that hole where I believe God called
me to Kenya.
I look at it as my ten second window. Asking
for a call for three and a half years and God
leads me to this hole in the sidewalk in Kisumu,
seconds sooner, and I would have been on my way
up the street, and the boy would have come up
behind me. Ten seconds later, and he would have
already been out before I got there.
I walked up that street, a boy came alongside
me and took my hand. Another boy came up
on the other side of me and pulled a waded
up new testament without a cover out of his
looked amazed, and asked him if he had a favorite
verse. He quoted John 3:16 from memory and tears
streamed down my eyes as I continued up the street.
just had to do something to get these kids
off the street.
Mission is to "help children who live on
the streets of Kisumu, Kenya into permanent
homes and a life changing relationship with
vision is to bring the young adult leaders
of children living on
home where their lives will be transformed.
These leaders will be trained to help get
the younger children off of the street.
We envision a
plant being used
as an initial shelter for these children so
they can have
a safe place
to sleep. While
at the church, volunteers from many of the
will pray over
As God gives
each child a
desire to leave
we see them moving
to a farm outside
the city. While living on the farm, change
the children will be facilitated through prayer
ministry, counseling, character development,
overcoming addictions, work skills training,
and developing a good work ethic. After children
graduate from the discipleship training at
the farm, they
will be placed
the first option for placement will be with
a relative, however
if this is not
will be placed with a church family or an orphanage.
Ministry Phases Are Outlines as Follows:
•Leadership Training Institute
•Farm/Life Skills Center
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