Women in urban East Africa face challenges that are both unique and universal.
This week wraps up our #AmplifyWomen series. As an organization that represents the global church, Christianity Today is committed to platforming voices from around the world. In that spirit, our final essay takes readers inside women’s discipleship in Nairobi, Kenya.
This last Christmas, I almost didn’t notice the young woman sitting at the reception desk at work. She hid behind her sunny smile and didn’t share anything about her family or holiday plans. During a brief chat, I was surprised to learn that she had no one in the city to celebrate the holiday with and no one to visit outside the city. In two generations of her family, relationships were broken between people, God, and their home communities. At 24, she was an orphan with no shalom, no wellbeing, and no abundance. Her job only brought in enough for subsistence—rent for a shared room with another orphaned young woman who was also struggling to survive.
As I listened to her story, I felt prompted to ask her to join our family for the holidays. She jumped up with an enthusiastic Yes! and with joy, I opened my heart and home to her. Within a few days, she was joking and laughing, playing in our family’s Friday game night challenge, connecting with others on WhatsApp, and generally acting young and carefree. She radiated the image of God—an image that had been obscured by years of pain.
Sadly, this young lady is not alone. She is an example of a larger challenge faced by many women in Africa who don’t have access to so-called “experiential discipleship.” According to Randy White in Encounter God in the City, experiential discipleship involves a cycle of scriptural study, action, reflection, and whole-life application. …