Restoring What’s Been Ravaged

16 Mar

Warda, at left, standing in the doorway of a room being renovated at Cindi’s Hope Academy

Dear Friends,

Restoring a decrepit room takes work: wiping away wall-rotting mold; rewiring tangled, frayed electrical systems; re-plumbing the foul mess of outdated, decaying bathroom facilities; and then completing the transformation with a coat of fresh paint and the addition of colorful furnishings.

Restoring the soul of a wounded, violated child takes a miracle that only the Spirit of God can accomplish, and the process takes endless supplies of skillfully applied love and patience from His people.

Both restoration processes are currently taking place at the Eastleigh Campus of Cindi’s Hope Academy through the tender ministrations of the staff, who are quietly transforming lives in the midst of one of the most desperate slums of Nairobi, Kenya.

During our visit last March, my husband Bob and I marveled to see the fruit of these two restoration processes, both made possible because of your gifts to Heaven’s Family’s Victims of Sexual Violence Fund. Cindi’s Hope Academy—a former apartment complex—is gradually being transformed into a beautiful dormitory and school. And seeing the happy, smiling faces of the girls who live there was clear evidence of the miraculous restoration work of God taking place in their hearts.

The work in the hearts of these girls wouldn’t have been possible without first providing them with a place where they feel safe and valued. When each arrived at Cindi’s, they knew little else but deprivation and abuse. But slowly over the following days and weeks, a soft bed to call their own, 3 nutritious meals a day, education, security from harm and the loving attention of staff began to build trust in each girl’s heart. Undergirding it all is the clear presentation of the gospel in word and deed.

Many girls at Cindi’s Hope Academy sleep on soft beds, and now have footlockers in which to store their few clothes and other earthly possessions—a rare treat for children growing up in the deplorable conditions these girls have been rescued from. We hope to supply all the girls with new mattresses and footlockers.

Warda is one such girl. She came to Cindi’s early last year. Warda’s mother had fled from the brutalities of civil war in Somalia with her and 2 siblings, supposedly to the safety of Nairobi—only to find that prostitution was the only “work” available. She was desperate to do anything to care for her children, but soon found that the demands of her new trade made it impossible to do both. The alternative was starvation.

The plight of the children was noticed by a government official who knew about Cindi’s Hope Academy, so the 3 were soon rescued from their dire situation. Cindi told me they were all pathetically thin—Warda’s arms and legs so thin Cindi could hardly believe they supported her—and their spirits within matched their external condition.

When I first met Warda last March, her smile was shy and she seemed to hide behind long lashes of eyes almost too big for her head, so emaciated was the rest of her body. She had that haunted look I have come to recognize in those holding secret, hideous memories. Rape is an unspeakable act against any human being, but particularly so when the targets are children. Hell itself establishes a beachhead in the minds of these unsuspecting, uncomprehending victims.

But God is a great Redeemer, and there are signs that Warda’s miraculous restoration is underway. The smell of fresh paint still lingers, but the beauty within is coming forth. Thank you for your support of this ministry to His fragile “least of these” girls at Cindi’s Hope Academy.

Warda (second from right) with new shoes and restored confidence at Cindi’s Hope Academy

Because of Him,

Carole Collins
Director, Victims of Sexual Violence Fund

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