Monthly Archives: May 2016

Through the eyes of a child

This may get monotonous, but today was a great day!  Mike and Jeff started the morning at the local Nakumatt (the Kenyan ‘Walmart’) where Jeff got to speak with all the employees

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Sharing the Gospel!

before they started work.  Jeff got to share the gospel with the team and Pastor Richard invited them to trust Jesus.  No decisions were made this morning, but many of them are already followers of Jesus and were encouraged we would spend time with them.  Mike will get to speak to them tomorrow.

After that we headed to the Seeds Academy.  Four hundred little voices sang out as we entered the compound.  These children come from the orphanage and from the Kipsongo slum.  Seeds teaches them their academic subject for sure, but mostly they share the gospel with them through songs and stories.  We were treated to several songs, poems and skits from each

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Elizabeth did 3 times as many checkups in one morning as she normally does all day!

of the classes.  They are learning well and their marks are consistently better than 90% of the other schools in the county.  We broke into three teams after their program.  One team did full medical evaluations on the three youngest grades.  Seventy-three children had their blood pressure, temperature, height and weight checked and a basic medical evaluation performed.  The good news is because they are getting two nutritious meals every day, their health is much better than many of the other children living in the slums.  Seeds is definitely meeting physical AND spiritual needs.

Autumn and Karen spent time with the teachers teaching them the Arise2Read curriculum.  This program is having a dramatic effect in inner city Memphis and the

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So you take these 300 sight words…

teachers were so excited to be able to implement it at the school as well.  While they were sharing with the teachers the rest of our team was rotating between the different classes singing songs, telling bible stories and coloring bible pictures.  Once the ‘clinic’ work was done and all the stories had been told, we headed out for two different projects in the afternoon.

Several of the men went back to the orphanage to work with the plumber who is working on the new dining hall.  We brought an industrial water filter system that will provide 200,000 liters of clean water each day and the men showed them how to install it.  A second group traveled to the new widow’s home that has been built.  They had a sweet time fellow-shipping with the elderly women living in the new home.  I think they went through two packages of Kleenex before they left!

Seeing life through the eyes of a child living in the slums today is something that won’t soon leave us.  They are so appreciative of anything you do for them.  May I never forget to view our great God in the same way, so thankful for what He’s done for me!

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Come unto me, all you who are heavy laden…

Come unto me, all you who are heavy laden…

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Hallelujah in the House of God

Sunday mornings in Kenya are different!  For starters most people walk to church, some as much as an hour.  But they don’t really seem to mind much at all.  Since arrivals are staggered, the singing and praise time lasts for a quite a while.  But what joyful singing

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Worship is a VERB!

and dancing and praising it is!  When they sing about the Israelites leaving the wilderness and entering the promised land, they literally march around the building singing and praising!  Try that one Sunday morning Mark Blair!   Our team was able to minister in 5 different churches this morning and each experience was amazing.  We had teams teaching and preaching on the side of the mountain in Mt. Elgon, in a school in Kipsongo, in a tent church in Kitale, in a church in the bush in Turbo and one just on the outskirts of Kitale.  They all send their love and greetings to you and want you to know they’re praying for you!  Did you get that?  They are praying for you!  And they have been for a while.

This afternoon we were honored to participate in laying the cornerstone for the new Seeds Academy high school.  Richard Makani and his wife Hellen are the founders of Seeds

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Our firm foundation, our cornerstone is not this rock.  It is Christ the Rock!

Orphanage and Seeds Academy.  They minister to the children in the Kipsongo slum outside of Kitale, telling them about the love of God and then showing them in practical ways by feeding, clothing and housing many of them.  If you read some of my blog posts from previous trips you will see a lot of the great work they are doing there in Kitale.  Last year we stood and prayed over a plot of land just over 5 acres in size.  Today, the foundation has been laid for the school on the very land that we prayed over.  God has provided the funds so far to purchase the land, draw up the plans for the school, run water and electricity and lay the foundation.  In Richard’s own inimitable way he says ‘We are trusting God to provide the remainder of the funds’.  I wish I had 1/10th of the faith this man has!  Who knows, maybe some of you reading this are meant to be school builders from afar?!?

We ended the day at one of the most joyous places on I’ve ever been on earth.  Those who say Disney World is the happiest place on earth have never visited the Seeds Orphanage in

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Welcome Visitahs!

Kitale.  Every time we visit, these children are lined up to meet us singing joyful songs about our Lord.  Real, unadulterated joy!  Overjoyed to hold your hand, climb up in your lap and just smile at you…  Giggling while they take your hand and take you around the property to show off the place where they live… They sing ‘happy to see you, happy to see you!’ …and they mean it.  Jesus is their joy!

Tomorrow we go to the Seeds academy to do some medical evaluations and teach some of the teachers about the Arise2Read curriculum.  Oh, and there will probably be some singing, and some dancing, and lots of smiles.  (and that’s just our team!  No telling what the kids will do!)

Until next time.  See if this doesn’t make you smile!

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The Three Smiling Marks!

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African Praises on a songbird’s wings

This morning I walked out of my room at the CORAT conference and retreat center in Nairobi and took a deep breath and exhaled a prayer of gratitude and wonder.  We have arrived with 20 people and 40 bags travelling 4 different itineraries using 6 different

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We didn’t look this fresh by Friday night!

airlines and we all had breakfast together in the cool crisp Kenyan morning!  God is good!  We landed in Nairobi Friday night and checked into the CORAT and got our first real sleep in almost 40 hours.  The fragrance of the beautiful African flowers and melody of the very active Kenyan songbirds greeted us to a breakfast of sweet pineapple, papaya and mango juice to go along with our eggs and toast.

We had a relaxing morning preparing for our very busy week.  After taking care of money exchange and local cell phone activation we headed back to the airport for our flight in-country.  The 50-minute Turbo-prop flight took us from Nairobi to Eldoret where our drivers met us and took us the last two hours to our ministry base for the week.  Kitale, Kenya is in the north west part of Kenya not far from the Uganda border.  It is home to Pastor Richard Makani and his wife Hellen.  These are truly two of God’s choice servants.  They are responsible for the Seeds orphanage, Seeds Academy, soon to be Seeds High School and a pastor training center up on Mt. Elgon.  He is also the overseer for several other churches.  We will begin tomorrow by ministering in five of those churches in the morning, then help lay the cornerstone for the foundation for the new high school that is being built in Kitale in the early afternoon.  We will end our day at the Seeds orphanage.  I wish you could all feel the love we’ve already felt today.  We’ll post more when we can.

Thank you again for all of your prayers.  We have definitely felt them!  Keep them coming!

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Jehovah Jireh

“If you have subconscious doubts about God’s good intentions, they’ll manifest in a thousand forms of fear. If you believe with every fiber of your being that God is for you, an alternate reality awaits you.” (Mark Batterson “IF”)

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Brandon and the boys!

Once again we are embarking on the long, mind and seat numbing journey to the country of Kenya.  Seven times before I’ve endured the more than 19 total hours of flights on four different planes with a team of folks to, as Henry Blackaby says “Find out where God is at work and join Him there.”  But there is something about this trip that feels different.  First there’s the size of the team.  TWENTY!

We weren’t planning to go back to Kenya this year because of some strategic plans in Guatemala.  When God closed that door, he re-opened this door – much later than usual – less time to plan – surely not that many people would to go – people who wanted to go couldn’t for one reason or another…  I should learn to shut up!  Our team of twenty people includes young and old(er), including a spry 83 year-old named Frankie who was so excited she left a month ago!  We have men and women.  Teachers and Medical Professionals.  Business people and students.  An eclectic bunch at that!

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This is one of 4 tilapia ponds on the Seeds orphanage property.

Then there’s the provision.  I’ve heard it, ‘Trust the Lord and tell the people’.  Well, the Lord has obviously spoken to the people.  We had some setbacks early on and just asked people to pray.  Here are some examples of how the Lord responded to those prayers:  A third grade class in Jackson, TN donated $480 to go towards shoes for the children at our medical clinic.  One of our trip participant’s classmates at aircraft mechanic’s school donated 110 pair of brand new shoes.  Our water filter supplier, Sawyer International, gave us a 3 for 1 deal which is allowing us to take 105 bucket filters and three industrial filters to place in schools, homes and churches.  One trip participant’s employer wrote a check for an industrial filter.  Checks for $350, $500, a couple for $1000 have been handed to me for supplies.  15 brand new soccer balls were given to us last Saturday.  This list goes on and on.  Our God is definitely our provider, our Jehovah Jireh!

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What do you do when you run out of chairs, sit on rocks!  For hours!

Pray for the team as we leave early Thursday morning.  Watch this space for updates during the week.  Here are the team members:

Phyllis & Brandon Lea, Michael & Autumn Ingram, Jeff & Susan Moser, Samuel Moser, Katie Moser, Allison Little, Susan Shelton, Mark Croom, Mike Deiter, Rachel Smith, Laura Barnett, Karen Bobbitt, Rebekah Otey, Darla McFall, Elizabeth Simmons, Shari Ramoly & Frankie Taylor.

 

Karibu Kenya!

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