Kenya Trip: Things I Did Not Expect
A team from Living Hope returned from a trip to Kenya last week. LH people have been traveling to Kenya annually since the earliest day of our church. We work with an orphanage started by church members Alan and Pam May. The teams stay at the orphanage with the kids and caregivers, offering support, encouragement, prayer, Bible studies and other training. They also work alongside the kids and caregivers to serve and take the Gospel to their surrounding community.
Paul Kilpatrick, Living Hope’s Mission Assistant, has had a busy summer (which you will hear more about later); he has traveled to Mexico, Iceland, and Kenya in two months. Here are some of Paul’s thoughts from this most recent trip:
There were some ways I was blessed in Kenya that I could have anticipated. I expected to make friends, serve the children at the orphanage, and be encouraged by seeing God’s work in another part of the world. I hoped for the worship with the church in Eldoret to be engaging and eye opening. The Lord certainly granted these things during our time in Kenya, and so much more.
There were also a few things I did not expect to see. We worked efficiently and cohesively like a team should, but the dynamic felt much more like family. Many of us had never even met before the trip, but it did not take long for everyone to bond closely. Serving together allows for connections to form quicker than usual. When believers unite to “count others as more significant than yourselves” (Phil. 2:3), God works in powerful ways in the hearts of the serving and the served.
Some of the most meaningful times for me were when I saw people on the team care for individual needs of other team members. Unity and genuine love was a regular experience, despite the team consisting of people of different ages and backgrounds. I was given the opportunity to preach on one of the Sundays, which I am very grateful for, and the church’s response to the sermon Sunday was better than I could have hoped. It’s no secret that many churches in Africa (and the United States!) preach and teach a ‘gospel’ that emphasizes health and wealth over knowing and loving Jesus. I used the time to point to Jesus being the true bread of life, not worldly pleasure and success. I was informed later of immediate fruit from the sermon, including a church leader who was openly repentant about what he had taught in the past! And the glory goes to God alone.
A few of us, myself included, were able to see the Lord open potential doors for future ministry in Kenya. Future opportunities exist for evangelism, teaching, and healthcare teaching. I hope to be a part of what God is doing through the church in Kenya.
I’m very thankful to Alan for leading us well, and also for the hospitality of the leaders at the orphanage. We were welcomed warmly by all of the children and leaders. I will not soon forget the kindness of the believers we met in Kenya. God is drawing people to himself and causing the name of Jesus to be treasured, especially at the orphanage.
For more info about future trips or how to sponsor a child at the GFE Children’s Home, contact Greg Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org).