kenya 2013 | kibera

Kibera.

This is the post I was both anticipating and dreading.

The two days we spent here were simultaneously a highlight of our time in Kenya, as well as the most difficult and heartbreaking.

Kibera is an informal settlement in Nairobi, located approximately 3 miles from the city center.

Covering an area of about 1.5 square miles and home to an estimated 250,000 people, Kibera is the third largest slum in the world.

HEART operates a WEEP center in Kibera, and we would be spending two days here, meeting with the women and doing home visits, joining their weekly Bible study, and doing some painting.  This was the group of women I had heard so much about from my dad, the women who were praying for my mom and I to come to Kenya.  Monday night during our debrief for the day, we spent some time talking about what to expect.  The team members who were returning for their second year spoke about how their time in Kibera was a highlight of their trip, and that they were excited to return.  Our team leader (my dad) warned those of us who were going for the first time that nothing could prepare us to walk into that slum.

He was right. continue reading…

kenya 2013 | fruits

It’s such a blessing when you get to see the fruits of your labor.

Our first Tuesday in Kenya (June 25) we had the opportunity to break ground on the house for Mercy’s children.

We left this behind at the end of that day:

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The Wednesday before we left (July 3), we had the opportunity to return to the city of Ngong, to see the progress that had been made and to dedicate the home.

Most of our ministry so far had been single day events, and we hadn’t had the chance yet to go back to be with some of the incredible people we had met.  So naturally, we were excited.  The women of the Ngong WEEP center had made such an impact on us, and I know the the other guys and I were looking forward to seeing Moses, Paul, and James.  We were also excited to see how far they had gotten in a week.

When we arrived, we saw they had certainly made some progress. continue reading…

kenya 2013 | on safari

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat. – Psalms 19:1-6

This country just continues to amaze me.

After our time working in Kisii, we headed out to the Maasai Mara for a short break.

It was safari time.

Shortly after Vickie Winkler started HEART, she was asked why she brought people to Kenya to show them only the poverty and the dirt and orphans. Why not also show them the beauty this country has to offer?

While I might argue we’ve seen the beauty of this country, especially in its people, I am very glad we were able to have this time wondering in awe at God’s creation. After a week so full of ministry and people, it was great to have a short time to unwind and begin to process what we’ve experienced so far. continue reading…

kenya 2013 | in the mud

Wednesday was a long day of driving as we headed “up country,” as they call it here, to a more rural area in Kenya. The drive from Nairobi to the town of Kisii where we would be working the next two days took a little over six hours.

At this point, we have spent a lot of time traveling over the course of this trip.

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We arrived early in the evening to Dr. Meshach’s home were we would be staying, thankful the rain was light that day, so as to avoid making the treacherous dirt road up the mountain that much worse.

We were shown in to a home well above the average living conditions of the surrounding community, where we would be well taken care of during our stay.

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While waiting for dinner to be prepared we had the opportunity to go and see some of the continued impact previous teams we had made, including the greenhouse HEART has provided the community, where they are currently growing tomatoes! continue reading…

kenya 2013 | joy in the midst of suffering

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It amazes me the joy I find in people who have been through such incredible suffering.

But before we get to today, lets talk about yesterday.

Yesterday was a relatively easy day. After breakfast and devotions in the morning, we had our orientation to HEART and our time in Kenya (even though we’d already spent two nights here!).

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After getting tips and language lessons for our time here, we had the opportunity to visit Rift Valley Academy. Rift Valley Academy is the premier international boarding school in the world, located in Kijabe, Kenya. The school is a part of the missionary organization Africa Inland Mission, and is staffed by teachers and administrators who are not paid, but raise their own support, so as to keep tuition reasonable for missionary kids.

While there we had the opportunity to speak with the principle of the high school, talking to him about his experience bringing his family to Kenya, and all the wonderfully students and staff they have. Since my dad came and stayed at RVA on previous trips to Kenya, he and my mom have talked bat a sabbatical to go teach there. Now, as I go home to start a credential program in the all, I think about doing the same…

continue reading…

kenya 2013 | greetings!

It’s been an incredibly long day.

But we made it.

Our journey began at 2:00 AM PST, heading to SFO to begin the first leg of our journey.

We landed in New York where we met up with the rest of our team, many meeting for the first time.

From there the next leg of out journey took us across the Pacific to land for a brief layover in Paris. Sadly, we weren’t able to leave the airport, and so had to view the city from afar.

After a nearly 4 hour layover we boarded Kenya Air for our 8 hour flight to Nairobi.

Landing in Nairobi, and after a short bus ride on the wrong side of the road, we arrived at the HEART compound at 10:45 PM local time, or 12:45 PM PST.

That makes our total travel time nearly 35 hours. Suffice it to say, we’re all a little tired, and hoping the jet lag doesn’t keep us from sleep tonight.

Tomorrow we kick off our time in Kenya with a church service with a Masai tribe.

I truly think we are starting this trip of right, worshipping together with some of the people we will be serving. The first thing we do being a reminder that we all serve the same God; the Jesus I know in America is the same as the Jesus they know in Kenya.

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:12 ESV)

As I’m sitting here in my room at the HEART lodge, I think of everything, and everyone, it took to get us here. To those that have supported us in this endeavor, I want to say thank you. We co ill not be here without you, and I cannot wait to share with you all the amazing things God does through us, because you are a part of it.

Asante sana!


Prayer
I just ask that you continue to be praying for us, that we are able to transition easily into being in this foreign country. Pray that our team continues to bind together in unity. Pray that we are open and attentive to the voice of God.