By MOHI on Feb 23, 2015 1:16:31 AM
Twenty-three years ago, a former street boy from Mathare, Emilio Kiai Njoroge, first introduced Mary Kamau, Executive Director of Missions of Hope International (MOHI), to Mathare Valley. Just last week, Emilio returned to Mathare to encourage and motivate our students and staff at several different MOHI centers.
Emilio grew up in Mathare Valley. Due to an abusive father, Emilio ran away from home at only nine years old and began living on the streets. For the next seven years, he begged and stole just to survive.
As a teenager, after returning to his childhood home in Mathare, Emilio moved to the country with some relatives. His life became even more difficult in his new surroundings, and he had lost all hope of a better life. Through God’s grace, he ended up at a local church, where he heard the Gospel and was mentored by an usher and the pastor of the church. Emilio dedicated His life to Christ and soon became involved in the church, leading worship.
In 1992, Emilio met Mrs. Kamau, then a college student, at his church and shared with her about his childhood in Mathare Valley. As they became friends, Emilio took Mrs. Kamau to Mathare to see his former home. That was her first visit to Mathare. Mrs. Kamau’s experience there changed the trajectory of her life, as well as the lives of tens of thousands of children from Mathare with the eventual founding of MOHI.
Emilio, who now lives in America with his wife and daughter, has returned to Mathare several times in the past 10 years. He ministers to youth that are much like he once was—searching for hope and dreaming of a better future.
Emilio encouraged MOHI’s students to never give up on their dreams, to work hard and stay in school, and to put their trust in Christ. As a mentor who was once in their shoes, Emilio's story is certainly inspirational to our students, and we are thankful for his ministry with us!