Mfangano Island, Kenya

Come away with me to Mfangano Island, Kenya...

Approaching the shore of Lake Victoria in Mbito, Kenya was an amazing experience. There were 9 of us on the team and each of us had our own luggage and missions supply luggage. We were told that we would be going by boat but nothing could prepare me for what I was about to see. The boat is not something that you would see in a harbor in America. It could be more aptly described as a large wooden canoe with a motor.  How were we going to fit the luggage and ourselves into this boat? We walked down the wooden pier and were greeted by Calvin and Kevin who eagerly assisted us with the luggage. As I stepped into this boat, I sat down onto the rough wooden bench and looked about at the beautiful water and surrounding islands. The trip would take about 1 ½ hours. It ended up being a refreshing and pleasant ride. I have to admit that as I sat down and saw the water in the boat and the rough wood I had my doubts.
As we came closer to Mfangano Island there were many people washing clothes in the water. I began to take pictures but then realized that some were bathing. :) The terrain was dotted with mud huts and beautiful green plants. This is definitely different than the pictures that I had in my mind.
I was reminded that God was in control even though I was nervous.

Honestly I grew to love that boat and have no worries about riding in it again.

The boat would take us to the guest house of Gethsemane Garden Christian Center. It was beautiful and welcoming. We were greeted by Chef John, Mama and others as we departed from the boat. I felt as though I was stepping back into time. Everywhere I looked I saw new and exciting things. Large bunches of bananas hung from trees ready to be eaten. Birds of varied colors and sizes sang cheerily as we walked into the compound. AHHHHHHH, this is going to be a piece of cake, I thought to myself. We have beautiful surroundings, pleasant accommodations and great food!

I know that this sounds like a wonderful vacation story but, here comes the reality of the location we were at.
  • Mfangano Island is home to over 19,000 people of Suba and Luo descent and suffers one of the worst HIV/AIDS concentrations in the world.
  • Many children have one or no parents.
  • There is no electricity and no clean water.
  • The majority of income that is generated is from fishing.
  • Most people earn less than 1 dollar a day.
  • Spiritually, People in Kenya have a deep hunger for spiritual things and many believe in Jesus. However, Kenya has been infused with beliefs that are intertwined with witchcraft and sorcery.
The island is beautiful and inviting but there is so much more than meets the eye. There is much work to be done. As we met as a team to plan and pray we all knew that this was much bigger than any of us could have known.

Jesus wept over Jerusalem, I began praying and weeping over this island.

“Lord give me everything that is needed to minister in your name, translate my words Holy Spirit so that they may be effective to reach people in your name. May I be found faithful to make the most out of every opportunity.”

We went to bed that night full of anticipation and excitement and maybe just a little bit of nervousness.

Where is God breaking your heart?
Has he given you a deep longing to do something?

He will give you everything that you need to accomplish it if you will just trust Him to do it.

Father, thank you for breaking my heart and nudging me to follow your lead in Kenya.  help me to do this every day with the people that you place into my paths. remind me and empower me to make the most out of every opportunity.  Jann


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Thank you for visiting, Praying that you are blessed today. Jann

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