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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Kenya, Africa flight is booked!

Kenya, Africa flight is booked!
plane
plane

For nothing is impossible with God. – Luke 1:37, NLT

My flights are now booked for Kenya, Africa, to speak at Pastor Rose Mudenyo’s women’s conference. I am SOOOO excited and praising God!

With some donations coming in from my friend Shelley Valasek’s webinar and my friend Jennifer Whiddon’s Dream BIG bracelet, I was finally able to get my yellow fever immunization.

Most of the expenses for this trip are coming out of Ray’s and my pockets (i.e., our hard work!!!!). We are still taking donations if God is tugging at your heart to sow seed into this amazing mission trip. Click here if you’d like to help by donating online.

me & Ray
me & Ray

Some people have no idea of the amount of stress I have been through to go on this trip, financially, emotionally, spiritually – or the criticism against me and even people speaking curses against Ray and me (amazingly, these are even from family & friends who are CHRISTIANS. This comes with the territory of following Christ and from the accuser of the brethren, satan!).

I know it will be worth it all, but I may need a vacation somewhere quiet and peaceful after I come back!

Our precious daughter Heather
Our precious daughter Heather

Despite everything, I am SUPER excited about my dream of Africa finally coming true! My only wish is that our precious daughter Heather was going, too! Going to Africa is one of her dreams, too. It breaks my heart so much she isn’t going with me. She WILL go one day! Keep praying, Heather! I’d like our sweet, youngest daughter Leah to go, too, but she doesn’t want to go to Africa.

Thank you for all your encouragement, prayers, and support. I couldn’t do this without you, my family, friends, and intercessor team members who have been warring on my behalf since I said “yes” to God and pastor Rose.

Please pray for Ray and me and our family as Ray and I leave next week! Some specific requests are:

  • God’s will to be done on this mission trip and Him to fill us with His agape love for His people there in Africa.
  • God’s powerful anointing on me every session as I speak.
  • That Ray and I won’t get sick from the anti-malaria meds or experience any sickness, disease, or injury there, such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, sunburns, etc.
  • No problems with any of our plane flights – traveling mercies.
  • God’s protection upon us and our family spiritually from any acts of violence, theft, robbery, car accidents, and any spiritual warfare attacks. Special protection upon our kids and grandkids while we are gone.
  • God’s abundant financial provision for our travels there. We are needing more money coming in for this trip!
  • That we’ll have FUN and for Ray and me to draw closer in unity and our marriage blessed and refreshed.
  • Divine appointments on the planes and in Africa.
  • That we will be servants to our hosts and a blessing and encouragement to their hearts.
Woman with camera
Woman with camera

Yes, I’ll be taking pics! (My motto – always take pics!)

Click here if you want to sow into this amazing opportunity!

For all of you who have prayed for me and encouraged me, the words “thank you” fall so short of my gratitude and how I feel about you. You are so precious to me. Thank you for holding up my arms in battle. It’s been a long road and I still need great faith, strength, power and stamina.

Thank you for believing in me and believing WITH me for this BIG DREAM COME TRUE.

Thank you to Ray for his incredibly hard work to help make this dream possible. God will reward you! 

Our beautiful children and grandchildren and sister Maria and her family, I love you so very much and wish you could come with us. 

Most of all, Jesus, I love you and thank you so much for allowing me of all people to be used by You for Your glory! God, let me please You and make You smile.

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Of Things Not Seen

Pumpkin scented candles - Pinterest
Pumpkin scented candles
Pinterest

Pumpkin spice scented candles. Soft sweaters. Brightly colored scarves. Boots, oh boots of every length and color!

Leaves in glorious shades of orange, yellow, red, and brown. Fall is here, and we love and welcome it like a best friend who moved far away and is visiting, her stay much too short.

We’re teased in stores with the promise of Christmas around the corner: smiling snowmen, snow globes, shiny red and purple gift bags, this year’s cute Christmas tree decorations, fun toys and techy gadgets for the kids and teens, Silent Night or Carol of the Bells playing and our hearts sing and worship along in adoration of Jesus, the King of Kings.

But while so many are getting ready for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, I prepare for Africa.

Purple journal
Purple journal

I journal in my new, oversized, purple diary about things on my heart. The excitement of this great adventure, a dream I’ve had for years and have been praying about.

The drums of Africa beat in my heart and blood. And at night, I’ve dreamed of Africa, even though I’ve never been there before. The dreams have been so real, like I was really there.

I’m reminded of the line in the movie Out of Africa, when Karen Blixen (played by my favorite actress, Meryl Streep) said, “I stayed in the room where I was born in Rungstedland and tried to remember the colors of Africa.”

I long to see the colors of Africa.

Africa
Africa

I also journal the fears. Ridiculous fears. And some that are warranted. Africa may not be “The Dark Continent” as many describe it, but there is some darkness there to respect.

I make lists. What to bring like my passport, driver’s license, and yellow fever immunization paper. What not to bring, like a hair dryer.

What to buy like dresses, skirts and blouses on sale for the warm climate and chocolates for the orphans. What to take here from home, like our daughter’s soccer ball, for children there to play with and keep.

Only a few more weeks until pastor Rose’s annual women’s conference in Bungoma, Africa. When she first invited me to speak there, I prayed and believe God told me to do this. Then I talked to my husband Ray, whose fleece was “if God provides.”

While Ray and I may disagree on how exactly God has accomplished that [he has wanted money to just fall out of the sky and I believe God provided through my July car wreck settlement, but Ray didn’t agree], this past week we were able to finally purchase Ray’s round trip plane tickets through some of his hard overtime work! (The website booking buddy has some great deals.) This is so exciting!

Initially we were going to buy my tickets first, but Ray was concerned about being “left behind” and me being alone and in possible danger in Africa, so we bought his first. If something were to happen to where I can’t go, then pastor Rose would still have a speaker for her conference. Ray is an amazing preacher and teacher!

Several weeks ago, a few donations came in from my friend Rochelle Valasek’s fundraiser webinar and my jewelry artist friend Jennifer Whiddon’s Dream BIG bracelet and I was able to get my yellow fever immunization!

This weekend some sweet friends made a donation and I was able to purchase my round trip tickets from Nairobi, Kenya to Kisimu Airport, Kenya, and then the return flight from Kisimu to Nairobi. Praise God!!!

Now Ray and I and my intercessors are praying in the money for my round trip tickets to Africa: for the long (expensive!) flight from Kansas City, MO, to Nairobi and then the return flight from Nairobi to Kansas City.

Beth Jonees, International Speaker/Author
Beth Jones, International Speaker/Author

I have faith that God will provide the money so I can go.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1, KJV

The evidence of things not seen. I don’t see it yet ~ in the natural. But I see it by faith.

Will you join me in this great adventure to encourage God’s daughters in Kenya, Africa?

To learn more, click here.

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