Each holiday Turning Point holds a holiday club for the children they’re supporting, whether they’re in ‘Transition Class’ at one of the TP centres, or at a partner primary school. The clubs are run so the staff at TP can catch up with how they’re doing and maintain strong links with the children – particularly those that have been reintegrated back into formal education – as well as providing fun activities and bible teaching, keeping the kids off the streets.
Last week it was Christmas holiday clubs. The theme for the week was ‘stigma’ and each day the kids explored the labels we put on each other and what Jesus says about them. Coming from the slum, these kids will certainly have already experienced some sort of stigma. They may have been labelled as ‘chokora’ meaning beggar or dirty. Or their tribe will certainly hold some sort of stereotype. Otherwise, simply being born into Kibera slum will associate some connotation.
But that’s not how Jesus sees these kids. And we wanted to show them this. That through dying on the cross, Jesus took our stigmata (plural of stigma) on himself and the labels people place on these kids no longer need to stick.
Each day there was a staff drama, games, bible teaching and a ‘response’ time related to this theme as well as time for the kids to just play and enjoy a good square meal before we finished for the day.
Here’s how a typical day runs:
It starts with a staff drama. Here the staff are on board a matatu!
Following this there’s response time for the kids. Below, the kids were divided into two groups ‘rich kids’ and ‘slum kids’. They had to write names and labels about the opposite group and stick them on the cardboard-box wall:
And what does Jesus want to do when we build up walls with our words like ‘street kid’, ‘liar’, and ‘show-off’? Pastor David leading the younger kids didn’t even have time to say ‘Kick it down’ before the kids were going crazy! Love it!
Other ‘response’ times were more reflective. Here the kids were encouraged to write or draw names and labels they’ve been called or feel have been put on them and to bring them to the cross. Some of the names the kids wrote included ‘liar’, ‘cheat’, and ‘chokora’. As they leave these names at the cross, we pray they’ll know how loved and special they are.
And it was great to see the Kenyan staff leading the week so well. Without a ‘specific’ role during the week there were times when I felt a bit lost with what to do with myself, but I’m ever more coming to realise it’s not about me, it’s not for my glory but for His.
Please pray God continues to work in these kids, particularly over the holidays when schools and the TP centres are closed.