Can Anything Good Come Out of a Slum?

My biggest fear in life is not reaching my God-given potential. And for the first 20 years of my life, I found myself being increasingly shaped by worldly values. That is, until I came face to face with Jesus!

Since then my Creator and Saviour has been helping me to weed out values that are contrary to those of the Kingdom and walking with me towards the dreams He’s planted in my heart. It’s been a step-by-step process of learning to be faithful with what He entrusts me with.

Of course, going against the patterns of this world isn’t easy, but the fruit of obedience is liberating! I wouldn’t want to live any other way. Life’s exhilarating when you’re dancing with a God of the supernatural.

Thanks to modern technology, I met a Compassion alumnus Paul Omondi through Facebook! Paul shared his testimony with me … It’s more than encouraged me to be all that I can be; it’s given me hope.

Paul completed the Leadership Development Program in Kenya years ago (a program that educates, trains and disciples servant leaders), was recently married (congratulations Paul!), and now works to help his fellow Kenyans escape the cycle of poverty in his role as a Community Development Manager.

But every achievement starts with a heart that dares to dream.

muddy street in slum

Twenty nine years ago in Kibera, 15 minutes outside of Nairobi, Kenya, a baby boy was born. Kibera is the biggest slum in Kenya. I can’t imagine what would’ve become of me if I was born there.

I’m reminded of the words of Nathanael when Philip told him that he had found ‘the one’ that Moses and the prophets wrote about. He said,

“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” — John 1:46a (NIV)

Can anything good come out of a slum?

Tune in all next week as Paul tells his story.

– Irene

29 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Dionna August 31, 2009

    Paul –
    Thank you so much for the invitation. My husband – yes – has been to Kenya twice. Mainly Kissumu but also Nairobi and out in the “bush.” He made two friends who still reside there and part of his heart will always be in Kenya, I think.
    He really wants to take our girls and I back one of these days – you never know. 🙂

  2. Paul Omondi August 29, 2009

    @ Irene,
    Paul Omondi

  3. Paul Omondi August 29, 2009

    Yes Tammy, God is so good!
    Paul Omondi

  4. Paul Omondi August 29, 2009

    Thanks Dionna!
    It is such a small world; you mean your husband has been in Kenya more than once!
    When are you all coming to Kenya? When you plan to come to Kenya, please let me know, you are invited to our home anytime, my wife and I would enjoy making African meals for you!
    Paul Omondi


  5. Paul Omondi August 29, 2009

    @ Dana. Amen sister!
    Paul Omondi

  6. Paul Omondi August 29, 2009

    LDP Started in Philippines. I am sure there are many success stories from Philippines!
    Paul Omondi

    @Mike Stephens

  7. Paul Omondi August 29, 2009

    Hey Mike!
    Say Hello to the guys from Manila and Equatorial Guinea next time you see them. Compassion Ministry is in Philippines, would you kindly ask the guy from Manila what they think of the Compassion Ministry in Philippines.
    Paul Omondi

    @Mike Stephens

  8. Paul Omondi August 29, 2009

    Thank you Josh,
    Humility is Key! Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! My prayer is that I will continue to be humble and give God all the glory for the things he is doing in my life!
    Paul Omondi

    @Josh Valley

  9. Paul Omondi August 29, 2009

    Thanks Vicki!
    Paul Omondi
    @Vicki Small

  10. Paul Omondi August 29, 2009

    Cheryl, the children are so much equipped to be servant leaders who will make an impact for the glory of God!
    Paul Omondi@Cheryl J

  11. Paul Omondi August 29, 2009

    Thanks Ken, I agree with you, we need to take care of the poor, homeless and fatherless.
    Paul Omondi
    @Ken M.

  12. Paul Omondi August 29, 2009

    Amen Amy!
    Paul Omondi
    @Amy Wallace

  13. Tammy August 27, 2009

    The stories from these amazing people God is raising up through the LDP program continue to bring me to my knees. I can’t wait to hear Paul’s story. God is so good.

  14. Irene August 25, 2009

    @Brianne Mullins – Bri!!! 😀 You rock my world … Amen to the Holy Spirit’s mighty power moving in & through us to do MIGHTY THINGS that He’s called us to do! Keep shining, eh, you shiny thang 😉

  15. Irene August 25, 2009

    @Josh Valley – Amen.

  16. Irene August 25, 2009

    @Dionna – 🙂 And I pray that it would encourage your husband to know that our Lord has transformed many Kenyan’s lives for His glory through His ministry.

  17. Irene August 25, 2009

    @Vicki Small – You’re amazing …!!

  18. Dionna August 22, 2009

    I can’t wait to hear his story and to share it with my husband who has been to Kenya twice and seen these slums.

  19. Dana August 22, 2009

    I can’t wait to hear Paul’s story! I’m sure it will be amazing.

    I agree with you, Amy. Jesus came to heal the sick and the hurting and that’s where he’d be. There’s only one church I can see him being a part of if he were to come to my town and that’s the Mustard Seed church, whose congregation is composed mainly of street people, drug addicts, and those most desperately in need in our town.

  20. Mike Stephens August 21, 2009

    I look forward to hearing the story! I just dropped off some guys from Manila and Equatorial Guinea in the taxi at the Holiday Inn Express. I told the Noel from Manila that I stayed at the Holiday Inn Manila!

  21. Josh Valley August 21, 2009

    And of course the power of His Holy Spirit.

  22. Josh Valley August 21, 2009

    If we continue to seek the ‘servant-heart’ of God…our potential will be found in grace and humility.

  23. Josh Valley August 21, 2009

    I’m excited to hear the rest of the story!

    What a great God we have who humbles himself and became like the poor.

    7but made himself nothing,
    taking the very nature[a] of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.

    I love you God. You are glorius!

  24. Vicki Small August 21, 2009

    I tuned, one day, in to a sermon in progress on my car radio. The preacher was talking about death-bed regrets (e.g., too much time at work, too much time on the Internet). I wondered what my greatest regret would be, if I were dying right then, and it hit me: that I hadn’t contacted enough churches about Compassion.

  25. Brianne Mullins August 21, 2009

    Irene – I loved your first line!
    I remember being asked what my greatest fear is and I said, “One day realizing that I did not take full advantage of the gifts the Lord has given me to do what He created me for.”

    We have the ability to have immense impact because it is how God wired us. Not to mention that we have access to His power through the Holy Spirit!

    Thanks for your insight 😉

  26. Vicki Small August 21, 2009

    Agreed, Amy.

    I look forward to reading Paul’s story!

  27. Cheryl J August 21, 2009

    Oooh, now I can’t wait to hear his story! I love that we do so much more than feed the kids for a day or even for a few years. It is so wonderful that they are equipped for the future to actually break the cycle of poverty.

  28. Ken M. August 21, 2009

    @Amy Wallace – I agree with you. One thing I have been guilty of doing along with other Christians is sitting in church every Sunday and asking what does God want me to do. What is my mission? Another friend always says that our instructions or mission are already written in the Bible. Take care of the poor, homeless and fatherless. Love others. Why do we keep waiting for an answer when it’s already there in front of us.

  29. Amy Wallace August 21, 2009

    Like I always say, if Jesus were physically with us today, he wouldn’t be sitting on a pew in a church – he would be out in the slums loving those people like they’ve never been loved before.

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