Patty “Wangare” Rhinehart

The day my own faith connected with that of the Kenyans the most was near the end of our trip. Esther joined us at our table talk one evening and discussed the importance of knowing that we cannot save everyone. We all found ourselves frustrated at our inability to help all of these people, especially those of Maai Mahiu.

When Esther stressed that we cannot save everyone, it was hard to understand. I did not think that helping one person alone could make that much of a difference. While she was telling us this, a story from my life popped into my head. I remember when my friend Ashley told me, “If all the bad stuff I went through could help you alone, then it would be worth it.” This meant so much to me, and the fact that she believed in me like that has stayed with me forever.

This also made me think of how Christ pursues us. He came to this earth and died knowing that not everyone would come to Him, and I know that had to break His heart. But I also know that He is the founder of starting a chain reaction by pursuing one individual. He would have come to this earth and died if He knew only one soul would come to know His saving grace. Due to how my friend believed in me, I was able to acquire a greater knowledge of the love Christ has for me, and because of what Esther said I now have a deeper connection with how investing in one person can change many lives. I went to Africa to learn about their culture, but I ended up learning so much about myself.

Dr. Case and Dr. Dixon made this idea of “impact one, impact many” a reality to me during our table talks, in particular when we talked about the Maai Mahiu community. Sending a child to school does not just help them and stop there. It is a huge chain reaction that can break a family from a vicious cycle. We learned that sending a child to school can keep them off the streets and out of prostitution. If they receive an education, they are more likely to get a job. If they receive a job then they will not have to go into prostitution and risk getting diseases. More importantly, their children will be able to go to school and not have to go into prostitution or stealing to make a living. The cycle can be changed by one individual making a spark and simply sending one child to school.

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