As we watched the magnificent sun set in the African sky last night, I thanked my son Noah for challenging me to go outside my comfort zone and go on this trip! I’ve been on staff at Crossroads Church for over 10 years and have always heard how amazing Kenya was, but never felt called to go until this year with CCHS. I’m so happy to have experienced it with our CCHS students and staff!! My life is forever changed. I will have the voices and smiles of the sweet children from our schools forever imprinted on my heart. Their strong faith in Jesus amazes me in the midst of such extreme poverty. I loved interacting with them all. Singing, dancing, praying, and laughing together. I loved talking with them so much and even teaching them some Spanish. All they wanted was just some of my time and attention, so simple!
I was most impressed with the teachers and social workers. They are missionaries in their own country changing lives one at a time. I really enjoyed working with them. I had a special bond with them! They are the connection to the community and children! I will continue to keep my new sisters in prayer as they work 6 days a week to make a difference in the community for Jesus.
We were so extremely blessed to meet, play, hug and laugh with our sweet 9 year old sponsor child, Sarah. She has a very special place in my heart! So painfully shy but by the end of our time together she claimed “big Noah” as hers! I know she’s well taken care of in the program and I’m hopeful for her future.
The highlights of this trip are too many to sum up in a few sentences, but what I can say is that these children have hope for a future and life because of Missions of Hope International. It’s so beautiful to see the body of Christ work together in unity! I’m so very proud of our CCHS team and how hard they worked–how they gave themselves up to be used for His purpose. “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” Psalm 133:1 NIV
I had expectations coming to Kenya from stories friends have shared over the years. I expected to be shocked and saddened beyond bearing. I expected devastating hopelessness. All of that was there, but God showed me instead much beauty. These are the snapshot moments that will never leave me.
– The Pangani slums
Women going about their work outside washing clothes, making food, tending their little carts. They would look at us and nod, or greet us and smile if we spoke to them. There were the sweetest children, 2 & 3 years old, running around playing, looking after each other, playing greeters to these strange American guests, making us feel at home with hugs and lots of hands to hold.
-The Kiamaiko school children: they will always have my heart. They ushered us in and up to the very rooftop of the new 6 story, nearly complete, school building where they told us to “sit back and relax” as each group performed for us– the scout troop, the singers, the dancers and the storytellers. Tears ran down my face at each beautiful word from these precious children. All around us were acres and acres of slums where these children call home, and yet here they were, a beacon of hope on the highest point in the village. And everywhere I looked, people were coming out on the tenement balconies or standing in the streets to hear them. “They shine like stars in the universe”.
-Home visits in the Kiamaiko slums
Going into the tiny haphazard homes of these women with whom the social workers have been working, we were treated like honored guests. I loved their beautiful faces, shy and humble, as the social worker praised each of them for being good mothers and hard working women. How often do they probably hear that? What an honor to share Christ with them and to show His love.
-Our CCHS kids
One of my greatest joys was riding the bus each day to serve, and hearing quiet songs of praise rise up spontaneously from the back of the bus. They were 200% committed and faithful to the calling God has placed on them, and it was such an honor getting to serve with them.
I am leaving Kenya feeling hopeful because of the changes to life in the slums that my returning teammates could see. I have hope because of the amazing work of Missions of Hope and their dedicated staff “missionaries in their own country”. It gives me hope for the change to continue and for this next generation to have a chance at a better life for them and their children. So grateful I could be a part of it for these 10 days, and continuing forever in my prayers and sponsorship. Keep doing the good work. Do what you are called to do.