Zipporah enjoys nothing more than studying the Bible except sharing what she learns about God with her family and friends.
"Jesus loves you." The words roll easily off of Zipporah's tongue. She speaks them to her friends on the playground and to her neighbors as they bend over steaming pots of rice. Zipporah doesn't just speak about Jesus' love. She lives it. But she wasn't always this way.
Hopelessness Boils Over
Zipporah lives in Kiambiu, a community of squatters and the homeless just a few miles from Nairobi. Her father works sporadically as a day laborer, and her mother sells food in the market. Her parents' salary of just U.S.87 cents a day doesn't come close to providing for the needs of Zipporah and her two siblings. Their home is a crumbling mud hut, and most of Zipporah's friends will never attend school.
Like many children living in poverty, Zipporah's despair over her surroundings grew into anger. She was more than a child who stomps her foot when she doesn't get her way. Zipporah dealt daily with injustice, which filled her with hopelessness. She was confused by the few wealthy families who had more than enough. Sad when her friends died. Those emotions boiled inside her, erupting in fury. Several times a week she came home bloody from the fights she had with her peers. She regularly bullied other children and had little respect for her parents. She knew of no other ways to deal with the emotions raging inside.
But when Zipporah was 6 years old, her parents registered her at the AIC Kiambiu Child Development Center (KE-727). For the next three years, hope replaced the despair in her life. Center workers prayed with her regularly, demonstrating the love of Christ to this broken child.
When Zipporah turned 9, she attended a children's camp hosted by the AIC Kiambiu Church, a Compassion church partner. "At the camp, I learned that Jesus loves me more than anything," says Zipporah. "I saw the harmful things I was involved in, and I knew I was a sinner. Before, I did not fully understand God's compassion. Now I do."
Training Up a Leader
Zipporah returned home, ready to serve. She now leads a Bible study for her peers and regularly shares Jesus with her friends who aren't enrolled at the center. "I want them to know that it does not matter how old or young you are, Jesus will give them a new life if they trust and obey Him."
Already, Zipporah has led two of her friends to Christ, and each day she shares her story of redemption with her neighbors and family. This once angry little girl now dreams of being a singer and leading others in worship. She says that she's glad the troublemaker phase of her life is over and she has God, and her sponsor, to thank for the dramatic change in her life.
"Compassion has helped me appreciate and love people in need. I have learned how to pray and better still how to read and write. I thank God for all Compassion has imparted. It has given me life."
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