Nairobi, Kenya

July 14 - July 27, 2018

Days 1-2: (July 14-15, Saturday and Sunday)
It is always good to have a friend go with you on a mission trip.  Fred Brown, a longtime friend from Woodbridge, VA, and I will be partners on this mission trip.  We both left our homes, in different cities, early on Saturday, with our paths joining at JFK Airport in New York.  Then on to Nairobi, Kenya.

After landing in Nairobi, we cleared Customs and Immigration then Dedan, found us.  Dedan is the National Director of the Kenyan Baseball and Softball Federation and the Athletic Director of the largest of the schools where we will be working.  He will be our host for the week.

After dinner at KFC and getting to our accommodations for the week, Fred and I unpacked, made some plans, and went to bed. Sleep is good.  

Tomorrow, we are to go to the University of Nairobi (UofN).  There we will meet several students and make more plans.

Day 3: (July 16, Monday)
Today, at UofN we were interviewed by the Kenyan Broadcasting Company. They are filming us for a TV documentary on baseball in Kenya.  We not only got to talk about baseball but were able to share about Jesus and why we came to Kenya in the first place.  

Day 4 (July 17, Tuesday)
On this day we held Softball/Baseball Training sessions in a Middle School.  There were 290 in attendance. After the training we shared the good news through salvation bracelets.  Seventy students prayed to receive Jesus as Savior and ask Him to forgive them of their sins.  

Day 5: (July 18, Wednesday)
We sure are going to a lot of schools.  It looks like reaching students is on Father’s agenda for us  

This morning it was off to another one of the local universities. There were 27 at the softball/baseball training. Afterwards we shared the good news and seven prayed to receive Jesus and ask him to forgive them of their sins.

Day 6: (July 19, Thursday)
Today we returned to the school where the 70 made decisions and then to another university in the afternoon.   However, each day as there were decisions for Christ, we developed a growing concern.

These decisions needed to be followed up.  The harvest is in the follow-up. Raising your hand and saying a prayer is not all there is to it.  You need the follow-up to explain to the new Believer what it means to be a Christian and how to grow in this new life in Christ.  Not doing the follow-up, is like committing spiritual abortion.  So, we began praying for God to make a way for the follow-up to happen.

Day 7: (July 20, Friday)
This morning we had a time of sightseeing. We went to the Nairobi Big Game Park for a Photographic Safari. It was quite an experience.  We saw Lions, Giraffes, Warthogs, Wildebeests, Deer, Zebras, butterflies and a few other things.

In the afternoon, we went to Lanang International School where Dedan is the Athletic Director.  Here we taught baseball/softball and met lots of students.

After the clinic this afternoon, we returned to the school where the 70 attend that accepted Jesus as Savior.  We gave out story cloths to teachers and administrators at the school.  Using the story cloths, these teachers said they will teach the students about Jesus. The teachers, administrators, and us had begun to have a growing concern for these kid’s follow-up and that what has begun here will continue.

Days 8-12: (July 21-25, Saturday-Wednesday)
Today, we moved to a youth camp outside of Nairobi. There are 30 players and their coaches coming to the camp for training for five days.  Throughout each day, we will teach baseball/softball to the players and sports-medicine and coaching techniques to the coaches.

Dad continues to bring a harvest.  Today, two more asked for forgiveness of their sins and received Jesus as Savior.  

The training at the youth camp lasted from July 21-25. Each day began with a 30—minute devotional time with Fred and me leading. Topics covered were “Who is God?”, “Who is Jesus,” “What is sin?”, “Who is the Holy Spirit?”, and finally, “How can a person become a Christian?”

After the daily devotional time, we have an hour of group learning about softball/baseball followed by five hours of practice and games. Many of the male players are on the Kenyan National Men’s Baseball Team. Many of the female players are on the Kenyan National Women’s Softball team.

As each day came and went we had a growing realization that our time here was getting shorter and that the follow-up situation was still uncertain.  I called the local person for Child Evangelism Fellowship, (CEF) and told him our problem. He was very helpful and said he will come out and see us on Thursday.  

Next morning, we again led the devotions.  At the end, two boys raised their hands wanting to except Christ as Savior.  Fred and I talked to each boy separately and explained the plan of salvation.  They each prayed to receive Christ and ask Him to forgive them of their sins and come into their hearts and save them. It was a great experience. We were also able to make arrangements for their follow-up.

Day 13: (July 26, Thursday)
Today, will be our last full day here. We will make the arrangements for the follow-up for the 70 students who accepted Christ last week.

We met with Edwin, from CEF.  They are eager and happy to do the follow-up of the 70 kids and all the youth who began following Jesus during the baseball/softball outreach.

Summer vacation begins tomorrow, so follow-up will not begin until September, when summer break is over.  However, until then, CEF will be settings things up with the school Headmaster and teachers.  Also, Edwin said he will be checking with the other schools in the area to see if CEF can begin evangelistic efforts in them. WOW!!! Sounds like Dad has big plans for this area, the schools, and the families of the students.

On this, the last night, Fred and I took Dedan and his wife, Paulina, out to supper and then they took us to the airport. It is always hard to say “Good-bye,” but with a Christian “Good byes” are never final.  We will see each other again; here, there, or in the air.

Day 14: (July 27, Friday)
So ends another adventure in missions. God did a great job this week.  We were able to present the gospel to a total of 355 children, youth, and adults.  Eighty-one prayed, asked Jesus to forgive them of their sins, and accepted Him as their Savior.  All praise and glory to Him.  Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement.

It may sound like we did everything on our own. But, no.  Father did it all.  We just watched.  All praise and glory to him.

Until next time, let’s all be talking to Father for each other.

POST SCRIPT:  After we returned to the United States, I received an email from Dedan expressing concern that the spiritual hunger in the students not die out.   He said that he and his wife, Paulina, have had a burden for these kids so they are going to hold a twice a week day camp at the school during the summer break in August. They want to be a part of the follow-up. Then during the Christmas Break, November-December, they will hold another camp for them then.  They expressed concern that the spiritual fire in these kids not go out.  

FINAL NOTE:  During the days we were in Kenya, Dedan and his wife shared to us that they have felt God leading them to begin a sports ministry, when they retire, in about three years.  Obviously, God moved the time table up this week by about three years.

(Just received an email from Dedan that the camp has begun.  He and Paulina are teaching Bible stories, baseball, other games, crafts, and eating snacks each day.  Let’s keep them in our prayers). Before we left, I gave them a copy of Barbara’s new book on church planting and how to fund new church pants.  They are reading it and are using the ideas in the book to get the camp going.