Yep. You read it here first … the Masciales are headed to Kenya this summer. WHAT?!
We couldn’t be more excited!! I got my new passport with my not-so-new name and it needs some love in a major way. Poor little guy is so stiff and stamp less I think it’s more excited to hang out in Africa than we are!
Anywho, I’m sure you’re wanting more details so I’ve made you a quit and dirty list of what we’ll be up to:
Where will you be? Nairobi, Kenya.
When are you going? Late June early August.
Who are you going with? We’re going with a group from our church. (I heard the eye rolls … YES, it’s a ‘mission trip.’ But there’s more to it … DUH. Who do you think we are?)
What will you be doing? Coordinating and facilitating TWO separate week-long kid’s camps and loving on those little dudes until we pass out.
Who are you partnering with? We are super duper lucky to be partnering with two organizations on the ground in Nairobi. These ministries are kicking some serious arse in two very different capacities in the city and this trip is designed to support their efforts:
1. Home Care Spiritual Fellowship reaches out to women, me, and children who are affected by AIDS and poverty. It was created by a woman named Judy Mbugua and has already expanded to 21 branches throughout Kenya. They provide weekly meetings for prayer, support, mentorship and encouragement for 20 widows who have been affected by AIDS and are living in the Kibera Slum. These women are also receiving micro-enterprise training. The organization also provides programs for orphaned and vulnerable children. About 500 gather every saturday for meals and hang time. For most of them, it’s one of the few times they get to have a meal during the week.
2. Ghetto Light Youth reaches out to the youth living in the Kibera Slum. It was created by Abel and Milcah Wafula and is based in the slum. They recognized the need to provide something positive for the youth of Kibera and are committed to improving the quality of life for the needy youth and families. They provide Biblical mentoring, academic encouragement and micro-enterprise endeavors. They are involved with AIDS awareness/training, drug/alcohol abuse counseling and environmental issues. In the last few years, Ghetto LIght has started a micro finance loan program to get youth working and earning a living instead of working the streets to survive. They even have a soccer program which currently has 80 youth and counting!
Why now? Why this trip? Here’s the deal. The hubs and I have been wanting to something significant together to make this world a better place since we met. We try to involve ourselves in work we feel is meaningful here in L.A., but we felt like we could do more. When we started attending Ecclesia, we both felt more compelled to give back in ways that were less obvious and more uncomfortable. When we heard about this opportunity we knew this was our chance. We’ve both been in the church long enough to have seen mission trips come and go. I’ve even been on a few myself. The problem for me … I don’t feel that going on those trips added as much value to the people we worked with as I’d like to think they did. You go, you leave, you usually don’t return. Most of the time the organization you’re supposed to be supporting works extra hard to prepare for the visit and have to make necessary plans to accommodate such large groups. That’s where this is different:
For this trip, we are partnering with organizations who are working day in and day out to provide faith, hope and love to this generation of kids. We’re just there to help them execute their vision and provide extra help as they tackle such an overwhelming task of loving these kids long-term. When we leave, we’re not leaving them high and dry. They will continue the work they’ve been doing all along knowing we’re coming back the next year to help run their summer camps. For those who go back with the team year after year, they get to see the same kids which means we aren’t just there to play … we’re there to build relationships that will last. It’s a long-term investment. And not just for our church who offers support throughout the year, but for the hubs and I as well.
I love that.
I love that we’re not trying to save the world in 14 days or push our agenda. We’re just trying to let some kids know they matter and support some awesome teams of people who are working so hard to raise up a new generation of leaders in Kenya. And I love that we can go back year after year and catch up with the same kids. Gah. I’m so freaking excited!
Here’s a little taste of what we’re in for:
We’ll be letting you know how you can help soon!