June 30th, 2010 was a day I will never forget. We went into Naivasha for the weekly shopping trip with some of the staff. As the other girl volunteers and I were walking out of the grocery store to the van two street boys approached us. They were sniffing glue to get high. I had seen a documentary on this before and it was shocking. These kids sniff glue to escape from their emotional and physical pains such as hunger. They spend the money they get from jobs or charity on glue - not food or water. They hold the plastic bottles at their mouths and inhale the glue's toxic fumes. This can result in death and has many negative side effects. I can't even describe what it was like to experience this first hand, in person. It was a horrible enough sight on film. 

These boys stood around our van shouting for money. We had to lock the doors and windows because they are known to get pretty violent. Our van was very hot, so we slightly opened one of the windows - but they immediately ran up to it and shouted even more. I remember vividly one boy shouting "Aren't you Christians?" This broke my heart. I desperately wanted to help them but knew I couldn't. They only wanted money so they could buy more glue... so I knew I couldn't help them. If you give them food they will sell it to get money to buy glue. My friend Sara had given them Ritz crackers last summer, and Christine had told her to make sure the package was opened so they couldn't sell it. The boys threw back the crackers at her. They didn't want food - they wanted glue or money for glue. The boys continued to surround our van so the store security got very mad - they hit them, pushed them to the ground, twisted their wrists, choked them, and hit them with a stick. I couldn't bear to watch it... it was awful. The boys began to pick up rocks to throw at the security guards but ended up not following through with it. When Auntie Donna came out of the store she gave money to the boys and it made me sad knowing her good intentions were only going to support their addiction. I felt SO helpless and was so frustrated that people sell them the glue. I was mad that I couldn't help these boys. I was mad they had to turn to this substance in order to feel okay... it was their momentary escape from reality. 

I still think about these boys today. And I wonder what their futures are. I wonder if there is any hope for them. I know God has a plan for every single child but who is going to come and show them the love of Christ? How can we do that in an effective way? And then I find peace in knowing that my church at home, Overlake Christian Church, just opened a rescue center in Kitale, Kenya where street boys (many of them glue boys) can come and experience Jesus and find rehabilitation. And I know there are so many other churches and organizations out there doing the same. I know we can't rescue every single kid - but I find peace in knowing that we are doing what we can. Bwana Asifiwe! (Praise God!)

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