Teleios Ministry

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday: Out of Africa but Staying in Amsterdam

We are currently in Amsterdam spending the night on Kenya Airways/KLM's dime.   Due to a delayed flight out of Nairobi, we missed the last plane to the US.  So, we are spending the night in Amsterdam.  Tomorrow we hope to continue our safari home.

We are splitting up in Amsterdam due to changes made necessary by the missed flight.  Septima heads to Atlanta and Bonnie and I head to Detroit and then Greenville.   The trip has been great.

More pictures and details to follow.   Can't wait to share about the Three Wise Women and their camel journey.  Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and support.   From Amsterdam, it's goodnight! 

Friday, December 09, 2011

Friday: The Holiday Bible Camp ends

Hard to believe that it's Friday!   The Holiday Bible Camp can to an end with a record enorllment and participation over 260 each day.  The most amazing thing is that we had craft and some academic material left over.  After worrying about preparing for 150 and over 260 showed up placed.  The Gatunguru team did a great job.  They did not work in the tea fields or other business this week in order to help with the camp.  They were super. 

The camp was outstanding from our perspective.   The Kenyans say that the camp was a hugh success.  Again thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and support.

Thursday: Sun Shining Another Great Day

 The 4 year olds maneuver through the "obstacle Course.   They really enjoy the challenges of the games. 

The sun was shining with a good breeze.

 The Bible Story for today was from Matthew 2, the wise men coming to Jesus.   The drama from the groups was outstanding.
 In Septima's Academics group, the children brought notebooks and took notes.  You can see the two girls on the second row.   One of the students who graduated high school said that Septima's pictures were the same ones on the national exam.   He said that this was a real benefit for the kids.   Also, Peter, Septima's translator, who is a school teacher told us that the new curriculum for primary schools in Kenya included more sciences--one part of that was the senses.  What a great advantage Septima's teaching gave the children.  He was very excited. 
Today during crafts the children made cinnamon gingerbread hanging decorations. The gingerbread body was made of sandpaper.  The children "colored" the gingerbread boys with cinnamon sticks.  Then for eyes, miniatures M&M's and nose was "Red Hots".   The children had a great time.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Wednesday: Everything Going Great

 Hard to imagine how concerned we were about the camp and how things would go on Monday when we learned of the additional 100+ children.   Everything is going so well.   Today was even a bit hot with the sun shining all day. 

Shirley and Linda provided a real first time moment for the children--Blow bubbles.  The children had never seen blow bubbles and they loved them.   Even the adults were amazed by them.   Everyday, we are reminded how we take so much for granted in the US.  Also, we are reminded how the simple things bring great joy and some of the most fascinating moments in life. 

 The theme for today was taste. The children really enjoyed Septima's class with all the "tasting".   

 The children made wooden fish with magnets.  This related to the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 with loaves and fishes.  They did a great job painting and designing their fish.  
 During recreation the younger children really enjoyed playing Drop the Handkerchief and Steal the Bacon. 
 The teenagers were introduced to Over and Under.  This game is a favorite at every camp that we do in Kenya.  Shirley tells us that the youth at Koinonia still play Over and Under as one of their favorite games.  Meg Hunt introduced to game to them about five years ago.   The teenagers really got into the camp with cheers. 
 Pastor Charles leads the children's ministry.  Here he is explaining the needs of the camp for tomorrow during tea time.   Margaret is enjoying her tea with milk and sugar.  The tea is so hot that boiling water would cool it down. 
 Ralph, Australian businessman, and his daugther, Rachel, stopped by today to see the camp and after the camp to meet with the local pastors and church leaders about how to start and operate a successful business.  Rachel really enjoyed working with the children.   Bonnie encouraged her to stay the next couple of days and to join us on future trips.  Bonnie and Septima review the day. 

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

God Answers Prayer

 Thank you so much for your prayers.   The Holiday Bible Camp went so well Tuesday—great day!   Total number of children today was 252.   From beginning to end, everything just flowed so smoothly.   We had enough rice and beans for everyone—even the Mzungus (Swahili for white people).   The theme today was hearing.  

The crafts that were prepared for 150 stretched to provide for the 252—it was amazing.   Part of the craft today used glitter.   By the time the teens came through they faces were covered in glitter.   They were really sparkling.

The most amazing time today came during the “debriefing” session with the local children’s leaders and pastors.  One teacher said, “I was amazed how we are using a theme for the day that is covered in every area even crafts and recreation.   Every activity focused on hearing.”   Two women shared that they had never heard using teaching on physical hearing to teach spiritual hearing.   One children’s leader said, “We have taught Bible verses and stories and sung songs.  Never did we think about using crafts or recreation as a part of the children’s camps—especially using them to teach the children.  The children are having fun and learning.”   The sum of the comments were that the teaching approach that we brought to them was so new and “out of the box” that they had a hard time picking up on what we were doing.  Today, they could see how it all works together.  

After the meeting, Pastor Peter encouraged the Bible Camp workers to keep on working with the camp.   When they work, they are not picking their tea, and they are not getting money.   Most of the workers, the tea literally provides their daily bread.   I was really struck by the sacrifice that they were making to participate in the camp.   Pastor Peter said, “I have a bag of potatoes at my house.  If anyone does not have something to cook tonight—stop by my house for potatoes.”   Pastor Peter like all of the pastors does not earn his living from being a pastor.  They all do different jobs to provide for their families while doing fulltime pastoral work.

If you would like to be a part of life changing service, the opportunity is wide open.   This Holiday Bible Camp was three years in the making.   Our goal is to do one camp per year in areas like Gatunguru.   Actually, we hope to return to the area something next year.   The children are out of school in April, August, and December.   We are looking at a possible after Christmas trip in 2013.  

Technical difficulties prevent new posts

We apologize that no updates are available. While the Highlands of Kenya are beautiful, they can prove to be a technical challenge for Internet access. More news and photos from Bible Camp will be posted as soon as we are able to gain access. Thank you for your continued prayers and support of this year's activities.

Monday, December 05, 2011

First Day: 266 out of 150

No, this has nothing to do with learning Math, but   describes the challenge for today. We rose early and enjoyed a great breakfast at the Blue Post.  The Gatunguru church and area mission had never had more than 99 for any kind of children's or teen-ager meeting, so they were concerned that not many children would come. Our team was told to prepare for 150.

At breakfast this morning, Bernard received a call...the look on his face and the sound in his voice told us there was a big problem. Bernard was told that 150 children were registered, about another 100 were in the church yard, and another 300 HAD TO BE TURNED AWAY OUTSIDE.

Our final registration was 266. Boy, were we glad we didn’t have 150! Can you say scramble and improvise for what to do. Everything prepared changed.  

Septima, Shirley and Linda had the real challenge of small rooms with groups as large as 80+ children.  We rotated the groups by age. There were four groups. Our theme verse for the week is Psalm 139:14: “I will give thanks to you O Lord, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”   Each day we focus on one of the five senses.  Today was sight, our eyes.  

Septima taught the Academic rotation. Unfortunately, we do not have very good pictures because her room is small. The space was so tight the pictures were difficult.

Shirley and Linda had the Craft rotation. They had to go to a rented room across the road from the church (off church property). Their job was to take craft projects designed for 150 and make them work for 266 children.  

The teen-agers did a great job in Bible Study with Bonnie. They used creative expression to convey their understanding of the story of Bartimeaus. They wrote a poem, presented an original song and dance, created a wall mural, and performed a drama.

The number of children overwhelmed the church at first. In fact, they ran out of food for lunch and had to do some improvising for about 50 youth. We did not get lunch today. 

We were to start at 9:00 a.m. with big group activities and some porridge for the children. Our rotations were to begin at 9:30 a.m.  By 10:45 a.m., we were starting the rotations with no big group time. Lunch was to be served at 1 p.m. but did not start until 2 p.m. after we finished the rotations.

When we looked back on the day, we realized what a great day it was. The day began with a challenge beyond our imagination and expectation.  It was tiring and stretched the whole team.  After getting back and reorganizing, we cannot wait for the challenges of tomorrow. Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and support.  

Let me be upfront on this. The cost of the Holiday Bible Camp was based on 150 children. Now with 266 children in attendance, the cost for the food has jumped significantly. Your financial support would also be appreciated and useful in meeting this need.

Hopefully, more photos will be added on Septima's Academics sessions and Shirley/Linda's Crafts sessions.  

Tomorrow, our theme focus will be on hearing.  

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Arrival In Kenya

We were greeted in Kenya with rains. The Kentmere was waiting on us, Mr. Lawrence Njorogi was waiting on us. Great to see him. Through the night, we could hear the rain on the roof, an occasional monkey, and birds.

Sunday morning began with the beauty of the Kentmere landscape. Bonnie, Septima, and I enjoyed fresh pineapple and papaya, the traditional fare of Spanish omelets. Carol and Shirley (Bernard’s daughters) joined Bernard for breakfast with us. Shirley and Linda (a former Koinonia Bible Camp participant) are doing the crafts for the “Holiday Bible Camp” at Gatunguru. We saw Mary, Bernard’s wife, briefly as we dropped her off at the Koinonia on our way to Gatunguru.

The worship at Gatanguru was a great time of worship and experiencing Kikuyu worship style (the tribe of the area). This was a day of many firsts for Septima since this was her first trip to Kenya.

After worship, we had a planning meeting with our translators and co-workers for the Bible week. After tea and mdazi, we headed to the Blue Post Hotel to check in. The rains returned to greet our check in—a little wet but no problem.

We begin tomorrow morning with breakfast at 7:30 and our drive to Gatunguru. The big group gathering starts a little after the children have a “porridge snack” around nine. By 9:30, our four-way rotation will begin: Bible Story, Crafts, Recreation, and Academics.

Thank you for your encouragement and prayers. Let you know more tomorrow.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Kenya Journey Begins

We are on our annual trip to Kenya for Children's Bible Camp. Once again, we have a "newbie" on the trip. Septima Hardy, from Atlanta, has joined the team. Circumstances have reduced the team to three. We have made it Amsterdam and are waiting for the flight to Nairobi.

Bernard Kabaru Mwangi is waiting on us in Nairobi. We will spend the night at the Kentmere and head for Gatanguru tomorrow. The church is located in the Central Highlands about two hours north of Nairobi, and about an hour from Thika. Our hotel during the week is the Blue Post, Thika. Each morning we will drive approximately one hour to Gatanguru where 150 children are expected to meet us. At least by the end of the week, we expect to have touched 150 children.

Our hope is to blog each day upon our return from Gatanguru. Thank you in advance for your prayers.