What an amazing trip I had going to Kenya with Bridges International Development. I never, in my wildest dream, thought I would go on a mission trip, especially at the age of 62 to Kenya, Africa. If we just listen to God he will give you more blessing than you ever thought possible. I often wondered why I had such a passion for making goat milk soap and God gave me the answer by allowing me to go on a Soap Making Mission Trip.
Ann and Bob Rosser, did such a wonderful job of planning the trip and it all went so smoothly..
It took 3 plane changes to get to Nairobi, Kenya. We went to Atlanta then to Amsterdam then into Nairobi. We got into Kenya late in the evening and meet up with the three ladies from Texas that rounded out our group. It was wonderful how God put us all together and how well we worked together.
We spent the night in Nairobi at the Methodist Guest House and our first stop, on our way to Meur, was to a graduation of some of the students that were training to be pastors. It was a Mufu, which is new Embu
When we arrived in Meru we went to the Methodist Bio Intensive Agriculture Training Center. Of course the first thing I found were the goats and I felt right at home. They also grow their own catfish and teach others how they can do it also. In addition to the goats they had a cow, some pigs, chickens and rabbits. They do the sack farming or “garden in a bag”
and have poinsettia TREES!
We stayed in a dormitory type building with two to a room and were very comfortable. We used the mosquito netting over our beds at night.
We got to meet the Kenyan staff for Bridges and then went shopping for soap supplies. I had to adjust my recipe a little bit, but I will talk about that in a little bit. I was so thankful that I was able to come up with a recipe that I did not need a stove because here is what the stoves looked like.
We had three scheduled women conferences and each of us women had a part in. Teaching the bible and sharing blessing of their lives. I ended up with an additional three classes of soap making. Two of them were at churches. The churches praise and worship time should be called Kenyan aerobics! They put their whole bodies into their singing, and not just at church. At the conferences they sang before we got started with our program. No instruments just beautiful voices that could harmonize! Pastor Jackson told me that my name was “sour milk” in Swahili.
We had two food reliefs, one near Archer’s Post and the second one at Ngarima. They were both are near the Samburu Game Park so we were able to go there also.
You could hardly see the homes because they blended in with the scenery. I was surprised at the number of people that were waiting for us to arrive. We had armed guards at the first one, but not the second. We sacked up Maize flour, brown beans and cooking oil. If you have never tried to put cooking oil in a plastic bag and tie it without it leaking, let me tell you it is not as easy as they made it look! Of course I found their goats and had to get my picture taken with them. We also brought worm medicine for the children. The people were so appreciative of everything we gave them.
The Samburu game park was wonderful. We spent the night there and their power was from generators so they turned them off at night so we made sure to plug in everything that needed to be charged when we got there. We went out in the evening and again the next morning and it was great seeing the animals is their natural habitat. It was great seeing them in their natural habitat. We did not see any of the big cats, but lots of elephants, giraffes, zebras, gazelles, baboons, monkeys, birds…
We visited some of the ICAN (Impoverished Children’s Assistance Network). Bridges supports 15 children, helping them with school uniforms and food for the families. It was very emotional to see how these people live, but also very humbling to see how happy they seem to be and so appreciate of any help they are given.
Now a little bit about the soap making classes. There was a lot more going on, but this is what my vision was about. It is a very humbling experience when a group of women put on the rubber gloves (that only cost us 97 cents) and starting singing a praise song! I felt so blessed. They all were so interested in what I had to share and were asking questions and really engaged in the class. What a blessing it was for me to see them so eager to learn.
I think every one of us that went on the trip had doubts about going before we got on the plane. That was Satan trying to discourage us. We did great work there and he didn’t want that to happen. But we were strong and did what God wanted us to do.
I also now know what reverse culture shock is. I didn’t have any problem when I got there but I did when I got home. We are so fortunate to live where we do and of all the things that we have. When I looked in my closet I sat on the floor and cried. I have so much and I saw people have so little, and were happy about everything. We can all take a lesson for that. It isn’t what you have, but how you deal with it.
I would like to challenge everyone who reads this to step outside your comfort zone, because God might have another comfort zone for you. I know he did for me. I was not ready to leave, because I did feel so comfortable and at home there. I am looking forward to going back to Kenya, if that is what God has in store for me.
Sorry I have been so slow in getting this posted, but it has been a whirl wind of activities getting my feet back on the ground and back to my “normal” life. There are more pictures on my Facebook page, so please friend me on my personal page or like the GraysLlandacres page
Thanks for taking time to read this and yes, you can do anything as long as it is what God is leading you to do.
God is good all the time and All the time God is good!