NO!!! THE DAY WE HAVE NOT BEEN LOOKING FORWARD TO…GOING HOME! Not that we aren’t excited to see friends and family but, we don’t want to leave our family here. we packed everything up on the bus so we could leave right from the camp to the airport, and headed over to the camp for a few hours this morning. We were able to hang out with the kids and love on them one last time before heading home. We were able to serve them their snack, take some pictures, and say our “good-byes” (I don’t know if there was a dry eye at this point). The bus ride to the airport was very quite…alot of thinking about the trip. On the way to the airport, made one last stop to pick up some Kenya tea and snacks for the trip home. See you soon, and thank you for praying and encouraging us. We appreciate you.
See you soon…Love,
Your Africa Team
1 Thessalonians 2:8
“…Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.”
We wanted to get an early start this morning…so we ate breakfast at 7:30 and headed over to the TUBE…today we continued to help with updating the childrens files and taking photo, as well as decorating their backpacks (which by the way, the backpacks worked out better than we had hoped!!) and making cards for all their sponsors. Cindy, Olivia, Genesis finished painting the girls toenails and fingernails (mani-pedi’s). All the girls felt so special. We were able to serve them their tea and bread and break time again. It was a great day…but even a greater night. So many times what happens is, we will be sitting in among the kids during a meeting, and the speaker will look at me and say, “Now we will have Pastor Mike and his group come up and greet you.” He did that again tonight, but this time he said, “Share a song with us…or 3 songs, and share something with us.” Funny, it always happens, but it seems to always catch us off guard. So, we sang and did the hand motions to, “Every Move I Make” and “Father Abraham”. Then each of us had an opportunity to share from our heart and tell the kids how much we love them. Kenya has really had a positive affect on everyone on the team. When we got back to the hotel and had a chance to share with each other about the time here and then heard from Rose, Stanley and Paul…they are all very encouraging. Stanley said that, by far, we were to most energetic group they had ever had come. He said, “Most groups, at about 4 or 5, are ready to come back to the hotel and call it a day. But you guys, we have to pull you away and make you come home. It is so great, you have had such a huge impact on these kids. It is great how you have integrated into the community. You are not a group here from America, you are part of this city.” Yes! That is what we wanted so badly, to be a part of what was going on, not to be the focus. It has been a great day and we are feeling the sadness of leaving our family here in Kenya tomorrow.
Your Africa Team
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Theme verse for the Camp)
THE FIRST DAY OF CAMP!!! EVERYONE IS EXCITED!!! There is anticipation in the air…but first, breakfast (obviously…heaven forbid we go without a meal!) Our duties at the camp include helping with updating all of the information on the children for the ministry and the sponsors, sitting with the classes as the teachers teach, and assisting with teaching in some of those classes, and of course…PLAYING WITH THE KIDS!!! The comment kept being made, “there is no way you could explain this to someone.” That is what it is, unexplainable. To have 30 to 40 (or more) kids around you just wanting to be with you, hold your hand, touch you, or mimic everything you do…Talking with the leader of the camp, we talked about when we leave everyday and how they have to pull the kids away from us…he simply said, “It is a demonstration of love that is incredible to see.” The kids have a love for us that is unwavering and unconditional.
Cindy, Genesis, Olivia, and Sarah painted the fingernails and toenails of every high schooler (form 1 and form 2) at the camp…Jackie helped them make jewelry, and helped them pick out purses and flowers for their hair (thanks Theresa and Celina). We were able to give them toys and serve them lunch and dinner. Oh, and of course, PLAYED WITH THE KIDS!!! It was just another amazing day!!
Your Africa Team
“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Got up this morning ready for a day or worship…it is going to be awesome! It is amazing how welcoming and loving the church is here, it is a reminder of home. Derek sang with the worship leader and…NAILED IT!! He did a great job and the people really appreciated the fact he learned Swahili. They all cheered when he finished. Mike preached on the “aroma of Christ” and what that means. At the end of the service he had people come up for prayer and the elders were more than happy to pray over their congregation. One of the greatest sights was to watch the children dance. At the closing of the service the children come in and dance and sing to a song…AND THEY CAN DANCE! The most amazing thing is to watch our group interact with everyone. There is a true demonstration of love for people they have known for only a short time. The youth had a “fun day” and had a bar-b-que and played games…kinda like we do from time to time. Teenagers are pretty much the same everywhere. Then we left there and went to where the TUBE is…we pulled in to the school and over a hundred smiling faces were there to greet us. Then is began…the fun, the yelling, the running…YAY! We had so much fun. Kaleb actually looked and me and said, “I never want to leave.” Then is was back to the hotel and dinner and sleep…we are so ready for tomorrow.
Your Africa Team
“Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.”
We have to drop off Nally today at the airport…she is coming back earlier than us…we will really miss her, she has brought a great element to the team.
FUN IN NAIROBI!!! The pastor of the church here in Masii decided to take us to town and show us some sights…wow! something different sure happened. We saw some elephants and monkeys at an animal rescue, but the traffic was insane so we spent much of our time just looking at the city through the windows of the bus. Towards the end, we were able to get out, get something to eat and walk around a little. Bought a few more souvenirs, got back on the bus and headed for home. We really miss Nally already. Different, but great day nonetheless…just being together, laughing and having a great time!
Your Africa Team
p.s. Tomorrow Mike is preaching at the church here…and Derek is singing a song with their worship leader…IN SWAHILI! Pray for them!!! Thanks
Last of the home visits…what an amazing opportunity to share Jesus with those we are visiting. Jackie T. adopted a little one and we were able to see him, bring him food, and pray with him and his grandmother. Jackie was really excited to be able to see her newly adopted son…the Trout family just grew by 1. Praise God!!! Today was also our 2nd (and last) day to help with the building of the house. It was amazing to show up and see so much more work had been done (good job Richard), but we were able to help put on the roof and do some “finish” masonry work. We also helped put the glass in the windows and filled some of the holes (on the side of the house) with cement. And of course, using cement meant we needed to bring water up from the “dry” riverbed about 200 yards away. Carrying two 5-gallon buckets 200 yards uphill (sound like something my grandpa would say) is pretty strenuous. Anyway, it was an awesome day and it is so cool to see God accomplish things through a bunch of teenagers…everyone has worked really hard and the woman we are building the house for said, “I didn’t think Americans worked this hard!”, it seems we might not have such a good reputation…be we are breaking that stereotype…GOOD JOB TEAM!
Tomorrow we are taking a little break and getting a tour of Nairobi…maybe see some elephants or something like that…just soak in some “local color”.
Your Africa Team
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Waking up and excited to see what God will do today! On the schedule is more home visits and then dinner at Benjamins house (Benajmin is a great friend and now we are family). First, a visit to the market to see all the local trade happening. Animals and anything else you can think of being sold. Awesome people following and laughing at the “Mazungus” (white people)…fun times! The home visits are such a blessing to US (we pray that the ones we are visiting are half as blessed as we are)! We were able to pray for the Grandmother of one of the boys we visited (Gabriel). She is legally blind because she had been taking medicine for HIV without eating right. This caused her to, basically, lose her sight. Our group was allowed to lay hands on her and pray for her sight to be restored. What happened? She was so blessed and began to cry and told us that we were such a blessing to her and that her faith in Jesus was so strengthened by the act of our praying. God is so GREAT!! After a few more home visits, on to Benjamins house. We were so welcomed (and fed really well). After dinner, the children of the family sang for us…AMAZING! Another GREAT day!!!
1 Corinthians 12:12
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.”
What an awesome day (seems like we say that alot)!! Everyone worked really hard. We split up into 2 teams and headed off to do two different projects. One worked on a greenhouse and one worked on the construction of a house for a family supported by a family in our church.
The Greenhouse team had to “mine” the sand and the gravel from the river bed. They had to pick up the rocks one at a time from what they had dug up. Then they had to carry what they had gathered up a hill about 100 yards. Then the post holes for the greenhouse in dirt that might as well have been rock (really hard). Then we mixed about a 10 wheel barrow loads of cement to support the posts in the holes. Made a “bucket-brigade” to pass the cement to fill the holes for the supports. We also dug a trench around the entire greenhouse to hold the fabric from being blown away. We will be returning tomorrow to assemble the structure so the fabric can be pulled over.
This morning we went on a tour of the “dorms” that Tumaini is in the process of building. God is so good and it is incredible to see how He is using this ministry. After the tour we went on “home visits” today. We visited 6 children and their families, and brought 3 months worth of food, your gifts, and played games with the children. All the “home visits” that we do are children that are supported through sponsors at Valley Christian Church. Tumaini International is an amazing ministry that ministers to children that really need help. If you are a sponsor, you need to know that you are a blessing, not only to your child, but to the family that has to care for that particular child. Every child knows their sponsor and is so thankful for them. This is a very humbling thing to be able to go into peoples homes and see how they live, here their stories, and bring the love of Jesus. They have so little monitarily, but the have so much hope in Jesus…it is amazing!
We also visited a sewing shop that Tumaini has started with women in the community… women who are HIV positive. They have received training, equipment, and a store front and are now a self sustaining business. They make school uniforms, dresses, shirts and anything else you can think of, including….dashikis!! (if you don’t know what a dashiki is…it’s the shirts we are wearing)
Everyone is doing great…and allowing God to use us anyway He chooses!
Your Africa Team
1 Peter 4:11
“If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen”
Good Morning to our family back home…
So great to wake up in Masii…this is a peaceful place. The people here are so kind and we are so thankful to be here. Rose (our hostess) says, “Africans smile with thier hearts.” that is so true! We went to Masii Christian Church today and were so blessed to worship with our brothers and sisters here. The worship is awesome and the people love Jesus. After the service we were involved with dedicating the green house. We had the people of the church lay hands on the materials and then prayed over the building and the use of it and asked for God’s blessing. In the afternoon we went to the Youth Meeting, played a really fun game that broke down all of the “awkward” walls between us and we had blast. Then we studied God’s word together and had a great discussion on TRUTH! Thank you for your prayers. God is really moving in our hearts and in the people here.
Your Africa Team
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”