Monday, September 24, 2012

From my journal - Saturday 9/15/12

Beatrace is a woman I met with today as we were doing home visits. She told us she was separated from her husband because she got pregnant when her second son was only a year old and her husband wanted her to abort the baby. She refused and moved in with her mother. She seemed very touched that we came to pray with her. I hope she comes to church tomorrow. I wish I could get to know her more and build a relationship with her. She seems like she just needs a loving friend.

Today I felt more of a language barrier then I've ever felt here. It's difficult to sit while someone has a conversation and Swahili and wait for translation at the end of the conversation. I would love to learn Swahili.

It has been interesting - trying to figure out where my heart is naturally drawn. Is it the women or the children? I absolutely love playing with and loving on the children, but the women need so much love too.

Tomorrow we will get to meet some older orphans that Esther and Isaac help provide for. I am excited to meet them. We will get to see the older Naomi's Village kids tomorrow too, which I am excited about also.

Lord, Help me to keep my focus tomorrow. Keep me present and looking outward and not only inward. Lord, use us tomorrow as you've used us today. I beg that you save souls tomorrow. I long for these people to walk in freedom and to know your love. I praise you for the work you've already done and will do.



Saturday morning started out with some time to fellowship with the Kenyan core team and a few street boys who showed up to hang out. We sang a few songs and then broke up into groups to discuss the day before and pray. I was in a group with Sarah and Catherine as well as James, Phillomina and Agnus.
After our group time we hung out, played games with the boys and then walked to a local restaurant and had a traditional Kenyan meal. Some of the street boys joined us for lunch and I could tell how thankful they were to have a meal.
Hannah, James & Jake playing games with the boys.
Walking to lunch.
mmm Kenyan food.
Ashley and I with our Coca-Cola's.
Peter, a street boy who spent a lot of time with us.
Esther told us later that she had a chance to talk to Peter. He told her he didn't expect to eat dinner that night and that sometimes men hurt his mother, but he and his brother try to stop them. We assume his mother is a prostitute and Peter is abused. It breaks my heart to hear stories like this, but it gives me great hope that Rift Valley Fellowship can be a safe place for people like this, even and especially the children.

After lunch we broke into groups to head out for house visits. I was in a group of 6, but Agnus and I partnered up and visited with people. The first woman we talked with was Beatrace. She is pregnant, has a young son around 3 or 4 years old whose name was Felix, and a toddler who was sleeping whose name was Alex. She told us that she was separated from her husband because he was angry with her for getting pregnant too soon after she had Alex. Her husband wanted her to have an abortion, but she refused and moved in with her mother. Beatrace was very emotional as she told us her story. Although abortion is illegal in Kenya, I'm so thankful she had the strength to stand up for herself and do the right thing even with the pressure from her husband. I prayed for her, invited her to church on Sunday and we went on our way to talk with other people.
Beatrace and I with her sons - Felix (left) and Alex (center).
Francis (in the hat) was a street boy who had joined us for the day.
Agnus and I talked with a few more ladies and then met back up with our larger group and continued walking. We met with one more family. A woman who was walking by stopped and said she'd love for us to pray for her too. Her name was Veronica. She told us she was HIV positive and had problems with her spleen. Esther gave this group an audio bible that spoke in 3 languages - English, Swahili & French.
Esther explaining the audio bible
After that we made our way to the open-air fellowship. There was singing, dancing, playing, and gospel sharing. Lauren gave her testimony and Isaac preached. After Friday we decided it would be better not to translate the sermon because this fellowship meeting wasn't for us, it was for the Kenyans. It is more beneficial to preach in their language than ours. The only translation necessary was for Lauren's testimony. This helped cut down on the time spent there and made it more about the Kenyans than about us.
The ladies singing
Catherine came to visit again
The girls danced with the children
The guys hung out with men from the community
To top off an already great day, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset on the way home. I love a good sunset. It always reminds me how creative our God is. For me, being a creative person, it stirs my heart for the Lord.



Monday, September 17, 2012


Sa Sa! (what's up)

We finally have internet access again! Just wanted to give an update of what's been going on over the last few days.

We left Nairobi on Friday, got to Kijabe (where we are staying) to have lunch with Isaac and Esther. Friday afternoon we went down to Maai Mahiu to meet the core team from Rift Valley Fellowship and to go out into the community for house visits.

My team went with Esther, Pastor Isaac's wife. It was Jake, Jesse, Esther and I.

A man we met making Mundazi -
fried bread, kinda like sopapillas, but a little less sweet.

Esther on the left with the women we met on Friday.
Zipporah and Mary with their grandmother.
We ended the afternoon with an open-air fellowship service. Things started out slow, but the crowd began to grow. There was worship and dancing and we could definitely see the Lord's hand when Matt was asked to share his testimony which spoke to the community and went well with Pastor Isaac's sermon.

Hayley and I with some girls we met at the open-air fellowship.
Notice the two girls in the middle both have babies on their backs.
The girl on the left's name is Catherine. You'll be seeing more of her. :-)
We ended our day having dinner at Esther and Isaac's house and when we got ready to go to their guest house we found out they were having a problem with leaks. I found this out when we were on our way walking from Isaac and Esther's house to the guest house and the route seemed very familiar - we were walking to the ENT House, which is where we stayed last year. When I got there Esther told me about the leak and said it just so happened that the ENT House was empty and had room for us. Thank you Lord for providing a place for us to stay. Even though it was a little hick-up in Esther's planning, the team didn't even notice it. 

Although it was our first full day in country, we were excited to hit the ground running. There was no time to waste - we needed to get started right away.

I think most of us were a bit timid to begin with, but by Saturday we were more comfortable being out in the community. We are all so thankful to be a part of the work the Lord is doing here in Maai Mahiu.  We continue to feel your prayers and are so thankful to have you waring for us in prayer.

Continue to check the team YouTube channel. We've posted a few videos!

Keep the prayers coming!


Friday, September 14, 2012


Jambo! We made it safely! I just wanted to post a quick update before we head out for our first day in country. I'm not exactly sure what's on the agenda for today, but all I know is that I couldn't be any more excited to be here!

Here are a few photos from our travel day taken from my iphone. Don't worry, I've got my DSLR out and ready for the day, so hopefully the quality of the photos will improve.

First Flight Seat Buddies!
Sarah, Jake & Julie

Riding our bus train to our second flight.
Julie & Jessica

Finally made it to Nairobi! Baggage claim in the airport.
Hayley, Ashley & Julie

Loading ALLLLL our luggage.
32 checked bags total with the addition of carry-on's.

So for now, that's all I've got. Hopefully I'll be able to post something more substantial over the next day or two.

I'm so excited to see what the Lord is going to do over the next 10 days. I feel so blessed to be a part of the work the Lord is doing here in Kenya. Pray for the Lord to move through us and in us. He is mighty.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Quick Update

Here's my version of a quick update, because I've still got tons to do and it's already 10pm.

I've added a few links in the sidebar over there ---> so check them out.
 • Jambo Kenya - last year's team blog has just turned into this year's team blog! We'll be posting there as well, so follow along!
 • Team YouTube Channel - where we will post videos and slideshows while we're gone.
 • Love Africa Tumblr - where I hope to post photos while I'm gone.

Our flight leaves about 6pm-ish tomorrow evening. I hope I have a better experience trying to sleep on the plane this time around. Last year was horrible - I think I got about 2 hours of sleep within a 36 hour window. Not my idea of a good time. My plan is to get up super early, like 4 am, go in to work for a while (womp womp) to get some last minute things done, and be home to finish packing and getting ready by 10am. I'm hoping getting up so early will make me tired enough to sleep. Wish me luck!

I'm so thankful to have you guys supporting me and praying for me as I make this journey! You're the best!