What’s your story of learning to live out James 1:27? Most of us can think back to a particular sermon, conversation, or person who challenged us to think about our role as Christians in caring for the vulnerable– the impetus that drove us into justice work.
For the children at Tumaini Children’s Home in rural Kenya, that person is 127 Worldwide partner Rose Bugusu.
Recently Rose was preparing to spend the day dispersing food baskets to widows and widowers from her community. Instead of doing it alone though, she recruited several students to help serve the widows coming to Tumaini to receive a food basket. These students spent the day handing out bars of soap and bags of sugar to the most vulnerable members of their community. Throughout the day, they got to ask Rose questions about the work they were doing and hear her explain why visiting widows in their distress is evidence of true, authentic Christianity. They watched Rose model meeting physical needs and witnessed her share about the reason she’s given her life for the sake of orphans and widows in rural Kenya.
Rose hopes that by taking part in the justice work of Tumaini, along with being served by it, these children come to see the value in caring for others and grow a greater understanding of the needs of their community. She prays that these children grow up to become thriving church members who carry on kingdom work in the very place where she initially provided them with a home. In a recent update call with 127 staff, Rose explained, “We thought it would help them learn… that idea of giving back.” The children at Tumaini are both the recipients of Rose’s ministry and learning to be her co-laborers in extending that ministry beyond the fences of their school.
127 partners with local leaders because we prioritize long-term investment in vulnerable communities through gospel proclamation and justice-work. We long to see individual lives changed by the gospel in such a way that entire neighborhoods and villages are impacted. When we come to faith in Jesus, we get to join his work of restoring hope to brokenness. Gospel transformation makes justice-seekers out of all of us.
Once they were done supplying food baskets to their neighbors, Rose pulled the children aside to ask them about the experience. Rose related that many of the children said that interacting with the poorest members of their community helped them feel empathy for the needs around them.
That day, Rose planted seeds for the next generation of justice-seekers: in service to vulnerable children and widows, she illustrated how the gospel empowers all of us to do good for our communities.