Sunday, August 2, 2009

Friday and Saturday

The last couple of days have been busy ones. On Friday we had some down time. In the morning we went to the giraffe park and had some feeding the giraffes and shopping a little. We spent the afternoon shopping and negotiating in the market (which is far more exhausting to me than VBS and the medical clinic!) Friday night we went to the Carnivore, a famous Nairobi restaurant with a circular grill about 15 feet across! Needless to say, we’ve been well fed.

Saturday we went with 55 orphans to “Rock City Amusement Park.” It had something of the look of a place where amusement park rides have retired. (They were welding on at least one of the rides when we arrived!) The kids enjoyed it, though, and Rock City had a very nice pool. It was a little chilly for us—only Shawn, Janae, and Earl swam—but the kids loved it. Last night we went to the Java House, a good restaurant and coffee house that serves a mean bacon cheese-burger. I was at a table with our Kenya bus driver, and we noticed an entourage of 5 black Mercedes pull up, with several men in suits going into the restaurant. Our driver said, “Oh, that is the Vice President of Kenya!” We thought that was neat, so I went over to the other tables with our team members and pointed him out. The next time I looked up Janae was over chatting with him and getting her picture taken with him!

Today we are headed to the game park, and we’re looking forward to heading home tomorrow night.


Thursday, July 30, 2009



Today was our last day of the medical clinic and VBS.  There was something of a feverish pace to the clinic as we tried to finish seeing patients from earlier in the week. 

Several people prayed to receive Christ with Cynthia and Bill.  One woman came by their spot today to thank the team and give us a gift: an African mother doll and two avacados!

I was able to have a remarkable conversation today with Shadrack, a man who had become a Chistian last year with Carter and Sue. Shadrack was in a gang at the time, and we had prayed that he would be able to withstand the pressure that would inevitably come.  After we left he was beaten by the gang and threatened with death if he continued to come to church. As a result he hasn't been coming, but is trying to be a Christian.  He wept when I told him that our church was praying for him.  He is now married to Agnes and is expecting a child. He shared that if it's a boy, he will name him Carter and is a girl, Susan.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Today was a really emotional day for some of our team. Bill and Cynthia talked this morning with some women living in desperation and despondency. One woman, Alice, brought her twin 6 year olds to see the doctors. One of the twins has cerebral palsy and perhaps cystic fibrosis. Alice shared with Cynthia that she wanted to thank us for having the clinic. As they talked, she mentioned that their family eats only every other day. Alice was an orphan herself, and she admitted that nothing in her life has been easy. She asked Cynthia, “Why has God forsaken me?” Please say a prayer for Alice and her sons.

During the afternoon, one woman walked up to Cynthia and said, “I don’t know Jesus.” They were able to talk with her, and she accepted Christ. Two women made that decision today: Dorcas and Domiana.

The medical and dental teams worked hard today, and we faced that common challenge of having far more people seeking help than we could see. The fact that its been a common challenge doesn’t make it any easier—particularly for the desperate moms wanting help for their sick children! The doctors and nurses did a great job today, working a very long day and seeing all that we possibly could.

The VBS went much more smoothly today. We’ve really been able to build on relationships from last year and bond more closely with the children.

Tomorrow is our last day of the clinic, so please pray for strength, energy, a great capacity to love these people.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Here's a few pictures from our day:

Today was a day when all our best laid plans changed a number of times. VBS was pushed back as the doctors examined the BCC kids this morning. One of the biggest surprises was when a crowd of about 150 streamed from the front gate into the chapel. The pastor wanted them to receive spiritual care while they waited, so Bill and Cynthia were able to share their testimonies to a packed house! They had some great conversations today, meeting one on one with 33 people. Cynthia visited with one beautiful, 22 year old young woman whose work is sifting through the massive city dump, looking for things to sell. She hopes to be a singer someday, and sang a solo for Bill, Cynthia, and the translators.

The medical clinic was able to help many, many people today. One young man had severely scraped an arm climbing over a fence, and Dr. Bechtol was able to tie off the artery he had cut.

As I haven’t been able to be around the VBS very much, I’ve asked Abbey, one of our summer children’s ministry interns, to share about their experiences.


From Abbey:

A successful second day at the BCC has ended. The VBS team has gained fresh layers of sweat and reddish dirt, as well as a renewed sense of flexibility. Compared to our fast-paced lives, the more lax Kenyan time schedule can sometimes feel like getting teeth pulled—a sore subject for some of the orphans after their visits to Dr. Metcalf. Our schedule was drastically altered today as the children visited our doctors during the planned VBS time. We therefore spent the morning playing soccer, strengthening relationships, and relaxing with some of the kids. After a delicious and refreshing tea time, we worshipped in song and Cliff shared the day’s Bible story. We resumed VBS after lunch, with the kids rotating between crafts, memory verse, and recreation stations.

These kids at the BCC are very special. They constantly shock us with their abundant respect, attentiveness, and willingness to share and play. Although only the second day has concluded, our relationships with them are visibly blossoming. The ice continues to break with every smile given and every hug shared. Perhaps the largest blessing of being on the VBS team is seeing how universal joy and love are- these Kenyan children, our friends, have taught us so much in two days. We cannot wait to see what more God has in store for our team and these precious kids.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Our first full day of ministry was full of the unexpected, particularly with our medical work. Our itinerary said, “See BCC orphans, and orphans from other facilities. That turned into a full day of seeing a large number of very sick children from the neighborhood. At least two had serious pneumonia with 103+ fevers, but the strangest thing was surely the multiple cases of the mumps!

Billy, Jan, and Earl, worked in the dental area, with Billy pulling teeth, Jan assisting, and Earl holding children still and keeping their hands away from their mouths. One little fellow certainly had a rough day, with 6 baby teeth and one permanent pulled!

The VBS went well. One of the strongest impressions was how polite the children were to us and to each other.

In the evangelism area, Bill and Cynthia went with the pastors down to the BCC fence where the crowd had gathered. They prayed with the people for hope in their lives. Cynthia talked with one woman who had lived in an area of intense violence following last year’s election. She and her family had moved to the Dandoora neighborhood, in the poorest area, and are struggling greatly to make their way there.

Our group is all healthy and working well, and we’re looking forward to tomorrow!

Thanks for your prayers,


P.S. All the bags did arrive, and there was great rejoicing.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Sunday, May 26th

After a good (but short) night, we got ourselves together this morning to head to the BCC. The only real hiccup so far is that 5 bags only made half the trip and were stuck in Europe. Jan, Lisa, and Abbey’s were missing. The positive is that it gives our group the opportunity to imitate the first century church. As it says in Acts: “They were sharing with all, as anyone might have need” (Acts 2:45). For example, this morning Abbey came to breakfast in the only clean shirt she had, a Dirk Nowitski jersey. After breakfast, someone had donated a men’s polo shirt. By the time we left for church she had a fully coordinating outfit. (P.S. Four of the five bags made it this evening, and the other should follow shortly.)

At the BCC we had a great worship service at the chapel. Pastor Richard, who leads the congregation, preached from Psalm 139. His sermon carried a special poignancy as he shared about the recent death of his 9 year son, killed by a car while he was walking across the street. Please pray for him and his family.

After lunch we set up the medical clinic and organized the VBS material. We have fewer children this year as the orphanage currently has 28 children living there (down from 48 in the past). While its disappointing for us not to get to see some of the children from the last few years, its really good news for them. Buckner’s philosophy is to encourage foster care, and the children are living with families now.

We’re looking forward to ministry tomorrow. We’re feeling good and ready to work!



Saturday, July 25, 2009


We have arrived in Nairobi and are settled in for the night. We're looking forward to worship at the Baptist Children's Center tomorrow and reuniting with the orphans. Thanks for your prayers!