Walking in Kicheko was not that difficult. It was the seeing that proved to be no easy task. Kicheko means "mocked" and this name serves as a direct indication of how the residents here feel about themselves and how they are viewed by many in the community. Fountain of Hope Church in Syokimau is changing this perception as they open their hearts and arms to serve their neighbors in Kicheko.
Why was I troubled by what I saw in Kicheko? This community was literally a series of rooms built and held together by whatever could be found at the time of construction, whether it be sheet metal, cardboard, spare lumber. The pieces were leaned against each other, forming living spaces that were less extravagant than what the "family pets" enjoy in the U.S. I took note that my bathroom is larger than most of the living areas of these homes. Piles of garbage, in plain view, mark every step. Flies, dogs, and chickens share the open spaces.
In the middle of these horrible living conditions, the light shines in the faces of the children and the Fountain of Hope church members that live here and have been rescued from the dominion of darkness. They are alive and well as they walk and put their hope in Christ, rather than in their circumstances. I was blown away as I heard church members talking about how they wanted to help those around them in need. The focus was not on simply bettering their own situation, but bettering so as to help their neighbors. This is a God-focus and a lesson our Western churches can learn from our brothers and sisters in Kenya. As we build buildings, they are building the Kingdom.