You guys, if you’ve been following my blog since the beginning, you know already what this is about.
Last summer, I had the privilege of going on a mission trip to Kiria, Kenya. I was skeptical. It was my first mission trip, I was halfway around the world, and I was only going for 11 days. There was no way I could make an impact, but for some reason God was leading me there.
Before you click away because you just read the words “Mission Trip” – hear me out for a second.
The trip, quite literally, changed my life. I haven’t been the same since. And ever since the day I returned, I’ve been praying, hoping, and wishing to go back. Only, I didn’t want to go back alone. The next time I was to go back to Kenya, I wanted my husband (then fiance) to go with me.
If you want to read about my experience while in Kenya, you can read my blog posts that I wrote while I was there:
Well, John and I are going back to Kenya September 20th-30th of this year.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND: There is a village in Kenya called Kiria. It’s nestled among the Aberdare Mountains about three hours north of Nairobi. There are about 1,500 residents. They have one primary school, seven churches, and no health clinic. In conjunction with an organization called The 410 Bridge, the church we attend adopted this community in the summer of 2010.
One thing I’m passionate about is long-term service. I don’t believe in going to a place, hanging out for a week, and then peace-ing out never to be seen again.
I believe in partnerships. I believe in relationships. I believe in friendships. I believe in fellowship.
And I’m grateful I’m part of a community of faith that believes in those things too. We have a 10-year partnership with the community of Kiria where we aim to serve them, help them, and ultimately, love them. However, it’s not a one-way street. We support them financially and by sending groups there a few times a year, but they have to own up to their end of the bargain. The leadership council in the village is working together to develop long-term visions, goals, and strategies to become a fully self-sustaining community where our help is no longer needed.
In the past three years, through our adoption and partnership with this village and The 410 Bridge, we’ve been able to install a well and clean water tank outside the primary school so that the community can have access to clean water.
The Well is Pictured below:
We’ve been able to make serious repairs to the dilapidated primary school by fixing the roof and putting concrete floors in the classrooms. The “floors” prior to our partnership weren’t really floors at all, they were essentially just piles of dirt with desks on them.
We’ve put pencils and textbooks and other basic school supplies in the hands of kids and resources in the hands of teachers.
We’ve begun to nurture their growing community of faith and now that community is thriving and blossoming for Christ.
Our long-term vision includes small things like more desks in classrooms (right now there are sometimes 2-4 kids PER DESK… and let me tell you, those desks are not large) to larger things like getting medical access to the community by building a health clinic. Right now the nearest clinic is nine miles away which can be incredibly difficult to get to when most residents of the village don’t exactly have cars. And, we’re continuing to work with them to grow their micro-economics by helping to create more businesses and jobs within the community.
And of course we continue to work with them as they grow in their faith. At no time do we ever force anything on the community at all. This is a vibrant Christian community and all we do is love on them and fellowship with them and show them the grace and love that Christ shows us. At the end of the day, it’s honestly about love, not about forcing or changing anyone’s beliefs.
On a more personal note, I also sponsor a young girl in the community named Anastascia. She’s 7-years-old, lives with her 8 brothers and sisters and her mother, Mary. She wants to be a pilot. She’s smart, she’s funny, she’s bright – and she brings such joy to my life. I correspond with her every month or so and honestly, I can’t wait to get back to see her and her family again. When I left last year, I felt like part of her family.
Me, Mary, and Anastascia pictured below:
But we can’t do it alone.
Together, we need to raise $7,000 to cover the cost of the trip. Through contributions of our own, the support of our amazing family and friends, and money raised from our wedding registry (in lieu of gifts for our wedding, we asked for people to donate to our trip), we’ve raised about half of what we need.
But we still have a ways to go.
Asking for money is ugly and I hate it. Seriously, I’m terrible at it.
But sometimes you have to humble yourself when you know you need help and ask.
And if you can’t donate, that is totally fine. I ask for your prayers – because prayers, WAY more so than money, are the absolute most important part of this to us.
I know “mission trips” aren’t everyone’s bag and not everyone’s passion – and that is OKAY. I would never ask you to support something you don’t support. But I can assure you, what we’re doing in this village is amazing and I want to continue to be a part of it. We’re in this for the long-haul – not the short-term.
Or, you don’t even have to donate at all. You can just SHOP. You can just buy something from my “Kloset” – if you see the tab up there that says “Klothes 4 Kenya” (clever, I know), you can “SHOP MY CLOSET.” I have a store set up with some items I’m selling from my own closet, and 100% of the proceeds from the store are going to our trip.
Questions? Please, please, please ask them. I want to be as transparent as possible. And I can promise you, I’ll keep you updated throughout the journey again.
Top Four F.A.Qs about this trip:
Thank you. Thank you for your consideration. I’m sorry this was a crazy long post. If you’re still with me, awesome. In the end, I really just ask for your prayers. And if you’re not the praying type, then I ask for your positive thoughts.
xoxo, all for now.