Team arrives safely and begins packing for a week of VBS!
After an amazing nights sleep we headed to spend the day at the MOHI center in Pangani. We were warmly greeted by staff and welcomed to an orientation, facility tour and a few home visits. God has been faithful to us and the people in Kenya every step of the way. The highlight of the day for me was our two home visits in the slums of Pangani.
A few months ago the majority of the people in that community lost their homes to a fire. Many lost everything and had to ‘restart from nothing.’ We are super excited to report that in both homes we prayed for the people to be born again! Here are the stories.
In the first home was a woman named Alice. Alice is a mother for four and lost everything in the recent fire. Her shanty was half the size of a normal bedroom but she warmly welcomed us into her home.
Alice works washing clothes and has been able to put all of her kids in school at MOHI. What a hard working Mother! Her oldest is in University, then one in High School and the other two are Elementary aged.
The second was the home of Anthony. He has a physical disability and expressed a huge desire and interest to work with computers. Anthony’s Grandmother makes and sells detergent and his Mother is in nursing school! I asked him if he was born again, he said no. Then I asked him if he goes to church, he said no. I asked, why? He said that he is living in sin. I asked him if he wanted to make a decision about following Jesus? He said yes and he prayed out asking for God to forgive him.
Have you ever felt like you didn’t do any of the work on something but for whatever reason you got to have all the fun anyway!? I didn’t save these people, I didn’t even know them before today. I am so blessed that God allowed me to sit front row watching Him save people.
Please partner with me in praying for these amazing new Christians!
Alice: new job opportunities for her, school fees for her daughter, and her daughters exam.
Anthony: Grandmother’s business, mothers school fees, and a training opportunity to learn how and work with computers.
My first trip to MOHI was incredible! It started with an update of all the things MOHI is doing, and it is a lot, such as opening new schools, planting churches, and providing job skills in construction, garment making, and cosmetology. We also witnessed first hand the impact of the MOHI social workers who took is on a tour of the slums in Pangoni, and we did home visits, which included prayer. One team even led two people to Christ! A tour of MOHI convinced me, and probably all of my team members that our donations are going into good ground, and it’s a blessing to serve as the hands and feet of Jesus! The cherry on the top was meeting my sponsor child, she has the hope, and sees a future out of the slums. To God be the glory! Can’t wait for day 2!
Meeting our sponsor child for the first time this afternoon was a memory that I will never forget. My family has been sponsoring Juma since 2009 when he was 4 years old. And now he is 16 years old and thriving at the MOHI school in Kiamaiko .
Seeings Juma’s face light up when we walked into the school courtyard brought me to tears. It was such a blessing for Kenny and I to be able to experience this together. We were able to talk to him and pray for him and learn about his family. Sharing with him and showing him pictures of our children made him feel like part of our family.
Little did we know that almost 12 years ago we would have a relationship with a child in Kenya that is part of our family. We were able to share that he is just like one of kids, that both have names that start with “J” like Juma. He got teary when I showed him the pictures I have of him over the years on my phone.
This simple thing showed him that we care for him and that most of all God loves and cares for him.
The Crossroads Global Outreach Team visited two rural cities in Kenya, Olturot and Namarei.
Seeing all but a glimpse of how these communities live and have learned to survive is humbling.
Both villages are hot, surrounded by land, little to no water, and their humble homes are made up of sticks and cloth like material covers their roofs.
The little water they gather is usually pulled many miles by rope and barrel, and the animals they care for are their food.
Mohi is the first school these communities have ever had or seen. For the first time their children have access to education, the opportunity to read, write, be fed, learn, and experience the love of Jesus.
Today was the very first time the children we visited experienced VBS. The children loved the activities we planned and were excited to share English they’ve learned, to share their songs and dances, take photos, and just be close to us.
Meeting the child I sponsor to attend Mohi Namarei was more than I could have asked for. Ntaramatwa lit up for the small gifts I brought. She lit up for the scrapbook I made her and wanted to wear her sunglasses right away. Ntaramatwa was a little shy, but she didn’t need to say much to make our time together special. I loved being able to give her a hug and see her smile.
When it was time to part ways and catch our team Jeep, I couldn’t help but notice Ntaramatwa was gathered around a group of women sharing the small gifts she just received. I knew instinctively the women standing next to her was her mother. Ntaramatwa’s mom embraced me with a long hug. We both held onto each other so tight. Although we didn’t speak each other’s languages it was clear she was thanking me. The appreciation Ntaramatwa’s mother had was abundant. She followed me to the Jeep, and gave me one last hug that neither one of us wanted to end. It was difficult to part. I am curious with so many questions, but I am sincerely grateful for Crossroads and Mohi for connecting families from across the world. I pray we can meet again.
To see the hand of God in Kenya is the best life experience I’ve had thus far. To be a part of a church that gives and cares for communities far further then the city of Corona, has overwhelmed me with thanksgiving.
The joy and love overflows in these places and the impact Crossroads and Mohi has made here is a miracle and blessings to many.
The people of these villages are so grateful for the new resources Mohi has provided to their children. Education means a brighter future, it means hope, and the breakage of a generational cycles. The miracles and love of Jesus is evident here.
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.“
This was day three of our outreach in Kenya. One of the key tenants of mission trips is understanding that sacrifice is an important part of living a Christ like life. Today that meant being up at 5:00 AM to catch a plane to Olturot. It was an almost two-hour flight in smaller planes. That meant three different planes to accommodate not only passengers but the supplies we bring with us for VBS.
I say this so you can understand how remote these areas are. They are truly in the middle of nowhere. The area can best be described as desert with lot and lots of rocks. Compared to Nairobi the region is hot with very little vegetation. This is the same area where child brides are a common cultural practice. That has started to change since Missions of Hope has come to the area.
We were greeted by the children dressed in traditional garb singing and dancing as we entered the school compound. Getting right to work due to the quick timeline we were able to do puppet shows, stenciling, crafts, and snacks. This was followed by a dedication ceremony honoring Crossroads Church for funding the building of the classrooms.
Jennifer and I got to meet our sponsor child for the first time. Mambula was beautiful. She was dressed in traditional costume and had a bright smile. She was so thankful we sponsored her to go to school. She now has the possibility of a future that will hopefully not include being married off at a very young age.
We left Olturot and flew about 30 minutes east to the village of Namarei. We again did an accelerated VBS. The school is in a remote area and on our way we passed a herd of camels just outside the school grounds. Again, we were greeted with dance and song and made the best of the time we had with the children. We left with the children chanting, “Thank you, Crossroads.”
I am so proud to be part of a church that believes and invests in outreach. What we do is changing lives and leading hundreds of people to relationship with Jesus.
I too thank Crossroads for your faithfulness in investing in the lives of these communities.