Africa / Changed Lives

“Your Play Was About Me and My Brother”

Lutheran Hour Ministries - Kenya's John Karanja reaches out in schools through drama.

Lutheran Hour Ministries – Kenya’s John Karanja reaches out in schools through drama.

Lutheran Hour Ministries—Kenya, known locally as Nuru Lutheran Media Ministry, understands the power of visual images in reaching out to people with an important message. According to Kenya director John Maina, whenever the center is invited by Nairobi-area schools to speak to their students about tough topics such as sexuality, HIV/AIDS, crime and drug abuse, the visual media of film and drama are two of its presenters’ most effective tools.

Recently Nuru drama coordinator John Karanja visited the Mbagathi Primary School near Nairobi to speak to students about the dangers of illegal drugs. He performed a dialogue between two brothers who were arguing about values—in particular about avoiding drugs and petty crime.

At the conclusion of Karanja’s presentation, a fifteen-year-old student raised his hand.

“Your play was about me and my brother,” he said.

Karanja invited the boy, whose name was Brian, to share what he meant.

Brian explained that at the age of sixteen, his brother had been persuaded by some local gangsters to sell illegal drugs to his peers. Because he was so young, no one suspected him. But Brian had discovered what his brother was doing and how it was ruining the lives of other youth. He confronted his brother and demanded that he stop—but his brother refused because he was making money and he felt important.

Then a group of parents discovered that it was Brian’s brother who was selling drugs to their children. Brian’s brother fled the slum where they lived to avoid being captured and killed by an angry mob. Bryan has learned that his brother is continuing his education in the place where he found refuge.

Brian lives with the trauma of that event, and he misses his brother, who had been his companion and protector. But through the ministry center’s holistic ministry team, he is also receiving the emotional support he needs.

Lutheran Hour Ministries—Kenya designs its drama and film ministries to work this way, says John Maina. “In addition to presenting a Christian message and eliciting very good class discussions about social concerns, the drama and film presentations help us identify vulnerable young people and connect them to our holistic team for counseling,” he explains.

To learn more about Lutheran Hour Ministries—Kenya and its holistic outreach communities across the country, visit www.lhm.org/international and look for links to the Kenya blog.

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