Kenya Missions Trip, Part 3: Jesus Comes After The One

Kenya Missions Trip, Part 3: Jesus Comes After The One

This may be the last post on our Kenya Missions Trip, where I spoke at a 3-Day Conference in Bungoma, Kenya, Africa. You can read part 1 by clicking here. You can read part 2 by clicking here.

Snail
I’m motivated as a snail today

This morning I shared with my business accountability/prayer partners that I’m feeling about as motivated as a snail this week.

We haven’t even had Christmas yet! We had to postpone our family Christmas dinner due to the Africa trip’s expenses. (Most expenses came out of Ray’s and my pockets.) You can still donate to this missions trip for us to help Pastors Patrick and Rose Mudenyo and the orphans there in Kenya by clicking here. Email me at elizabethdjones@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Then when we came home from Kenya, Leah was sick with a sore throat and congestion, and then me and Ray got sick. Then Heather’s boyfriend Matt got the flu, followed by Heather and Ray getting sick, so we are postponing the family dinner and our gift exchange AGAIN until January 18. Enough with the sickness – GO, in Jesus’ name!

I usually get post-Christmas depression, after all the excitement of anticipating and opening presents and having to put away the Christmas tree. I really hate taking the Christmas decorations off the tree! 

The Red Balloon movie
The Red Balloon movie

Christmas is such a happy time, my favorite time of year, because it is filled with the joy of the birth of my Savior, delicious food, and generous gift giving! It’s like the movie, The Red Balloon, about a boy and a happy red balloon. The days following Christmas is like the big red balloon deflating! All the fun is over now!

Now I’m a little depressed before our family Christmas time. I won’t spill my guts here, but It’s just different things going on in my life. I appreciate so much your prayers for your support of me!

But I digress. Now about Africa again. So many exciting, amazing things happened there that it’s hard to compress it into a couple of posts. Maybe in this one post, I can share some of the lessons I learned there, but just emphasize one main point. Jesus’ heart is always after the one sheep.

I spoke 4 times there at the Kenya Conference and Ray spoke twice. The first day after my first session speaking on Joseph the Dreamer part 1, Pastor Patrick wanted us to pray for the people after I finished speaking. Most of the church came forward for us to pray for their needs. They were hungry for God. It was powerful.

Fire starter intercessors during worship
Fire starter intercessors during worship

 

The 2nd day of the conference, I spoke on Joseph the dreamer part 2, Ray spoke on Ezekiel and the vision of the dry bones, which was very anointed, and then I shared my personal testimony. I was told by the associate pastor and my Swahili intepreter, pastor Pius, that my testimony was  powerful.The Bible says that we defeat and triumph over Satan by the blood of the Lamb, the word of our testimony, and denying ourselves. (Revelation 12:11) 

Where can you begin sharing your story with others? Your story is important. God wants to use your story to help and minister to others!

Pastor Rose Mudenyo & me before speaking 2nd conference day Bungoma, Kenya, Africa
Pastor Rose Mudenyo & me before speaking
2nd conference day
Bungoma, Kenya, Africa

On this 2nd day I prophesied that the fire of God was coming to that church. We didn’t pray for anyone that day, but just spent time with the pastors that afternoon, getting to know them and the orphans more.

One of my favorite memories is of that afternoon coffee that pastor Rose and Patrick had prepared for Ray and me. We sat outside where a breeze blew to help with the African intense heat and talked to pastor Patrick about his years in ministry, miracles he had seen in Kenya (one blind man healed and another miracle healing), why sometimes miracles don’t happen (pastor Patrick believes that it’s often caused by unbelief), and how he and pastor Rose are training the orphans to do chores as part of the family to become responsible.

Coke
Coke

Another favorite memory I have is of visiting an older man who is part of the pastors’ church, Revival Praise and Worship, on Monday morning before we left Kenya. He and his family served Ray and me peanuts and Coke® and spoke encouraging words to us about our calling from God.

“When God tells you to go, just go,” he said. “Don’t say, ‘We don’t have the money to go. Just go!'” His simple, pure faith made me smile and I received what he said.

When we left, he said he and his wife didn’t want to leave us as their guests empty-handed, so they blessed us with a dozen eggs – a great gift in their culture.  A gesture many of the women do in Kenya to show respect and/or affection when greeting or saying goodbye is to hug, kissing one another on the cheek.

Another custom I learned about from our new friend Apostle Catherine is that it is common when meeting someone’s children to lay your hand on his/her head and speak a blessing over them. There are also things not to do in Kenya, which you can learn here.

beth-orphans
Beth Jones and pastor Patrick & Rose Mudenyo’s orphans
Our faithful driver Amos is standing on the right

On the 3rd day of the conference, Ray spoke on The Good Samaritan, which the pastor told him they’d been studying for weeks at their church (Ray didn’t know this, but God did). Then I spoke on Deborah the Warrior and Jael from Judges 4, and after this is when the fire of God that I’d prophesied fell! 

Sunday's service, 3rd conference day
Sunday’s service, 3rd conference day

God had shown me five women in the audience who were “fire starter” intercessors. As pastor Rose led worship and as these intercessors prayed for God’s presence, the fire was going to be released into the house of God and God’s people touched in a great way. I instructed the intercessors to pray for all those who needed prayer. Most of the people in the audience surged forward for prayer and a couple of men on the church staff and the pastors held the crowd back to keep order. It was amazing seeing what God did! People were set free! 

Women dancing Revival Worship & Praise Church Mumsia, Kenya, Africa
Women dancing
Revival Worship & Praise Church
Mumsia, Kenya, Africa

Pastor Patrick emailed me this week to tell me that the fire is still burning and even growing, and that people are being healed and delivered. God is continuing to use these 5 intercessors. Praise God!

Pretty purple flowers in Kenya
Pretty purple flowers in Kenya

While there in Kenya, I was able to pray and prophesy over each of these 5 intercessor women, whom I call “fire starters,” at the end of Sunday’s powerful service. Each one of them cried and I believe God ministered deeply to their hearts. I don’t think they  or the audience knew God wanted to use them!  It blessed me so much to see women stepping more fully into their purpose, using their gifts for God. That is my passion! 

Kenyan women - Justine is the woman at the far right, by me
Kenyan women – Justine is the woman at the far right by me

But there was one woman intercessor, whom I felt God sent me specifically to Africa to pray for and to release into more of her God-given purpose. Her name is Justine. This was my word for her.

“You are the woman I believe God sent me to Africa for. You are a beautiful woman, inside and out. But you don’t know how beautiful you really are and it’s because of the things you’ve been through in your life, how hurt you’ve been. But God says you are BEAUTIFUL. You’ve also been hidden for a long time. You have been in a place of serving others. God says now it’s your time to come out of hiding and to be put on display. God is about to use you in a very powerful way. You are the primary fire starter here. As you worship and as you pray, the fire is going to be released. It is a roaring, raging, holy fire that will consume everything in its path. God is going to use you in a great way in this house.” (Justine helped cook and to serve Ray’s and my food while we were there. I watched how humbly she did this and God began speaking to my heart about her.)

When you study stories of Jesus in the Bible, you see how often He ministered one on one to people. His heart was always after the one sheep.

Boy eating sugar cane, Kenya, Africa

Yes, Jesus had the great, powerful, limitless anointing to minister to crowds of people. He was also anointed to minister to groups of people, whether that was 5000 people, 100’s of people, His 12 disciples, His 3 closest friends, or the one disciple “whom Jesus loved.”  But Jesus seemed to delight in seeking out the one who was alone:

  • Andrew the fisherman
  • Nicodemus
  • The man by the pool of Bethesda
  • The woman with the issue of blood
  • The little girl Tabitha
  • The woman of Nain, whose son died
  • The woman at the well
  • The woman caught in adultery
  • The thief on the cross who asked Jesus to remember him
  • Peter after Jesus’ resurrection
  • Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb when she thought He was the gardener.

I believe Justine was my “one” in Africa, whom God wanted me to pray for and help release into her great destiny. She is a rare, brilliant diamond who has caught God’s eye and heart. A woman of fire.

Who is the “one” in your life who God wants you to reach out to, to minister to, to heal, to prophesy to, to help in some practical way, to pray for, to bless? Encourage her or him today.

So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away! ~ Luke 15:3-7, NLT

Beth and Ray Jones, Kisimu airport, Kenya, Africa
Beth and Ray Jones, Kisimu airport, Kenya, Africa
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Kenya Missions Trip, Part 2: Enemy Resistance

Kenya Missions Trip, Part 2: Enemy Resistance
Pastor Rose & Worship Team Revival Worship & Praise Church Bungoma, Kenya, Africa
Pastor Rose & Worship Team
Revival Worship & Praise Church
Bungoma, Kenya, Africa

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about me speaking at the conference in Kenya, Africa.

Traveling to Africa was my BIG DREAM COME TRUE, but the reality wasn’t like a dream.

Sometimes your dream, when it is fulfilled, won’t look the way you imagined.

It was extremely difficult for me emotionally, physically and spiritually in the months preceding my trip and in actually trying to get there to Kenya, due to the financial stress of the trip, the spiritual warfare that came against me, and the problems I encountered on the planes getting to Africa.

Apostle Catherine, Pastor Felix and his sons, & Ray
Apostle Catherine, Pastor Felix and his sons, & Ray

Our new friend Apostle Catherine (founder of Worship and Restoration Ministries, Nairobi, Kenya) told Ray when he arrived in Nairobi before me (we were on different flights) and discovered my plane was delayed and that I would be unexpectedly staying overnight in Turkey: “God wants Beth to come to Africa, but Satan does not. He is trying to stop her.”

Did you know that when God says something, the devil can try to hinder or delay you, but he can’t stop you because God said it and it is already done?! Through Christ you are unstoppable!

So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. ~ Isaiah 55:11, NIV

Once a week our family attends a small group home church, where we read the Bible, worship, pray for each other, and fellowship with other believers. I testified last night about our missions trip to Kenya.

I also shared that as we get closer to fulfilling God’s great purpose for our lives, we’ll encounter greater resistance from Satan and others. Surprisingly, the most intense opposition may come from your family and your closest friends. You’re in good company then. Jesus’ own mother and brothers thought he was crazy as a loon. (Mark 3:20-21, NIV)

Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” ~ Mark 3:20-21, NIV

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. ~ 1 Peter 4:12-14, NIV

Eh, rejoicing might be a little strong of a word. I confess I wasn’t always rejoicing throughout this whole ordeal! Here’s a few things I went through:

My plane from Kansas City, MO to Chicago was delayed and I had to RUN for my international flight and nearly missed it. (Please note I’m in no runner’s body condition!)

In Chicago, as I was hurrying around a corner at the airport to get on my international flight, 2 staff people came out of nowhere. They hadn’t seen my plane tickets and didn’t know who I was. They both said to me, “Go to this gate (the no.) now and RUN!” I believe they were angels directing my path! I was one of the last people to board the plane. We took off very quickly after I boarded.

We had an emergency landing in Iceland. My international plane was stuck on the tarmac for 2 hours after a passenger had a heart attack on the plane. 

International flight to Turkey -passenger had heart attack on plane
International flight to Turkey – a passenger had a heart attack on plane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, Iceland – the one with mountains of ice and snow. (Yes, I know it’s much greener than Greenland, but I only saw the ice on the mountain and runway part). I thought, “What the heck am I doing in Iceland? I’m supposed to be in Africa!” All I could do was pray.

Stuck on tarmac in Iceland
Stuck on tarmac in Iceland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The airlines staff said they had no idea why we were sitting there on the runway and acted as if they didn’t care or that I would miss my flight to Nairobi when I finally arrived in Turkey. My conclusion is that the reason I was on that plane was to intercede for the passenger having a heart attack. I did and hope he or she is okay.

Turkish delight I bought for the orphans in Turkey
Turkish delight I bought for the orphans in Turkey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because of this 2-hour delay, I did miss my flight to Nairobi, Kenya, and had to stay overnight at the airport in Turkey (I didn’t get a hotel room because Ray didn’t want me leaving the Turkey airport as he thought it’d be too dangerous there.). My flight from Turkey to Nairobi wouldn’t leave until the next evening.

The staff at the Turkey airport weren’t helpful at all when I arrived late trying to get to my flight (which had left), gave vague directions, and pretended at times to not understand my English when they clearly did. Meanwhile, Ray had already landed in Nairobi. He, our friend Pastor Felix, and Apostle Catherine began to pray for me. I was already being covered in prayer by family and my team of intercessors back home.

Turkey is the busiest airport I’ve ever been to. Turkey is a hub for many flights coming in and going out all over the world. It was chaos. They have lots of planes departing and arriving, but have limited gates. You find your gate number on these boards, but they don’t list the gate number until a couple of hours before the departure so you have to wait and keep watching the boards to see what your gate number is.

A model-beautiful girl from Tanzania showed me how to read the boards and where to go to my gate – another divine appointment!

Board with flight departures Turkey airport
Board with flight departures
Turkey airport

The airport staff were openly hostile to me because I was American. This is the first time I’ve ever encountered prejudice being an American, so it took me aback. They would ignore me when I came to the counter, ask if I was American, and then treat me rudely. This opened my eyes to the way the rest of the world may view us. How can we be better representatives as Americans and Christians to the world?

me in Turkey
me in Turkey

Women are viewed as property there. Men looked at me like I was a piece of meat. I was also concerned about being alone in the middle of the night there and being robbed so I kept my backpack and rollerboard close to me at all times and stayed near a crowd of people by the main stores. Turkey was the only place I really felt endangered on this trip. My biggest concern was not being able to get out of Turkey to Africa.

Interestingly, I noticed that a woman with combat boots stayed by me all night. She never spoke to me, but just stayed close to me wherever I went. I felt safe and at peace with her there. I believe she was an angel whom God stationed to be with me for protection! As my friend Heather Peterson said, I believe that I’ve traveled with an angel before. 🙂

Our smart phones didn’t work in Turkey or Africa, so I couldn’t call or text Ray or our daughters Heather or Leah. I was able to access Facebook briefly in Turkey but not long enough to tell Ray what was going on.

What can you do after missing an international flight? After I cried over missing my plane to Nairobi, to cheer myself up, I bought baklava, a wonderful, oh-so-sweet pastry, and coffee. It helped. 🙂

Baklava pastry and coffee in Turkey
Baklava pastry and coffee in Turkey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also bought some yummy Turkish delight for Pastor Patrick’s and Rose’s orphans in Turkey. One of my favorite memories from the trip to Kenya is of Pastor Rose opening the boxes of candy for the orphans. They’d never tried it before and were eager to taste it.

I also brought them chocolate Tootsie Rolls, which they really enjoyed. (I want to do so much more to help the orphans and pray God enables us to! But I remember Matthew 25:40, NIV, “Whatever you have done for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done for Me.”)

For dinner in Turkey, I ate a delicious meal of a chicken kabob with rice and veggies. The red sauce by the grilled green pepper is a spicy pepper sauce…it was too hot for me, but Ray’s Cajun taste buds would’ve loved it.  I felt for him having to eat fish and chips in London!

Chicken kabob with veggies in Turkey
Chicken kabob with veggies in Turkey

The trial for me in Kenya was the heat and ‘skeeters.. Africa is JUST. SO. HOT. The pesky mosquitoes bite the heck out of you for fun. (We’re still on anti-malaria meds as a precaution!) As Ray joked, Turkish people may not like Americans, but the Africa mosquitoes do.

Then there’s the devils. Oh yea, they are real. If you don’t believe me, go to Africa. Demons manifested in people in Sunday’s service and tried to physically attack me. Remember that as believers, we have power and authority over demons through Christ. Luke 9:1. (Demons exist in America, too, but they just more cleverly hide because Americans don’t believe in them. Read C. S. Lewis’ book The Screwtape Letters.)

This was not an American-girl-on-a-paradise-vacation trip. 

This was real missions work training. I’m now officially broken into missions work!

For Ray, this was more of a luxury trip. He didn’t have the problems with his planes that I did. When he arrived in Nairobi, he was treated to nice dinners. He happily networked with people for work and ministry. He didn’t mind the heat in Kenya because he loves warm, tropical weather.

On the way home to the U.S., he requested to be bumped to first class seating on the plane and received it, enjoying the fully reclining seat and drinking a fine beverage of his choice. I don’t mind any of this for Ray; he’s worked so hard this year and deserved every bit of this and more!!! I prayed God would bless him on this trip and was happy for him.

But I was exhausted emotionally, physically, and spiritually after the conference. For me, the trip was hell. It was God refining me and teaching me to trust in Him more deeply. And yet God did such amazing, powerful things at this conference.

One of my favorite memories is of the people dancing during Pastor Rose and the worship team’s powerful worship and praise. Pastor Rose’s and the worship team’s worship is awesome. The people are full of joy!

Women dancing Revival Worship & Praise Church Mumsia, Kenya, Africa
Women dancing
Revival Worship & Praise Church
Mumsia, Kenya, Africa

I went through so much to get to Kenya because Satan didn’t want me there. Remember when you step out to obey God and do what He wants you to do, Satan is going to fight you and will use whatever means he can to block you, stop you, frustrate or anger you, make you afraid, stress you out, distract you, drain you physically, and/or overwhelm you. But God is greater, amen!

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. ~ 1 Peter 5:8, NIV

During the conference on the 3rd day, the fire of God fell on Sunday’s service and yesterday, pastor Patrick emailed me to tell me the fire is still burning and that people are being healed and delivered. I am in awe and humbled that God would use me, a woman with a very black past, to go speak to and encourage His people in Africa.

Today pastor Patrick wrote this testimonial about me speaking there:

Beth Jones is one of the best speakers we have ever had. She lit the fire here during the women’s conference here in Kenya, Africa. She spoke with boldness and with much anointing that have led to total life changing to the women. She empowered the women with the message that changed everything in the lives of the women here.The fire is still burning. How we wish that she comes back soon because she was what our hearts required for these end times. May God bless Beth and continue to use her in these last days to empower women around the world.”

I’m honored and so grateful to God for all He did there!

How does God want to use you? Are you willing? Will you go where He wants to send you – your family member, a neighbor, a co-worker, a boss, across the world? Are you willing to leave your comfort zone and step out of the boat like Peter did in faith? (Matthew 14:29)

Remember that no matter what you have done in your past (or today), God will forgive you if you come to Him humbly and ask Him. The blood of Jesus cleanses you from all sin. God wants to use you in an extraordinary way for His glory now! Ask Him to use you today. Tell Him, “Here I am! Send me!” And He will!

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged.” Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” ~ Isaiah 6:6-8, NIV

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We’re Back from Africa!

We’re Back from Africa!
Revival Praise & Worship Church, Sunday 3rd Day of Conference, Bungoma, Kenya,  Africa
Revival Worship & Praise Church
Sunday, 3rd day of conference
Bungoma, Kenya, Africa

Ray and I are back from our trip to Kenya, Africa, where I was invited to speak at a women’s conference at Pastor Patrick and Rose Mudenyo’s church in Bungoma, Kenya – Revival Worship & Praise Church.

It was an amazing, unforgettable time, and I’m so thankful to God for this great opportunity. Thank you for all your prayers, love, and support!

At the 3-day conference, I spoke 4 times (on Joseph the Dreamer Parts 1 & 2, my personal testimony, and Deborah the Prophetess and Warrior) and Ray spoke twice (on Ezekiel and the vision of the dry bones and the Good Samaritan). Men, teenagers, and children also came.

We were warmly received and made to feel very welcomed and love by the pastors, their staff, and the conference attendees. Pastor Rose invited me back to speak at their other 7 registered churches in Kenya in 2014! Ray already has a speaking invitation in Kenya as well.

The fire of God fell

Some of the people in Kenya speak and understand English, and some don’t, so Ray and I both used a Swahili interpreter when we spoke. It was my first time using an interpreter.

1st Conference Day Me with Pastor Pies (interpreter) Bungoma, Kenya, Africa
1st Conference Day
Me with Pastor Pies ( my interpreter)
Bungoma, Kenya, Africa

I’d prayed before going there that God would give me a good interpreter; He gave me a GREAT interpreter! He was so anointed and powerful. His name is Pastor Pies. Pastor Patrick also did an incredible job interpreting for Ray the 2 times he spoke, and for me on Sunday’s service.

Beth Jones, speaking in Kenya, Africa
Beth Jones, speaking in Kenya, Africa

On Friday I spoke on Joseph the Dreamer Part 1. I was supposed to do a second session that day, but pastor Patrick asked us to pray for the people instead. Most of the church surged forward for prayer. Ray and I spent over an hour ministering one on one to the people. They are hungry for God.

On Saturday I spoke on Joseph the Dreamer part 2, Ray preached on Ezekiel and the vision of the dry bones, and then I shared my testimony. The associate pastor and a conference attendee told me that my testimony was powerful and that I have a unique ministry. Pastor Patrick said that Ray had preached on the very topics they had been studying for weeks!

While speaking, I prophesied that God’s holy fire was coming to that church and on Sunday, the fire fell. God used Ray and me in a powerful, and humbling, way. I received this email from pastor Patrick today:

“Dear Beth and Ray , Greetings from Namulungu. We had a wonderful Christmas and really thank God for that. I am writing to remind you and brother Ray about the need of school fees. The children would be going back to school on 6th Jan 2014. We are praying for you and really thank God for you guys. THE FIRE OF GOD IS STILL BURNING IN A VERY BIGGER WAY. THE LADIES ARE DOING GREAT WORK. MANY ARE BEING HEALED AND DELIVERED. God bless you, love you. Pastor Patrick and Rose.”

Ray Jones, speaking, Bungoma, Kenya Pastor Patrick interpreting
Ray Jones, speaking, Bungoma, Kenya
Pastor Patrick interpreting

The orphans

Pastors Patrick and Rose have 3 beautiful children and are also parents to 24 precious orphans. The orphans come from the neighbors and the church members. They are well cared for, but the pastors need help with their school fees, clothing, and food.

Ray Jones and Mudenyo orphans
Ray Jones and Mudenyo orphans

If God is tugging on your heart to help these orphans, you can donate at my GoFundMe donations page by clicking here or email me and I will send you the direct information to pastor Patrick for wiring him money. My email address is elizabethdjones@gmail.com.

I do not have a not-for-profit, 501c3 organization. My business/ministry is a self-supported organization, and your support helps my business, Refreshing Waters, impact the lives of women and others globally for God’s glory and to further His Kingdom on earth.

Rose, Frida, Beth Jones, & Justine Kenyan women - Bungoma, Kenya, Africa
Rose, Frida, me (Beth Jones), & Justine
Kenyan women – Bungoma, Kenya, Africa

 

Because of your support and prayers, Ray and I were able to go to Africa – my BIG DREAM comes true! – to preach the gospel of Christ and to encourage the saints in Kenya. Most of the expenses for this trip came out of Ray’s and my pockets, so if you would like to still give, just click here. Your prayers and your support are reaching across the world!

The children of Kenya

Fire (their "stove") Mudenyos' home
Fire (their “stove”) Mudenyos’ home

The Mudenyos’ orphans’ ages range from about 4 years old to the oldest being 18 years old.

The Mudenyos teach the orphans chores to do daily to become responsible, such as washing dishes (in a creek) and gathering firewood (for the fire, over which they cook their meals each day).

The orphans were shy at first, then warmed up to Ray and me. One night they asked us questions about America, such as, “Do houses in the U.S. have fences around the property?”

We asked the orphans what they wanted to do after high school graduation. One girl wants to be a lawyer. One younger boy wants to be a doctor. Ray, a paramedic by profession, gave him a stethoscope as a gift and taught him how to use it. He seemed delighted and enjoyed listening to the other children’s heartbeats.

The "washing machine" - a creek and a large stone
The “washing machine” – a creek and a large stone

Ray sang for them that night and they treated us with their singing, too.

Kenyans love to sing and dance. The orphans have beautiful voices, and it blessed me that they sang for us.

Kenya has about 1.7 million orphans with the numbers growing rapidly. Their parents have died from war, disease, or AIDS or abandoned them.

Many haven’t been immunized against polio, measles, and other diseases. There is a life expectancy in Kenya of only 48 years of age. Fifty percent of the population are below the poverty line with 23% living on less than $1 a day, and 40% are unemployed. (Sources: http://howtohelporphans.org/kenya.html and http://orphanslifeline.org/Kenya.html).

Orphan in Kenya
Orphan in Kenya

Orphans are on the street, barefoot and begging for food. Many are trafficked, forced into human labor and prostitution.

They are recruited with the promise of education and good jobs, food, and other enticements. They are often introduced to smugglers by family members or friends.

What can you and I do to help? Above all, pray. Then find ways to help, somehow, someway – however you can.

“Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’” – Matthew 25:40, The Message

Our Kenya hosts

Pastor Patrick & Rose Mudenyo's home Mumsia, Kenya, Africa
Pastor Patrick & Rose Mudenyo’s home
Mumsia, Kenya, Africa

While in Kenya, we stayed at Pastor Patrick and Rose’s brick home. They were amazing hosts and made us feel so welcome. Their home has 2 bedrooms, a utility room where they put their shoes, a living room/dining room where we ate meals, and a patio. The living room had a t.v. Their home would be comparable to middle income class homes in America. The orphans live in buildings located on their property right by their home.

Pastor Rose, me (Beth Jones, & Pastor Patrick Mudenyo Bungoma, Kenya, Africa
Pastor Rose, me (Beth Jones) & Pastor Patrick Mudenyo
Bungoma, Kenya, Africa

Not everyone lives in a house like this in Kenya. Many live in grass huts and huts made of other materials.The material it is made of depends on the age of the hut. Some areas have several huts close together.

Grass hut
Grass hut

This is the Mudenyos’ living/dining room where we were served hot coffee and ate our evening meals. The furniture is draped with beautiful, green embroidered coverings.

Living room where we were served hot coffee & ate meals
Living room where we were served hot coffee & ate meals

After each of my or Ray’s speaking sessions, we were served a feast by the church members: chapati (a flatbread and a staple at most meals in Kenya – the bread is also used as an eating utensil to scoop up food), meat (chicken or beef), rice with a tomato soup served over it (very good – my favorite part of the meal), fruit (mango or banana- the mango was delicious!), and ugali (made of maize with water).

There is an expression in Kenya, “Never let your guests leave hungry!” And they don’t! They expect you to eat a LOT!

What struck me at the meals was the women humbly serving it to us. This is a custom in Kenya.  The pastors and staff went out of their way to bless us. It was humbling.

Feast
Feast

Nairobi, Kenya

Our last night was in Nairobi, visiting our friends Pastor Omondi Felix and Apostle Catherine (Worship and Restoration Ministries, Nairobi, Kenya).

Catherine’s ministry equips and restores pastors and leaders. Her foundational scripture is Isaiah 61, which is also my life chapter! Interesting!

Ray and I had been wanting to meet pastor Felix for years. He is a friend of a mutual friend of ours, who met him while she was in Africa and encouraged us to connect with him. He introduced me to Apostle Catherine on Facebook.

When Ray arrived in Kenya, Pastor Felix met him at the airport and he and apostle Catherine helped Ray so much while he was there. Thank God for such divine connections! God amazes me how He orchestrates things like this!

Apostle Catherine, Pastor Omondi Felix, Ray Jones, Felix's sons
Apostle Catherine, Pastor Omondi Felix, Ray Jones, Felix’s sons

Our last night in Kenya, Apostle Catherine treated us to dinner at a restaurant and a hotel room at one of the 2 hotels she owns in Kenya, in Nairobi. I ordered the grilled chicken and it was delicious! It came with rice with the tomato soup, kale, and a cole slaw. Again, the portions were huge.

Grilled chicken dinner Nairobi, Kenya
Grilled chicken dinner
Nairobi, Kenya

Ray ordered the peppered steak. Even Ray couldn’t eat it all!

Ray's peppered steak dinner
Ray’s peppered steak dinner

This is the hotel room where we stayed our last night. Our beds at the Mudenyos’ home and at the hotel came with mosquito netting to prevent malaria. We are still taking anti-malaria medication as a precaution.

Our hotel room, Nairobi, Kenya
Our hotel room, Nairobi, Kenya

When we arrived in Nairobi, we took a cab to the hotel. What should have been a 20 minute commute took us 3 hours. (This is the part where I started crying, overwhelmed. Ray was overwhelmed, too. It was so hot and stressful!)

Nairobi, 3-hour traffic
Nairobi, 3-hour traffic

I have never seen so many people in my life, even in New York. The traffic doesn’t drive in a straight line. Cars, vans, and motorcyles were zig zagged all over the road, with people walking in between cars. Vans were hitting cars and people were yelling at each other. It was bumper to bumper traffic at a crawl. People were walking up and down the roads, selling items – whatever they could.

Traffic, people walking
Traffic, people walking


People walk everywhere in Kenya to home and work.
I can’t imagine how hot they are. Africa is SOOOO hot; sweat just dripped down my face and legs every day.

People walking on roads in Kenya
People walking on roads in Kenya

We traveled to Africa when it wasn’t as hot as the summer. The rainy season begins in November and there’s a longer rainy season from March to May. It is cooler then, but the roads are often impassable. The roads in Kenya are red from the large amount of iron in them.

Red roads in Kenya
Red roads in Kenya

You see the typical picture of women carrying baskets of bananas and other items on their heads.

Women with baskets
Women with baskets

The land

Africa has beautiful land: many mountains, hills, beautiful flowers, a variety of trees and bushes. It’s vibrantly green, teeming with life.

Kenya Mountains
Kenya Mountains

The banana trees are everywhere and are beautiful.

Banana tree
Banana tree

The bananas are picked while green to mature.

Bunch of fresh bananas
Bunch of fresh bananas

 

Below is a view of Lake Victoria from our plane going from Kisimu to Nairobi, Kenya. It’s the largest tropical lake in the world. It’s huge and beautiful.

Victoria Falls is on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe – comparable to our Niagara Falls – and is one of the sites I want to see. (I love waterfalls!) We weren’t able to do this on this trip, or to see the wild animals like I wanted at a park or on a safari. Not being able to see the wild animals was my biggest disappointment about going there. Maybe next time! I am, however, so thankful to God for sending us there and using us to encourage and empower the people of Kenya.

But it was raining a little when we were in Nairobi and in our hotel room, I heard the Toto song, Africa, from our open ornate window, playing from the street. I bless the rains down in Africa…

I thought it was romantic. Ray and I had fun that last night. 😉

Nairobi hotel room window
Nairobi hotel room window

Lake Victoria near Kisimu

Lake Victoria from plane
Lake Victoria from plane

Lake Victoria on Kenya Airways plane from Kisimu to Nairobi, Kenya

Lake Victoria, on plane from Kisimu to Nairobi
Lake Victoria, on plane from Kisimu to Nairobi

I love this picture. It displays the glory of the Lord. “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.” – Psalm 24:1

The glory of the Lord
The glory of the Lord

In my next post, I’ll share more about our Kenya, Africa trip.

Have you ever traveled to Africa? What was your time like there? Leave your comments below.

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