Worlds Collide: FPC meets Kenya!!!!!

This past week, our home church, First Presbyterian Church of Rome, Georgia, sent a team of women to serve alongside us here in Nairobi. This has been a dream of mine for YEARS and it finally came to fruition…our FPC and Bluesky worlds collided! It was truly a blessing to have the seven ladies visit our homes, partner with Bluesky and get an experiential glimpse into our lives and ministry!

The week was jam-packed and flew by in a blink. We wanted the team to experience as much of Kenya and Bluesky as they could throughout their brief time here.

Here are some fun events that were on their schedule:

  • Attended an ICF Sunday morning service
  • Baked desserts and participate in “Trivia & Treats” night for SUMMIT youth group
  • Shared testimonies at ICF Women’s “Testimonies of Thankfulness” event
  • Climbed and bouldered around at Bluesky’s climbing gym
  • Tried a yummy Indian dinner at Maharaja restaurant (one of our favorites!)
  • Lead a full day of VBS games, Bible lessons and crafts at The Ark School in the Kariobangi slum
  • Stretched out of their comfort zone and tried Kenyan “nyama choma” (goat)!
  • Visited Kiambethu Tea Farm in Tigoni and tasted one of Kenya’s main exports…TEA!
  • Taught helpful lessons on proper  heart posture for Bluesky’s first ever Women’s Retreat
  • Learned about SERGE’s medical ministry in the slum of Eastleigh
  • Tasted a new cuisine at Habesha Ethiopian Restaurant….and devoured it!
  • Went on a morning safari drive and kept high spirits despite the unfortunate circumstance of getting stuck in the mud for 4 hours!
  • Toured Amani Ya Juu, a local non-profit that hires and teaches refugee women sewing skills

We are so thankful for the time we got to spend with each of the ladies. The week itself and the planning beforehand took quite a bit of energy (especially at 34 weeks pregnant), but we ended the week feeling so refreshed and energized! It is truly something special to have your hometown folks sacrifice a week of work/family/life to travel across the Atlantic and experience your life and ministry first hand !

My prayer for dear Sally, Melissa, Kinslee, Gina, Abby, Lisa and Wendy is that their eyes and hearts remain tender and open to God’s global work. …and that they may now be a “window” for other members of FPC to catch a peek into what is happening here in Kenya!

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The team of lovely ladies!
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The team brought a bunch of bins to Kenya…this is one HUGE way short term teams can bless full time missionaries…by bringing ministry supplies, American snacks and other random needs from the US! 
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Sunday morning at ICF (on Rosslyn’s campus). The flags represent the home countries of the students who attend the school! 
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For our Sunday evening high school youth group “SUMMIT” we had a “Trivia & Treats” night. Our house was full to the brim! The ladies brought special snacks and candy from the US, and joined forces with the students for a game of Trivia! 
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The ladies were so sweet to pack gifts for volunteers at our our church, the ladies at ICF and the women of Bluesky. 
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Michelle also found her way to Kenya during the time the FPC team was here! Michelle worked at FPC for a few years before moving to Kenya in 2011 to work with Bluesky, so she fit right in!

 

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On Monday morning, we hosted a “Testimonies of Thankfulness” tea for the women of our church, ICF. A few of the FPC ladies volunteered to share their testimonies, which was super impactful. The time together was so sweet! 
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On Tuesday, the ladies geared up for an entire day of leading VBS activities for The Ark School in the Kariobangi slum. Many of the children come from Muslim homes, and VBS is a special opportunity for them to hear the Gospel of Jesus! 
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The Ark School students were delighted to have visitors from the US! The ladies did a terrific job leading the students in games, songs, arts & crafts and Bible lessons. 
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Lots of children, so little space! The FPC women were great at being flexible and adjusting plans throughout the day. Leading VBS in a Kenyan slum is VERY different than leading VBS back at First Pres! 

 

 

 

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On Wednesday we headed to Tigoni to begin the first ever Bluesky Women’s Retreat! We kicked it off with a tea tour at Kiambethu Farm. Tea is a main export of Kenya and top quality tea is grown in Limuru, processed and shipped (mostly) to Europe and India. “Lipton Tea” is also grown in Kenya. 
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The beauty of the tea fields is definitely something we wanted the ladies to experience! 
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Wednesday to Thursday the ladies led the women of Bluesky through sessions on proper heart posture. On Thursday morning, we took a break from sessions for some team building on the ropes course!
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It was so special to have the FPC women get to know the ladies of Bluesky. Everyone bonded so quickly! 
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Two Kenyan mamas who I look up to and admire very much were at the retreat! 
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It was super special to have Abby, my second cousin, here in Kenya! 

 

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The ladies adventured into Nairobi National Park for a morning safari drive. Nairobi National is a neat experience, to see the animals with the skyline of Nairobi in the background.
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Unfortunately, the safari drive didn’t last long without a hiccup…the vans were stuck in some serious mud for 4 hours! Thankfully, FPC kept high spirits about the ordeal. This is how life in Kenya works…it’s so unpredictable and sometimes you just have to say “Hakuna Matata!” 
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We truly LOVED hosting the women of FPC and having them serve alongside us in ministry. They are already missed dearly! 

One thought on “Worlds Collide: FPC meets Kenya!!!!!

  1. What a great experience for you, Shanna! I’m sure you are super tired after such a full week. Hope you can get some rest. Blessings on you all as you await the arrival of that new addition. I am praying for you. G. Reid

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