The 2019 Mission Trip with Discovery Christian Church was a success!. Relationships were formed, fun was had, dancing was a given and a must. The team was able to experience and see a small sample in the day in a life of a Kenyan women living in Kibingoti. They carried water on their backs from the river below to the village and did some farming. They also participated in a feeding program at one of the schools in Umoja that some of our LIFT kids attend. And lastly, while everyone else was watching the Lion King the mission team experienced the live version by going on a safari with some of our Joseph’s House students.
Our mission trips to Kenya make an impact on those who go. I was reminded of this after one of the days visiting Kwa Njenga, a slum of Nairobi. I took the team to Gifted Prince School where they were able to meet the kids we serve, meet with the teachers and staff and some of the LIFT families. I could see on the team’s faces that getting to the school was difficult for them. They had to walk through open sewage, duck their heads to make sure the sheet metal didn’t scratch them, and see poverty on another level beyond their past experiences. After visiting one of the LIFT families it was expressed that the team had “had enough!” They were done looking at the poverty around them, they were exhausted from the busy day, and pushed beyond what they thought they could handle.
I was reminded of my first time visiting this area; I had the same sentiment. I was overwhelmed by the depth of poverty and felt what I was doing wasn’t enough. I felt the ways I was contributing wasn’t going to make a difference. I was defeated, much like the team I was leading. Then God started to press upon me that it was about impacting the few and he would take care of the many. I can’t help everyone, but the people in our program I can make a big impact along with the donors who come alongside Light Up Hope. This time walking into Gifted Prince I was able to see past the sewage, the smell, the level of poverty and see smiling faces from the kids we help, the staff we come alongside, and the parents we support. Since my list visit in 2018, with the help of a generous donor, Light Up Hope has started a feeding program for the 121 students who attend Gifted Prince. I saw a little girl who in 2018 was all bones and in 2019 she was a chubby girl with the cutest cheeks anyone would want to pinch. I met with mothers who shared their kids are excited to go to school because they know they will be fed. In fact, a few of the mothers said their kids wake them up at 2am to see if it’s time for school! I was told because they don’t have to worry about feeding their child, parents can use that money to pay for rent or go towards another need. The feeding program is just the beginning, we have plans to help with teacher salaries and medical clinics.
So yes, my team was pushed past what they thought they could handle, and if you go on a mission trip with us you will be too, but they also left Kenya seeing how their donations and their presence can make a big impact on a few.
– Diana Mays, Chief Operating Officer and 2019 Discovery Church Mission Team Leader