Kenya – September 2015
Team member reflections on our recent STM activities
This is my fourth trip to Kenya. I am amazingly blessed. Each year I get the incredible privilege to work with the disabilities team of Isabella and Ammon. Yesterday I was able to do Physical Therapy with 2 precious girls I had never met before, one with a traumatic brain injury and the other with Cerebral Palsy. More importantly I was able to love on them and to pray with them and their families. Today I saw three boys I was able to work with last year. I have prayed for them every day and they are loved and doing well. For those that don’t know, children with disabilities are seen as a curse on their families. Many are hidden so the community doesn’t know they even exist. Tomorrow I will see the girl that changed my life. She became sick when she was a little girl with an encephalopathy. She lives in a shanty by herself because her step father won’t allow her in his home. Her mother does everything she can to love her and take care of her, but my girl is still alone, in a shanty, a paint can for a toilet, with no light. If I can bring just a little light to her life, a little love, a little encouragement to her mother to never give up, and a lot of Jesus then the entire trip is totally worth it.
This year has been different in that this trip has had a strong emphasis on evangelism. I am with my kids in the morning and I get to help evangelize in the afternoon. It’s another incredible blessing to share the Gospel with the people of Nairobi and to see lives changed. The Holy Spirit is working in the Mathare Valley.
My heart is full and overflowing. The people of Kenya have changed my life. I pray I can be the blessing to them that they have been to me.
Just getting to know the Pastors and workers has blessed me so much, especially Pastor David. We talked and did ministry together the entire past two days. He would even introduce me to people as “Brother Jeff or Pastor Jeff”. Pastor David told me that next year I need to make it out to his part of the country in Northern Kenya and we’ll do home visits together in every home. I think home visits and sharing Jesus with the people here have been my favorite part. I love watching the Holy Spirit move in each one of the people we shared Jesus with. We get to pray for each person as well as people on the streets that we approached and some even came to us asking for prayer not knowing that we were doing ministry. The team this year has been amazing and the Lord has used each one of us in powerful ways! I’ve had a blast and we’re only half way through the week. I’m looking forward to what Jesus wants to do the rest of the week!
The predominant image I have of Kenya is of faces…all of which I have quickly grown to love.
-I see faces of MOHI staff that serve and love without limits. I am constantly amazed and inspired by their humble servant hearts.
– I see faces of the residents of the Mathare Valley who warmly welcome us into their humble, shanty homes. I stand in awe at the depth of faith they exhibit as they trust the Lord for provision moment to moment in every area of their lives.
– I see the faces of the beautiful children: as they sing and welcome us into their school classrooms; as they greet us in the streets with a big smile, a “How are you?” and a ready fist bump; as they find joy in playing with whatever they can find in the community or streets around them.
– I see the faces of this beautiful team that the Lord brought together for this trip. I have learned SO much from each them and serving alongside of them is a huge blessing.
In each of these precious people I see the most important face of all…the face of our Lord Jesus Christ. His love is shown through each of them and God has impressed on me the depth of His love for each of these precious souls. Each day I am learning more about our Lord’s character as I witness it being lived out through these people who have touched my life in a lasting way.
God is amazing! They that have so little or nothing at all, have been a blessing to this team. I thought it was supposed to be the other way. As we go door-to-door, each door is opened to us and we are welcomed in. All profess a personal relationship with Jesus, but when the team begins to share God’s message of His Love, most become very reflective and tear up. All will share their story, their hurts, their needs, and their desire for more of God’s love.
These people of the Mathare Valley, have little in the accumulation of this world’s treasures and eagerly seek to hear about a Savior that cares for them. We are encouraged to sit and talk, to speak God’s promises into their lives, and to tell of His love for them. While in America, we would be quickly rushed out of the house or off of the porch, here we are welcomed as beacons of light and truth.
This TPCC team only seeks to be the extended hand of God, sharing His word and His love into a people that do not feel loved or cared for. In Matthew we are told to go, and no, we did not have to go this far, but this is where God called this team to. Our hearts are tender to His people, and anxious to be used to show the power of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ to a people that are not sure anyone really cares. We feel the hand of God, guiding us from home to home, person to person. We are trusting in the Holy Spirit to take our humble words and prayers and magnify them into the hearts of those whom He loves.