Kenya Trip Update: Day Five

Sadly, three days of VBS have come to an end, as has our time at Mathare North School. Spending this time with the staff and students of Mathare North was an amazing experience and quite a blessing. They were incredibly gracious and appreciative of everything we were able to accomplish through God's power. 

During our time at Mathare North, we conducted a daily VBS for almost 500 kids, which included Bible lessons, snacks, crafts, music and games. We trained 10 local men in carpentry skills, treated over 500 patients at the medical clinic we operated, gave out more than 150 pairs of reading glasses, and provided fluoride treatments and toothbrushes for ALL 846 students at Mathare North. We were welcomed into 25 homes to share the Gospel and pray with locals. We also prayed with several hundred people in our prayer room and, most importantly, 15 people gave their lives to Jesus. Our time here in Africa has truly been blessed by God. 

Our work at Mathare North was concluded with a closing ceremony that included a short sermon, singing and dancing, performances by the students, and a celebration cake. There may even be some footage of our team dancing with the staff and students. Isaac, the director of Mathare North School, concluded the celebration by thanking us for all we did with a team of just 16 and challenged us to return next year with a team of 32. The challenge has been handed to us. Is Hope Christian Church ready to answer the call?

Kenya Trip Update: Day Four

Today was day 4 of our trip and we had another fantastic day with the kids at our Mathare North VBS! We did a relay race for the outdoor games, and the kids really got into it. You can see how excited they got cheering each other on! God's joy is clearly seen through their smiles.

In crafts today, the kids worked on tambourines and Dum-Dum flowers. The tambourines were a big hit! The kids carried them throughout the school the rest of the day shaking them and dancing. The flowers were great because it showed the kids how God grows them, while they got a sweet treat with the Dum-Dum.

We had two groups in the afternoon go out and share the good news of Jesus with the community of the Mathare Valley. We were also able to encourage several men and women who are already believers. There were 3 amazing women, Vivian, Eunice & Delvin who prayed and accepted Jesus as their Savior! We were accompanied by several social workers from Missions of Hope. These workers truly have a heart for Jesus, and we were able to see first hand the wonderful work they do for the people of the Mathare Valley.

We finished the day with a wonderful home cooked "Ken-Mex" meal hosted by Mary Kamau, the Executive Director of Missions of Hope. Getting the opportunity to spend time with Mary was so special. Her love and compassion is indescribable. It was the perfect ending to a great day!

--Jaclyn & Millie

Kenya Trip Update: Day Three

After getting much needed rest last night, our team was off to Mathare North to serve hundreds of children and adults in our VBS and medical clinic.

In the clinic, we were joined by Kenyan doctors, nurses and pharmacists as we provided medical care for over 170 patients today, including students, faculty, and residents from the Mathare North community. In many ways, health care is similar all over the world, but we were able to learn about many illnesses and treatments that we don't experience in Ohio. Part of the medical care we offered also included eye exams and glasses. We look forward to continuing to hug and care for children and their families for the remainder of our visit.

Simultaneously, the team also ran a Vacation Bible School in the morning which consisted of education, songs/dance, crafts, outdoor games, and snacks. Can you imagine the fun we had interacting with and being hugged by 500 joyful kids? We've been so blessed by the songs from these animated children.

In addition to all of these things, our team had the privilege of praying for the sick and suffering in our prayer room and also in homes in the Mathare North community. 

We wrapped up the day at a delicious Indian restaurant with Mary and Wallace Kamau, Alicia and Tim Stewart, and others from the Missions of Hope staff. Could a day end any better?

"Maker We All Love You"

- Jeana

Kenya Trip Update: Day Two

After three flights and an exhausting 24-hour trip, our team arrived safely in Nairobi on Monday night. By the time we got our visas and collected all 32 of our suitcases, we went to bed at around 2:00am on Tuesday (today), facing an early wake-up call just a few short hours later.

Sleep deprived and yet so excited about the day ahead of us, we reported first to the Pangani Center, which is home base for Missions of Hope (MoHI), the ministry we are serving this week. We learned that MoHI now has 15,000 students in 20 schools from the Mathare Slum of Nairobi to three other areas across Kenya. We also took a tour of the slum to familiarize ourselves with it, and were surrounded by little children who wanted to have their pictures taken with us. The kids love to see themselves in pictures!

We then visited the children our team members sponsor at the Mathare North School. Having the opportunity to meet a child you sponsor is an almost indescribable experience. It makes the relationship with your student feel that much more real.

This is Dennis. Sunnie and Bob have sponsored him for 10 years.

This is Dennis. Sunnie and Bob have sponsored him for 10 years.

While at Mathare North, we received a joyous welcome from the students, who must have practiced for days before our visit. Check out the brief video we recorded as they were greeting us. The children created a song especially for us, a song proclaiming how much they love and appreciate Hope Christian Church and their sponsors.

Tomorrow, our team will begin its work at Mathare North, operating a medical clinic, prayer room, VBS and much more! Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we serve our great God half a world away. We say this along with the kids at Mathare North: "We love you Hope Christian Church!"

Kenya Trip Update: Day One

And...they're off! Our Kenya Team is now airborne, on their way to Nairobi to serve the urban poor in the Mathare Valley.

Look at Pastor Mark. Here he is already in trouble with the TSA! Mark got a good frisking and had his luggage thoroughly checked at Hopkins Airport prior to boarding our flight to Atlanta. Everything is okay. The TSA finally realized Mark is harmless! 

Our journey takes us first to Atlanta, then to Amsterdam, and finally to Nairobi. We arrive in Kenya tomorrow night (Monday) at 9:45pm. Its a 24 hour journey once you account for the time difference. Nairobi time is seven hours ahead of Cleveland. 

Here we are heading to Amsterdam!

Thank you for your prayers. We can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for us and the people of the Mathare Valley.