Updated July 2016
Hi, we are Tim and Jenni Jarvis from Maryville, Tennessee. Jenni is a nurse. And Tim was an elementary teacher. And we have 2 boys, 3 years old and 1 year old . We are lovers and followers of Jesus Christ. Our desire is that we’ll strive to love and serve and grow deeper in this walk with God. We do not claim to have it all right or to have all the answers, but we are working at it and growing everyday. We’ve felt his calling 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. For now, we have followed His call to Kenya.
The summers of 2009 and 2010 Jenni spent in Kenya on short-term summer mission trips, it changed the way I viewed life, and I felt like I was exactly where I was made to be. I was volunteering to teach in schools in slums around Nairobi. 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 then decided to follow God’s lead to move to Kenya in August 2012.
Our goal is that we want to be Jesus’ hands and feet to care for orphans and vulnerable and displaced children, 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 hate our families, and we don’t hate ourselves or eachother. What we believe he is saying, is 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, 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:
For the past 4-5 years we had been working with United Hope International children’s home (or you may have heard us call it Uhi, or UHIO). However, due to unfortunate circumstances, we no longer are working together. But you can read about what our involvement was here:
United Hope-Currently we are working in a small village town called Ombeyi, about an hour outside Kisumu, Kenya. We are working with the kids at United Hope Children’s home. There are currently 40 children, although the number is always fluctuating. Through your support, we are able to provide the feeding program for the children 3 meals a day, and all the school children at TransStar lunch every weekday. And also provide medical care for the children at United Hope through malaria testing and treatment, basic first aid, and taking them to town to see a doctor when needed. Transtar is a school Willis started on the compound with the children’s home that has grown from just a handful of kids, to around 100 kids from preschool to 4th grade. We are still in the process of building block building dormitories for the children’s home. They were living in temporary metal sheet housing where they were very exposed to the elements and where mosquitos easily came in and malaria was making many of the kids sick every week. We’ve completed the first two dorms on the bottom floor and the kids moved in. And hope to finish the upstairs 2 dorms by the end of the year. Friday evenings there’s worship and a lesson led by Geophery. And on Saturday we try to have some fun activities planned for the kids, sports, crafts, games, snacks, etc. On Sunday, we have children’s church at United Hope where we invite all the village kids to come.
Pastor training-Tim, Willis (United Hope founder), and Gerophery (our staff member) 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. Currently we are training 3 different groups in Rabour, Ahero and Muhroni.The trainings take around 2 years to complete.
“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)
We are currently praying about what our next step is and seeking the Lord.