Posts Tagged ‘mission trips’

Dan’s Story: A Cure for Spiritual Myopia

Written by Village Project Africa. Posted in Missions, Stories, Village Project Africa

Dan Miller recently visited Makutano and shares how God opened his eyes to His works around the world.

Medical equipment for KenyaWell, this trip grew out of the generosity of a giving lady, my aunt Sharon. As his profession, my Uncle Jeff worked on medical lab equipment.  He, like Aunt Sharon, was a generous fun-loving person.  However, Uncle Jeff died of brain cancer way too early, but I believe through his illness God allowed him a uniquely personal and deep understanding of what the Apostle Paul was talking about in Philippians 3:8-11.  He went to be with the Lord, and in memory of him my Aunt decided to donate lab equipment to a clinic in Africa (Grace Clinic operated through Village Project Africa). I was honored to go as a representative of the family and can confidently say that this was orchestrated by God’s mighty handiwork.

God has definitely written and is still writing a masterpiece in this small village of Kenya.  In just a few short years, the school (Heritage Academy) has nearly 600 students! 

There were many blessings we experienced in Africa but one of the most special to me was the dedication at the clinic.  As mentioned above, my aunt donated medical laboratory equipment to this organization in Kenya. 

Clinic dedicationWe were able to take a day out of our schedule to have a service of dedication at the clinic.  The equipment that Aunt Sharon donated will allow this clinic to do so much more than they previous were able to do.  Prior to having this equipment the decision between treating patients for malaria or typhoid was often wrong.  Now, they can test patients and treat accordingly.  That is just one example of the benefits from having this equipment and another example of God working through His people!

The name of the mission, Village Project Africa, truly encapsulates what is happening here.  They have done exactly that.  To see what God has done through a few faithful people is nothing short of miraculous. 

Some of you may relate to the following example: Sometimes I know I could be diagnosed with an eye problem that I call Spiritual Myopia.  Allow me to explain it like this: Within the last few years, I entered into a new level of enjoyment with God.  Now my normal routine is to get up early to have a time of worship with our loving Savior and mighty God.  This time has grown into a real necessity in my life.  Some of you might be thinking, “That’s a good thing,” and you’re right… it is.  But I guess what I mean is I felt that God is actually spending time with me in a personal way.  Foolishly, I was thinking that I must be in some way monopolizing His time.  Silly, I know, but I did not realize I had this eye problem until I went to Africa and saw all the ways our Mighty God has been working.  

The change of hearts, the love for people, the food, clothing, shelter donated—these gifts come from generous givers at “just the right time.”  As my sight started to improve, I saw these gifts as movements in God’s wonderful symphony of sovereignty!  Guys, there is no coincidence with our God!  He is big enough to spend each moment with you and me and still arrange and orchestrate the needs of a village in a remote part of Africa…Honduras, China, Macedonia, and on and on!  This is the God we serve today, and He delights in us and wants to share His music with us!!  Can you believe that?  WOW!  

This “Spiritual Myopia” was only temporary.  God was gracious enough to allow me to go to Africa and see Him at work.  As I have been saying recently, “God is busy!”  And by the way, He healed my sight!

Group in Kenya

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Eph 3:20-21

E-Readers Come to Heritage Academy

Written by admin. Posted in Children, Education, Stories, Village Project Africa

 Guest blogger Audrey Armstrong shares details about the excitement surrounding this summer’s introduction of e-Readers to Heritage Academy.

Hidden ereadersE-Reader Day had finally arrived. The cafeteria was swept, mopped, and decorated.  Chairs had been arranged. Songs and poems had been rehearsed by the students.  Government officials, special guests, community friends, parents, and family members had been invited and were assembling in the hall. Even some guests from Indianapolis were waiting with anticipation as the students and teachers filed in and took their places.  On the table in the front of the room was a huge pile of something, hidden under a cloth.

Children with ereadersThe program started with prayers of praise and thanksgiving followed by welcome songs and speeches from both leaders and students. Finally it was time for the main event!  With loud cheering and clapping the veil was swept aside and e-Readers became visible on the table. Not just a few, but 50—enough for every 6th grader to have one. What followed was truly amazing. First came a demonstration by a few students showing how the e-readers were opened and how they could be read. The remainder of the 6th graders were then handed their e-reader, and with joy and celebration, they moved into the audience demonstrating to their families and neighbors how print appeared on the little screens and more importantly, how they could read their own book. The parents were so overwhelmed with amazement and joy they formed a huge parade and were joined by visitors and students alike. Such clapping and cheering, dancing and hugging!! They all were celebrating the tremendous step forward for Heritage Academy students. The students were proud and excited with anticipation and the parents were amazed at the magic of technology being made available to their children as they continue to master the written word.

Parents with ereadersHow did this all come to be? When a Sunday school class in Indianapolis was presented with the need, they accepted the challenge to help these students get books and raised $10,000 to purchase the readers and provide for the training. What seemed like a large sum was raised quickly when a group of people each gave what they could. Next, VPA partnered with Worldreader to supply the e-readers and program them with text books and other books in both English and Swahili. The Worldreader team came to Heritage Academy, spending a week training first the teachers and then overseeing the training of the students on the use of the technology. (Such an exciting learning curve it proved to be!) The training team completed their work and joined parents and students in celebrating the successful beginning of a new era. The Sunday school class in Indianapolis joined with prayers and anticipation of changed lives and more opportunities for the students of Heritage Academy.

 

Summer Visitors–The Hands and Feet of Christ

Written by margaret. Posted in Missions, Village Project Africa

It’s been a busy summer! Tomorrow our last group of the summer leaves the village and it is with great sadness that we see them go. Sometimes we wonder if short term groups are of any value, but I can answer that with a resounding “Yes!” They are of value, and they are Jesus’ hands and feet in this village. Sometimes, it is a simple visit to a home where the people are hurting, sometimes it is the healing touch of a medical doctor or nurse, sometimes it is reading or laughing with a child, sometimes it is giving a hug to a lonely and desperate widow. There are so many ways in which God uses us. And for this past week, it has been the skilled hands and minds of willing men to answer God’s call. In a few short days, they have ministered to us, and we have seen work accomplished that would take us months to finish—if we could ever get the work done at all. The cabinet they built to house the e-readers is perfect.  When they started with the scrap wood and humble resources that are available, I cringed—but when they finished and put on the final coat of paint, we all rejoiced at a job well done. 

When God called me to this place, I knew that we would be touching the lives of the women and children in the village of Makutano and the surrounding areas. What I didn’t realize is how this work would touch the lives of our visitors—followers of Jesus who carry pain and hurt, followers of Jesus who have sometimes lost their way, followers of Jesus who are lonely and troubled. It has been marvelous to hear their testimonies week after week. This morning was no exception as one of the men told his story of bitterness and brokenness and a cold and hard heart and how, through the witness of Pastor Joseph, Davis, and the villagers, God has touched him, renewed him, and brought him back into a loving relationship with Jesus Christ, our Lord.

This summer, God has done amazing work in our midst. He uses the quietness, the rain, the mud, and the stars. He uses the times away from home and the testing of our comforts. God reaches to us in ways we never dream possible and we praise His name.

The dedication of the well at the school was a high point of the summer. The look on the faces of the mothers and children as they received a bottle of good, clean water is a moment we will never forget. And the reality of what this well means to the community came to me when one of our lead teachers said, “Today, our problem of water has ended.”

We are so thankful for the groups who have come this summer and ministered and share their love—this village will never be the same. I will never be the same because of their coming.

Blessings and love to you all,

Margaret

Audrey’s Story: Learning Made Fun

Written by lauren. Posted in Education, Missions, Stories, Women's Community

Audrey Armstrong visited Makutano in 2008 and shares her experiences working with women in the village to increase their literacy. 

LearningWhen we walked up the path approaching the Grace House, we heard chattering and laughing.  Terror gripped my heart.  Who was inside and what was I doing here in this place?  Were those inside eager to be here or did they want to be in their homes caring for children and tending their gardens and fields?  Would they like me or would my lessons planned to help them recognize and write the letters in their name be too juvenile for these African  ladies?  I had prepared material for the fifteen women who had agreed to come, but when we entered the room, I saw the benches were filled with beautiful, happy, eager ladies—not fifteen, but nearly thirty had come.  They were there early and were prepared to stay all day.  This would not be the 45 minute lesson I had envisioned!  

Learning lettersWe learned a lot about improvising on the run that morning, but what fun!  We sang and prayed and wrote and talked and played and laughed.  The women practiced The Alphabet Song, The B-I-B-L-E, and B-I-N-G-O in English.  I practiced John 3:16 in Swahili.  And to my amazement, they came back every morning that week to do it again!

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