Thursday, January 31

4th update Peace Bus

The Peace bus was in the Internally Displaced Persons Camp again. Nick and Charles could not go with the team because of violence in Mathare. Please keep them in your prayers. They have taken in 14 children now. GOA checks on them daily and makes sure they have food. Here are the reports from the team:

GOA staff are risking their lives to serve God and help the many Displayed People who need medical care and prayer.

From Nojie (mary mugo's sister)
Hallo,i thank God so much for the unity that we had today. We worked as a team and all was well. Thanks so much for the funds which is making our work easier, we treated 168 patients who were seriously sick, 14 people were tested for hiv and one was positive, we prayed together and encouraged them.
We escaped so many barriers that were set on the way but God protected us all through. May God bless you as u continue serving His people,GOD BLESS U

From Pastor Muturi

The peace bus team went to uplands against very high tension of insecurity alert on the way. About 1000 internal displaced people are housed by pastors and families at uplands. They come to the grounds of full gospel church every tuesday for food . The red cross have done very little to assist these people.

When we went there about 250 who missed food the previous day were eagerly waiting for us as the only hope of putting some food in their mouth that day. Our services was seriously needed there and when we were through we were highly appreciated.

168 people were treated of cold related sicknesses, hyperacidity, malaria, skin infection. Two cases of pregnant women with discharge refered to kijabe catholic hospital. 14 people underwent VCT and one who was positive was adviced on where to get special help.
50 bales of maize flour were given, five 90kgs bags of beans , 100 kgs of cooking fat, 90 blankets, 1 carton of sanitary pads. They requested us to go back on tuesday for a medical camp when all the one thousand people will be on the ground.

compiled by pastor PAUL MUTURI


Tuesday, January 29

Post Election Violence and GOA Response

Please pray for Kenya as our brothers and sisters in Christ are suffering from the devastating effects of the post-election violence. To see a slideshow illustrating both the impacts of the violence and the response of Glory Outreach Assembly (GOA), click here.

To listen to a special song, written by Sammy of GOA in Kenya on January 13, recorded on January 14, and carried to the US by Connie Cheren as she returned that evening from a humanitarian relief trip - click on the following link - "Listen Now".

To donate to the relief efforts, please go to KenyaRelief.kintera.org/donate, or write to
Partners for Care
2001 Breckenridge Lane
Alpharetta, Georgia 30005



3rd report from the GOA Peace Bus

The news reports and the text messages and emails from the Partners for Care/GOA staff are staggering. I will send you some exerpts - read them if you want, share with friends and cry and pray. These are people we know and love so much. All the children in the 6 children's homes are safe and protected but GOA leaders, pastors and Partners for Care are risking their safey as they continue to do as God calls them to do respond compassionately and without oncern for themselves. The enemy will be defeated - I pray and I believe.

Updates -

1. The Peace bus goes to the camps tomorrow. They wanted to go to Marthare slum but it isn't safe. They will provide blankets, medical care, sing the Pray for Peace in Kenya song People on the Peace team -
Pastor Muturi - team leader
 (He escaped from the GOA church in Eldoret but goes back to serve)
Jane Chege - worship and prayer
Sammy and David - sing the Pray for Peace in kenya
Njokie (Mary Mugo's sister) - food and blanket distribution
Penny (she attends Christ Harvester's Church) - help with medical
Priscilla, Ann, Nick and Charles - help with medical camp or do Aids testing
Kennedy - logistics coordinator and ministering to the people
Paul - medical
Daniel - medical

Funds we are raising goes to support GOA in their efforts to keep this Peace bus on the road and sharing the message of hope and peace in the camps

2. Christ Harvester's is inviting all those who love kenya to a prayer gathering at their church. The date will possible be February 17 Sunday afternoon - I will let you know the date and time

3. Christ Harvester's will be doing a benefit concert when we return from Kenya in March. Pastor Karanja and several of his leaders are planning on going with me February 24-March7. He wants to travel on the Peace bus to the camps.

4. We are working with Med-Share. They are sending medical supplies with each pastor returning to kenya and Coke Africa is funding 2 containers - which will contain over $300,000 of medical supplies. They have asked us to help with the selection of what is needed. Partners for Care will be getting some of the supplies.

5. Kathy Armor has done a great job of having churches show the Post-violence DVD and taking a love offering for the Peace bus.

6. Pastor Karanja has told his staff to make the DVDs for us and the CD of the Pray for Peace song - we will be mailing copies to everyone in the next couple days encouraging people to show to churches, friends and community groups.

7. Pastor karanja is making 10,000 DVDs with a messgae of hope to be shown in the camps.

We are in the process of buying a generator for the Peace bus and sending a keyboard, projector, a camera, and a Blackberry so Pastor Muturi can send us reports from the ground.

I am reminded how Pastor Simon told us a story of the animals watching a forest fire. The little bird flew away and filled his beak with water to put on the fire - the other animals laughed at him. The little bird said I am just doing what I can if everyone else would do their part we can put this fire out. I know GOA must feel like the bird - so many homeless, so many hurting - but GOA is doing their part. I pray everyone who loves them will not just watch but do something.

Exerpts:
From pastor Simon
Dear Friends,
 
I want to register my heartfelt gratitudes to all of you for your continued prayers and financial support to us during these hard times in the history of our nation.  Your emails of encouragement have meant so much to us at this time when all that surrounds us are news of people murdered, houses burnt and properties destroyed.
 
We are thanking God for the mediation process spearheaded by Kofi Annan.  We are so saddened by the fresh flare-up of violence in Nakuru, Naivasha and Kisumu.  We are in continuous cry to our Lord to stop these senseless killings.  The devil is at work here but we know Jesus will prevail.  Today an opposition MP has been killed.  We are worried this will bring revenge and more lives dying.
 
Last Sunday, I had woken up as usual.  Before going to church I went to Good Shepherd Children Home to see how the kids were.  While there my wife called.  She was in the church.  She instructed me to avoid down town Nyahururu for there was fighting between police and demonstrators who were protesting the killings of their kinsmen in other parts.
 
GOA Nyahururu church had just started the service and members had to flee for safety.  No one was hurt. Calm has returned.  The children at Good Shepherd are safe.  If worse comes to worst I will have to move them to a safer place.  We are optimistic that soon calm will return all over Kenya.
 
On Friday I risked my life to go to Eldoret to rescue a friend and a brother in Christ in Eldoret.  Despite the renewed violence God granted us safe passage to and from Eldoret.
 
At one point we feared for our lives.  We found one of the towns (totally) burning and a group of youths armed with bows and arrows overseeing the burning.  By God’s grace there were police officers and we passed without any problem.  Towns all the way from Nakuru to Eldoret have been burnt down.  Goods trucks were also burnt.  We found 5 of them that day.
 
Since coming back we have received so many distress calls for people asking us to help rescue them.  We have a huge shortage of diesel in Nyahururu town.  My landcruiser and the “Agape” truck are grounded.  We pray that fuel will be available so that we can take food and rescue people from the clashes affected areas.  Please pray for us.
 
God bless you.
 
Simon
 
From Sammy
Hi mum we are fine in limuru many yesterday were misplaced and they are camping at police station no food they really need us

From Nick

Hi  mum, how  are  u  doing?with as  we  r  doing a little bit  better.the  kids are also doing  better,now  they are 14 kids and i have rented aroom 4 them.

(This is Nick and with Charles they have taken in 14 children - the chilldren are displaced from their parents. Nick and Charles are young Christian men who live in Mathare Slum)

From Laban

I am getting reports from friends, relatives and others, including my own sister who was marooned in between the raiders at a place called Solai. This is the area over which we found a warning leaflet written by the Kalenjin for Kikuyus to vacate.  The houses have now been burnt and several people killed there, as promised.  My sister is living at Bahati Police Station now, before she is able to come out.  She did not escape with anything as the raiders were bold enough to come and start the arson and killings during the day.
 
May the Lord continue to use you mightily as you so strongly campaign for the support we need to bring back sanity to Kenya.  For my part, I continue to pray, especially pray, as these affairs of my country cuts deep.  There is a big obligation to work, especially trying to prevent the revenge actions of the Mungiki cult that is re-emerging to kill Luos and Kalenjins.

These reports are hard to read from those we love in Kenya, Praying for Peace and healing in kenya, Connie

Sunday, January 27

Pastor Karanja

Today I worshipped with Kenyans at Christ Harvesters Church. The members were anxious to see the pictures from my trip last week of their beloved country.  Penny from their church was on the bus with us in Kenya and is still in Kenya helping GOA for the next month.

Right at the end of the service Penny sent me an email - a letter to the church members. Pastor Karanja read it to the congregation on my Blackberry. From Penny:

Dear Brethren,
I greet you in the name of Jesus to whom we continue to give all the praise. Kenya is beautiful, and abundantly blessed. We continue to pray and bless people who have been affected by the skirmishes and even though sometimes it is difficult seeing all these, we thank God for the resources and touching people to give. I have seen so many things and agony and I have come to appreciate the little that I have. Sometimes it has been dangerous for us on the road but we have seen Gods hand as you continue to pray. At times we go to this these camps and we are not able to meet their needs as we would like to. Please give what you have and especially in areas of evangelism we need bibles and soccer/volley  balls as we can see how effective they are as this people need something to keep them busy as they have nothing to do. They also need the word of God and that is why we need the bibles.Connie will tell you about this campaign. Last but not least, continue to pray as ever before because a lot of people are suffering. I will continue to represent you here as one of you and be assured that as you give you are in together with us down here. God bless you and I love you all.

Yours in Christ
Penny.

The young adult dancers were to dance today at the church but gave up their time on the stage o play Sammy's song Pray for Peace for Kenya. Pastor Karanja called me up and laid his hands on me along with his wife Teresa and prayed for me. He did that before my trip and I believe that is why I was so protected on the trip. He took a love offering for Kenya Relief. When the service was over they played Sammy's song over and over. Sammy called my Blackberry from Kenya - and he could hear his song playing in church. Pastor Karanja spoke to him on the phone and blessed him!  How amazing is God?  Connecting all this together.

Pastor karanja is partnering with us to raise funds to keep the Peace bus on the road and in the camps delivering blankets, giving medical care, soccer balls and singing the Pray for Peace song.. We are planning several events and will keep you informed as the dates are set..

The DVD of Post-Election violence and Churches respond was shown in several churches today. We will know tomorrow how much was raised.

Praying for peace and healing in Kenya, Connie

Support GOA in their efforts to assist people hurting and homeless from the violence

Even the news is beginning to carry stories of violence in Kenya now. I
know many of you are heartbroken over what is happening in one of the most peaceful nations in Africa. There are ways you can help GOA as they respond the way God calls them to respond - with compassion, forgiveness and helping
those displaced and hurting.

 Ways you and your friends can help:

 1. Pray for peace and healing in Kenya, for God to claim the victory over the forces of evil.

 2. Wear a white ribbon until peace is restored in Kenya. When people ask
what is for, you can ask them to pray for Kenya.

3. Support the GOA nurses, social workers and pastors on the Pray for Peace bus - they need funds for
fuel, blankets, medication, milk, etc.

4. Ask your friends to send money to buy peace balls for the diplaced
persons camps, and healing bibles for those whose bibles were burned. $30.00 buys a peace ball and a healing bible

5. Show the Post-election violence / GOA response DVD to your church or
community group and take a love offering. Just ask me or David Gruber and we will get you one

6. Sell the Pray for Peace CD for a donation to support the pray for Peace bus. This song was written on Sunday, January 20, by Sammy of GOA, and professionally recorded in Nairobi on Monday, January 21. It has been played on Kenyan television, and
Sammy is singing in the Internally Displaced Camps traveling on the Pray for Peace bus.

7. If anyone has access to a PA system and portable keyboard that Bishop can carry back to Kenya, it would be a blessing to Sammy and the team as they deliver hope to people in the IDP camps.

As the bible teaches us and Bishop David reminds us do not grow weary of doing good.

Praying for peace and healing in Kenya, Connie

2nd report from the GOA Pray for Peace Bus

We continue to hear of violence in Kenya but know more than ever before it is spiritual warfare. On Friday the International Day of Prayer for Kenya when many in the world prayed for peace the enemy used men to attack Nukuru. More have fled their homes.

While many of us listen to the news and watch in horror our brothers and sisters in Christ are God's solders on the fromt line fighting this battle as God would call them to with compassion, forgiveness, and refuge.

Some news from these soldiers of God:

From our brother Francis
We are moving to Nakuru, the place with alot of displaced people from Eldoret and the rest of the affected areas. My wife got a transfer we have already found a house and paid, though the rent was very high. I dont know whether we can afford it, but we are moving with a call to help our people in prayer and do whatever is needed of us to help.

Pray that it will be calm to enable us to move so that my wife can treat the affected people being taken to the hospital. We need alot of prayers for God's protection and His work to begin immediately.

Send the messages to the friends who may need to help in food, and a hall where we can be meeting to receive the word of God, counseling, prayers and food rations. We would need chairs... anything that would be needful for such kind of people.
Its time for me as a kikuyu to tell my people that they should not take revenge for God will punish us when avenging for the people affected.
I had a dream: I was carrying people in a pick up truck, through a very slippery weather road, but God held the vehicle that we sailed through, but we found another flooded section where venomous snakes were drowning and they were very angry and trying jump out of the water, but they finally drowned. I believe that the devil is defeated, and we will be back in peace and start rebuilding our Nation.

I believe God is calling us to Nakuru because I should have felt more safer here in Nyahururu, but I feel an urge to move on to Nakuru. I want to help the HIV positive people get their medicines, bring them together for group therapy, and give them hope. My heart is very heavy for Nakuru.
 CONTINUE PRAYING FOR PEACE

FRANCI

From Sammy (who wrote and sings the Pray for Peace song)

The song touched many people in limuru  camp where i was and on tv they promise to play it coz it is very touching Sammy

Pray for this GOA Pray for Peace bus. There are many requests for medical help, food, blankets coming from the GOA pastors. Pastor Simon is now requesting the bus and lorry to come to help him as he now has so many displaced people. Until more funds arrive at GOA the bus can only go to camps in Nairobi. The GOA nurses, social workers and pastors are doing the work we would do if we could be there but because can't please support them in their efforts.

Praying for peace and for our brothers and sisters fighting the battle for Christ,Connie

Friday, January 25

1st report from the GOA Pray for Peace Bus

I know this is my the third maybe fourth email to you today but for the first time since the violence started in Kenya I feel the spirit of hope and I wanted to share with you why!

I just heard from thosewho were on the Pray for Peace bus today. Remember they are 9 hours ahead of us so they have completed their work today. While part of their report is very sad there is hope.

They went to two camps giving medical care to approx 140 people. The team told me the people were very sick. They bought milk for the children as the children were asking for milk. They brought food and clothes. They were not able to do HIV testing as the women are very tramatized by so much rape that they first need counseling. Sammy and David sang the Pray for Kenya song and they told me women wept. That can be a first step in healing.  Many tears will be shed in Kenya as the nation heals. This team of Partners for Care/GOA nurses, social workers and GOA pastors are so committed to doing what they can to help their nation heal and become a tribeless one nation of Kenya. Your prayers for their safety and financial support is enabling Kenyans to work to heal.

And today in their text messages to me they said they are praying for the supporters. I remember when 911 happened and we heard from so many nations how ccomforting that made me feel. I know what you are doing to support them is comforting to them.

Monday they go to Mathare and will need to covered in prayer. Mathare was one of the hardest hit areas in Nairobi. Much rape and violence and burning happened in Mathare. And remember that is were Nick and Charles who are on the Peace Team live.

And when this is over in Kenya and people feel the desire to return I am praying that those of you who are supporting the GOA Pray for Peace bus can go and celebrate with the GOA Peace team. What a wonderful day that will be. And Sammy and David will sing for you - "We prayed for peace in Kenya and God granted peace to this great nation of Kenya"

Praying for peace and healing in Kenya,

Connie

GOA Peace Bus

The GOA Peace bus is in the camps today. Here is a message from Jane and Sammy:

From Jane:
Connie, just to inform you that we are set for tomorrow's trip to limuru  Everything is in place. Paul will treat people. Pricilla, Ann, Nick and Charles  will do the HIV testing, Sammy and David will be singing the Peace song.  We  have hired a P.A system and  Pastor Muturi will give messages of peace and hope, Penny .and Njoki will be part of the team .Kenney will be drving us. .
 
for us to be able to go to Mathare Slum on saturday we require funds by tomorrow.may the Lord grant you favour as you request people to support this mission.
 
From Sammy:
Thank you so much we are now at  limuru ready to visit 4 camps one is Word of Faith Church there  are 210 people,  Ngecha there are 200 people Kirathimo there are 600 people and kiboko there are 100 people. There are a total of 1110 displaced  people  When I asked them what is the  most need they were teling me they needed  egetables and milk for children.

Today as you pray for peace for Kenya pray for this GOA peace bus staffedwith people many of you know and love. They are as they say "on the ground" in the camps praying, singing, worshipping, providing medical care and giving children who have been displace from their homes for almost a month now milk and vegetables. Having been with this team for a week going into the camps I know how heavy their hearts are to see the country they love with people living outside, in tents, in churches and far away from their homes.

Bishop David says when we see a problem we say someone should do something. This GOA team is doing something.. What we can do is support them with funds to go to the camps and we can cover them with prayer.

I will ccontinue giving you these updates from the ground if you want - but please let me know if you want off this email list.

Thank you for praying, for your heartfelt emails back, for your tears, for caring for this GOA team that is just trying to do their part. Any support for them can be sent to ILI/Partners for Care - Kenya Relief.

Today we pray around the world in every nation for peace in Kenya, Connie

Tuesday, January 22

10th Update from Connie

It is always hard to leave Kenya but today it is especially hard to leave. Not only will this Kenyan team forever be in my heart but there is still. sporatic violence in the country in some parts of Kenya and so many people are homeless and thousands are hurting. The GOA pastors and leaders are overwhelmed with requests for help. The Bishop had over 100 pleas for help on Friday - for food, shelter, water, etc.

I want to summarize this week for you and tell you what the team recommendations were to the Bishop. A team of 32 Kenyans travelled on a bus with Kennedy driving and George and Bennet taking the lead with the lorry loaded with rice, maize flour, medications, diapers, blankets, sanitary pads and soccer peace balls heading for Eldoret. We visited 11 Internal Displaced Persons (IDP) camps.. The team delivered the food, blankets, etc. We conducted medical camps and offered VCT testing for HIV/AIDs. SN led the youth in discussions of peace as he established teams for soccer. We saw over 22,000 men, women and children in these camps.

This humanitarian trip costs 20,000US. These funds were from the immediate responders - Roswell United Methodist Church, Beth Casey, David Gruber and the Munkles. With these funds GOA had already given food and supplies at two IDP camps last week.

Also GOA bought a small piece of land and built several temporary houses for displaced families. The people are moving in now.

I have pictures for each of the donors to show how their funds were used on the ground to provide relief assistance. Thank you to these people who I believe certainly made a difference in many people's lives and probably saved some lives.

First. I would like to share what GOA's response to this crisis has been. All GOA pastors were asked to respond from their churches. They have from the beginning collected items, coordinated placement of displaced people, fed people. etc.  Over 1000 displaced people are being housed by GOA pastors and congregations.  They will continue their efforts for those in need as well as refer people to the Kenya Red Cross where Red Cross can help.

After travelling into one of the hardest hit areas (Eldoret)) and talking with the people living in these camps, the pastors who have been the intial responders and continue to be mangaing camps, orgainizing relief efforts for thousands of people, seeing the conditions ourselves and talking with Red Cross officials and meeting with Mary Mugo who was called by the President's office to go to the camps to assess the situation  the team gave the Bishop the following report;

1. It is impossiible to explain in words and even in pictures the suffering that is occurring right now in Kenya by so many people.

2. The violence that people share is unthinkable and has grieved even the professional counsellors, the police chiefs, and the pastors. The people hearing the stories are asking for counselling and need support. Our dear Mary Mugo cried as I could only hold her as she wept for those she had seen.

3. The people of Kenya even the children have responded!  From the GOA pstor in Eldoret who I will never get out of my mind and heart who had the entire community around him burnt and he struggles to help the suffering to the pastor who had 10,000 people at his church the first week of the crisis and now has 2,000 sleeping there and 2,000 more coming for food everyday,  And if you think these numbers are exagarated I can tell you they are not. Every camp we went to the pastors showed me the records - every person registered using paper and pen. Kenyans are emptying their closets to give their clothes. Everywhere people are trying to help.

3. The pastors of Kenya are the only ones who know where everyone is. Even the Red Cross is relying on the pastors to tell them where all the people are.

4. The Kenyan Red Cross is responding but they are overwhelmed. Even though they had disaster plans in place the lead psychologist who I had breakfast with in Eldoret told me they never expected the number or intensity of this relief efforts.

5. Because it is Red Cross policy not to go in until the violence is stopped the first week of the intense violence the support and help was provided by police, pastors and individual people. If you remember for example Laban had 20 people in his home for refuge the first week. The Bishop's brother has taken in 10 people to a very small home and given them their clothes.

6. Many Kenyans have taken in displaced families and seperated children. That does seem the preferred response. The Red Cross will provide food and some medical help for families who take in another family.

7. The Red Cross will provide help through food assitancce and the IDP camps but does not assist in resettlement. That will the Kenyan goverment.

8. People have left their communities in the thousands and will not return they say. We saw whole families walking from Eldoret with their luggage on their backs. Another sight forever in my mind was a small girl with a trunk on her back walking along the road with her family.

9. School throughout the entire country was stopped because of the violence. A whole Nation of children stopped doing what in Kenya they love to do and want to do - go to school. The last day I was here the children returned to school. It was a wonderful sight to see children in school uniforms walking to school. Remember in Kenya children walk to school there are no big yellow school buses.

10. Not only were churches burned but schools were burned. In Eldoret 7 schools were burned.

11. The entire country of Kenya has been affected. Food supplies, fuel costs are all higher because of the inability of the trucks to move supplies. I don't think I spoke with anyone including the Bishop who did not have a family member affected.

12. People are concerned of many dying in these camps. Except for the kenya Red Cross managed camp all the camps we visited had serious public health risks from unsafe water to complications from the elements due to lack of shelter and fear of outbreaks of diseases due to lack of bathing, toliets and men, women and children sleeping side by side.  We met a Red Cross team already starting measle vaccinations.

13. Once the Red Cross sets up and manages a IDP camp all the basic needs of the people are met. There is no organization in the world that do as quickly and as well as the Red Cross in relief work. The problem is the sheer magnitude of the relief work needed.  The others were having food drops and not even all of them were having that. Red Cross will get there but maybe not for two more weeks.

There are three parts of this disaster:

1. Immediate need response - remembering the hierarchy of human need for shelter first, then water, then food, then comfort needs. This immediate need was met by pastors, police and individual people. Kenya is still in the process of meeting immediate needs for some displaced people.

2. Resettlement including housing and work for people to sujpport themselves. There are 300.000 people displaced. Most do not want to return to where they fled from.

3. Peace and healing - most importantl for kenya to retore the country.

After much prayer the team's recomendations to the Bishop were:

1. GOA pastors will continue helping by responding meeting immediate  requests where people present at the church hungry, hurting and homeless.

2. Help with resettlement when the congregation or pastor takes a family or a child in.

3. Strongest area for GOA is in peace and reconcillation.

The GOA Plan to continue their response:

1. GOA churches will continue to respond as they have from the very beginning. Collecting items from congregations and giving them out to those in need, giving the items to the Red Cross for distribution or coordinating with Jane for delivery with the lorry truck.

2. The Partners for Care apartment will be used to gather items for distribution. Njokie will manage the inventory. She will also work with Penny to contact people, companies, organizations for donations or items at discount. Penny is a gift from God. She attends Christ Harvester's Church in Marietta, Ga. and we became friends there. She is on the Leadership team at Christ Harvesters.. She travelled to Kenya returning for a visit after 12 years. While she planned on volunteering for Partners for Care she did not plan to work full time with us. Last week she was on the team travelling to all the camps. She now is on the GOA respnse team. An example of how this will work is thanks to our wonderful partner
Vickie Winkler, RN, Founder of HEART kennedy is picking up 830 bed-nets. They will be immediately delivered to those in need. We also have 8,000 oral test kits that will be used for testing for HIV/AIDS.

3.. Kennedy will be responsible for coordinating delivering of goods.

4. Jane along with the social workers will receive the requests from the pastors for their needs and make decisons of what needs to be delivered. GOA will not duplicate efforts of the the single relief agency repsonsible for the response the Kenyan Red Cross. GOA/Partners for Care social workers will go out to the regions and meet with the GOA pastors to both provide emotional support and also to connect with existing services such as Red Cross where those connections have not alreay happened. Social workers will assist the GOA pastors as much as they can.

5.. GOA will send to the camps the Praying for Peace bus.
.You can tell from the email updates what is happening in Kenya breaks our hearts and at time so overwhelms us we feel hopeless but then there apears God out of nowhere we see Him and we are reminded when we see Him that there is hope. Most American don't know Kenya like those of us who have met the Kenyans and seen their love for God. Yesterday out of almost no where there appeared this young man who sang a song he wrote called "Praying for peace in Kenya".  God clearly revealed to the team what GOA churches and those of us who partner with them can do to help Kenya with healing. The thousands of people we saw in these camps need to hear this music, need to worship, to pray. The GOA Peace bus with this young singer will travel from camp to camp.  Along with him will be Samuel another musician, our beloved Kennedy and Simon, SN will take the PEACE balls to use the miracle of a simple ball to bring boys and girls together to hear the word.. Pricilla, Ann, Nick, Charles and Joyce (our new volunteer from Liverpool) will provide VCT services especially for women who have been raped.  The team will work with the local GOA pastor who will bring worhip leaders. If funds allow they want to take healing bibles for the people. Many asked us for bibles as they have lost theirs in the fires. This Praying for Peace team will spend a half day at the Internal Displace Persons Camp worshipping, praying for peace, testing for HIV and sports for the young people.  They will bring supplies as funds and resources allow. The team will wear white shits saying Pray for Peace as the symbol of peace and the bus will have banners on both side that say Pray for Peace.

It will cost $2,000 a week to keep this Pray for Peace bus moving from camp to camp. GOA is an indeginous church group and will need our support as partners for their humanitarian response to the crisis in Kenyan.

6. Pasor Muturi will be holding peace and reconciliation seminars in the affected areas. This is one of the most important part of GOA's response - promoting peace and healing. GOA is uniquely postioned to do this. And Pastor Muturi is the man God has clearly called to do this. He and his wife had to evacuate from Eldoret due to violence that was threated against him and his family - but he returned with us to Eldoret not fearing for himself but called from God.


Pastor Muturi, Director of Peace and Reconcilation and Jane Cheng, Director of Hurting and Homeless are directing this effort.

I can tell you God could not have put together a more committed, dedicated and passionate team to do this work. He made sure the team had all the skills and talents needed from music to spiritual this team is prepared.

All my time in the camps when I saw the faith in God that He would bring peace to their country, that He would their retore lives and when I saw the tremendous response from those without much giving to those who had less I was reminded of Bishop David's words " you never know God is all you need until God is all you have".

Thank you all your prayers. I felt safe and covered by the blood of Jesus. I have been blessed and changed from this experience. I know it was hard on my family for me to be in kenya when they heard so much on the news and I appreciate their faith in God that I was where I was supposed to be. My part is really NOTHING compared to what our brothers and sisters are dealing with. Everynight I slept in a bed, I ate every meal, I have clothes.....the only thing that I suffered is my heart. So when you pray pray for those in kenya that are responding in a way that Jesus will someday reward them.

Praying for peace and healing in Kenya,

Connie

Sunday, January 20

9th Update from Connie

Please pray for the violence to stop!  I was just in Nairobi Church with the Bishop and they are asking for prayer. The violence continues. So many homeless, hungry, cold, scared. I am not exagerating the situation. If you ever wanted to help now is the time. The Bishop had over a hundred requests on Friday for help. I will explain in a detailed email later today the UN's response and what Red Cross is doing. I have talked with officials throughout this trip and I will share the world's response through the UN but believe me when I tell you people are dying. Some say this is exageration but this team has been on the ground and seen it for ourselves. Also pray for the team tonight to be able to put this story in words and pictures. The Bishop is meeting in a leadership meeting tomorrow with Parliament on what is really happening on the ground and plans to go forward. Pray we can give him the story in pictures and words. Praying for an immediate stopping of the violence in Kenya,Connie

8th Update from Connie

Today we have been to three plus camps camps (I will explain later why I say three plus). Both are unlike anything I have ever seen or hope to see again.

The first was at PCEA Church where 2,000 people were living and 2,000 come for food during the day. People were everywhere with attempts at shelter or some sort of place to sleep. It took our breath away and we felt totally overwhelmed and inadequate. But truly God used this team of Kenyans in a mighty way. We first asked who was in charge and we were directed to an office where we met the pastor and his church leaders. They told us how 10,000 people came the week of the violence and there were no relief agencies for a week. We asked how we could help and he asked for medical help and VCT. The medical team treated 116 and tested 17. SN organized the boys for soccer and giving them hope and the Word. The counsellors did what they could to listen to people. We left food and as we were leaving the women told Laban thy wantedt to thank us with a worship song. So once again at a Displaced Person Camp we sang, worshipped and danced Kenyan style. How amazing to see these women and chiildren praising the God they believe. I can't really explain what happened. All I know is that for a few minutes these women and children seem to forget that they were homeless, that their children were hungry, that they had lost everything they owned and they smiled and laughed and worshipped God and thanked us for coming.

Next camp was in Burned Forest (that is the real name of the town). A committee had been set up with a pastor as a chairman, other pastors as recorders and other positions. There were 4,000 people in this camp. And they had made houses out of pieces of burnt buildings, plastic, anything they could find. Red Cross was there doing medical. They will be setting up a camp soon. They had delivered food but the pastor said they were out of food. We left food and rice. And SN spoke with the youth and  left a couple PEACE soccer balls. When we left the pastor thanked us and said what a blessing we had been to the people.

The Bishop us to go to a church camp on the way back to Nukuru.  At the church close to the road the Red Cross was there distributing food. David Miner was the Red Cross official in charge and he was wonderful - kind, compassionate and understands the value of working with the pastors.

Behind this camp were three camps that really ran into each other. That is why I said we visited three plus camps. There had not been many services for these people yet. A lot of them were just sleeping outside. We really couldn't see the end of the people and there wasn't much organization yet. The Red cross is planning to set camp up.

Then the ride to Nakuru. We stopped at a police station and three armed police rode with us to town. We were grateful for the security.

Thank you again so much for reading these updates, for sending encouragement emails, and for praying for peace and healing for Kenya. Connie

Saturday, January 19

7th Update from Connie

It is early Saturday morning and the team is preparing to leave for a camp to provide medical care and sports evangelism. .

Yesterday we safely arrived in Eldoret and found all the people from the first camp had been moved to the camp at Show Ground which is an outdoor event stadium like Turner Field. We went to Show Ground and found the Kenya Red Cross in charge of the camp. What we saw and learned was amazing on many levels. There is a tent city set up where 10,500 people are living. We met with a young man Anthony who was in charge. We toured the distribution site and met with the lead psychologist from Nairobi and also met with the medical team. Every family had a tent, mosqito net, cooking pot, blankets and cooking fat. And they had established safe water including the way it was distributed to the people. They had a list of 79 children displaced from their families and a system for reconnecting them. Unicef is arriving today with schools in a box and school starts Monday. They didn't need any food, blankets, etc. that we brought but they did need one thing we had - soccer balls!  They only had one soccer ball and it had just busted.

We met with Pastor Erastus who is the GOA pastor that is still here. We went to his church but did not stop as it didn't seem wise to get off the bus. His church stands untouched by the burning surrounded by burnt houses and buisnesses. He has two children of his own and has taken in 4 orphans. He has tremendous needs as he tries to reach out to help in this community. I pesonally found myself overwhelmed at what he is dealing with and I asked myself would I be able to function and have any hope if I was in his situation. Is my faith as big as his. Do I believe my God is as big as this pastor believes his God is. All I could do is do what I should do was to allow Jane and pastor Muturi to assess his needs. If I support GOA then they can support this pastor.

It seems God gave us Njokie to bring us the laughter we need each night when we debrief. Last night Njokie told us of meeting a woman in the camp who was making and selling chapatis!  And Njolie bought one - and said they were very good. The woman had sold 50 chapatis that day. Imagine being that innovative that instead of just waiting for help this woman ask "what can I do" and she figured out how to create a small buisness. The reason we all laughed is as a team we decided not to have buy the packed lunch yesterday to save funds so we were teasing Njokie that she found food in a Displaced Person Camp and when another team member went to buy one she found out Njokie had bought the last one!

One of our team members who work in Msamaria saw her sister yesterday. Her sister and brother are displaced from their home that was burned.

Last night at debriefing the team talked about how the Red Cross have five paid staff but have mobilized hundreds of well-trained volunteers to respond to this crisis. They are an excellent example of accomplishing a lot with few people.

The team was given the opportunity of opting out for the camp we were going to today and the team made the decision to go or not go as a team. Every person voted the team would go.

Thank you for caring, for reading these updates and for your prayers for peace and healing in Kenya,

Connie

Friday, January 18

6th Update from Connie

God answered prayer in a mighty way this morning. The team met very early for prayer. We had received word from those on the ground that violence had occurred on the road to Eldoret. Laban prayed God's will not ours be done and if God wanted us to go He would give us a clear sign. After quickly eating breakfast we went to the police station. There were conveys of trucks waititng to travel in convoys to Eldoret.

We went into the police station and were told they had nobody to escort us but that there were patrols along the way and told us we would be OK. However Laban, Jane and Pastor Mutri were not comfortable going. As they were feeling defeated, the original person we had met came by and asked us if we had connected with whoever could help us. We told him yes but that could not escort us. We were in scrubs and he had asked earlier if we were doctors and we told him nurses and we also were taking food. He said he felt we should have transport - your work is important and needed.  He said follow uje He took us to his office - he was the Provential police Officer - the man in charge of everything. I told I knew Professor Orago and was working with him and everytime I was in his office it was time for tea. I was just trying to do small talk. He said then we shall have tea here. He got on the phone and told the police to give us escort and to pass us to each of the police districts to take us all the way to Eldoret!  He shared with us he was a Christian and was there when they burned Eldoret Church. He said what he saw he would never forget - children burned to death, men beat to ground and cut to death. He has four children all in college. He is a great kenyan leader who is saddened by what has happened. He said the violence now is byyoung men - many of them drunk. We prayed for him before we left his office. We returned to the bus and the team cheered that we were going to Eldoret. Each person had been told they were to make their own decision to go - all team members said they wanted to go.

We just arrived in Eldoret with no incidence. We have police escort in front and back all the way 120 miles. We like others on the road put braches with greenery on our bus to indicate "we come in peace".

We are now at the first camp. Thank your many prayers - they are working!  Connie

5th Update from Connie

I have always known Kenya was a Country of extreme contrasts. The urban, the rural, the rich, the very poor, the highly educated, the uneducated. And now I see the extreme contrast with the angry, violent people and the loving, compassionate people. The team has heard stories of unthinkable violence and we are seeing the response from the Christians in Kenya of forgiveness and a desire for peace, healing and reconciliation.

Today we were joined by GOA pastor Kinjui  in Nukuru. There are many camps in this area from people fleeing even their own communities. The first stop was a Catholic seminary. They had taken in 150 people who were staying in rooms used for seminary students. We saw some for medical and the social workers counselled some while Veronica and Penny did art therapy with the children. The children asked many questions especially about returning home. There was one woman bedridden. Daniel and Paul treated her. Her 6 month old baby died the day they arrived at camp. the priest told us there greatest need was for blankets and food. Also they had water from a tank but it was not safe water. We hope to return with a water dispenser and water cleaner.

The next stop was a very poor church in a rural area. There were both small children and very old men and women. Some of the women wanted to take us to show their homes and buisnesses that had been burnt. We found homes and buisnesses burnt to the ground and in some places they were still small fires. Medical saw and treated people mostly chronic diseases. Art therapy for the children and counselling. Still a lot of fear expressed. We left blankets, food, sanitary pads, and  diapers. SN spoke to the local football and volley ball teams and then distributed the balls. You could see how sports is so important in developing countries for young Christian leaders. The captons of the team were obviosly the young leaders in the community.

The third camp was the largest with 250 people staying at a local dispensary. Imagine 250 people showing up at your place of buisness and not going home. Within minutes of getting off the bus the team had organized women in one group, the men in another, the youth gathered together and Nick, Charles, Veronica and Penny had about 75 children gathered singing and laughing. The woman were hungry for words of hope and encouragement. They sat with their babies on their laps listening to Laban, Jane, Penny and others give words of hope and encouragement. They asked me to speak to them. I could only tell them of Pastor Karanja's prayers and hope for Kenya and that Americans cared for them, loved the country of Kenya and were in constant prayer for them. They all clapped when I told them Pastor Karanja said Kenya will emerge as a springboard for a great spiritual revival. Laban interpreted for me and they laughed when he had trouble with the word springboard and had to demostrate with his hands. The military were there quarding the camp. It is important for everyone to understand the military in Kenya has not been called out. The country is not at war. The military are providing humanitarian help not military service. We spoke with them and they listened to all of the pastors when they spoke to the groups. This camp is managed by a committee. All 250 people were sleeping on a concret floor with open sides and only a roof. Their needs were blankets and food. Paul changed the dressing of a spear wound on a very old man. He was speared in the leg while trying to protect his home. His home was burned and he lost everything. We gathered everyone together before leaving and Jane and Penny led them in worship. You would not know these people had lost their homes, their belongings, some lost their loved ones and yet they sang and danced and gave praises to the Lord as the military men stood by giving protection. It is difficult to tell in an email on a Blackberry the feeling in this camp. It was difficult to leave not because we felt torn and despair as in the other camps but because of what we were receiving - pure love and joy in worship to the God they know and believe.

We returned to Nukuru to stay at the same hotel the April team stayed in
When we went with the GOA leaders to Lake Nakuru. After dinner the team came together for sharing of the days work. First the team shared how encouraged with each other they were as they watched each team member do their part. People shared at some points throughout the day they found themselves not wanting to hear any more stories their hearts were so heavy with what people shared with them. But consistent from the people displaced was the hope they had in God. Njokie has become a counsellor. She like her sister Mary Mugo has the compassion in her heart for the hurting. She shared with the team how she listened to a 28 year old woman tell the story of her husband and his brother killing their 6 month old baby because they were of different tribes. She had been married for 10 years and had waited a long time for a baby. But she told njokie she knew God would give her a new husband and anther baby. Njokie thought please stop talking so I can go cry. Pastor Paul Muturi shared how his heart was broken when he heard from a couple of the murder of their child. Pastor thought of how much he loved his own children and how he couldn't bear to think of something like that happening to his children. One of the Luos with us shared how he was frightened as we left Naiirobi because he feared harm from Kikuyus. But now he felt safe and he thanked the Kikuyus for their love and support. Remember we have four tribes represented on our team. Samuel reminded the team their works would be written in the book and they wiould be rewarded. Much discussion about how they can work towards peace and healing in Kenya. The team also had a very theapeutic laughter when Njokie told of an 84 year old women who had over many years lost 6 husbands due to clashes but she was trusting God for another husband. Njokie said "wow that was faith". It was good for the team to share laughter as Njokie told the men she would take applications from them if they were not married - but the woman was looking for a doctor!

I personally never experienced anything like this. I always say it is a privledge to serve the Kenyans but this time it is truly at a new level. I ask God why He has granted me favor to be here.

Praying for peace and healing in Kenyan!  Connie

Thursday, January 17

4th Update from Connie

I can tell you before I start this email that it is not possible for me to adequately describe the situation in Kenya. There really are not words to convey to you the trauma people have experienced.

There was violence today but police responded swiftly and gave everyone 30 minutes to be out of Nairobi. There were estimated 7 deaths throughout Kenya. We are in Navasha and saw no violence.

This morning Kennedy picked us up at the apartment and we headed to the first internally displaced people camp (IDP). Before we left today though we asked the team members to share was the family members directly effected so we could pray for them and lift them up for God to protect while they were away. As they shared the stories of their family members homes burned, families members hurt many cried as the pain of the violence is so close to them. Our first we stop was in MaiMahui at Beat the Drum where we met the new little boy 4 year old Immenuel. He is a boy Bishop David rescued when he was training at the last ILI training. He is infected with HIV/AIDs. And we got to see Erupe - how good she looks!  All the other children were in school. Pastor John later suprised us and after school brought them to see us at the camp. And for those of you who know Rebecca I am thrilled to tell two more sores are now just little scabs!  There really is only one sore left. All the children looked healthly and happy!

There were some 350 men, women and children at the camp at MaiMahui. It is located at an AIC church. Pastor John is the GOA pastor helping with this camp. The GOA/Parters for Care team quickly set up a medical camp, VCT and the social workers set groups up for counselling. SN soon had a large group of men he counselled and shared the gospel with while others played games with the children - so many children. We met with the people responsible for the camp - pastors and a young women named Stacey. The camp was  a community with areas for cooking, serving food, etc.  The local Christian hospital had built six toliets and they were getting water from a tap from the hospital. However as our team of  nurses told us most people they saw had diarrhea. When checking what happened to the water after it came to the camp we found the water contaminated by the method they were distributing it.  They did have the proper water dispensers but they were dirty and not in use. After learning how many people were sick and why the camp "managers" began the process of cleaning and preparing to use the proper dispensers. Christian gathered the people at the camp for singing and prayer before we left. We left blankets, rice and SN left 2 soccer balls with GOA/Partner for Care PEACE printed on them. 24 were tested for HIV with 2 positive. 89 treated and given medications.

We drove to Navasha where we met Pastor Paul and Martha. Pastor Paul is the GOA Pastor helping with the Navasha response. Navasha has responded to displaced people differently here. The whole community has responded to help. There is a central site downtown where displaced families arrive everday. 300 families have been placed with families in Navasha. On Wednesday the Red Cross comes to distribute food to the famlies who have taken in a displaced family. The families are receiving medical care at the hospital but do not have money for the medications. The Red Cross asked if we could see some people that were sick. We left Paul and two others to provide medical help and then drove to the area near Tumiani. Paul treated 49 people.

The third area we went to is where Bishop David is from. Some of his own relatives have been displaced. GOA has purchasd an acre of land and is building temporary housing for some of the displaced families. They are building these houses in less than a week. The first two will be ready by early next week. They can build ten houses on the acre of land they bought. The costs is approximately $1500.00 US dollars per house to build and furnish. Pastor Stephen Kimiti is the GOA pastor respo├▒sible here. He is the principle of the local school for 1000 children. The school was built for 300. He has placed 60 children in homes who are seperated from their families!  I cannot even imagine what it must be like for a child who is seperated from their parents in the mist of fleeing from their homes that have beed burnt. Pastor Stephen rides his bike to school every morning. Next week he plans to hold a big meeting bringing together parents who are misssing children and the children so they can be reunited. We were able to go by and see the children at Tumiani before travelling back to Navasha to get Paul and the others.

Some of the stories we heard:

Woman told us she fled with her six children only to be seperated from all of them. She has been told two of the children were burned and found dead.

People who said they owned homes, had grain stored and have lost everything. Now they stand in a cue line waiting for food.

People who fled riding in the back of a lowry truck fearing for their lives.

People in these camps look stunned Post-tramatic stress is apparent for so many. The Red Cross woman - Grace- in charge at Navasha embraced me when we said good-bye and cried just from the sheer magnitude of what has happened.

Glory Outreach Assemby with the help of the first-immediate donors from the US have responded in a way that I know is making Jesus pleased. The GOA pastors/Partners For Care staff are helping where they can. They took the money sent by the US donors and have bought food, blankets, sanitary pads and medications and the PEACE soccer balls. Praise God for the Beth Casey/RUMC lowry and George who FEARLESSY drives this truck loaded with needed items to those who need it.

One thing I want to share is how respected the GOA pastors are in the communities where we have been. And everyone in the communities knows them and they know everyone. It has been a privedge to work under their leadership as we are passed from GOA pastor to GOA pastor as we travel through Kenya. It seems except for the financial resources GOA was uniquely prepared for this task with pillars for the Homeless and Hurting and Peace and Reconcilation
already in place.

When feeling discouraged and overwhelmed by the needs a message came in from Bishop David -

We shall continue doing our small part, that everyvbody will do their part .
 
Thank you for your messages of encouragement, prayers and love. I read them to the team. Pray for peace, 
Connie

Tuesday, January 15

3rd Update from Connie

The team is ready to depart for the Displaced Person Camps. Every person did their part today. Rice, maize, diapers, medications, santitary pads,, blankets!p, Ssppppoccer balls with PEACE printed on them and VCT supplies purchased. George (who hadn't slept in 24 hours arrived about 6:00 at the apartment. There are 25 people sleeping in the apartment. All have been fed and with men in one room, and women in two rooms all are resting as we get up at 4:30 to load the lowry truck and leave at 6:00. Aaaa

We really don't know what tomorrow will bring. Parliment took their seats orderly today despite threats of disruption. We went to the Red Cross office and was told they monitor from the air and the ground and the roads are not blocked. They say we would receive a police escort from Nakura to Eldoret.

As I listen to the stories of what happened and how so many of this staff had a family member who lost their homes, buisness and all they owned. Nick and Charles stayed in Mathare the whole time. They said people starved to death in Mathare. Now they have 6 children with them.

Mare social worker from Marsabit has begun her needs assessment and so far 100 orphans. And she is still assessing.

Thank you for your encouraging emails, Connie

2nd Update from Connie

When Christian and I boarded the flight in Amersdam we found many empty seats. Only 100 people on a plane that seats 400.  We had never seen the plane to Nairobi so empty.

Simon picked me up and took me to the apartment where Partners for Care staff were waiting along with Laban!  They had come to stay with me for the rest of the week. It was so wonderful to see the people we had prayed for. Njokie had cooked and as we shared a meal they begin to tell me the stories of the violence.

We discussed what plans they had for the week and everyone of you would be very proud of their planning, organization and preparation for the week. The lorry truck will be loaded with food, medications, bandages, blankets, diapers, sanitary pads, and soccer balls with PEACE -GOA written on them. We will go to 8 what I have now learned are called Internally Displace People camps (IDPs) providing medical care, prayers, food and other relief items. There are more than a hundred such camps with men, women and children. We will also provide HIV/AIDS testing for women who have been raped. And anyone who wants tested.

All of GOA is engaged - there are 25 with this team. We have Paul nurse from Masamaria and the new nurse assigned to Beat the Drum, new social workers for Good Shepard, Strong Tower and the new social woker travelled a day from Marsabit!  Andrew from Lodwar will join us tomorrow. And the teachers and cooks from Masamaria were also there. It is not safe for Masamaria to open right now. And SN sports evalegism is with us.  And Njokie will travel with us.

The team has already been to the camps with Bishop David. They found people sleeping outside without blankets, hungry and many children with cuts and rashes on their arms and legs. They knew what we needed to buy. The Red Cross is there but not able to meet the needs of so many. Almost every police station in Kenya has been turned into one of these camps.

Kenyans are responding giving what they have to those who have lost everything. And they talk peace and learning to say they are Kenyan and not what tribe they are. We have with us a Luo and a kallenjin to show unity.

We wait anxiously today as Parliament is to take their seats this afternoon and the opposition is threatening to sit on the side of goverment in protest. They have called for protests tomorrow which will spark more violence All over Nairobi are police in riot gear preparing if violence breaks out.

After planning until late into the night 17 people found space to sleep at the apartment. As we closed the meeting SN reminded us of why we were doing what we doing - to show Christ's love. He reminded us how important it is to fill ourselves in our intimacy with God so when we go we can give what's it our hearts. He said you cannot give what you don't have.

Today everyone was up early as Njokie said breakfast was at 6:30!  And then everyone had their assignments - some to buy food, diapers. Others to preapre for oral testing for HIV//AIDs. We have contacted one of our very good ministry partners to see if she can get us bed-nets and painties for distribution.

GOA as of two hours ago had not received any funds into their bank. I have cash I brought with me and I am withdrawing what I allowed everyday from my ATM. I spoke with my bank so they do not put me on fraud alert. Pray God stretches the cash I have so we can fill the lowrry truck with supplies. We leave tomorrow morning early and will be out until Sunday. We will hold worship in one of the camps in Eldoret.

We have met with the Kenyan Red Cross to tell us where and what the needs are. Partners for Care/GOA will form an official partnership with them and be able to work with HIV/AIDs office as well as the emergency relief efforts.

I will provide updates of what I learn about special people some of you know. Even though the news might be unsettling trust God as the Kenyans are for their safety.  Anna's grandmother's house was burnt and Anna, Julianna and their grandmother moved in with someone else. They were not harmed.

Nick and Charles joined us today. How wonderful to see them. They saw so much burning in Mathare - where they live. They are travelling with us. They have six children living with them who have lost their parents even from death or seperation due to the burning in Mathare. We will ensure they have food before we leave for Eldoret.

Pray for peace and for the GOA team as thy serve God, Connie

Sunday, January 13

1st Update

I am through check-in and feel blessed already. One is because my KLM friend Ed was here today and not a question of charging me for my four bags of which one was 70 pounds.  And he told me he knew God would keep me safe. Second is because Ken and Barb, sister and parents came to the Kenyan church today to support me and to see first hand Pastor karanja. They said they were transported 10,000 miles away to Kenya. And Pastor karanja called me up and laid hands on me as he and the church members prayed for my protection.  I really feel God's protection.

I have been receiving emails from Bishop David (from his Blackberry!) and from Jane (Partners for Care social worker) about all they have put in place for the work we will do this week. There will be 30 Partners for Care nurses and social workers,, pastors and others joining Christian and me first thing Tuesday morning as we assess the needs and develop a plan as to what would please God and how best to use GOA's strengths - passion, committment, a spirit of willingness to serve, a heart of forgiveness and a network of churches throughout Kenya and nurses and social workers who work for the church.  What they lack are financial resources.

If we are able to travel Kennedy will be driving us and everyone knows how we love Kennedy. Njokie will cook for us and many of the staff will stay in the apartment. I was touched when Jane said this time they are covering mine and Christian expenses. (The Bishop and I will have to discuss that!  I can't imagine them paying for me when they have reached out so compassionately to others in great need).

This morning I spoke to Nick and Charles. Two young Christian guys who live in Mathare and visit 150 people sick with Aids and have a program for 250 vulerable orphans and children. They will be working with us this week. They are funded a dollar a day for the work they do!  They have big hearts, big smiles and love the Lord. They have recently attended the Nairobi GOa church and loved it.. When I asked them if I could bring them anything they just said money to buy the children food - they never asked for anything for themselves.

Please pray we don't disappoint the Bishop as he hopes we can accomplish many things as GOA reaches out to help rebuild homes, lives and relationships in Kenya. God has claimed the victory now His people here and there need to do their part.

Eager to be in Kenya,

Connie