Two Steps Forward, One Step Back to Kenya

chili cook-off and auctionAbout a month ago, I wrote I Need Your Help to Reach My Dream of Leading a Team to Kenya. Since then a lot has happened, but I haven’t done a very good job of telling those stories here. So, let me get you up to speed…

This summer I’m leading a team to Nakuru, Kenya where we are going to spend a week and a half serving at the Springs of Hope Kenya orphanage and a number of other places in the surrounding community. We’re going to share God’s love and hope with people, and we also want to bring shoes and books and money to help others as well.

The total cost of the trip will be about $3,000 per person.

Hot Chili

May 14th our team hosted a Chili Cook-off and Auction. The event went remarkably well. Well over 100 people participate, the chili was awesome, the live auction was entertaining, the whole evening was a lot of fun and I really appreciated the opportunity to interact with so many people who are supporting our trip. At the end of the night we raised about $5,000 from the event. (Read more and see pics from the Chili Cook-Off and Auction)

From the Chili Cook-off and Auction and other donations supporting the team, we raised about $1,000 per person. We had airline reservations that put our tickets at $2,000 each, with payment due May 23. So each person needed raise $1,000 of personal support.

No-Go for Ainsley

Thanks to the generous support of family and friends like you, Jennifer and I were able to raise enough money for 2 plane tickets. We were looking forward to having our 9 year old daughter, Ainsley, serve along side us in Kenya, but had to make the difficult decision that this would not be the year for that.

Holding: the Most Important Part of the Reservation

Two weeks ago (just days before we were to purchase our tickets), our airline reservations fell apart. Taxes and fees on the tickets went up dramatically and then we were presented with additional fees that would have made the price of the tickets almost $600 more than we were originally told. I felt like I was in strange Seinfeld Twilight Zone (“You know how to take the reservation, you just don’t know how to *hold* the reservation and that’s really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody can just take them.”)

But through God’s provision we were able to purchase airline tickets for the entire team last week for only slightly more than our original reservation. And the flights are much better – through Tampa instead of Orlando, and giving us an extra day in Kenya! Yeah! (Read the whole story airline ticket story)

36 Days to Go…

So, here we are 5 weeks and 1 day away from departure. Each member of our team needs to earn, save, and raise the last $1,000 needed for food, lodging, local transportation, immunizations, and miscellaneous expenses.

We’re beginning to gather shoes, clothes, and other items to bring to the orphanage. We’re also beginning to prepare our hearts and minds for what we’re going to experience in Kenya and how we hope God uses us to bless the people of Nakuru. I’ll write more about those aspects of the trip over the coming weeks.

3 Ways to Help

Not everyone can go on a trip to help others like this, but everyone can make a difference. There are 3 simple, yet important ways you can help: pray, give, and share (this post on Twitter and/or Facebook).

Thanks for your support!

3 Responses to “Two Steps Forward, One Step Back to Kenya”

  1. Habari Paul.

    Good to see an update on this – I will certainly add my prayers in for safe journies and that God uses you all in ways you don’t expect 🙂

    Kenya holds a magical and special place in my heart as I spent several years there as a child and have never forgotten it and one day I will take my family there. If you are at Nakuru then you must make sure to get to Lake Nakuru where the flamingoes exist in HUGE numbers.


    • Hey Stuart, thanks for your comment. I didn’t know you had spent time in Kenya. That’s awesome! I’d love to hear more about that.

      My wife and I had the opportunity to go to Nakuru National Park 2 years ago (see Even though the vast majority of our time in Kenya will be spent serving, we are planning some time in Nakuru N.P. and a safari in Masai Mara.

      • Yeah – Kenya, Zambia and Botswana before teh family sort of settled in Malta.

        Thanks for the link to the old post – that must have been during one of my many “lets zero my rss feed as I can’t catch up” phases 🙂

        I’ll try and write of my experiences sometime. Having moved to Africa as a 5yr old and didn’t leave until almost 12 I have very sharp and vivid memories of lots of things.

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