This is a looong post – actually a bunch of posts in one — but please take time to check it out plus the links. We had an amazing mission trip to Kenya with a group from our church. It was my 4th trip but definitely the best because my wife joined me this time. She was amazing – diving into everything with energy and grace even though the whole enterprise was way out of her comfort zone.
Click the links to see many more pictures.
1. Church / school in Kawangware slum – One of our projects was helping a little on the church building and doing two sessions of Vacation Bible School for the kids at the school. I was playing guitar for the VBS sessions so I don’t have pictures of that, but I’ll post pictures when I get them from others. The kids seemed to have a great time singing, dancing and playing.
This church and school is truly a beacon of light in a dark place. Worshiping with them was one of the seemingly endless highlights of the trip.
A little more background on the slum here.
2. When giraffes attack! — A visit to the giraffe park was fun. We went on the first day in Kenya as we acclimated to the time changes and such.
3. Maua Methodist Hospital – we did daily devotionals with them and various projects.
We did some painting at the hospital to help them maintain certifications that keep their reimbursements up and did some mortar work at a building they’ll use for visiting missionary doctors.
The hospital does amazing work for the community, offering low cost medical services. They save many lives. They have outstanding community programs to help AIDS orphans and to help them go to school and develop skills to support their families (sort of like a “Junior Achievement meets Jesus” program).
No, you would not want to stay there yourself, but for them it is invaluable.
Somehow I didn’t get many pictures of tea time, a nice and tasty tradition they have there.
4. Safari — We spent a couple days on safari at the end of the trip enjoying some of God’s amazing creation.
5. The Proclaimer – getting the word of God out to those who don’t read. This is one of my favorite parts of the trip. Faith Comes By Hearing translates the Bible into dozens of languages. You can download New Testament versions for free. They give away these “Proclaimer” devices so that illiterate people can hear the word of God in their languages. As noted at the bottom, these can be AC or solar powered so they can be used over and over almost anywhere.
This picture is of Reverend Alice, the hospital chaplain, explaining it to a group of patients and their children. She plans to play the Bible in Kiswahili for them regularly and to set it outside for when the patients go in the sun to warm up. She will also take it to remote locations so they can hear the word. I hope we can take more the next time.
I’m a firm believer in Isaiah 55:10-11
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
From their website:
How does the Proclaimer work? An installed microchip contains Scriptures in the heart language; the chip will not erase or wear out from frequent playing.
The battery will play for 15 hours and can be recharged enough times to play the entire New Testament more than 1,000 times.
The Proclaimer has a built-in generator and solar panel to charge the battery.
The solar panel, in addition to charging the battery, will run the Proclaimer even without battery power as long as there is sunlight.
The sound is digital quality and loud enough to be heard clearly by groups as large as 300.
The Proclaimer was developed primarily as a playback device for poor and illiterate people who may not have any other source to hear God’s Word. Our goal is to use the Proclaimer in the majority of our FCBH programs worldwide.
Very few of these people read, but now they can hear the transforming and powerful word of God. I never get tired of that.
6. AIDS Orphan Homes
The local church and hospital does a great job of identifying the poorest of the poor. Some children have lost their parents and live in stick / mud huts, while others may have one living parent or a neighborhood person who takes care of them.
Local workers do the foundation and the heavy stuff and we help out with painting, hammering and such.
In this case, the father died of AIDS and the mother and youngest child are probably HIV positive. She has resisted testing because of the stigma but it appears that they finally convinced her to get help. The anti-retrovirals have been very successful at preventing deaths and more orphans.
$2,000 builds a home to keep them safe and warm. It does amazing things for their self-worth and gives them a place to study once they are in school.
The hospital program and church stays engaged and follows up with them.
The purpose of the AIDS Orphans’ Project is to provide food, schooling, medical care and improved housing for AIDS orphans and to train their guardians in caring for these children. This project was established in response to the needs of the increasing numbers of AIDS orphans within the region that the hospital serves. Maua Methodist Hospital serves a district of 600,000 people as their only full service hospital. The AIDS orphan children are in desperate circumstances. The hospital is reaching out to them to share the Love of Jesus Christ by helping to care for their basic needs, and by giving hope for a better life.
7. Miscellaneous – travel and such.
8. World Vision sponsor child visit — These are from our visit with Dennis, our World Vision sponsor child since 1998, and his family. I’m so glad that my wife finally got to meet them. After all these years and multiple visits they are like family.
Dennis is roughly my oldest daughter’s age. He is working on a 2 yr. journalism degree at college. We are very proud of how hard he works. He is a very humble and godly young man. He knows his theology well (on my last visit he showed me how he got a 67 out of 70 on a test — not sure I could do that!). I’ve been praying since he was 6 that God was use him in a big way and that prayer has been continually answered.
Our friends from World Vision, Peterson and Martin, hosted us for most of the day. They do great work there and are very accountable with all they do.
9. Miscellaneous — shots from Vacation Bible School, the AIDS Orphan home dedication and more.