Friday night, April 17, 2015 I was honored to be the opening speaker for the World Vision For Every Child conference. I shared the story of Kenya, how I was called there and all that I’ve been a witness to over the past five years. But this talk was different from any I have ever done, because World Vision flew two very special people in from Kenya to join me: Jackie Rioba, World Vision Kenya national office, and Lilian Mnagei. http://www.cvent.com/events/fy15-fec-conference-post-content-site/custom-40-334dbf30d0064ddcaa453963eb835fa6.aspx
Lilian was one of the original girls I met in 2009 and she made a profound impact on me then (and now). Lilian was the lead singer for the group of rescue girls and you could tell had amazing leadership qualities at such a young age. She was 13 and had been living at the Morphus rescue center since she was 11.
At the World Vision conference, Lilian shares her story and speaks about being 11 years old, and the decision she made only 3 days before the ritual of Female Genital Mutilation, where she and 6 others were destined to be circumcised in preparation for marriage to much older men in exchange for a dowry. You’ll see her now, a graduate of St. Elizabeth Girls Secondary School and a college student, studying medical health records and first aid. You’ll see her as a confident young lady full of promise, wanting to make a difference, and so grateful for the support of so many.
I speak for the first 18 minutes, sharing how I was called, how others in the US became donors as well, and what has been built. Jackie Rioba joins me on stage in minutes 18-30
and shares how the community has transformed away from these retrogressive practices, how the boys and men are supporting this change and the community has formed active community groups, and the alternative rites of passage that are now practiced. It’s a profound thing to hear from a Kenyan how this change is taking place in her own country and from someone who’s been part of it firsthand. Then Lilian comes on stage at minute 30 to share her story.
I hope you will take 43 minutes out of your day, and be moved by what is being shared.
Here is a link to photos taken during and after our talk at the conference: http://1drv.ms/1emHqh8
A friend of mine wrote the following to me just after viewing this video:
Although I’ve been following this story since its inception in 2008, nothing can compare to seeing and hearing the passion in your voice as well as the voices of Jackie and Lilian. God is truly working through you. And you know I don’t say that lightly.
I also hope you will go back to the event link and also listen to Rich Stearns, President World Vision US Closing Remarks where, in 6 minutes he does a phenomenal job wrapping up the evening and the principal that actions have consequences, so does inaction.
Let’s be people of action!