Little Ambassador Brings God’s
Hope to His Mom and Family

Story and photos by Donna Atola, Kenya Field Communications Specialist

A little boy who helps his mother and family know about God was inspired by his Child Champion to bring hope to a family in a hard place.

Kahindi and his mom Bendera at their home.

There is always an interesting story behind how different people come to know God.

For Bendera Karisa, the beginning of her journey to know God was when her son, Kahindi, walked into their house after attending activities at his Hope Center in Kenya and said, “Mom, today we learned about God.”

As her family living in poverty settled in to have supper in their small, smoky house that serves as a kitchen and bedroom, Kahindi shared what he learned about God from his teachers at the Hope Center.

“I realized that he never missed mentioning something his teacher said about God,” Bendera says. “And he would persistently talk about Him, and this caught my attention.”

Bendera says that the more her son spoke about God, the more guilty she felt because she no longer attended church.

Kahindi, his mother, and his siblings at home.

As a young girl, Bendera and her grandmother, who took care of her, used to go to church.

When Bendera was 16, her grandmother died, and she slowly stopped attending church.

She completely stopped attending church when she got married when she was 18.

Her husband was a traditional coconut wine tapper (who tap the sap of a coconut palm to make wine).  She says that as her husband tapped the wine and sold it, she slowly began drinking the wine.

“It was easily available, and the poverty at home was so stressful that I sought to take wine to distract me,” she recounts.

And slowly, it became a habit for over 18 years, which she believes created a gap between her and God.

But after her son was enrolled at the Hope Center in 2019, she slowly tried to stop drinking.

As Kahindi shared about God at home, Bendera says she felt as though God was speaking to her through her son. Despite cutting alcohol, she says she did not feel worthy of God’s presence.

Kahinidi with Child Champion Josephine.

Kahindi and his Child Champion, Josephine.

“I wanted to pray, to go to church, to ask for forgiveness but I wondered if God would ever forgive me because I knew I was full of sin,” she says. “I was scared of asking for a second chance.

“Little did I know that God’s ways are not our ways. He does not think as we do, and that’s what makes Him God.”

Meanwhile, at the Hope Center, Child Champion Josephine was trying to think of ways to spread the Word of God among more kids and their families.

“Not all kids at the center attend church, mostly because they see no one doing it at home,” says Josephine. “So, I began by teaching all of them the Word of God, then I would visit them in their churches.

“For those that didn’t attend church, I kept teaching their kids until some like Kahindi’s family became curious about God.”

Kahindi is happy to have inspired his mom.

In addition to teaching the Word of God to the kids, the center also organizes a children’s Sunday, where enrolled kids are given a chance to attend and lead service at the church that hosts the Hope Center.

On this special Sunday, kids are asked to come to church with their parents and siblings.

Bendera says that the children’s Sundays, the lessons shared by her son, and home visits by Josephine gave her the courage to go back to church.

Now she and her children attend church, where she serves in the women’s department. Her husband doesn’t go to church but supports them to attend.

“Apart from giving hope to the children, we also strive to give hope to their parents and families,” Bendera says. “And hope is a precious gift in hard places because that is the only thing they can hold on to when the going gets tough.

“It would not make sense to have kids get hope at the center, then go back home to a place where there’s none of it. This is why we teach them the Word of God and even share the same whenever we visit them at home, because God is the main source of hope, and they can count on Him no matter where they are.”

Kahindi, 8, dreams of serving in the military in the future. He is a shy little boy but opens up around his siblings, friends, and his teachers at the center.

Having shared with his family some of the things he learned about God at the center, he shares a few attributes of God that come to mind when he is asked to describe Him:

God Is Love

“He created us, and He loves us so much that He cares for us,” Kahindi says. “God loves me and my siblings and that is why He allows our parents to be able to provide for us at home. He allows me to have friends who play with me and make me smile. He has also allowed me to get a sponsor, who sends me gifts, writes letters to me, and prays for me.”

His favorite Bible verse that describes God’s love is John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.”

God Is Great and Powerful

Kahindi says he knows God is great and powerful because He created the universe and does things that no human can do.

“He allows the sun to rise and set, and allows plants and animals to grow,” he says with his hand to his chin, then points out to his little sister. “See, my sister was small, but she can now walk and even knows how to pronounce some words. I think God made it possible because He is powerful and great.”

God Is Holy

“My teacher told me that God is not like a human being. He commits no sin, He is pure and that is why we pray to Him,” Kahindi says.

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