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 Mission Trip 2011 
Thursday, July 07 2011

Cindy got another update from Reba:

Humphrey’s car finally rebelled and decided it could go no further on those incredible Kenyan roads.  Unfortunately it was right as he was about to leave town to pick up Dr. Stephen Lowe from Nairobi but another car (Benjamin’s) was borrowed and Humphrey made it to Nairobi.  BUT….Mr. Lowe was in the hospital sick and was told not to travel so Humphrey arrived back in Chuka last night.  We are very sorry to hear that Mr. Lowe is ill and understand he just needs a round of antibiotics.  Even with this course of events, Reba accomplished all of her “to-do” list we left her with and visited all but one child on her list and made it to the schools.  Polly, sponsored by Bob Chandler, brought him flowers as a gift for sponsoring her…..very sweet.  They also visited with Doreen, sponsored by Jimmy and Katie Durham and the boy Myra and Mac sponsor named Dennis.  Dennis was in blue jeans that Myra had purchased for him previously and he said to send his greetings to Myra and Mac.  Reba also spent time with Linet, sponsored by Lynette Fisher.

She had to walk to Stella’s preschool, not too far from where she is staying in Chuka, in order to deliver school items to the students which had to be transported by Daniel on his motorbike.  Charles (he was the builder of our first orphanage), Stella’s husband,  was there too with their new born son named Jake.  You guessed it, they named him after Jake Mell, how awesome is that!!!!

On a bittersweet note…..she had to say goodbye to the children in the orphanage today and they serenaded her with a song in Swahili and she said she cried all the way down the driveway.  We all know that feeling, it’s so extremely difficult to walk away when you know you won’t lay eyes on them for a year or more.  They will grow and change so much in that time.

Plans are to leave Chuka in the morning by 9 a.m. and head to Nairobi for more washing machine shopping.  They located one on the last trip but found that a larger one is in existence and want to check it out for use in the children’s home.

Her foot continues to improve every day she reports.  Keep Reba in your prayers as she makes the long journey back home to us.

Posted by: Jennifer Harris AT 02:22 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, July 05 2011
From Cindy:
Reba, Humphrey and Helen are back from their trip to Nairobi and thoroughly enjoyed their visit at the Hilton where Helen was stunned at the amenities and care taken with the guests.  Humphrey had to convince some of the staff where he parked his car that he really was a guest there for the night.  It's unusual to see an average Kenyan at such a place.  Reba used reward points for their stay so they would not have to make the drive back late at night.
The purpose of the trip was to meet up with a professor of Humphrey's from Erskine Theological Seminary, Dr. Stephen Lowe.  In addition to his visit with Humphrey, he and his wife will also be visiting with a child they sponsor in Chuka tomorrow so Humphrey will be heading back to Nairobi early in the morning to bring them back out to Chuka.  
Reba has plans to visit with four children tomorrow and 3 schools so we look forward to hearing from her tomorrow night.
OH....on their original trip out to Nairobi, they thought they would save money and wait and purchase fuel an hour away in Embu where the prices are lower but when they got there, riding on empty, they found that there was a fuel shortage and had to ride from station to station and finally came across one with a long line where they could fill up.  Whew!  Reba says they were very concerned.
Stay tuned.
Posted by: Jennifer Harris AT 07:11 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, July 03 2011
From Cindy:
Reba and Humphrey spent yesterday organizing for this weeks home visits to children and planning another trip to Nairobi to meet up with one of Humphrey's college professors from Erskine Theological Seminary.  This morning Reba taught Sunday School at Gospel Celebration Church in Chuka Town and then went to visit Victor, sponsored by Bren, who was proud to announce he is in position 2 of 20 in his class. There are only 4 chickens left at the children's home from the first group we purchased for their hen house so Reba put 40 chickens on hold for the home that they will receive when some chicken coop remodeling is complete. AND.....Reba had a jigger in her foot that the house mother, Ellyjoy, had to remove today so she is trying to recover from that and has announced to us back in the states that only closed shoes will be allowed on future trips, no more sandals. Jiggers are a big problem in Kenya where families have dirt floors within their homes. You can read more about it at this website, They are curable thank goodness and we left a great medical bag full of supplies with Reba and are sure she is making great use of it and will recover fully.  Also, the Marshall family made it home safe and sound and were bumped on their flight in Amsterdam to First Class......must have been rough! Especially after all that they had just experienced in Kenya.  They deserved some comfort!
Posted by: Jennifer Harris AT 08:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, July 02 2011

Today the Kenya team is back home! The Marshalls had a different flight home and I'm not sure if they're home yet but should be soon if not already. Reba is staying an extra week. She will come home July 9, next Saturday. The team was tired but happy to be home!

Posted by: Jennifer Harris AT 04:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, July 01 2011

Right now the team is up in the air somewhere, flying back across the globe. Their bodies are telling them it's midnight, so it's dark on the plane and outside the plane. Some may be sleeping, others wide awake and wishing they were sleeping. It's probably cold and they're covered in the blankets the airplanes provide in the plastic bags you get, they may have eaten some gross plane food by now or will be soon, and there is probably some little kid on the plane crying or wandering the isles with a parent. With the little cups of water the size of a jello container, they're probably thirsty. A frustrating thing about flying is that when you finally do fall asleep, a flight attendant usually wakes you up to ask if you want to eat or drink when all you want to do is sleep! There are the same movies on the way there as on the way back, so there may not be any interesting movies on, but someone's probably watching one to pass the time anyways. Some may be writing about the trip, others deep in thought as they process the trip and their life from back home slowly enters back into their mind. The to-do list from back home is knocking on their door along with probably 200 e-mails and work issues. But it is still a good feeling to sleep in your own bed and see the rest of your friends and family again.

Their layover in Amsterdam will be a good one to eat some good 'ol McDonolds (that is WAY more expensive than here), or whatever else they can find, and walk around to see the stores in the airport. The moving sidewalks are always fun for the kids (and the "young adults" :-) simply because you've been on a plane for so long. They will arrive back at the Atlanta airport tomorrow afternoon, Saturday. Since they're flying backwards in time zones, they will still feel like it is 7 hours ahead of here. I rember coming home and trying to stay awake until a regular bed time to try to get back on a normal sleep schedule, but not being able to keep my eyes open through dinner.

The pictures below are from one of the boys who lives in Kenya. I found these on Facebook today. Thanks Alex!

The Kenya team of adults and the kids from the orphanage!

The American team plus the Kenya team and kids from the Home!

A time of fun!

Posted by: Jennifer Harris AT 05:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, June 30 2011

Louise left a message for Ann Johnson so this is the info from her:

This morning the team met and had pictures made in the morning and then they visited all the classrooms in the school where the kids from orphanage attend. Then they went to Humphrey and Hellen's house and had lunch. From there they went to visit Humphrey's mom and her group of ladies and had more lunch there. When she called they were waiting for the kids to come home from school so that they could have dinner with them and spend some time before they had to go and finish their packing so that they could leave for Nairobi at 5AM. Somewhere during their visits during the day they were given another chicken which they took back to the orphanage. They have had a wonderful time and hate to leave, but also are looking forward to getting home.

Posted by: Jennifer Harris AT 02:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, June 29 2011

Cindy just called to update me! While it is 5:00 PM here, it is midnight there.

Today the went on a field trip with everyone from the Ameican team, the Kenya team, and the kids in the orphanage. The Ikuu boy's school let them rent a giant bus again that they've used before. They went to Meru to a museum where the learned about a tribe - their background, dances, etc. and saw monkeys, crocodiles, and snakes. They went to a private park in Meru that was beautiful and hung out with the kids from the orphanage, had lunch, played games, and rested / had some down time that was much needed.

Tonight they had a board meeting with everyone from the American team and the Kenya team. Their plan was to meet for an hour, but it ended up being two and a half hours! They talked about the future of the new orphanage that is close to being finished I believe, future containers that will be sent from us to them, the home visits they made this trip and their obsevations from that, and what they will be doing moving into the future. There was a lot of heavy and deep discussion but they walked away with ideas and goals for the future from their prodcutive meeting!

Tonight they are packing a little bit since tomorrow is their last day at Thuchi with tomorrow night being their last night there. Tomorrow they will sleep in a little bit, go to a lookout where they take pictures with the beautiful green scenery behind them that we go to every year, and then go to a snack at Humphrey's house. They will then go to see Humphrey's mom's group, a women's group, which we visit every year as well. They always sing and dance for us and make purses for us to buy and sell them here in America. They will finish up their day by spending their time at the orphanage and it will be a hard time for them to say goodbye tomorrow night! Last year there were many tears! Friday is when they will pack up from Thuchi early in the morning and make their journey to the airport, but probably with something fun along the way.

Posted by: Jennifer Harris AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, June 29 2011

From McGee:

I got a call from Michael yesterday and he asked me to email you some information to put on the website.  He said they had divided into three groups and each had taken about 10 sponsored kids to visit.  They were thrilled with their day and seeing so many kids' families.  He said they had seen some of the poorest of the poor.  The drought last year has left many with no food.  Some have to walk an hour each way to get a few gallons of water and carry it back to their homes.  He was excited that orphanage resident Godfrey was able to get together with his family for a visit after a long time of not being able to see each other.  THey had a Connection day in Tharaka, I think, the day before and it went well. He said their kids are holding up well, even after miles of walking.  I can't believe they will be coming home already this Saturday!

Posted by: Jennifer Harris AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, June 26 2011

Louise called and said that the group split up and went to two churches this morning. One group went to Gospel Celebration which is a small church with beautiful mountains behind it that you can see when you go up some stairs to an upstairs Sunday School area, and the other group went to Humphrey's church which is a bigger church with wooden doors with intricate carvings in them. All have wooden benches and the doors and windows all stand wide open and usually both are packed with people of all ages. Everyone sits very close together. At Humphrey's church Michael preached, Layla led the youth service, and Reba and Brady taught Sunday school. There is an offering time there where you can sell your livestock - fruits and crops or animals - if you don't have any money to give. Whoever buys it, that money goes to the church. Drew got a chicken, and others got fruit and vegetables.

For lunch everyone got back together and went to a nice restaurant called Godka. All of the Kenya team members (who live in Kenya) along with their kids ate there and the money was donated by someone at Mars Hill and Louise said they were so thankful for it!

The Habitat for Humanity group came to the orphanage after lunch. There were 22 of them from New York, Arizona, Boston, Rhode Island,France, and the Netherlands! They asked a million questions and were interested in helping more.

The team went back to the Thuchi Lodge where they are staying to take showers and refresh for a bit. Tonight a lot of the group is going to spend the night in some of the houses of the Kenya team and a few are staying back at Thuchi.

Tomorrow they are going to visit homes in Tharacka where we sponsor kids. Louise said all of the kids at the orphanage are doing great and no one is sick. They can't believe they only have 5 nights left in Kenya! They leave Chuka on Friday morning and fly out Friday night, arriving back in Atlanta on Saturday afternoon/evening.

Posted by: Jennifer Harris AT 02:34 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, June 25 2011
Greetings from Kenya!
This is our first attempt at posting using an air card connection so we are excited about this post and hope this works!
Last night we sang songs with the children in the home and then Helen Kanga read the first chapter of Summer Plans Gone Awry from the book The Giving Festival by author Cindi Brown.  The children were amazed that their names are a part of this incredible story.  They were all ears! 
Today we had a Connection Day with 85 children from the areas of Cheera, Ikuu, and Karubia.  Everyone looked good and only a few adults had jiggers.  Reba received 2 rabbitts from her child that were from him raising rabbitts as his project.  Each of our children in the field are given a project which can include raising rabbitts, cows, chickens, goats or growing banana trees. 
Tonight is movie night at the home so all the children are watching Up in the Air and enjoying Jiffy Pop popcorn.
The US team is doing well and loving great Kenyan cooking and tea.
Look forward to seeing you soon!
Posted by: Jennifer Harris AT 02:13 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

    Kenya Ministry

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