I guess that the landlord of the garden got tired of the drunkards, drug users and prostitutes that used his land for a hangout. One day, we found the bar had closed up their back door and the gate out of the garden was locked. So now, as we walked to Ngando, we didn't pass those sad scenes of pain and sin. The people had been corraled into the bar.
Our struggle was that we were not given the key to that gate. Spoiled by our shorter "panya route", we kept using the path, hoping to find the gate open. One morning as I headed down to Ngando, I discovered the gate was locked. My only option was to walk through the bar. Even at 8:30 am, I could hear from outside that it was packed - busy and boisterous. I pushed open that back door and entered. As I walked through, I looked into people's eyes and greeted them. Many were faces I recognized.
What surprised me was the response. "Hello, Camie! Do you remember me?" I looked into the face of a prostitute who had undoubtedly spent the night there. "Yes, I remember you!" I had stopped her outside one day when I saw a bruise that covered half her face. "Mama Sam!" The voice of a drunkard called out. Then "Mama Kamau!" (Nathan's Kenyan name is Kamau, so this is another name I respond to often). As I walked through that morning, I was struck - These people know my name!
I've spent a lot of time thinking over that walk through the bar.
I'm glad that I have the privilege to walk where I walk and be known by those who find rejection in so many places.
I pray that we as a family can bring HOPE and PEACE to those who know our names!!! May the name of JESUS become famous because of the lives we lead.