Mercy is Home

It is early Wednesday morning, and I am with my
two daughters. We navigate Nairobi’s tangled
traffic and pulsing central business district on our
way to visit the Maisha Girls’ Safe House. We are
only approximately 20 minutes from bustling
downtown Nairobi and immediately sense that this
is a truly safe space for the dozens of girls who call
it home. It is our first visit here and I can already tell
that, besides excitement, there is something
different moving in me. I am used to visiting an
orphanage every year as a way of thanking God for
blessing me and my family. This feels different.
Ms. Florence Keya, the house mother, greets us at
the gate with a wave and a broad smile as we follow
instructions about visitor protocol. Once we are in
the house a wave of safety sweeps across the living
room. My eyes begin to instinctively scan our
surroundings. One, then two, and three girls pass by
the living room completing a few chores, babies are
peacefully asleep. Some other girls are playing

outside, momentarily oblivious to the circumstances
which brought them to Maisha. They are safe here.
They are home.
Florence calls the house to order and the girls all
join us in the living room. I realize in this moment
that Florence’s house name is “Mom.” She is their
mother, I am smiling. This scene reminds me of my
childhood home. Our mother was a teacher and I
had ten siblings, so our house was always lively and
our mom was always surrounded by children. To
this day, I wonder how my mother raised all of us
but I have no doubt that she is one of the strongest
women I have ever known. Here, at Maisha, I see
the exact same childhood picture: the girls, their
babies, and house activity buzzing all around
Florence. She instantly makes my list of strong
women. I am in awe of her strength. ….continue reading.