Hello dear sponsors and friends of Little Eden,
We just wanted to take a moment of your time to share the exciting and productive mission trip that Mike Eden Ministries sponsored to Little Eden Children’s Home in Kenya this past June. I will apologize up front, it isn’t easy to include exciting evangelistic events in a short letter. I am praying that you have been waiting for all the news from our trip.
Sylvia and I were joined by 9 other Texans, 6 Alabamans and 1 South African, taking part in a very successful evangelism adventure. The Texas team arrived late at night in Nairobi on Wednesday, June 12th, after a 21 hour trip and accompanied by 2 Alabama team members who met us in Amsterdam for the final leg to Kenya. By the time we picked up our luggage (22 large and 11 carryon pieces), loaded them on the roof of our 2 transportation vans and arrived at our overnight destination it was close to 1:00 am. With little sleep and an early wake up bell being rung, we joined missionaries from other countries for breakfast before heading to the FOREX to exchange our US money into Shillings and then departing for Little Eden.
It is always a beautiful trip heading to our destination up into the mountains above Nairobi. As usual, we stopped at “Overlook", the escarpment above the Rift Valley. Here we take pictures of our team and the beautiful valley below, shop at the curio huts for souvenirs and head out to the town of Naivasha where we grab lunch and shop for our food supplies. After completing all these errands, we arrived at our home located at the Boys dorm at Little Eden Thursday evening just after dark. We dubbed the home “Riverside House” because it sits above a creek located down a hill that the local Kenyans call a “river”!
We were welcomed by 4 Alabama team members who had traveled over a week ahead of our team and who had graciously prepared dinner for our team. Our boys, Matron Anne and other staff members were there to greet us with big smiles and hugs and carry in all of our supplies. We are always blessed with the love from the children and staff when arriving at our “second home”!
Even though we had planned a 10 day visit, time always just passes too quickly. Friday some of our MEM Board members traveled with Sylvia and me, to visit a Kenyan gentleman who had sent word that he wanted to donate an acre of land to Little Eden for crops. An important and needed blessing for us! What a Godly man our new friend was. He had taken much thought and investigation as to who he wanted to donate this land. He told us that God had blessed him tremendously and he wanted to share his wealth with someone who was also serving God. After much research, he chose Little Eden to receive this gift. PTL!
Friday was also a day spent finalizing our plans for our MEM VBS session the next day. Marissa Jackson, team leader, had put in a lot of work and preparation a month before the trip for this annual event. The children always look forward to VBS. She was so excited about this opportunity!
Saturday morning we rise early for breakfast and head to the AIC church in the Village of Cheese that our children attend to host the Vacation Bible School session. We are always excited to see how many children will show up and be a part of the informative Bible lessons that will be shared with them.
It is a day of Bible stories, singing, small group sessions of Spiritual games, snacks and just a lot of interaction and love with the children and visitors. We are excited that we now have our older children from Little Eden, who participate in assisting the adult leaders with these events. We are so proud of the Biblical knowledge that our boys and girls have learned over the years while living at Little Eden and faithfully attending church.
Sunday morning we attended church with our children, which is always exciting as we watch them perform their Bible verse presentations, Cadet groups and singing. Our team all sit there like proud parents watching our boys and girls! It is always a blessing to worship with the local villagers who have made our teams feel so welcome over the last 10 years. The spirit of the Lord is always present even with the diverse languages. Mike and I have officially been made members of the AIC church which is quite an honor and blessing for us.
That afternoon we were so excited to celebrate our 10 Year Anniversary since Little Eden was officially opened in June 2009 to receive 22 children into the home. The special event program had been planned by Matron Anne and assisted by Lisa Ward. We now have 71 boys and girls, some will be attending college and trade schools in September. The rest are enrolled in pre-K, Primary and Secondary Schools. What an exciting and blessed event!
Our children and staff had planned a special day of entertainment for all our guests. We were blessed with them dancing, singing and reading poems that some had created themselves. We were so touched by their love and respect for us! Thomas Ward brought a loving Spiritual message to the group which really touched our heart. Thomas is a senior in high school this year in Alabama and has great plans for his future. Also, a very moving message was brought by MEM Board member, Paul Peveto of Texas. Mike and I recognized the original 22 children who came to us all those long years ago and we became a little sentimental that they aren’t small children anymore! How did they grow up so fast? We were blessed with the attendance of all the children, staff and the elders of the AIC church at this special celebration. God is good!
Monday and Tuesday MEM hosted their annual Pastor’s Conference at the Full Gospel Church in Karangatha. This was facilitated by Robert Smith, Bubba Jackson and Pastor Willy Dinglar. What a spiritual blessing that these men shared with the local pastors on that first day. A very informative question and answer session was held on the second day of the conference. This annual event always benefits the local pastors, some of which have never had formal evangelical training.
Friday the women of the MEM mission team hosted the annual Women’s Bible Conference, also at the AIC Church. The village ladies were welcomed by greeters, Reagan and Taylor, as they arrived at the church. Sylvia opened the event with a welcome to the village women and introduced the facilitator, Leigh Peveto, who had organized and planned a very moving and informative program for the ladies. Leigh shared a message and then introduced each of the team speakers (Terri, Marissa, Lisa and Rozetta) who shared their message according to the theme “Daughters of the King”. Matron Anne was our much needed and appreciated interpreter for the day. We were blessed by the performance of Rozetta, Jenny and Holly whose beautiful voices and harmony filled the church with praise. They had just met each other for the first time on the trip and amazed us with their talent.
Lunch was served to our guests by the staff of Little Eden. At the end of the conference, each attendee was presented a beautiful gift of rare and coveted items that had been donated and prepared by Leigh’s Sunday School class at Houston’s First Baptist Church. A special and loving ending to a very moving and informative day for the village ladies in this rural area of Kenya. They left that day filled with pride as daughters of our King, clutching their beautiful gifts and smiles on their faces.
Scotty Fairchild of AL was our lead carpenter, overseeing the building of bookshelves for the boys and girls dorm and clothes “cubbies” for the girls. He was assisted by other team members in this much needed and appreciated project. Thank you everyone! What would we do w/o our visiting missionary teams? They bless us every year.
Texas team members: Rozetta McLean, Terri Hall, Robert Smith, Bubba, Marissa and Reagan Jackson, Leigh and Paul Peveto, Mike and Sylvia.
Alabama team members: Lisa Ward, Thomas Ward, Scotty Fairchild, Taylor Mendenhall, Holly Starlin and Jenny Mayers.
And Willy Dinglar of Johannesburg, South Africa, Pastor of Mayfield Baptist Church.
We want to thank all of our sponsors and our supporters for your continued support and encouragement to Mike Eden Ministries. You make it possible to financially care for our children, the two homes, the salaries of the staff and farm operation at Little Eden Children’s Home. Without you, the doors would close, the children dispersed and the staff would have no job. May God bless each of you for your servants heart!