Updated March 2014
Hello, we are Tim and Jenni Jarvis from Maryville, Tennessee. Jenni is a nurse. And Tim was teacher at Maryville Christian School. And we have a toddler boy named Keelyn. We are lovers and followers of Jesus Christ. Our desire is that we’ll strive to love and serve and learn more about God. We do not claim to have it all right or to have all the answers or live the right way, but we are working at it and growing everyday. We may trip and stumble, we are sinners, but forgiven, reaching out for Jesus, and He has taken our hands. He is calling His followers into love, to walk in faith and with action. We want to make ourselves available and obedient to living this life for Him. He calls each of us to carry our cross, to lay down our lives, to put away our own human desires, and pick up the desires of Jesus. We are making an attempt at this. We are all invited to be a part of His story. Pretty cool, huh?
The summers of 2009 and 2010 Jenni spent in Kenya on mission trips, it was a truly an indescribable experience, she felt like she was exactly where she was made to be. Tim was also there in 2010 which was where/when we got engaged. We both have the same desires placed in our hearts for missions and specifically Kenya. We were then in Kenya from Aug 2012 to November 2012. (We temporarily returned to the States to deliver our first baby!) And have now been back in Kenya to live since August 2013.
Our goal is that we want to be Jesus’ hands and feet to care about the orphans, the displaced children, the widows, and to show them what love is, so that they may know love, and that HE is love, and HIS love is so much bigger than ours. We just want to love them, care for them, and teach them about Jesus, disciple them, so that they may have hope, faith and a relationship, and continue the cycle of love and sharing the Good News. We want to take care of “the least of these”(Matthew 25).
Matt 16:24 says “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” We don’t exactly hate our families, we actually love them a lot. We don’t hate ourselves or eachother. What we believe he is saying, that our love for Him ought to be so great that is doesn’t compare to any other. And that our desires to please God are to be so much stronger than my desires to please myself, to please my family. I think that this is saying that our love for HIM is to be so much greater, that he just wants us to choose to live our lives for Him, not the life anyone else thinks is fit for us, not the life that this world thinks we all need (“american dream”), not the life that we think is best, but the life the HE knows is best. He wants us to choose HIS life- because He is the Creator, and He created a path designed for us to walk down, but we have to choose to take that road, over EVERYTHING else. We are praying that our worldly desires be removed and replaced with His plan (not always easy with this often hard headed couple), and that we may be strong, obedient, and recognize that we can’t do it alone in our flesh, but through Him, all things are possible.
What we are doing:
Currently we are in a small village town called Ombeyi, about an hour outside Kisumu, Kenya. We are working with the kids at United Hope Orphanage.There are currently 36 children, although the number is always fluctuating. Tim and Willis are meeting and training local pastors three days a week about how to study the Word, spread the Word, and also church planting. Many pastors in this area are not trained, unfamilar with the Truths of the Bible, and many don’t even own a Bible. Many are straying from the Truths, following culture, mixed religions and tv preachers. Many churches are started as a business, and are so focused on material blessings and money. Jenni is tending to the kids, mommas, and student’s medical needs. Testing and treating malaria, basic first aid, and taking them to the town to see a doctor when needed. We have devotions and Bible lessons with the children at the orphanage several nights a week. And part of Willis’s (the director of the orphanage) ministry is to visit and and encourage local widows,which we have enjoyed getting to be a part of and joining in. We love spending time with the children and loving on them. We want to be there for them and to be an advocate for them. Kenya has quickly become home over the past couple years and many more to come.
“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16)