Monday, January 27, 2014

Special in His Sight

It's 2014 now. I went to Kenya in the summer of 2012. This never got posted, but I wanted to go ahead and share. Enjoy :)

     I know at some points of life you have had your ups and downs. Please dear, remember God is always with you! NEVER GIVE UP! God loves you very much. Try to live your lives to the fullest.
     This is not the end of the road for you. We STILL need you very much! You are our guardians in our day to day life. 
                           I love you so much! YOU ARE IMPORTANT TO US!!!
                                                                                                From: Heema

Up above is one of the many letters that the students of class 7 at Ringroad Orphanage Day School wrote today. On Tuesday, I went out into the community with the voluntary counseling therapy (VCT) team to speak to members of the HIV/AIDS infected people. The group meets regularly 2-3 times a week to encourage each other in the Lord and discuss difficulties. They share in their struggles, pain, fears, and also in their joys and triumphs.Ranging from young mothers in their twenties to elderly grandfathers and grandmothers, the group's diversity reveals the impact of HIV/AIDS in the Nyalenda slum.

I asked the students of class 7 if they could do a special favor for me. The task was to write many notes of encouragement to the members of the HIV/AIDS group to help lift their spirits, and to pray for them. 28 messages like the one Heema wrote were returned to me this afternoon to give to the group. As I read the words these orphans wrote to the inflicted my heart melted. I didn't require anything in particular to be written. The cry for these people to value their lives in spite of the adversities they faced was a constant theme the children included in their letters. I can't wait to hand out these letters to the group. For the kindness of our God was shared through a group of kids today, and it is truly precious. Don't forget to praise the Lord who made you, loves you, and designed this day for you to know HIM. I love you all in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

Do not give up                              
Live because you are alive                  
You are important and special                
There is still hope for you                  
The Lord our God will never leave you           Praise the Lord!HE made you in HIS image!     
                        We LOVE & NEED you! God LOVES you more!!!                             

The adventures that I talked about going to the rural church of Maemba. Here is the result after the rain. Yes, that is our road! haha

Sunday, July 8, 2012

God knows

This week I asked the kids in class 7 at Ringroad Orphange Day School to help me with something...

Two or three days every week the voluntary counseling therapy (VCT) team go out into the community and meet with the HIV/AIDS patients in Nyalenda. The gatherings range in group size from 10 people to sometimes 30. The diversity of the group is quite amazing in that the ages range from ladies in there early 20's all the way to grandmothers and grandfathers who may be in their 80's. They gather together, read scripture, and share their joys and sorrows that come with the disease. Every single one of them is precious and inspiring. I went out with the group this week, and got to share a message about the powerful tool God gave us to ask for help, prayer. I was truly humbled and blessed in getting to share with these people who inspired me with their determination to live their lives fully trusting in God's provisions in spite of their health issues.

So what does this have to do with the favor that I asked of the kids? Well... I asked class 7 if they would write some personal notes of encouragement to the people in the groups. I received 28 letters of pure kindness and love from these kids with uplifting and wonderful messages! They are so sweet :) . I haven't been involved much with the kids since I work mainly in the health clinic, and so I was unsure of what they would say. However, I did not want to script their words. I read all of the notes.

   "God loves you so much"                           "Trust in His promises"                       "Don't give up"                                     
                                  "We love you"                                  "You are so important to us"
                "This is not the end"                        "We need you"                           "God is in control"

 These were a few of the themes in every note. How wonderful is that??? My heart twisted as I read because more than I ever would know, these kids know exactly what the people in the groups are facing. They understand that many people are tempted to take their lives. They understand the financial burdens that are magnified. They understand that they feel worthless because society tells them that is what they are if they are positive. They understand that they are weak and overcome with physical duties that they can no longer do. They understand that many feel that God has abandoned them.  They understand because they are orphans who have lost parents to HIV/AIDS...

It will be so amazing next time I get to go out with the team and deliver the notes. Praise God that He didn't leave us here without any hope. Our hope is our Savior, and these fighters will be victorious in Christ Jesus the day our Heaven Father takes them home. Father knows exactly how they feel, and what they need. These are His chosen, holy, and beloved children regardless of age.

Please continue to pray everyday. God gave us the Holy Spirit to guide our hearts, hands, feet, and words; and also He gave us prayer. Even if you are someplace else, you can pray. These are prayers that He HEARS and ANSWERS.

 "We do not have because we do not ask..." sound familiar? Check out what the book of James has to say about prayer. I love you all, and am praying for you also.  Be blessed in Christ!
Here is one of the children's letters.

     I know at some points of life you have had your ups and downs. Please dear, remember God is always with you! NEVER GIVE UP! God loves you very much. Try to live your lives to the fullest.
     This is not the end of the road for you. We STILL need you very much! You are our guardians in our day to day life. 
                           I love you so much! YOU ARE IMPORTANT TO US!!!
                                                                                                From: Heema

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pictures :)

 Here is a picture of Kakamega Rain forest. It was so beautiful getting to walk through. We got caught in a rain storm on our way out at about 6pm that evening, and almost had to stay the night in the forest. God has so many beautiful adventures to embark upon in this world.
 This is the view from the door of Maemba Church of Christ right before the rain came down!

The faithful and happy members of Maemba Church of Christ. Their kindness and hospitality was such a sweet blessing! We had so much fun just praising God and enjoying each other's company even though our interaction was limited to only those few hours. The family of God is so wonderful! They were encouraged and lifted up by us, and we were encouraged and excited by them.

I rejoiced with those who said to me, "Let us go to the house of the Lord.                                               ~Psalm 122:1~

Friday, June 29, 2012

New as new :)

Wow what a beautiful day this is that God has given us! I love how He is in everything everywhere! This has been a fairly busy week of work in the church, clinic, and at school at Ringroad. God has been weaving me and the other people here in an out of people lives, who for just a moment, we share the same world. On Sunday, the Ringroad pastor, George, along with Cody, Tom, and I went to a rural church in the moutains. It was Maemba Church of Christ. The church was on a small plot of land that a family had bought and donated, so that God could be worshipped. The nearest town was about 20 minutes away. We doubled up on some piki pikis, aka motorbikes, and made our way up and down the steep, winding roads. We were greeted, drank delicious chai tea, and then went to worship. After presenting a special song in Kiswahili, Cody and George preached the message, and then we ate lunch, and passed out several clothing items that some sweet ladies sewed and sent from America. They were very grateful, and we were all filled with joy of the Holy Spirit.

For the rest of the week, I have been working in the health clinic mainly. There are many illnesses that pass through, mainly children. I got to help Sister Dolphin, one of the nurses, give immunizations to many of the babies on Wed. and Thurs, as I will do almost every week.

On Thursday, I also had the opportunity to share with a lady who had been studying with other Kenyan friends about baptism and tie up some loose ends. We got to baptize our new sister, Beatrice, a few hours ago in Lake Victoria. Praise God for the advancement of His Kingdom here. People are so hungry for the hope that we often forget about. Remember what Jesus did for you today! I love you all in Him and miss you much. Thanks for your prayers, and please keep Kenya, the missionaries, Ringroad, and CRF in your prayers.

Monday, June 18, 2012


It means "welcome" here in Kenya. 

Have you ever gotten into something, and understood the main idea, but not the details? Spiritually, at this point that is how this last week has been. I got to experience A LOT of Africa in the last few days. It was moment to moment and wonderful for each part of it; however, as I am now thinking about what to share, it is difficult to covey each thought God put into my head during the last few days. The cool thing about God is He lets you learn by living. This week I got to see some of the most beautiful habitats and some of the worst. I was enthralled by the beauty of the rainforest, and broken over the living conditions of the poor, but in all of the scenery around me, I came unbelievably close to missing the theme found in all the details. Out of all the animals, plants, landscapes, and tin shacks, everyday, we stare at the most beautiful, chosen works of art by Our Father: Humans. All of what God made is good, but the humans are His chosen, holy, and beloved masterpieces. It’s hard to grasp sometimes. And sometimes we’d rather praise God for the mountains majesty rather than the beauty in His reflected image, but wow, what a great God! He chose us. I suppose the best attitude to associate with any situation is one of gratitude. Our God does big things and little things. Let us shout praise to His name for the life He gives each and every one of us on Earth and the Life He gives in Christ Jesus.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
-Colossians 3:12

 “Simple gratitude helps us experience God at work in every moment of every day.”
-Harriet Crosby-

“Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! Selah”
-Psalm 68:19 NKJV

A lot has transpired over the last week of my adventures to and in Kenya, so this is just a brief and objective summary this week. I hope that as I begin to get settled and God provides new opportunities that you will see His great work changing me and the people here as I write. For this first one, it is not as personal as it is informative, so please forgive me. Also, the Kenyan ladies have asked me to speak at one of their retreats on July 21st, so if you have any stories or suggestions for a lesson, I would be blessed by you sharing what you have learned. Love you all in Jesus so very much!

I flew from ABQ, NM ---> St. Paul, MN ---> Amsterdam, Netherlands ---> Nairobi, Kenya
3 Continents in 3 days = a lot of rejuvenating sleep on planes and unlimited chances to invent new forms of self entertainment. I hope you know which activity is dripping with sarcasm. Yes, it is only one of the two (LOL)....Anyways I made it safely to Nairobi on Wednesday morning.

My friend from Kenya who is associated with CRF picked me up from the airport early that morning. My connecting flight to Kisumu was a good 10 hours away, so we got on the bus and went into the city. We ran a few errands downtown and then went to my friend's university. I tried my first Kenyan dishes, chapati and bahiji. They were interesting haha. We left school to go back to the airport, but because of political events and protestors, our mototu (spelling?), small crammed van, got stuck in a 3 hour long traffic jam. I missed my flight by 2 hours, and had to get a hostel in Nairobi. I didn't sleep much that night, but Thursday I did catch a quick morning flight to Kisumu. 

I got into Kisumu! My host family and the main missionary family with CRF were out of town, so Cody an intern from Atlanta teaching at the orphanage day school came and helped me get settled in. We then went into the Nylenda slum to visit the school. A combination of the smells and the sights were similar to what I had read about, but visually I had no past reference to compare to this kind of poverty. We maneuvered around the streams of waste in the middle of the rocky road until we got to a fenced off compound where the school, clinic, and church of Ringroad/CRF ministries is located. The kids were in uniform and out playing. They were quick to greet us monzungus (white people) and it was great for me to meet many of the kids and staff, too.

The next morning Cody and I went back to Ringroad for the game day with the kids. I had the most fun playing games with them, and teaching them new games and songs. They had endless questions about the United States. We played for a long time, and then took a street boy to Agape Ministies for Boys. They take in kids abandoned on the street and take care of them and introduce them to Jesus.

Cody, me, and friends went to another town called Kakamega to explore the rainforest there. It was awesome! We climbed a mountain to look down onto the forest, journeyed through thick brush to discovered waterfalls, and got stranded in a hut in the African bush. We ate fresh cut sugar cane and sat in the mud huts to keep from getting wet while the boys went to find a way out of the forest. Then we all stayed in a hostel and hung out in the local places with our Kenyan friends. It was a lot of fun.

Today, I got back from Kakamega and finally got to meet my host family. We had a relaxing lunch, and took Jasmine who is 4 to swim. I am excited about this new week ahead and the rest of the summer.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I leave for Kisumu, Kenya on June 11th. The Lord has been patient in preparing my heart for this trip. Please pray that He is glorified in my time before I leave and in the time I am in Africa. Thank you. I love you all in Christ!