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!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Remember Nduku

For those of you who have been with me for awhile, you will remember Nduku and her daughters.

We first met them when we came to Kenya in 2006. She was HIV+ and was suffering from TB. Their father had died and she was having a very hard time caring for herself and her daughters. That team combined resources and left enough to care for them for over a year. I left more the last time I as here. That, combined with what the Mayoli family gives has sustained their family until now.

Unfortunately, Nduku passed away a few days ago. Her daughters are now orphans. Mutheu, Mutanu, and Mulee.

It continues to amaze me how the Lord works!! Over the past few weeks I have been talking with some people and exploring a new ministry idea. (That is, new for me; I'm sure other people already do it!) I am all for childrens homes and orphanages that provide children with a safe place! I LOVE working with the homes that I do, and I see GREAT things going on there. But, I have also had a desire to work with orphans and families in their own home village. I have been thinking through the process of supporting families who care for orphans in their own home. I think it is important, if at all possible, for children to be raised with a family...in their own village, near their home and people. That is rarely the case with orphans, though. Even one extra person can be a huge burden on a family. I have been thinking how great it would be to help enable a family to raise an orphan in their home. By eliminating the additional cost of clothing, school fees, and even supplementing provision of food, many more families would be willing to raise their orphaned family members. That would also open up an opportunity for discipleship with families who can raise children in a godly, Christian home.

Well, here is a way to try it out and put it into action! These girls need it!

I am coming home in a few weeks and will be working out the details for this, as well as several other things the Lord has been leading me towards. I can't wait to share with everyone!!!!! I am SO excited to see how God is working!!

I really believe that we all can truly make a difference in these girls lives. I have talked with Mr. Mayoli this morning. He is the one who has been overseeing their care....dispersing money as needed. He has amazed me at how he has been able to stretch the money so that their needs are met over a long period of time. How crazy that the money is running out at this particular time.

Please pray for Mutheu, Mutanu, and Mulee. I am going to visit them next Tuesday-Wednesday. I will update on their situation when I get back.

Also, please let me know if you are interested in helping these girls, or any of the other orphans we will be working with. I will tell you about them, and have a LOT more information about all of it very soon. Stay tuned...

Friday, July 25, 2008

It Was Like Christmas!

Gifts delivered! Thanks again, Shed!!

I said yesterday that I wouldn’t be able to go out to the site until Monday, but the boys’ “mamma” called me at 9:30 last night saying that two of the boys were very sick and I needed to go today. So, I started calling around for someone free to go with me and praying that God would miraculously dry up the roads through the night. Indeed, God is good! The roads were much better, and He opened up the skies to allow sunshine for the first time in a week!

I could write about the boys’ excitement when we opened the bag of goodies, but pictures are worth a thousand words, right? (Although everyone knows I would have no trouble coming up with a thousand words!)

The Bibles…Honestly, I have to say I was surprised by the boys’ reaction to the Bibles. I think in America our kids might be somewhat spoiled; most of them would not be so thrilled to get any type of book. Godfrey especially loved the Bible.

Each of them had a favorite.

The poor older boys, John & Kelvin, always miss out on the first half of our visit because they are in school. :-( It is so much fun to see them come home from school, though. You can tell they really miss the younger boys while they are gone. It's a sweet reunion, just after a few hours. It's nice to see that they are really like a family now. John and James have a special relationship. John is such a great big brother to him!
It was another great day at the Haven. Thanks for making it such a fun one, Shed! The kids really did have a great time playing!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thank You, Shed!!

My wonderful Sunday school class at Houston’s First Baptist Church, the Shed, sent some great things for the boys at Haven on the Hill, the home I am working with. I was simply overwhelmed by their generosity!!
I can’t wait to take the stuff out to them! I was going there today, but it was too muddy. The home is 23 kilometers off the paved tarmac road, and even with a 4WD, I didn’t want to risk it by myself. I will go out on Monday. The boys are going to be SO excited!

Bibles – the mamma at the house can read English. She will use the children’s Bibles to read stories for their mini English lesson time. (They mostly speak Kiswahili, but we want them to learn English, too.)

Toys – How fun!!! Right now, they have a few stuffed animals and matchbox cars to play with. They are going to be in shock with so much more!

School supplies – These will be great for them! The older boys have missed out and are a little behind in school. Anything like this stuff…flashcards, practice books, etc. are VERY expensive and hard to find.

Socks & Underwear – Maybe not so fun for the kids, but hey….you gotta have them!

Bedding – The real Mamma of the home, the founder of Haven on the Hill & Through the Storm Ministries, Janice Wagner, sent these. Janice lives in the Houston area and was able to meet Kris to send a few things, as well.

I’m so thankful to Janice, and her husband, Phil, for letting me be a part of this ministry!! You can find out more about the home, future plans for the home, pictures, and their ministry at www.throughthestorm.org

THANK YOU, SHED!!! I am so blessed to have such a great group of supporters!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mamma Mary's New Home

You can read about how we first met Mamma Mary in an old post…June . Well, since then her house had completely fallen in due to the heavy rains.

Pastor Joseph (one of the Okello brothers) had been going to check on her and found her early one morning, still asleep OUTSIDE her house. Even before it fell in she was afraid of it doing so, so she slept outside. When Joseph realized that the people we thought were following up on getting the house built were not doing so, he called Jared. That was last Tuesday. By Sunday we were in Ahero (outside Kisumu City) buying materials. By Monday the crew had started building! It doesn’t take long to build the frame of a house.

She has resorted to setting up house outside under a tree.

After the frame is build and roof put on, it becomes the women’s job to mud the walls. That is done with dirt and manure and is a process that takes several weeks. It is done in layers and each has to dry before applying the next.
But, she now has a roof over her head! She is so very grateful! Thank you for helping to make this possible. We paid 3/4 of the total cost.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sports Evangelism Update - HUGE Success!

We went back to Western Kenya for another sports evangelism event this past weekend. We had another football (soccer) match. It was great! We could not have imagined the turnout. There were over a thousand people there. The interesting thing about sports, especially soccer, is that it attracts all types of people. Young, old…men, women…Christians, non-Christians.

So many people who fall between the cracks in other ministry areas will show up for a community event like a football match. People who would not attend a crusade or church service to hear the Word of God preached will come to a football match and hear the same message. And when word spreads about the gathering of people, they come by the droves! By the end of the last match, the entire perimeter of the field was covered.

Amazingly, almost all of the crowd stayed for the preaching. Please pray for those who claimed salvation and for the local pastors who will try to connect with them. There were over 80 hands raised!

Just as in Ahero at the last match, the women started their own game of netball. So, half the crowd was turned to them and half towards the football men. Those ladies were intense! It was fun to watch. We had prizes for them, too. And from now on, women’s netball will coincide with the men’s football matches.

Travel for these guys is not easy. Not a single team member has any personal mode of transportation and they cannot afford fare to the other village. So, we rented a mini-bus to take them. Having teams come from other towns and village is part of the attraction of the event. Knowing that there are visitors brings people out.

Thank you to those of you who support me financially!!! Our contribution to the event was transporting the team to the other village and contributing to the prizes.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Meet My Boys!

John (blue shirt), Kelvin (red shirt), Godfrey (in front of me), James (on my lap), Joshua (beside me)

It is amazing how God has already put these babies on my heart! They are such precious boys, and I have instantly bonded with them. Knowing their stories and how they came to end up at Haven on the Hill makes me love them even more! God has already brought these little guys through so much…pain, abuse, abandonment.

I will continue to post about them so that you can get to know them, too. Meanwhile, I ask that you pray for these little boys. They are all adjusting to their new home. They have been here for about three weeks now. They have all been through devastating circumstances to bring them to this place. Some of them have surely seen more than their little eyes needed to witness, including the recent post-election violence. Please pray that the Lord would work in their lives and continue to heal them, physically and emotionally. Pray also that the workers who take care of them (who are Christians) would daily show them the love of Christ

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

God is GOOD!

He has opened an amazing door of ministry for me! A few weeks ago, the day Kris left to go back home to be exact, God starting laying things out for me. Actually, I am sure He has been working on that for a very long time! We finally just all got on the same page and realized what He has been working out.

I am partnering with Phil and Janice Wagner and Through the Storm Ministries. They recently opened a new orphanage outside Nairobi. They just welcomed the first children about three weeks ago. The tricky thing is that they live in Texas, not here! Funny thing…I live here. Isn’t it crazy how God works? Later on, I’ll post about how all this came to be. It’s quite a God-story!

Anyway…I will be working with them, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the children’s home, Haven on the Hill. I will be doing such things as, making sure that they have, or get, what they need…food, supplies, clothes, workers’ wages, etc., and making sure that the little ones are well taken care of. I will be like the liaison between the home here and Through the Storm Ministries in Texas. It is a new facility, and new additions and construction are underway. I will be helping the Wagners oversee what is going on here. It is nearly impossible for people to be taken advantage of here. There is NO doubt that they would be seriously taken advantage of if they try to handle things long-distance!

Me and Janice as she was leaving for the airport

As Janice was leaving Kenya a few weeks ago to return home, she was concerned about how God was going to take care of these sort of things while she was away. My friend, Jennifer Phillips with International Treasure House Ministries, was helping her in the beginning processes, but Jennifer is extremely busy with her own childrens home site (Into Abba’s Arms) and other ministries. She was very concerned about taking on a new venture as big as this. So….God brought us all together! Jen is well-versed at doing the things I will be doing, so I will have someone to help me learn the ropes.

I will be going out to the site at least once a week between now and when I go home in August. I will probably stay overnight at the site a few times. I want to get to know the kids and let them know me. Pray for my Swahili to improve!! They don’t speak much English at ALL!!!

At present, we have 5 little boys! They are ages 1, 3 (a YOUNG 3), 3, 5, and 7. Here is the whole gang....

Me, Joshua, Jen, Godfrey, James, Naomi (the house girl), Dorcus (the mamma)
Kelvin and John

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