I was part of the group who came back early. Today, in my third day back at work since my return to the States, I received a message from Jake letting me know that he was also Stateside. It was in that moment of reading a simple message that I knew, undoubtedly, my life has been changed. Not only was I reminded of my team, but also the experiences that we went through as a team. Our return to “normal” life is still fresh, but I’m certain there will be moments that catch us off guard, moments that take us back to Kenya.
In our team’s final dinner as a complete unit, I asked everybody to share their thoughts in the form of a take away for the trip. Those responses are included below. While the responses are for your reading pleasure, I hope that each of these people represented will reflect on their response at some point in the future to see how their take away has changed. I am confident that my life has been impacted in ways I don’t even know about yet. – Patrick
No words or pictures can adequately capture the love, joy, and generosity the Kenyan people have shared with us. I wish I could convince evey person I know to come on this trip. Fellowship with the Kenyans truly is a glimpse of heaven and a glimmering of the heart of God.
Attending church in Kenya is the nearest thing to heaven that I know.
My take home is the faces of my disabled children in the Mathare Valley. I love them more than words can say. They have brought so much joy to my life and I cannot wait to see them and hold them again next year.
I asked to see a miracle. Miracles do happen! My sponsored boy George had fallen four stories on cement; he is alive today and recovering well!
The children in the Mathare Valley and those in Joska schools are all ready to smile, wave, hug, and encourage so sweetly. I don’t know another culture (of children) so open. I am humbled and my heart is full of their sweetness. God is on their faces.
I will take home the importance of sponsoring a child from Bondeni. MOHI provides hope for the smallest of God’s children.
For me, [the take home] is the people. In a matter of a few short days, their love, joy, faith and beautiful smiles captured my heart. I will never be the same.
God showed me this week how He is working in the slums of Nairobi. He’s using His people to show His love, to heal and to encourage those who are broken—which is all of us.
My “take home” from this experience is that families all over the world are so similar. People, in general, just want to know they are loved and that they matter!
To put in as few words as possible, I have never dreaded saying goodbye so much as I did today. My new friends, here in Nairobi, have left me with a permanent impression on my heart to come back to Kenya again and again. The great commission has never been so tangible and active in my life before this trip.
Each trip, this being my third, gets better with God’s blessings in my life. I have had the privilege of getting to know Beatrice, the young woman who is the “janitor” of the Bondeni school. She has touched my heart in a special way; to see her at church today praising God and calling me “Mom” will always remain with me.
I will remember that God is working through the men and women of MOHI to bring hope and healing to the people of the Mathare Valley. I will remember the hope the children of Bondeni and Joska have because of God’s work through MOHI. Finally, I will remember the wonderful friendships forged with both my American and Kenyan brothers and sisters.
“If you haven’t been there yet, go!”
The Kenyan people are wonderful disciples of Christ. They are warm and loving towards people they barely know and their smiles are infectious!
Short-term trip—long-term mission. After five years, I now have the privilege of coming each year to work and serve with Kenyan friends. The Bondeni church is the best example of this; we now worship with our Kenya Church family.
The greatest take away is my changed outlook on life. The people of Bondeni and MOHI showed me that relationships with family, friends, and ultimately God are more important than the things of this world.
My lens has changed from the start of the trip, especially from the first day. I was scared, thought the people could not be trusted and would be dirty. I know, sad! The new lens: These people have a clear foundation of faith, are open, loving and love everyone. Their smiling is what I will remember forever.
The week went very fast—I do wish we could do this [clinic] for a full 5 days. I can say that 100%, I have never been with a better group of loving and caring people. We can all shut our lives off for a while to help those in need, even if it’s a prescription for cough medicine.