Greetings from Kenya!


Hi all!

Greetings to our family and friends at “home”… we pray you are well
and have enjoyed a blessed week!

It is Saturday afternoon here in Nyahururu and we are winding down
from a very busy week!  It’s been a great time though in so many ways!
We have seen God moving in people and circumstances and we’ve been so
blessed in our time here so far.

Last Sunday, the three of us began the day by attending the Happy
Church in Nyahururu.  Pastor Macharia, the lead Pastor there is one of
the Caleb Pastors who Harbour supports as part of our “Launch Leaders”
vision for our ministry here.  We enjoyed 3 hours of worship and
teaching and had a chance to greet the church (on behalf of us and
Harbour) and share a short message with them as well.  Afterwards, we
joined Pastor Macharia and his wife, Faith, and a few other leaders in
the church for chai (tea) and biscuits and good conversation!  One of
the church leaders (and the gentleman who translates for us when we
speak to the church) is a teacher in north of Nyahururu where he
teaches in a school for boys that serves the nomadic community.  Very
interesting stories he had about how the boys he teaches end up
getting involved in tribal clashes… it still goes on
and on… oh, how these people need to realize what “loving your
neighbour” really means!!
In the midst of this time, we were summoned back to PACE as the
children were beginning to arrive to camp… ooops… yes, by now, it
was 3:00 in the afternoon! …we’d totally lost track of the clock!

We began with small group of children Sunday evening, but it was a good start!
Monday morning, we took the children on an outing to Nakuru, about an
hour away.  We loaded up the bus, first thing in the morning… then
we loaded up some more children and their luggage in Nyahururu as we
were driving out of town… then we stopped in Nakuru to welcome even
more children and their leader for the week!  At that point the bus
was full and off we went for our first activity… swimming!

Our bus proceeded to a small “hotel/resort” outside of town that has a
pretty nice, outdoor pool.  Thankfully the weather in Nakuru is
generally much warmer and sunnier than Nyahururu, and this day did not
disappoint!  It was perfect day for the kids to be in the pool!  Most
of the children from Nyahururu do not swim as there is really no water
around them, so they just don’t have the opportunity.  But they really
enjoyed it!  Sharon took some time once they all got in to teach any
children who wanted to learn some basics.  They were catching on
pretty quickly… and enjoyed watching each other try the kicking and
stroking!  Lots of laughter… so much fun to watch them!

Later, they tried the water slide and some even braved the board to
jump off into the deep end.  Sharon was there to help them to the side
and had her hands full for most of the day!  She slept well that night
after all that exercise!  I think all rested well after a full day of
swimming and a late dinner once we returned.  It was a great start to
the week!

We left “bright and early” for our mission the next morning…
Tuesday… we boarded the bus at PACE not long after 8:00 am … we
did pretty good as 8:00 was the goal so we could get to the town of
Survey (yes, that’s the name of the town …Survey) by just after noon!

We got all the way to Nyahururu
town… about a 7 minute drive and made 2?… 3? stops…?? By the time
we actually left Nyahururu it was after 10:00 am… then along the way we
stopped for oranges, we stopped to pick up 70 pineapples, we stopped
at the side of the road a little later into the trip… around 2:00 so
we could all have some lunch… by the time we arrived it was about
4:00!
At least the sun was still up!!  😀  We were doing well!

I have to say… I have never seen a more patient group of children!
Most of them, except for the lunch stop, were on that bus for the
entire time!!  No DVD’s, no IPOD’s, not a whole lot to do but travel
and wait and wait and travel… and not one complaint!  I was amazed!
They were tired but happily helped unload the bus and get things set
up at the school we stayed at.

The house building project began on Wednesday morning and we all
boarded the bus at 7:00 am and got to the site about 1km away (if
that).  The teens who came with us to help, started to chop the grass
and weeds away from the site and we unloaded the building supplies
that were strapped on to the top of the bus… all while the children
sat on the bus and patiently waited, yet again!

Once the supplies were unloaded, the kids came out and got into groups
of 5 to dig the holes for the main foundation posts for the home.
Once the holes were dug, we all had chai and headed back to camp for
some activities.

The PACE staff who joined us spent the rest of the day building the
house which was a pretty simple structure of wood beams and tin roof
and walls.  By the end of the day it was pretty much complete.  We had
a dedication service the next morning (Thursday) before we departed to
come back to Nyahururu, and 3 of the children handed over 3 keys to
the Pastor for his new home… it was a real celebration and the
Pastor shared what an impact our coming to serve him had already had
on this community.  People were asking about and talking about these
people, this man’s friends who had come from a long way away, to build
him a house.  We are praying that this opens up many opportunities for
him to share Christ with people in the town and the surrounding area.

We also were very grateful for the opportunity to invite some of the
local children to join in the activities we had planned for the time
there.  It was wonderful to see our kids welcoming the others into our
camp and to see them beginning to interact with one another.  We are
praying that the time we spent with them will have even a small impact
on these children and on the community.  The Kenyan’s left a couple of
small gifts with the children of the school whom allowed us to use
their facility.  They were grateful to receive these gifts and
expressed an invitation for our group to come back anytime.

The trip home was good (not many stops… so only 3 hours!) and
amazingly the children stayed up till 12:30am that night to watch a
movie!  Oh, to be young again and have that much energy!

Our last day of camp was a blessed one… everyone was still full of
energy and we had a full day of activities planned!  We did lessons,
crafts, the kids took turns driving a truck and horses on a road not
too far off the beaten path!  As well, we took them to town at
the end of the day for “canteen.”   We gave each child 100 Kenyan
shillings (about $1.50) and let them loose in a local “supermarket.”
A store that has all that our grocery stores would have packed into a
space about the size of a 7-11!  It was already busy at the shop… so
as we added our 30+ kids… it was jam packed and crazy!  Wachira, our
director, assured me that the store knew what they were in for when we
descended on them… it was another exercise in patience for all the
adults… customers, staff and us, to be sure!  The kids really
appreciated it though… it is something that they would not normally
would have the opportunity to do… and it helps remind them the value
of a shilling, which we pray will help the family!

We roasted marshmallows on the last night, which is always a highlight of
camp, since the first time we brought them!  Apparently it’s one of
the first things they ask about camp!  This morning, sadly, we had to
say our good bye’s.  🙁  This year we intentionally had a smaller
group of children, so it seemed that the group was closer and many
closer connections were made… which made it harder to say goodbye!
We sent them off with some songs, some treats and some words of
blessings and encouragements from each of the leaders.

Our prayer is that the things that God allowed the children to
experience… whether fun activities, serving in the mission at
Survey, through relationships and the teaching and example of the
teens and adults will penetrate their hearts and leave a lasting
impression on each one of them.  At the house dedication, Wachira
talked to the children about how even though they are young and they
may not think they have any influence or can make a difference… they
can and they do!  He encouraged them to continue to remember that…
we all at different times throughout the week, encouraged them to
remember that and keep growing in the love of Christ that they
experienced and to look for opportunities to share it… not with
their voices necessarily, but with their lives.  I was reminded of the
words that Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12 that says “Don’t
let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example
for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in
purity.”  I was blessed to see and experience firsthand so many young
people here… teens and children, living that out over the course of
the week… I am encouraged by the thought of the potential of many
future leaders being born out of this group of young people!

Thank you again for all who prayed for us and for everyone involved at
camp this week.  I can’t begin to tell you how many prayers were
answered and just how perfectly God provided and supplied for all our
needs and for the visions that the leaders here had for this week of
ministry with the children.  We were continually amazed and sharing in
thanks to God for many blessings!

We are looking forward to another full week of ministry here,
traveling, and visiting.  We will be joining local Pastors who are involved
in ministry to seniors and prison ministry this coming Wednesday.  As
well, we will be planning and participating in a team/relationship
building and development day for the PACE staff, which will happen
this coming Friday.
The staff have expressed an interest in learning to swim (!)… so we
will hold the retreat at the same location as we took the children.
As well they have asked for a time of silent individual retreat as
part of the day… similar to last year… but they have asked for an
hour of silence in the morning and another in the afternoon… not all
day like last year!  😀 … It is a blessed beginning to be sure!!

Please continue to pray for us as we are involved in all of these
things this coming week.  As well, for our health and safety, for
Daniel as he continues to interact and just jump right in to whatever
the young people are involved in!  I am amazed at how independent and
comfortable he has been and continues to be in leaving Mom, to do “his
own thing!”  It was a blessing to both Sharon and I to see him, having
a ball bouncing around in the back of the bus to and from the mission
in Survey with all his new buds… with Mom either upfront in the bus
or riding in the vehicle behind!

Also, please pray for a great safari day for Sharon and Daniel (Who
will be accompanied by two of our friends here… one Kenyan, one
American!) as they travel east, past Mount Kenya to a reserve that is
sure to be a great trip (and a very long, full day) for them on
Monday.

Kenya has been blessed by a lot of rain this season. So far, traveling
has not been a challenge and the Kenyans are very happy to have the
rain… though we’ve had a couple storms that have been brought pretty
heavy rain, hail, thunder and lightening… just like home… without
the humidity!  Please pray that the rain continues, but not the
weather that bring damage to crops and property… which has been an
issue for a couple of people we have met along the way.

We want to end by saying thank you for your notes and messages of
encouragement and prayers!  They have been a real blessing to us and
continues to give us a fresh breath of strength and energy, just when
we need it most!!  As we keep saying… and will continue to say…
“God is sooooo good!”  It is such a privilege to serve Him here and to
be used for His plans and purposes… which is so much more than we
could ever ask or imagine!

May God bless your weekend and upcoming week!
With love and in His service,
Sheryl, Sharon and Daniel

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