From Grass to Grace: Maureen Owino
Maureen Owino, Executive Director of The Mercy House in Kenya, shares her heart:
You may have gone through an unfair past, but you will not have an unfair future, if you believe and trust in the Lord. Having grown in a tough and bitter past living in Kariobangi slum, a place that is densely populated with very poor people, with no clean drinking or cooking water, no bathroom and shower, no security, all sorts of crime, drug abuse and prostitution. We stayed eight people in a 10 by 10 mud cubicle which is not cemented, no electricity, no food, no education, no clothes, no friends, no rent and nothing. Most importantly my family and I had lacked hope and a future.
The turning point of my family and I began when I was 7 years old when Compassion came into my life. God, through my beloved sponsors and Compassion transformed and rebranded me. They changed me from being a statistic of Kariobangi slum, and made me worthy of living and an appreciated human. I was given a hope of a brighter future by telling me poverty does not determine your future but shapes it, shared the love of God that is never ending, shared the gospel. With all this from them I made a very important and special decision in my life, accepting Jesus Christ our savior in my life and began a healthy and strong relationship with Christ.
Maureen teaching a weekly Bible Study to children who live in the slum, Oct. 2010
Now as write this for you readers, tears of joy and victory roll down my cheeks as my family and I no longer live a bitter life, no longer stay in a 10 by 10 leaking not-cemented mud cubicle, no longer feed on rotten food dug from trash, I will be graduating from the university this December with a degree in Education. Friends, I never dreamt of going to the university when I was little because I knew that am a loser in life that will never go anywhere but here I am, sooner than I expected will be holding a degree certificate.
Do you know what is amazing? A family sacrificed their resources and committed themselves to bring light and lift us up from grass to grace, from nobody to somebody, took us out of physical and spiritual poverty and made us who we are today. It can be so selfish of me to keep all the blessings I received to myself.
Psalms 37:21, ‘The wicked borrow and do not repay but the righteous give generously”. After being lifted up it’s my turn to lift others up. I have taken chances today to invest in other people’s lives especially that God has called me to do so. God made an investment in me and He wants me to be willing to make an investment in others. Jesus died to give everybody a chance. Not everyone takes advantage of His provision, but we all have an equal opportunity to enjoy the abundant life. I strongly believe that when I help someone, even if they end up not doing what is right, I will give thanks that am able to give and done what I was called to do.
I have a burden for young pregnant girls in the slums who are discriminated upon, rejected/abandoned and thus think that engaging themselves in backstreet abortion which is cheap and very risky is the only solution to their problem. In doing so, they deny an innocent baby's right to live and make a difference.
Galatians 5:13, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” As a believer in Jesus Christ, you have wonderful gifts on the inside of you. You have the ability to make others happy, you can encourage, you can edify, you can exhort and uplift, you can believe, you can pray and fast with us, you can lead somebody else to Christ and give hope to the hopeless.
Mercy House as a Christian non-profit ministry needs your support, the hopeless pregnant girls and the unborn babies in the slum are waiting for one act from you, offer your gifts to the Lord through these girls and their children and see what happens and the impact you will create in so many lives.
Dear beloved friends and families, to have a healthy love walk today think about what you can do for somebody else, don’t wait for God to tell you to do something; take the initiative and say, : Okay God, what can I do to be a blessing in Mercy House on your behalf today?”
Join us in carrying this burden of taking good care of the young pregnant girls in the slums with their unborn babies and who knows, these children will carry on their candles into the world and give a testimony of how a Christian ministry transformed and rebranded them and made them heroes taking their bitter past and crowning them with a new life of a victor.