Fatuma* is raising her five children in a one-room metal house in the slum-of-slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Fatuma knows that despite the squalid living conditions, her children have something she never had as a child: love.
After she was orphaned, Fatuma was sent to be raised by her aunt and uncle. They treated her like a servant and kept her home from school to clean. Her hunger to learn once resulted in a beating after she leafed through a cousin’s school book.
Prayers for healing
Recently she and her husband Abdi* were scared when their 14-year-old daughter Aalia* had a bleeding issue that wouldn’t stop.
One day Abdi was out in the neighborhood when foreigners walked up. Before Abdi knew it, he was sharing with total strangers that his daughter had a bleeding problem. The American man told him told him a story about Jesus, and Abdi invited them to visit his family.
The next day Fatuma welcomed her husband’s guests into their home. The visitors told another story about God. They said they weren’t trying to take advantage of Aalia’s illness to convert the family to Christianity.
“We’re here because we are followers of Jesus,” they said.
When they asked if they could pray to Jesus for healing, she agreed.
Within a week, Aalia’s bleeding completely stopped. Fatuma was overjoyed to give the report to the American woman when she visited them again.
Decades after the beating she received for her curiosity, Fatuma’s hands finally closed around a small book of her own — a New Testament in Arabic and Swahili.
This time no one will beat her. Fatuma opens the pages of her book and ponders what she is learning about Jesus. Something — or Someone — is drawing her.
Your gifts through the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® support Southern Baptists who are taking the hope of Jesus Christ to the people of Nairobi’s poorest areas, people such as Fatuma and Abdi. Thank you for giving.
In 1950, Sub-Saharan Africa had no cities with populations of more than 1 million. Today, it has over 40. The fastest growing metropolises, such as Nairobi, Kenya, are expanding at rates of almost 4 percent per year. That is almost twice as fast as Houston, one of America’s fastest-growing metropolises. Read about urbanization and the rapidly changing missions landscape in African cities.
The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® is a registered trademark of Woman’s Missionary Union.
By International Mission Board, August 22, 2018