Poverty is a sign, and a symptom of something very wrong in human society that perpetuates an unacceptable situation. It is assumed that development is the movement from less human conditions to better human conditions. Thus, poverty is a sign that development has not occurred, that is to say, one is under development. Therefore, if people are not enjoying the basic human conditions owed to them by the fact of being God's image, it means that we as Christians have to work together to obtain better conditions of life and of development for all. This is the basis of the Ministries of alleviation of poverty in most of the church initiatives like orphanages, children homes, centres among others programmes. Poverty hinders development and prevents people from working toward these human conditions, marginalizing them in the process of empowerment and thus bringing about more inhumane conditions. Jesus said very strongly, echoing “Isaiah”, that his mission was to "bring good news to the poor," overturning their unjust structures and systems by means such as setting prisoners free, opening eyes of the blind, lifting up the oppressed and proclaiming and establishing the Jubilee rule of freeing slaves, redistributing land and cancelling debts (Lk. 4:18ff). Following Christ’s example, the church wants to be present among the impoverished of our society, empowering them so that they are able to come out of that situation. This pastoral need has lead the church to have initiatives such as the St. Nicholas Community Development Centre (NCDC)-Karen, Boma Rescue Centre in Kariobangi and Jehova Jaire Children Centre in Mihang’o- Kayole which are the point of focus in this paper with the aim of identifying the role of the church in pastoral care and counselling of children living in rehabilitation centres. Generally, it has been the nature of the church to collaborate with other institutions towards improving and the betterment of the human situation. This is wonderfully explicated in the “1 Corinthians 12” analogy , where the Church is being likened to the human body, in which Paul sets out the foundational principle of pastoral care.
“But God has combined the members of the body....so that there should be no
division in the body but that its parts should have equal concern for each other”
(1 Cor.12:24,25). Thus, the role of the church is to constantly link people to God and cater for them in a holistic approach, to developing the individual persons and cause development in the whole society at large. Therefore, my research aims at investigating the role of the church in Pastoral Care and counseling of children in rehabilitation Centers in Nairobi; among them are St. Nicholas community development centre, Boma Rescue, and Jehova Jaire Children Centres. This is because the church journeys along the roads of history together with her membership in an effort to improve peoples’ lives, moving towards their final destiny with God, the creator.
Statement of the Problem
The church, in the African setting, has been a vital point of departure for growth and development of the human person even from the colonial period. This has been possible, and thanks to the serving-ministry nature of the church, that, programmes like pastoral care and counseling are key to her mission. Therefore, challenged by various social problems of poverty, diseases, civil war, among others; most Africans are faced with less educational opportunities, child labour, promiscuity, and even to the so called street children menace. Thus, many families in Africa are not able to offer their children basic education, a prerequisite for good human development. This is the situation in which the church is experiencing thus, in collaboration with other social institutions, the church initiates programmes with possible solutions. Therefore, this has driven the researcher to investigate the role of the church...
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