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Turning a New Leaf

Posted by on March 22, 2013

As we have shared with many of you, we’re about to turn a new chapter in our ministry in Kenya.  As I told in earlier posts, we originally went to serve with a non-profit organization serving the community in Meru, Kenya called the Miriam Kanana Mubichi Foundation (MKMF).  We were going to volunteer our services in exchange for MKMF providing housing and coordinating our immigration permit required to stay in country.  We were originally told by the provincial immigration office that as volunteers we would qualify as missionaries, with a low permit fee.  Unfortunately, when we went to Nairobi to turn in our paperwork, we discovered we had to instead apply as employees of a non-government organization (NGO). There were some recent price increases and policy changes that made the permit unreasonably expensive for volunteers, nearly $5,000 for the permits and paperwork processing.  MKMF was unable to support us, and it was apparent this door was closing shut with no options in sight.

We spent a lot of time in prayer, asking God if He really wanted us in Kenya, and if so, to show us the way.  We both felt confirmed in our hearts that God indeed wanted us to stay in Meru.  We already had a good network of friends and had a strong heart for the community, especially the orphans and vulnerable children.

God laid on our hearts individually that we needed to talk to Ark Home, a children’s home on the north side of Meru.  We had met Alfred Muthomi the very first time we went to Trinity Chapel, and met his wife Maggie (the home’s director) a couple of times.  As far as I knew, Ark Home was also an NGO, so we would be in the same situation with immigration, but we went to talk with them anyway.

Alfred and Maggie Muthomi

Alfred and Maggie Muthomi

As Alfred and Maggie shared about the work they were doing, we felt we had found a home.  We had the same heart for the children, and most of all, a desire to give them the spiritual grounding to help them succeed as godly leaders.  They shared about a ministry they are starting called Macecall, (pronounced “mah-se-call“) which stands for “Macedonian Call” – the vision Paul had to bring the word to Europe (Acts 16:9-10).  Alfred and Maggie separately had this vision in mind, representing the needy children asking for them to bring God’s love and teaching.  God’s timing was perfect…the Muthomis were trying to decide how to register the organization.  We were able to approach them with our need to serve as missionaries, and that settled the question!

As we learned more about the Muthomis and their ministries aside from Ark Home, the more I became excited to be a partner.  Maggie is a regional coordinator for the Samaritan’s Purse Christmas boxes – something we’ve participated in as family for years.  She also has a prison ministry – something also on my heart since ministering at the jails in Oklahoma for a couple of years.  They have Awana and other discipleship/leadership activities.  We can’t wait to join in!  I’m in the process of developing a page for Macecall – you can visit it here, but please understand it’s a work in progress!

Alfred leading a Bible study

Alfred leading a Bible study

Just before we left Kenya, we had a chance to see the Ark Home/Macecall community in action.  The Kenyan national libraries were trying to grow small community libraries, focusing on the children’s homes.  We were at the library dedication with several distinguished guests from all over Kenya.  The children led a few worship songs, cute dramas and recitations.  They were so well-behaved for the hours-long ceremony, then when the dignitaries left, the real party broke out!  The grannies were dancing and singing, and there were about four football (soccer) games going with kids giggling and balls zinging around us as we sat in the middle of everything with the Muthomis and two of the grown-up children raised in the home.  Dale and I were just smiling…yep, this is the place for us!

child presenting

One of the Ark Home children making a presentation at the library dedication

Grandmothers celebrating

About half of the Ark Home children are supported so they can stay with their nearest relatives, often their grandmothers. Here are the grannies that attended the library dedication clapping, singing, and dancing in celebration.

children playing games

After the ceremony, the children had a chance to loosen up, playing football (soccer).

child chasing another

Riley fit right in! He was happy to have so many kids his own age to play with.

Dale and Alfred enjoying time with two of the first Ark Home children, now successful college students.

Dale and Alfred enjoying time with two of the first Ark Home children, now successful college students.  It was a blessing to see these outstanding young men, and we are eager to help more disadvantaged children attain their highest potential.


One Response to Turning a New Leaf

  1. Saundra

    Love this post!! using it our Your “Board” about your mission along with the pictures your husband sent me!! So excited about our VBS this year… praying that all have hearts like yours!!

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