2018 Kenya Mission Trip

Success in Partnership

Jambo! (Swahili for, hello)  

Jesus stated clearly that the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. This is a very loaded statement which we got to experience during this season. We have had several missionary partners from different places and a team from Fox River. 


It was an awesome time of working together towards achieving the goal of making Christ known to those who haven’t experienced His love through different activities and programs that we were able to run.

The love of Christ was well shown while the team was here and we (speaking as a native) enjoyed seeing a team of people from the other side of the world who share the common love and desire to serve.


It is more bitter than sweet to see Fox River team of 14 individuals who made the commitment to serve our schools leave from Kenya just two days ago. Though their flight was a bit delayed getting home, our prayers were answered and their journey eventually  ended with hearts changed on both ends of the world.  


Speaking personally, we loved having Fox River here to partner with us for the week and a half. We saw relationships with our teachers and pastors grow and we saw students feel truly special as our stateside partners took the time to get to know them on a personal level. It was purely a blessing.  


We pray that more would take the step of faith to experience this adventure and see the beautiful things God is working out here in Kenya. I know our students at both centers would agree to it! 


Thank you Fox River for sending willing hearts to love even when they are out of there norm and jet lag perhaps calls their name. You served well and we were blessed.  

Kwaheri (goodbye for now in Swahili) 

O'Neal Nyanje

High School & Special Needs School

Today was our final ministry day. We began at the high school with a chapel service. Each class gave a presentation and Pastor Rob was able to give a challenge. We had tea with the teachers and then played some fun games with the kids. It was good to see them laugh and interact. 

We gave a gift of a pair of socks to each students and were able to take a quick picture of the graduates of our 2 primary schools. It was such a joy to see how these young people have grown over the years. There is so much hope for a bright future ahead of them! 

Get to know you bingo.

Get to know you bingo.

Making snow!

Making snow!

Break is a special treat for them so we bought bread to go with tea.

Break is a special treat for them so we bought bread to go with tea.

Who's the Dude? (charades with a blow up doll)

Who's the Dude? (charades with a blow up doll)


After a delicious lunch, we headed to the special needs school that one of our students from Vipingo attends. We took some of the high school students to assist in loving on the 650 special needs children. This is a pretty special place to care for so many needy children! 


Very early tomorrow morning we will drive to the game park to enjoy safari for 24 hours. During that time we will have 3 game drives looking for animals and spend the night at the safari lodge. This event is meant for us to take some time away to process our experiences during this trip and begin to turn our thoughts toward home. Please pray for this team and our missionaries that will join us as we wrap up this trip.

A Word from Pastor Rob



Each of us took up the role of mentor on Monday as we personally guided the 7th graders at our schools in preparation to teach Bible stories, play games, and do crafts with the younger children in the schools during the past 2 days.  We also got to know these students on a very personal level as we talked about how they are doing in school, what their favorite subjects are, some of the difficulties they have at school and some of their future dreams.  It is beautiful to see the hope in their eyes as they talk about being doctors, teachers, and engineers.  Jessie and I filled in to teach the craft.  We showed the 7th grade craft team how to teach the young children to make a cross using pastels and then we followed it up by teaching them how to talk to the young children about what Jesus did on the cross for them and how they can receive Jesus as their savior.  During that conversation we recognized that two of the children had never trusted Christ as their Savior.  Jessie was able to share with them how they could do that.  They were eager to do so and today they placed their faith in Him.  We then had them write their name on the crosses they may with today’s date so that they can remember this day for years to come.


Speak into a pastor’s life and you speak into their congregation.  Imagine how many people are impacted, how many lives will be changed as over 175 attended the annual pastor’s conference in Vipingo, Kenya.  We worshiped together, learned together, and laughed together.  Each pastor was sent home encouraged and resourced with discipleship books provided by Fox River.  We encouraged them to pull together 8-10 of the leaders in their churches and develop them with these materials much like the Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy to do as he told him to pass on the things he had learned to faithful people who would also go on to teach others.


After the conference we were privileged to see the Bible College graduation.  There were 12 who graduated.  That may seem like a small number but it is the largest graduated class so far.  It was also great to see the first woman Bible College graduate.  We are so proud of these students.  Many are already in ministry and some are looking forward to starting new ministries.  This is such a key part to what God is doing in Kenya.


We think football is big in America but it is huge in Kenya.  Of course we call it soccer.  We use that interest in a big way and it has become known as the Big Day in both the communities of Bomani and Vipingo.  Adults come for soccer, volleyball, choir and other entertainment.  The children come to ride camels, see the acrobats, and enjoy other activities.  We show them how we love them in a very tangible way by providing a meal for all who come.  Just before the day ends we hand out the trophies for the different competitions.   I was given the opportunity to share the gospel and ask people if they would like to receive Christ as their savior.  Several raised their hands indicating that they prayed to receive Christ.  Throughout the day, there were also outreach teams approaching people and talking to them about Jesus’s love for them and how they could have a relationship with Him.  We saw God work and great ways.  The Big Days were truly Big Days and there will be more people in heaven as a result.


Lovin' on our Kids in Vipingo


Today was filled with lovin' on our kids at Crossroads Academy in Vipingo. We began the day with our annual school picture. Look at those beautiful faces!

There are 367 children from preschool to grade 8 and 35 staff members. If you look closely you will see the Fox River team in the back. 

The team spent the morning having fun with the kids, giving Bible lessons, doing crafts and playing some outdoor games. Here are a few pictures of the fun.


After lunch we had the privilege to distribute the gift bags sent to the students from their sponsors. 

  • 170 gift bags
  • A re-usable shopping bag
  • A Frisbee
  • A sweet (candy)
  • Choco Pie (like a moon pie)
  • Pens and pencils
  • Box of cookies
  • Flour
  • Cooking oil
  • 2 bars of soap

The entire family will be blessed by this gift. Thank you so much for all who donated just $10 to supply all of these blessings.

In the afternoon, we visited some of the homes of our grade 7 helpers. It was an enjoyable time of talking with them and learning more of their story.


All too quickly it was time to say our final good byes because this was the last day we would be in Vipingo. We have all grown to love the people we have met here and served beside for the last week. We've packed a lot into a little time that we will carry in our hearts for eternity!


A "Big Day" Story

Ginger's story from Sunday's outreach at Bomani:

As we stood amid thousands of people in the middle of the school grounds celebrating what the locals call “the big day,” our sponsor child’s father stood there with an expression that words cannot describe. 

His appreciation was clearly evident but what surprised us was what he said next.  Without prompting, he said “I am not a saved man, but you (pointing to my husband) are ambassadors of God and my son (pointing to our sponsored student) tells me about Jesus.

In that moment everything that we do, everything that Fox River is doing, and all that we will do by the grace of God in the future came to a point where I could clearly see the difference we are making! 

Here is a man who otherwise would not hear about Jesus standing before us telling us that we were ambassadors of God!  It was humbling to say the least!  And to know that our sponsored student was empowered to continually share about Jesus with his father was so encouraging!

Sometimes it’s easy to think that what we do does not make a difference - especially when you are half way around the world. However, in that moment, the sum of all it takes to bring us face-to-face with the father of a grade 7 student at a Fox River school in a far away place called Bomani became clearly evident. 

We could see how simple choices from foregoing expensive coffee to praying for the student whenever we see his picture on the refrigerator, laid the foundation for us to make the 20 hour journey to get here to show God’s love to these students and their families and that with the collective prayers and support of all those who can’t “go,” we can change the trajectory of entire family!

What we do does matter.  Not because of what we do but because of WHO He is and What He did! 

This father is not yet ready to give his heart to Christ, but He sees something different and he knows it is God.  Our prayer now is that God will use us to plant and water seeds that will one day (hopefully soon) bring him to ask Jesus into his heart.

Sponsored student with his brother.

Sponsored student with his brother.

Divine Encounter

From Pat:
Many people ask why I wanted to go to Kenya.  My go-to answer is God wants me to go and I want to serve him. Today I know why God asked me to come. It definitely was not to ride a camel. I learned the hard way that I can not physically sit on a camel. Unfortunately I had to go 200 yards after learning this. It appeared cooler then it was.   :) 

God decided to bless me in an unusual way. I happened to talk with a Kenyan woman named Mercy. Her mission field is witnessing to Muslim women. I’ve heard people say you get more out of the mission field than you put in. I wanted to serve God and down play the blessing.  She asked if my God was good. She proceeded to ask if a human father might give their child a reward when the child does what they are expected to do. Of course, I said yes. She replied, "Then you need to receive the blessings God brings your way." Simple logic is the best.

She introduced me to her 'adopted' 29-year-old daughter. Suzie and I hit it off. We shared our testimonies. She tried to fill the hole in her heart with men.  Her life went from bad to worse. She came to Christ and changed. She came from a non-believing family.  She went home for her sister’s funeral. Old wounds were opened up. She began to slip in her walk. Having been down a similar road with God, I was able to give her advice. My whole trip to Kenya was to share my story with Suzie. Before we were done it was decided that she would call me dad the rest of the trip. I’ve been told that encouragement is my gift. I never thought I would go to another continent to encourage another Christ follower.  I can’t wait to see what my good God will lay in my path next!

Suzie, Pat and Mercy

Suzie, Pat and Mercy

Outreach Day in Bomani

It's Sunday night in Kenya. Today began with church at Crossroads Fellowship Church in Nyali (a suburb of Mombasa). Our missionary, Jim Horne, is the founder and lead pastor of this contemporary, English speaking church. Crossroads is our sister church in Kenya. 

Today we called it Fox River Muskego of Kenya because Reid and Leigh were on the worship team, Grady was helping with tech and Pastor Rob was preaching! We always enjoy the kindred spirit in this place. 


After a quick lunch at the hotel we drove to Bomani for an afternoon community outreach event. We had many of the same elements from the outreach event in Vipingo yesterday and it was lots of fun. There were some moments of rain, but they didn't last long. Pastor Rob had the opportunity to baptize some new believers and preach the gospel to the masses. Many from our partner churches came to witness and invite people to become followers of Jesus. From those individual conversations and the preaching we saw many decisions. Praise God!


We closed the day with a gift of food for each family that came. They received a kilo of beans and 2 kilos of flour. They were very happy!


Here are a few pictures from the day.


Outreach Day in Vipingo

A word from Ginger:
"The day was more eventfully than we could have ever imagined but that’s how God works - especially in Kenya!

As both the kids I knew and the kids I didn’t, came alongside me to color the coloring books I brought, they would ask if I had sweets (their way of asking for candy).  I didn’t, but what I did have were these bright colorful paper Crosses that folded out to tell the good news of the Gospel of Christ. 

The kids from the school knew the story but as we sat there coloring we had the chance for them to share it with one another and with me in a new way.  Their faces were even more brightly lit with wonder than when they had ridden the camels earlier that day. 

Then I asked them to be sure to share the story of Jesus’ gift with their friends who didn’t know Him.  What happened next was so humbling and unexpected and exciting all in one!  After a quick run back to our supply room, I was greeted with many of those same kids running back up to me frantically saying they needed a new Cross [booklet].  After we talked about the Gospel, in the time it took me to run back to the supply room, they had almost immediately run back into the sea of people and given their Cross booklets away.  While they are certainly generous children it’s not often that they will give up a treasured piece of paper with written English on it that they could otherwise keep all to their own.

It was so inspiring to see these young kids decades younger than me act with more boldness and confidence than ten adults combined!  It seems that knowing God in Kenya comes along with keenly knowing how desperately He is needed.  This need is realized in ways that are, sadly, lost in America where our ‘land of plenty’ can often lull us into spiritual complacency.

My prayer continues to be that each member of our team will carry this enthusiasm back to the US and run to our friends to share with them that His love is a free gift just like these kids did today."


The day was amazing! We had a couple of rain showers, but they were short lived and didn't stop the activities for long. Thank you for praying for us! Pastor Rob did a great job presenting the gospel message and there were many from our partner churches sharing the gospel with individuals during the entire day.  Please continue to pray for those who heard the Word and for those who began a relationship with Jesus today.

Here are a few pictures from the day.


A Walk in the Park

A Walk in the Park. Haller Park that is! Haller Park is a nature reserve in Mombasa, just down the road from where the team is staying. It is the transformation of a quarry wasteland into an ecological paradise with lots of animals.

Today we had the opportunity to take the 8th grade classes from Bomani and Vipingo on a field trip to Haller Park. I don’t know about you, but taking 60 kids on a field trip doesn't sound like a walk in park, but we organized them in groups of 4-5, matched them up with a teacher or team member and it was a lot of fun.

Before we got started, we had pizza for lunch with the kids. Most of them have never had pizza before so that was such a fun adventure! We were assigned a guide who told us about the history of the park, the ecosystem and the animals as we walked to each exhibit. He began the tour by talking to the students about how they are the future so they need to learn to take care of the environment. One of our goals for these young people is that they will become the leaders of tomorrow. This trip has opened the door for many good conversations about who God designed us to be as light and salt in the world. 

Other fun facts we learned along the way:

  • If you are out in the bush and you get cobra venom in your eye,  you can put urine on it and it will save you. If you are at home you can use beer or milk. The guide then told the children not to drink beer and not to go home saying he told them to drink beer. Hahaha! 
  • Crocodiles don’t have a tongue with taste buds, so all meat taste the same to them.
  • Crocodiles leave their mouth open because it’s their way of cooling down their body.
  • Antelope will bite you to death, but they won’t eat you because they don’t eat meat.

Yes, things here are not sugar coated at all. We were able to feed giraffe, observe hippos up close and watch them feed the alligators. It was a good day.

We have our community outreach events at Vipingo tomorrow and Bomani on Sunday. Please pray for good weather, safety for all the events and hearts open to hear the gospel as Pastor Rob speaks to thousands of people at the end of each event. 

Mosquito Nets and the Gospel

Go into all the world and preach the gospel! (with mosquito nets!)

Go into all the world and preach the gospel! (with mosquito nets!)


"God is so good! Today we had the privilege to go with our Kenyan partners into the villages to hang mosquito nets in homes. Jessie and I were traveling with Nicole (a teacher from Vipingo). One of our last visits housed an elderly grandmother who was very ill. After hanging her net in a small dark room (while she was still in her bed) Nicole asked her if she knew Jesus, and then had the opportunity to share the gospel. Right there, lying in her bed, she asked Jesus to be her Savior! What a beautiful, precious moment to witness this dear women becoming a believer and knowing she will spend her eternity in the presence of Jesus! I am in awe of the privilege of being used by Jesus. Please continue to pray for God's working in and through us!"

Jess_Leigh hanging net.JPG
Another member of God's family!

Another member of God's family!

Many homes were visited, families prayed over, the gospel shared and hearts that began their relationship with God. For this opportunity, we are so thankful! Thank you to each of you who donated to purchase a net for a family in Kenya. Lives will be spared from malaria and souls will enter heaven because of your generosity. Thank you!