On 24th May I set off with Tricia Frith and the Rev’d Roy Shaw from the Marston Moor parishes near York on a two-week mission to Bungoma in Kenya.
Travelling was to take over 24 hours and we arrived at the St Dorcas Orphanage in Kipcheria, Bungoma County, tired and our senses were overload with smells, noises and everything we were seeing around us. The final 7 kms to the orphanage was like being on an off road stage of the RAC rally because of the rains and the fact it is a clay road.
The orphanage is home to thirty children and as we arrived through the gates they sang a welcome to us which was really nice. There are two rooms used in the orphanage for visitors and we were shown to our rooms. To see the new orphanage building and the brand new dining room, kitchen and store was really good, but to see the difference it has made to the lives of the children is beyond words.
|New Dining room, kitchen and store|
The principal reason for our visit was to deliver seminars on Leadership in the church to both the Arise and Shine, Pentecostal churches and to the New Anglo Church of Kenya (NACK). These were very well received and we spent eight days delivering these seminars to clergy and laity.
|Group work in the seminars|
On the Sunday we each went to an Arise and Shine church. Roy and I preached at the churches we went to and Tricia shared her testimony with them. The feedback from all the churches was good and they really appreciated our being there and taking part in their services.
Roy’s church had sent some money for the Anglo Church of Kenya to purchase some Hero bikes so their Priests and Evangelists can travel around their parishes to visit people. By some good negotiation and by purchasing them from Nairobi they managed to buy 12 bikes instead of the 10 they were originally quoted for.
|The school children of St Dorcas primary school|
The children in the orphanage were lovely and are aged from 5 years old. The story behind how they came to be in the orphanage really pulls on your heart stings. I had the privilege of talking with the two youngest children, Maxi and Phoebe. Although they are not brother and sister their stories are more or less identical. They lost both their parents to Aids and had been left to fend for themselves before coming to the notice of their local Arise and Shine church and being taken into the orphanage. Both had been badly traumatised and after six months were just starting to come out of their shells. They have both been tested for HIV and are negative.
Through Bungoma Calling, the charity that we went on the mission with, they are trying to pay for all the children to be able to go to primary and secondary school. If we manage to get them a good education then they will stand a good chance of having a successful and useful life as an adult, able to support themselves and their family.
We will be holding a presentation evening in the autumn where we will be able to share more with you and let you see what it was like on our short mission to Encounter Bungoma. Details will be on our Facebook page and on our website www.bungomacalling.co.uk
We are already looking at planning Encounter Bungoma 2016. If you are interested let me know by email me at firstname.lastname@example.org