WHENEVER ABJECT POVERTY is discussed in the context of community and social condition, the Kibera slum in Kenya will never be forgotten to be mentioned. This slum is considered the biggest and poorest urban slum in Africa (www.advance-africa.com) and one of the largest in the world (www.kibera.org.uk). Although study results about he exact population of Kibera differ, survey experts are one as witnesses to testify to the reality—hundreds of thousands of extremely poor people are suffering in this slum area.
Kibera is also regarded as “one of the most studied slums in Africa (www.researchgate.net) not only because it is found almost in the middle of the progressive city of Nairobi, which is the capital and the largest city of Kenya, but it is also situated near the headquarters on UN Habitat, the United Nations’ agency that studies human settlement and urban development, which is based at the heart of Nairobi City. It is estimated that the people in the slum of Kibera live only on less than $1 a day (worldpopulationreview.com) and more than 50% of the people here are unemployed (www.kibera.org.uk). In view of such severe economic condition—not to mention the poor sanitation in the entire community and the lack of access to basic services including electricity, sewage system, medical care, clean water, among others—there is no denying that the people in Kibera badly need assistance.
Being aware of the wretched condition of the Kiberans and as part of the antipoverty campaign of the Church Of Christ, the Executive Minister of the Church Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, instructed the staff of the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation, Inc. and the district staff of the ecclesiastical district of Africa to organize an outreach activity through the Church’s Aid to Humanity program. To ensure not only the success but also the orderliness of the activity, planning and preparations were carefully carried out. And several days before the event, invitations and coupons were distributed to the residents of Kibera.
Early morning of November 25, 2016, the Jahmuri Park Show Ground, which is the cradle of he Nairobi International Trade Fair, was filled with an estimated 25,000 Kiberans who were the beneficiaries of this humanitarian mission. Food packages and grocery items were doled out to all who were in attendance. Every Kiberan present was filled with the overwhelming feeling of joy and gratitude. In view of this momentous feeling of joy and gratitude. In view of this momentous event, Mr. David Ole Shani, the Deputy of Kenya Police, gladly remarked, “This is the first time that we have such a kind of exercise conducted by a Church. It is a large congregation that has never been held since before.” And driven further by his appreciation and gratefulness for what the Church Of Christ has done for the Kiberans, Mr. Ole Shani added, “The Church [Church Of Christ] all the way from the Philippines coming here shows that you people have a real concern for us. And I thank you very much.”
The Church Of Christ not only provided provisions to the people in Kibera but also shared with them the biblical truth about the true Church which is far more important to receive, for it will certainly lead them to salvation on Judgment Day. Thus, ministers of the Church expounded on this. Through a video presentation, the Kiberans came to know about the Church Of Christ and its noble purpose in reaching out to them. And since such kind of immense outreach activity conducted by a Church was the first in Nairobi City wherein thousands of Kiberans benefited both materially and most especially spiritually, Mr. Joseph Onyango, the Deputy Registrar of Societies of the Republic of Kenya, exclaimed in delight, “I would like to thank the Iglesia Ni Cristo for their kind gesture I have seen today. We appreciate it very, very much and we thank the Church wholeheartedly I would like to say I welcome the Iglesia Ni Cristo here in Kenya.”
Source: God’s Message Magazine