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 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!

Peace Be Still!

This picture describes the day perfectly!  Today was a challenging but good day in language school.  Challenging in the sense that we learned new words, words tenses and so much more.  The challenges with language learning have paid off already because we are able to communicate much better with Kenyans. Thank you Lord!  So we will continue to press toward the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus, and we look forward to speaking Swahili fluently "one" day - in Jesus' Name!

But the highlight of the day was spending time with our Swahili classmates and one of our teachers (walimu).  The other day we mentioned having them over for lunch.  The lunch was only the vehicle God sought to use in order to bring us closer together.  The greatest part of the experience, again, was developing deeper relationships and getting to know one another better.  We learned more about one another with no preconceived notions, no pretense, no judgements and no agenda.....just plain old authenticity in conversation and relating to one another.  We all cleaned up at the end of lunch and watched Tyler Perry's Good Deeds.  It was a wonderful afternoon of sister - time!  Awesome!

So the picture and our afternoon have so much in common.  The photo is absolutely beautiful.  It was taken several weeks ago during our first visit to Maasai Mara and the beginning of the Wildebeast Migration, also known as The Eighth Wonder of the World.

You may wonder what the picture and our afternoon have in common.  The photo and the afternoon represent two very different, yet absolutely fantastic experiences, in the midst of so much turmoil, hard ache and pain. The Mara is a beautiful place that thousands of people visit year after year.  But on the road to the Mara there's famine, disease, brokenness and lost souls.  This afternoon was great; and yet as we traveled to our place for lunch, with our friends, we passed many hurting and hungry people.

Peace be still!  That's what the picture and the afternoon represents for us.  Yes, peace be still.  God sees the famine on the road to the Mara and on the road to our place.  He knows the circumstances of every person we passed.....and though our hearts are grateful to share in these beautiful moments, they are also torn at the thought of many that would love to visit the Mara or "sit at a table" for a meal.   He sees all and knows all.  Peace be still!  So that they may see, know, consider and understand that I the Lord has done this.  Peace be still!

Preparation, Learning: Learning, Preparation...Repeat

So today we spent a good portion of the day at language school learning KiSwahili.  If one more person says "Swahili" is an easy language to learn"...we will no longer need to blog because the screams will resonate to every, nation and tribe, including those in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Ends of the earth!  LOL!

Seriously, while learning a new language brings many challenges it has been a wonderful journey, thus far.  It's most wonderful because of all the new people we have been able to meet and develop relationships with due to our interest in learning Swahili and not being ashamed of "being laughed at" by practically everyone.   Old relationships have deepened as well. God be the glory for the great things He has done and shall continue to do through our language learning experiences.

As a result of new friends and new relationships, our classmates and one of our teachers will join us for lunch this Thursday.  Imagine, they are excited about having breakfast for lunch.  Yep!  We have introduced our friends to the wonderful world of eating eggs, bacon, homemade applesauce, toast, potatoes and onions, coffee and orange juice FOR LUNCH!  Woooo hoooo....can you tell we are excited?

In addition to language learning, we are also preparing, daily, to receive the 2012 Medical Mission Team.   They arrive in Kenya on Friday, August 31, 2012, just a few short days away.  So we made a list (many months ago) and now we are checking it two, three and four times.  The list includes re-confirming Kenyan medical professionals that will join the team; securing additional medications, lodging, transportation and food options; confirming on the field cross-cultural training (the learning NEVER stops), and so much more.  Whew!  Though it sounds like a lot (and it is) we wouldn't trade nothing for this journey (a double negative - yes!)!

So with all that we have going on, you might wonder how we have time to communicate via blogging, Facebook and/or our newsletter.  So glad you asked... :-)  We figured we would share as many stories as possible NOW because in just a few days we may not have the time nor the opportunity to touch the computer.  So hopefully we are providing enough for everyone to read, pray over and ponder, until we meet again.

Well, that's enough communicato (yes, we meant to say communicato) for right now.

Remember, we are ALL blessed to be a blessing.....Ken-Ya Believe It!  Yes you can...(corny but funny)! :-)  LOL!

The Soon Coming Kenya Mission Team

The training never ends!  Here you will see members of the 2012 Kenya Mission Team in class and during a team outing to JAARS, a Bible translation ministry, in Waxhaw, NC.  Please keep the team members in your prayers as they prepare to depart.                           

A Wonderful End to a Great Sabbath Day

This evening we had the pleasure of seeing family members via Skype.  We were able to Skype with many members of the 2012 Kenya Mission Team, previous team members and other family.  What a joy it is to share lots of laughter and love from 8,000 miles away, and yet feel as if we are sitting in the same room together.  We felt the love, hugs and kisses from all.  We even played patty-cake with some of the sisters, just like Cellie and Nettie in "The Color Purple".  LOL!  What a blessing! We love you all and look forward to seeing many of you in just a few short weeks.  We look forward to playing "kick rocks" with one of our favorite sisters.

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