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He fled for his life!

Refugee boy from Democratic Republic of Congo runs for his life

Slum in Kenya 

Among the world’s refugees, internally displaced persons and slum dwellers, it is the children who suffer the most. Through no fault of their own, these young lives are at extreme risk of chronic malnutrition and illness. They lack adequate shelter and education opportunities. They are also at risk of abuse and exploitation. There is little structure to their lives; chaos, uncertainty and fear are the norm.

One such child is 15-year-old John, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is currently living in a slum in Nairobi, Kenya. When armed assailants brought the ongoing DRC civil conflict to John’s village, he fled for his life. John’s mother and father were both killed by the assailants, but he does not know what happened to his four younger brothers and sisters.

Too afraid to remain near his home, John crossed the border into Uganda and from there, hitched a ride to Nairobi. A few days later, in a downtown market, he recognized that a woman was speaking his native language and approached her for help. This kind woman offered to let John stay in the one-room home she shares with her family of seven in Nairobi’s Soweto slum. There is barely enough room for them all to sleep, and not enough money for food.

Africa’s children-at-risk, like John, desperately need to have their physical and educational needs met. Thousands of relief and development organizations are working throughout Africa to provide such vulnerable children with the food, shelter, medical assistance and learning opportunities they need.

However, few organizations are working to meet their spiritual needs. Just as much as a sturdy roof over their heads and regular nutritious meals, these children need to know how much they are loved and valued by God. They need to know that there is hope for this life—and for all eternity—in Christ’s gift of salvation. They need the opportunity to accept His salvation and develop a faith that will sustain them and give them a purpose in the midst of even the most difficult circumstances.

We exalt God because He is bringing the pieces of Awana International’s Children-at-Risk Initiative together so communities of children in Africa that we could have never reached on our own with our traditional program are now being reached.


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