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Entries in Kenya (59)

How Sponsorship Transforms Families

I can remember meeting Lokina. She was hard to miss -- even as a group of Maasai women welcomed us with their traditional song, Lokina stood out, a statuesque woman draped in a royal blue kanga fabric with a bright smile.

It was only later that I noticed how she kept her arms wrapped around her middle. One of the other ladies on the Women's Circle of Caring trip with me knew a bit of her story, that she had a form of epilepsy and had fallen into a fire after a seizure. She could not fully straighten her arms, the scar tissue from burns was too thick.

Living in the bush of Africa is difficult enough. Feeding your children and managing your household while your husband herded cattle possibly hundreds of miles away is quite another. And Lokina's husband left as her condition worsened. She was truly on her own.

Or was she? One of the things we focused on with Women's Circle of Caring was how women can minister to one another. We, a group of American women from all ages and stages of life, could minister to and with women in Kenya, and we can help them see how they need each other.

In the few years that Women's Circle of Caring visited a region where One Child Matters served, we saw a true community form among the women. Their focus was caring for their children, and yet they themselves benefited as well. We saw hearts knit together -- across cultures, and across a community.

Lokina's story is a powerful one. She learned more about her own worth because others were willing to invest in her -- very similar to the sponsorship model she saw transform her own son. You can watch her incredible story below.

But if you would like to invest in a community much like Emarti, you can join the Women's Circle of Caring. They are traveling to a different community in June to continue their work -- and they are hoping to bring a few more women with them. So watch Lokina's story, and ask yourself if you can play a part in rewriting the future for women and children in Kenya!

Women’s Circle of Caring - Lokina's Story from One Child Matters on Vimeo.

 

Sweet New Faces At The New Life Home

We just love updates from the New Life Home! As we welcome the individual babies with prayer, it helps to see how well they are cared for and celebrated.

The New Life Home makes sure the children’s birthdays are celebrated properly, and many of the infants go on to their adoptive forever families with photos of these first birthdays.

And what party could be complete without cake? Here the babies eagerly eat the sugary treat – the staff say that the toddlers quickly learn that cake is for a special occasion and often shout with delight when they see a cake in the room!

This is just a small glimpse into the excellent care these children receive. Thanks to your generous gifts, babies who were once abandoned are cherished and celebrated in a way that reflects their value in God's eyes.

Let's meet some of the newer faces at the New Life Home!

 

 

Baby Elin had a bit of a journey before coming to the New Life Home. She was found at the gates of a refugee center and was soon after taken to a nearby hospital.

Because she was premature, the hospital felt it could not adequately care for her, so they sent her to the national hospital. Elin tested positive for HIV, but her rosy cheeks warm the staff’s hearts.

Elin has a lot of company at the New Life Home. Let's meet one of the several sets of twins who have made the New Life home a bustling place!

 

Lara and Colin arrived at the New Life Home in October, wrapped together in a blanket. Sadly, their mother is in a coma at a nearby hospital, and so far it seems that no other relatives are able to care for the twins. Lara, Colin, and their mother are all HIV positive.

The babies are in an incubator until they put on weight, both were under 5 pounds when they arrived. Colin is assisted by a naso gastric tube in his feedings, but Lara did not like that method at all. Please pray for these precious infants to put on weight so they continue to do well!  

 

Kevin was found on the roadside by a group of high school students as they walked to school.

You'll notice a pattern in some of the babies' stories. Kevin is one of many who were discovered by students on their way home from school.

The staff at the New Life Home are thankful for the tender hearts of these students who respond to an infant's cries and intervene, giving them a chance at a new life.

In Kevin's case, the police took him to the hospital for an assessment and then brought him to the New Life Home.

Kevin is doing well, engaging with other older babies and delighting all with this big brown eyes.

 

 

Little Shanna was also discovered by a group of students as they walked along the banks of the Nairobi River that runs close by a neighboring slum.

Wrapped in a plastic grocery bag shortly after birth, her umbilical cord was still fresh. The boys alerted their school guard. Shanna's rescue team included the school’s janitor and another woman who learned of the situation while passing by.

The police brought Shanna to the New Life Home, where she tested positive for HIV. They immediately began antibiotics and continue to pray for healing for this dear child.  

 

Twin boys Christopher and Randall, shown here with one of the wonderful volunteers who visit often to love on the children, came from a difficult situation. The boys were taken from their parents after Christopher was burned by a lantern. Their parents live in Kibera, one of the largest slums in Nairobi.

After being treated at the hospital for malnourishment and for Christopher’s burns, the twins were transferred to New Life Home. They quickly adjusted and quite enjoy their new diet of solid food. A court is assessing the family’s ability to care for the boys, and depending on the court’s decision, they may be placed up for adoption.

 

Most of the New Life Home’s admissions are tiny infants, but every once in a while an older child makes her way to this special place.

Sweet Violet was found abandoned along a railway line. A Good Samaritan took her in for a month hoping someone would come forward to claim her, but no one did. Once the police learned of her situation, they brought Violet to the New Life Home.

At almost two years old, the staff worried how Violet would respond to her new environment, but she took to it immediately. She’s quite the talker, complaining loudly during the doctor’s visits. Because she is so aware, the staff is praying that she comes to understand how loved and cherished she is.

You can support the work of the New Life Home by making donations here.

Thank you for encouraging this incredible ministry to these sweet infants!

What Sponsorship Does Today... And Tomorrow

Does sponsorship make a difference?

You may wonder about that when you pray over the photo of a child you've put on your fridge, or when you get communications from us in the mail. This commitment I've made, does it matter?

A few months ago, two staff from One Child Matters headquarters in Colorado Springs traveled through Ethiopia and Kenya on their way to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

As always, God directed their steps, bringing two children to the projects just so they could meet. Our friends had other meetings on their schedule, but when they met these two, it was obvious that God had something to say to us through them.

First: Antony. He attends a One Child Matters project in Kenya which helps him succeed in the nearby government school. Antony was eager to tell us all about his sponsors, even begging us to go to his house so he could show us their picture.

Antony's home is a simple mud structure, and when our friends stepped inside the dark hut, they were astonished to see a shelf built into the mud wall. Antony's mother had ensured her son would have a place to study by candelight. It is that little mud shelf you see at the beginning of this video:

Antony's love for his sponsor is so clear, so profound. His prayers are sincere, and their photo cherished.

We wanted to share Antony's story with you because sometimes it's hard to see the difference you are making on this side of eternity. But oh, just imagine the reunion in heaven when Antony will finally meet those who invested in him!

We pray that as you seek ways to make a difference in the life a child today, you recognize that sponsoring a child is effective and important. Which is why we've been talking so much about Hiwot, a young woman in Ethiopia who was sponsored from age 8 until she graduated.

Hiwot's gratitude was so evident, we asked her to share her story with all of our sponsors. Today, Hiwot has a bright future, and her heart for God continues to grow. Take a few moments and learn more about how sponsorship continues to shape Hiwot's life.

We love how sponsorship reflects the love of God into the heart of a child in need. And we are so grateful for your partnership in transforming the lives of children all over the world. Thank you for standing up, for proving that one child matters to you!

Ready For The Kilimanjaro Trip Details? 

Warmly Welcomed At New Life Home

The New Life Home exists to care for children at their most vulnerable state: abandoned, many with serious illnesses during a crucial time of life. The ministry that takes place at the New Life Home is miraculous.

This is Kenya’s cooler season of the year, and the staff were pleased to receive a donation of warm woolen hats, blankets, sweaters, and bears for the children. They think these warm gifts helped ward off the rounds of viral pneumonia that are so common this time of year!

Baby Linda was born in April and came to the New Life Home in May weighing in at a little over 7 pounds. Initial tests found that she had tuberculosis and HIV, and she was slow to respond to treatment.

The staff started Linda on Plumpy Nut, a nutritious peanut-butter based supplement that works wonders for malnourished children, and sweet Linda has transformed in recent weeks! At last weigh in, she had gained almost 5 pounds!

Linda recently moved up to the crawler unit with other more mobile children. Her sweet smile lights up the room!

The New Life Home also welcomed twins this summer! Marcus and Marissa were born premature. Marcus weighed just over 5 pounds at admission, and tiny Marissa was just over 3.5 pounds when they were given up for adoption by their mother. They were in the incubator together as this often comforts twins, but after a few weeks they were considered quite healthy and moved into another unit to make room for other infants needing special care. The staff is delighted by their progress.

Victor was discovered when he began to cry in a trash dumpster. Wrapped in a green plastic bag, his umbilical cord and placenta were still attached. Victor was taken to a district hospital and was diagnosed with neonatal sepsis and hypothermia. After a round of IV antibiotics, Victor was discharged to the New Life Home. He arrived weighing 6.6 pounds and is a happier and more content child than his admission picture reflects!

You can help the New Life Home continue this unique and valuable ministry by making a donation on our website. Thank you for supporting these precious little ones with your prayers and financial help!

Meet The New Faces At The New Life Home!

The past few weeks have been very busy for the staff at the New Life Home -- they admitted a record 18 babies! The New Life Home has a special ministry of nursing abandoned babies to full health. Most of the infants in their care go on to be adopted by loving families.

Please join us in welcoming some of these sweet babies with prayer and thanksgiving!

Meet Alfred, a precious young boy found abandoned in a district hospital. Because Alfred’s mother was HIV positive, Alfred has started the anti-retroviral drugs that have been so successful for other babies at the New Life Home. Upon admission, Alfred weighed 5.7 pounds. With his glossy head of hair, Alfred continues to be the picture of health.  



Young Jed was not very happy when he first arrived at the New Life Home, but he soon got over his distress. Weighing almost 9 lb. with a small umbilical hernia, Jed was left at someone’s door in Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya. The staff is pleased he is so alert for his age.



Abira was abandoned at a secondary school and was taken to the local police station. Although her skin was chapped and sore, she weighs a healthy 7.6 lb. and is in stable condition.



Leo was found abandoned near a local primary school. He is on antibiotics for a respiratory infection and is already putting on weight. The staff at New Life Home is enamored with his soulful eyes.

 

Kathleen is a sweet girl who was offered up by her mother when she was just 3 days old. At just under 6 lb. at her admission, she is a healthy girl.



Irvin has had quite the journey. Abandoned by his mother late last year, a Good Samaritan found him and took him to the police station, who instructed her to care for the child. She did so for several months. When a social services office heard his story, they took Irvin to the New Life Home. He arrived at over 16 lb., a very strong and healthy boy.

 

If you are interested in supporting the work of the New Life Home and the care they give these little ones, please consider making a donation today. We praise God for the way He provides for children society often overlooks. What a tender Father we have!

A Miraculous Birth, Now The Gift Of New Life

At One Child Matters, we get to work alongside God as He intervenes on behalf of a child. The way He interceded for tiny Benjamin is nothing short of amazing -- so much so that when an MSNBC reporter learned of it, she had to share it, too!

How do you see God's character in this family's story? 

This is a story that has stayed with us, reminding us of God's faithfulness even when times are difficult. Psalm 40:1-3 comes to mind, as well: 

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.


From all of us, thank you for what you do to step into the lives of children in need. Thank you for how you have provided hope and encouragement this year. Please share Benjamin's story with others as a reminder of how God sees our needs and responds. God is good, and we pray His blessings over you in the coming year!

Many, Lord my God,
    are the wonders you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
    they would be too many to declare. (Psalm 40:5)

(A huge thank you to the New Life Home, the Omondi family, and reporter Jane Wells for her work in making sure the world could hear another story of hope! To learn how you can support the ministry at the New Life Home in Kenya, click here.

How You Are Fighting HIV/AIDS 

Did you know you are a fighter in the battle against HIV/AIDS? Here's how we -- because of your help -- are moving to address the needs of children in countries devastated by this disease.

Click to read more ...

How I Know One Child Matters

Do you believe that one child matters? One sponsor shares what God taught her about His ministry among children, and the powerful experience that continues to impact her today.

Click to read more ...

Trip Reflections: Kenya Women's Circle of Caring 

We love to hear the stories of mission trip participants because God moves in such unique ways to connect the hearts of his people.

For some, the desire to go to Africa started in childhood. One woman shares her experience of the first few days:

When I was young, I saw a television program with African people dancing. I remember it striking a chord with me and I believe the desire to go to Africa was born at that time. When we first arrived in Emarti, the ladies were lined up in front of us in their beautiful colors--clothes, jewelry, headdresses. They began singing and making short jumps toward us, a traditional dance of greeting and celebration. When they got to us, they kissed us on both cheeks. They completely enveloped us with their bodies and with love. They then turned around and we all sang as best we could and jumped (danced) our way to the church! It was absolutely incredible--an experience I'll never forget.

We found out later that they had come together for two nights to pray for us, meaning they walked there and back each night. I asked my sponsored child how long it took her to get there. The answer: 2 hours.

One of the traditions of Women’s Circle of Caring is painting the Maasai ladies’ nails. It’s a simple way to pamper them. We gave two ladies 20 bottles of nail polish along with cotton balls, remover, and nail stickers which were donated so they could each start a business. The lady to whom I gave my kit gave me a necklace.

Guess what God did with that? I signed up to sponsor another child right there in Emarti, and I was able to meet her later in the week. I wanted to give my sponsored girl bottles of nail polish as a gift. Guess who her mother was -- it was the lady I'd given the nail polish to the other day! Now she has even more that may help her with her business.

Isn't God so good? He honors even the smallest of gifts. We've posted more photos from the Emarti trip here. When the teams first visited Emarti four years ago, the children were meeting under a tree. Now thanks to the women who served with the mission teams and several generous donors, they have a wonderful building that serves as a community center and church when the project isn't using it. They also started a community garden that has provided abundant harvests. Even though this was the final trip to Emarti, the impact will continue for years to come!

 

Country Prayer Requests

Each week, we set aside time as a staff to pray through prayer requests we’ve received from you and our partners overseas. It is so important to support those who work directly with your sponsored child.

Here are some of the requests we've been praying for this week and into the next:

ETHIOPIA: The cost of living in Ethiopia continues to rise, putting strain on the parents of children registered in our programs as well as project staff. Our Ethiopian staff has such a huge heart for the children, but they are burdened by their own needs as well. Please pray with us for provision and that our staff can find favor at home, in the marketplace, and in their communities to help them make the most of their resources.

Also, a mission trip with radio listeners from The House FM in Oklahoma and WCLN in North Carolina will leave for Ethiopia on September 13. They will help build a restroom and shower facility at one of the projects to address pressing public sanitation and health issues. They’re also going to do Vacation Bible School with the kids. It’s going to be a powerful trip, please pray with us that God will do much in them and through them.

KENYA: A Women’s Circle of Caring team is also leaving on September 13th for their final trip to the Emarti Maasai people. They have many projects and programs for the children and their mothers. A special message will be given – please pray for open ears and hearts.

CAMBODIA: A serious and mysterious illness is striking children in Cambodia; several children have died but the cause of this sickness has yet to be determined. We praise God that none of the children in our programs have fallen ill, but we must continue to pray protection over them and for the staff as they stay vigilant. Please also pray that the government and health care workers can find the cause of this to address it before more children are sickened or lost to this disease. 

HAITI: Our staff asks for prayers for the parents to stay involved in the development of their children. As parents come to understand the benefit and value of the program, the children attend more consistently.

ZIMBABWE: So many communities need help. Please pray for discernment for the country staff and that God continues to raise up sponsors who can help them minister in powerful ways.

HONDURAS: Gangs are very active in several of the communities we serve. Please pray for the safety of our staff and that children in our programs find sanctuary at the centers. Siblings and parents can also use prayer that they stay out of reach of the gangs and provide positive, stable role models for the kids.

Thank you, as always, for joining us in prayer for the sake of the kids.

 

Infants Who Tell Of God’s Strength

One Child Matters is all about changing the lives of children. Through sponsorship, many of you are standing up for the least of these, making sure they know they matter in the eyes of God.

But sponsorship isn’t the only way One Child Matters does ministry. We partner with ministries that are standing in the gap for those who cannot speak up for themselves – children burdened by illness, exploited by others, or abandoned by those who should care for them.

We know our God is a redeemer, the God who both sees and uses the lowly to confound the ways of the world. And we see God’s hand powerfully in the ministry of the New Life Home in Nairobi, Kenya.

Our partners at New Life Home have a front row seat to God’s healing touch. The New Life Home, the only registered medical center in Kenya, began in response to the abandonment of babies in the capital city of Nairobi.

Tiny infants, many with life-threatening illnesses, were left on the steps of hospitals, in pews at churches, and at worst in pit latrines or rubbish piles. The New Life Home can take in these babies and address their medical issues with the help of nurses, doctors, and an army of volunteers.

Bathed in prayer and love, the transformation of these infants is nothing short of miraculous. And all glory to God, as more than 70% of them go on to be adopted into loving forever families. Just look at these stories:

Three-week-old Christiana came to New Life Home weighing just over 4 pounds. Her mother abandoned her at a local hospital. Christiana spent many weeks in the incubator but blossomed into a glowing, healthy girl.

After being abandoned at a local clinic, Max was admitted to New Life Home when he was two weeks old with his weight hovering around 4 pounds. A bit of a wiggle worm, Max wasn’t fond of the confines of the incubator. We are celebrating Max's recent adoption -- and praying his new family likes soccer!

Josiah was found on the streets of Nairobi, a tiny 5 pound boy. He is much more of a fighter than his size would indicate. The staff now feeds him a high calorie formula to help him gain weight. His new favorite foods include avocado and beans!

Jacob, who was found deep inside a pit latrine by a Good Samaritan, arrived at the New Life Home with serious wounds and infections from his time in the latrine. God was already moving in the hearts of a couple working in ministry who were ready to adopt. Jacob is now a healthy, happy boy who delights in chasing after his older sister.

Sometimes it's hard to see the results of ministry, but not when it comes to the New Life Home! We love how God is glorified with every chubby hand, every healthy pound gained, every forever family found. It reminds us of this passage, Psalm 8:1-2 (NLT).

"O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you."

If you'd like to learn more about the New Life Home, click here. You can also make a donation in support of this special ministry here. And if you'd like to see more stories of infants transformed, click here!

We Are Not Weary, We Are Blessed

Dr. Beyda and a Medical Mercy team of 18 are in Kenya, serving alongside 18 Kenyan Health Care Workers (HCWs). Internet is sparse, but he provided a short update:

Monday
It's the rainy season here. Therefore it rains. Rivers flood and washes overflow. You'd think we'd know better....wouldn't you. Not us. We forged ahead. The internet is sporadic so I can send only one picture, but it will give you an idea of what we went through.

We walked across and took all our med over in a small truck, making it across okay. Coming back we didn't. The truck got stuck in the middle of the wash. No 4-wheel drive but a lot of pulling and pushing the truck worked. We spent just 4 hours in the village before we had to leave since the clouds were gathering and we were afraid to get stuck there overnight.

The children sang and danced for us and we then worked with the healthcare workers examining them. We go back there today. Hopefully it will be better. We are well and thankful for being able to do His work.

Tuesday
50 kilometers from Kajiado is a small village called Kiburro. It took us 2 hours to go the distance. 30 miles. It gives you a sense of how deep into the bush we were. This is Masai territory, traditional in dress and culture. Beaded jewelry on the women, rhythmic dancing, leaping men with long sticks, and machetes. We were greeted with that and blessed with it when we left.

I looked out from where we were holding clinic and could see for miles, the valleys of the Masai territory. Umbrella trees giving shade to acres of bush and then open plains. We saw gazelle roaming freely and small herds of goats roaming under the watchful eyes of young Masai boys. I grew up in Somalia and being here in Kenya brings back so many memories of my years there. I feel at home. I'm back fulfilling a dream of being a doctor and practicing in east Africa. I was 6 years old when I made that my goal. God is amazing.

We saw all of the One Child Matters children and then some. The Health Care Workers shined as they examined the children, their skills becoming fine tuned under the guidance of the US team. We are a total team of 36, Kenyans and US. We have one purpose: to care for the children where no one else wants to go. And that is Kiburro. The One Child Matters children were so much healthier than the children in the village who are not One Child Matters sponsored children. A testimony to a HCW program and sponsorship which ensures food, clothing, education, and love. Perhaps one day we will have all of the children of Kiburro under our wing.

The US team is powered by a spirit of love and grace. We move to another village tomorrow, distant as well. We are not weary. We are privileged and blessed.

In all things give thanks,
David

What Our Staff Can Do

The care your sponsored child receives can impact so many areas of life. Dr. Beyda traveled to Ethiopia to look at the Medical Mercy's Health Care Worker program and what it means for children there:

Fruits of our labour. Plant a seed. Teach them to fish. All are familiar phrases that address doing something for someone in order to make them self sufficient and show their success, to give them an opportunity to succeed, and to put in place a plan that will grow. It is what we strive to do for those who are less fortunate than most, and who are willing, dedicated, motivated, and driven to make the best of what they have been given.

The Healthcare Worker (HCW) program I developed 7 years ago, is that seed, that teaching to "fish," that opportunity, to give those lay persons who are responsible for the welfare of our Mission of Mercy children, the knowledge and the tools to ensure that our children are healthy.

The intent of the HCW program is to ensure sustainability of healthcare needs of the children after our medical teams leave. The HCW becomes the one source for healthcare needs in their projects. There are now trained HCWs in Cambodia, Swaziland, Ethiopia and Kenya.

The question is, has the HCW program been successful? That's why I'm here in Ethiopia, to see if it has made a difference. I spent several hours the first day reviewing their knowledge base, given them some advanced lectures and quizzing them. No need for worries there. They were sharp, inquisitive, and motivated. I then went to the projects and did a medical standards assessment on the healthcare of the children. Here is a summary:

We have 11 projects in Ethiopia with about 3000 children that we care for. There are 9 HCWs here, having completed their training just over a year ago when we came here to do clinics. They worked with us for 5 days and were seeing patients on their own most of the time, making the right diagnosis and starting the right treatment.

In one year since they have been on their own, here's what I've found:

  1. Referrals to outside clinics are down by 55%
  2. Healthcare costs for the projects are also down by 50%
  3. The HCW is seeing on average 10 children a month
  4. 32 children were identified with potentially life threatening illness, treated and never hospitalized
  5. Children with chronic illness such as TB, malnutrition and anemia have been identified and are followed on a regular schedule of physical exams and treatment by the HCW
  6. Medical records for all children are now in the child's respective folder

Outcome measures that are positive, fruitful and successful. There is more that I've found in addition to what I've listed above, but I hope you see the effect of this HCW program. The One Child Matters kids are well cared for.

I leave for Kenya tomorrow to do the same there, except this time, I'll have my medical team with me. 18 US team members. We will have 5 days of clinics and the HCWs will work with us. Fruits of our labour. Planting a seed. Teaching them to fish. The children are better for it.

In all things give thanks,

David

Jesus' Example: Kneeling At Their Feet

As we reflect today on the actions of Jesus in his last hours, we consider the way we approach our own lives. Can Jesus' sacrifice also affect the way we approach sponsorship?

One sponsor shares how meeting even the simplest need during a mission trip to Kenya gave everything new meaning.

Click to read more ...

A Special Christmas Menu

Your sponsored child may live halfway around the world, but you have more in common than you think in terms of Christmas traditions... especially food! We even included some recipes if you'd like to try something different this year!

Click to read more ...

Christmas Wishes In Every Language

In the coming weeks you should receive a Christmas card from your sponsored child, and on it will be Christmas wishes in their own hand. We love this time of year because you can see the anticipation of Christmas in the children's heartfelt wishes. 

But very few of the children in our programs speak English -- so what do their Christmas wishes look like?

In most of the countries in which we work, the language spoken does not use a Latin or Roman alphabet such as what we use in English or what many of the countries in Africa or Central America use above. 

Yet the result is just as beautiful. Several countries, such as the Philippines and India, have regions that use different languages or dialects, which are represented below.

And then there's the Middle East, where Christ and the Christmas season was born. What wonderful wishes!

It's a bit early to wish you a Merry Christmas, but we can't help getting in the spirit! 

Venture Into God's Kingdom

Each mission trip sponsored by Mission of Mercy has a special purpose, and none more so than the Women's Circle of Caring trip to Kenya.

The theme of this year's Circle of Caring trip was LOVE -- and God's love was certainly evident in this experience. To learn more about the trip, watch the video below. And don't forget to check the upcoming Mission Trip list on our website to learn how you can see God's kingdom in a whole new way!

Kenya Update: And Many Safe Returns

The Kenya Women's Circle of Kenya team safely returned late last night. Their last few days in Kenya were filled with travel, Nairobi traffic, and more walks through communities such as this one, where one brother helped his younger sibling avoid the barbed wire around their home. 

One team member shares, "We want to thank you for your prayers -- they were felt every day as we worked and learned and cried together. The Lord is doing a great work in Kenya and we were blessed to meet and encourage the people who serve Him so diligently."

More posts will follow as the team begins to process their experiences. We are grateful that the Lord brought them back with many tales and photos to share with us.  

God Is So Good: Kenya Update

Another update from Kate on the Women's Circle of Caring Kenya trip:

I don't even know where to begin. After three days of serving alongside the Emarti Maasai, we left for a brief respite in Amboseli State Park.

All I can say is that Kenya is filled with beauty. The people with their instant smiles, their sincere greetings, their love of color (oh, how the Maasai love color!) and then of course the land itself. We truly gloried in God's creation today as we drove south toward Amboseli National Park.

I am glad for this time to reflect because the days have been so full. On the first day of working at Emarti, we focused on the women. It was rainy and cold, but nothing stopped them. The same could be said for the children, some of whom walk several hours to the project.

One thing we were eager to see was Emarti's new beautiful building, which doubles as a church and community center. I was constantly grateful for this provision as we experienced rain and wind and the intense Kenyan sun. To think the children at this project used to meet under a tree!

The second and third day we played with the children. We taught them how to sing "Jesus Loves Me" with sign language; we reemphasized how to brush their teeth, wash their hands, and cough into their "bird wing" (elbow) rather than their hands. We brought puzzles and taught them how to play tic-tac-toe, both of which they loved.

And then there was the parachute. At all times there was a group playing parachute games, and at all times there was an audience. Sometimes little ones, most of the time their mothers clutching their babies and laughing at the evident glee in the children as they whipped the parachute up and down. The Maasai love color, so the parachute was an instant hit.

On the afternoon of our last day there, the community held a special ceremony and gifted us necklaces... but they gave us so much more as they sang over us with tears of joy streaming down their faces. I can't even begin to describe the sound -- all I could think of is that this is a taste of heaven, all voices uplifted and praising God.

There is so much to write but internet is spotty right now. We are doing well. No one has gotten sick, and we are encouraged by what we have seen and done. Thank you for praying for us! Tomorrow we return to Nairobi. I'll try to update more then.