2012 Kenya Medical Mission: The Team Speaks Blog 2

Say it ain't so.....the team is already gone.

It's so hard to believe how many months the team spent preparing to serve in Kenya, and yet as you read this blog the team has already returned to the US.  Wow!   Where did time go?  The old saying still rings true, "time flies when you're having fun."

Well, even though the team has returned safely, to the US, we want to provide ministry updates and words from the field.

Day Two of the Camp in Loruko:


"It was truly a morning to see my team members as they compassionately tended to the physical needs and spiritual hunger of this very remote community.  It is also humbling to see how the people of Loruko, living in such harsh conditions, still can see the joy of the Lord in their lives.”  -  Dr. Mike G.

“Today is day two of our medical mission with the people of Loruko in Isiolo Kenya.  As the morning began I was full of excitement and anticipation of what God was going to do on this day.  I continue to be amazed at God’s work through dentistry at the hand of the skilled yet humble Dr. Mike Givens.  My day ended with an introduction by my fellow team member Ramel to Pastor John, we prayed for him and seeing his heartfelt response to our prayer I was blessed by the presence of God.”  -  Roy W.


Patients wait to see a physician.
“As an American physician, with the best training (three degrees, Board Certified) I thought that I came prepared to treat most illnesses.  Today, I realized that sometimes people need really simple things like a $2 pair of bifocals.  All the training in the world didn’t compare to how humble this made me feel.  Every physician should have this experience.”  -  Dr. Linda G.

Dr. Linda checks the leg of a young patient.

Dr. Jana sees a young patient.
NaKisha and Ava prepare the babies and the children to see a physician by washing their hair/heads.
Mom and baby are happy!  All smiles...


Wrapping up Day Two!

Evangelism & Education...

The Evangelism Team educates the community about Christ and HIV/AIDS Education.

The following prayer was written by the translator who assisted Min. Alonzo with Evangelism and Education.  What a blessing and an honor for Min. Alonzo to receive such a heartfelt prayer.  Wow God!

“Prayer for our pastors, priests, evangelists, bishops, sisters, brothers, seminaries, church leaders, parents, teachers, community members, sponsors and our benefactors who are with us.  Lord Jesus, I pray that you bless our visitors together with my best companion friend Evangelist Alonzo.  These visitors sacrificed their time so that they come here in Kenya to share, learn and also treat sick people which is a good job and I promise that a great reward is kept for them in heaven and I do pray that the work of their hands is blessed.  Whenever they go to their destinations make their journey to be safe and guide them with the power of the Holy Spirit and I am sure they have learned a lot here in Kenya and their relatives and children will be very happy because they would be told a lot because we learn from others.  I pray you in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.”

Stay tuned for more updates.....

On Mission with God....The Team Speaks!

The team arrived safely in Kenya on Friday, August 31st.  We began Saturday morning with our "Kinship Gathering" so team members could meet our collaborative family and get to know the locals that would serve on the mission team.  ...and the weekend continued......

Cross-Cultural Training!

Team building!

After worship at Ridgeways Baptist Church!

Team Luncheon!

Preparing for medical camps!

Isiolo Arrival....more team building!


God is so awesome!  Today was the team's first day of serving in the Loruko community, in Isiolo.  Read on to see pictures and hear summaries from several of the team members.

Unpacking the truck for the day!

"Wow!  Wow!  Wow!  Talk about experiencing God!  I saw God today through so many eyes; from medical, to dental, to education and most important, salvation.  What a blessing it was to be the answer to someone's prayer, as it was an unforgettable worship experience.  The team and I moved Faith Forward in Africa, sharing the love, life and lordship of Jesus Christ." - Nadine F., Camp Floater

"My experience today with the Loruko community, in Isiolo, was an experience I will never forget.  I literally felt God throughout the community regardless of the fragile huts the people lived in.  In essence, our souls connected, like no one I've ever connected with before!"  - Kim E., Medical

"We were five medical providers and we had a lot of help from translators and team assistants.  On average, we saw over 100 patients with different kinds of ailments including: intestinal worms, wounds, fungal infections, cataracts to corneal lacerations.  We treated them and it's our prayer that God heals them.  We are looking forward to serving more patients tomorrow and we hope that we will offer more than medical support."  - Elizabeth & Christina, Medical

"Today the triage/education team had the honor and privilege of being the first to extend the love of Christ Jesus to the people of Loruko.  We were blessed to distribute 140 medical and dental service bands to local villagers.  Our education team shared the Gospel, in addition to teaching HIV/AIDS prevention.  We planted the seed and God got the increase as approximately 20 people either rededicated their lives to Christ or accepted salvation for the first time."  - Kim W., Triage/Education

"Watching the Lord move in the dental area was a blessing, not only for the guests, but for me as well.  How the Lord anointed Dr. Mike's hands was amazing.  He performed each extraction effortlessly.  I am excited about what tomorrow and the next few days will bring as we serve in honor of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."  - Meresha C., Dental

"Before today, I had no experience distributing medicine.  I must admit, I was a little anxious about working in the pharmacy when I got my assignment.  But God is good and He equips those who yield to His will.  What an awesome experience to see God at work.  Before I knew it I was pulling medicine for the pharmacist with ease.  I just thank God for giving me the opportunity to help the Samburu people."  - Thomas S., Pharmacy

"Today was an exciting and exhilarating day.  I started today with some uncertainty about how I would react on my first international mission assignment.  Driving through the Reserve and seeing the elephants, giraffes, gazelles; and seeing the beauty of nature.  It was an awesome experience seeing the organization of the camp once we were on the ground.  I'm really looking to tomorrow to see what God is going to do."  - Min. Alonzo W.,  Education

We trust you have enjoyed this update!  More updates are on the way......


The Team is Coming! The Team is Coming!

And the journey continues.......

First we would like to thank ALL of our supporters, whether financial support, prayer support, giggle support, telephone support, Facebook support, etc......THANK YOU!  A special thanks to our parents, The Park Church, The Mission Society and our monthly donors!

We continue to prepare for the arrival of the 2012 Kenya Mission/Men's Mission Team.  On August 31, 2012, sixteen missionaries will arrive in Kenya, ready to serve.  What an exciting time!  But before we get to the details of the mission, allow us to share different parts of our journey up until now.

Preparing to serve cross-culturally, regardless of the context, takes a great deal of preparation and cooperation (prayer is a given).  So here are a few items that we have been working on, simultaneously, since our arrival in April.  You will see several bullet points more than once.  This is an attempt to stress the continuation of the preparation process.
  • Making personal cross-cultural adjustments
  • Finding a place to live
  • Making a house a home
  • Meeting with ministry partners to prepare for the team
  • Meeting new ministry partners for future opportunities 
  • Scheduling and attending the necessary meetings to prepare for the team's arrival
  • Meeting old and new missionaries, from around the world
  • Finding a Swahili language school to meet our needs
  • Visiting the Maasai Mara (a friend made us go for sanity sake)
  • Scheduling and attending the necessary meetings to prepare for the team's arrival
  • Celebrating our birthdays (lots of surprises from friends and family members)
  • Traveling to Isiolo
  • Preparing for the medical camp in Isiolo
  • Traveling to Kutus
  • Preparing for the medical camp in Kutus
  • Meeting old and new missionaries, from around the world
  • Beginning Swahili language school
  • Adjusting to Swahili language school
  • Practicing language learning and laughing at ourselves (and others laughing harder)
  • Scheduling and attending the necessary meetings to prepare for the team's arrival
  • Showing up in offices, unannounced, to prepare for the team's arrival
  • Providing respite for other missionaries
  • Allowing others to provide respite for us
  • And this week.......visiting SEVEN Kenyan governmental offices within a TWENTY-FOUR HOUR period to further prepare for the team's arrival
    • Inviting governmental officials to meet us at one or all of our ministry sites
    • Receiving invitations from governmental officials to minister in their constituencies, in the very near future
  • Etc., etc., etc..................
While this IS NOT an exhaustive it looks and sounds exhaustING!

The team has been preparing in the US for cross-cultural service, through spiritual preparation, class training, team fellowships, team building exercises, outings and so much more.  Team members are "volunteers" which means they ARE NOT paid for serving on the team AND they voluntarily take time off from work, and life as usual, in order to serve on the 2012 Kenya Mission Team.  Each team member has raised 100% of his/her mission funds and some are still raising funds so it's NOT too late to donate.  

What will the Medical/Men's Mission Team do this year?  They will experience "reverse mission" right from the start.  "Reverse mission" is when an individual or group anticipates serving others, with the hopes of giving all they have to give and instead they receive more than they ever thought possible - all for personal growth and development.  Reverse mission is very closely related to culture-shock and one's humbleness, flexibility and intuitiveness determines whether the experiences are positive or negative.  It all depends on the individual.  The team will provide FREE medical services in three locations (Isiolo, "the bush"; Kutus, on the backside of Mount Kenya; and Nairobi, at a Boy's Detention Center in Kibera, the largest slum in the world).  Along with medical services there will be evangelism with discipleship follow-up, personal hygiene education, HIV/AIDS prevention education, as well as specialized malaria education, testing, diagnosis and treatment.  There will be games, singing and sports (football/soccer) for the children.  That's it in a nutshell.

As you pray for the mission, please pray for the team as a whole, including the two of us.

We will provide updates while the team is serving in Kenya.  Updates will be provided via this blogspot and our Facebook Page (Ken-Ya Believe It).  Additional information can be found on our website at www.kenyabelieveit.org and in our monthly newsletter, also entitled, Ken-Ya Believe It!

Until we blog again.....

The Cupid Shuffle and SHIPS!

Good  Day Blog Followers!

Today, we had the honor of sharing with the women of Ridgeways Baptist Church (RBC). We were invited by the leadership team to introduce and kick-off their cross-generational Mentorship Ministry.  We were humbled by the invitation.
Scripture Reference:  One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty works.  Psalm 145:4, ESV

Ken-Ya Believe we used the Cupid Shuffle to teach the women about relationSHIPS, discipleSHIP and mentorSHIP?  Well, that's exactly what we did.  We decided that the best way to discuss mentoring is to present the greatest mentor ever known to man (Jesus Christ) and His most dominant characteristic, that being love. (love, represented by cupid's arrow).
Scripture Reference:  Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.  John 15:24, ESV; If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  1 Corinthians 13:1, ESV

By nature, people of African descent love to dance so we chose Cupid's Shuffle as an object lesson to model the SHIPS (discipleSHIP, mentorSHIP and relationSHIP)!  We demonstrated the steps, without the music, along with several volunteers.  Once the small group was comfortable with the steps we queued the music and invited the rest of the ladies to join us on the dance floor (dance grass).  It was awesome to see women of all ages, dancing, laughing, bumping into one another and adding their own steps.
Scripture Reference:  And David danced before the Lord with all His might.  2 Samuel 6:14, ESV

DiscipleSHIP - The ladies that volunteered to learn the steps FIRST were charged with the task of assisting the other women with getting the steps right, once the music began.  As the dancing continued we observed the larger group searching for ladies who had already mastered the steps.  Four ladies were selected to move to the front in order to assist those who were still struggling.  The ladies who were struggling now had a living, breathing and tangible example to follow.  They could ask clarifying questions, at any time, with the confidence of being steered in the right direction.  Such is the case with discipleship.  As Christ Followers, we are charged with the task of studying, learning and living out the word of God in our daily lives, for others to see.  As others observe our walk with Christ, as well as our  interactions with others it causes them to wonder and inquire about the source which sets us apart.
Scripture References: So that people may see and know, may consider and understand; that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.  Isaiah 41:20, ESV.  You are the salt of the earth. Matt. 5:13, ESV

MentorSHIP - "Mentoring is a multi-faceted process that is based upon a relationship that opens our lives as mentors to the person that we are mentoring or vice versa.  This relationship draws them into our world where we intentionally teach and equip them to in turn make disciples.  The people we mentor ought to be the primary focus of our ministry, with the programs and crowds as secondary focus.  Always, the mentorship must point to God and His power, not to any accomplishments or wisdom of the mentor.  But, all of this is worthless without passion for the person.  Remember, it's not what we've done that matters as much in the end as who we've brought." The Mentorship Handbook: A Guide for SLA Chapters and Divisions to Establish Mentorship Programs.  
Scripture Reference:  Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17, ESV

RelationSHIP - At the beginning of the day, none of the ladies knew how to do the Cupid Shuffle so the playing field was level.  Each lady began the day as a beginner and a learner, which created the opportunity to develop new relationships, as well as the reinforcement of old friendships.  With each step, confidence and comfortability levels increased.  When one of the ladies missed a step, other women provided support and encouragement, without condemnation and/or judgement.  As a result, the ladies were able to laugh AT themselves, laugh WITH one another and the dancing continued.
Scripture References:  And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.  2 Tim. 2:2, ESV

There was one communal goal which was to learn the steps quickly, to become "one" synchronized body and to have fun.  One love, one body!  Mission accomplished!  Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!  Psalm 133:1, ESV

Cupid and Ships!

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