Dear Friends and Family,
Thank you so very much for praying for our Kenya Outreach Project. Let me share some “but God” highlights with you.
Our plane arrived late in Kenya or I should share early on Sunday morning about 2:00 a.m. We went to sleep Sunday morning at around 4:00 a.m., but God gave us strength and energy with a couple hours of sleep to walk to a local Baptist church to worship Him with our Kenyan brothers and sisters. Boy, were we glad He woke us up! The message was spoken in English and most of the worship was in Swahili, complete with dance presentations from little kids all the way to the mama’s in the church. Later that afternoon, our nine Cole Valley students met up with ten Kenyan teenagers to coordinate the Vacation Bible School plan. Sweet, sweet time of developing cross-culture relationships.
The next day we got up bright and early and traveled to our first VBS destination. We planned out five stations for kids to rotate through: Bible story, memory verse, craft, snack, and games. The pastor of this new church plant said maybe we would have 75-150 kids, but God brought in 400 or more kids. It was beautiful chaos at the beginning, but God helped the Kenyan and American student leaders improvise as they led these large groups of children. The pastor was so thankful to get all the children from this community into his church that day in hopes that they would all return on Sunday for church service. In Kenya, 59% of their population is under the age of 24 years old.
On Tuesday, we facilitated a VBS at Hosanna Children's Home and invited kids from the neighborhood. This was so peaceful and intimate as we had about 50 children that participated in the program. Mr. Frisinger, history teacher at CVCS, sold candy in his jr. high classes all year to raise money for Hosanna. Pastor Isaac who runs the orphanage said he didn’t know how he was going to send all the children back to school when the new term started in May. He didn’t have enough donations come in to pay for the children’s school fees, but God provided him with funds from Mr. Frisinger’s classes. Isaac praised the Lord, as he showed me the balances that would now we paid off so the children could return to school.
We slipped in a quick safari Wednesday night and Thursday morning before heading to the Leadership Conference to meet up with around 150 Kenyan teenagers who are sponsored to attend high school through Expansion International’s education program. Our CVCS and Kenyan leadership students divided up and led 12 different teams of students at the conference. The conference theme was ordinary + Jesus = Extraordinary from Acts 4:13. We studied the life of Peter together, worshipped the African way, and played some football (soccer) on the hard dusty clay thorny soil. Six students made a commitment to follow Jesus and six others came forward for prayer to dedicate their life to serve God and His people. We taught students how to share the Gospel and give their 15 second testimony. When we asked who would be willing to share the Gospel with their friends and family when they returned to their communities, they raised their hands with excitement and urgency. When we asked them who would be willing to step out and share/read a Bible story to learn the commands of Christ with new believers, several more raised their hands with huge smiles on their faces.
We left the conference Sunday morning, as did all the students. American and Kenyan tears flowed down the faces of these students. Saying goodbye, not knowing if we would ever see each other again is always difficult, but God……
Thanks for all your support and being part of the Jesus team!
The CVCS and E.I. Outreach Team