Friday, Jan. 9th, our day off, made room for a different type of African adventure; we took in the Naivasha Boat Safari, viewing some of the magnificent creatures of the area roaming in their native habitats. We enjoyed the giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, gazelle, four schools of hippo, and white storks, among others.
The following day we ministered at a nearby IDP (Internally Displaced People) Camp. In very poor conditions, tribal people who have lost or vacated their homes due to tribal wars reside in various IDP Camps. Food was distributed and a ministry time was engaged in.
Scott gave an encouraging message, “Let God’s Word Rock Your World”, in the Sunday service at AIC. Abba Home orphanage visit was the afternoon activity; we joyfully returned to spend the afternoon with the orphanage and neighborhood children.
DTS team hit the dusty, pothole filled roads again on Monday (12th of Jan), travelling over 2 hours one way to minister in a community that labors for a flower growing company, receiving extremely low wages, enduring sad living conditions. Arriving in time for the feeding program at church, we lunched with these children who received their one daily meal. They enjoyed our dramas and testimonies, and we relished hearing feedback of what they’d learned from our time together. We believe seeds are being planted that will grow and bear fruit! Evangelism in streets and homes followed; we were honored to encourage the believers we met, pray for salvation with two, and have one man re-dedicate His life to Jesus. The pastor will follow up with these new believers and deliver Bibles we purchased for many we visited, as their poverty doesn’t afford them a Bible. Autumn was quite an attraction; seems they hadn’t seen a white baby before, pinched her, wanted to touch her from head to toe, and called her a baby doll. Quite a crowd followed the mzungu (white) people down the street that day…as if we were Pide Piper.
Finally, our entire team is out again, and sickness has ceased to spread. Excitement is high, as the next two days we minister with the Maasai tribal people. The welcome was warm, with traditional tea, biscuits, and Maasai songs. The Christian principal of the local school invited us to freely share the gospel with over 400 Maasai children who had gathered and we were more than happy to plant the seeds of God’s Word and love in their hearts. The following day, Wed., we traveled to the same area, but experienced more of the Massai culture, being dressed in some of their traditional wedding costumes. Our footsteps where obviously directed by the Lord and we came home rejoicing that seven adults had received Jesus as their Savior.
While the majority of the team relaxed on Thursday, our day off, did souvenir shopping, and enjoyed lunch with Pastor Simon and his wife Margaret, Fritz and Alex traveled to Nairobi. Alex applied for a new passport and a missing piece of luggage needed to be recovered – the tote that contained our ministry speaker and hospitality gifts. Due to intense traffic, and red tape, this was an all day affair, but thankfully, was also successful. Everyone packed and managed the eight hr. trip to our second ministry sight, Kitale, on Friday.
Shekinah Glory Ministries, supported by Warm Blankets, is the ministry we are now serving. The dedication celebration of a new orphanage was our first activity, where we shared some testimonies and the Wise Man skit. I don’t think we’ve ever gotten so many laughs! The African people definitely know how to have long celebrations; this was about a five hour event, with worship, dancing, and many speeches.
After ministering in the Sunday service we celebrated Kaitlynd Picker’s 8th birthday. We are blessed to have very nice accommodations at the Kitale Golf Club, which include a pool; she was happy to have a pool party! The swimming was wonderful, but the birthday cake was probably the driest ever sold…
Our hearts have been broken the last two days, seeing the needs as we ministered to the poorest of the poor. The reality of hunger impacted us greatly when we were taken into a mud hut where a mother sat on the dirt floor with her newborn baby, not having eaten since giving birth, having no food in the house. Hope was restored as she received soup mix and water and we prayed for them. This same day we experienced God supernaturally heal two women. Returning the following day, we were met by a small crowd of villagers who’d come for chigger treatments. The small insects burrow in the skin, lay their larvae, and if not arrested, can wreak havoc. Other villagers heard of yesterday’s healings and came for prayer. God was faithful to respond to their faith with healing, as they told us, “We see that you know the true God”. Most traumatic was the young man we dubbed “chigger boy”, whose feet were and hands infested, crusted and starting to become deformed. He could hardly walk on the many sores that had formed from the larvae, some large as half a marble. Garrett, Tristan, and Charlie worked on cleaning out chiggers, larvae and puss for nearly two hours, while the boy sometimes moaned in pain. Nearly finished, a man who’d help hold the boy’s legs down exclaimed, “If Christians will do this I want to follow their God. I need to get saved now.” The “chigger boy” was grinning with happiness as we drove him to the orphanage for follow-up care and our team was rejoicing simultaneously over the healings of the women, salvation of the man, and chigger treatments completed.
Following day we were greeted by singing young mothers whom we encouraged through dramas, the Word, testimonies, and distribution of sanitary supplies, soap, sugar and salt. Hundreds of prisoners were visited in the afternoon, and again the “white people” seemed quite an attraction. Leti and Anthony testified of God’s restoration in their lives and prisoners were entertained by dramas. Prisoners are not receiving even their basic needs, so we again were able to distribute essentials.
Thursday, Jan. 22 was a hodgepodge of activities different than expected, which often occurs on outreach and why we teach the students that “flexibility is the key to success”. Being informed that we were going to a blind class; we arrived to discover special education students. Oh well, that was OK. Although, the mob of 500 students on break that bombarded us was quite overwhelming. After entertaining the class with skits Charlie played the saxophone, we prayed for them, and shared cookies. The teacher expressed her appreciation, telling us no one had ever come to visit them, especially entertaining them and spending time with them as we did. Our next stop was actually to visit the class for the blind and leave some food. These students actually board at the school, but the government does not supply food. A small team had been painting at another orphanage where Garrett and Philip were treating minor medical needs. So, our third stop for the day was to meet the children and perform promised skits for them. Seems that everywhere we go, the children first entertain us, which was again the case, with singing and dancing.
Our stay in Kitale is nearly over, so I’ll wrap up the events there. Olivia will take over reporting beginning with our time in Kisumu since I, Cindy, and Tiffany, will be returning to Gleanings in a few days.
A needed day off was enjoyed on Friday, followed by Sat. morning team time – Bible Study and intercession for ministry in Kisumu. African people love to dance; Sat. afternoon again proved this, with a dance contest. Joy and excitement of welcoming Jenny, a staff member from Gleanings who joined us, was a most pleasant closure to our day.
Sunday, our last day in Kitale, we again ministered in the orphanage church, with Alex, Charlie and Cindy sharing testimonies, and Garrett preaching the Word. The following day was our travel day. We’re now settled in Kisumu, with new sights, sounds, smells, and opportunities to experience with God and each other.
Thank you for your interest and continued prayers!
Love from Gleanings’ DTS team in Kenya