Welcome to Maisha International's Blog
After a full week of serving the women and children of Maisha, our entire group was sad to see our journey come to an end. Throughout the course of the week we were able to work with three different ministries within Maisha International that allowed us the opportunity to see a wide spectrum of the need in the Kisumu area. We worked with the orphanage, the prison, and the slum/home visit ministries. Our hearts were touched by the many people that we had the honor to serve and pray over. It was a general consensus among the team that one of the most awesome things about the people of Kisumu is their joy in the midst of sorrow! It is a deep joy that resonates so strongly that you cannot help but desire that same passion that they have for God. It is truly a beautiful thing to listen to small children who have nothing, tell you that we must be strong and patient and wait on the Lord. This joy was also very evident in the lives of the people who keep Maisha running. The men and women who take care of the children and cook for them never stop working and giving. They live out the call of Christ in the way they give and sacrifice for so many. I was so blessed to serve alongside some amazing women in the kitchen. We shared tears of sadness, joy and laughter that I will treasure forever.
On our last night at Maisha, Mama Grace, stood before us and told us how much she appreciated us. She then proceeded to present each of the members on our team with bracelets that looked like the African flag and another one that had our names on them. It was a very beautiful and humbling moment for our team. Along with Mama Grace’s words, many of the Maisha workers stood up to share their appreciation and offer words of prayer. It was a very emotional time as we sat and reflected on the week’s events. We were each blessed by many special people who will forever be held safely in our hearts!
Praise God for what He is doing and how He is working!
“If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you and satisfy your desire in a sun scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” Isaiah 58:10-11
Photo by Paul Colley
During this trip we started a Bible study for the widows at Maisha. This Bible study was led by Mama Helen (one of our team members). Helen spent over three hours a day sharing the Word of God to the women and teaching them how to be open with each other. We were also able to buy 42 Bibles in Luo, which is their native tongue, which will allow them to study the precious words of our Savior! The class had an average of 40+ women a day and they were all hungry to hear the hope that Jesus offers!
One of the most beautiful things that this Bible study produced is the willingness of the women to now start their own Bible study. They were very hungry to hear the words of encouragement; and when the Bibles were passed out, the women almost created a riot as the scrambled to get a copy. It was a very emotional scene to witness. It was evident that the Word of God was a vital necessity in their lives.
May we each have a desire and hunger for God’s Word like the women at Maisha.
“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near” Isaiah 55:6
Photo by Paul Colley
Well I just have to say that our God is so sovereign and perfect in the way He works things out! Our team came to Kenya with the intention of taking a Safari at the end of our ten day visit. After seeing the needs of so many children and families our hearts were broken and changed! We could not imagine going on a trip when there were so many other things we could do to support the people. We decided to stay at the orphanage an extra day and we are using the extra money to buy a motorbike or “piki piki” for Maisha! This will allow the women transportation to and from town to get food and aid them in taking sick children to the hospital!
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34
Photo by Paul Colley
One of the most rewarding experiences so far has been going on home visits in the villages and slums. The first visit we did was to a man who has HIV/Aids and was suffering from many other health issues. We huddled around him as a team inside his hut and prayed over him and his sweet wife. We gave him a small bottle of medicine to try to help with the pain he was experiencing from many other ailments. Please continue to pray for the needs of his family as he fights through the sickness in his body.
When we went to the slums we met a woman named Janet who used to be a caregiver to HIV patients, but was unfortunately in a car wreck last October leaving her unable to walk or get around. We found out that she had broken her leg in three places and had not had surgery because she was unable to pay. She had been lying on her couch without pain medicine since October with two broken legs. Our team prayed over her and committed to do something to take care of her surgery. Janet received Christ last year, but our team had the opportunity to baptize her! Her tears of joy and words of strength will forever be imprinted on our hearts.
Overall the home visits produced 5 salvations and 1 baptism into the Kingdom of God. Praise Him for His faithfulness and deliverance!
“Jesus turned, and seeing her said, “Take heart daughter, your faith has made you well.”And instantly the woman was made well.” Matthew 9:22
Photo by Paul Colley
One of the most important things for the children at Maisha is the crops that need to be planted for food. When we arrived in Kisumu we were told that they were in a drought and had not seen significant rain since November of last year. As we drove past farms we noticed how dry everything was all around us. David, one of the members on our team, was planning on coming to follow up on Bruce Edward’s training to help the widows by teaching them how to plant and farm so they would be able to have home grown food. We were unsure how well the project would go because the land was so dry; so we started to pray that the Lord would bring rain. Amazingly God showed us His faithfulness the same day! As soon as we pulled into Maisha it started to rain!!!!!!!!!!
Since that day it has now rained three days in a row and David was able to plant 38 rows of vegetables! God not only blessed the people with rain, He continued to shower them with many more blessings that will nourish their bodies for days to come!
“He turns desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. And there He lets the hungry dwell, and they establish a city to live in; they sow fields and plant vineyards and get a fruitful yield.” Psalm 107:35-37
Photo by Paul Colley
When our team arrived to Kenya we were told that we were going to be taking part in a medical clinic to help the local people around the Maisha Orphanage. Several of our team members took turns in the medical clinic working with over 350 patients. There were several local doctors, nurses and pharmacists who volunteered some of their time to work with the people who traveled miles to receive help. Of the 350 patients, 20 of them were malnourished children who greatly benefited from the services. In the process of working in the clinic we were introduced to a little boy who had been bitten by a dog; which left an open and infected wound on his lower leg. The clinic was unable to treat him because they did not have access to the shot he needed for rabies. The grandmother was unable to pay for the services at the hospital; so our team decided that this was a need we could not ignore.
Days later the little boy and his grandmother were back at Maisha for a hot meal and the little boy’s leg was looking a lot better.
The medical clinic was very heartbreaking because we saw so many women and children in need of basic care that we receive so easily in the States.
Praise God for His this ministry and for the people who were willing to offer up time and service to meet the needs of so many!
“But He was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed” Isaiah 53:5
Photo by Paul Colley
This was a very exciting event for our team this week because Beatrice told us that this was her first time to go into the prisons to minister to women. She was unsure what it would be like when we got inside, but we were praying that whatever we were faced with we would have an open door to at least spend time praying with the women.
When we walked inside the prison we were greeted by 117 female inmates and some of their children.
They were all standing in a line and they were singing a beautiful song to welcome us.
Beatrice introduced each of us and then we sang a few worship songs. She then proceeded to give a message of God’s love and faithfulness to the women, and she told them of their need to accept Jesus as their Savior, and what Christ would do for them. She gave an altar call and two women walked to the front to commit their lives to the saving grace of Christ Jesus! After our time of prayer and thanksgiving we were able to pass out panties, toothbrushes, and feminine napkins for each woman in the facility. Our lives were greatly blessed by being able to give to the women and to see the hope that they had in spite of their circumstances. It was an amazing moment that our team will never forget.
“Have I not commanded you, be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and the Lord you God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
As the sun began to stretch across the morning horizon, I rolled over on my bed to look out the window at the beautiful picture that was being painted in the sky. This was the beginning to a day that our entire team had been anticipating. We were going to church and we were going to get to spend an entire afternoon with the children!
As we all huddled into the van to make our way across Kisumu, I was humbled to see men, women and children making their way on foot to get to morning services. Bea informed us that some people walk 4 or 5 miles in order to make it to church. I think this was one of the most eye opening things for me today.
When I am at home I find that there are some Sundays that I am just so tired that I do not want to get out of the house to go to church. The sad thing is that I don’t have to walk and I have air conditioning, but I still find ways to talk myself out of making it to service. I was very touched and convicted by the loyalty and passion that these people have to spend time with the Lord on the Sabbath.
Emmie (a young high school girl on our team) said that one of the things that really moved her during the church service was the passion the people conveyed. She said that as she watched them sing and praise she felt very encouraged and challenged all at the same time.
Rachel (a young college girl) said that it was really cool to see how we sing so many of the same songs that they sing. She was able to connect and really participate during service and it really touched her heart to see that we all serve the same God, even if we praise Him a little differently.
Cindy (a very amazing lady) told me that she was so inspired during the worship service due to the uninhibited praise that she witnessed from the people. She explained that it made her feel very comfortable to worship the way that she felt the Spirit leading.
After church we made our way back to the orphanage where we were greeted by tiny hands and feet of so many beautiful faces. The children took us into the Maisha community center to listen to some of the children perform for us. Some of the kids sang songs and a few of them acted out different things for us to watch. It was a very joyful experience that each of us on the team will never forget. There is so much more to tell, but I will talk tomorrow about some of the stories of the children.
We have been blessed beyond measure to spend time in Kenya, and to work with the children at Maisha. God is doing some amazing things through Beatrice and her ministry, and our entire team would agree that we are blessed to be a small part of it!
There are so many more things to share and I hope that everyone who reads this will look forward to many more stories of God’s work, and the fulfillment of His promises through the lives of His children!
Oh how He loves you and me!!!!
Packing for Maisha
Questions posed to team leaving for Kenya today:
1. What has been your experience in planning the trip?
2. Why have you chosen to take a spring break mission to Maisha?
3. You are counting hours now before you depart for Africa, what are your expectations?
My experience has been full of hills and valleys.
From the first mention of the trip, I knew I wanted to go and I should go for reasons unknown other than the “unction” I felt in my heart. I even emailed Paul to say I couldn’t go but I couldn’t get the notion out of my mind. I think the morning my wife (Tracy) and I talked to Helen and she told us that she was going was the defining moment for me. Tracy was really encouraging as far as our skipping a ski trip to Colorado in order for me to go. So she gets to share in our fruits.
As far as my role or reason for going: to be the best support for whoever needs whatever. I’m a team player at the core and realize the body is held together as we work together. Every body needs eyelashes, pores, capillaries as well as hearts and brains. This is a great opportunity for me as I continue to live a full life with leukemia. I’ve learned better to appreciate each day and take joy in them.
I’m not sure what to expect other than to get to experience an adventure with new friends, get to share the hope and peace Christ has allowed me to have in ways and and environment only he could have allowed. He is the adventure!
Packing Mission Supplies for Maisha
“I am ready to go an answer to a 65 year old dream. Africa has always been on my heart, I expect great things as we become less and Christ becomes Glorified.”
I received this today from Helen Monday, one of the Maisha mission participants departing for Kenya tomorrow. Every team that goes, I always say that is the best team yet. I thank God for abundantly supplying amazing individuals, such as Helen, over and over again.
Please join us in praying for the team led by Paul Colley from Choctaw Road Baptist Church as they travel to Maisha over spring break. In addition to the mission at Maisha, this team has a rare opportunity to minister to women in prison in Kisumu. There are many other exciting things taking place on this trip, but I’ll leave that for them to share.