Africa 2011: Updates
Thursday, August 11, 2011 12:45 pm
NO!!! THE DAY WE HAVE NOT BEEN LOOKING FORWARD TO…GOING HOME! Not that we aren’t excited to see friends and family but, we don’t want to leave our family here. we packed everything up on the bus so we could leave right from the camp to the airport, and headed over to the camp for a few hours this morning. We were able to hang out with the kids and love on them one last time before heading home. We were able to serve them their snack, take some pictures, and say our “good-byes” (I don’t know if there was a dry eye at this point). The bus ride to the airport was very quite…alot of thinking about the trip. On the way to the airport, made one last stop to pick up some Kenya tea and snacks for the trip home. See you soon, and thank you for praying and encouraging us. We appreciate you.
See you soon…Love,
Your Africa Team
1 Thessalonians 2:8
“…Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.”
Thursday, August 11, 2011 12:29 pm
We wanted to get an early start this morning…so we ate breakfast at 7:30 and headed over to the TUBE…today we continued to help with updating the childrens files and taking photo, as well as decorating their backpacks (which by the way, the backpacks worked out better than we had hoped!!) and making cards for all their sponsors. Cindy, Olivia, Genesis finished painting the girls toenails and fingernails (mani-pedi’s). All the girls felt so special. We were able to serve them their tea and bread and break time again. It was a great day…but even a greater night. So many times what happens is, we will be sitting in among the kids during a meeting, and the speaker will look at me and say, “Now we will have Pastor Mike and his group come up and greet you.” He did that again tonight, but this time he said, “Share a song with us…or 3 songs, and share something with us.” Funny, it always happens, but it seems to always catch us off guard. So, we sang and did the hand motions to, “Every Move I Make” and “Father Abraham”. Then each of us had an opportunity to share from our heart and tell the kids how much we love them. Kenya has really had a positive affect on everyone on the team. When we got back to the hotel and had a chance to share with each other about the time here and then heard from Rose, Stanley and Paul…they are all very encouraging. Stanley said that, by far, we were to most energetic group they had ever had come. He said, “Most groups, at about 4 or 5, are ready to come back to the hotel and call it a day. But you guys, we have to pull you away and make you come home. It is so great, you have had such a huge impact on these kids. It is great how you have integrated into the community. You are not a group here from America, you are part of this city.” Yes! That is what we wanted so badly, to be a part of what was going on, not to be the focus. It has been a great day and we are feeling the sadness of leaving our family here in Kenya tomorrow.
Your Africa Team
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Theme verse for the Camp)
Thursday, August 11, 2011 12:13 pm
THE FIRST DAY OF CAMP!!! EVERYONE IS EXCITED!!! There is anticipation in the air…but first, breakfast (obviously…heaven forbid we go without a meal!) Our duties at the camp include helping with updating all of the information on the children for the ministry and the sponsors, sitting with the classes as the teachers teach, and assisting with teaching in some of those classes, and of course…PLAYING WITH THE KIDS!!! The comment kept being made, “there is no way you could explain this to someone.” That is what it is, unexplainable. To have 30 to 40 (or more) kids around you just wanting to be with you, hold your hand, touch you, or mimic everything you do…Talking with the leader of the camp, we talked about when we leave everyday and how they have to pull the kids away from us…he simply said, “It is a demonstration of love that is incredible to see.” The kids have a love for us that is unwavering and unconditional.
Cindy, Genesis, Olivia, and Sarah painted the fingernails and toenails of every high schooler (form 1 and form 2) at the camp…Jackie helped them make jewelry, and helped them pick out purses and flowers for their hair (thanks Theresa and Celina). We were able to give them toys and serve them lunch and dinner. Oh, and of course, PLAYED WITH THE KIDS!!! It was just another amazing day!!
Your Africa Team
“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 8:00 am
Got up this morning ready for a day or worship…it is going to be awesome! It is amazing how welcoming and loving the church is here, it is a reminder of home. Derek sang with the worship leader and…NAILED IT!! He did a great job and the people really appreciated the fact he learned Swahili. They all cheered when he finished. Mike preached on the “aroma of Christ” and what that means. At the end of the service he had people come up for prayer and the elders were more than happy to pray over their congregation. One of the greatest sights was to watch the children dance. At the closing of the service the children come in and dance and sing to a song…AND THEY CAN DANCE! The most amazing thing is to watch our group interact with everyone. There is a true demonstration of love for people they have known for only a short time. The youth had a “fun day” and had a bar-b-que and played games…kinda like we do from time to time. Teenagers are pretty much the same everywhere. Then we left there and went to where the TUBE is…we pulled in to the school and over a hundred smiling faces were there to greet us. Then is began…the fun, the yelling, the running…YAY! We had so much fun. Kaleb actually looked and me and said, “I never want to leave.” Then is was back to the hotel and dinner and sleep…we are so ready for tomorrow.
Your Africa Team
“Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.”
Monday, August 8, 2011 2:14 pm
We have to drop off Nally today at the airport…she is coming back earlier than us…we will really miss her, she has brought a great element to the team.
FUN IN NAIROBI!!! The pastor of the church here in Masii decided to take us to town and show us some sights…wow! something different sure happened. We saw some elephants and monkeys at an animal rescue, but the traffic was insane so we spent much of our time just looking at the city through the windows of the bus. Towards the end, we were able to get out, get something to eat and walk around a little. Bought a few more souvenirs, got back on the bus and headed for home. We really miss Nally already. Different, but great day nonetheless…just being together, laughing and having a great time!
Your Africa Team
p.s. Tomorrow Mike is preaching at the church here…and Derek is singing a song with their worship leader…IN SWAHILI! Pray for them!!! Thanks
Monday, August 8, 2011 2:00 pm
Last of the home visits…what an amazing opportunity to share Jesus with those we are visiting. Jackie T. adopted a little one and we were able to see him, bring him food, and pray with him and his grandmother. Jackie was really excited to be able to see her newly adopted son…the Trout family just grew by 1. Praise God!!! Today was also our 2nd (and last) day to help with the building of the house. It was amazing to show up and see so much more work had been done (good job Richard), but we were able to help put on the roof and do some “finish” masonry work. We also helped put the glass in the windows and filled some of the holes (on the side of the house) with cement. And of course, using cement meant we needed to bring water up from the “dry” riverbed about 200 yards away. Carrying two 5-gallon buckets 200 yards uphill (sound like something my grandpa would say) is pretty strenuous. Anyway, it was an awesome day and it is so cool to see God accomplish things through a bunch of teenagers…everyone has worked really hard and the woman we are building the house for said, “I didn’t think Americans worked this hard!”, it seems we might not have such a good reputation…be we are breaking that stereotype…GOOD JOB TEAM!
Tomorrow we are taking a little break and getting a tour of Nairobi…maybe see some elephants or something like that…just soak in some “local color”.
Your Africa Team
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Friday, August 5, 2011 4:13pm
Waking up and excited to see what God will do today! On the schedule is more home visits and then dinner at Benjamins house (Benajmin is a great friend and now we are family). First, a visit to the market to see all the local trade happening. Animals and anything else you can think of being sold. Awesome people following and laughing at the “Mazungus” (white people)…fun times! The home visits are such a blessing to US (we pray that the ones we are visiting are half as blessed as we are)! We were able to pray for the Grandmother of one of the boys we visited (Gabriel). She is legally blind because she had been taking medicine for HIV without eating right. This caused her to, basically, lose her sight. Our group was allowed to lay hands on her and pray for her sight to be restored. What happened? She was so blessed and began to cry and told us that we were such a blessing to her and that her faith in Jesus was so strengthened by the act of our praying. God is so GREAT!! After a few more home visits, on to Benjamins house. We were so welcomed (and fed really well). After dinner, the children of the family sang for us…AMAZING! Another GREAT day!!!
1 Corinthians 12:12
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.”
Friday, August 5, 2011 12:27 pm
What an awesome day (seems like we say that alot)!! Everyone worked really hard. We split up into 2 teams and headed off to do two different projects. One worked on a greenhouse and one worked on the construction of a house for a family supported by a family in our church.
The Greenhouse team had to “mine” the sand and the gravel from the river bed. They had to pick up the rocks one at a time from what they had dug up. Then they had to carry what they had gathered up a hill about 100 yards. Then the post holes for the greenhouse in dirt that might as well have been rock (really hard). Then we mixed about a 10 wheel barrow loads of cement to support the posts in the holes. Made a “bucket-brigade” to pass the cement to fill the holes for the supports. We also dug a trench around the entire greenhouse to hold the fabric from being blown away. We will be returning tomorrow to assemble the structure so the fabric can be pulled over.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…”
Wednesday, August 3, 2011 1:31 pm
This morning we went on a tour of the “dorms” that Tumaini is in the process of building. God is so good and it is incredible to see how He is using this ministry. After the tour we went on “home visits” today. We visited 6 children and their families, and brought 3 months worth of food, your gifts, and played games with the children. All the “home visits” that we do are children that are supported through sponsors at Valley Christian Church. Tumaini International is an amazing ministry that ministers to children that really need help. If you are a sponsor, you need to know that you are a blessing, not only to your child, but to the family that has to care for that particular child. Every child knows their sponsor and is so thankful for them. This is a very humbling thing to be able to go into peoples homes and see how they live, here their stories, and bring the love of Jesus. They have so little monitarily, but the have so much hope in Jesus…it is amazing!
We also visited a sewing shop that Tumaini has started with women in the community… women who are HIV positive. They have received training, equipment, and a store front and are now a self sustaining business. They make school uniforms, dresses, shirts and anything else you can think of, including….dashikis!! (if you don’t know what a dashiki is…it’s the shirts we are wearing)
Everyone is doing great…and allowing God to use us anyway He chooses!
Your Africa Team
1 Peter 4:11
“If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen”
Wednesday, August 3, 2011 1:07pm (2 Days worth of updates! Scroll down to read Day 4)
Good Morning to our family back home…
So great to wake up in Masii…this is a peaceful place. The people here are so kind and we are so thankful to be here. Rose (our hostess) says, “Africans smile with thier hearts.” that is so true! We went to Masii Christian Church today and were so blessed to worship with our brothers and sisters here. The worship is awesome and the people love Jesus. After the service we were involved with dedicating the green house. We had the people of the church lay hands on the materials and then prayed over the building and the use of it and asked for God’s blessing. In the afternoon we went to the Youth Meeting, played a really fun game that broke down all of the “awkward” walls between us and we had blast. Then we studied God’s word together and had a great discussion on TRUTH! Thank you for your prayers. God is really moving in our hearts and in the people here.
Your Africa Team
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
WOW! What another incredible day!! It just seems like the next day is better than the day before! God is so good and he is showing himself to your group of missionaries in incredible ways. We woke up today “hitting the ground running.” Before breakfast we packed up our stuff and got ready to head out to Masii. But first, COMMUNITY TRANSFORMERS (or CT). CT is a group that ministers to the needs of people living in the slums of Methari (800,000 people in a 3×5 mile area). The ministry started with 3 guys that lived and grew up in the slums. As they grew older that became aware of the challenges they faced everyday of their life. Going to school, medical attention, or even eating could pose real and, sometimes, life-threatening issues. They realized that they could either be, “part of the problem or part of the solution”. They decided to be part of the solution. One problem, they had no idea what that meant for them but, what they did know, God was calling them to do this. They had no financial backing…no backing of any kind, but they could read. They began to teach people in their community to read…they started with 5 students. Today CT has their own building (headquarters), and internet cafe, a medical office, regular offices, interns, and they are in the process of building a children’s center. WOW!! We were able to break up into groups and do home visits, visiting people that have been directly affected by HIV…mothers with HIV with children with the same…sitting and listening to their stories was heartbreaking but very encouraging at the same time. Heartbreaking because of the crazy life situation these people are in…encouraging when you see and hear how much they love Jesus and that He is the reason they have strength to continue on and not give up. There is such a “stigma” when you have a disease…so when teams come in for a home visit, the people you are visiting are so happy and excited to have you there with them. We all came back together and were able to share our feelings and experiences…I think it had an real and incredible impact on our team. We said our tearful “good-byes” (2 years is too long), loaded up on the bus and headed out for Masii….but first, a stop to do some shopping.
We were able to stop and pick up some gifts and souvenirs, have lunch in downtown Nairobi and share in some awesome fellowship with each other.
Heading out for Masii and an incredible view of the scenery and….gazelles, monkeys, zebras, and giraffes…everyone decided that WE LOVE AFRICA!!!
We arrived in Masii, moved into our rooms, and started to prepare for the upcoming day. Thank you for praying and we would ask that you would continue to life your team up in prayer and ask that God would continue to break down spiritual, cultural, and emotional walls in our lives and that the love of Jesus would flow through us to everyone we come in contact with. GOD IS GOOD…ALL THE TIME…AND ALL THE TIME GOD IS GOOD…IT IS HIS NATURE!!!!
Your Africa Team
“The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”
Friday, July 29, 2011 10:11pm:
Another incredible day that started out with prayer, a great breakfast and then a trip to the currency exchange office. Everyone got what they needed and we headed off to the WEEP Center in the Kibari slum. We arrived and were able to buy some incredible souvenirs made by the women at the WEEP center. Then the singing started…and then the dancing!! What incredible testimonies these women have…some being left for dead and being rescued by the loving hands of Jesus and brought into this incredible place that nursed them back to life, taught them a trade, and helped them with their everyday needs (rent, food, etc.). They fed us an incredible lunch and we found out later that we gave them the money to buy the food we were eating and because of that our team, (and more importantly) all of the ladies were able to eat and eat well. This is a big deal because there is a food shortage and most of these women, being moms, will give what little food they have to their children and not eat themselves. So they were able to eat. Thank you Jesus!!! Then more fellowship, playing with the kids, handing out candy and demonstrating Christ’s love to these incredible ladies. Said our “goodbyes”, loaded up on the bus and headed back to HEART for a bar-b-que. What an incredible day! Ended the night with a discussion about the book we will be going through on the trip.
Thank you again for all your support and prayers.
Please continue to pray for us…
Your Africa Team
“Worship the LORD , with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” Psalm 100:2
Thursday, July 28, 2011 10:08pm:
Today started early…everyone met at the Hoverson’s @ 5:15 am (is there such a time?)…and no one was late!
OFF TO THE AIRPORT! We arrived at LAX at 7:30 and prepared to board the first leg of our flight at 9:45. 1st
stop…Dubai. We were in the air for almost 15 hours this gave everyone alot of time to watch movies, sleep
and eat way to much airplane food (although it was really good). We arrived in Dubai and had about a 2 hour
layover and then boarded the plane for the final leg of our journey…Nairobi Airport! Landed and the butterflies
began working overtime…everyone was excited! Exited the plane and, at that moment, realized all the hard work,
fundraising, bake sales, change collection, yard sales…and everything else that went into raising the funds
for this trip was worth it. As we waited in line for our visas then collected our bags (all 26 of them), the
call to serve was welling up inside of all of us. A different attitude came over the group. It seemed everyone
began to think of the other person before they worried about themselves…YES!!! Our welcoming committee consisted of Stanley, Rose and our good friend Paul. Tears of joy were shed seeing friends and realizing that we were right where God wanted us to be. Our first night (which is tonight), was spent in a really nice place called
Katrina. The rooms are very nice and we will be able to get a really good nights sleep that will prepare us for
tomorrow. But wait, we had to eat some more…they prepared an awesome dinner for us that we couldn’t say “no” to. So, we ate again and now we are headed off to bed. We are looking forward to seeing the women at the “WEEP” Centers tomorrow. “God use us anyway you want to!! -Amen”
Love you all,
Your Africa Team
p.s. Please pray that we will bring the “Aroma” of Christ with us!!!
“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”
2 Corinthians 2:15
Wednesday, July 27,2011 12:15pm:
Our Africa Team is in the Air! They left Chino at 5:30 this morning and headed off to LAX. Their flight left about 9:54AM and will be arriving in Dubai on Thursday at 12:40 PM (They lose a day going to Africa and gain a day coming home.) Here are a few pictures:
That’s all for now! Keep them wrapped up in your prayers. #PrayForAfrica2011