Kenya Blog Day 1


I met my sponsor children today and I could feel the love as I saw the smiles on their faces. Meeting my sponsor children for the first time gives me so much hope of how God has been able to use me by loving on these children. One of my favotire moments was seeing how she remembered the picture I sent her. Sometimes we let our fears get to us and need to learn to trust God in difficult times. I learned this today while walking through the slums.  It’s important to remember the love God has for us and He is with us wherever we go. I am glad I went through these experiences today because it has shown me how big our God is and our faith will be tested through situations we are put through. I am so thankful for today and the experiences I had.



Today, God opened my eyes by putting me through some crazy experiences. Walking through the slums I couldn’t help but feel heartbroken seeing the less fortunate people and the places they lived in but also overjoyed with all the children running up to us wanting hugs and high fives! When we got to the Kiamiako school the children were so so welcoming and happy. They were so excited to see us!! Lots of welcoming songs, dances, and chants. Crossroads felt so much love. A little later we got to meet our sponsorship children. A moment I will NEVER forget!  Meeting those children was the best thing I could have ever experienced. I could not hold any emotions back. Giving them their gifts and seeing how thankful they were for them made my heart so full. The lord has shown me a handful of amazing things.. and this is only the first day!!


The past four days have been such a blur. From the goodbyes on Friday to meeting my girl today, it has been quite an adventure already. I have experienced so many things in such a short time it’s honestly hard to take it all in. One of the driving forces behind me going on this trip was the opportunity to get to meet my sponsor child Mumina. I knew from the onset of the trip that enrollment at the school can change rapidly and kids can drop out without notice, so I tried to keep my excitement under control knowing that meeting her was not guaranteed. Deep down though I’ve been praying that God would allow it to happen ever since I signed up to go. To experience the fulfillment of a prayer like that is incredible.

When we walked into the school, we were greeted by students dancing and singing to welcome us. As one of the groups of students was performing for us, I saw a girl walk by and we caught eyes. She continued staring at me and I knew it was her. She had grown since her sponsorship picture was taken though so I was a little hesitant. As we were setting up for the meetings, I noticed she kept staring and smiling at me, as though she knew me too. When it was finally time to meet our kids and she came forward, they called out her name and I couldn’t help myself. I ran over to her and wrapped my arms around her in a big hug! The tears were flowing and the emotion in that moment was surreal. I had traveled halfway around the world to meet this girl and here she was! We got to sit together and talk which was amazing. She asked about each person in my family by name and told me she often looks at our pictures and prays for us. She is studying for her end of term exams tomorrow and I got to pray over her! To say I am in complete awe of how God works things out would be an understatement.

The work that MOHI is doing through their schools and organization is incredible and truly life-changing for these kids. Experiencing the slums first-hand today and doing a home visit was HARD. I have two kids and cannot imagine them being in conditions like what I experienced today. At one point during our orientation, my heart was broken as I thought of them and how they are the same age as many of these children experiencing hard life circumstances – girls being married off at 8 years old to a man in his sixties; disabled children being hidden away in the homes, never allowed outside; children being used by parents to beg on the streets. And yet, MOHI is giving these kids a hope and a new future through education. I can’t say enough about the MOHI staff and their hearts to help these kids and their communities. And if you’ve ever considered sponsoring a child, I can tell you it’s worth it. So. Worth. It.

My roommate Tandi and I have had some great conversations and debriefs. We both miss our families like crazy, so it’s nice to have another person to talk through that with. This trip has been nothing short of incredible so far. I’m so excited to see what else God has planned for our team.


Kenya Blog Day 2

VBS Day 1- Tandi

Today was our team’s second full day “in country” and it was our first day doing VBS for the younger students. We hosted over 500 students in the primary grades. I had the honor of leading the craft rotation. As a primary veteran teacher in the states, I was excited and anxious for this role. When we arrived at the site where VBS was being held (not at their own school) and started setting up, there wasn’t much to work with. The simple concrete structure had 2 windows, no electricity, no desks or chairs, and was lacking any classroom luxuries I have in my classroom. This made no difference in the learning and fun we had!!
Our story for the day was Daniel and the Lion’s Den and so we made paper bag puppets along with learning a bible verse and hand motions. I was so impressed by these little ones!! They were the best listeners and were so engaged in the lesson. Glue sticks and markers are always a hit!!
Besides interacting with the kids, my favorite part of the day was hearing that many of the kids had participated in an alter call in the previous rotation. After hearing this, my teammate Sharon led those children in a prayer asking God to come into their hearts and accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior before we started our craft time. I got teary eyed during her prayer picturing God in heaven smiling down on our concrete classroom opening His arms to these precious children.
The poverty level in the slums where these children live is beyond any poverty I’ve ever seen. Yet the children claim to be rich and blessed! They are full of joy and love. And because of Jesus and the work being done through MOHI (Mission of Hope International), most importantly they are full of HOPE and a future!


Jambo! It’s day 2 here in Kenya! Today was such an amazing day! From the staff here at Grace House, to the staff at Bethany, our team, everything was amazing. One of my favorite highlights from today was when Frank, from another Church Mission team, prayed over our table at breakfast. Pastor Noe was then able pray over their team in return. It was such an amazing experience. So much is happening that is 100% the Lord. Frank absolutly went out of his way and has showed his servant’s heart. Another highlight was when Patrick from our team shared a devotional this morning. It was fantastic!! It was exactly what I needed to hear. It feels like a dream come true on this trip. Today I really enjoyed the children’s worship at Bethany. Their worship blew me away completely. I have been reminded of how we take normal everyday things for granted. God is doing amazing things here and I am BLESSED to have been called here for a purpose and i’m so glad I came.  Leading worship today was out of my comfort zone but, once those kids started singing, all that stage fright went away. I got to take the whole experience in with my team Brittaney and Ellen and we worked very well together. I am so used to singing in background because I am shy. That went away once we started singing with the children. I had a laugh today when a young boy asked me if I had a boyfriend. He looked disappointed when I told him I did. Kids are so funny. Today was amazing and I cannot wait to jump in and feel the love everywhere I turn and drive on their energy. If you have ever thought about coming to Kenya take the leap of faith and go it is worth it. God tugged on my heart strings and I am so happy I listened to him and came on this trip! Thanks for everyone who made this dream a reality for me. It really does mean the world to me.

Kenya Blog Day 3


As Justin Bieber is to Beliebers, so my 11 year old son, Noah, is to the kids at Kiamaiko School! To make matters worse, our official team braider, Hannah, gave him corn rows which made him even more popular on Day 2 of VBS. This means that today, he got mobbed by over 400 kids who just wanted to hold his hand, touch his hair, and hang all over him (I even had one 13 year old girl ask me to arrange a meeting with him in a hallway. I said, “absolutely not!”).

After our programmed VBS today, we had the opportunity to just play with all 400 kids and this turned out to be a nightmare for my celebrity son, because he just kept getting mobbed! He went and hid in a more discreet part of the field and a group of about 15 kids came and followed him and one 13 year-old boy named Cholura saw me trying to keep all 15 of the kids off of my son, unsuccessfully. He stepped in, spoke firmly to all them and played the role of bodyguard for Noah for quite some time. I was so impressed with Cholura and took the opportunity to tell him what I saw in him. I told him that God gave him a gift of leadership and that I was so thankful for how he helped Noah out. He got a big smile on his face and stood up a little straighter and continued to lead his friends with a bit more confidence. What a precious opportunity God gave me to speak life to this amazing boy today.

However, my favorite part of the day was our home visits. As a mom to an American 11 year old boy, I’ve questioned whether or not it was the best idea to take him at his young age to a third world country: “Will it be too hard for him to see all of the poverty?” “Will it make him lose his faith in Jesus because he becomes so aware of all of the great suffering in the world?” “Will he come back hating all Americans?” But, after he told me that he felt God was calling him to go to Kenya in spite of his fear, I decided to pray for him, and play the role of encouraging coach, rather than protective parent. So, after our first day of home visits, when my son said that he didn’t want to do home visits ever again in his life because he was so scared, I told him that was not an option. He must do home visits because God did not call him here to be safe, God called him here to do His work and we were not going to miss out on anything that God might have for us. We read Scripture, we fought, we prayed a lot & when the time for home visits came today, he was doing everything he could to fight back the tears. I whispered in his ear to pray and remember that God was with us and that he could do this, and off we went. As we walked through sewage soaked garbage filled dirt roads, down tin- lined alleys, past hundreds of dirty children, goats, rowdy men, and women dressed in their Hijabs, my son walked bravely with his head held high while inside he was trembling with fear. All those questions rose again in my head, “Am I pushing too hard?” “Am I ruining him?” “What the heck was I thinking?!!!” We stopped at a tiny one room “house.” It was dark because the electricity was not working, but there was enough light for me to see the bug-infested bed and that this “house” was much too small to house Dowa and her seven children. Dowa was a Muslim woman, whose husband had abandoned her. She was working hard to provide for herself and her seven children. She was not interested in knowing Jesus, but she was open to having her house fumigated (which we were offering for free), and she was open to being prayed for by us. As we were listening to her story, I watched my son, so uncomfortable, next to me, but being so brave and listening well. And when it came time to pray, I did what any good coach would do, I pushed him a little further than he thought he could go, and I asked him if he would like to pray for Dowa. Noah stepped up to the challenge, put his hand on Dowa’s shoulder and lifted her prayer requests up to Jesus for her marriage, her kids and her business. As his little voice filled the tiny bug-infested, tin-walled, cement- floored, dark room, my heart exploded with joy! This little 11 year old scared -out -of -his -mind boy, conquered his fear by the power of Jesus and there he was praying in the middle of a Kenyan slum for a Muslim woman. Dowa was so touched by his prayer and she gave both of us a big hug and allowed me to take her picture with Noah!

I am just so thankful that our church is so committed to investing in and empowering the next generation, and encouraging me as a mother to take my 11 year-old son on this type of a mission trip. While my son is experiencing celebrity status, he is also experiencing serving “the least of these” and as a result he is experiencing God in powerful new ways. My mama heart was proud today!



Wow, what a day today was. It was the first day I have felt 100%; and I felt God’s presence from the minute I woke up this morning. I have been on a complete spiritual high and have deepened my relationship with Jesus. Today has been a day of reflection for me. I would have never thought in a million years that I would be out here in Kenya, on a Missions Trip, serving our Lord, and on top of it, being the lead for games during VBS. To see the transformation that God has done in me has been incredible and I am beyond blessed to be part of this team. I was able to meet my sponsor kids, Collins and Susan, on Monday. To be able to see the kids in real time and not just on a piece of paper was incredible. However, today as I was helping get ready for VBS, a little boy named Joseph came up to me and asked, “Are you Patrick?”. I was completely caught off guard, and said “Yes, I am Patrick”. He responded back with “You sponsor my sister Susan and she came home and couldn’t stop talking about you”. I found myself just in awe that I had such a profound impact on this 5 year old girl, but I never thought a 5 year old girl in Kenya could impact my life the way she has. All of these smiling faces I have come across have changed my life. After a very smooth day of VBS, we were able to run around with all of the kids and just love on them. I had a group of around 7 boys who just clinged to me and never left my side. One of the best moments of the day was getting to know these boys and at the end being able to sit and pray over them. In fact, one of the boys told me I looked like “The Rock from Jumanji” so we are just going to run with that 😜. The day came to a close after doing home visits in Kiamaiko, and I was able to pray over a woman names Jen for that her daughter would come to know Christ and join her in eternity. Reflecting after the home visits, it hit me that these smiling children that bring so much joy go home to these living conditions. When we asked these families what they needed prayer for,  it was never materialistic. It was always for peace and to watch over their families. We take so much for granted in the states, and today was an eye opening experience. These home visits were often heavy and uncomfortable, but God wants us to be uncomfortable and to step out of our comfort zones. Often times I found myself asking, “how can this be?” But I know my God is up to something in the Kiamaiko community. I’ve learned through this trip that our attitude and the way we view situations is much more important than the tragedy. I am looking forward to seeing what God has in store for me and this team moving forward, but I am so beyond proud to be part of the Crossroads family and serve with Missions of Hope.

Kenya Blog Day 4


Let me start with saying that our Jesus makes the darkness tremble. These words have been playing over and over again in my head. Being in Kenya has impacted me in ways I never imagined. Today we went out with the 7th and 8th grade students to do service work in their very own communities. Going out I had no idea what to expect, I just knew I would be in the slums potentially washing dishes for families, making beds and picking up trash. Little did I know we would be out in the sewage line picking up the trash that flowed through the homes of the Kenyans.

This was the most heartbreaking and beautiful thing I have ever experienced. These 7th and 8th graders were so overjoyed to be out serving their communities. They immediately jumped in full force with the shovels, rakes, and wheel barrows. I got to serve alongside my Parents’ sponsor child Jesse! Getting to see him out in the slums with a smile picking up trash beside me was something I could just play over in my head 100 times.

These children have such a contagious joy, something that cannot go unnoticed. Coming back from serving the community was very hard. I realized that those children would eventually be walking back through the slums to their home with still such a beautiful smile. God’s work here in Kenya is alive and He is working through MOHI. I am honored that God has placed me here to be a part of the hands and feet of Jesus working to improve and give hope to the adults and children living here.

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If you’re wondering what it’s been like:

Laughter, tears, the clanging of dropping hydro flasks, singing, dancing–these words only lightly capture the memories from the Kenya team these last few days. Every single person on this trip has been a beautiful gift and asset to our team, and I can see how we were all handpicked by God to be here this year. As the days rush quickly by, I continue to pause and remind myself to reflect on every moment that I can. I am aware that as amazing as everyone is, we’re all here in Kenya for a limited time and should seek to make the most of it. I couldn’t have asked for a better community for my first trip to Africa.

Hospitality, mendazis (yummy fried dough), humility, respect, cultural pride, slums, lots of tiny humans, bare feet, runny noses, fancy outfits, braids, afros, monzoongoos (White people)–these words only lightly capture Kenyan culture.

I wish I could bottle up my experiences here and share them with everyone! I have felt so comfortable here in the place of my ancestors, but it’s been a mixed bag. The comfortability comes from being around people who look like me. Same skin, same feathers, and even the same hair. I haven’t had to explain how I did my hair or why my hairstyle will probably change in a couple of weeks, because they understand it’s a cultural tradition. I don’t stand out for once. It’s a little weird but it’s also comforting. I’ve also found myself mourning the loss of a rich culture I only just discovered. Safe to say that just gained a new customer.

Aside from that, I have felt like my heart has always been here with these people that I’ve never known. I’ve been welcomed into classrooms, embraced, fed, and protected by these Kenyans.

One moment I will never forget was especially touching . As we waited to pray, one of the social workers stood next to me and said, “You look Kenyan”, to which I responded , “Yes I keep hearing that.” After a moment She said, “Yes, that’s because you are a part of us”.

Hugging, dancing, puppets, selfies, videos, tears . My time with the Kenyan children has been a dream from which I don’t want to awaken. They are so full of zest for life and pride in their culture. Their hearts are so loving you can’t help but fall in love. It’s hard to imagine having to say goodbye and yet I will.

As I taught the children this week about the courage that Daniel prayed for in the lion’s den, I must also pray for courage to say goodbye. Adune-ya, a beautiful seventh grader, cried in my arms today as she realized she wouldn’t be able to see me tomorrow. That broke me. I cried during debrief and I was not expecting to cry at on all this trip. Adune-ya sang me a song to help me remember her on video and I know a piece of me will always be with her. God give me the courage to love and leave Kenya without leaving behind the love I have received. Amen.



Kenya Blog Day 5


Today we said goodbye to the kids in Nairobi. Before we did that, we took the 8th graders ,who are graduating soon, on a safari. It was such a blessing to see all the amazing animals but more of a blessing to see the kids’ reactions to seeing the animals that they have never seen before in the wild! First, we saw giraffes, 🦒 then 6 lions 🦁 all female no males 🙁 then we saw gazelles, and zebras. 🦓 We also saw antelope,water buffaloes, and were the first group in 3 years to see rhinos. 🦏 Then we had lunch 🥗 with the kids…(hold on a second I need to take a milkshake break at the Java  house restaurant 🏠 with the team)…ok ok ok I’m back, so what was I talking about?? oh yahhhh right, we had lunch with the kids and it was special cause they never get food that good, since they live in the slums and don’t have much money. After lunch, the staff and kids at the school put on a goodbye party 🎉 and we said goodbye to the kids and I said goodbye to my sponsor child Beatrice who we have been sponsoring for 10 years, and my friend Samson who was my bodyguard for the last two days 😢😢😢 ! Saying goodbye was hard because I’ve really grown to love these kids as my friends.
Over the last week, after spending time in the slums and with these kids from Kiamaiko school, I have realized that these kids live really hard lives, but what’s crazy is that they’re so joyful. Yesterday, when we were walking through the slums for our serve day, one of the boys was so proud to point out to me, his tiny house in the slums. I’ve learned that they are not looking for us to be sad for them, but just to be with them and have fun with them.
Today I am praising God for this incredible opportunity to serve. I love my job! I can’t believe I can even call it a job… it’s not. It’s a labor of love. This team, although small, is so hard working and compassionate. Everyone is so excited to jump in and serve even when they are uncomfortable. This trip has had many firsts for both our crossroads team and the Missions of Hope team. Yesterday we got to bless the 8th graders with a Safari! In order to go to High School the kids have to pass a national exam. Every student I spoke to asked for prayer over that time in October. They asked that we would remember them and pray that the Lord will help them during their exams. These kids are so hardworking and they adore their school. We have seen their living situations. We have prayed over their single mothers and 5 or 6 siblings. We have walked the streets of their slums stepping over mountains of trash and waste. We have fumigated for bed bugs and helped unclog trenches. Their families live in such harsh conditions but they continue to labor for a good education. It was such a pleasure to reward them by taking them to Nairobi National Park as a reward for all their hard work. We realized that it was probably the first time many of them had even left the slums. It was the first time being on a bus for some. Likely the first time seeing animals besides dogs, cats and goats. They were so excited to get to experience it that they arrived to their school 30 minutes before they needed to! We had a bus full of napping children on the way back.
Another first was the Community Serve Day! It was so cool to be a part of the new infinitive to teach the kids to give back to their communities. To be an inspiration for change in their neighborhoods. The kids thoroughly enjoyed giving back to their schools and communities. I am so blessed by the Missions Of Hope team. They are tireless and passionate about seeing every child in the community come to their school. They want to get into these households and share the love of Christ and the goodness of His gospel. I love everything MOHI is doing and what they instill in their teams and communities. They took such good care of us. They loved on us and catered to us even though we were here to serve them. It was amazing to bless them with Safari as well. Many of them haven’t been on a safari and we watched as they looked on in amazement as the kids did.
One of my favorite memories is when we gathered in their new building with both teams and prayed for them. It felt like family. We were all laughing, embracing and thanking each other for the time we shared. Yesterday, at The Farewell the Kenya’s taught us that at every celebration their must be something to swallow. They brought out a huge cake and told us that we must feed it to each other. The social worker Carol explained with tear-filled eyes that “when I serve you cake, I am serving you my love.” The children sang a song of farewell as we cut the cake can and served each other. It’s hard to believe that our week has come and gone in a blink! I couldn’t hold back emotions as I hugged the MOHI staff and said goodbye. The sweet kids swarmed us for hugs and many of us sobbed as we looked at our favorite faces one last time. I had always heard about how Kenya steals your heart. Now I fully understand why.

Kenya Blog Day 6


HI FAMILY & FRIENDS! This trip has been indescribable! I’ve been sick most of the time (you know me), but that hasn’t slowed me down, stopped me from giving my all or dancing my heart out! As a team, we have been faced with a lot of challenges, physically and emotionally, but at the end of the day we are left humbled with full hearts.

We’ve completed our first week which consisted of many activities. To name a few, I’ll start with Vacation Bible School. We hosted VBS three days back to back. I was happy to lead Worship with grades 1st-8th. The kids loved it! We walked through the slums every day to get from one school to the next. Keep in mind, the locations are very spread out. Children of all ages take this walk everyday…alone. You can feel a darkness in these areas, some more than others. We have done community work, like speaking to people about Jesus while we spray for bed bugs and cleaning around the community with the children. Every person I have met has made me feel at home. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from the Social Workers that have led us around the communities as well as each child I spent time with. You learn about how they live, their families, hobbies, and trials they face. Here, in Kenya, I’ve seen and felt what love truly is. I’ve witnessed young children go out of their way to do all they can for us with the very little they have. Love makes you see past the germs, smells and diseases and into their beautiful hearts. If you’ve ever wanted to know what God’s embrace felt like, here is where you’ll find it.

I love all the children here, but there are some I’ve REALLY grown close with over the past week. This has been the biggest blessing, yet the most challenging being that today was our last day with them before we move on to the Mara. I love these children as if they were my own flesh and blood. I’ve never experienced a love like this before. I have so much to share with all of you once I’m back! Gods work has been loud and clear out here! It’s a beautiful thing! This is just the start! LOVE YOU ALL!


When coming to Kenya, I really didn’t know what to expect. l’ve heard many stories of those who have been before, but nothing compares to experiencing it first hand. Every day is a new adventure out here. Today we went to Joska and visited the Missions of Hope boarding school. The ride there was long and bumpy. I don’t normally get nauseous, but on the way there I was feeling some kind of way. Once we finally got there, it was a beautiful school practically in what seems as the middle of nowhere. There was an instant feeling of peace and serenity. We went straight to the outside gymnasium where our church team, along with two other teams gathered together with the students and staff.  We worshiped and listened to a short message on Baptisms from Cori. After that, we had nearly 50 girls baptized. It was such a privilege to take part in. God truly is working through Missions of Hope and I’m so thankful to be part of an amazing church that partners with others to help make an impact in this world. The road leading up to today here in Kenya has been a long and bumpy one, but just as life may give us bumps in the road, sometimes it may lead to a place where God’s peace will surround us.


Today we went to Joska high school and I shared a message about baptism with the young girls.

A couple years ago I finally surrendered my life to God. Jesus came into my life as not only the God of the Universe, but as my savior, friend, and father. I was able to share with them my testimony of how Jesus healed me and restored my life from a party lifestyle of chaos and heartbreak to one filled with pure peace and purpose.

Luke 3:22 Recalls the story about the baptism of Jesus. John the Baptist was baptizing people in the Jordan river and Jesus had come to him and was baptized.

And the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased”

I was baptized last year by my choice, since then my walk with Jesus has not been perfect but it has been amplified. My relationship with Jesus keeps getting stronger, here I am in Kenya giving all the praise to him! Baptism is the public declaration of your faith that Jesus is Lord of your life. The young women at Joska were courageous and brave today as they were baptized. I’m honored to be a part of their journey and a part of the body of Christ that is the church all over the world.

Kenya Blog day 7- Photo Blog

Kenya Blog Day 8

We arrived in Maasai Mara last night.  Exhausted, I crawled into bed to feel what I thought was a furry critter.  I, of course, screamed.  I threw back the blankets on my bed to discover a hot water bottle placed in everyone’s bed to help keep us warm.  The rest of the night was spent in peaceful slumber.
Those who know me know that I love being out in the country and that I love animals.  This area is rural with many cows, goats, and sheep.  While at school today, we walked through herds of cows to get to the buildings.  Yesterday we sat and had tea with a perfect view of giraffes grazing. I loved it.
I also enjoyed working in the medical clinic today.  It was rewarding to be able to help the doctor as he meets the medical needs of so many people. We assisted the doctor by packaging the prescriptions. He would take the patient history and symptoms and give us directions for assembling the proper prescription for them to take home. This area of Kenya is rural and the children are in need of medication for things like deworming and skin conditions caused by their harsh living conditions.
The people here are welcoming, warm, and friendly. It is a joy to be able to serve them and to share God’s love with them.
I am truly blessed.
Today we flew to the Maasai Mara. Looking out of the tiny Cessna plane onto the open land with roaming zebras is a stark contrast from the busy streets of Nairobi. We were greeted by the Maasai tribe and four jeeps that would drive us to our destination by way of bumpy and desolate roads.
Wearing sunglasses and bandanas to cover our faces from the dirt, we drove for an hour waving to the Maasai children who would run out and wave as they saw a Jeep drive by. The children shouted “sweets” as we drove by, hoping to get a taste of a delicious morsel. They will receive something far sweeter and more eternal by listening to the word of God and learning that their Heavenly Father loves and adores them.
We are excitedly preparing the programs and gifts that will be bestowed upon them at school, so they will get to know followers of the same Heavenly Father, living on the other side the world, who love and adore them.
P.S They might get candy too!

Kenya Blog Day 9

God is good all the time. And all the time you bet God is good. These words can’t be more true to me than they are right now. If you told me a year ago I would be going to Kenya I would’ve flipped out with excitement but I also wouldn’t have believed you. It is in that sense that I am still in disbelief that I was able to make it here, but I will always be forever thankful to have been given this opportunity.
Not having known any of the people on the team when I joined, I was considerably nervous as to who I would connect with, as sometimes it can be very hard for me to be myself around so many people I don’t know. However, I have been able to connect with multiple people on the team who have become my family-away from-my-family and for that I am beyond grateful.
The land here in Maasai Mara is so amazingly beautiful– none of the pictures do justice. Not to mention there are numerous animals here in every direction. This morning alone we drove by some giraffes, zebras, baboons, and a warthog.
Today we held VBS at a school we had never gone to before, which meant we were unaware of how the kids would react to all of us. But to our amazement the kids received us with warm smiles and open arms. Regardless of any language barriers that would otherwise make things more complicated, the kids were able to teach me some games and rhymes during our free time. One of the games was the Kenyan version of duck duck goose which was very fun even though they kept picking me to be the goose. It’s so hard to express how much of a blessing the kids are; they don’t fail to put a smile on our faces every time we see them.
We appreciate all of your guys’ support and work to get us here. We can’t wait for what the end of this has in store for us–


I love our church!!

This trip has had many ‘firsts’ for us and the team has been phenomenal through it all! In Nairobi I was able to preach on serving. I spoke on Super Heroes–how they always seem to inspire us because they want to change their known world! Then I spoke about the ONE who DID Change our world and how He has empowered us to change our world with the super power of humility and serving!

The kids were totally engaged and many responded to a gospel invitation. We saw over fifty 7th and 8th graders make decisions for Christ. It was a blast!

We immediately proceeded to apply what we learned and served the community! We walked through the slums, cleaning  mountains of trash and waste from their sewage lines. We fumigated 18 homes, cleaned 6 streets and unplugged 2 sewers. These kids are the real deal and worked super hard. Everyone kept helping one other and offering to help. They are so selfless and always share whatever is handed to them. I am praising God for the ministry of MOHI.

This week we have been in The Maasai Mara, the rural parts of Africa. We have been at 2 schools. The first one is the school where Crossroads dug our first well, and it felt like home. All of the kids bee-lined straight to the trucks to welcome us as we arrived. We did VBS medical and lost our annual soccer game to the students….AGAIN. We played hard, we laughed, we sweated, and I experienced lung burn like no other.

The second school was the place we dug our second well, and the kids were so glad to see us. They have never really seen foreigners before so I thought they would be super shy, but they weren’t. We did VBS and a medical clinic there, too. Many of the kids were sick and had runny noses and I’m glad we were able to provide the medication for the deworming and antibiotics they needed. The whole community came out to the medical clinic and repeatidly thanked us for being present.

On our way to this school, We shared Christ with one of the Maasai warriors and led him through the prayer.  We explained baptism to him and he agreed to get baptized! I am praying we could do so before we leave.

Kenya Blog Day 10



Yesterday we visited a new school that no other Kenya team has visited, in the area of our second well (Nkoiswash village). We were prepped beforehand that these children have not seen many light skinned people and they may run away or be scared of us. With that in mind, we loaded into our vehicles and began the 2.5 hour trek to their village.

When we arrived at the school, the students were in their classrooms but I could hear the screams. I wasn’t immediately sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing. They soon came running outside and lined up to greet us. I quickly figured out it was excitement mixed with fascination and a bit of fear that had caused the screams.

We ran through the teacher introductions and proceeded to VBS. My team started out with the youngest group and I was amazed at how quiet they were and how well they followed instructions (with the teachers translating). I would soon discover that this was not unique to the youngest group, but that all of the students were this way. Honestly, they were all so well-behaved and polite! It made VBS a breeze and a huge success!

After VBS we handed out de-worming medication to the kids and then to the community. Apparently, word had gotten out about the medical clinic and the community showed up, which was awesome! It was so amazing to not only see the families of these kids get the medication they need, but also to have them experience VBS too!

After the medication had been taken, the real fun began. Anybody that knows me well, knows that I love sports. As soon as the medication was distributed, we played a friendly game of soccer. Mzungus (white people) vs. students. Felix, one of the amazing 5th grade teachers, as well as a few students completed our team. This field was smaller than the field at Ololchura, for which I was very thankful! There was still the problem of cow dung sporadically located throughout the field, but overall it was a very nice field.

We started the game and shortly after, I got the ball and ran up field with it. I was met with some stiff competition in the form of three 5-foot tall 12-year olds and these kids ran a lot faster than me. I realized I was in a bad spot and went to pass the ball to my teammate. As I kicked the ball with my left foot, my right foot slipped on the grass and came out from underneath me and I hit the ground hard. RIGHT IN THE COW DUNG! I think I even rolled a few times. As I got up, the whole sideline was laughing and I couldn’t help but laugh too. As luck would have it, the rest of our team would eventually go down as well and a few others landed in cow dung, so I wasn’t alone. We ended up losing (again) 2-1 but I think everyone had a really good time and I was so impressed with how good those kids were! I walked away with a bruised palm, knee and leg, but the smile on my face more than made up for it!

After the game it was time for us to head back to camp, but not before a mini celebration to end the day. We all gathered together and sang and danced to the Ole song and then prayed. It was so neat to see two communities – Crossroads and Nkoiswash – come together and be united. Kenya is a truly beautiful country with even more beautiful people. Their joy is contagious!


Today we visited the well at Nkoiswash and got to celebrate the official opening of the well with the community. To say this was an emotional day would be an understatement. It was our last day of VBS and our last time with the kids so it was bittersweet, but still jubilant. To see this water well in use after all the prayer that has gone into it was overwhelming. To think that water, something we take for granted in America, has brought this community so much life was amazing. John Keshe, a Maasai missionary we partnered with for this well project, is an amazing man who is so loved by his community.

During the celebration presentations, we were told of a drought a few years ago that was so bad the women had to walk long distances to get water for their families. Some women would leave their homes as early as 2AM and walk through areas where the wildlife also roamed. The chief of the village said one woman left her home and was killed by a lion on her way to get water for her family. They were thankful that they did not have to worry about their family members being attacked now that they had clean and easily accessible water.

I was so impressed with how technologically advanced this well was. The people in the community have key fobs linked to bank accounts that will allow them to pay for their water. So literally they swipe a fob, press a button, and fill their 20 liter buckets with water. They also have piped the water to two watering troughs for their cattle, goats and sheep and planted a vegetable garden of beans, spinach and kale. How cool is that!? They have embraced this well project and are all doing their part to sustain it.

Because of the success of this well, the government has taken notice and wants to study it in order to duplicate it in other villages. And the people in this community will be the first to tell you that all the glory goes to God. It was so humbling to be a part of this project. Being on staff at Crossroads, I remember all the prayer about this well, the many updates from Lisa and even sending the wire to fund the project. To see it in person and to see the impact it is having on this community was incredible. They gave each staff member a tree to plant and I was honored to take part in  that. The emotion in that moment was remarkable. I was so humbled to be a part of something so much bigger than myself. Thank you Crossroads family for your faithful giving. You are truly making a worldwide impact and showing the love of Jesus.



God has blessed with me yet another opportunity to come to Kenya. I was part of the 2017 team which was my first missions trip. It was perfect in every way, however I was excited to see how God would use me on this year’s trip.

This year I was asked to lead and coordinate VBS. I was filled with excitement and honored they chose me with such a huge responsibility. The preparation for this task took months prior to coming to Kenya. My goal was to focus on reaching the kids in a new and fun way where they can go back home and tell their families and friends how these Mazungo’s (white people) taught them stories of the Bible and how much Jesus loves them.

My other goal as a VBS leader was to also give the team the same experience I had doing VBS last year. I wanted each member to get more than what they put in. I wanted them to experience the same love I did back in 2017 when I was doing VBS for the Kenyan children, a new type of outreach, an outreach to those living in a 3rd world country who do not have the same privileges we in America do.

We put on 2 days of VBS in the Kiamaiko school (Nairobi) the first week in country, and 3 days in 2 villages in Maasai Mara the second week. VBS was a huge success and I couldn’t have done it without an amazing team by my side.  About 1,500 kids were graced with the love of Jesus these past 2 weeks, along with their parents and even their community.

Each day we pulled up to a school,  the children would bombard our vehicle with excitement. By the time we were able to actually get out of our vehicles, we were so swarmed with beautiful and exciting faces that we barely were able to set up all the VBS Stations or begin the program! The team couldn’t help but give out hugs, hold hands with the kids and take photos filled with Jambo’s (hello in Swahili), muzungo’s and Checka’s (smile).

We finally forced ourselves to start passing out VBS shirts and set up for our 4 rotations. Our VBS rotations consisted of a puppet show, crafts, games, snacks and worship. I had an amazing team behind the scenes who not only had the children on their tippy-toes with excitement but the teachers as well.

Tandi our Crafts lead, Patrick our games lead, Brittaney our worship lead, and Taleah our puppets lead did an outstanding job leading each rotation. Being the VBS leader was stressful, stressful in the sense of wanting your goal to become a reality and let me tell you it was all worth the stress. I don’t think I’ve ever been so amazed by the abundance of all the children and staff. I was in disbelief and utterly in awe all the days during VBS.

Imagine the enthusiasm the children had when they saw the puppets come out, when we sang and danced- praising God, when we played games they never played before, ate snacks foreign to them and created crafts with materials they’ve never seen before. And I got to be a part of that enthusiasm–each team member got to be a part of that.

There was a feeling of freedom gazing at these children in the school, watching their faces filled with excitement and amazement. I forgot all my sorrows and my anxiety faded, leaving all my worries and pain behind me. I watched each rotation as if everything went mute and all laughs and smiles were playing in slow motion in my head. I completely embraced the deep quiet, the stressless serenity that lulled and comforted me. The scenery of happy children was indeed intoxicating.

Tandi- VBS Craft leader

Leading out the crafts rotation brought me so much happiness over the past two weeks. All ages of students were involved, excited, and amazing!  Although the crafts were pretty simple, their engagement and joy were off the charts! We came to bless these kids, however we’re the ones leaving this beautiful country full of blessings!

Patrick- VBS Games

The last day of VBS was bittersweet. The team had worked so hard leading up to the trip, and I found myself in awe that we had reached our final day. For our final day of Games we put on tug-of-war and limbo. It truly was a blessing to work with these students on the last day. Their smiles from ear to ear over things that were so simple filled my heart with joy. Being able to dance with the kids during limbo allowed my team to see the students’ personalities, and the majority of them ‘have moves’! God truly gave us a day filled with love and it’s a day I will never forget. I’ve learned so much from the kids during Games, and what I’ve learned I will hold onto forever.

Taleah- VBS Puppet leader

Puppets were a hit here in Kenya! I loved seeing how all of the people, including the parents and teachers were mesmerized by the talking animals behind the curtain!

Their reactions ranged from fear to uncontrollable giggles! Our puppet team had a blast listening to their reactions from behind the curtain and imagining the expressions on their little faces. It was such a blessing to teach the Word of God in a way that captivated them.


Kenya Blog Day 11

This my second year going to Kenya and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the time our team spent here. I had the privilege of co-leading this team and although I was filled with anxiety before and during the trip, I look back on our time here and see that God had His divine plan set in motion and of course, my anxieties were futile. Our team got to do some incredible new work this trip and it was so exciting to see the instant fruit from these new projects. I was impressed to learn that MOHI wanted to teach the kids that although they may have nothing, they can still give by serving in their community. This is not in the Kenyan DNA and MOHI is striving to break the expectation of handouts. So something our team did different this year was a serve day with the 7th and 8th graders. We took these 7th and 8th graders out into the slums and had them serve their community by unclogging the sewage trenches and cleaning the school and the streets in the slums. All it took was one morning for some mizungus (foreigners) and the MOHI students to joyfully clean up the slums for the community to respond and jump in as well.
The same theme of giving back and serving was echoed in the Masai Mara where we visited the second well in the Nkoiwash community. The best part of seeing this well was to see the community buy in. Although Crossroads funded the water project, CMF and John Keshe, the missionary in the Mara, decided to break the expectation of handouts as well and to empower the community to take ownership of this project. The well is accessed by a key fob which has funds loaded at a vey reasonable price to ensure the community buy in.
It‘s incredible to see how CMF/MOHI are breaking traditions and teaching these Kenyan that you can have nothing and still give back. This theme of empowering Kenyans to take ownership of their communities was incredible to see and participate in. A huge thank you to Crossroads for being a part of some incredible work in Kenya, and an even bigger thank you to this team who was so flexible and committed to the work we were doing.
The adventure awaits!! It has been crazy to realize this is our last day/night in paradise! Today we went on the most amazing safari! I don’t even know where to begin! The first part of the safari I saw zebras, giraffes, a leopard, a family of elephants and so much more.  The second part we saw more giraffes, a HUGE elephant and a hyena. Also some people saw a lion and that freaked me out. I am now super thankful for a regular bee after seeing the bees here in Africa!  I wish you guys could see the resort we are staying in because it’s FANTASTIC!! All I can say is wow! I am amazed at all the team work I’ve experienced:) We are about to go on our next adventure and I cannot wait!! We are doing an evening Safari and I can’t wait. I’m amazed that all these animals by our resort. I still feel like I am dreaming!! Woah!! Just standing in the Jeep was amazing!
I am happy to be apart of this amazing team!!  I am so BLESSED!! I got to know these amazing people so well!! What a journey!! Big thank you to everyone who has been supportive!! I want to come back for sure! This team is a part of my Christian family now 😀 I am so glad that I found my voice here with the support of my team!!
“This trip was definitely one to remember. Working with the kids, staff, and all my team members was so very special. So many connections and memories were made. Kenya will forever have my heart.”
“Leaving Kenya my heart is heavy, with so much joy and love.”
“Love does. That’s what I’m taking away from this trip. No matter how little you think you have you can always give back. I thought I was coming here to give but I received much more than I could have ever imagined. A piece of my heart will always be in Kenya”.

Final Kenya Blog

“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”
Psalms 133:1 NASB

God’s plan started back in 2011 when I met John Keshe, a CMF missionary who specializes in water projects in the Maasai Mara. In the Mara, the Maasai live off the land and are deeply committed to tribal and cultural traditions. Our first well in the Mara took about 3 years to finish. It took 3 attempts & lots of prayer before we finally hit water in 2015.

In 2014 our Crossroads Kenya team held a pastors conference in the Mara where pastors came from miles away to be poured into. That’s where we met Pastor James, a humble man who would come to our lodge at night and worship with the team. When he left for his village after the conference he said to us, “We may never see each other again, but I know I will see you in Heaven.”

In 2017 John let me know about a second community in desperate need of water. The stories of women walking over 20 miles to fetch unclean water for their families was heartbreaking. This consumed their daily lives facing intense heat and wildlife. One woman even lost her life to a lion.

This village is where John is from. He did the unthinkable in Maasai culture and selflessly donated some of his land between two villages in hopes of God providing the funding for a water project.

Last spring Pastor Chuck, his wife Pam, Pastor Tim, and myself went to the site to meet with the community. As we sat on the African plains under Acacia trees, a familiar face welcomed us–this was not only John’s village it was also Pastor James Village! We knew then God was calling us to help these people who had a strong church and faith like I have never seen. We ended our time with Pastor Chuck praying over the location they had identified to drill. We didn’t initially commit to the project yet as Crossroads is strategic to pray first and then plan.

As the Nkoiswash community was praying, so were we. We committed to the project about a month after meeting with them. There was no denying that Crossroads was called to this partnership.

God didn’t just provide any well…He provided one of the most technologically advanced wells! Its a model that the government and other communities now follow. They have built concrete water troughs for their cows and goats. The biggest surprise was in the last 4 months they now have 2-3 aches of vegetables planted for the community that was once barren. God is so good!

A year after hitting water God put the 2018 Kenya team together to serve the next generation and the community.

Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

At Crossroads we are on a mission to reach the next generation and boldly go outside of our church walls to reach the youth in our community. We carry that initiative to the Mara in partnership with a church community halfway around the world providing water, ministry activities & medical care to ensure that the next generations will know God as a Faithful Savior who loves them.

Once again, the Nkoiswash community and Crossroads came together to celebrate and commission the well. It was an extremely emotional and humbling experience. We walked together to the well praising God and singing worship songs in Maasai. After we commissioned the well, we pulled back a white sheet to reveal the dedication message “Nkoiswash Community Water Well, A gift from Crossroads Church.”

We then planted trees, ate goat together that was prepared in a way that is only done for high tribal officials. The Maasai have such a special way of honoring us and kept thanking us for being a part of this life-changing time for these tribes. Many of the tribe leaders shared that even if they gave all of their earnings for 3 years they still would not have been able to accomplish this on their own. I was so proud of our church and am praising God for allowing me to see the fruit of our tithes. The community kept gushing about how thankful they were and how they could never pay us back. One of the Maasai elders stood before both tribes and confessed that for years they had been offering praise to gods they never knew and now, after experiencing the miracle of water in a barren land, they only sing praises to the One True God.

They prayed blessings over us again and again and before the end of the celebration I was pulled to the side and adorned in a handmade Maasai dress with “Maasai Mama” spelled out in beads. I was able to speak and close the celebration in prayer. I have been so passionate about getting these people water and prayed that those who did not know Jesus would receive living water by accepting Him into their lives.

We kept seeing the fruit of this miracle when Henry approached Tandy & Heather after the celebration asking to receive Christ and was baptized that evening in the pool at our lodge. Henry was from the Nkoiswash community and worked at the lodge the team had been staying at 2.5 hours away. God’s hand continued to move putting all the pieces perfectly in place. Our team joined hands with these beautiful people and thanked God for bringing 2 different churches together in unity.

My favorite story from this week was about a 74 year old man who approached John about the well. He was just amazed that throughout his whole life he and his community were struggling for water, and now we drilled beneath the land he loves and found an endless source of water. “All this time we have been walking on water and we never knew it.”

Lisa M.

            From 2014, when we first met Pastor James at the Pastor’s Conference.