…Here it is. The pictures are missing from the original email but I added some at the end of this update!
We made it back to Kenya finally!!! We are so excited to be back. We’ve been busy since we stepped off the plane. We spent around a week in Nairobi, with some Kenyan friends, trying to get all our papers in order to apply for a work-permit. We are praying that it will go through without any trouble. Please join us in prayer also. We arrived in Kisumu on 28th of August. So we have been at United Hope International at the children’s home for a week now. We were so happy to see the kids, mamas, and Willis. Maureen (Willis’ wife) and Britt (Willis’ son) are in Nairobi while Maureen is taking some classes. Below you will see photos and small tidbits of what we have done and plan to do since we have arrived.
Since we have been in Kisumu so far, we have spent much of our days moving in, unpacking and organizing. We have finally finished and feel right at home. We have had a lot of fun hanging out with the kids! I’m sure many of you are wondering how Keelyn is adjusting. He is having so much fun with all his new friends. The children and mamas love him. And he loves them right back. Some of the local widows came and prayed over us and also Keelyn. It was a special moment. Then they all wanted their photo taken holding Keelyn. He’s the first white baby many people have seen in our area, so he opens a lot of doors to talk to others. But Keelyn is doing great with the adjustments!
When we were in Nairobi, we went to a church in one of the local slums to visit a branch from one of our friends church, Pastor Fred Afwai. We had trouble finding the church at first. The road we were supposed to take was blocked by a big bulldozer, so we had to park the car at a nearby compound and walk. Then we walked in circles and still had trouble finding the church. Finally the pastor of that church came and found us. And itt was okay that we were late, because thats just how Kenyan time is! Tim preached at the church. And It was so refreshing to worship with these people. Then this past Sunday, Tim preached at Pastor Joshua’s (Willis’ Father) church. It was also nice to be there and worship and fellowship. We were able to see some familiar faces that we’ve missed. Pastor Joshua wanted to pray over Keelyn and chuckled saying it was the first time for him to pray over a white baby.
We are so blessed that Jenni is a nurse. Since we work with 38 children; there is always someone sick with something, usually malaria. Since we have arrived here at United Hope Jenni has been busy with the children and the mamas. We bought more malaria test kits in town this week, and Jenni tested some of the children that were not feeling well. Four have had malaria since we arrived. The good news is they are all doing well now. One of the mamas is complaining of eye problems. She also is waking up with her heart fluttering. We plan to take her to the doctor tomorrow. Above is a photo of Jenni testing Miriam. She is one of the children that has malaria this week, but she seems to be doing well.
The children were so excited about all the new gifts that were donated. The children received watches, flashlights, two new indestructible soccer balls, sweets, and much more to come. Above you see Bryan and Wycliffe picking out their watch. The children love the new flashlights. When it gets dark, a lot of times you see little lights running across the compound. They also enjoy playing with the new balls that we were able to purchase through donations. Thank You!
We are so thankful for all those that have joined in the ministry through prayer and support. Many of you have given to this ministry. We now have sponsors for fruit and bread, beef, small fish, toilet paper and toothpaste, soap, widows gift baskets, medical, and monthly food support. This wouldn’t be possible without those who give through the love of Christ and these children. Thank you! Above you see Gladdis brushing her teeth, thanks to someone who donated toward the project. Now the children can brush their teeth twice a day. They were so excited. Also, we are now able to buy toilet paper for the kids. In times past, the children would use whatever they could find, school books, mosquito net, paper, etc… Now they can be more sanitary. The kids have much more to eat than before through these sponsored programs. They now get fish, beef, and fruit once a week. They also get bread in the morning with their porridge. Someone has committed to donating towards soap, which is a huge expense. The soap is used for washing all the clothes, dishes, hands, bodies, and everything else you would need to wash. The mamas go through a lot. Previously the soap money came out of food money. Now the children get a little more food. We are so thankful for the support. The children are so happy now with all the food and hygiene products they are receiving.
Willis currently has some other commitments with fund raising to help rebuild the collapsing church. He says he will be finished after September 20th. So then we will be able to work together to start the Pastor training, discipleship, widow’s ministry and further community outreach such as showing the Jesus Film and showing some hygiene, medical and livestock care videos. So until then we are just focusing on the children and getting supplies and materials together. We have ordered a new hand washing stand, as the old one spoiled. And also ordered some screen or “mesh wire” to put on the house and dorms for better protection from mosquitoes! Hoping to pick these in town today or tomorrow!!
Please join us in prayer for the following.
– Widows ministry as we visit them
– Pastors training
– Children’s Discipleship
– Community outreach
– Wisdom for Jenni in nursing
– Housing project