Category Archives: Kenya – June 2015

It’s All About the Monkey Business

Today we went to Joska, and to put into one sentence, all we can say is “It was amazing!” MOHI has two boarding schools one in Joska for girls and the other in Ndivoini for boys. We were able to tour them both. It is incredible to see how MOHI and their schools are blessing these students. They come from crowded and difficult situations to open-aired and beautiful campuses. God is surely touching their lives in so many ways.

Whenever we would meet the students, whether in the classroom or outside, they were so curious about us. They really wanted to learn about us. One question was common….”what is your talent?” We had singing and dancing…and some other unusual ones…including a monkey/chimp scream. Our fearless leader, Eric, surely created a new source of entertainment for the kids, that’s for certain! Soon they were responding with monkey calls of their own.

To conclude our day at Joska, we saw a presentation from the girls. They started with praise and worship. Four girls led all of us – it was beautiful. The mass of voices gave us a taste of Heaven. Seeing the young teens step up and lead in that way was so encouraging. All of the students know Jesus in such a deep way – just being around them was a light.

After a week of getting to know the students and staff of some of the MOHI schools, we are looking forward to spending time with them at church in Bondeni tomorrow.

Unfortunately It’s Friday – But We Still Thank God

It seems surreal that it is already Friday and we had to say our goodbye’s to the children and staff of MOHI’s Bondeni Center. Just a few days ago, we sat in orientation class with Lynn “the lovely one” as she prepared us for the work we would be doing in the Mathare Valley.

In our last few blogs, we have tried to share with you glimpses of what we have experienced as we walked the streets of Bondeni. We have been greeted by the children’s choruses of “how are you”; we have shared the gospel with souls hungry for the word, brought the light to families in darkness, and bonded with teachers and CHE workers over Chai tea and mendazi’s.

Some things have been hard to see and hear but God’s grace strengthened our hearts through it all. Today, we met a wonderful mother whose son has been wrongfully imprisoned for the past 11 years. We were able to pray for her and her son and listen as the MOHI social worker talked with her about how to help her family. Also, our prayers and yours for God’s work to be accomplished continue to be answered in a mighty way. As a result of our evangelism walk, four people gave their lives to Christ. MOHI workers will be following up with each of them and they have been invited to Sunday service at Bondeni Church. We hope to see them there.

As we mentioned previously, at the end of each day, we share our roses and thorns with one another. Today more than any other we were blessed with so many roses that we can’t share them all here. But here are just a few:
– seeing the social workers love on the people developing trust that cultivates fertile ground for planting seeds of faith;
– our team working together to share the gospel working as the body of Christ is meant to;
– our farewell from the Bondeni family – There was fellowship, celebration, cake, dancing, singing, laughter and tears.

It is hard to explain how it happened so quickly but each of us have fallen in love with the people of the Mathare Valley. Our only thorn today is that our time at the Bondeni Center has come to an end.

We “Wrecked the Roof” today – Kenya

If yesterday was a day of hope, today, Tuesday, was a day of amazing fellowship.

The best part of the day was when we went to 2 homes in the Bondeni community to “Bring the Light”. This is when we go into a home to share the gospel and add a skylight to their dimly lit homes. The first home we went into, there was a woman, Beatrice, who was already a Christian with 2 small children, one of them a newborn. After talking with her and doing some health education, we were just about to leave, and then her husband Ron showed up. Kevin, the social worker, talked with him some before he came into the home. Ron had been going to church but was not saved. When he entered the home and was asked if he wanted to be saved, he readily agreed that he was ready if we would pray with him. What a joy it was to pray with him and for him and his family. Not only in celebration of his decision but also for their struggle finding work. So we can definitely say we wrecked the roof for Ron today (reference the sermon series).

This morning we spent time with the Bondeni teachers sharing teaching techniques and struggles, which at one point turned into singing the alphabet song, as well as others, which was entertaining for all.

Then we got to meet and deliver gifts for the younger sponsored children. By the time we had played jump rope and got to eat lunch, the ice had definitely been broken.

After going out into the community that afternoon, and paying a visit to the Brooks’ dogs while they are on furlough, we then went to Wallace and Mary Kamau’s home for dinner. After dinner, we were sharing our thoughts on our experiences so far and what had brought us here. It was such a blessing to share with them the wonderful time we were having, as well as how dedicated and talented and loving their entire staff was. The staff of MOHI is truly beyond amazing at sharing the love of Jesus with these communities who need that hope. Mary made the point that we are all a piece of the puzzle, as we made the connection that one of our team members was here because of Emelio, who introduced Mary to Mathare Valley, giving a talk last Father’s Day at our church.

Another aspect of the fellowship today was that Westside Church from Springfield, IL who are 1 of the 3 churches that sponsor Bondeni and are also here serving this week by doing VBS. So we have gotten to know them, particularly at the Kamau’s.

A long, but amazing day.

A Special Visit

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of spending the week at Camp Allendale helping out on the worship team. For a lot of the time I tagged along with a group that Jada and Mason Brooks were in. It was fun getting to talk to them about Kenya. They live there with their parents as full-time missionaries, and right now are spending some time in the United States and then are returning to Kenya. Jada told me how much she missed her dogs, Hoosier and Indy, and requested that if possible we go see them….and we got to!! It was a blast. Definitely a bonus to our day. This is for you, Jada!!


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Our Friend Lynn

For those of you that have been to Kenya befor, you will remember Lynn who was the Center Manager in Bondeni. She is now the team leader for all of the social workers at MOHI.

She also shared with us that she is getting married next year!!! And yes, she give us permission to share the good news.

We Saw Hope

As we completed our orientation on Monday, we were given a tour of Area 1 (aka Pangani). Our team was split into to two groups to go out and walk thru the community. Here are some of the things that we observed:

There were large groups of people from the community wearing green shirts picking up trash. We had the chance to talk with a few of them and they shared how proud they were to be working in their community to clean it up. They even had us help them plant some trees and shrubs, which was part of the government effort to put students to work by cleaning up and improving their area. Where there was once a mound of trash their Is now a clean walk way and even a road for cars to drive on.

We were able to go into a home and pray for a woman that had just lost her mother the prior day. She was so thankful that we took the time to pray with her.

Our guides were MOHI Social Workers. As we walked along it was clear that our Guides were highly respected in the community. They represented hope in the community.

We also were “mobbed” be groups of small children. They just wanted to hold our hands and in some cases our legs, hands, or part of our clothes they grab on to and then walked with us for most of our tour. They never asked for anything they just wanted to walk with us.

We were able to look beyond their living conditions and see joyful, happy and hopeful people living in the Pangani community.

Roses and Thorns

One of our team members, Kelly, asked us on our first night to share our roses and thorns. This is where we share our high point of the day (the rose) and something that presented a challenge (the thorn). This sharing has stuck with us and will be part of our nightly routine. So here are some of the highlights from our roses and thorns from the past few nights.

Rose: After service, I made eye contact with a little girl that wearing sunglasses. I put mine on and that opened the door for a little play date. A little girl today at church taught me a song. After this, there was a group of kids that were playing with a balloon and invited me to play. Being with the kids, and seeing their joy really made my day.

Rose: Like others on my team, I was blown away by the joy and true desire from the Kenyans for a chance to connect with us. We ate lunch with the church leaders and were able to hear who they are and how they serve in the church. One way that they are serving the community is by developing small groups to bring new people to Christ and disciple them. I enjoyed starting relationships with the church members and look forward to going back next Sunday.

Rose: Today at church, everyone was so eager and warm-hearted towards us. They were happy to see us and made us feel welcome. Our hotel staff is just as eager to help us with anything we need. They greet us each day, and were a great help with getting our bags up to the top floor of the hotel. I loved meeting the kids at church. They showed us pure love. They came us to us and introduced themselves, played with us, and showed us a child’s love. This kind of love is what I look forward to seeing when we go into Pangani and Bondeni.

Rose: It has been amazing to be back in Kenya. I was here 14 years ago and everything I am seeing takes me back to what I remember from that trip. It is so good to see how God continues to work in Nairobi. He is working through people to make His kingdom grow.

Rose: The biggest thing for me is the rekindling of the friendships of the MOHI and Grace House staff. There is a bond with the team in Bondeni. They have become good friends due to their true characters and hearts. Each person has come up to me, remembered my name, and have recalled previous conversations from the last time I was here. I truly love the relationships that I have here in Kenya.

Rose: Coming to Kenya has been on my heart since my freshman year of high school. Ten years later, here I am! Our church service today was such a neat experience. The service was in both Swahili and English. It was so uplifting to see the passion for God in that building. Even though I did not understand some of the songs, I still was able to worship and loved having that experience. It is amazing to see how God is working in Nairobi. I am excited to see what is in store!

Rose: It is amazing to see how passionate, inspiring, and caring the Kenyans are for their community and church. Not only are they interested in their neighbors but also for us. Today at church, everyone was so happy to see us. They greeted us with open arms. The kids ran to us and wanted to play right away. This made me truly feel welcomed and part of the family.

Rose: This is hard to put everything into words but it is great to see the resilience and commitment that they Kenyans at church have to Christ and their community. They truly have a heart of joy and want to worship God. Today at church, I sang a Swahili song that I had learned back in the states. The church members were very receptive to the song. At the end of the church service, a man named Kevin came up to me and informed me that the kids were contemplating how I could be a mazunga (a non Kenyan) but know their language so well. I was even given a Kenyan name, Enjeri.

So you are probably wondering what the thorns have been…… let us just give you an example of a thorn. At the airport, when we arrived, we claimed all of our bags plus one. While we were loading the bags onto our bus, we noticed that we had an extra bag.So let’s just say that we did the right thing and returned the bag but it was a very long process. But hey….someone is no longer missing their bag!