Transforming Lives & Communities

Maasai villagers shout and sing as well-drillers hit water

August 21st, 2014

The people of two Maasailand villages now have clean water wells in their communities, thanks to the efforts of CMF missionary Gene Morden and a team of expert drillers, reports David Giles, CMF’s Director of Church Catalyst Ministries.

“We had three bore holes in process in Kenya and all were dry and getting nowhere,” he said. “Gene took over and oversaw the process. We just hit water at Miton, a very dry area in the Kajiado district, and now in Isinon.”

The people of Isinon were literally overcome with joy when the water came in, reported John Keshe, the water coordinator at the drilling site.

“Almost the whole village, men, women and children, were standing there watching the drilling process, waiting with expectation,” he said. “When the driller hit an aquifer at 235 meters the people shouted, applauded and sang as they ran around the drilling machine shouting ‘Thank you, God! God is good!’ The kids started right away to play with the gushing, muddy water. As the good news spread across the village, some women came running with water cans and babies on their backs, thinking it was ready to fetch!”

Funds for the Isinon well were provided by White River Christian Church, Noblesville, Ind., said David Giles.

“Dee Zook, a member of White River, had the vision for helping the Isinon community,” added David. “She was a key voice in raising the funds for the well.”

The drilling team is now headed for the village of Olochura and hopes to hit water there, as well. Please pray that the people of this community will also soon have the blessing of a source of pure, clean water in their village.


More fire-fighting equipment is on the way to Nairobi

July 31st, 2014

A second container of fire-fighting equipment and other supplies is on its way to Missions of Hope and the fire departments of Nairobi, Kenya, thanks to the efforts of fireman Dave Moore and Lifespring Christian Church, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Africa Fire Mission, the Cincinnati, Ohio, based non-profit started by Dave to provide high-quality fire-fighting equipment and training for fire departments in Africa, packed and shipped the container of equipment this past weekend. Volunteers from Lifespring Church and various fire departments across Ohio and Kentucky gathered at the facilities of Master Provisions in Florence, Ky., to assist the staff there with the loading and packing.

“Almost everything in the container is going to Missions of Hope,” Dave said. “In addition to the fire-fighting equipment, we have medical supplies from FAME, sewing machines, clothes for the kids at the Joska School, child sponsorship packets, welders, wood working equipment, beading supplies, musical instruments, and concordances and other ministry items requested by MoHI.”

The container also holds three pallets of medical supplies that will be delivered to two other health clinics in Nairobi that are supported by FAME.

“Since there was extra room in the container, we were happy to use the space to get them the supplies they needed, too,” said Dave.

Africa Fire Mission provided all the fire-fighting equipment and FAME provided the vast majority of the medical supplies, although some items were provided by churches, as well.

“In addition to Lifespring, we had churches from Kansas, Illinois, Arizona and California send supplies to us in Cincinnati to be a part of the container shipment,” said Dave. “Our organization and Lifespring Church, with the help of some other churches, organization and individuals, provided the $16,000 in shipping costs for the container.”

The container is scheduled to arrive in Nairobi in early October, but won’t return to the U.S. MoHI is purchasing the container and will use it for storage of farm equipment at the Joska School.

“A team from Africa Fire Mission and Lifespring Church will arrive in Nairobi at the end of October to distribute the supplies and officially donate the fire equipment to the Nairobi Fire Department,” said Dave. “We are just so thankful for the individuals, churches, fire departments, communities, organizations, and missions that have made this year’s container a reality!”


More than 800 meet for Mbitin Church building dedication

July 29th, 2014

More than 800 people gathered on Sunday for the dedication services of the new Mbitin Christian Church building located near the Maasai Mara Game Preserve in Kenya, according to William Koya, a long-time leader in the Mara North Cluster and the Field Operations Supervisor for the Community Health Partners clinic.

“People gathered to rejoice, celebrate and witness the work our Lord is doing in Maasai land,” said William.  “People came from all the Mara North cluster of Community Christian Churches — ordained and licensed pastors, our regional overseer Patrick Sayialel from the CCC, local leaders, chiefs and the area Member of Parliament.”

The service on Sunday also included the ordination of the Mbitin church’s pastor, Wilson Parkeyio Karkar, and his wife. 

“Also, during this occasion, 11 people gave their lives to Jesus, two men and nine women, and many sick people were prayed for,” said William. “The people also prayed for rain, and God answered immediately with such heavy rain that all the rivers are flooded!”

Mbitin is a young congregation that began in 2008 and is part of the Mara North cluster of the Community Christian Churches (CCC). In the beginning, the church members used to worship under a tree. The church now has a membership of 218 people: 30 men, 80 women and 60 young people.

“The church was built in two and a half months,” said William. “The total cost was about $18,000. Men and women of this church took a lot of their time meeting every week to raise money to meet the total cost of the construction and raised it in good time.”

CMF also contributed some financial assistance to the building project, according to CMF missionary Lynn Cazier.

“This was built with assistance from CMF of about $5,900,” said Lynn. “The rest of the cost was raised by the Mbitin church and others in the cluster. In well-organized clusters like Mara North, all the churches work together to raise funds for the next building on the list, and then move on to the next one.”

The 30-by-50-foot stone building is complete, except for the final painting, said William.

“We thank God for this and express our sincere gratitude to the whole CMF International for the support and partnership with CCC,” he said.



Oregon CrossFit gym promotes MoHI child sponsorship

July 28th, 2014

A chance encounter in Illinois between CMF Executive Director Doug Priest and two fellow University of Oregon “Ducks” fans has led to a partnership between CMF and a brand new CrossFit facility in Salem, Oregon.

Doug and Missions of Hope (MoHI) Director Mary Kamau visited West Side Christian Church in Springfield, Ill., last year for the church’s emphasis on child sponsorship in the Bondeni village in Nairobi, Kenya. During a fellowship break between worship services Doug noticed two men wearing his alma mater’s colors: green and yellow for the University of Oregon.

“I immediately accosted them with ‘Go, Ducks!’ ” said Doug, “and the father and son, Terry and Ryan Savage, introduced themselves, noting that Ryan had been to Kenya with a team from the church.”

In further conversation Doug learned that Savages were preparing to start a CrossFit gym in Oregon, and hoped to use some of the income from the gym to sponsor children from Bondeni, where Ryan already sponsors a child. They asked Doug how they could sponsor more children, and a partnership was born.

Last week, Doug and his wife Robyn were in Oregon and stopped by the new Cherry City CrossFit gym in Salem.

“Ryan met us at the gym and showed us around,” said Doug. “At the gym reception desk there’s a photo of a girl from the Mathare Valley, and cards of children available for sponsorship are available to members. Ryan’s dream is to sponsor one new child in Bondeni for every five members enrolled at the gym.”

“The three of us prayed for the success of the gym while we were there,” added Doug, “asking God to bless the desire of the Savage family to make a difference in the lives of the least of these.”



Mathare celebrates with joy as students receive college placement scores

May 28th, 2014

The entire community of Missions of Hope schools in the Mathare slums of Nairobi, Kenya, erupted into joyous celebrations recently when the results of the high school exit texts for the first graduating class of MoHI schools were announced, reported CMF missionary Keith Ham.

Keith, who has been there from the beginning of CMF’s partnership with MoHI, characterized that Monday as “the day we all have been waiting for.” Fifty-six high school students took the placement test, which determines their future educational pathways.

“We were hoping that these children, born in abject poverty, could rise about their circumstances and be lifted, through what they have learned of God and His grace, through education and nutrition, and through the many people who have been the hands and feet of God actively serving these children,” he said.

Twenty-four got the marks necessary to move ahead in Kenya’s university system, well beyond anything the community of Mathare has ever seen before. The MoHI student who got the highest result, Clyde, was even hoisted on the shoulders of the kids as they began a victory march into the village.

“Everyone in the village was celebrating,” said Keith. “They were hugging Mary Kamau and acknowledging that without her commitment, love and sacrifice, this day could not have happened. They were hugging each other and singing and dancing and carrying on. It was pure joy!

“It’s the first time that anyone from Mathare Village One has ever gotten such good marks and is entering university based on his marks and tests,” Keith added. “Of the 24 who did well and will move on, several are from Village One. When you know where they come from it provides a different perspective.”

And what are the prospects for the other 32 graduates who didn’t receive the necessary scores?

“Of the 32 remaining who didn’t make the top marks, several of them will enter university through what they call ‘parallel programs,’ meaning they can go to college but they just can’t access low-interest government loans. Others will attend polytechnic schools,” explained Keith.

”My expectations for college-bound kids from MoHI, considering where these kids are coming from, has been exactly this percentage, about 50%,” said Keith. “Entering college here is hard and they make it hard for many reasons. We’re excited to see where the total 56 land in the next few months — 24 in university with government grants and loans, others in community college, others in ploy-tech and still others will land a job.”

The results were a very sweet moment for Keith and Kathy Ham and the many others who have worked for years with Missions of Hope.

“It was one of those moments when everything just comes together,” he said. “For a moment you can see the big picture. For a moment, all of the work, effort, tears and especially prayers seem to culminate in something that makes absolute sense.”



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