“I waved at him multiple times a day for months as I was passing by,” Allison Schlack remembered. “I kept wondering about this young man who was out there morning to evening 7 days a week. He never seemed to have a day off – rain or shine.” Who was this young man?
John M. spent the better part of his childhood staying with his mom at their rural home, until 2011 when he finished his primary education and moved to Kisumu to stay with his elder sister. He could not join high school because of a lack of school fees and was forced to stay at home helping his sister with the chores.
Several years later, John’s sister introduced him to her friend who was a small scale egg seller. She needed someone to help her sell the eggs and John was available because he was not going to school. This is how John found himself selling eggs by the roadside. Recalling waking up very early every day and working to dusk, he remembers being paid 1000 shillings for a period of four months. That is the equivalent of about $2-3 per month. He now simply says, “I had to persevere but the future seemed dim to me.”
On the 14th of April 2015, John had an unusual new customer: Allison Schlack (the director of Ndoto) went to buy some eggs from him to meet this guy she had often seen. Allison asked why he was not going to school, and after a short conversation she introduced John to Ndoto and suggested he apply. “I share the story of Ndoto often when I see young people out of school,” Allison says. “Most of them don’t take the steps to get to Obunga, find the Ndoto office, fill the forms, attach the necessary documents, and return them on time.” John proved unlike most people, and later that year he was accepted for Ndoto sponsorship.
Since then, God is turning his dim past into a bright future. John is currently pursuing a course in fabric design at Kisumu National Polytechnic and he loves what he is doing and is very good at it. On many occasions John has volunteered to make shirts for the Ndoto and this shows how his heart is set apart for service. What captivates us with this young man is that he fits us with the clothes that he has made himself and appreciates the gifting of his hands.
He acquired the nickname “The Professor” because he is passionate about everything he does, including his beloved Afro and spending time feeding himself with the Bread of Life. John really loves joking about his nickname, and when given an opportunity to share something during youth Bible study he always starts by saying, “As a professor of the word, I would like to say.”
This young man will be great someday. Even in the midst of the troubles of a slum, his dreams are still valid. Keep on living the dream John! He would say, “As a professor of the word, I would like to say: El Roi, which means the God who sees.” Truly God has seen the plight of John M. and has come to his rescue!