Email News of the New Year

Just in case you didn’t receive our email newsletter a couple weeks ago, I am posting it here also for your convenience!

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Oh where to begin. There is so much news, and I am sure we will leave a few things out. It is little longer than normal, but filled with important information. With that said, here we go! Christmas has come and gone. We are so, so thankful for all who donated for the Christmas feast and also the gifts. It was such a blessing to be able to partner with you. The children enjoyed it so much. Every child received a new back pack, new outfit, UHI uniform, new toothbrush, toys, games, sweets, fruit, lotion, water bottle, and there is a good chance we left something out. The kids had a feast for Christmas/New Years. We slaughtered a goat and had many other good things to eat. It was a blast!

We also sent out a newsletter through regular mail recently. Inside was a Christmas Wishlist. We had great response. Thank you for all who donated. To view our Christmas Newsletter, in case you missed it, you can find it here ( If you would like to be apart of our newsletter through mail, email us your mailing address.

We had a very difficult month and a half, but that is what happens when you stand on the truth. It seems God is turning something that we may view as bad into something good (Romans 8:28). We believe we are heading into a new season of ministry. We give God all the glory and trust His guidance. One new thing happening at United Hope is a children’s ministry on Sundays. Sadly most churches in Kenya ignore the importance of teaching them the Word on a level they can understand. Most churches we have been to, the children are sleeping or even leaving the service to go play outside. Through prayer with Willis (founder of UHI), we felt God was leading us to start a ministry for not only the kids here at the orphanage but also the surrounding area. We have had two services so far, this past week, 11 outside children attended. We are excited to see where God leads from here. Please join us in prayer over this new ministry.

Another new/old ministry that will be underway soon is training others to disciple small groups of people. We were training four men for the past few months, but through some persecution and persuasion from influential men in the community they have not been committed to meeting the last few weeks. So we are planning to start fresh while praying for those facing pressure from community leaders. Our prayer is the original men will seek to please God rather than man. In the meantime, we feel led to move forward. Our plan is still the same, but we are going through a different process to finding the men for this particular ministry. Last time we asked someone to pray and see who God spoke to them about training. Unfortunately a few of the men had the wrong intentions, and others were feeling threatened so they have backed away. Our desire is to have men that are faithful and committed to the ministry. We are also targeting single men that do not have much commitment elsewhere. We are wanting to build the ministry around 2-4 Kenyan men. The nationals will be who have the most effect on their nation. We are simply just here to train them in the Word and encourage them with Godly advice. We are going to start an interview process to find the men to use. We are in prayer about who these men will be. Please also pray.

After we feel God has showed us who He wants to use, then we plan to put these men through rigorous training every day for around a month and a half depending on the progress of the trainees “disciples.” After the training, we will go show the Jesus Film in different markets around the area. Our prayer is that people will come to Christ at these meetings. After the film someone will give their testimony. If there are any professions of faith that night, we will send one of the men to start making new disciples. We will go with them and show them how to teach, then observe them teach, then leave them to teach just as Jesus did with his disciples. Jesus showed them how to minister, observed them minister, and then left them to minister. We will continue to meet with these men during this stage of the ministry, but most of their time will be discipling their people. Our prayer and goal is to have these men meeting with 5 groups. So if we have 4 men that’s 20 small groups being discipled. We hope to have this accomplished by August 2014. As these men meet with these groups of people, we will be praying for a leader to emerge. Once God shows who that is, after they have been trained we hope to send them to a new group. So, if 20 leaders emerge then there will be 40 groups of people being discipled. If the process continues there will be 80, 160, etc…

But, for all this to be possible, we need these 4 men fully committed to the ministry as Jenni and I are. We are still in prayer about this, but we are wanting to find some way to support these four men so they can be totally committed to the training and ministry. If you feel led to be a part of this ministry through donations or prayer please contact us. The average local Kenyan lives on around $110 a month if they have a steady job. Below average live on less than $50. We want to support them at the average amount at $110 per month. If this is something you would like to contribute to let us know. This would be a great Sunday School project, business project, or classroom project.

Other roles these men will fill are teaching on Sundays to different age groups in our new children’s ministry, encouraging the kids throughout the week, helping with school lessons, and widows’ outreach. These men will be very busy, but it is also needed. It’s impossible for Willis, Jenni, and I to handle all the duties of the ministry and also give the kids the love and attention they need. With the help of others, it will make the task a little easier. Again remember, the Kenyans will have a bigger impact than Jenni and I ever could.

Something we also have to consider is transportation for these men to get to their groups. They can pay for public transportation, but through the month it will eat up most of their support. We are praying for God to supply a few motor bikes so they can use them for the ministry. It will be cheaper for them to fuel them than pay to ride them each day. A motor bike will cost around $1500 each. Through their support they will be able to maintain the motorbike, buy food for themselves, and possibly rent a place to stay if they choose to. We are planning on giving them a place to stay on the compound, but they may choose to rent nearby if they desire. We are excited what God is going to do through this ministry. We are praying fervently for the needs to be met and the right men will be sent.

Some more changes are likely to happen soon. Jenni and I love the children here at United Hope. Also, we love living on the compound, but we are learning when you live exactly where you minister, you don’t have much of a break or privacy. Don’t take this the wrong way. We love, Love, LOVE the kids and the people we live with, but Jenni and I are seeking to find a place of our own to go and rest at the end of the day. While living here, our day doesn’t end until everyone is asleep. That is most of the time very late. After talking to many of the missionaries here and others around the world, everyone tells us we need our own place to go to get away from the stress. We are seeing this more and more as time goes on. We are wanting a place where we can be a family at the end of the day. Think of it this way; if you were a teacher at a school, but you never left the sight of your students, even though you love them, you would still want a break. We are just looking for that place of rest. We think we may have found a place, but a few things need to fall into place before it happens. We are still waiting on our work permit. Our visas run out on February 14 which means we have to leave the country if we don’t receive our permit. If we do move, that means there will be another need for a vehicle. UHI already has one that a generous donor gave for last year. Jenni and I have been able to use it some to go and get groceries, take kids to the doctor and town, and also going with Willis where we do Bible training. We would need a vehicle at our house, so the other vehicle can remain at UHI for emergencies. The new vehicle would be used for Jenni and me to travel back and forth to UHI to minister to the kids, do Bible training, continue medical care with the children, and for personal uses as well. We will also use both vehicles to transport teams when they come in. Anyways, nothing really changes since we may be moving other than we will have our own place to be a family and relax, which is much needed in the ministry. Vehicles in Kenya are very expensive. We are looking for something similar to the vehicle we already have,  maybe a SUV or Van with four wheel drive. The price range is $6,000-$10,000. Our rent is looking to be around $150 per month. If you feel led to help in either of these areas let us know. If we had some of our other items sponsored such as medical expenses, other staff salaries (caregivers, teachers, etc) then it would also free up money that could be put towards rent.

1 John 5:14-15 says ” And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know we have the petitions that we desired of him.”

So we are asking for these needs to be met according to God’s will. So it may be His will for these needs be met, or it may not be the right time. Please join us in prayer for the Lord’s will to be done.

Prayer Needs:

1. 2-4 Men for ministry

2. $110/month support for men in the ministry

3. $1500 per motor bike

4. $150 for Jarvis’ family rent Received Donor 🙂

5. $6,000-$10,000 For vehicle

Any amount is appreciated.

If you would like to donate here is the link to give branch number is #266 for ministry support and #5266 for the building fund for the orphanage. More info on our blog on the building plans and also other things needing support.

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