A Love for the Girls

JANE

For four and a half years I served in Rafiki Village, Nairobi, as the Girls’ Center Director, and as “mom” to a group of young women put at risk by their age, gender, and cultural pressures. It’s fairly easy to fall in love with a child, an orphan whose needs are so plain and so heart-wrenching. It’s not so easy to fall in love with an awkward teenager, already showing a bit of rebellion, already pulled by the strong demands of family and culture, already beginning to make seriously destructive choices. And yet, during our time in Kenya, God wrote those late teens on my heart. When we returned to the U.S. to care for my mother, I grieved deeply, knowing that my work with the girls was not yet finished. In reading the book, Same Kind of Different as Me, I found a beautiful explanation of why I could not simply return to the US and “catch and release” these girls. Faith House began as a way for me to continue support for and involvement with the girls, even from a distance.