Mary Karanja (pictured here on the left) serves as the Accountant for Amani Nairobi. Mary also provides leadership for Amani Sasa – an extension of Amani Watoto that uses outdoor adventure experiences to impart the principles of peace to adolescent children of Amani women. Below is Mary’s reflection on Amani Sasa’s happenings in 2008.
Last year was one-of-a-kind in many ways for the young adults and leaders of Amani Sasa. We learned a lot about ourselves, about God and about those around us.
In August, the hike we went on provided a wonderful opportunity to catch up and reflect on the great impact Amani Sasa lessons have had on our lives. Foni, Eunice and Yves shared how even their friends have noticed significant changes in their lives, even explicitly asking them what it is that had changed to make them so very focused. DianaKate experienced growth of a different kind: she is now more courageous. In the last term of school, DianaKate walked with a friend grieving the loss of a parent through that very difficult season. These are just a few of the many tales of how these young adults have been impacted by the lessons and fellowship provided during Amani Sasa ‘08.
We wanted to end the year in the same way we spent the year together. What better way is there than by giving back to the community? In December, we volunteered at Happy Life Children’s Home in Nairobi, a home for abandoned and orphaned children. For two days we painted bedrooms, helped with cleaning, and spent the afternoons playing and singing with the children. We were struck by the children’s desperate desire for love and attention – so evident in their desire to be held all the time. We were thankful to be able to share with them the love and peace with which we ourselves have been blessed.
Our time at the Happy Life Children’s Home gave us yet another opportunity to grow. It opened our eyes to the fact there is something we can do to make a difference, if only by giving our time. The babies’ stories made us grateful for our own homes, family, and friends. Moreover, it spoke volumes of how much God cares about our needs just from watching and listening to how faithfully He has provided for this particular home with food, clothing and friends that walk in and give in kind or financially.
And of course, another major milestone was receiving new friends who have just graduated from Amani Watoto into Amani Sasa. We are very excited to have them with us and look forward to seeing how they will grow together with us in the coming years.
We are very grateful to those that continually supported us through last year. The Amani Sasa program could not have blossomed as richly as it did without your love.
Amani Sasa is a supplemental program to Amani’s self-sustaining work and is supported by donations.