This is a question I hear often and even wrestled with it myself at the beginning of this journey…
Kids from Mathare do live in a desperately poor community. It is often referred to as a slum, with all the features of one: no infrastructure and few resources for education, food, work, or healthcare.
The hopeful news is that the work Missions of Hope started almost 20 years ago has visibly and substantively changed the community, even for families whose children do not attend MOHI schools. There are more businesses, roads, electricity, water, etc, because the government has responded to the work of MOHI to build public awareness for the community. Always, the students in MOHI schools get two good meals a day, uniforms, healthcare, and a GREAT education. All of this was non-existent prior to MOHI and it’s partnership with CMF.
The need for safe places to play and learn the lessons provided by sports is a next-level need, but a need nontheless. Imagine what it says to a child in Mathare that her community has the capacity for such a resource?
Access to faith-based sports programs gives kids the opportunity to grow in new and significant ways, to put their gifts and education into practice to become all God intends for them: Christian leaders for Kenya and the world!
100% of your donation goes to support clean, safe, places to play for these children living in one of the biggest slums in the world –the Mathare Valley, Nairobi, Kenya
We are currently 67% of goal….and only a few more weeks to go!! To donate to our team’s fundraising goal, please click here. Thank you for being on this journey with me and thank you for your generosity!
Thank you as always to Dane Voorhees on the beautiful photos from Kenya!
A new avenue that they are pursuing is enabling kids to play, grow and develop through sports. MOHI is teaming up with CMFI to implement a sports discipleship program AND create a one-of-a-kind, multipurpose synthetic turf sports field to be built at their Joska school campus, outside of Nairobi.
I am teaming up with MOHI and CMFI to raise money for this grassroots ministry. My goal is to raise $5,000 that would all directly go into the funds for the sports program and field. The money will be used to design and run sports programs, purchase sports equipment, train coaches and mentors, as well as build a turf field.
Sports are a great avenue to teach kids leadership and problem-solving skills, while inspiring good character, self- esteem and confidence. The goal of the MOHI leaders is to teach skills and also disciple each child to develop his or her identity in Jesus Christ. Sports can develop feelings of belonging, teamwork and purpose; and for kids growing up in the slums of Kenya, these values can be difficult to learn.
Every kid should have a safe place to learn and play.
This program would support access to sports for every child, regardless of their status. They will foster an environment to build relationships with others, and most importantly, building the foundation for a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Sports may seem like a trivial need, but sports and playing is an important part of our lives and development. Playing is what kids are built for and what they deserve to do, regardless of geography or culture.
We become stronger individuals, build better communities and create a more positive future through play and sports. Sports have the power to unite people groups, awaken self-worth and help children cope with hardship and loss.
Through sports and play, kids are empowered to dream big dreams, stay out of trouble and reach for their highest potential.
While researching more about the importance of sports, play, and kids, I have found some really cool organizations that soley exist to bring soccer balls to kids all over the world, who otherwise would be using some makeshift item, including balls of trash, for a ball.
I get so excited after reading story after story about the joy and excitement that come to the kids and communities when they get a real soccer ball! It makes me even more amped to be a small part of helping get this sports ministry going in Nairobi.
We can do this folks!
We can join together to help launch this ministry that will have a positive impact on kids’ lives, both now and hopefully for eternity.
It would mean so much to me if you were a part of this journey, to see this goal met so that we can give these kids hope and opportunity.
You can join me in helping to make a difference in a child’s life.
“Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it.”
|Another version of that verse says to “take courage and do it”|
I hadn’t heard this verse before, but I know God gave it to me to find for this year and this season of my life. I can’t think of a more perfect verse to be my verse for this year and all that I’m working towards. It’s a great reminder, motivator and encourager as I go after big goals…referring to the mountain to climb, as well as the fundraising for MOHI.
I love where it says “we are with you” – I feel the support of people around me in all of this! Love being surprised by who wants to jump on board and help out. A new and fun way to support me in my fundraising efforts is to head over to the Bonfire links below and order yourself a t-shirt or two! Proceeds will go to the MOHI sports ministry in Kenya.
A BIG thank you to my friend Duncan for designing them for me!! Various colors are available and there are kids sizes too! Please keep in mind when ordering, Bonfire t-shirt campaigns work a bit differently in that they don’t print and ship out the shirts until the campaign cycle is over – so your shirt will likely ship the first week of June.
click on the t-shirt you like to take you to the Bonfire link to check out more colors and order!
Click here for the Bonfire Store with my available shirts.
Before I go any further into these blogs, I wanted to make sure you have a chance to hear about CMF and MOHI. Our church has been partnering with these two for quite some time and I love seeing the good work they do. CMF is a global mission team that has been serving in 25 countries around the world for the last 68 years. Their mission is to create dynamic, Christ-centered communities that transform the world. Their leaders are always looking ahead to implement new strategies and move into new areas to share the gospel.
How CMF makes an impact…
Church planting. These churches train leaders, multiply, and become a starting point for transformation in the community.
Building university student communities. Their Globalscope program allows young leaders to provide a Christian community and model authentic relationships with Jesus for the world’s most unreached generation.
Engaging the marketplace. The Market Ministry team live and work in closed countries. The Marketplace Ministry teams create new business ventures that will lead to jobs and economic Kingdom transformation.
Serving the poor. They focus on a holistic approach, which addresses the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of an individual or a community.
Within the element of a holistic approach to reach impoverished people in their full need, it includes the following: medical ministries, water projects (providing clean, safe water,) community health evangelism, micro-finance (small loans to businesses in Nairobi to develop and maintain), Christian education and child sponsorship.
Christian education, particularly among urban poor children, is an important component of CMF’s holistic development. CMF has seven child sponsorship programs in six countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Thailand, Brazil and India. Their largest child sponsorship program is in Nairobi, Kenya where CMF works in partnership with MOHI to bring holistic change to more than 12,000 sponsored children.
MOHI shares Christ’s love to restore hope to individuals in the disadvantaged communities through spiritual, social, physical and economic development. Because of the things they’ve been doing there; lives and communities are being changed in Nairobi as churches are planted, schools established and small businesses turn a profit. Most importantly, God is being glorified in one of the darkest slums of the world.
The slums of Nairobi, Kenya, rank in the top five of the biggest slums in the world. Nearly a million people live in the Mathare slum alone, an area of less than one sq mile.
A population of this density, living without basic human services, is a breeding ground for all kinds of physical, emotional and spiritual problems. These overwhelming issues led Wallace and Mary to create Missions of Hope International in 2000. They began by serving 50 children in one school in a section of the slums. Today, MOHI has expanded into remote villages in rural Kenya, as well as maintaining growth in various slums. They have a dedicated staff of more than 850 Kenyans and an international team of partners and leaders through CMF. They currently serve more than 14,500 children in 21 communities throughout Kenya.
A large part of MOHI’s growth has been due to the child sponsorship program, which was started by MOHI, then developed by the help of CMFI.
The program provides an excellent Christian education, nutritious food, medical care, extra-curricular activities and the opportunity to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.
In all they do, the MOHI staff and CMF missionaries seek to draw men, women and children to Christ.
They view every connection as an opportunity to share Christ’s love.
I am so very excited to join together with these organizations as we raise money for their newest dream of beginning a sports ministry program in Nairobi, along with the building of a sports field/facility.
YOU can join in and be a part of their awesome story. By giving to the fundraising campaign, you can help support the incredible vision to reach more kids and families.
This link will take you to the page to donate and give you more info:
“You can choose courage or you can choose comfort. You cannot have both.”
Most of my life I have lived among the fearful, timid and anxious. Afraid to try new things; to try hard things. I once believed I wasn’t brave enough and instead of fighting against that belief, I leaned into it. I used it as the crutch of my identity, something I didn’t bother to change or work on. But I know better than that now. It has taken me far too long to stop listening to the lies, and to be able to distinguish the lies from the Truth; the truth about who I am and who God created me to be.
What would it look like if chose courage over fear?
Courage to accept and love who I am. Courage to admit and move on from mistakes. Courage to forgive myself. Courage to learn from a failure. Courage to give myself grace. Courage to be vulnerable. Courage to ask for help when I feel like I’m losing control in my darkness and don’t know how to come back to the light. Courage to seek others when I really want to seek isolation. Courage to find joy. Courage to say no. Courage to say yes. Courage to try something new. Courage to push myself physically in new ways with new strength. Courage to try something hard and challenging.
By leaning into the courage, it has lead me to take on a big and exciting challenge that I have accepted for this year. I have signed up to help raise money for the sports ministry program at the school in Kenya that our church partners with. There is a team of about 30 of us signed up, from all over the country. Together, our team has committed to raising (at least) $175,000 to help launch the new sports program and start the construction on the sports field/facility. That breaks down to around $5,000 that we each need to try to rally. In the efforts to raise money, the other task we have committed too, is raising awareness of the cause by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania!!
Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest free standing mountain in the world and fourth overall in the world for summit height. The summit of Kilimanjaro, called Uhuru Peak, stands tall at 19, 341ft. We will be tackling this mountain trek at the end of this year (last week of 2019, into 2020). For myself, the rest of 2019 will be focused on this massive endeavor – fundraising, training, prepping, etc. This blog and website will serve as my hub for news, info, thoughts, adventures, and all that stuff, as I prepare mentally and physically for this adventure. I don’t want to do any of this alone, so please join in on this journey right along with me!
About the cause…
Christian Missionary Fellowship International (CMFI), and program partner Missions of Hope International (MOHI) located in Nairobi, Kenya, have teamed up to create a one-of-a-kind, multipurpose synthetic turf sports field for thousands of African children living in extreme poverty. This will be a state-of-the art sports field will also help to expand the current sports ministry program for 16,000 children throughout Kenya.
The majority of impoverished children have little access to education and no sports programs. Through this unique partnership, CMFI/MOHI will build a low-maintenance turf field that will give access and opportunity to children with no clean, safe place to play in a recreational, outdoor setting.
To give to this ministry, please click on the ‘donate’ button in the right menu selection. That link will take you to the page with more info and how you can donate. That page specifically is for the sports programming fundraiser; if you would like to donate to my overall trip costs to get to Africa to see these kids we’re helping and then climb that mountain, please email me for more info.