Imagine yourself in a sea of smiles, hugs, and laughter. Now, test your imagination a little more and try to imagine meeting some of the most loving and resilient children – children that have dreams and aspirations. Almost instantly upon meeting these children, they welcome you with open arms and accept you as family. These wonderful people live in Kenya and more specifically in the Kibera slum in East Africa. Kibera is the second largest slum in the world, and yet it has been one of the most loving places I have ever experienced.
Before I had imagined going to Kibera, God had already placed a love for the people there in my heart – a love I have since shared with many Ecclesians. In 2012 and 2013, I was able to be a part of the mission team that Ecclesia sent to serve the people of Kenya. During my time there, God placed a question in my heart. God asked, “How much do I love you?” and obviously when God talks, you listen. My heart responded, “More than I can ever or will ever imagine”. God then asked a second question, “How much do I love Kibera?” This, my friends, was the very question that changed my life. Since then I have spent the last two years working 30-50 hour weeks attempting to pay for Biola University where I am currently pursuing a major in Intercultural Studies and minors in both International Development and Bible. I have been developing a project for the Kibera slum, have started learning Swahili, and with a heavy heart have been learning much about poverty and the unjust acts threatening the lives of so many around the world.
This year, from July 24 – August 9, I have the absolute joy of traveling half way around the world to be reunited with the ones I love! Kenya Team 2015 (KT15) is a small but fierce six-man team made up of Micah (leader), Jeniffer (leader), Lindsay (leader), Randy, Yui and myself. Because our team is smaller than previous years, our work in Kenya will be very different this trip. In the past, our team organized two large kids camps; however, this year the Kenyan leaders are organizing one two-day camp for the children of Homecare. The Kenyan leaders have chosen a camp theme and will be creating and leading the camp while our team will be serving as a support to help out with anything they need.
During the first week of our trip, we will meet with the Kenyan leaders as they prepare for the kids camp and will help their leaders as they run the camp. For the second week, we will relocate closer to the slum, so we can be closer to our Ghetto Light Youth ministry partners. We will be able to spend more one-on-one time with our ministry partners which will allow us to further invest in the relationships we have established and explore ways we can continue to support and help develop their leaders. We are excited to celebrate with the Kenyan leaders as this will be their first year taking full ownership of the kids camp, and we look forward to their ministry growing and empowering them to become a self-sustainable ministry.
Please pray for soft hearts, open ears, and such joy to pour out of this beautifully empowering season of missions between Ecclesia and Kenya. We are often met with much spiritual warfare in the weeks leading up to our flight, and we inevitably become physically ill. Prayer for clarity of mind, spiritual and physical protection is needed. As we raise money for the trip, we ask that you please give if you feel led. The giving will help supply facilities, food, and equipment for the camp, as well as bus transportation for the children to get to a safe location. Thank you in advance for your support and prayers. I know we are all very excited for our return to Kenya.
If you’d like to support the Kenya Team by making a financial contribution, you can do that through the Ecclesia online giving page. In the drop-down menu on the giving page, you can give to a specific team member, or select “for all team” to spread your donation across all team members.