I had to travel to Nairobi 2 weeks ago to attend to some matters & had to take a 10 hour bus ride because the train was fully booked and the deadline I was working with could not be further negotiated. I arrived in Nairobi at around 7.30pm, hailed a taxi from one of the many apps and agreed with the driver on the pick up point .
As I was waiting for the taxi to arrive, a young girl who appeared to be 5 years of age, approached me and asked me for money for money for food. I looked at her from head to toe and began to tick off boxes and identify gray areas in her story. She appeared clean, unlike a steet child. Then her choice of words was in Swahili and not in Sheng (colloquial swahili). Her shoes were clean and well maintained. She was warmly dressed in layers of sweaters and a heavy jacket on top. After asking almost 10 questions, my final question was why aren’t you in school?
“It is because we do not have food to eat”, she responded.
Government schools offer free education and there ought to be a school feeding program of some sort.
When I added up all the clues, my intuition told me not give her a coin. I told her that I do not have a spare coin to give her, clutched my suitcase and moved away. My taxi driver called me telling me to cross the road and meet him on the other side of Kencom since traffic had built up in the rush hour. As I made my way to cross the road, I saw this young girl again but this time she was receiving a beating from an older lady who appeared to be in her mid-twenties. In the process of beating, the lady ransacked her jacket and pulled out a couple of coins, some fell on the pavement. The eyes of the small girl and mine met and I could have sworn she was holding back her tears because she was in a position that she did not want but had to endure in order to survive.
I thought of intervening but the thought of my own safety pulled me back. I also remembered the many documetnaries of cartels using children to make money also came to mind as I walked away from the scene. The girl continued to stare at me as though she was asking for help. The older lady noticed this and looked at me. I moved my gaze away from the little girl & looked at her. She stopped beating the girl and pretended to be hugging her. I made a simple prayer for the small girl under my breath as I was crossing the road.
Later on when I arrived at my destination, I got to reflect on this situation from a slightly different angle; the demons we fight against how we work to appear saintly in public.
For the small girl, my prayer is that she may one day gain the confidence to approach the police or the chief and have this matter discreetly investigated. It is not a situation where she can just blurt out her struggles and will get reprieve. I understand that these cartels do not value life or its sanctity and are interconnected with legal authorities. Therefore, wisdom and tact is mandatory.
In my reflection, I questioned what demons am I fighting? What am I doing about it? & I concluded that somehow,maybe, there is a chance that the community may also be aware of the same but cannot help because of, partly, the same reasons. Life is complex yet we are all facing the same situations. Just different contexts. There is nothing new under the sun Ecclesiastes 1:9.
Also, in my reflection, I realised that it is because of the prayers of those who genuinely see through me that have sustained me to this point.
The conclusion of the matter is that we are all always found in both positions simultaneously i.e. you are fighting through a situation and at the same time are in a position where you can help without having to struggle. The definition or level of help depends but it is always there.
Saints, let us never cease to do good whenever the opportunity arises.
The least we can do is pray for one another. In God’s eyes, that is the greatest thing because it is the starting point of all great things.
As you fight the demons ‘assigned’ to your case, remember victory is already guaranteed. Your victory may come now or in piecemeal. Either way, you are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus.