2013 - Kenya Trip

After Africa

Life when you come home is never the same and it shouldn’t be. Everyone coming back will have different take a ways. We have just spent the last two weeks serving and giving to people who don’t have as much as we brought in our suitcase but they gave more joy and blessings to us then we could ever give to them! It’s overwhelming to see their living conditions, life style, heath conditions and culture differences but then to try and put all that into words for people is almost impossible. My challenge is for you today is to not ask people “how was your trip” but ask them one of these questions: What was a defining moment for you on your trip? What impacted you the most? How will your life be different because of your time in Kenya?

650 children, 50 staff, and a couple of pastors whose lives will never be the same because of people of Fox River Christian Church giving their time, talent, and resources. These people will never be the same just like the team will never be the same! The people in our centers and churches in Kenya say “Asante Sana” (thank you very much) because they don’t know where they would be without Fox River, but we in return say that we don’t know where we would be without them. God tells us to go into the entire world and preach the gospel but that would not be possible without a partnership like this and it takes all of us serving one God in the ways He has blessed us with to make a lasting impact. Impacting a generation most of us will never get to see the full fruits of but by faith we give in hopes that the next generations after us will continue doing the same! Asante Sana!












Life in Turkey

When we found out that the team was going to be stuck in Turkey, I must admit that it was not something we were looking forward too but God had an adventure waiting for us! After a lot of standing around in line to get our boarding passes, our visas and all that jazz we finally made it out of the airport! Because it was the airline that had to move our flight they put us up in a hotel with meals included. Now most of us were wondering what kind of a place they were going to be putting us in but wow were we ever surprised! It was such a blessing to see how God is so good to us because not only did He give us a place to stay but it was definitely a 5 star hotel with an incredible view! The beds in Kenya are hard as a rock to say the least but these beds in Turkey were far from that. The team was blessed with a great night’s sleep which was a big help as we started the last leg of the trip home.

There was a group of us that went on an adventure to the Blue mosque down town. We got to the hotel, dropped off our bags and set out to try and see some of the town before it got too late. What an adventure it was to take a bus, train and taxi around the city. We were told that most things close around 4-7pm so we would only be able to see the outside of things but to our surprise when we arrived at the Blue Mosque it was still open and we were able to inside. There is no way to describe the architecture and beauty of it all, I hope some of the pictures will help describe the Mosque but if I had to say it in two words, I would say it was “breath taking”. While we were out and about one of the team members was in need of some water and went up to the stands in the street, got water and tried to pay. The vendor didn’t have change for him so what do you think happened? The vendor took the bottle of water back right? No, he told him to come back and pay if he could later…if he could….when he came over and told us this story it was shocking to see how giving the vendor was. He could see the need of our team member and chose to meet his need over being paid. That was a humbling time for us because If that were to happen in our town back home would we have reacted the same way? Something to think about. We also spent some time walking the streets sampling some of the delicious Turkish treats. After a bit of an adventure of getting back to our hotel (I will let the team tell you about that in person) we were all really thankful for the opportunity to spend some time in Turkey. It truly was a “Turkish Delight”.












We had an outstanding time on safari! After the crazy packed days it was a well needed time of rest and reflection. We were joined by some of our Kenyan partners so that we could get to know them better and that we did.

As for the overall safari it was one of the best we have ever had. We were told that because of all the rain Kenya has been having, all the animals were staying close. It was amazing to get to see a pack of lions right next to our van!

In the evening after dinner we were able to spend some time around a campfire talking about what impacted the most on the trip and what was next after we get home. After that we had an impromptu worship concert. Robert brought his guitar and played us some worship songs to end our trip as one big family.






Fun Days!

The last two days we had the privilege of putting on a fun day for our students at each school. It’s one of my favorite things we get to do for the kids. We do crafts, indoor/outdoor games and tell a bible story in a funny way. We prepare to come over and serve the people in Kenya when in reality it’s the people in Kenya that bless us beyond words. The fun days are bitter sweet. We get the chance to do the activities that we have been planning to do with our kids but then at the end of the day we have to say our last goodbyes. It’s an amazing experience to connect with someone here in Kenya. Having someone run up and hold your hand or walk around with you all day because for some reason you have connected with them is a life changing experience that simply can’t be all put into words.

The hard part for the team is still to come. They have given their last hugs said their goodbyes and shed some tears for the new friends they are leaving behind but God is not done using this trip yet. As they start to prepare to come home tomorrow they are going to be processing through all the things they have experienced. I would ask that you join me in praying for each one of them that God would show them what His will is for their life through the life change He has done in them here in Kenya.

We are all really excited to come home and see all of you! I would like to say a personal thanks to the friends and family members of the people that came on the trip. I know it has been harder for all of you to keep your families, Jobs and normal lives going while we are gone. We have the easy job of being here, but you have to live the day to day life without us, and that to me is the hard part. Thank you! Without your willingness of love and support you have shown to the team, we would not be as effective over here and we could not do what we are doing as well as we have. Your prayers and support were felt from miles away and trust us, the work is not done yet. We hope YOU can join us someday to experience it for yourself!















Bomani Celebration Day

A few of the team members started the day at Vipingo providing education on the importance of clean water and the benefits of the water backpacks. They then hopped on the bus and met up with the rest of the team at Crossroads Church in Nyali . Today was their 11 year anniversary. Needless to say, it was a huge celebration. There was standing room only in the church it was such an amazing privilege to get to be a part of. We returned to Neptune for a quick lunch and preparation for our celebration day at Bomani. There was a lot of rain today; however, we persevered through it! We played with the kids despite the rain. We found places to hide from the rain, the kids would surround us and we just had fun. I love it when we can use these moments to truly connect with kids. We had the opportunity to have conversation, to laugh, to learn and to really get to know the people a little bit more.

We ended the day in Bomani with the clean water education and water backpack presentation. It was overwhelming the response when we got when asking – Do you get headaches or have back pain from carrying water. As we talked about how the water packs helped with that and other problems the packed church broke out in celebration when they found out each family got one! I would like to say a special thanks to all of you that donated to make it possible for those families’ to receive a pack. Each family also received 2 kilos of flour, a kilo of beans today in place of lunch. In Bomani giving them flour and beans will last them longer and help them out more than just one meal.

It is always an emotional time on these last few days in the schools. The team is coming to the realization that we do not have much longer with the new friends they have made and the time to say goodbye is drawing near. Pastor Allan said it perfectly when we he was speaking to the team about the importance of when Fox River comes to Kenya; though the time is short that we have with the Kenyan people, the relationship is ever lasting. Please pray for the team especially on these next few days as we prepare our hearts to say “goodbye” to people that have made a lasting impression in our lives. Hopefully for most it is not a “goodbye” but a “see you later”.














Founders Fun Day!

This morning some of us took a quick trip to Fort Jesus to do some shopping before heading out to Vipingo. After picking up the rest of the group we headed out for the Founders Fun Day where we watched the football (soccer) tournament, did activities and helped feed all the people that came out for the celebration. We had around 2,500 people out today and even though the weather was not on our side, God still shines through in unmistakable ways. In Kenya you should always be prepared to lose power at any time for any reason and that power I speak of, we did happen to lose today! During one of the power outages one of the guys had the opportunity to talk with a teen about disappointments, it started with talking about rain and the loss effecting the events of the day. It then went on to the power of Gods plan for our lives. Sometimes in life when we are faced with hard times or when things don’t go as you planned, God is the one with the power, the power to give and to take. I Love those moments God uses to bring us back around to Him in the midst of disappointment.

The team took a break from the activities they were doing to serve lunch for the people that came out. Now they have served our kids lunch before in the center but this was a new journey they went down when it came to feeding kids that didn’t know when there next meal will be. As I was talking to some of the team tonight this particular situation was one of the things that kept coming up. The kids from the center were so different from the kids from the village and watching the village kids fight over food was hard to see. I can’t imagine what it would be like not to know when my next meal would be. When was the last time you worried about not having money for food to eat or food to eat in general? It’s a hard for us to think of things like that but the truth is that it happens all the time here in Kenya. How many times do we go and open our fridge or pantry and say we have nothing to eat? I can say I do it more than I would like but we could change that. What if you see how long you can go without shopping? Make it a fun challenge to see how long you can go before you really have nothing in your house to eat…..it’s crazy, but think about how much stuff you have already in your pantry now or when you say “I am starving!” are you really? Do you truly know what starving feels like? Something to think about – Lala salama (have a blessed night in Swahili)