Viazi for 10 bob

Since the camps that we had originally planned for here at Word of Life this month have flopped, we have joined in to help out at another day camp that another organization called ECHO CHRIST is running. It’s funny because ECHO CHRIST is made up of our counsellors. We are the ones who have trained them and equipped them over the past few years. They run the same program as we do and have the same tactics that we use. It’s kind of neat to see how your own people have created their own ministries at their own initiative. They have partnered with Compassion International to hold a camp in one of the poorer parts of town. Today was the second day of camp and it was a blast. I just love these kiddies. Kids are so easy to love on and entertain. 
I watched from above at our staff meeting as the kids recited the Lord’s prayer while closing their eyes. Too cute! 

 We played some sort of hand clappy game with the girls during break time.
Here is Mr. Joshua hanging out with kids being little gangstas! 
I think the best part of my day was being able to have a full conversation in swahili with a 3-year-old girl named Maria. She approached me and said, “nina pesa (I have money)”. So we began to talk about the money she was clenching in her fist all day. I asked how much it was and she said that it was 10KES which is about 15cents. I asked what she was going to do with the money, she answered ‘Nataka viazi (I want viazi).” Viazi  is a local snack which is basically pieces of potato dipped in a yummy batter then deep fried. Her plan was to go buy viazi  after camp finished. I saw her leave with the 10 bob still clenched in her tiny hands. 

Likoni Camp of endless obstacles

On friday and saturday we held day camps in a place called Likoni. Likoni is a difficult area. It’s a poverty-stricken area where drugs and prostitution reign. It has a lot of traffic going through it as it is where the ferry docks to take people across to Mombasa. It is a very dangerous area. I have missionary friends who have been robbed, mugged, threatened many times just for living in the area. Let’s just say it’s not the easiest area to be in. 
We had no end of struggles facilitating this camp. As I mentioned in a previous post, the space that we had booked (and paid for) was given away to another group who came in with a bigger cheque. We started setting up two days before the camp when we were told that we could no longer use the space. So we sat and brainstormed on what to do. Across the street was a guesthouse that has a beautiful hall that would be perfect for our camp. So we went to check it out. We looked around and thought it was perfect. As we went to book it for the two days, they said, “Oops sorry it is already booked for these days.” Thanks, alot. We resorted to pitching a tent on another property just hoping that it wouldn’t rain. 
The night before camp, we got a phone call from the guesthouse saying that it had suddenly become available! That was a miracle! 
We arrived the next morning to set all our stuff up thanking God for opening up this hall for us to use since it was cold and rainy. Our camp was to start at 9am. However, 10am came around then 11am then 11:30am and still NO campers. Huh? Didn’t they know that we were giving a FREE camp with FREE lunch???? We weren’t responsible for marketing the camp. We had partnered with a local pastor to do that for us. As the pastor was making phone calls we realized a few things: 1.) Kids were still in school (that would make it hard for them to come) 2.) It wasn’t explained well enough who Word of Life was so many people thought we were a new church trying to get members and pastors were advising their youth NOT to come. 3.) They thought they had to pay for our FREE camp. 4.) They wouldn’t leave their houses since it was raining. 
After a few phone calls, we finally started our camp at 11:30am with 8 campers. The day turned out surprisingly well. We had few more arrive in the afternoon when we played touch rugby.
We debated whether or not to even continue the camp on Saturday since we were using so many resources. But by faith we continued on and to our surprise, we had 45 campers come on saturday! We had a full day of bible teaching, group discussions, games, music, dancing, food and, to top it off, we had a great bonfire in the evening where we drank chai, sang songs and listened to the Word of God. So after all the obstacles and many temptations to pull our hair out, it all worked out well. 

Alice, one of our counsellors, was helping a camper set up for a new game where we make an elevator of sorts with our ears and pull candy to our mouth. 
Two of my favs: Senior and Joshua. They are apart of my team here at Word of Life. Joshua is full of energy and is a great MC and Senior is our music and sound guy. They are two very talented dudes. 
We always have a session for group discussions where we discuss what we have learned that day. I sat in on one group discussion and loved listening to their thoughts, ideas, personal views, and what they had learnt. We had one character who didn’t appreciate women at all and I couldn’t help but giggling with everything he said. He pretty much blamed women for all the earth’s problems saying, “The Eve’s of this generation are bringing the Adam’s down.” The thing I loved about him was that he was passionate about God and doing what was right. I know his ideas concerning women will soften as he seeks God more. 

These were our youngest campers who presented a few songs for us. It was a hoot!
“And we know that ALL things work together for GOOD to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Snippets of my week

My GO GO GO has yet to STOP as I had anticipated. The past few days have been draining. It started on Tuesday evening when we didn’t get back to the compound till 3am after picking up our visitors from the airport in town. Of course their plane was delayed and their luggage didn’t arrive with them. Then we missed the last ferry so had to wait an hour for the next one. By the time we got them all settled in, it was 3am. Each day since then has been exhausting hosting them, planning for this crazy upcoming weekend, and just being available for anything that needs to be done. But I have stopped to take a few pictures of the places I’ve been and the people I have seen this last week.
On Sunday, Tsuma (one of my co-workers) and I went to a local high school to minister to them for their sunday church service. Tsuma spoke and I sang one (blacklightprophet) song to them. The picture above is of the feet of the worship team. They have no fancy instruments and are dressed in school uniform. All they had to lead worship was their hands for clapping and their voices for singing. 
Tsuma gave a message and we had a few students come to Christ! 
The rain paused for about 2 hours which was just enough time for a football game. I was invited to go watch two churches play against each other. It was fun, although I sort of lost interest after the first few minutes. I didn’t even know the score at the end of the game. However, I was touched as at the end of the game, the two teams came together, put their arms around each other and bowed in a word of prayer. Then, as if on queue, the rain began to pour down again.
This is my love wall. The other night, I was missing my peeps back home. I had a small photo album of pictures I had taken before I left. I decided to pull them up and stick them on my wall so I can look at my wonderful friends and family back home. Tears strolled down my face as I went through each photo. I miss you good people. 
I have wonderful news!! My visa was to expire a week ago and typically this type of visa is not able to be renewed. Plus my work permit has yet to be processed. So I was in a sticky situation. I was told that I may have to leave the country within a few days and come back once my work permit comes through. It sort of excited me as I would have had an excuse to go visit my good friends in South Africa but it would have disrupted all my plans here and been an extra expense. However, my boss just happens to be good friends with the Chief Immigration Officer here in Mombasa. He set up a meeting with him and we went to explain our situation. The Officer was very compassionate and stamped my passport granting me permission to stay! It was a huge relief and such an answered prayer. Thank you all for praying!
So it’s been a busy week full of awesome things. This upcoming week will be even busier so pray for energy and joy as I go about my days!!!