Sunday, October 19, 2014

Almost the end...

The trip is coming to a close. We finished the last of the ministry projects today by going to Kasarani and attending the church service at Agape Kasarani. Agape Kasarani is the church of our longtime friend Pastor Peter Kaunda.

We accomplished a lot during our last two days with Jason and Bekkah. We finished all the trellises and Mark fabricated a door for a goat house from scratch. We also held a medical clinic, a women and children’s health training session and fed the local villagers Pilau. At the beginning of the training session several local men insisted they be included but when they learned what the topic would be they were more than happy to leave the learning to the women. I guess men are the same all over. It was great to be with Jason and Bekkah – they are so gracious to open their hearts and home to us every time we bring a team. Our Go truly is good – all the time.
Yesterday we travelled back to Nairobi which is basically an all-day effort. This morning part of the team went to the church at Kasarani, as I mentioned, and the rest of the team went to church with Chrissy Kelly. The church service at Kasarani was awesome but it was long, we were in church from 10:00 AM until 3:30 PM. After church we went to Peter and his wife Ruth’s home and had a bite to eat. We left Peter’s a little after 4:00 PM.
Tomorrow we are going to the Nairobi game park to see the wonders of God’s creation here in Africa. On Tuesday we will do some shopping and pack. Wednesday morning at 4:00 AM we will leave to go to the airport. It is hard to believe the two weeks has come and gone this fast. Please continue to pray for us as we complete our time here and travel back home.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A new day

Yesterday we took part in a medical clinic for the village Jason and Bekkah work with. The village is close to the farm and they have a medical clinic each week. Anyone who needs medical attention can come and many people from other villages walk to the clinic to be seen by a nurse. The team helped with taking temperatures, blood pressure, recording information, handing out medicines and seeing patients. You get a new appreciation for life being involved in something like a village medical clinic.

Today we will be doing some training on hygiene, working on finishing our projects at the farm and making lunch for the village. I'm sure it will be a great day. Thanks for your prayers and support.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Week!

We have spent the last three days working with Jason and Rebecca Witt. Jason and Bekkah are involved in many different ministries in this area. Their focus is to show people the love and peace of God by setting an example in their day to day living, doing whatever they can to improve the lives of the people in this area and by being an active part of the community. The men have been working with Jason on the farm and the women have been travelling with Bekkah as she and her daughters go to visit local schools. They have been visiting schools that are attended by local children who follow the local belief systems. They have been playing and singing with the children, working on craft projects and even performed a skit. The crafts, songs and the skit all deliver a message. The first craft was designed to teach the children the message “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” , the second was on the fruit of the spirit and included the skit.

We have been working with Jason to build a trellis system that can be easily moved to support vine plants like tomatoes, melons, etc. The trellises need to built from metal because nothing made of wood would last. Between the heat and the termites nothing wooden lasts for long. We are also started helping a missionary that has been working with Jason to build a hydroponic bed for growing vegetables. On the farm they have three fish tanks. The fish produce nutrients in the water that need to be cleaned or the levels will become too high and kill the fish. The nutrients in the water are great for growing vegetables. The idea is to build a structure to act as a vegetable bed over the fish tank. The bed will be filled with sand and gravel. Water from the fish tank is pumped up to the bed where the nutrients will be filtered out by the sand and gravel. The plants will feed directly from the water so no soil is needed. The water will pass through the bed and return to the fish tank clean and oxygenated. Pretty cool idea for a place that lacks sufficient water and proper soil for producing food.
It is an awesome blessing being here working with the Witts and the Kellys. God is so amazingly good and to have this opportunity to share His love in practical ways is humbling and exciting at the same time. Tim talked about a friend of ours, Rubien, the other night. Rubien was born in this area of Kenya and he has a genuine love for the people here. When Rubien was explaining why he has such a passion for these people he always says he was fortunate to be born into the family he has. If he had been born into a different family or just 80 Km further north how very different his life would have been. Rubien says he didn't choose his family or place of birth, no one does, and he feels that people deserve an opportunity to know God despite their family, people group or place of birth. At one point or another we have probably all said "If not for the grace of God", but Rubien, the Kellys and the Witts are putting this to practical application and I am thankful to have a chance to be even a small part of it.

We will be here working with Jason, Bekkah, Tim and Chris through Saturday when we return to Nairobi. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. We love and miss all of you!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Second thru Fourth Day

We travelled to Njorro (pronounced Jorro) to work with David and Ann Kinyanjui. The internet service there was unreliable so I wasn’t able to provide any updates while we were there. We have returned to Nairobi and are looking forward to going to work with the Witts.
When we arrived on Friday we were greeted by hundreds of mommas singling, clapping and playing drums. We were escorted and danced into the school where we would be working on the meals and the building project. To be greeted by so many people who were excited and overjoyed to receive us was a little overwhelming but also an amazing blessing. In Njorro we were able to help with providing meals to single mothers and older mothers on Friday and children on Saturday. There were probably 265 mothers on Friday and another 350 children on Saturday. We provided the food, helped with the preparation and served the meal. The team played with the children and taught them new songs and games as the meal was cooking. It was amazing to see so all the children having fun and enjoying the attention of our group.
We also worked on building chicken coops for David and Ann. The Kinyanjuis raise chickens and sell the eggs and excess chickens to fund the work they do at their pre-schools. They also “give” chickens to people who are in need. The people who receive the chickens are expected to donate a pair of chickens back to David and Ann once the pair has started producing new chicks. David and Ann then give the pair to someone else in need. We built four chicken coops that the Kinyanjuis will use to help people in their community. The chicken coops will be donated along with the pair of chickens to people who would not otherwise have the ability to build their own coop.
We attended church in Njorro on Sunday. Tracy was able to share during the bible study time at the service. Tracy did a great job sharing God’s word and God’s love. Madeline and Bonnie shared a little about their experiences for the two days we worked in Njorro. Mark preached for the main service. Everyone did an amazing job sharing God’s word and God’s love with the people of Agape Felloship Njorro. We did one more meal after the church service and David and Ann invited people who were in the area to come in and be fed.
I had a great time serving with David and Ann and I think the rest of the team did too. The Kinyanjuis are awesome examples of God’s grace and love. They do so much to help so many people with so little and they do it all with a smile and praise for God. It was great being able to serve alongside them. Tomorrow we will leave Nairobi to go and work with the Witts.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Jealous God

For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.  Deuteronomy 4:24
Our God is a jealous God. This idea has been rattling around inside my head since earlier this summer. Pastor Mike spoke to the youth group about our jealous God.
He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions
Eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me 

David Crowder - How He Loves Lyrics
I have known that God is a jealous God for a long time – the bible has multiple scriptures and references to the jealousy of God – but I had never really stopped to consider the deeper implications or meaning of God’s jealousy. Jealousy is usually thought of as a negative emotion, wanting or envying something someone else has and wishing it were our own. The other meaning of jealous is something closer to zealous. It is like a man who is jealous for his wife or a mother who is jealous for her children. This is the jealousy God has. A zeal and love for something that is uniquely His. A passion for His own. God is jealous of His name – His majesty, His authority and His holiness – and He commands us to place nothing else before Him. This is also the jealousy God has for us. God is jealous for our undivided attention, love and worship. Just as God jealously protects His name, He also protects us and pulls us closer and closer to Him.
This has been intensifying for me as we have gotten closer to coming on this trip to Kenya.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.                                                                           John 3:16
God wants to have a relationship with every person, everywhere. He made us and He made a way for us to have a relationship with Him. God is an all-consuming fire and He wants all of us to be consumed with Him. The people of our church, the people of our community and the people here in Kenya. Rich people, poor people, people who have much and people who have nothing at all. God wants to be in an all-consuming relationship with everyone. As I have thought more and more about the jealousy of God I have started to see His passion for us – all of us. He is jealous for me, and just as jealous for everyone.
Today we will be travelling to Njorro to work with David and Ann Kinyanjui. David and Ann are passionately caring for the children of Njorro. This will be our first day of ministry. We will spend the next few days working alongside David and Ann to feed, teach and love the children they minister to everyday. I am excited, honored, and humbled to take part in the work God is doing through the Knyanjuis in Njorro.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The first morning of the first day

The team arrived last night. Thank God for an uneventful trip. All our flights were on time, no issues at the airports, all our luggage arrived and we were able to get through customs with no issues. Everyone is doing well, or as well as anyone could expect given 30 hours of travel and little to no sleep. The Kellys picked us up at the airport. It was great to see Tim and Chris and the smiles, and a few tears, on everyone's faces. From the airport we traveled to a missionary guest house that is operated by a Norwegian missions group. It is interesting to be in Nairobi and have all the signs around the guest house in Norwegian. Today we will be taking it easy and recovering from our travels and jet lag. We will do a little sight seeing and then spend time with Tim and Chris at their house.

I am excited to see what God will do with this day and this trip. Today is like the opening paragraph on the first page of the story God will write on our hearts during this trip. Like with any good story, I am filled with a sense of wonder and anticipation to see how the story goes. Our story, this trip, is just a small part of the story God has been writing in Kenya, Green Bay and the world. I am humbled to be part of what our God is doing. Thanks for all your prayers. I know you will continue to pray with us as we go forward from here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Carpe diem!

Seize the day! This seems like an appropriate message on this day, the day we are leaving for Kenya. Seize the day! The definition of seize is to “take hold of suddenly and forcibly.” Help us take hold of the day as we begin our journey to Kenya. Help us take hold of this day and the days to come to take Christ to the people of Kenya and everyone we encounter on the way. Help us remember that today and every day is a day the Lord has made. We couldn’t make this journey without the love, support and prayers of our families and our church so please continue to take hold of the day with us in prayer.

If you are interested in what we are doing and where we are going keep an eye on the blog. I will try to post updates as frequently as I am able.