Michael Maithya at a Community Outreach Event in Kamukunji, Nairobi

Michael Maithya speaks with a colleague at a Community Outreach Event in Kamukunji, Nairobi.

Meet your hands and feet on the ground

  • Emily Esworthy
  • Oct 12, 2020

Ministry looks different in the age of COVID-19. We are used to getting up close and personal in our service projects. We are used to sending out mission teams to share God's love with the world. But this year (and likely next year, too) your congregation's reach may feel a little shorter. Travel has been paused, and we've been asked to put distance and masks between us and the people we've been called to serve.

For those of you who may be feeling disoriented and disconnected during this time, we at Lutheran World Relief have good news. Though your mission trips are canceled and you're stuck at home, our local staff is still on the ground ensuring that the love of U.S. Lutherans continues reaching neighbors in need around the world.

Meet Michael Maithya

We'd like you to meet Michael Maithya, who works in Nairobi, Kenya. Michael is a husband, a father of two and one of hundreds of people in the LWR family who continue to carry your love — God's love — to places and people who need it most.

One of the areas Michael serves is the Mukuru slum where Lilian Mutheu lives. Michael's primary job is to ensure mothers and babies living in poor urban areas receive the health care they need to stay healthy and thrive — from prenatal care and safe deliveries to nutrition support and vaccinations. Because here, far too many die too soon from preventable causes.

Michael says COVID-19 has caused a lot of challenges for the people he serves. In addition to the danger of the virus, there are curfews and strict travel restrictions around the city. As a result, many businesses have closed, and people are without income. "This has affected housing, medical care and food among affected families," he says. "People living in slums are relying on well-wishers to get food, rent, medicines, protective equipment, facemasks and sanitizers."

More than ever, families living in poverty need help

Thankfully, with some modifications, Michael has been able to continue serving. One major change is that instead of having mothers and babies visit health centers, where they may be exposed to the virus, he's been organizing open-air clinics in public parks and churches to ensure they get the care they need.

"This," he says, "has made life bearable for the people we serve."

We are so grateful for your congregation's service to your neighbors and the world, and we know one day you'll be able to serve again in all the ways your heart leads you. Until then, please know that Michael and hundreds more of our amazing colleagues are hard at work all around the world, carrying your love wherever it's needed — until your love reaches every neighbor.

Please pray with us

Will your congregation join us by praying for our Lutheran World Relief colleagues around the world?

Gracious God, we hear your call to love our neighbors. Thank you for the staff of Lutheran World Relief who answer that call and serve our neighbors across the globe. Strengthen, protect and guide them in challenging situations. Empower them as they extend the love of U.S. Lutherans to a world in need. Amen.

Emily Esworthy, Oct 12, 2020 email