The Opiyos are Moving Back To Kenya!

Opiyo_Prayer_Cards_White (1)

 

It’s true! The Opiyos are headed back to Kenya!

We have been in Canada just over 3 years now. In those three years we have pursued post-secondary education, had several wonderful jobs, became a part of an amazing church community, spent lots of time with family, and were blessed with two beautiful daughters. Our time in Canada has been so full! However, it has become clear to us that Kenya is the place for us to be.

The Rehma Project

We marvel at how much The Rehma Project has grown. What started out as a simple coaching/mentoring gig has turned into a strong youth program reaching hundreds of young people in Kongowea. We have been fortunate to visit Kenya twice in the past three years to visit family and friends and to strengthen our relationship with the people in the community. This past January, we held two soccer tournaments with over 400 young boys playing. I got goosebumps (which NEVER happens in Mombasa’s heat) sitting on the sidelines during the finals, watching the hundreds of people (including women!!!) supporting the players. School scholarships, gift certificates to grocery stores and lots of soccer swag was handed out to all the players.

We are heading back to continue The Rehma Project. You can check out our video to see updates from people who have benefited from our programs, the recent soccer tournaments, and what our vision for the future is. I am not sure about you, but we are excited about what God is doing in Kongowea! We are currently working on a website for The Rehma Project and will share it with you once it is up and running.

We have signed on as missionaries with Multi-Nation Missions Foundation, a local organization committed to serving missionaries and organizations around the world. They are excited to be a part of The Rehma Project! We will also oversee their existing ministries in Kenya which primarily focus on poor and orphaned children.

Our projected date of departure is January 2017. As Kenya is Kelvin’s home, and Nikole was made for Africa, this will be a permanent move for the foreseeable future.

We are asking you to be a part of our support team. We are looking for support in three ways:

  • Prayer – praying for us regularly
  • Encouragement – committing to keep in touch with us and offer encouragement
  • Finances – supporting our family and The Rehma Project

Currently, we have raised 25% of our budget! We would be honoured if you would consider giving to us.  You can do so by clicking the link on the right hand side and donating online (make sure to designate the funds to Nikole and Kelvin Opiyo Personal Support from the drop down box). If you would rather not use online methods for giving, you can shoot me back an email and I can give you other options.

We have a mailing list where we send out updates. If you would like to be apart of that, you can email me at nikoleopiyo@gmail.com. I am also hoping to post in this space more regularly like I used to. I have missed blogging these last few years.

We are forever grateful for all your love and support and are excited for you to be apart of this journey. Asanteni sana. Thank you so much!

Love,

Kelvin, Nikole, Mercy and Amina

Back2Kenya: Back2School Tournaments

Hello Everyone! Welcome to my blog! For those who have been reading for years, welcome back to my blog! Yes, I know it has been a looooooong time since I last posted here (almost three years ago!) however with our plans to return to Kenya in the near future and the awesome stuff that is still happening in Kongowea, I thought it was about time to revive the blog! Please bear with me as I work on updating all the info in the pages, change the layout, etc. For now, feel free to catch up on some old posts, comment, add to Bloglovin’, and enjoy reading!
Kelvin has been busy organizing the Back2School Tournaments for January 2016!
Last year, during our trip to Kenya, we held a large tournament for youth on our old stomping grounds, uwanja wa mbuzi. It was a huge success! Over a hundred up-and-coming soccer players were able to participate. Because of your generosity, we were able to really shower these precious young people with soccer balls, trophies, jerseys, socks, cleats, gift certificates, and even school sponsorships. We also worked with some awesome and dedicated local leaders to rally teams and coaches together in a soccer mentorship program.
This year, Kelvin is planning TWO tournaments for over 200 youth in the community.
The purpose of the tournaments is:
  • To encourage local youth to stay focused on soccer keeping them away from destructive behaviours
  • To build up local leaders and encourage them to be mentors for the youth
  • To continue to show our support and investment in the community since we are planning to return permanently in the near future

If you would like to contribute to this awesome event, could you shoot me a quick message on Facebook or via email (nikoleopiyo@gmail.com). Currently, we have been able to raise half our budget. Thanks to both the Nelson and Castlegar Minor Soccer leagues who have generously donated jerseys, cleats, balls, socks, and shorts!

In the meantime, check out some photos from last year’s tournament.

It is customary that the guests of honour (which included Mercy) shake hands of all the players in the final game.
Look at all those game faces! They were ready to rumble!
Time out!
Just a few of the many participants
Sweet Rachael had the honour of handing out gift certificates to the local supermarket. We ended up raising more money than we had needed so we decided to give each kid a gift certificate to spend on food, school supplies, house hold items, etc. It was perfect timing as it was Christmas day and kids were able to bring home something to their families!
Some more awesome prizes (check out the NELSON jersey). Kelvin’s mom (in the orange) was also a beloved guest of honour. We are so grateful for the support of our families!
The man in the middle is Selah, a leader in the community who has a big heart for the youth. We are so grateful he works with us!
Mercy checking out all the swag!
Selah speaking to the youth. He is always impressed that we never do these tournaments for our own personal gain (as many local politicians do). Selah never fails to mention that Kelvin loves his community and his God – that is the reason we do these tournaments.
All lined up for the big final!
Mercy – a local celeb
She got her first tooth in Kenya!
Of course there must be drummers!! A soccer game is not the same with out the local noise makers!

If you would like to read more about The Rehma Project that we started in 2010, you can click the link above or the tags in the sidebar. We love the youth and can’t wait to get back to them! More on that to come…