Ok, so I have been slightly busy lately so this has taken a few weeks to get around to. I'm not sure where to begin so I will start at the beginning. We left San Fran and had a 16hr flight directly to Dubai where we stayed the night and were kindly given a quick tour of Dubai by some of the Bethel affiliates there. We got to go to the largest mall in the world which was next to the largest building in the world. Everything in Dubai is done with excellence and I learned some very interesting facts- petrol/gas is cheaper than water, and you pay more for your car license plate than you do your actual car sometimes- their license plate is a status symbol so the lower the number, the more you pay for it.... up to 45million for # 3 or something!!! Wow. I wasn't really of fan of it as the Muslim culture is not at all friendly towards western women.... oh well, I guess I just don't have to go there again. It was a cool experience anyway. The next morning we caught a flight to Nairobi and then had a 5hr incredibly BUMPY drive on a bus (that became our close friend) to Nyahururu to the Thompson Falls Lodge. This is the nicest hotel there and it was way better than I was expecting, but still not even 2 or3 star when it comes to USA standards. By the time we got to the hotel we were all pretty exhausted so we got a good nights sleep even though it was completely opposite times as home. (11hrs difference to be exact). Day 1: We had an amazing buffet breakfast (like we did every day) and then headed to Heroes of the Nations http://www.htn.org/ which is Kenyas largest orphange (500 kids) and is closely linked with Bethel (the man who started and funds it goes to Bethel and we send teams there every year). When we got to Heroes, they were all waiting for us singing and surrounding the bus as we pulled up. As we got off, one at a time, they swarmed us and attached themeselves to any part of us they could grab. These ended up being our kids for the 10 days we were their. No matter where you went, they were with you and attached to you. They would argue with each other about who got to be closest to you and if you had to go through a doorway.... that's ok, they didn't let go- they just figured out away to get through all at the same time. It was amazing and overwhelming all at once. They were so happy and just wanted to know all about you, your family, friends, and life. Day 1 they put on a talent show for us and WOW, they can dance!!!! It made us feel even whiter than we already were! Their worship services put ours to shame (so to speak)... they were so passionate and expressive, it was amazing! When we finally went back to the hotel we were all pretty exhausted but so so happy! The next few days we ministered at the Bible School... to the 3rd and 4th year students. Some of us preached and we prophecied and prayed for them. It was amazingly powerful and we quickly made friends with them and they really blessed us as much as we poured out to them. I preached on healing which was awesome to finally do. It's hard being at Bethel and getting able to do anything like preaching.... on the missions trips, everyone has the ability to let their strengths shine. I really loved doing it although it was the first time I had preached with an interpreter. After I preached on healing, God healed all of them who came up or who we had words of knowlege for. It was so awesome to see the team activated and just going for it. Most days after we ministered at the Bible School we would go back to Heroes to have lunch and then see the kids where would run from who knows where to get to the bus when they heard it coming. On the Thursday we went to Nakuru which is a larger city and we ministered to the 1st and 2nd year Bible Students. When we were there they had a lunch time service at the church we were at. It was packed out and they had an amazing worship session then a revival preacher. At the end we did a Fire Tunnel (sheep dip) and we found out later that people were so touched by the Holy Spirit that some were unable to go back to work and were there stuck to their chairs for 4 or more hours. Awesome! The highlight of my trip was the day we went to the slums (I'm pretty sure it was Wed). It was poverty that I had never seen before. As we drove through the 'streets' of the slums on one of the first days we were there, the kids would run to the bus and follow us for blocks. We got out a few times to take pictures and they just LOVED us. They loved having their photos taken and wanted to instantly see what they looked like. There seemed to be no parents anywhere and kids everywhere.... we even saw a baby (a few months old) just sleeping (I'm hoping) on the front porch with no one else in sight. I personally, think every person should go to a 3rd world country to experience it. It was a wake up call.... yet they seemed soooo much happier than many people I know. On the Wed when we went, we went with the 3-4th year bible students and got off the bus to minister to them. It was amazing. The first lady we spoke to (many of them spoke Swahili and the Bible students could translate) her husband was blind so I suggested we go to their house (which was smaller than my bedroom) to pray for him. When we got there he told us he had neck, shoulder and back pain (from sleeping on the wood slat couch). As soon as we prayed the pain left all those places and he said he felt good. I asked if we could take him outside so he could test his eyes. In 2007 he had had a surgery which made him completely blind and his eyes were quite scarred and obviously blind. We released the Kingdom of Heaven on him and then asked him if anything was different.... he was like "oh yeah, I can see the clouds".... I nearly fell over but they weren't surprised at all, it was just a 'matter of fact' statement. I loved how easily they believed what we told them. We said Jesus died for your healing 2000 years ago and they believed and received it.... if only we could get people who have 100 options of doctors to go to to believe that easily. Here, they have the "believe God, or die" mentality.... so it's easy. I had quite a wake up call. So after we left him, we were walking down the 'road' and a lady called out in Swahili and asked what we were doing... we told her we were praying for people for healing. She told us she was nearly blind and could barely see us standing right in front of her. So we stopped and prayed for her.... right away, she could see almost the whole way down the lane! Come On Jesus!!!! It was awesome. As we were talking to here this big man comes and grabs my arm and goes "hey, what are you doing in my neighborhood" and I - completely oblivious to the fact this could have been a potentially dangerous situation" turned to him and said. Jesus is healing people!!! This lady got her sight back... he asked the lady in Swahili if that was true and she said yes and started pointing to things she could see. I noticed he had one arm folded against his body so I reached out and said "what's wrong with your arm, do you have any pain?" He said "yes, I dislocated my elbow" so I instantly grabbed his arm and pulled it out to me and said "Jesus will fix that for you". I wasn't even thinking, it seemed like just a natural thing to do.... instantly the pain left and he was swinging his arm around. He goes "that's great, can you fix my drinking problem too?" It was awesome. We got to pray for him and I called out his destiny and he was so blessed and went away a happy man. When we got back to the bus it seemed like all the kids in the slums had followed all our little groups back. There were heaps of them so we circled them up and taught them duck duck goose. Apparently I was the only one dumb enough to "goose" one of them. They lapped me they were so fast. It was entertaining to say the least. The kids were filthy, they were sick, and smelled awful but not for a second did it even affect me or stop me from hugging, kissing, and loving on them. They were so love starved it was incredible to see them respond to even a hug. That was one of the highlights of my life. When we got back on the bus it was amazing to hear all the teams testimonies. One lady told them that the night before she had had a dream that a plane landed in the field next to the slums and white people got out and came and healed them all.... that was pretty much what happened! We had legs grow out, pain leave, eyes healed- just to name a few.
On the Saturday we went on a Safari. It was fun but it was cold and rainy in the morning so we didn't get to see any 'cats' and that was a bit sad. We did see giraffe's, zebras, buffalo, flamingo's, antelope, baboons, little pesky monkeys, and the incredibly beautiful scenary of Kenya. We had some awesome times in the bus and it was a great way to relax after all the ministry we had done.
Sunday we split into 6 teams to preach. A couple went to Nakuru and preached on the radio, 4 teams preached to the kids at Heroes and the team I was on preached at the church in Nyahururu. Again, I preached on healing and the first lady that came up had a tumor on her leg. I prayed for like 10 secs for the tumor then I prophecied over her. When I was done giving her the word I asked if she could feel any difference in the tumor... her response "oh yes, it left as soon as you told it to". Wow! I believed what I preached but yet I was shocked at how quick and easy it was-- I guess that's the way God always intends it to be! We then had another fire tunnel and just loved on the people. It was such an awesome experience and I loved every bit of it. I guess in some ways I forgot that I was born for this.... so when I was getting to do it, I felt more alive than I ever have.
Monday was our last day and we spent the morning with the kids at Heroes. Saying goodbye was hard, especially when they were all crying. My kids were great though, they even wanted to add me on Facebook??!! Don't ask me how they all have FB accounts?! I took a list of things they wanted for Christmas and it was amazing how little they would be happy with. Things like dolls, a DVD, a CD, and cars.... totally doable and I look forward to being able to send them everything they wanted. As we drove away I knew I would never be the same and that I had gained a compassion for others like I never thought was possible. EVERYONE should do something like this.... its makes alot of what we worry about, come into perspective.
Sorry it took so long to write this but as you'll see from the next post, it was an intense time for me. Below is the link to my FB pictures of the trip (you don't need an account to see them).