almost Christmas 🎄

first, sorry for being terrible at updating the blog! I usually just post on facebook and forget about the blog! But in case you’ve missed Facebook or the email news letters, we are still here in the USA! We were supposed to be leaving for Kenya December 3, but I (Jenni) came down with pnumonia about that time and had to delay. Two weeks later Tim’s grandmother passed away. She’d been sick for three months with multiple things, and here body just wore out. We are thankful we were here to be with family during this time. Now we are here at Christmas time. And we have rebooked our flights for January 9th. We are sad to miss Christmas with the kids at united hope, but we’ll celebrate and do gifts when we get back! Thank you to our home church New Hope for providing Christmas money for the past several years! We’ve already sent money for a Christmas feast and stocking stuffers, and we’ll do the rest in January. Meanwhile, Willis and Geoffrey will make it a wonderful time and celebrate the birth of Jesus!

Merry Christmas everyone! You are so loved!

Seminar / Change of heart / coming home

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Leader’s Seminar
Hello Everyone! Hope all of you are doing well. We just wanted to give a update about the Leaders Seminar. We had roughly 70 leaders that made the Seminar. Plus many more that came. It was such a blessing to be able to do this. I know we had well over 100 people towards the end on Sunday. Our prayer is that the leaders will stand firm on the truth. We know not all that came will do so, but our prayer is that some will have learned and will change their teaching so that they are pointing people to Jesus Christ. Thank you all who prayed over this meeting and also supported financially.

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The daily schedule looked like this. Morning hours we had the seminar for leaders. Then a time for questions and a break for lunch. Next, people headed to the market to prepare for the crusade. At the end of the night there was a revival to finish. I think we ended up hosting round 40 or so people to sleep at the orphanage. Please be in prayer for all of these leaders. It is a huge battle here of false teachings polluting the church. Leaders are preaching so much about money and tithe and little about Christ. Though giving is important, it shouldn’t be the message every week, as it is making the church focus solely on money, give in order to be blessed with worldly riches, how they can gain worldly things, and rarely you hear much about Christ.

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A change of heart by God alone!

I want to give praise to God over something amazing He has done. I know this seems a bit long, but bare with me. If you have been keeping up with Jenni and I since the beginning, you may remember around December of 2013 we had a rough time. The kids were apart of a church that wasn’t focused on Christ but rather on money. They were being influenced by the teachings of the church. One boy asked Jenni for money to put in the offering plate so God could hear his prayers. At that point we knew the kids were being very mislead and didn’t need to be apart of that church.

One Sunday I was asked to speak. I wasn’t planning to speak, but the way things work here, they can ask you at anytime, even during the middle of the service.It just so happened that I had been up all night the night before studying about Biblical tithing and giving. So feeling that God had arranged this, I said sure I’ll speak today. So I spoke what God had laid on my heart. The main pastor wasn’t there that day, but it didn’t take long for him to hear what I had taught about since it was much different than the usual message. One leader came up to me after the service and even told me not to worry teaching this because it was a part of the culture and has been taught for a long time.

A week or two had passed and the main leader was there. He is a very influential person in his village and is even apart of the government now as a representative of his ward. He was speaking that day. He read about the birth of Jesus but then didn’t say one thing else about it in his message. In fact, he just began speaking against everything that I had spoke about previously. He went on to tell his church that ,”everyone should be living in nice houses, driving nice cars, and wearing nice clothes, that the kingdom of God must be shown on earth.” He went on making all kinds of promises that everyone in his church would be living in permanent houses (most live in mud houses) and the roads would be paved, and so on, as long as the kept dishing their money into the offering plate, God would bless them in return. But, that wasn’t truth. The whole time I wanted to stand up and shout show me in scripture but I stayed quiet. After he was finished he just walked out. He didn’t pray or fellowship afterwards. He just went home. I felt like I needed to talk with him, so I followed him. I just wanted to know where he was getting these teachings and wanted him to show me in the Word where it said all this, but he refused. He was telling someone to take me out of the house because of what might happen. He said I was about to start a war where there would be blood shed. He said my teachings needed a different church, that I should go start my own, but not in his area. He told me he would show me a place. But I told him if God tells me to start a church I’ll start it where he leads me. By now the pastor was furious.

At the time we were training a few of his leaders from that church. He called them to the house and told them they either quit coming to training or they are no longer apart of the church. I told him for the sake of unity Jenni and I will no longer be coming to the church. We would leave peacefully. Eventually, after prayer and encouragement, Willis agreed and decided to pull the kids out and we started the children’s ministry on Sundays at the orphage.

I said all that to say this. God is Good. For the longest time I’ve felt the need to go back to this pastor. I didn’t know what I would say. But, on Sunday at the seminar, the unexpected happened. He showed up. We he showed up, I didn’t know what to expect. Some of his leaders had been at the seminar. So, I wasn’t sure what he was going to say or do.I didn’t know if he would make his men leave, or have something to say to me. Culturally he was going to have to come up front to say something, because he is an “important person” in the community. That day I spoke about discipleship. He spoke afterwards and to my surprise he agreed and even said our focus should be on Christ rather than materials. I was speechless. This could not be the same man that threatened my life. He then said he wanted to start discipleship classes in his church, and he was going to contact me about helping. After the meeting I went and spoke with him. I wasn’t sure if he was serious or just talking. When I went to him alone, he again said he wanted to do so. So I told him we would meet and discuss the plan. What a mighty God we serve!

Pray that he is sincere. Pray for God’s will to be done. And that there will be change in the hearts of those in that church. We are not sure when or if we will start this, but just seeing the difference in him since the last time we met is amazing. We have seen each other twice in town over the last two years. Both times he shook my hand but nothing else. That Sunday we shook hands and talked and he even reached out to me about discipleship in front of the whole community! God is great! This could mean so much for this community.

SS3Our kids leading worship at the seminar

SSGeophery and Willis worshiping and dancing

Home Visit
One last thing. We are coming to the states Sept 22- Dec 3. A big thanks to our families who have worked together to bring our little crew home for 10 weeks! We feel so blessed and loved that they would bring us all home for a visit! I mean we secretly know its mostly so they can see the babies, but we are excited to see everyone too, and we can have some time of rest. Anyways, We have some dates open if you would like us to come speak at your church, Sunday School, small group, etc. Below are the Sundays we have available.

October
18th PM service
November
1st pm service
8th am or pm
15th am or pm
22nd am or pm
29th am or pm

Also Wednesdays work for us if we are in town. Or if you have a group that meets throughout the week, we would be happy to come there as well. Also, we would love to just get together with YOU and hang out, fellowship, and just spend some time together. So let us know!

Thank you again who financially give towards this ministry and more importantly pray for us. Please pray that God gives Jenni and I Godly wisdom on things that are soon to come. God Bless!

The kids moved in, and now they got new mattresses and mosquito nets!

In case you don’t receive our email newsletters, here is the most recent one, sent out just yesterday!


Hello everyone. We just wanted to send an update on how things are going in Kenya. Most of you know this already, but baby Jarvis #2 is here. He’s name is Kendal Thompson Jarvis. He’s a little over one month old. He and mommy are both doing great.

Update number 2, the kids finally moved into the first two new units. They are so excited. They have been in them for a few weeks now. One unit is for the 16 boys we have, and the other one is for the 25 girls. They have two bed rooms and a sitting room. The girls have a few that sleep in the sitting room because of overcrowding. But, this is definitely better than the iron sheet room the kids were staying in. We still plan to build 6 more as the Lord provides. We want around 5 or 6 kids per unit and we will add a widow who is struggling to act as a mother figure toward the kids. So it will help both the kids and the widows. Please continue to pray for God to supply the funds for the units. The two we just finished cost around $30,000. Our plan is to build the next two on top of the first two. So hopefully it will be a little less. You can donate at www.worldim.com/give. The building fund account is Kenya Orphanage 5266.

Also, the kids received new mattresses and mosquito nets on Wednesday. We are so thankful for that. Thank you to all of you that gave. The kids were so excited. These are 100% better quality than the previous mattresses they had. One of the older boys, named John, said they need an alarm clock now so they could wake up for school. They thought they would oversleep because they were so comfortable.

We are back in the swing on things the last few weeks in training. I took a few weeks off to help Jenni with Kendal and Keelyn. Kendal ended up coming 9 days late, so I was off longer than I anticipated but it was a nice little break. The training is going well. We had some hiccups in Kibigori, but now things are ironed out and going smoothly. We didn’t realize it, but the church there was not meeting on Sundays anymore. We found the reasons, and now they are starting back. We talked to Pastor Silas and now he will leave his flock at his place and come to the other side of Kibigori to be with this flock. They need a strong leader. So Pastor Silas said his church was mature enough to do things without him and he would help build this church. We are not over these churches, but we are training them among other members of other churches. Some have decided to leave their old churches because of the teachings the pastor teaches. Most of them teach solely on prosperity and giving tithes and offerings. The leaders are lovers of money more than God, and that’s their focus. So, some of them have decided to join Pastor Silas to help restart the church in Kibigori. Please be in prayer for them that they remain focused on Christ and not false teaching like the prosperity gospel.

Jenni and I are blessed to have some visitors for three months. They are from WIM and are here for an internship and observe what we do. Their names are Ben and Rachel Craig. You can find out more about them on the WIM website www.worldim.com. They have already experienced a lot in just the short time they have been here. The first time out in the field we got the vehicle stuck and they got to experience being sick, but thankfully not too bad. Pray for them as they seek what the Lord wants them to do and that their time here in Kenya will be beneficial for them as they explore what God might have them do.

One last important update. We need you prayers and support for this. We are praying and pursuing bringing two new staff members on. One will be a female social worker, and the other will be a children’s director. The social worker is required by the government. All children’s homes should have a social worker. So Willis and I will be interviewing them soon. The chiildren’s director will be a male. His role will be focusing on the discipleship of the kids. He will be in charge of the Sunday services with the kids and also nightly devotions. He will also help us in the trainings and other parts of the ministry, but his main focus will be the kids. You can recall we brought Geophrey on a little over a year ago. He is awesome with the kids and also the church leaders training. I love working with him. He has a true heart for ministry. But, we need some extra help. We want to be able to go visit the places we are training on Sunday to see how the training is affecting the teachings of the church leaders. It’s hard to do that when we are also needed at the children’s ministry on Sundays. So, that’s one reason we want the children’s director. Geophrey is so good with the leaders, so we need him for that. He is also great with the Kids but he/we can’t do everything and be everywhere at the same time. Willis and I did some interviews on Tuesday. We have two people we really like. Now we need to the Lord to make the final decision on who to bring on.  We also need people who are willing to help support them monthly. We appreciate so much the ones who support Geophrey. He has been such a blessing to the ministry here and we hope the next person will have the same impact. The Social worker will be living at the orphanage in the boys’ old dorm. So, they will need a little less support. We want to start them out $150 per month. The children’s director will start out at $200 per month because they will live outside somewhere. Eventually we may need to raise their support, but for now this is what we are seeking. If you can help with these needs on a monthly bases just reply to this email with who you want to support and how much. Anything helps and there is no better investment than investing in the Lords work. Please consider these needs and be in prayer for these needs to be met. So in total we need $350 a month.

Again thank you for those who pray for us and sacrifice financially so we can be here in Kenya. We appreciate you so much. Hope to here from all of you and let us know if you got the email. Also, if you have any questions you can reply back to this email or to jarvis@worldim.com. Munguakubariki (God Bless)!


And a side note in addition to the newsletter… they are getting new bed sheets too! They should be arriving some time next week! 🙂 They are bright neon colors! Can’t wait! Fun Fun!

Moving day & Requests

Well, yesterday was move in day for the kids. They moved into the first two units of the new dorms. There is still some work that needs to be done. But we were all excited to get them out of the metal sheet rooms and into the permanent housing.

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Right now the girls have the unit on the left, and the boys have the one on the right. As you can see there will eventually be an upstairs. At that point, the boys will have the upstairs and the girls will have the down stairs. Then after that, we hope to be able to repeat the whole process with another building on the other side of the compound and one building be for boys, and the other building for girls. Each unit will have a live in Momma or Widow that will help in caring for them to make this more like a home setting rather than an orphanage or institution.

We moved in 17 sets of bunk beds yesterday for 40 children.

We want to say thank you to everyone that has contributed to get this far!

Requests:

We are currently in need of new mosquito nets and mattresses for all the kids. There are some kids with out nets at all since they were so torn and holey, they were torn apart for bathing cloths… and others that are still using their nets, they still have tears and holes, so they are not very well protected from mosquitoes. It is now rainy season and we live in a swampy area next to rice fields and the mosquitoes have gotten really bad and malaria is going around like crazy. As for mattresses, you can see in the picture below that they are getting worn and thin. they are just foam mattresses, and these are low density foam. We would love to invest in a better quality high density foam mattress.

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matress

Mattresses are $25 each

Mosquito nets are about $11 each

We have 34 beds. However we have already received some donations towards these back at Christmas (Thank you all!), but we still need 12 more nets and 26 more mattresses!

Will you help us reach our goal or getting each child a new net and mattress? The total needed is $834!

How to donate:

To donate, Visit worldim.com/give and select your method. fill in your donation under Jarvis #266. Or if you want to donate to the building fund, fill in your donation under Kenya Orphanage #5266. In the comments, please specify what your donation is for! Thank you!!