About Humbled Warrior

About Humbled Warrior

 

In 2012, I went to Kenya for the first time for one month assuming I would get the “volunteer in Africa” bug out of my system and move on with my comfortable life.  I helped with a public health survey in a slum and that experience turned my life upside down one slow day at a time.  It’s only in looking back that I can see all God was up to.  His grand plans for my life are astonishingly different than my white picket fence dreams.

The exposure to poverty in the slum community shook me up; eventually leading me to quit my job and return to Kenya for one year in 2013 to “help” the poor.  I was extremely naïve but very willing.  I learned the most helpful thing was for me to ask questions, listen well, learn Swahili, and try to be humble.  I often failed and sometimes succeeded but regardless I kept showing up.  In continuing to show up, I experienced rich joy and deep pain. Both equally valuable teachers.

I returned to the U.S. in 2014 but couldn’t get Kenya or the kids out of my mind.  I stayed involved with Empowering Lives International advocating for a counseling program in their Children’s Homes and helping facilitate trainings related to child safety and protection.

Kenya trip #3 was in November of 2014 for a training on Child Safety and Protection.  Trip # 4 was in June of 2016. This trip brought more clarity.  Since 2012, I had been meeting so many vulnerable children in the slum and was trying to understand their stories.  I got to know some kids on the street.  I got to know some kids who weren’t in school.  I got to know some kids who were in and out of “free” government schools due to lack of school fees.  I got to know some children who had been sexually abused and others physically abused and others living in families trapped in addiction and prostitution and relentless poverty.  My heart broke.  Often.  Heartbreak became the most powerful motivator God used to keep me going back.  Turning back to my white picket fence dream no longer felt like an option.

What does it look like to show God’s love in action?  I think about this question all the time.  Love in action for the street child became empowerment through education.  Love in action for the 10-year-old girl who never stepped foot in a school became empowerment through education.  Love in action for the girl being sexually and physically abused became serious attention to emotional health and empowerment through counseling and education.

We have recently formalized a robust school scholarship and counseling program.  I feel honored and privileged to be on the ground in Kenya currently facilitating the BEAM Kenya program.

If you want to learn more about the program or ways you can get involved, please click on this link

http://www.beamkenya.org/get-involved

OR send me an email (costigac@gmail.com) or Facebook message.  I would love to hear from you!

With love and gratitude.

colleen_sig