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.
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.
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.”
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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
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.
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).
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Ray ordered the peppered steak. Even Ray couldn’t eat it all!
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
You see the typical picture of women carrying baskets of bananas and other items on their heads.
Africa has beautiful land: many mountains, hills, beautiful flowers, a variety of trees and bushes. It’s vibrantly green, teeming with life.
The banana trees are everywhere and are beautiful.
The bananas are picked while green to mature.
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. 😉
Lake Victoria near Kisimu
Lake Victoria on Kenya Airways plane from Kisimu to Nairobi, Kenya
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
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.