Joseph (not his real name) used drugs for five years.
At only 15, the minor had a serious exchange with his uncle after both his parents died back at his rural home in Kisumu, since he could not tolerate his uncle inhumane behaviours, he left home.
He later set foot in Mombasa to search for a living so that he can sustain himself and in the near future to prove to his uncle that indeed he was a ‘hustler’.
Today, he narrates his story before a congregation, special congregation that comprise of street families within Mombasa.
Pain and desperation
His story moves the faithful and the tears and pain is evident from Reverend Edwin Kanja of the Mombasa Jubilee Christian Church (MJCC) along Haile Silasse Avenue near Blue room restaurant, Mombasa.
“I used all types of drugs but since I joined the feeding program, received counseling and mentorship, I stopped abusing drugs,” he said.
Today, Joseph and his colleagues enjoyed Pilau (A Swahili delicacy of a mixture of rice and meat) each beneficiary is also given a banana just to make this years’ Christmas party memorable.
Joseph is not the only one who every Wednesday evening attends the both souls and stomach nourishment session prepared by Rev. Kanja.
John, 22 was a chronic thug and a drug user too who has been arrested, rearrested and later set free.
“I turned to God, since it is God who strengthens me, Shimo la Tewa maximum prison is not a home, MJCC is my home,” he revealed.
[Rev. Edwin Kanja of the MJCC doing what he does best, serving food to street families. Photo/Tom Fondo].
Mombasa Jubilee Christian Church is under Bishop Allan and Pastor Kathy Kiuna Jubilee Christian Centre, Nairobi.
Rev. Kanja, whom the beneficiaries of the feeding program refer to him as ‘Father’ has been instrumental, literary ‘cleansing’ and encouraging them to believe and follow the teachings of God.
“The program is not only about eating food, the street families are also engaged in sharing their life experiences, their transformation journey through accepting God,” he said.
Mentorship and feeding
The mentorship, counseling and encouragement sessions have positively impacted the lives of the street families.
[Rev. Edwin Kanja of the MJCC praying for the street families at the church. Photo/Tom Fondo].
“Some have secured employment after disentangling themselves from drugs, some have moved out of the streets and rented houses, they now have their own families and we are very happy that God is changing the lives of these once hopeless people,” disclosed Rev. Kanja with a broad smile.
The over 400 street families and 40 children are fed with various delicacies from well wishers who contributes and the church volunteers among them Rev. Kanja prepares the food.
The four year old feeding program has transformed lives of the street families who not only eat and leave the church but get Spiritual nourishment, guidance, counseling and humanitarian aid whenever needed.
“Our main objective as Mombasa Jubilee Christian Church is to see a sober debate on the Mombasa street family issue so that this social problem can be amicably addressed,” Revealed the Man of God.