The Feet That Bring Peace

This morning we headed to a small village outside of Nairobi called Murang’a. Cecilia Mwangi, who was 2008 Miss Kenya, helped put an organization together a couple of years ago called “Ahadi” which means “promise.” Murang’a, like many villages in Africa has many people that suffer from jiggers- small insects that bite and infect their feet. Our host Walter has tried to partner with them for a few years but was never able to connect but he got a phone call yesterday morning saying that they were having a Clean Out in Murang’a and could use extra hands with washing the people’s hands and feet that were infected with jiggers. When Wes told us last night what was in store for today, I was speechless and tried to mentally picture what I was going to see. The mental picture I drew up in my head was nowhere near what I saw today. I washed the feet of a little boy by the name of Morean. His toes were black and looked as if there was no blood going to them. His toenails were long and blended in with the color of his toes. His feet in general were swollen and all beat up. His hands weren’t as bad as his feet but they were pretty beat up. His nails were yellow looking and long. Washing the jiggers from Morean’s hands and feet was something I would’ve never thought I would do in a million years. But as I was washing his feet, I would look up from time to time and he would smile at me. He had every reason in the world to be mad and not even smile at me but he chose to be happy. Morean, he had a light in his eyes that words cannot even begin to explain. Seeing his joy and happiness made me thank God for such a blessing on this earth. Although I my never see little Morean again in this life, he taught and showed me that there’s never a reason to be mad in this world. Everything will be alright in the end. This experience was beyond amazing to me. These people who have really nothing and on top of that, jiggers, know how to live a life of joy and happiness better than I do.

After we washed the feet of all the people and children that were there, we headed next door to the soccer field to do a clinic and play soccer with boys who were healthy. The field was literally dirt and rocks. We did five stations that were five minutes each. My station was the shooting station. These boys could shoot some balls! For real! After we got done with the stations, we played a real soccer game. The teams were mixed with our group and the little boys. I’ve just got to put it out there… My team won! It was neat to see all the excitement the boys had on the field. They were all going so hard and taking on anyone in their path. Some of these boys could really play soccer! I still don’t understand how some of them can play with no shoes on. It amazes me how big there hearts are and how much they love playing.

With the little time I spent with Morean and the soccer boys, my life was beyond blessed. God opened my eyes to things I’ve never seen and things I thought I would never do. The biggest thing I have learned so far is that the life I live should never be about me.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 19:26

Staz

*For more information about jiggers go to www.jigger-ahadi.org

***A local Kenyan news station has followed us and done a 5 minute documentary on our mission. It will be shown Saturday night at 10:30pm cst and Sunday 12:30pm cst livestream on www.k24.co.ke

Life in Prison

Lagranta Prison

Search Comprehensive School

(Nairobi Junior League kids)

Thanks to Mrs Moran (Allies Mom) for the gift

Today was such an eventful and fulfilling day.  It really showed the blessings God has for us all.  It started when we visited the inmates from the Lagranta Prison. Coming in, neither the prisoners nor us knew what to expect. So when we first interacted, we were all a little hesitant.  However as we began to run sports clinics and interact wit each other, our hearts opened up.  We were no longer prisoners and guests, instead we were one family in Christ laughing, loving, and enjoying each other’s company.  When we left them supplies such as soccer balls, basketballs, and volleyballs, the inmates showed us how much that meant to them.  Little do they know we were the ones truly touched by their spirits.

After we left there we went to the Search Comprehensive School.  It was here that the inner kid in all of us was able to come out.  As when went through more clinics with the kids, it was evident that Christ was running through them and they knew He was cool enough to have fun with.  For example, I was talking to a 13 year old named Ken.  His dream was to play in the NBA for the Lakers and asked what we were here for and whether or not we would build them a NBA-like arena to play in.  I proceeded to tell him he was going to be the one to make it to the NBA and build the arena for them and also shared we were here because we wanted to share the love of God with him.  His initially response was “Wait! You’re Christians?” As I explained it to him he said “You don’t look like Christians because you’re young and fun.” I believed he was touched as I explained to him that God works through all ages and is God where you are able to enjoy him and have fun with him.  His reaction made my day because he was able to see the love of God from somebody other than an authortive figure but instead from somebody he can relate to.

As the day wound down, we were able to give shoes and sports supplies to the kids of the Nairobi Junior League.  It was such an honor to see their faces light up as we handed them these things.  Not to mention just the things they went through at such a young age and the ability to persevere.  Today’s experiences really touched me because I was able to see the way people in situations such as being in prison were able to let God run through them and have at least one moment of peace and enjoyment.  Also to put smiles on the faces of young children and show them you can praise God and have fun!

P.S. Big Ups to Mrs. Moran for the gifts she gave us! It’s much appreciated.

With that I’m out,

God Speed!!

Kenya Sports21-May-2010

Itinerary

Hey everybody,

Just wanted to give you the heads up that our itinerary has drastically changed

Bryan

Serving Like Christiansons

Jambo family, friends, and supporters!!!

Today was a very heart touching day. We started out getting up around 4:45 to head out to the streets of downtown Nairobi. Boniface was the man that we had the honor of talking with and getting an up close and personal view of his day of ministering and caring for streets kids and other men. There were boys as young as ten up to much older men and women. These kids have come from a range of backgrounds of well off families to even being born on the streets. The older men, Boniface said, came to the streets giving up on hope of getting a job or any way of supporting themselves. Boniface brought some milk and bread and we all sat with someone and talked to them to learn their names, age, and maybe even the cause of why they were on the streets. We heard stories about how they were too old to be at home, at age 13. Another was like said above, just on how they have given up hope. Let me remind you this was all around 5:30 in the morning. These kids and men mask their pain by sniffing glue! We saw many bottles hidden in pockets and sleeves and even saw a few sniffing the glue as we were standing there watching them walk away. The group of kids a few of us were talking to we’re already close to being high. Three of the five were not even able to make much of a conversation. We asked a few of them what there day was like and what they do, sad to say majority of them do nothing. They walk ten miles from where to a near by town to sit, sleep, or mask their pain. Before we left we sat with the people we talked with and prayed for their troubles. Personally, it was very hard to go from seeing these kids have nothing to back to our accommodating hotel were we walk up and get a buffet of endless good food, a nice place to shower, and sleep comfortably and safely. We’re not in America anymore!! We’re stuck in our little bubble mindset of we get what we want when we want it. A few of us were talking yesterday, Americans are so lazy in the way we live our lives. This afternoon we went to Boniface’s house to help do yard work. Talk about tough!! Us girls planted trees while the guys “mowed the lawn.” Yet it wasn’t American style sitting on a lawnmower sipping a ice cold drink. The way they cut grass here is with a long, curved tip machete. Let’s just say it took about two hours to cut grass that was knee high in a half-acre area. Today was a great day of seeing God’s work on the streets by using Boniface and getting to see his home were he houses ten street kids that he has helped put into school and given a home to stay in. We have learned a lot and hard work truly does bring people closer.

Baraka,

Ashlie Christenson

A Slice of Sumpter

Habari friends and family back home. Today we had the joy of getting to spend time with some of the children that our contacts Walter, Edward, and Dennis coach/mentor from the slums of Mukru. The program that they have created is a futbol (soccer) academy that brings together children from different types of neighborhoods and teaches them leadership skills as well as trains them to become better futbol players. Edward brings kids from both rich and poorer neighborhoods together, with the common ground of futbol, to help them learn to love each no matter what background the kids come from. Before we meet the children we went to the local Nakumatt, Kenya’s version of Walmart, and bought some essentials to help bless the families we would meet. Next we meet the children at a nearby church and followed our hosts into their maze of a neighborhood. Most of the kids were naturally shy and reserved. Bare in mind most of us are twice their size and in Phil or Fred three times. By the end of our time together we had to pry most of us away from our new found friends.

Walking past vendors, smelling the fresh produce, dodging mud holes, and evading the occasion rogue chicken really gave the group and myself a glimpse of the what life was like for the students of the academy. Most of the homes were made of four metal pain walls with a roof. Occasionally there was a blanket to divide the sleeping area from the sitting/guest part of the house. There was no running water, electricity, or indoor pluming. Most of us wore the outdoor pluming on our shoes for the rest of the day. My heart goes out to those families’ who have so little compared to what we have at home. Their willingness to invite close to nine strangers into their small homes and briefly share their lives with us has inspired me begin to bless people with things that I am a steward of, on God’s behalf. Each family we met radiated joy and conviction to seek God in their lives. All the parents we met were so thankful for the service that Walter, Edward, and Dennis provided for their sons. They said that futbol keeps the children out of trouble, provides an escape, and even gives them an opportunity to improve their lives by becoming a professional futboler. After chatting for 10 to 20 minutes we gave the families the bag we had purchased from the Nakumatt, prayed, exchanged hugs, and went on our way through the maze of shops and homes to our next destination.

On my way back was walking side by side with this little fella named Hassan, he was about 8 years old and spoke limited English. Our conversation was spotty however you don’t always need a common language to love on someone. Like most little kids all you need to do is hold their hand, give them a piggyback ride, or a hug. And that’s all the communication Hassan and I needed for the time we spent together.

After we had trekked for some time we returned to the church. We said our goodbye’s to our friends and made pledges to see each other on Sunday for a friendly (futbol match). Next we drove to meet up with some folks closer to our age for competition. We played basketball, futbol, and handball. Handball is a blend of lacrosse, basketball, and soccer. I’m happy to say that we represented American well and went 3 for 4 in our competitions with the Kenyans. Following each game we prayed with the teams we had scrimmaged. Getting to compete was a nice way to help us swallow all that we had experienced that morning because it wasn’t easy. I can only hope that tomorrow will be as eventful and moving as today was. Shout out to the SOS family, miss yall and cant wait to see you! Until then peace and much love to ya.

Andrew Sumpter

The Fun Has Just Begun

HELLO TO ALL OUR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS,

AND THANKS FOR ALL Y’ALLS SUPPORT AND AMEN’S.

WE’VE MADE IT TO OUR FINAL DESTINATION,

HOW WE GOT HERE, WE HAVE NO EXPLANATION.

WITH GOD’S GRACE AND YOUR WILLINGNESS TO SHARE,

GAVE US THE COURAGE AND STRENGTH TO PREPARE.

WE MISSED OUR FIRST FLIGHT FROM ASH OF A VOLCANO,

HAD US ALL STARTED THINKING THIS WAS NO BUENO.

WE STAYED THE NIGHT IN HOUSTON, WHICH TURNED OUT PRETTY COOL,

AS SOME OF US, WITH TRAVEL CLOTHES AND ALL, JUMPED IN THE POOL.

WE SAW GOD AT WORK WITH THE NIGHT WE HAD TO WAIT,

AS TO OUR SURPRISE THE NEXT MORNING, THE ASH WOULD DISSAPATE.

WE HAD MORE SET BACKS AS WE WERE LONDON BOUND,

WE LOST A PASSPORT, BUT WITH GOD’S GRACE IT WAS FOUND.

THE STRIKE WAS CALLED OFF, THAT WE’RE SO THANKFUL FOR,

IT WAS OUR WAY OF KNOWING HE WAS OPENING THE DOOR.

“JAMBO!!!” THEY SAID AS WE GOT A NICE GREET,

WE ARE EXCITED ABOUT THE PEOPLE WE ARE GOING TO MEET.

NOW IT’S TIME TO LEAVE SO WE CAN GET SOME REST,

WE HOPE YOU’LL FOLLOW UP ON THE REST OF OUR QUEST.

-Melissa Jones

Round II

Well, for those of you that didn’t here, our flight yesterday did not happen. We spent the night in Houston and now we’re back at it. We’ll see how it goes today. God will lead where he wants. Acts 16 tells the of how Paul tried to leave for mission work and the spirit of the Lord prevented him from leaving. His way is not our way.

Waiting on the Lord with fear and trembling,

Bryan

Ps. We’ll try to keep you guys posted