Friday, January 23, 2009

E-mail from Africa

HELLO! We'll be speaking at the missions meeting of First Baptist Merritt Island church in a couple of weeks. It's still so easy to remember everything from the trip. We had the priviledge of bringing the good news of God's gift of forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ of Nazareth to about 350-400 people (mostly children) during our month in Kenya. Many indicated a desire to follow Jesus and we pray that they will grow in faith in the upcoming years.

Melelo is the girl right in front of me. At the left is Shayne and Teri Russel, the missionaries who hosted McKenna and me in Masai Mara.

I received a sweet little letter from a Masai girl named Melelo. She writes, "Dear Trish, Nakupenda ("I love you,"). I want you to come back! Thank you for your songs! May God bless you. Thank you for the sweets. I'm doing good in school. God loves you. I miss you!"

This is Yuma, the first Masai man I ever met with his two sons. Our car was having trouble and Bob Tayloe, who faithfully shepherded us around for a month, had stopped to check it out. (DOUBLE-CLICK to see!) Yuma had been watching his herd across the road in the field and had come across to see what was going on.

I received the e-mail below from Pastor Shadrack of Mitumba Slum City, and thought I'd post it:
Dear Trish,

Thank you for the Christmas puppet script. Many children received Jesus as a result of this presentation by Kamau and Oloo. They did it so well both on Sat. 1st and on Wed. 5th and we are planning to do it somany times in different places. Please can you send me more writings to give some other boys and girls to present it as well. Thank you and may God bless you Big. The Lord God is an awesome God. Amen!

Wtih Christ's love,

Pastor Shadrack and REM family

By the way, someone had asked me about donation information for Pastor Shadrak at Mitumba Slum city. You can send donations to AIM - Africa Inland Mission, Box 178, Pearl River, NY 10965. The donations should be directed to R.E.M. (Rural Evangelistic Missions), Project # 000112. (Be sure to write this on your check.)

A worker firing some glass at the Kitengela Glass Factory. I thought this was an amazing pic and made me think of the furnace of affliction that so many people are going through in this world.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A letter from the slum city pastor arrived...

A letter from Pastor Shadrack of Mitumba slum city came via e-mail this morning. He's thanking all who supported McKenna and me as we were serving at his little church and so I thought I'd pass it on to you. Thanks again for your prayers and support! (NOTE: If you want to see PHOTO's they're underneath this post!)


Dear Trish (&McKenna),


We would like to say thank you for your love and service you and McKenna offered to our Children and women and the whole REM Family in Mitumba slums (September 16 to 21st) in Nairobi. The souls that have come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour and the many who have been encouraged to live for Jesus in such tough lifestyle in Mitumba slums tells it all.

The Staff, Elders and Members of our REM COMMUNITY CHURCH school in Mitumba have said “thank you” too. May your Church and all the brothers and sisters who supported you in this Mission to Kenya be encouraged that their gift was not in vain. It has accomplished much especially in the lives of those who live in the slums of Mitumba.

After the ladies met with you what a blessing that all these poor and hopeless ladies could carry with them home some flour for their evening meals after receiving the message of salvation. This was a clear demonstration of love and concern that many described as – “Jesus was in their midst that afternoon.”

In addition to that, over 200 children who listened to your teaching have already passed this message and the wonderful songs that are being sung by many folks in the slums. What a joy that the message of the love of Jesus Christ is continued to be spread throughout this slum of Mitumba even after you have left for home.

May the name of the Lord God be the Glory for your Mission to us. Again thank you for the gift of the guitar strings and the Ksh. 8,700/- which we will use to buy food for the children in the REM centre. We cherish you and we will continue to remember you in our prayers. More so we are looking forward to have you come back again to us someday.

We are praying for quick recovery of McKenna.

Yours Sincerely in Christ, Rev. Shadrack Ogembo Pastor/Director
Address: P.O. Box 72281 – 00200, Nairobi- Kenya.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I've got lots of pics to show you. To start off here's a short video clip of the road, Masai Lodge, which we traveled each day to get to Diguna (a 30-year oldGerman missionary compound) where we stayed with Bob & Ann Tayloe. It's very bumpy! On each side of Masai Lodge are little "duka's" where you can buy fruits, vegetables or anything else you need. It is a dirt road and it'd been raining. You can see that people are still walking on it and you can see some animals. The motorcycle is a "taxi" that people pay a few shillings to be taken up the road. People dress up even though they have to walk on a dirt road. Now me, I'd figure - no way. If I have to walk down a dirt road, I'm wearing jeans and tennis shoes. However, we picked up a lady one day who was dressed in a beautiful long white dress with a white hat on and a leopard scarf around her shoulders. She'd been to a women's Bible study and was walking up the dusty road in high heels back to Diguna.

The VERY BUMPY road to Diguna.

And here's how it looks after bumping to the TOP of Masai Lodge road and TURNING INTO Diguna itself.

Sitting early morning at Bob & Ann's. Believe it or not, it's cooler in Kenya than it is here in Florida. In fact, I'd have to wrap up in a blanket when I came out early in the mornings.


Driving into Nairobi I saw lots of clothes hung out to dry.




Driving into Mitumba slum city - Behind the wall you can see some nice looking apartments. This was not where we were headed though! DOUBLE-CLICK to see detail.

DOUBLE-CLICK to see amazing detail.

So many children!

Amazingly well behaved.

There were easliy 90-100 children packed into this tiny room and they don't seem to mind one bit.

DOUBLE-CLICK to see this child. This girl attends the Christian school.

These children only come on Saturdays. The slum children live very difficult lives in comparison to American children. When we asked them, "Name some difficult work that you do," we kept waiting for them to reply, "School!" However, they never ever said that. Actually, they LOVE school and they LOVE to learn! Instead of saying that school was hard work they said, "Washing clothes," and "Carrying sticks for fire," and "Building a house." They go often go hungry unless they come to the school or church building.

Here's the little church building where we had most of our meetings. You can see that the buildings are made of aluminum and everything is squeezed into tight proximity. You can see there's only dirt but Pastor Shadrack and Violet teach them to pick up trash.

I was privileged to speak to the "Slum mama's" on Saturday. They first sang a welcoming song to McKenna and I and then sang lots of other songs in beautiful harmonies. I shared my story of how God saved me and afterwards a number of them indicated a desire to turn their lives over to Jesus. We had brought a gift of flour, salt and sugar for each them with funds that had been given for the trip, and the women afterwards sang a song that said they had seen God's provision in their lives. We told them that many people in my country had given funds and so they send their thanks to YOU. Please keep them in prayer.

DOUBLE-CLICK for detail.


Here's the human video the children performed for their parents to the song, "In Christ Alone." Sorry it's a bit dark but you'll be able to spot "Jesus" easily since the child with the sash on is playing that part (look to the right). There are three colors for his sash: brown, then for the crucifixion red, then purple for when Jesus rises from the dead. I figured this would eliminate clothing changes. After he rises (purple) Jesus changes the hearts of some of the children who respond to His invitation to be saved, and then teaches them. In the video they eventually overcome the pull of the world and end up in worship.

This is a teacher named Vincent who also sings.

McKenna shared her testimony and Roselyn interpreted.

I went to Roselyn's little apartment on Diguna and woke her up to say goodbye. Roselyn is a wonderful Kenyan sister in Christ. She has a live radio program on BHB each morning where people can call in with questions about the Bible. She did a great job interpreting for us while at Mitumba slum city. She was so sweet to fix me breakfast; I will miss her beautiful smile and her hugs.

Pastor Shadrack told us that 66% of Mitumba's residents are HIV positive. He said they lose a number of people each year to AIDS, which is hard on the children.

You can see Pastor Shadrack, his wife Violet and their two sons here. Shadrack is a highly educated man who used to teach teachers how to teach. Many people thought he was crazy not to get a high paid teaching job somewhere, but he believes that God has called him to Mitumba. We were very impressed at the fruit of his labors as we worked with the school children that first week. DOUBLE-CLICK for detail.

Here's a little clip of a Swahili song, Nasema Asante which we sang during Mitumba's Sunday church meeting. It's a song that says, "I am grateful to God."

It was sad to say goodbye to the slum children. The children asked, "Are you coming back tomorrow?" Pastor Shadrack went by the radio station last week and told Ann that the children are still singing the songs we brought. That's wonderful to know!

SEE more pics in the post below...



On Tues. Sept. 23 we headed up to Kijabe town about an hour’s drive from Nairobi to serve at Kijabe Hospital. It started as a small mission station set up by the African Inland Church Missionaries in the late 1800’s. The town’s name is derived from the Maa language meaning "the windy place," and wow - it's amazing how at sunset the wind absolutely howls down the mountain into the Rift Valley below. The wind rattles the windows and sounds like the dead-of-winter! The temp drops to the low/mid 50's which is wonderfully chilly!

AIC Kijabe Hospital is nestled at the edge of the Great Rift Valley escarpment in Lari division of Kiambu district. It is a frontier of sorts of Central and Rift Valley province. We turned off the highway onto a thin bumpy snaky road that spiraled down through thick forest into Kijabe.

Kijabe Hospital is non-profit and has been a landmark for those seeking affordable treatment from far and wide. It has grown to a total bed capacity is 249. The hospital sees an average of 300 people daily with a large percentage of the people coming from as far as North Eastern, Somali and Ethiopia.

We had to wait for this bus to squeeze through the narrow tunnel before we could continue on down to Kijabe.


Dan, up close and personal...

Dan has taken Peter into his house to help him out. Dan also has a family of three living with him and a M*slm doctor.

McKenna enjoying the late afternoon sun in Dan's doorway.

McKenna and I didn't have any idea as to exactly what we would be required to do at Kijabe Hospital. We just tried to flow with whatever came...

The first thing they wanted us to do was to minister to the doctors, nurses and support staff during their morning chapel service. The little message I gave was from Gal. 6:9, "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." I spoke of the importance of remembering the cross of Jesus because this gives us strength. You can DOUBLE-CLICK to see more detail.

Morning staff service.


Oh my goodness, this sweet sweet Kenyan lady certainly lives out her name! I just love her! She's the chaplain at Kijabe Hospital's Bethany Home for Children division. Every day Mercy goes around to see each and every mother and child. She encourages them by talking to them, reading to them from the Bible and by praying with them. So Mercy took us on her rounds. We spent the entire day with her and loved every moment of it. It was one-on-one right at the bedside.

This little boy's name is William. He has a bar between his legs. He began to follow Jesus about two weeks ago.

It was awesome to walk around to the different wards. This poor distressed mama said that she wants to begin to follow Jesus.


We had done a puppet show and had sung in this tent facility. Afterwards they wanted to form a "greeting line." Each mama and her patient-child came and hugged on our necks. We were very moved. DOUBLE-CLICK for detail.

DOUBLE-CLICK for detail.

One of the Kenyan mama's sang with us!


We visited Cure Kenya - a division at Kijabe Hospital - at around 4:30 on Thursday to meet the staff and sing some. They do a lot of orthopedic surgery here. Behind this wall is a small 4-bed ward for children. Within this little ward and to your left were people gathered to listen.

The chaplain to my left was interpreting for us as needed.

On Friday we got to minister at Cure Kenya International to some of the patients and one of them, a severely handicapped girl in a wheelchair (DOUBLE-CLICK for detail) raised her twisted hand to indicate that she wanted to follow Jesus. In this clip you can see when I walk to her and sing, "Anakupenda, anakujali..." which means, "He loves you, He really loves you!" and boy she was smiling!


Mercy took us into the hydrocephalus ward. The term hydrocephalus is derived from the Greek words "hydro" meaning water and "cephalus" meaning head. It's a condition in which there's excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain. The little babies had big swollen heads and each one had his/her mom staying in bed alongside.

You can DOUBLE-CLICK to see more detail.

The babies would have a shunt in their heads where they were drained or a little incision wound.

This is Juliette and her baby who gets to go home tomorrow. She was so happy.

Many of the moms were very worried. One was crying because her baby hadn't nursed since 4:00 a.m., so we prayed with her for God to heal the baby and to give her His peace.


Getting ready...

Kijabe Hospital, I learned, is concerned for more than just the physical well-being of its patients. One of the chaplains took us to their outpatient waiting room. Each morning they have a little chapel service to welcome new patients.

He asked me to speak after singing. So I spoke to the people and said, "Jesus said, 'Come to Me all who labor and are heavy burdened and I will give you rest." I can't remember now exactly what all I said, but I informed the Kenyans and M*slms sitting there that Kijabe is a Christian hospital and that we want to help them in any way we can. I asked if anyone wanted prayer. About 4 people put their hands up and so we prayed for them.

Outpatient waiting room.


This is a Somali woman named Diamond. We had met her in the hallway on our way to lunch. She'd known Mercy and as she greeted her, Diamond grabbed each of our hands, kissed them and hugged our necks. I learned that she had been M*slm but decided to follow Jesus, and as a result her relatives are trying to kill her. She was at Kijabe Hospital seeking help. She showed me a scar on her arm and motioned to her back while she said, "They beat me very badly." She was so sweet but sad too. Her husband has said he no longer wants his daughter. Pray for Diamond.


We sat for lunch with the chaplains and enjoyed good food and conversation. To my left is Chaplain Mark who is the head of the chaplains. They are all very committed Christian men and women dedicated to caring for any willing souls of Kijabe's patients.


There were about 8 babies inside incubators including the teeniest preemie I'd ever seen. The chaplain led us to each incubator and asked us to pray for each child.

Sorry this pic is tilted. This is Christine, a tiny baby girl who was found abandoned. The nursing staff are all caring for her.


Each day the relatives of patients come to this relative waiting yard and wait till after they have heard some songs and a message about Jesus. On my left is a doctor who was playing the keyboard there (you can DOUBLE-CLICK to see detail), and now he's holding a mic for my guitar which was nice of him. McKenna is holding a mic for my mouth...they were a little short on equipment!


Mercy took us to minister to the survivors of the church fire which had been set during the post-election wars earlier this year. You can read more about it at–-replenishing-life-hope-to-all/.

There were four children who've been at Kijabe since January, and about 3 adults. Mercy is 14, Mary 16, Jedidah 4 and Anthony is 11. They barely survived a church fire in Kiambaa a small village in Eldoret at the height of the violence. They had fled from their homes after they were attacked and property gutted following the announcement of the presidential poll results.

This is Anthony. The burn patients are still in a lot of pain. They are very disfigured and some of their fingers are melted off. But they managed to smile and enjoyed our visit very much. If you can take it, DOUBLE-CLICK for detail.

We sang a Swahili song about being thankful, "Hakuna Mungu kama wehweh, Hakuna popote..." (There is no God like You; There is none, there is none.)

When Mercy said to me, "Patricia please read something from the Bible to them and encourage them," I thought - what can I say to these who have been through so much pain? I opened the Bible she handed me and read about Jesus suffering on the cross and rising from the dead. I said, "Jesus truly knows what it's like to suffer. He suffered to take your sins away. He loves you..." I heard them say yes in agreement. I told them that Jesus had saved them because He has some good plans for their lives. I told them that when they leave they need to tell people how wonderful the Savior is. They nodded their heads and it was an awesome time.


While we were in a hallway, a man saw my guitar, grabbed my hand and wanted to sing a song! Below is a little clip...

He was so excited about Jesus! He told me that his son has decided to be a minister and is in seminary studying. He begged, "Please come down to Laundry and sing! Please come! Please!" So here we are in the Laundry Department singing with him! He was truly a happy person.

You've got to DOUBLE-CLICK and see this baby's smile!

DOUBLE-CLICK to see detail.

This is a Somali woman's little boy. It was wonderful to go bed-to-bed and shake people's hands in introduction. This is required - that you make "introductions" before you do anything at all.

These two patients said that they want to follow Jesus. We pray that He will manifest Himself to each one in the days to come.


This is the main street of Kijabe!

We saw their school classrooms which were left open and unlocked...

Here are the desks they use.

You can DOUBLE-CLICK to see detail.

This is what was written on the board to Dan's left.
DOUBLE-CLICK if you can't read it.

This was a little veggie duka in Kijabe. Dan is there to the left, his pastor friend is to his right and there's McKenna.

These are the children of Dan's friend the pastor in the veggie duka pic.

Here's McKenna purchasing some snackies in a super-duka.

This man lives in Kijabe and was riding his bike when he saw Dan Dooley driving by. He let me take his pic then asked for some money which I gladly gave. What a smile!