Praise God! Our team of sixteen has arrived home safe and sound from our journey to Kenya. After almost two weeks on the mission field, we have numerous experiences to reflect on and be thankful for. God certainly showed up in every way possible. We saw Him in the unity of our team, the logistics of our scheduling, and our continued traveling mercies. He was faithful to open our eyes, convict our hearts, and change lives for eternity. A few of the ways we saw Him at work are described below.
Teen Challenge Kenya: Our team was blessed to be graciously hosted by the leaders of Teen Challenge Kenya, John and Anne Martin. We began our very first day in Kenya by attending a Teen Challenge chapel service – an incredible way to jumpstart the trip! Team member Pastor Ron Brown gave a powerful message, and Brandon Muchow and Paul Allen assisted in worship. The men performed a couple choir numbers for us, and we were blown away by the anointing in their voices. We discovered that Teen Challenge men are the same all over the globe: encouraging, passionate, and on fire for the Lord. Later in our trip, we conducted a leadership seminar for both the Teen Challenge men and staff, prepared and led by team member Tom Brock. We were equally blessed.
Medical Outreach: For 3 days, our team helped conduct a medical outreach in the Kariobangi slums of Nairobi. The residents of this area live among trash, dirt, and human and animal feces. We opened the doors of the clinic (set up in a small church), and hundreds of people lined up to see the doctor, receive medication, and be prayed over. We saw patients with worms, malaria, and AIDS. Our medical team was led by Dr. Fritz Westerhout and Dr. James Collier, assisted by nurses Carol Brock and Greg Hunt. Over 1350 people came through the clinic, and 170 made immediate decisions to accept Christ as their savior.
Church Visitations: On our only Sunday in Kenya, our team split up into two groups in order to minister at two different churches in the area. Pastor Ron Brown spoke at the church located in the Kariobangi slums (where the medical clinic had been previously held), and Brandon Muchow, Laura Johnson, and Greg Hunt spoke at another assembly called Humura (“Mercy”) Church nearby. Most services in Kenya last about 3 hours long! We enjoyed an extended time of worship together. They were so thankful to have us as their guests, and we were honored to serve.
Tumaini Destitute Children’s Home/Humura Handicapped Home (EAP): We drove to Nyeri, Kenya to visit the Tumaini Destitute Children’s Home, a long-standing ministry partner of St. Andrew’s through the East African Partnership. Rev. Bernard Muindi, founder and leader, was there specially to meet us. They served us Kenyan tea as they informed us more about their ministry, followed by a tour of the facilities. We then gathered in the auditorium as it began to rain, and the children presented skits and worship songs they had prepared for us. As water pelted on the aluminum roof, their praises rose louder to fill the air – a truly wonderful combination to hear. Even in a “destitute” place, God’s hope could still be felt. We left toys, clothes, and Bibles for the children. Next time, we hope to stay with them longer.
The same day, Bernard Muindi also took us to see the Humura Handicapped Home, another orphanage under his leadership located close by. It is here where the children with special needs and disabilities live. We gathered for a spontaneous time of worship on the lawn outside their dorms. When we learned that a few children were bedridden, we made sure to pay them a special visit before we left. Although the circumstances of such a place can be disheartening, we knew God’s hand was on this home. As team leader Laura Johnson observed: “these are the ones we will see at the banqueting table”.
Narok Boys’ Home (EAP): Near the end of our trip, we spent a day in Narok, Kenya, in order to visit the EAP Boys’ Home (another orphanage through the East African Partnership). On our way, we learned much about the Maasai people who live there, a semi-nomadic tribal group known as fearless warriors. Although some of them have been reached with the gospel, they still need great encouragement towards a Biblical respect of women and other tribes. As two men in tribal garb ran by our van holding spears, we realized we weren’t just learning – we were among them.
At the boys’ orphanage, we shared Bible stories and worship songs, played games, did crafts, and gave them toys. We presented them with cards made by our St. Andrew’s children, and they made cards for us to bring back home. Each boy at the orphanage received a Bible with their name and a special message inscribed, donated by St. Andrew’s Children’s Ministry. We fell in love with the joy and innocence of children who really have nothing.
D.O.O.R. International Ministry: The Seed Company, which helps to supply Bibles for unreached people groups worldwide, strongly recommended that we visit a ministry called D.O.O.R. International while in Kenya (www.doorinternational.com). So our team traveled to Ongata Rongai, and spent the day learning how D.O.O.R. (Deaf Opportunity OutReach) exists to translate scripture for deaf people all over the globe. We experienced a “deaf worship service”, where they passionately signed and danced to the vibration of a drum. They cautioned us to “open our eyes and listen”, which became reality right there before us. We were given a tour of their beautiful facilities, while we learned to understand each strategic step that goes into Biblical translation. It was a powerful and humbling ministry to witness.
Team Kenya 2012