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Day Thirteen & Fourteen

My 3rd time in Kenya and each time has been a completely different experience. Equally so, it has been the same in many ways, God showed up, God moved, and God did not disappoint. This year, I had the privilege of leading VBS with my good friend Jessica Luna aka Luna. This years VBS looked a bit different than normal, we had 2 groups that split for a few days our first week, Group A and Group B. This required many hours, days, weeks and months planning for an epic Kenya VBS experience serving 4 different communities and areas of Kenya. I lead group A while Luna lead group B. Group B traveled with Luna, Tracy and Ernie to 2 villages outside of the city (Olturot/Namarei) to put on VBS for those kids, while the rest of us stayed back doing VBS in Kiamaiko where Lisa and I lead. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Group A had to combine 2 days worth of VBS into 1 day in order for all age groups to participate in VBS, this means our 3 hour day turned into 7+ hours. We had 16 team members not including the leaders (Lisa and myself) serving approximately 475 kids, we were at the school for 7 hours and of those 7 hours, 5 1/2 hours of straight VBS time with 18 total rotations. Rotations included outside games, puppets, crafts, worship and arts and snacks. Our team was exhausted, it was hot, the classrooms were dark with not much lighting and very confined. Not one team member complained, in fact when we told them we were going to do tomorrows VBS today after our regular schedule in order for all the kids not to miss out, they all said “let’s do it”, “we got this”. No one wanted to let the kids down and with Christ by our side, our team pulled through and served all the children we planned to in 1 day. What a team! I heard many great things Group B encountered but I will leave that part of sharing to Luna.

This week we had both teams serve together in VBS in Maasai Mara, one of my favorite places in the world. We served over 400 kids for 3 days of VBS. Seeing the kids faces and the bonds that were made in those 3 days are things you can never forget. My favorite part of going to Kenya on a missions trip is seeing our team interact with the kids, teachers, social workers and each other. Together we served over 2,000 less fortunate kids with only 38 team members, that’s quite the adventure and I could not be more proud of the team and the God honoring work we did these last few weeks.


God is SO good! It has been an honor and joy serving and leading VBS out with my friend, Priscilla aka Peppy! Our team of 38 did an outstanding job selflessly serving during our time in Kenya. We did VBS in 4 different locations (Kiamaiko, Olturot, Namarei, and Maasai Mara) for over 2,000 children. BWANA ASIFEWE (Praise the Lord!).

Our team split and I had the privilege of leading 2 full days of VBS in Olturot and Namarei for the first time. Despite the intense heat in this dry and desolate rural location (it hasn’t rained in this area for 4 years!), this team had the time of their lives loving on these children and being the hands of feet of Jesus!

We even had the incredible opportunity to spend the night in the Olturot community (neighboring the children’s families houses) for the 1st time and we were able walk to school with them the next day. This part of the trip has been one of the most memorable experiences.

MOHI started schools in these two areas to rescue the girls who were being married off starting at the age of 8 years old. With knowing that and seeing these beautiful girls in school, so joyful, and excelling in their education brought so much joy to my heart.

Over the last two weeks we have seen the Lord move in such a mighty way in and through the people and children our team has faithfully served.

We may not see the impact we are making on those lives we came in contact with, but we know we are making an eternal difference in the lives of the children, people, and communities in Kenya!

-Jessica (Luna)

This was my 5th trip to Kenya, and each trip is so different. I’m often asked why do I keep going back, and the answer is equal parts easy and difficult. The easy answer is I love seeing the work we do evolve and grow year to year, and I love building relationships with our Kenyan partners.

The hard answer is that once you’ve gone to Kenya, a piece of your heart stays there and calls for you to go back. I’ve seen many people return after going for the first time for this very reason.

This year’s team was quite large, the largest I’ve seen in my 5 years of going. We were 38 people. This team size helped us do more work. We split the team in half and sent 18 up to Northern Kenya to work in our newest sponsored communities, Olturot and Namarei, and the remaining 18 stayed in Nairobi to serve in Kiamaiko, a community we’ve sponsored and been working in for over 10 years.

I got to be part of Team B, the team that went to Northern Kenya. This was special because it would be the first time we would have a team stay the night in Olturot in order to do a full VBS in Olturot and then fly the next day to Namarei to do a full VBS day there, too. These communities are so remote and desolate, and they are some of the newest schools MOHI has built. It meant so much to then to have a team fly out there to spend a full day with them.

We served over 2,000 kids across 5 communities this trip. We took 7 in country flights, not counting our 4 international flights going to and coming back from Kenya. We put on 4 VBS’s and 2 mental health awareness conferences. We intentionally met with 97 sponsor kids one on one, and 21 of them in our newest communities in Northern Kenya.

The work we did was hard and grueling. The poverty we see is heart breaking. Many people on the team got ill at some point during this trip, whether from stomach bugs or head colds, but still the team persevered and showed what it means to have fervent love for one another. The team loved on the kids, teachers, social workers, and parents so well. And they also loved and encouraged each other.

I was so proud to lead alongside Ernie, Lisa, Peppy and Luna in caring for this team and organizing this trip. While we go to serve in whatever capacity the Lord has for us, I left Kenya with my cup overflowing, so grateful to the Lord for an opportunity to serve the least of these, but to also see what it means when Jesus said “blessed are the poor in spirit, for they shall inherit the kingdom of God.” We saw the kingdom of God in these impoverished communities. By lacking in basic needs, these people cling to the Lord in ways we don’t understand. They depend on God for everything. I left so aware of my self reliance and convicted to trust God in everything.



Wow, where do I start…?
It was a first this year for Crossroads Church to split the team into two groups. Team A stayed in Kiamaiko and Team B flew in two small planes up to Olturot, which is in northern Kenya.
The Kiamaiko team did an amazing job, and the team had to rearrange their VBS schedule which meant doing multiple VBS rotations in the same day. One impressive thing that I heard was one of our youngest team members had to step in and lead out games. You might think this is not a big deal, but for a 14 year old young man to not only lead children, but also direct adults, this was a big deal and he did great.

The Olturot team experienced things that we just did not expect. The kids were amazing. VBS went off without a hitch, but since we were spending the night, we weren’t sure about our sleeping arrangements. I was joking with one of MOHI staff members saying it would be nice to sleep under the stars. Well, sure enough we got our wish. Five guys spent the night on a rooftop under the stars of Africa, while the women slept in traditional huts. We have five rules in missions, one of them being “be flexible”, the other one, “no complaining”, not one person complained about the sleeping conditions.

I’ve had the privilege of going on several mission trips to different countries and there’s always one or two things that seem to be so impactful that you won’t forget it, this trip was no different. The last day of our trip, just before our Safari day. most of the team went into the small town of Talek to pick up some Maasai blankets.
While waiting for the team to purchase blankets, I stood outside by our jeep talking to some of the younger team members. At this time a group of young local kids came up and noticed in the back of our jeep white boxes that were left over from our lunch. Maia asked me if we could give the kids a boxed lunch so I asked one of our drivers and he said that that was not a good idea because we did not have enough boxes for everyone that was standing around and it could cause a fight. One of the youngest kids stuck around for a while so I went back to the driver and asked him if there was anything we can give him? He said yes we could give him the apple which we did, and after saying Asante (thank you in Swahili) he took a bite and ran over and shared that one small apple with six of his friends.

Every time I eat an apple it will take me right back to little boy in the town square.


Day Twelve

This was our last day in Kenya before we begin our long journey home. We awoke early to begin our safari tour in the Maasai Mara. We began our day at sunrise and ended our day at sundown. The sun rising was so beautiful. We saw giraffes silhouetted in the rising sun.

It reminded me of God’s glory . He created all of this, the heavens and the earth. He created all of these animals, plants and us.
Many of the animals live in harmony same location as other animals. I thought of human kind and how many wars are fought over land and resources.

It was also bittersweet because we were not with children today. I am truly going to miss there excitement and jubilation.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1‬:‭1‬-‭2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Much of this country is in need of safe drinking water. This verse comforts me to know God has his hands on this entire world. He knows the needs of this country and he will provide.

“He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭147‬:‭8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

It was a day of fun and revelation in God’s splendor. It was a very emotional day for me. I think the realization came that this trip was almost over. “ I need more time.” I said, to the Lord. The answer is, that there is always next time. I think the thing I will miss most, is the people of Kenya. They have a joy in the face of adversity that I have never seen before.



Today is our last full day in Kenya and this means it’s time for Safari.

We have breakfast and get ready to head out in search of the Big 5(Buffalo, Elephant, Lion, Leopard, and Rhino). It doesn’t take long before we begin checking animals off the list. The Buffalo was first and it was way bigger than I expected. The elephants were next to get checked off the list, followed by the leopard who was resting in a ravine, taking a break from its freshly caught meal that was hanging up in a tree. The lion was number 4 and this would be the last one we are able to check off the list.

The herd migration was in full swing and the plains were filled with thousands of wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, etc. Some animals were nursing their young, old males were fighting for dominance, some were injured along the way and their journey will soon be over.

Throughout the day I thought back on our time in Kenya, the schools we visited, the people we met and the joy and gratitude we saw in their eyes and smiles. Most of the people we met live in a level of poverty I have never experienced. The majority of the families(usually 5+ people) live in “homes” that are a lot smaller than my bedroom. The thing that astonished me was they didn’t complain about their living situations, and when we asked to pray for them most asked for prayers like, “Pray for the thankfulness of the community”, “Pray for my children to pass their tests so they will go to college”, “Pray for MOHI and the people like you who have helped our community so much”. I would have asked for prayers to give me a better house of something self centered, but that is not what they asked for. I flashed back to earlier in the trip when people who were walking 17km to the next village were smiling and waving to us as we drove by. I told the driver how people at home don’t wave to you as you drive by and he said “Hardship brings humanity, and when you have an easy life it’s easy to not rely on God to meet your needs”. The people truly rely on God and trust that he will continue to provide for their needs. In our lives where the lights come on at the flick of a switch, drinkable water is available at every faucet, and food is the least of our concerns, we tend to not truly rely on God like we should.

I’m blessed to have been able to meet these beautiful people and get a reset on what is truly important in life. Put God first and everything else will work itself out.


During my last days in the Mara God has shown me His overflowing love through the people of Kenya.
A specific moment that stood out to me was when we visited Nkoisuash’s public school in the Mara. One of the student’s named Susan stuck by my side and continued to hold my hand. It was sweet to see the compassion she had for me and they way she cared for me during my time with her. During the snack rotation, I asked the students what their goals  were and it was so inspiring to hear what they wanted to achieve. As they shared I was able to encourage them and be a listening ear. Our team spent three consecutive days in the Mara, which was the longest time we had spend in one place during our time abroad. Having this extended time was such a gift but it also made saying goodbye much more difficult.

During the Farewell at Nkoisuash’s school, the staff showed their appreciation by having multiple government officials come to the celebration. One by one each government official/educational board member came forward to share their gratitude and appreciation for the impact that Crossroads has had within their community and in their school. A main reason why Crossroads was able to assist this local public school was because of a man named John. John found out that young girls were not attending school but that they were being given to older men for marriage around the ages of 9-12 years old. John saw a need within his community and wanted to help, he was able to get in contact with Lisa, allowing us to partner with him to help these girls get an education. The connections that John has with his community was very evident and it was a testament to the work he is doing out here in the Mara.

On our last full day before heading back home we all went on a trip to see the safari. It was beautiful to see God’s creation through the wild animal and the rising/setting of the sun. Our time in the safari was spent laughing, jamming out to some great music by our driver/DJ Moses and John. Spending quality time with our team was both sweet and intentional.  Something that I will forever cherish about this trip is the lasting friendships that I have made and building a stronger bound with others at Crossroads.

As everything comes to a close, I would say I loved hard but Kenya loved harder.


Day Eleven

The final day of VBS at the Mara was bittersweet.
As I prepared to spend our final day with the kids, it was a bit heavy on my heart.
Knowing that we were going to have to say goodbye to these beautiful, loving kids was very hard.
I had the honor of serving with these children here at the Mara the past 3 days by worshipping & praising God with them, putting body art -while singing to each and every one of them as I looked into their eyes with their big hopeful smiles, passing out some awesome VBS T-shirt’s that Crossroads made for them, form a huge circle with them as we danced and sang both English songs and their native African songs they taught us. And we served them milk and bread during snack time; as well as doing a coloring & learning activity about Jesus with them.
Each and every moment shared & witnessed may seem very minute and simple, yet it had a profound impact on both myself and the kids.
One particular boy named Brighton was very interactive & highly intelligent. He remembered the conversation we had together during one of the VBS sessions and the following (final) day, as I was handing out the milk & bread, he made it a point to stop and ask me where my son was and how old he was. He truly surprised me how much he remembered.
Then right before we were leaving he came and hugged me and shook my hand and asked if we can take a photo on the Polaroid camera together? But it broke my heart to have to walk away from him because we were called to leave. I told him I will keep him in prayer and that gif willing one day we can see each other again.
Earlier… Some of the older kids had put on a song and dance show for all of us to celebrate and thank us. It was so heart- warming & beautiful. Then all the county officials and leaders of the school gave a speech of gratitude & encouragement to the whole crossroads church & missions team; ending with a beautiful ceremony of putting a Masai blanket on each of us to say thank you.
Each part of this day was very special & memorable.
It was so emotional to drive off in the jeeps, seeing all the kids lined up, waving goodbye to all of us.


Day Ten

I loved seeing the kids so interested in worship. They sang and learned new songs. Then they taught us some of their worship songs. I loved talking with them during the art rotations as we were giving the students temporary tattoos. I loved the personal interaction. I then got to go play to the games rotation. It was so fun watching the kids run around and be so invested in the soccer games. After vbs, I was hanging out with some of the older kids and they were laughing and giggling the whole time. It brought me so much joy seeing these students so happy to have another day of VBS.



Today was a great day in the mara! I was on games for the VBS today. We played soccer and jumped rope with the kids. They loved playing soccer with us. Although we could not communicate with them, PP1 and PP2 were very excited about our rotation. I had a blast talking to the kids and playing my favorite sport with them even though I was a little tired at the end. The older kids told me about their school’s soccer team and about how they are going to play another school tomorrow. I am very excited to find out how they did. I hope that tomorrow is just as amazing as today was!



Day 2 of VBS in the Marra was amazing! It was great to see all the kids in their VBS shirts, their hats or bags from the day before. They truly treasured all they received from the day before. Today was their first experience with the puppets. They were so curious about the puppets. The highlight for me was to hear their responses to our question, “What was your favorite thing about VBS?”” They all said, learning about Jesus. How amazing that these kids are getting things they normally never get, yet their favorite thing is learning about Jesus! I loved their hearts for Jesus. It inspires me to have that priority of love for God!


Today was day two of VBS here at the school in Mara and as part of the medical team, I had the privilege to work along side a few amazing people including Dr. Don, Rosemary, and Michael. We passed out medication to the kids and treated students and staff with their various ailments. One part of this trip that has stood out to me is how grateful and humble everyone we have come in contact with has been. Each patient we saw today was so thankful for what we were doing there as we were serving them.

This entire trip has been surreal to me since the moment we arrived at LAX. This is not only my first mission trip, but my first time out of the country. I keep reminding myself that I am on this trip to serve, but I have been blown away daily by what I have been experiencing and who I am experiencing it with. I have developed bonds with the team and I also get to experience this with my fiancé and future sister in law.

I know what we are doing here is all for His glory and I hope I have made even a small impact on this trip. I pray I have been His hands and feet as I prepared for and originally set out to do.



It was such an amazing 2nd day serving God at Nkoiuash Primary School in Masai Mara. The local medical team and our Crossroads Kenyan Medical Mission team that included Dr. Don, Michael,  Dustin,  and I worked together to render medical care to the community.  As I reflect upon this day, I am humbled by God’s grace. I never once thought that as a Nurse, I would be here in the Masai Mara serving God with such an amazing group of believers; a diverse group of God-fearing men and women, who are very passionate about sharing their faith, uplifting and serving others, showing kindness and compassion, and putting joy and laughter into the heart of many young children through VBS.

One of the core tenets of the Christian faith is serving God.  As  Christ’s disciples and believers, we are called to love one another and use our talents, time, and treasure to serve others. The Bible reminds us that serving God and others involves doing tiny things with great love rather than achieving huge things. Today at the clinic, we got to do just that. We attended and cared for many young children, women and men, and the elderly.

They came on foot from long distances when they had that Crossroads Christian Church was hosting a medical clinic. They suffered various ailments, many stemming from environmental factors and a lack of access to health care.  Watching Dustin and Michael, as they triaged these population of patients who primarily spoke Masai language, using hand gestures, visual objects, and signs to obtain the necessary information, was so heartwarming and a joy to see. I worked side by side with Dr. Don, assessing and translating information in Swahili, educating patients on disease management and medications prescribed. Dr. Don was so caring and compassionate and was not afraid to get his hands dirty.

Our team remained enthusiastic and did not let language barriers prevent us from serving God, but instead, we all used the resources God had equipped us with to render care. Seeing how thankful and appreciative each patient was to receive medical care filled by heart with gladness and praise to God Almighty for using this medical team to be his hands of healing.

1 Peter 4:10‭-‬11 (NIV) reminds us that each of us should use whatever gift we’ve received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. And as we serve, we should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things, God may be praised through Jesus Christ.


Day Nine

About a year  ago today I met a boy in the Mara.

His name so fitting, Brighton. He’s intelligent and can brighten any room with his heart and smile.

I took a photo of him last year and as I handed him the Polaroid picture he asked me to keep it so I would remember him.

I was taken back.

I took one more and asked him to choose the picture he’d like to keep and I’d take the other.

I placed that picture in my phone case and have looked at him, talked about him, and prayed for him ever since.

Today, I was reunited with Brighton. I showed him his picture, and was taken back yet again.

Brighton pulled out a Polaroid picture from his pocket and it was a photo of him and I.

I didn’t remember even taking that photo, but was nearly brought to tears knowing the same boy I was thinking of and praying for every day was doing the same for me.

The time we spend in Kenya is precious. The memories we create are priceless, and the relationships we form are unforgettable.

It’s a blessing to spread the love a Jesus in Kenya and experience His love and presence in a new way every day. We serve an intentional God. All glory and honor to Him.

“The Lord has prepared everything for his purpose…” Proverbs 16:4


Day Eight

Today the team traveled from Nairobi to the Maasai Mara to do their second week of ministry.

Day Six & Seven

The past two days spent here at the MOHI Angaza Camp in Kilifi, the coast of Kenya, have been a wonderful experience I’ll cherish for life. Being able to see what God is doing in these 6th graders at the Angaza camp has been such a joy to watch. I got to experience first hand some of the young children swim for the first time, and it was such a delight. My favorite part from their swimming lessons was the chicken fights that we all had in the Indian Ocean, it was a blast! Another great thing I got to witness with my bare eyes was seeing the kids try their first ever hamburgers. It was truly humbling knowing how appreciative they are. I will definitely never forget their prayers! God is doing wonders here and it all shows too well 🙂 praise be to Him for the good works.



Day 1 in Kilifi

Day one in Kilifi was truly a full circle moment. I remember last year sitting in church seeing a video of Lisa explaining what Crossroads was doing out here in Kenya at this camp called “Angaza” which is located in Kilifi. After being able to visit this camp, I am astonished at what your giving has been able to provide and how it has impacted the lives of so many campers that get the privilege of staying here two weeks. This camp is targeted towards 6th grade boys and girls.

After taking a tour of the grounds we all walked to the beach to go swimming with all the campers. As we all approached the beach, you could see the excitement on each of the camper’s faces as they approached the ocean. These children are from MOHI (Missions of Hope International) schools, living in the slums and this is their first time in the ocean learning to swim. We were all able to teach the campers how to swim and play games with them on the sand. Afterwards, we all walked back to the camp, cooked burgers and served them all food.

Day 2 in Kilifi

On our second day at the “Angaza” camp we held a conference for the 6th grade boys that were at the camp. We explained the Armor of God, showing them what it looks like to arm yourself with the full Armor of God and how to learn to trust your friend in a group exercise. For the group exercise we had the campers get into their cabin groups and trust fall with the eyes closed into a circle of their cabin mates. After this exercise we had them write down their worries, past sins and anything that they wanted to give to God on a piece of paper. After they had written down what they wanted to release to God, we had the campers nail their papers to wooden crosses that were posted around the camp. After everyone in their groups nailed their sins to the cross we all gathered up together and prayed over one another.

This camp is where life change happens and where the majority of campers will give their lives to Christ. I’m thankful to be apart of a church that invests in others. Even though you can’t directly see it, you are making an huge impact in these campers lives and the trajectory of their life story.

Overall these past two days have been such a joy. Seeing the camp counselors/mentors pour into the campers the way they do, the relationships that the campers have formed with their cabin mates and seeing the love that the staff has for the campers has been such a privilege to witness.

-Tiffany Jones


For our next destination the team and I woke up VERY early to fly out to Kilifi which is at the coast of Kenya. The weather there was tropical, humid, and hot! It was beautifully green with lots of palm trees.
We got to the MOHI Angaza Discovery camp which is right on the beach. This is where MOHI year-round sends out their 6th graders from different locations for a two week discipleship camp experience.
The first day there was my absolute favorite thing as we got to take these 6th grade boys to the beach for the very first time and teach them how to swim! It was the sweetest thing seeing their reaction of joy and amazement on their face as they first stepped into the water. Then we got to feed them and see them try hamburgers for the first time!
The next day, the team and I hosted a conference for the students, where we got to do different activities and worship with them. I had the best time getting to know the students, staff and mentors. They all had the kindest heart and it’s been a privilege so far to get to experience this. I truly hope I get to come back soon!


The past couple days on this trip have been incredible! We spent our time in Kilifi visiting the Angaza camp. Touring the camp and seeing the amazing hard work, dedication, care, and love the mentors have for the children who attend is remarkable and so inspiring. We were able to do different activities with the kids and get to know them, but the best part for me was being able to swim in the ocean with all the kids. For many of them it was their very first time swimming and looking at the joy and happiness on their faces was so contagious.  I also had the blessing of being able to celebrate my birthday during our time in Kilifi and it most definitely was the best birthday I’ve had yet! The whole team made me feel so special and so loved and I couldn’t be more grateful. I will cherish this place, the people I met, and the memories I made forever.


Day Five

Today our team hosted the 2nd Freedom Conference since Covid. This is geared to the older kids. It is an intentional gathering to allow these kids their own time for us to pour into them. The scripture we covered was Eph 6:10-18 about putting on the armor of God. I was blessed with the opportunity to speak on one part. Once we have our full armor on we have our backs exposed. I highlighted verse 18 “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” I shared with them how I have had some very heavy losses in my life and I would not have been able to get though those moments without “my friends”, other believers. I invited Avery Prospero to join me and did a demonstration how important it is to have your friends to help you in those times and to pray for you. Then we had Avery and 10 to of our team circle up and Avery was in the middle and she trusted her friends to catch her when she fell. I asked the room do you trust your friends, and the RESOUNDING response was NO!! I was shook! The pastor of the church told me that this is sad but true! Kenyans in the slums do not trust each other at all! Pastor George loved what our team shared and my demonstrations. He said he was going to share this message with his congregation on Sunday! Wow! So humbling!! The kids then did an exercise that we do at Crosssroads on Good Friday, nailing sins and troubles to the cross. Neil King delivered that portion and sent the kids outside to nail their very vulnerable writings on the crosses! Remember this is in the middle of the slums, it was incredible. Pastor George then approached me and had his paper of prayers and asked me to bring it home and keep him in prayer! His #1 prayer is that God would use him to bring the word because he believes that he’s called to bring a REVIVAL to this slum! I was floored and shared about our GROW vision and upcoming plans of revival.
I humbly prayed for him.
After the most incredible morning we headed to Kimiako! This was the first school I visited with CCHS and my son back in 2017. It is a very special place and it was so beautiful to return! Today was burgers and chips and I had to jump in with the ladies! It was a blast! They were surprised I could cook and I wasn’t afraid of the heat! I met Paris, 34 and Ben 29 who were flipping burgers. I told them I had kids their age and they said you now have two more children but from Kenya. Oh my mama heart.
The icing on the cake was our farewell and being able to see one of my three sponsor children. He embraced me so well and we had such a special time together. He loves to sing and worship and know his bible verses. My entire heart is so filled from today!
Oh and let’s not forget our beautiful Cultural Kenya Dinner/Reception given by Grace House!!! Wow!! I’ve never seen or eaten anything so wonderful. So beautiful. I’m so thankful. God is good!!!!!

“For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.”
Psalms 100:5 NLT



The first thing on today’s agenda is a Conference for the older children.
I wish I had the words to fully express my emotions from the  experiences we’ve had. I am so grateful that God chose us for this mission. Our team is awesome and tireless in their giving and loving and patience and flexibility.
From young to old there is not one who was unwilling to do whatever was needed. We are all truly walking for God’s glory.
There are so few physical comforts but these children and adults have so much joy. This is such a confirmation to me about how we, spoiled Americans with all the comforts  available to us, do not have the same level of joy. We get overwhelmed by all of our ‘stuff’ and all the noise surrounding us. All the discomforts and challenges we face here in Kenya are so worth experiencing the level of joy and faith found in these children. There is so very much we could learn from them.
This trip has been such an eye and heart opening experience that when I look back on it, I can’t help but get weepy with overwhelming emotion.
I believe that every one of us needs to have the experience that a mission trip brings. Everyone would be so much better off if we all could understand the true spiritual poverty that we are living in.
Thank you Lord for leading all of our team members to volunteer for this amazing opportunity.
We are boarding the bus at Kiamauko
School after a fun and awesome day. We did a trust building game and the kids got to write their hurts, concerns or prayer requests on a piece of paper and nail them to a cross. All of those papers will be taken back home and prayed over.
One of the highlights of my day was seeing our sponsor child, Florence again. We ended up talking and singing and dancing with her. She is extremely shy but finely opened up and was smiling and laughing with us. It was so very very hard to say goodbye knowing that at the very best it would be a year before we might see her again and at the worst this could be the one & only time.
She is a motivated excellent student with very high goals. In fact she has stated that she intends to be President of Kenya one day. My heart is so full of love for her and all the students and staff of MOHI.
Just when I thought the day was winding down we came back to Grace House to be greeted with entertainment, dancing and a feast of traditional African cuisine.  I even braved eating some of the goat. What an absolutely blessed day.


Day Three & Four

It’s hard to believe that only two days has passed after witnessing God move in the most powerful ways of my life. Yesterday did not go according to plan due to some unforeseen circumstances taking place within the country. In short, this would have resulted in canceling a day of VBS for a group of children since we would not be able to return the following day. With urgency, our team leader Lisa and the teachers at the schools came together with MOHI to find a solution.

This resulted in doing a 2-day VBS schedule all within the same day! Seeing our team pull together with with joy and excitement for these kids, left me feeling honored to be able to serve alongside an amazing group! This was a primary example of God equipping the called given that fatigue and countless other challenges, were present. This would not have been possible if we relied on ourselves and our own resources; this was only made possible by leaning on and trusting in the Lord.

Acts 20:35



During the second day of VBS I had the privilege of serving on the puppets team.
It was an absolute joy to see approximately 400 kids display smiles of absolute pleasure and happiness as they went on the adventure, and enjoyed the shows. The theme was an interactive adventure of Indiana Jones, and two friends looking for the full armor of God.  The kids participated by reciting their memory verse, and songs of faith along the journey.  We also talked about Jesus’s forgiveness of Peter after he denied Jeus three times, and the importance of working together as a team.  All in all it was a wonderful day being apart of what God is doing in Africa.

-Neil King


Being a part of this team and visiting Oltrout and Namerei was an experience of a life time. Coming into this mission trip, I came with the goal to disconnect from my personal life back home to be fully present during this trip. Visiting these two areas, I really got to see how small their communities are, their cultural differences with what I’m used to, and how joyful they can be with what they have. It brought me great conviction and helped me to see the world in a totally different perspective. It was beautiful experience to visit and be a part  of this community.
When arriving, the kids welcomed us with a dance. They all locked hands with everyone on our team. They sang songs which filled my heart and left me teary eyed. I will never forget when a little girl named Joyce ran up to me before our goodbye in Oltrout gave me a handmade necklace. Her and I really connected the day prior so it was such a special gift I got from her. This is just the beginning of our trip but I’m genuinely so happy to be on this team and seeing how good God is.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭28‬ ‭


Being in Oltrout and Namerei was such a joy! Getting to meet my sponsor child Rehema after sponsoring her for 5 years was the highlight of it all. She was so shy but as the day went on she slowly opened up, which was the sweetest thing! Also getting to meet Kirk and Kathy’s sponsor child, Sunday was just as sweet. She was shy but had the biggest smile that captivated my heart. Not to mention i got a small little bracelet with my name on it from my sponsor child Rehema which melted my heart! From doing home visits to being with the children I got to see God’s compassion for His children. Being on this trip has taught me so much about God’s heart but how blessed we are, yet the people and homes we encountered are content in what they have and how the Lord has provided for them. That was a shock for me. Even when we asked what to pray for them, it was never I need this or want this but to pray that we get home safely and God continues to bless us. I am absolutely honored and humbled to be on this trip and I would do this again and again. Nothing will compare to the voices of the children singing praises to the Lord full of joy and gratitude.


Day Two

These last few days have been the greatest blessings and I noticed how much God’s favor has been on us. The airport was smooth and we had no problems. This mission trip is my first time out of the country and the experience of seeing new cultures is out of this world. I love Kenya and its culture. The people are the most generous and hospitable I’ve ever seen and will ever experience. Today we visited homes and the MOHI building. The children have such a light and joy to them. They’ll always have a special place in my heart.I am so thankful I was chosen for this.



Today I got to be a part of learning the deeper roots of MOHI, their holistic approach to empower the community, and Mary’s incredible faithfulness to let God grow this beautiful ministry into what it is today. I was so honored to be brought around the pangani area with the social workers of MOHI and walk through the community. It was a very intense and immersive experience. Each side of the street was bustling with people, tiny children (that would run up to greet me and grab my hands), goats, cats, dogs, families, businesses, motorbikes zooming by, etc,. I’ve never seen a community like this. It definitely crushed my heart in many aspects to see the state of some of the living conditions, especially in the home I visited. However, my perspective began to recenter as we returned and transitioned into the time to meet the kids that the team sponsored. In those moments as I saw the team pour into these kids, i remembered that the heart of God is so intimate and that it all begins with love. It begins with personal investment. relief as much as I want it to come instantly, instead relief comes with time. It doesn’t come momentarily, it comes eternally through love. And as we wrapped up the day, I spent some time with the kids in Pangoni enjoying their beautiful souls. Such a full day of sobering moments, equally portioned with such deep hope. God is good & He is working!!



Today we headed out on a short drive from Grace House to a MOHI school in Pangani. We were buzzing with excitement when given an opportunity to do some shopping at a store where proceeds directly help the Missions of Hope schools. Next, we attended a detailed information session outlining the recent accomplishments of the many MOHI schools. The passion for education was evident with every staff member that I interacted with. I can clearly see the impact Crossroads Church is having in creating systemic change within the local communities through providing an education and a mindset shift within the families of the students who are fortunate enough to attend these schools. As an educator myself, I was very intrigued while on our campus tour. The students were so welcoming, engaged, respectful and so proud to show us their classrooms. I really got a sense of how the students understand how valuable their education is to their future. This program is undoubtedly bringing HOPE and a future to these children. They have a full understanding of the trust that they find in Jesus. It’s just as scripture says, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. ‘” — Jeremiah 29:11 The faculty at MOHI are incredibly in tune to the needs of having a holistic approach to education. They ensure that the students’ basic needs are met like food, medical and dental so that they can be successful in their studies and beyond. I learned that they have career readiness programs such as cosmetology, baking, welding and fashion design. These opportunities are supported with micro financing loans and give the recipients a purpose and chance to give back to their community. I encourage anyone who can, to sponsor a child as I know firsthand the impact you are having in the life of a child!



Monday July 10
Today was the first of many fast paced, emotional roller coaster days. We started our morning with breakfast at grace house and a morning devotional before we got on a bus and made our way to Pangani (the MOHI headquarters). The staff gave us a tour and taught us what Missions of Hope International is, how they were founded, and their futures goals. We then divided into groups and were shown around the slums where some of the MOHI children and their families live. At first I felt guilty and like we were exploiting their privacy, but they were excited to see us and welcomed us. The joy of this community is unmatchable, even though they love in rough and unimaginable conditions. The kids showed us so much love. We are strangers to them they would run up to us and give us high-fives and hugs. My group visited a single mother with 3 kids in the MOHI school. We got to learn about her and her family and pray over them. The highlight of my day was being able to meet my sponsor girls. First I met Mercy and Faith who are in grade 7, we got to take pictures and pray together. Faith sang to me and we were all crying tears of joy by the time I had to go. Then I met Rosemary who is 9 and she was very shy at first. I showed her the gifts I brought her and she opened up and tried delicious jolly ranchers. Afterwards, we saw the other kids and team members dancing and we joined them and then she clung onto me and taught me her dances and introduced me to her friends. We had to say the sad goodbyes and headed back to grace house where the team debriefed and shared their stories from the day. It was truly an amazing experience with such high highs and low lows.


Day One

Travel Day from LAX to Dubai, Dubai to Nairobi, Kenya!