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 2008 Mission Trip Blog (latest updates on top) 

"If you could ask God a question, what would it be?" - Responses from kids in Kenya

While in Kenya, the 5 from Mars Hill asked the kids we sponsor some questions. One of the questions the kids were asked is, "If you could ask God a question, what would it be?" Here are some of the great questions they asked:  Why do we have problems sometimes? -12 years old

  • I would ask God to help me live longer so I can help other people.-15 years old
  • Why did God create poverty? -12 years old
  • How are you? - 7 years old
  • Why does God not speak to men physically? -10 years old
  • I would ask God to help me live longer. -10 years old
  • Why do some people hate God? -10 years old
  • Why are we short of food? - 7 years old
  • Since you have no eyes, what do you see with? 9 years old
  • Why do I have no biological parents? - 11 years old
  • Where did the white man come from? - 7 years old
  • What must I do to rejoice with him in heaven? - 14 years old

Friday, July 18, 2008 9:12 PM
From: Harris, Jennifer

Just talked to Reba....she says they got in fine but are all very tired! Dickson will be staying longer and coming home on the 24th I think. Reba says everyone from Kenya sends their love! Reba said her cammera was broken the first day, but Dickson has taken a lot of pictures. Abby has also taken pictures and got some video too. Pray for Michael as he will only be home tomorrow (Saturday) and then he will be off to Jekyll Island for a week with the high schoolers.  Kenya Sunday is August 17 and they will be sharing picutres, videos, and stories. So to anyone who wants to hear about it, be there!

Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2008 9:52:56 PM
Subject: RE: More from Kenya!! Michael called today!!
From: Graiser, Julie

Wed, 7/16/08
Hey everyone!! Michael and the gang called today! They were having their "last supper" at Humphrey's house. They all are feeling great and still sounded full of energy. They have spent quite a bit of time at the Chuka Hospital, talking with Dr Nayaga and at another hospital because of 2 of the children having malaria. The mayor wants to be at the hospital when the container and supplies get there. They also made "courtesy call" at the school the orphans are attending, but were there over an hour! They have also gotten things done around the orphanage. Have arranged to have some bunk beds  built. Also, to have a light for the outhouse. Reba is getting a preparation table for kitchen. They have been quite the accomplishing group!!
Anyway, they will leave early tomorrow morning, ride into Nairobi and spend the day there (hopefully not spending time at the police station like we did last year!) and then leave tomorrow night. Let's keep them in our prayers for a safe return! That's all for now! Julie g
From: King, Chuck
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2008 2:17 PM
Subject: Just heard from Michael - Kenyan Team

Hi everyone,
We just got a call from Michael and the Kenyan team. They were meeting at Paul's house. It was very hard to hear and we are on the road in Hilton Head, so the communication was blurry. They were in chiraka to visit the 22 sponsored children there - 238 children miraculously showed up.  Michael calls that the "humphrey factor."  All went well.  Reba was prepared and had plenty of materials. The children loved the skit of the good samaritan.  Michael said they were defnitely operating on Kenyan time because they arrived an hour late and left 4 hours late.  On the way back to Chuka, they stopped for a picnic lunch by a roadside rock quarry and 40 or so kids came out of nowhere to sing and fellowship with them. 
Little Alex from the orphanage is still in the hospital from malaria.  He should be home soon,. The group is in good spirits.  They plan to most of the day to day and tomorrow at the orphanage building cabinets and furniture.  I'm sure I missed something in the garbled communications. Please keep them in your prayers.  Also, please be sure to pass this to someone who can post on the website because we are out of town until Saturday.  Oh, the Kenyan children are asking where the missing Americans are!
Signing out,
Chuka Chuck

Kenya Mission Update
Monday, July 14, 2008 10:32 PM
From: Norden, Leslie

Hey Everyone,
Reba called me today to give me an update on how today and yesterday went.  I was so very excited to hear her voice and the group in the back ground. Prayers needed first for :  Alex Kombe, one of our orphans that is in the hospital with Malaria.  Reba said that Alex is in the "Amenity Ward" which is for the special celebrity part of the hospital. Pauline (Humphrey's sister) is staying at the hospial with him.  The team got to visit the hospital Alex and get Mercy (my child) out of the hospital due to Malaria and Pneumonia.  so she is on the way home.  Her Grandmother walked to the hospital over 2 mountains to come and see her, Reba said that it would have put her in the hospital for the distance she had to walk to come and bring bananas to Mercy.  Dickson blew up a sugical glove for Mercy and put Mama Leslie loves you.  !!  She thought that was very special.

They got to talk to the director of the hopsital and gave the update on the Medical supplies in container.

They got to go also to the Preschool today and visit the children and Stella presented them a beautiful gift with Scripture on it.  Reba says it it beautiful!!  Also the team did the "drama" Andy and Abby's and went really well. and then got the parachute out and played with the children.  Reba sounded so excited.  and how wonderful Stella was.

Also, got to go to Paul and Julius's church and met with thier pastor named Patrick went really well.

yesterday while we were in church, they blessed the children and layed on hands praying over each child.  the team then got to just play with the children.  They blew up balloons and  a couple of balloons popped and the children thought that was wonderful,  then a couple saw the balloons were ' broken" ran and got their's to hide so they wouldn't pop.  It was getting dark and Reba pulled out the "glow" necklaces you see at concerts,  that was so fun for the children. 

Tommorrow:  they go to Tharacka,  for the VBS and play with the children.  More measurements will be taken for Grandma Anna.  The team was all in the background yelling and the excitement was amazing.

Abby had a father come over to ask Andy for her hand!! Don't know how that went!!  They got to see most of the building team of course everyone was asking how everyone who isn't there is.  Again the children were asking where everyone was!!  They all miss us.!!

Reba could not stress enough how wonderful this trip is , more time with the children and villagers, instead of constant pulling on build, and VBS.  Reba sounded wonderful and I hope I took good notes!!

Love In Him,

Saturday, July 12, 2008 12:34 PM
From: McGee Spencer

Louise just called me from the car driving to Florida for a week's vacation.  She had just spoken with Michael and asked me to update everyone on the day's activities.

Michael and Dickson were getting ready to have tea, arrowroot, and sweet potatoes - they are staying at Humphrey's house. They were very pleased with their day in Cheera where they saw about 50 of the sponsored kids, updated their bio sheets, and took their pictures.  About 100 children and 30 adults were there.  They treated about 20 children and one older woman for jiggers - all for about $5.00.  They want to make this a big part of next year's trip.  Micahel and Reba and Dickson and Andy had footwashing tubs and took the names of the infected children so that Daniel and Eva will be able to locate them and see that they have the treatment in the future.  The ladies came from all around and prepared rice and other food for the entire group! Then they held VBS.  Andy and Abby are like rock stars in their portrayal of the wounded Jew and the Good Samaritan.  Abby is the donkey who carries Andy off on her back and all the kids really laugh.  Meanwhile, Daniel has reached the status of movie star - since everywhere he goes he brings food and good things - they call him "Daniel Obama" - though we aren't really sure why!  Michael and Reverend Gatari held an impromptu sermon with the adults on the topic that we are new creations in Christ and have new hope through Christ.  About ten parents came forward for laying on of hands and special prayers at the end.  We learned that Daniel and Eva are expanding to other schools and other areas, looking to serve the children.  I think that is all for now - Louise says they do not sound tired but are absolutely giddy with the excitement of it all!  Pass the word to all interested - McGee Spencer 

From: Jennifer Harris
Subject: Hello!

Got an e-mail from Daniel over in Kenya (see Daniel's message below) - some of what he said may not make much sense unless you read my e-mail to him first. I love what he said about giving our group pineapple juice when they come to his house but he doesn't have enough cups so "some won't take". Hehehe. Also not sure what polythene paper is? Maybe paper towels?

To: "Daniel Murage"
Date: Friday, July 11, 2008, 8:13 PM

Daniel,How are things going? I don't know if you'll get this e-mail this week if you are really busy. I hope you are still getting a chance to study.  Do you think you could fit into a suitcase? You could get in a suitcase and come home with the American Team. :-)  I heard there were 560 kids at VBS yesterday!! How did that go? Did they get split up like last year? What did you all do? Do you travel with our American team every day or just some of the days? Will they get to see your house? If they do I hope they take pictures.  I miss being there and can't wait to come next year! When you get a chance, tell me everything you guys are doing!! Jennifer

From: daniel murage
Sent: Saturday, July 12, 2008 2:15:27 AM
Subject: Re: Hello!

 am good and so lucky to have popped in a cyber cafe and got to our mail. i have been in the office this morning i went there early today so that i could have about two hours of study before i proceed Cheera today for a vbs and a jigger campaign.
 Yesterday was a success and we all enjoyed, i was acting as Jesus and Julius was the teacher, Hellen, Freshia and Anne were the robbers who did beat Andy--it was so good we didnt have lots of presents this time since i understand in they are stuck in the sea.
 Yes they did split up- I didn't play lots yesterday i helped with cool aide and collecting of polythene papers.
 On monay we go at Church near Stella's  School  and its from thre you can see my house and yes the visitors will stop in and pay a visit, i have some pineapple juice for them but the problem is that i have less glasses:) so some wont take:) hahahaha!
 Am working on how to fit in a suitcase, i wont be eating for the next week so that  i can reduce my wait and be able to fit in one:)
 Abby tells me more about you and Kesley and you can bet i Am realy missing you.
 Paul has just called am riding in the van that took Andy to his place last night, Bye Jennifer.
Cheera here we come!!
 see you next time Jennifer

Just talked to Dickson!

Friday, July 11, 2008 2:40 PM
From: "Mell, Louise"

He and Michael are at Humphrey's's about 10:00 pm there and they just finished a great VBS at Kierini!  There were about 560 kids and Dickson said it was beautiful!  The children loved the 'good Samaritan necklaces' that they rec'd from the team.  Each each child is given 2 necklaces---one for themselves and one to give away to teach them to BE a good Samarian.  Dickson said that they got a TON of great video including many of the children asking for Grace, Layla and Jake by name.  How special is that?  OHHHHHHHHHHH----that makes me laugh and cry!

Dickson also said that they met with many leaders in Chuka including what we would consider the governor and mayor.  We want to continue to make the community aware of the orphanage so that others want to get involved and help.Tomorrow they will be heading to Cheera to meet with the sponsored children and help treat jiggers then VBS at 2:00.  Please continue to pray for health and God's will.  God is definitely hearing our prayers!

I could only talk to Dickson for a minute or 2---I did not have a calling card--but I can hear the happiness and pure joy in his voice--the same w/Michael yesterday.  The Holy Spirit is being felt very strongly and everyone is working hard and having a lot of fun too.  Praise God!!



Thursday, July 10, 2008 3:49 PM
From: "Mell, Louise"

WOW!  SO much to tell you!! They had a wonderful day---on the way out of Nairobi, they shopped for children's Bible's, Swahili Bible's and bought Sunday School material for 4 churches---Humphrey's, Moffat's and 2 others. THANK YOU MHPC WOC!!  They also stopped by a hotel that is run by a friend of Reba's.  Arrived in Chuka, had lunch at Thuchi then off to the orphanage.  Michael said that it was the most awesome feeling to see the beautiful finished orphanage!  The children were lined up outside waiting for them and singing songs.  Can't you just hear them?  There are 16 in all now and GUESS WHAT?  We have been hearing so much about the aunt who lives there and it is Pauline--Humphrey's wonderful, sweet sister!!  I just can't think of a better person!  Her heart is as big as Humphrey's!  Michael said that Ellyjoy is so good to the children and that they are all happy and healthy.  While they were there, a Bible Study group from the Presbyterian Church of Eastern Africa showed up--25 people in all and Michael said it reminded them of when we met Humphrey's mom's group last year---lots of singing and dancing.  They came by with a TON of food for the orphanage and to show that they support the orphanage.  Humphrey had no idea that they were coming. God is good--all the time.

The team then went to the Transit Motel for dinner which was really good and are on their way to the different homes for the night.  He said to tell everyone who went last year that they think of us often and that we are missed.

Be sure to check the website, Kenya Connection, Mission Trip 2008 as every update we get will be posted there.

Please continue to pray for everyone. Take care,

From: Michael Porter
Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2008 11:50 PM
Subject: Day 2 in Nairobi, Kenya!

hello again from Nairobi,
we are getting ready for an early departure to Chuka. we still have a couple of stops to  make in Nairobi- children's Swahili Bibles and Reba wants to visit a friend who owns a hotel in the city. we will then head to Chuka! when we get there, we're going to have a meeting with the entire Kenyan team at the Thutchi lodge (where we stayed last year); i am sure it will drum up some good memories, and that we will be missing our teammates. i miss my roomies Scott and Chuck- they didn't snore near as much as Andy and Dickson!!! when we get to Chuka, we will try to communicate as much as possible. keep checking the blog on the church website,
please be praying with us that the Holy Spirit will move in us and the people that we will get to meet. yesterday we had people watching our VBS from rooftops and it was a great reminder of the awesome opportunity we have. we are praying that when the Holy Spirit comes on us, we will be able to be Jesus' witnesses in Nairobi, Tharaka, Chuka, Cheera, Kierini....(Acts 1:8). be praying for wisdom, strength, and protection in Jesus' name!
thank you again for your prayers and support- wouldn't be able to do it without you!


From: Michael Porter
Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Subject: Day 1 in Nairobi, Kenya!

greetings from Africa!
we have arrived safely and have good lodging. we really felt like we had arrived in Kenya this morning when we got to enjoy our Kenya poridge and hot tea. today was our day for shopping in downtown Nairobi, a city of 5 million. we were in the city center, and it is quite a bustiling city. the people of Chuka were very friendly and hospitable last year and we found that the people of Nairobi are the same. we went to the bank and then to the Nakumatt- the Kenyan WalMart. we purchased a pressure cooker, a "water pot" for filtering water and some other goods. we had a succesful shopping trip, but did not have as succesful a trip to the phone store. we are unable to purchase a SIM card for the Blackberry, so we will have to communicate with Humphreys phone and through internet cafes. we had lunch at Steers, a very American-esque hamburger joint. Dickson had to go to the main office for the shipping company because the team felt we were getting the run around. the container is still in Arabia and will not be shipped until later this week- all in God's time. after our shopping trip we went to Moffat's church on the other side of Nairobi. (Moffat is a member of the Kenya Connection team; we have 15 children sponsored at his church.) the church was in a much poorer part of town, but as always we were greeted warmly. we got to meet most of the sponsored children there and take their pictures. we also got to meet the gentlemen who made our Kenya Connection necklaces last year and he is willing to make some more! One bit of sad news, i found out that the mother of the children Avery and I sponsor is HIV positive and so is her youngest child. please be in prayer for them. we had two wonderful teachers help us for VBS. Moffat led us in worship with 2 songs we learned last: Jesus is the winner (the weiner song;) and the "Happy" song that the children of Cheera sang for us (and the way to be happy is to make someone happy, and to spread a little heaven down here!) our Bible story for the week is the Good Samaritan, so we acted that out. Andy of course was very dramatic- he was the injured Jew, and Abby was a great donkey- heehawwww...must run in the family! we played with the parachute and the kids could not get enough- they didn't want to play anything else. Reba gave them each two silver coins, from the story, as necklaces; one was to wear and the other to give to someone. the kids used markers to color on pot holders. then we had our closing worship with Moffat leading more songs and i had the opportunity to share God's Word- Phillipians 4:20: our God will supply all our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus. trips like this make us realize we have no idea what it means to be in need. we are now going to sit down for dinner and then some prayer time. we are tired from the day, but it is the good tired of a day well lived.
thank you to all who helped make this trip possible. everybodys sends their love. God's grace and peace,
ps Reba misses McGee (and of course the rest of the team!). we were practicing the skit on the way to Moffat's church- back to Kenya time!
pss. Jimmy: "camera stabilizer is not available" please read instruction manuel and see if it is fixable and call Paul tommorow night with info.

From: moffat mutegi
Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Subject: Greetings

Hi my friend.

Am fine and doing well.Thank you for your prayers

We have just concluded the Nairobi VBS. I can only describe it as vabulous. Everybody was very exicted. The skit from the U.S. team was just awesome.We wished that we had all the time.

The children exictment was uncontrollable. Abby had a busy moment taking the photos. After they finished their drawings each of them raised their hands  to be a photo. I have no words to explain it.

Everybody is exicted and happy.

Mercy and grace.

July 9, 2008

Subject: We arived safely !! BAWANA ASIFIWAY!! GOT TO NAIROBI 15 minutes early!!

JAMBO EVERYONE;Please pass this on. We arrived sfe and sound. Humphrey, Haellen, Paul, Julius, Alice and David O'CHIENG (GM Rep that helped get Van met us at airport. It was a joyus teary reunion to say the least.

It is 12:45 p.m. after Midnite your time and 7:45 a.m. Kenya time. We had a good dinner and meeting to organize for todays shopping and meeting with kids.  We will meet at 2p.m. to 3 with the 15 CONNECTION KIDS alone so we can get pics, data and have private time, then Moffat (PRONOUNCED MO- FAT) has approx 100 kids nd parents showing up at 3p.m. program til 4:30 then meet with the parents from 4:30 to 5:30 or so then back to GRACIA GUEST HOUSE for possible dinner with BOB CARTER and His LIVING HOPE MINISTRIES MISSION TEAM who are staying at the GRACIA HOUSE.

Everyone's flights were good- Dickson had a 2 hour delay from Atlanta to NEWARK NEW YOURK and literally had to get off one plane and run to the next with only 5 minutes to spare but made it.

Then Dickson got to Amsterdam nd had to get in a TRANSFER ticket line to get on the KLM flight to Nairobi. but made it fine. Andy had a short lived scare thinking he had lost his Passport but alas it was with him -no problem.

Got to go now - we split up in teams and tackle the SIMCARD for the CELLPHONE and picking up last minute things at stores.

Everyone has big smiles and sends their love back to everyone and the families.


DIckson Lester

June 11, 2008

This year we have five people going to Kenya - Michael Porter, Andy Thurmond, Abby Thurmond, Reba Harrison, and Dickson Lester! They will be gone from July 7 - 17. The orphanage that we helped build last year finally has kids in it! As of this week there were seven kids placed in the orphanage and they are thrilled to be there. An e-mail from Daniel, who works with Humprhey and the Kenya Connection, is below:

Hi there,

I hope you are all well, am doing great and all is well with us here. I am just from Cheera today was CONNECTION DAY and we have lots of fun with the kids.Yesterday we had some kids get in the home and i wish you saw them come, From the office in Chuka town i made sure i observe their faces and each minute was accompanied with anxiety, though they knew where they were going - they all had seen it during the interview but the idea of spending last night there and staying there was quite a new one. There is a boy called Alex Koome who is sponsored from Mars Hill and to him this was a great relief to get some place to stay and call home. They met their New mama Ellyjoy and their new Aunt Kaari, i was also priveledged to get a new name - Uncle DAN. Humphrey Is now BABA- meaning DAD, and Hellen was MAMA too.

It was so exciting to realize that each will sleep on her/his own bed-I wish you saw Godfrey Mwandiki-Anna Ciang'ombe's (the tharaka's grandma)Grandson try his new bed he could bounce on it in great disbelief. There are two kids Jack line and Ngugi who were staying with their Uncle who is in grade 8 (he was the bread winner and the caretaker of the two-despite his young age) they came without shoes from Tharaka and when Mama said: "its time to wash your feet and wear yooyr new sleepers (flip flops) they were so excited and kept on slapping the floor with the sole of the flip flops (making that noise). Two kids who were brought by Moffat from Nairobi were so fluent in Swahili and shen'g(slang) were speaking lots about the city, the rest were so keen though not so much in listening than on trying their new flip flops and beds.

It was getting late but each moment was growing to be a better one, after staying the first evening with them, Moffat blessed the house and we all held each other's hands with the kids (unifying) - it was such a great moment. I wish i was there this morning to see their faces a they rose on their first morning, i didn't make it since i had to attend the Connection day at cheera. i had been so anxious to see the kids at HOME, i was so anxiou to see their response on the arriving moments and i tell you it was magical. i will inquire from Mama how thir first day was..

 God bless you all.
 Daniel (Uncle DAN)

Humphrey says that when he vists them he brings them bread and they are so excited about that. They ask how long they are staying and ask if they can stay forever! They are all between the ages of 3 and 9 and there are 4 girls and 3 boys.  The next step is to get them in school and shop for clothes and school supplies and Humphrey's plan is to get them into school as quickly as possible. After they get settled in there will be more kids to come into the orphanage! The five going over in July are looking forward to meeting them in person!

Thank you to all who have given money to the Kenya Connection - every dollar makes a difference in those kids lives. Not just those in the orphanage, but also in the other kids Mars Hill sponsors. Humphrey now has a car so he is able to drive to give the kids things instead of walking so much, and he is very happy for that! We all have so much more than we know and take so much for granted, and it's amazing to see people there thrilled about bread, shoes, and beds to sleep in at night. It's truly humbling. Continue to pray that God will pour out His blessings on them and move in our hearts to continue passing on what we have to them as we are able.

Grace and Peace,
The Kenya Connection Team

    Kenya Ministry

    Mars Hill Presbyterian Church
    3385 Mars Hill Road
    Acworth, GA 30101