When Joseph arrived in Bungoma, he didn’t know what he was doing there.
His wife was a teacher who was posted to Bungoma, so they moved for her work. But Joseph had no plans.
But then he remembered a dream he had many years ago.
“In 2002, I had a dream. In this dream, I saw African children, mostly boys, in a very big pit. And the pit was sinking,” Joseph recalls.
“It was like a dumping site. These kids were crying for help. They wanted someone to hear them and help. People were just passing by… some people could hear the cry, but they would not stop. When I reached there, a voice told me to take the children from this pit. So I knelt down, stretched down my right hand, and began pulling them out one by one. And when they were out, they were very happy.
“When I woke up in the morning, I was disturbed by the dream so I prayed to God about the meaning of the dream. That day, God gave me love for street kids. Whenever I go around town and meet these boys, I talk to them, ask them why they are on the streets, and each boy tells me his story. I have that love for them.”
Joseph initially thought he was in Bungoma to start a new church for mature believers, but that’s not what happened.
One Saturday, while walking in town, he found himself near Bungoma’s biggest dumping site. “I saw a man coming with a wheelbarrow full of leftovers from a restaurant. He was coming to dump these leftovers at the dumping site. The street boys came running towards the leftovers, but there was a stray dog too. There was a tug of war between the boys and the dog.”
As he looked on at the scene, Joseph was challenged to be a father to these boys; to be a father to the fatherless. To love them, appreciate them, listen to them, serve them, and pastor them.
Joseph began reaching out to the street boys. He’d feed them and take them down to the river once a week to show them how to clean themselves.
For more than three years, Joseph ministered to the boys every Sunday, showing them they were loved. But it soon became clear that more preventative action was needed, so Joseph created a home for the boys and placed them in a good school.
Now, 30 boys live in the home and 250 street children are fed daily. The boys not only attend school, but are thriving. In 2017, four boys were top of their class, two were second, and one was third.
News of the boys’ achievements has spread around the entire Bungoma county because many find it hard to believe that street kids can be transformed.
To find out more about Joseph and his work, visit: www.dias.asn.au/our-work/bungoma-kenya