Monday, May 4, 2015

A Ministry of Love and Encouragement

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself...encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.    II Thessalonians 2:16,17

Encouragement and strengthening in the Lord Jesus Christ - that was the ministry of this team of five farmers and their wives, a pastor and his daughter, a seasoned WGM team leader, and Linda's sister, Leanne. Entering into our lives for two weeks in February, they were a huge blessing to us and the Kenyans they worked alongside.  We are grateful to Linda's home church, Monroe Evangelical Free Church, and another supporting church with close ties, also in Nebraska, Holcomb Evangelical Free Church for sending them to us.  To have family and friends from home who know us, and have loved and prayed well over the years, come and visit was an indescribable joy!

One of their first stops was the Africa Gospel Church Baby Center, where abandoned babies are cared for until adoptive parents can be found.  They brought donations from their churches to furnish enough baby formula for a month!

Worshiping with Kenyan brothers and sisters was a highlight.

They had helped prepare hundreds of Bibles for distribution, and had the joy of helping to present them to the women who had earned them through Scripture memory.

Next stop - helping  a family of orphans with whom we have been involved for years, mud their first family home, fence their property, and build some furniture for them.

The local church had helped build the framework, Tabitha Ministry had furnished the roofing, and now we worked together to do the mudding.

Mud between the toes, mixed to just the right consistency...

and then packed into the framework.

Chai makes everything go better!

Michaela found kids to share Christ's love with wherever she went.

The fencing crew...

Then for a week the team moved to the Kaboson Pastor's Training College where Principal Rev. Ngeno and his wife, and the other faculty members, hosted the team in their homes.

There were many facility improvements made throughout the week, but none more dramatic than this humble entrance of the college....

...transformed to this, with the funds and assistance of the team.

The ladies sewed up a storm, working some with the female students.

Faculty offices and the dining hall sport bright new curtains now.

Classrooms and offices were painted, with the help of students handling paint brushes and rollers for the first time.  They were released from their classes for three of the days, to help the team.

The team had raised money for four computers, which were installed, to the joy of faculty and students.

Even the health center next door received some remodeling help.

The best part of the week was working together  and enjoying fellowship with the student body and faculty each day.

The students and team celebrated together at the end of their week.

In one final project, the team joined a community team of men to fence the property of another orphan, Pius, in the foreground.  He was thrilled.

The time to say good-bye came too soon.  It was some comfort to know that Linda's sister (in the black top) and the Carlsons and Goertzens from Monroe, could take greetings and hugs directly back to Linda's dad.   We parted ways, all of us  encouraged and strengthened in the roles God has given us in his worldwide ministry.