Dealing with blowers of flickering lights

Dealing with blowers of flickering lights
Kelvin Hondo celebrates after finishing the Lukenya Trails Run

As I am writing this, tears stream down my face. I cannot shoulder the burden of meeting the needs of the boys alone. The very first time I met 100 boys in juvenile prison is still fresh in my memory. I arrived in prison wearing a tucked in shirt, shining shoes and ironed pair of trousers. Having arrived in a taxi that a friend paid for, I did not know I would be dealing with blowers of flickering lights.

  • walking to prison on foot
  • lacking decent clothes and underwear
  • having my house locked up due to rent arrears

I am no longer in desperate need of underwear. Neither do I have a single pair of trouser nor is my house getting locked anymore. I am at a point where I have started earning income from my writing and can take care of my personal needs. This is a very good thing because as a man, I am finding meaning in what I am doing. However, my income is still not enough to enable me to carry out my mandate at the juvenile prison.

In fact, the vision behind Lifesong Kenya is getting bigger by the day and I need help. That is why I keep reaching out and asking more people, institutions and organizations to partner with Lifesong Kenya. I have reached out and thought I was making progress. Each time I have ended up failing and  wished I should have exercised more caution.

Dealing with blowers of flickering lights

When I was running during the Lukenya Trails Marathon, I prayed and asked God for direction, strength and wisdom. I asked God to provide more clients who will pay for my writing services. I also thanked Him providing for my personal needs, marriage and Lifesong Kenya’s work with boys in juvenile prison.

It was until I saw this on a wall inside a hostel for ladies in Thika Town that I remembered to revert to the drawing board. My drawing board involves totally leaning and depending on God. While I need more money for my work, God’s peace, joy and affirmation is way better than the money I keep chasing and asking for. Besides, the things my boys and their families need, are intangible and cannot be met and fulfilled by money alone.

For instance, Diamond’s mom has asked for capital so she can start a business. All she is asking for is a tray of eggs and a tin of groundnuts. That is a very humble request I am able to take of on my own, if only I was able to earn more from my writing. On the other hand, the boys need someone to meet their needs for someone to spend time with them, call and visit their family and the people they have wronged.

Back to the drawing board

By going back to the drawing board, I am able to have the strength to deal with blowers of flickering lights and continue doing the things I am capable of doing to the best of my ability. By doing this, I am able to meet intangible needs that no amount of money can ever fulfill or satisfy. This is what is giving me the strength and confidence to face Diamond this coming Friday and tell him I am sorry for abandoning him at his time of need. I leave the rest to God.

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James Ouma

James Ouma is a Clarity Coach, Cyclist and Writer. He is passionate about positive masculinity and helping incarcerated male teens to reconcile with their families and their communities. He loves staring at his bicycle, flipping through movies without watching them, and playing ‘tap out’ with his wife.

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