I'm so glad you found us! We love to share our story of what the Lord is doing in and through our ministry in Kenya. If you are a reader, please click the link on the right-hand side and "Follow Along!" And stop back by anytime! Karibu sana!

Monday, May 26, 2008

"My First Team" Update

The first team I'm working with wrapped up their ministry time and left for their night at the Massai Mara Game Reserve today. I hope they don't mind being forever referred to as "My First Team." I was so blessed to see them in action when we visited! It is rewarding to see all the preparation played out in real-life ministry!

I will be meeting the team tomorrow evening for a wrap-up time. I'm so excited since this is my first team to work with through the whole process!

The guy talking (on the left) owns a Chic-fil-a in North Carolina!!! How appropriate is that for my first team!?!?!
This sweet lady is 80 years old!! She is amazing. She's singing "This Little Light of Mine" and blowing it out in this picture. (See Gran? No excuse! I'll see you here next year!)
Please continue to pray for the ministry here. We have a lot of teams coming in and God is doing some great things! A church planting team and a medical team are both coming this week. There are also a few individuals who are here right now. We are busy, but I love it!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Grocery Shopping

Pictures from the market today. It's not quite a Kroger, but lots more fun.

And, yes, some vegetables really did make it to my kitchen! Not many, but I'm learning.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Testing, testing....

I'm still trying to upload pictures. I changed stuff on my camera and took pictures at New Life this morning to test it out. Yep....it worked! These pictures uploaded in just a few minutes! So, all my complaining about stupid internet was really all me. :-(

So, here's my boy....Elmo. He is developing a personality, smiling and talking a lot. In the pictures I posted of him before, he was always very serious. I still think he wants to come home with me! (Don't worry, Gran, I'm not really going to bring him home....yet :-).)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Technical Difficulties....again

I've been trying to put pictures on the blog for weeks now! I think I changed something on my camera and am taking them in a format too big. Is that possible? Anyone know? I am SO not good at that stuff, but someone told me that a picture I tried to send was 6 megabytes. I don't even know what that means! But apparently that's too big.

But....I was able to upload pictures so easily before, so I must have accidentally changed a setting on my camera. Does that sound right? Anyone know? Anyone? I don't know what happened! So frustrating! I've been blaming it on stupid, stinkin' slow African internet, but the problem might actually lie with me. Big surprise, huh?

So, if any of you have any suggestions, please post!! I'm frustrated. And my mom really wants to see more pictures!

My First US Team

The first Baptist Volunteers in Missions team of the season arrived Friday night. The team from North Carolina is a great group. And I love this “job!” (I don’t know if it can really be called a job if you don’t get paid.)

My job is to prepare for and assist teams that come from the states and work to create continued partnerships with communities, families and individuals in need here in Kenya. I went on the vision trip for this team’s ministry in mid-March, before I even knew I would be working with Baptist Volunteers full time. On that trip, we met with the pastor the guests will be working with and visited their hotel and a few of their ministry sites. I can’t tell you how exciting it was to greet this first team at the airport and begin to see all the preparation and planning form into reality. God has great things in store for these guys, and I’m blessed to be a part of it!

On Saturday morning, this team had a little time on their own, then met us for a short orientation to let them know a little more of what to expect at their ministry site. We went to a shopping center for them to exchange money, have lunch and do any last-minute shopping they needed at a Wal-Mart type place. Then, we were on our way to Murang’a, a town about an hour and half outside of Nairobi.

I had so much fun being the “American Liaison!” The team had some great questions and it really helped me remember the things that mission teams wonder about when they go to a new country. I also realized that I have learned a lot more about Kenya than I thought I had.

The best part of the day was meeting the team at their first ministry site. While we finished up with some logistics stuff, they went to meet the kids at an orphanage they will be working with a little bit over the next 10 days. The kids love to have visitors. They love to sing and recite memory verses. The team sang a few songs in English, then the kids sang the same in Swahili.

God is so good! This is exactly where He has placed me, doing exactly what He wants me to do! And I’m loving it! I love doing the logistics type stuff that is all culminated with the goal of people coming to share the love of Christ with the Kenyan people! All the preparation comes together when you see people loving people and sharing the hope of Christ!

Monday, May 12, 2008

My Kenyan Birthday

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the wonderful birthday wishes!! I feel so blessed to have so many great friends!

As glad as I am to be here in Kenya, it’s really strange to be away from home on my birthday. If you know Kris and I, you know we celebrate “Birthday Week,” not just our birthdays. I think it is hereditary. My mom celebrate “Birthday Month!”

But, thanks to some wonderful people, I celebrated with some very warm wishes and fun birthday gifts! I’ve gotten lots of goodies! I even treated myself to a tuna fish salad and crackers pack for my birthday! (Thanks, Liz!) My new favorite shoes are strap sandals Crocs from my mom. Crocs rock here! Walk on dirty, dusty roads, then just shower with them and you’re good-to-go! And I got a DVD of the latest episodes of my favorite TV shows from Kirsten. (Lost is still frustrating!) Kris sent me a DVD with pictures and video messages, but I can’t open the videos. So sad!! I am going to try to open the CD on an older computer, though. Maybe it’s a Vista quirk. (Wishful thinking, but worth a try.)

See my fun goodies?? THANK YOU, FRIENDS!!!
I know that others have sent packages, so thanks to you, too, even if I haven’t received them. There was an extremely frustrating episode with the post office box I was using that belonged to the family I was living with. But, I have switches PO boxes to the company I am working with and have already received packages through there…MUCH faster and less hassle to clear and collect them! It is much more efficient and timely.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Let the Work Begin!

Well, I have been over two months and only thought I had been busy! Learning language is tough. Learning to live in a new country is challenging. Learning to adjust to a different culture is at times demanding. But, loving people, sharing Jesus with them, and helping to meet their basic needs is so rewarding!

After taking a few months to transition into life in Kenya, I have hit the ground running with my new job as Program Coordinator/American Liaison with Baptist Volunteers in Missions. Basically, I will be doing preparations, follow up, and on-ground ministry with mission teams coming to work in Kenya. I will be working to ensure that the teams coming and the people here in Kenya are on the same page. It is so important for both sides to understand the purpose and mission of the team and to feel connected to the ministry partnership. So, that is what I will be doing. :-)

Of course, there are a lot of logistics that go into planning and preparing for ministry teams. I love that, though. I am learning a lot about the inner-workings of coordinating logistics in this African culture! We’re definitely not in Kansas, anymore, Toto.

In the next two months, we have 10 teams coming from the US, AND one very important visit from my best friend!!!!!! (Kris is coming June 4th!!!!!! Yea!!!!) We will be busy.

I would appreciate your prayers as I begin this new venture in ministry. There is so much to do, so many opportunities!! Through your support, we were able to do many things while initiating projects that will be continued through upcoming mission trips. Because you have given to me through Coins for Africa, I was able to pass that love and support on to many. (See below for some details.) Please consider partnering with us again. In the near future, I will begin raising support through the US non-profit partner ministry, called Kazi Yake (His Works). But for the next few months, you can continue to contribute through the info provided on the left side of this blog. Thank you so much for your prayers!!! God is so big!!


I Survived!

Technical Difficulties. The pictures I refer to below are unable to upload at this time. So, just read and stay tuned for visuals. I'll try again tonight or tomorrow. TIA!! I know you are so disappointed to miss seeing how gorgeous I am after 11 days with no real shower!

Yes, I survived 11 days in the village living with no electricity or running water! Woo hoo! I think I can actually make it in Africa!

In case you may have noticed, I’ve been gone for awhile. I haven’t posted in over two weeks. I went to Kisumu on a vision trip for some upcoming ministry teams from the US. A LOT has happened over the past few weeks. I have officially started working with Baptist Volunteers in Missions as the Project Coordinator/American Liaison.

It is EXCITING! I don’t have time to share about it all, but I will over the next week or so. Some of the projects we are working on are building homes, putting roofs on existing homes, re-locating displaced people, digging water wells, feeding and caring for medical needs of elderly widows, developing partnership with soccer teams and establishing sports evangelism, and training and development of skills to assist young women to become self-sufficient and financially stable.

God is doing some amazing things! I can’t wait to share some of the stories. It is so fun to be a part of what God is doing. Seeing a husband and wife come to know Jesus, and THEN be blessed with the gift of a new home was priceless! In this particular case, this family had already been designated to receive a house but were unaware of that decision when they were invited to church. Shem, one of the men I work with, shared the Gospel with them while talking to them the previous day. They came to church, both made a profession of faith, and then received the news that they were getting a house! Isn’t God great in how He orchestrates events?!

Unfortunately, my camera died the second day we were there. I mostly just got pictures of the horrible roads to Western Kenya, some of the horrendous devastation from the recent violence in Kenya, and pictures of the accommodations to send to upcoming mission teams.

Here are a few I did take…

This is the “before” picture of a house where a roof was put on. The lady is a widow with twin sons. We went into the house and everything was wet from rain from the night before. Very sad situation, and hard to deal with in a home with dirt floors. They really need the protection. The wetness/dampness is very conducive to bad germs and diseases.

This little lady is over 90 years old! Precious! She just talked and talked and sang and sang. I have no idea what she was saying because she didn’t speak English or Swahili! Every once in a while, she would look over and see me again, remember that a mzungu (white person) was there, reach out to slap my hand and say, “JAMBO!!” (Hi!) I think it’s the only thing she remembers in Swahili. Funny little lady.

I’ll share more when I get pictures that Shem took with his camera. Stay tuned…
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