Ready to go!

Thank you for praying!

One of the requirements of the Kenyan government is that all people entering Kenya from the United States be able to prove that they had a negative covid test within 96 hours of travel.  Therefore, both Chester and Rich were tested this week.  Wednesday evening, Chester got an email that he would be notified when his test reached the lab (it hadn’t yet), and that after that, he could expect results in three business days.

I must admit to fretting at this.  If the test reached the lab Thursday (which was the earliest that it could after that email), we would get results Monday? Or Tuesday? They leave Omaha Friday, and arrive in Kenya Saturday!  Monday or Tuesday isn’t soon enough.

But God is master of all the details, and He answers prayer.   Before noon on Thursday, both men had the required negative results.   

They are packed and ready!  

Preparing for Kenya – Prayer Requests

Thanks for praying for Chester and Rich as they go to Kenya!  We know that God answers prayer!

The site that Rich and Chester are surveying and planning for Camp Nasaru

As Chester and Rich start to pack, and Susan and I (Amy) start to plan out how we’re going to survive without them, we have a couple of big prayer requests to share:

  • Chester and Rich must have negative covid tests before entering Kenya.  Both will be tested in the next couple of days.  Pray that they are negative, and that the results are readily accepted in Kenya with no troubles at the border.
  • Pray for all of us to keep our eyes on Christ – it’s easy to get caught up in all there is to get done, and all the possible perils.  We need to be spiritually present, taking the time to spend time in prayer and in God’s word, and renewing our mind rather than giving in to worries.
  • Pray for all the little details to come together.  We’re noticing spiritual warfare in a few ways – namely appliances and cars breaking (specifically at Rich and Susan’s). This seems normal for the days leading up to a time of being “deployed”, but please pray for our protection in these details too!

We’ll keep adding prayer requests – maybe as often as every day.  Thank you for joining us in prayer!  

Ready…. Get Set….

We’re two weeks away from Chester and Rich flying to Kenya to meet the Kamau family and get aquainted with their ministry – Hope Anew Kenya. Both Chester and Rich have now have the required immunizations, and we’re praising God that Rich’s passport arrived today, so now they also both have the necessary travel papers!

The site of the future Camp Nasaru

The schedule of their trip includes traveling out to tour the camp site (above), meeting local architects, engineers and builders, visiting building supply stores and touring other camps in the area. We’re excited about this opportunity and the way God has opened doors each step of the way so far.

Would you join us in praying for this trip? We hope to email out daily (or nearly daily) short prayer requests and praises starting a few days before the trip. If you’d like to receive these updates to pray for us, please sign up below to pray for us.

Supporting Families at Home

Chester is leaving the family behind on a missions trip in early December. Going with him is Rich, who is also leaving a family behind. The families here would love some extra help in their absense! Here’s some ideas (add your own in the comments!):

  • Provide meals for the families at home
  • Help drive kids to/from school and events
  • Provide babysitting for Mom to have an evening off
  • Pick up groceries for the family when you buy your own

As the trip approaches, we’ll add to this list, and create a sign-up of ways to help out.


Hope Anew Ministry

We are glad for the opportunity to introduce you to some other missionaries with our agency (GlobalGrace Fellowship).  Francis and Kim Kamau are missionaries in Nairobi, Kenya, serving impoverished children through Bible clubs and after-school activities.  Their ministry, called Hope Anew, shares the hope that comes through God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

The Kamaus have a dream of extending their ministry to a camp outside Nairobi for kids to get out of the slum, see the beauty of God’s creation, and be introduced to Jesus and discipled in a focused environment.  Nine acres of undeveloped land have been donated to this project, and God has provided a 1200 ft. well and pump on the land.  This campground has been named Nasaru – a place of refuge.

Francis (everyone calls him “Kamau”) and Kim have asked us to prayerfully consider joining the ministry of the camp by developing a masterplan. Working with other industry professionals and the Kamaus we hope to develop clear plans for infrastructure such as electrical, water and waste systems, camp layout, building design, agricultural and animal management, security details, and whatever other things needed to help realize their vision without making costly mistakes in building location, inadequate structures or utilities.  

Clearly this is a project bigger than just our family but God had already laid it on the heart of an architect to help and we have been talking with other professionals as well. We are moving ahead taking each step as God provides.

Based on God’s provision and initial leading, we are tentatively developing plans to send Chester and Rich Burton (the architect) for a survey trip in early December. This survey trip will allow us to meet the Kamaus in person, visit the campground, and visit possible sources for materials and construction equipment. A good survey starts with understanding the goals of the projects, the materials and methods which are commonly available and even the unexpected weather conditions which need to be taken into consideration. The survey data guides initial brainstorming but becomes essential reference material for the masterplan in determining which solutions fit best for the costs, the manpower, and the materials available. 

Would you prayerfully consider partnering in this endeavor?

Here’s a few ideas of ways to get involved:

  • join the research team to help find solutions or resources 
  • give toward the cost of the trip (we expect costs to be ~$3000 total for Chester and Rich to go)
  • join our prayer team (we’ll send out a daily prayer requests near and during the trip)
  • help support the families staying home (provide a meal or a babysitter, or drive kids to school). We very much believe that the whole family is part of the team so we want to make sure that they are supported as well. 

Perspective

At dinner on our date a few days ago, we drew out a mock-up calendar of our next six weeks, and started plotting the major ministry events that we wanted to fit in. It ended up looking like this.

The time between now and the trip to Kenya plotted by week. Only showing major ministry activities.

Amy’s reaction: Aak! So much going on! When are we going to breathe?

Chester’s reaction: Look, there’s open space almost every week. I mean, are we really doing any anything at all?

Cruising on into Fall

The past two weeks

Thanks for praying for the Glad Tidings Bible Camp craft fair two weeks ago.  We (especially the kids) had spent time preparing crafts to sell, and were a little disappointed by sluggish sales, but we still had a really fun weekend!

Last weekend, we were glad to be able to help a long time friend and missions co-worker in the Omaha area by stripping and preparing her house for painting. We are very thankful that God provided perfect weather over two days and just the right amount of people and material at exactly the right times. It was awesome to spray the last square foot just as we ran out of paint. We’re especially thankful for several people who stopped by to help scrape and prime.

A seven-year-old helper asked her “Why do you want your house spotted?”
Even little ones got in on the fun of scraping and priming
Isaiah took the trophy for “largest paint peel”
The leftover paint from last time her house was painted ended up to be exactly enough to put a base coat of paint over the primer.

Looking ahead

Several weeks ago, our mission (GlobalGrace Fellowship) introduced us to another missionary family. Francis Kamau (he goes by ‘Kamau’) grew up in a slum in Nairobi, Kenya, became a Christian as a teenager, served as a missionary to Zambia, then returned as a missionary to the very place he grew up in. He and his wife Kim have been serving kids in this slum for several years now, and have a dream of starting a camp that will get kids away from the destitution and filth and into the beauty of God’s creation, and at the same time teaching them about Jesus.  Nine acres to build the camp was donated last year, and they have asked us to help design the camp before they start construction.

We’re excited about this project and God is blessing our involvement with it.  Right now, we’re preparing for Chester to visit Kamau and the camp grounds in November.  He will be accompanied by Rich Burton, and architect who has offered to take off work to join on this survey trip.  We hope to develop a camp design, and if God would allow it, we’d also like to return as a family to also help with the construction of the camp sometime in the future (possibly in 2021).

For now, please pray with us for the details of the November trip. There remain many details to work out, but of particular concern are renewal of passports in time, getting time off work for Rich, and potential travel restrictions. We anticipate the survey trip cost to be around $3000. In the next few weeks, we’ll tell you more and introduce you to the Kamau’s ministry “Hope Anew”.