Kenya Mission Trip – July 2016
by Michael Lemrick
Many times the longest trips begin with a small step. For the Kenya mission’s trip this summer that small step was taken by ten of us: Loydeen Fadely, Shonte Eyre, Marcus Eyre, Chantel Hill, Solomon Sanchez, Joe Leissner, Abby Carlin, Roger Newby, Chad Pickens, and me. We took that small step from the jetway at Dallas International Airport onto a plane that would take us on a twenty-three hour trip to Kitale, Kenya. For many on the team it was the first trip out the US and for all but two, the first trip to Africa. And though we were finally on our way quite a bit of preparation had already taken place. Some had to acquire passports, yellow fever vaccinations were required, and the biggest issue: how to pack our own clothes and tools, while taking ten additional boxes and containers, without going over the baggage limits. Now, however, we were settled into our seats and gaining altitude toward Qatar, and then Kenya, on the biggest trip of our lives.
On our bus out of Nairobi, heading to Kitale after already traveling for twenty-three hours with only four hours sleep at a Bed and Breakfast, excitement was high as we did some preliminary planning for the work that awaited our arrival at the home. Once in Kitale, and later than anticipated, we caught-up with Jennifer Ashlock from the Kitale Church of Christ Children’s Home, our ultimate destination of service. Once we settled into the cottage where we were staying and had dinner, she took the opportunity to fill in some of the details of what work was needed. The discussion was lively and we learned that the majority of the work would be painting and fixing-up up the orphanage. After, It was finally time to crawl into bed under the mosquito netting for a full night’s sleep and that’s when we truly realized that we were actually standing in northwest Kenya on the continent of Africa.
Each day started with devotion time and prayer and each night finished with the same. Our biggest tasks were to paint the inside and outside of the building. Though we had limited supplies and only one ladder, we found different ways to improvise to ensure we could reach the heights needed to complete the job. Additionally, we replaced and glazed new windows, replaced window hardware, cut and replaced cabinet doors, fixed sticking doors, and completed any odd jobs that were requested. There was plenty of work to do during the nine working days for the entire team. However, to truly understand the trip two questions have to be answered: Why did God send us, and, what did we learn while there?
God sent us, in part, because there was a real need to improve the living conditions of the children at the home, as no major improvements had been made for over three years. The bigger reason, however, revolved around building relationships with the children and staff as well as sharing and teaching God’s word. The best moments were when we were sharing the Word in a Bible study, devotion, or worship services on Sunday. We were also able to be examples of how God desires His followers to assist one another. This concept of helping each other is not fully recognized by the African Christians and they need to be encouraged to help each other along with using their talents and resources to build God’s church. Serving together with the Kenyans was an amazing opportunity and brought real joy to them and us. God also had something he wanted our team to learn. He wanted us to experience and understand the universal church, as we are all His followers. Whether we are in the USA, Africa or anywhere in the world, we have the same goal and desire, which is Jesus Christ and being right with Jesus. We are truly brothers and sisters in Christ. The idea that we are a family and are to function as a family brings us very close. We were not strangers but true brothers and sisters. God has a purpose for each of us and should He present you with the opportunity to go overseas on a mission trip, embrace the opportunity. You will learn much and be blessed, but more importantly, you will be enriched by your brothers and sisters in Christ and it will fill you with God’s eternal joy.
Mission Trip to Thailand leaves December 28th
Twelve Valley View Christian Church members and friends will spend their Christmas vacation time serving the Lua region of Thailand. We are joining our supported mission organization, Christian Mission to the Orient (CMO). CMO has found it is hard for pastors to establish themselves and build relationships in a village without something to draw the villagers in. CMO has a program called Community of Blessings which provides healthcare services, dental services, and vision services to these villages. Because the response was so great from two Dallas area churches, Valley View Christian Church and Compass Christian Church, we are able to complete a construction project as well as provide medical/dental/vision services. The twelve representing Valley View Christian Church are as follows: Sally Albright, Shannon Albright, Charles Carlin, James Kissling, Lorna Kissling, Sara Hamilton, Kim Hayes, Pat Hayes, Betsy Sanchez, Grace Setiawan, and Josephine Yip.
Please pray for our team!
2018 Mission Trip to Guatemala
We are headed back to Morning Glory Christian Academy in September 2018. Every two years we reach out to the community of San Raymundo, Guatemala by providing a Women’s Conference, a Men’s workday, and a Children’s program.
We need a minimum of twelve people to be able to accomplish our mission. Here are some roles you could fill: Lead a topic at the women’s conference; serve evening dinner to women; lead children’s program or activities; setup tables and campus for conference; lead or assist with construction/handyman jobs on men’s work day; lead (in Spanish) men’s devotion; and more!
For those unfamiliar with missions, this is a great first trip! It’s relatively short (5 -6 days), in a good climate with familiar accommodations, and a role for everyone. More information to follow.
Monthly Supported Missionaries
Training Tomorrow’s Leaders (TTL)
God has used TTL in a mighty way in West Africa. One of TTL’s biggest challenges is because of success of the evangelism in this area, many new churches are forming. Churches often start by meeting outside under a tree, and then a church is built out of mud bricks, generally built by the church members. With a very intense rainy season each year, having a dry place to meet, or having a roof for your mud bricked building that withstands the rains, becomes very time sensitive. Last year Valley View Christian Church supplied metal roofing for two churches just prior to the rainy season. If you are interested in visiting these churches in Ghana, stay tuned. We will be recruiting for a trip to Ghana soon.
New Iberian Mission Association (NIMA)
NIMA is the sending organization for Morning Glory Christian Academy in poverty stricken San Raymundo, Guatemala. Morning Glory Christian Academy provides a Christian and award winning academic education for 700 Guatemalan children, grades pre-kinder through 8th grade.
Morning Glory is expanding its school by adding a diversified program in 2017. This program is for students who have completed the 8th grade and want to attend a university in the future. It is similar to high school in the United States, except that they pick a track, such as Computer Science. As of now, the youth of San Raymundo must travel to Guatemala City for a diversified program. Because Morning Glory Christian Academy is offering this program locally, it offers the youth the opportunity to obtain an education to help break the cycle of poverty. The diversified program at San Raymundo will incorporate Biblical studies as well.
Pioneer Bible Translators (PBT)
Charles and Stevanie W. are responsible for personnel, member care, administration, and facilities as part of their mission involving translation, literacy, church planting, scripture impact, and community development primarily in West Guinea, Tanzania and South Sudan.
Stevanie will be leading grief counseling sessions for various people groups in Tanzaniz and West Guinea over the holiday season.
Chris and Jenny Riley have recently moved to southeast Asia. They, along with other team members, are developing an NGO (non-government organization or non-profit) to help their translation work and others who will be coming to work in the country.
Chris and Jenny have finally signed a contract for a house to move into on the island and are still negotiating a price for an office there. Chris and team member Shaun also had an excellent first meeting w/ the new board of their NGO and have been able to learn much from a language survey already done on the island.
Rondal and Janice Smith continue their many years of service towards the development of Bible translation projects in European countries as the Director and Assistant Director of PBT Europe.
Rondal had to cancel a recent trip to the Eastern Europe due to health problems with both Janice and himself. Please pray for a quick recovery.
Christian Mission to the Orient (CMO)
CMO, started by David and Deloris Filbeck in 1960, operates in Thailand with a focus on translation of scriptures into local languages and the training of leaders in South East Asia.
Valley View is sending a group of people, including two dentists, to participate in a medical mission trip. The group leaves December 28th.
Restoration House Ministries (RHM)
RHM’s mission is to assist in the planting of churches in New England, the most unchurched region in the United States including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Each year Restoration House conducts a Fall Foliage Tour which provides supporting churches and other interested parties a chance not only to enjoy the New England fall colors, but provides a three state tour of Restoration House Church plants. Denna Gruber and Jean Gruber of Valley View Christian Church attended this year. “It was so exciting to attend this year and see the growth that has taken place in the churches. God is doing amazing things through Restoration House.”
Schrage Christian Mission (SCM)
SCM has served Africa through church planting in Kenya (now over 200 churches), training pastors from over 500 African churches, and starting and supporting a Christian orphanage, a Christian primary school, and a Bible College in Uganda.
Mike Schrage also serves as the current president of International Conference on Missionaries (ICOM) and the Executive Director of GNPI, a missions organization that evangelizes through media and technology.