I will be going to Nairobi, Kenya for 8 weeks during the Summer of 2011. Please pray for myself, my team, and ministry going on there currently.. God bless <3

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I Need You!!

I need you to partner with me. 
I have this amazing opportunity to be the Hands and Feet of Jesus in 11 different countries over the course of 11 months with The World Race.
I need your prayers.
I need your encouragement.
I need your support.
My blog, http://brandiwilcox.theworldrace.org/ has more information about me, The World Race, and what I will be a part of. Check it out!

The cost of this missions trip is $15,150, which sounds like a lot, but a donation as small as $10 can go a long way. Would you partner with me in ministry to go on The World Race? 
Stop what you are doing right now and pray. (I know you really don&#8217;t want to stop and pray, I mean I normally don&#8217;t do it when people tell me to, but literally stop what you are doing and pray for God to lead you in knowing how you can support me.) If he has led you to support me financially go here https://www.adventures.org/give/donate.asp?giveto=worldrace&amp;desc=For%20Brandi%20Wilcox&amp;tuid=10233314.
May the God of this Universe that we know, love, and serve bless you for your financial contribution.
I need you to reblog this post to spread the word of what God is doing in my life. Please reblog, I need this word to get out there. 
Your Sister In Christ,
Brandi :)
I need you to partner with me. 
I have this amazing opportunity to be the Hands and Feet of Jesus in 11 different countries over the course of 11 months with The World Race.
I need your prayers.
I need your encouragement.
I need your support.
My blog, http://brandiwilcox.theworldrace.org/ has more information about me, The World Race, and what I will be a part of. Check it out!
The cost of this missions trip is $15,150, which sounds like a lot, but a donation as small as $20 can go a long way. Would you partner with me in ministry to go on The World Race? 
Stop what you are doing right now and pray. (I know you really don’t want to stop and pray, I mean I normally don’t do it when people tell me to, but literally stop what you are doing and pray for God to lead you in knowing how you can support me.) If he has led you to support me financially go here https://www.adventures.org/give/donate.asp?giveto=worldrace&desc=For%20Brandi%20Wilcox&tuid=10233314.
May the God of this Universe that we know, love, and serve bless you for your financial contribution.

Your Sister In Christ,
Brandi :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Yesterday, I flew into Chicago O'Hare airport three hours later than expected due to a delay in London. All 19 of us interns missed our connecting flight to Indianapolis so we stayed the night at the Hilton.

What better way to have reverse culture shock than to stay in a luxurious hotel for free? (A hotel that cost over $250 to stay in for one night!!!)

While in London I was very frustrated and upset at the culture. I saw no less than 50 people with an iPad, Kindle, or MacBook. For the last two months I have been in a culture where people can go days without eating, yet there are people in other parts of the world who have so much money they don't know what to do with it.

I'm not going to say I thought it was okay that they have these luxuries. It breaks my heart to know people that struggle every day. It breaks my heart to realize that the poor look so different to me now. It breaks my heart that I'm sometimes careless with my money spending it on items I do not need.

Life in America is different than life in Kenya. The cost of everything is much higher. I had McDonalds for breakfast at the airport and it was $5.00 which is the equivalent to about half of a months rent in Mathare. In Nairobi, I could eat breakfast food for about $2.00 or less. For me, it's crazy to think about the differences in cost of living between the two countries.

There's nothing quite like reverse culture shock being thrown in you face right upon returning to America.

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Kwaheri Kenya

"Kwaheri Kenya" means "Goodbye Kenya."

Yesterday, I said goodbye to Kenya. I didn't want to leave, but I knew that God was bringing me back to America with a purpose.

I have many, many stories that I will be able to share with others about God's love and presence in Africa.

I will be able to show others how much I have grown through this intercultural experience.

I will be able to share about God's heart for the poor.

I will be able to share how each of us were created for Heaven and our home will never be here on earth.

I will have the ability to share with others to stop praying the prayer, "Lord let your will be done with my life in the next five years" and instead to proclaim this prayer, "Lord guide my every action in accordance with Your Spirit every moment of every day."

Honestly, none of this internship was about what I did in Kenya, but it was all about what God taught me and what He did in my heart.

My life this summer was an endless pursuit of Christ and His love for His people.

He taught me that no one person is better than any other through His eyes.

During each loan meeting I was able to search through the Bible and let the Holy Spirit lead me in sharing a word of encouragement.

God taught me that He loves people no matter where they live.

God taught me that the prayers I'm praying, with the amount of faith I have in Jesus, are able to move mountains in Kenya and America.

He is the Name above ALL Names.

Potentially the most important lesson is that I could use accounting with ministry.

I'm blessed to have had the chance to serve Jesus in Kenya.

I'm blessed to share these stories and Christ's love for His people with you.

Jesus loves you with an undeniable, immeasurable amount of love. Never, ever forget that.

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Am Going to Miss...

It is officially my last Wednesday night in Kenya. I have several mixed emotions with the thought of returning to the US in one week.

I don't want to leave Kenya.

I am going to miss my coworkers.

I am going to miss that Kenyan culture is very touchy.

I am going to miss my teammates.

I am going to miss buying Pineapple Fanta (everyday) for 50 schillings, or less (about $0.50).

I am going to miss feeling like a celebrity wherever I go.

I am going to miss my loan groups.

I am going to miss my sponsor child, Faith.

I am going to miss samosas and chapati.

I am going to miss greeting everyone in the office twice a day.

I am going to miss having chai twice a day.

I am going to miss the children.

I am going to miss KENYA!

I'm not gonna lie and say I will miss everything about Kenya because some things I will be happy to not have to deal with. In the grand scheme of things, I really think I will miss Kenya more than not. 

The greatest part about all of this is that God is present with me. He is right next to me holding my hand and telling me "Everything will be okay, I have big plans for your future."

Do those plans have Kenya in the future? Honestly, I have no idea, but I know that God is going to lead me where He wants me. 

I'm so blessed to have had the opportunity to be in Kenya for such a long period of time. 

I'm so blessed by the love, support, and prayers from friends, family, and churches back in the states.

Be blessed my friends.

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011


For several months now, God has really been laying faith on my heart. I have realized that I can have or do nothing without the faith in Jesus Christ that I now have. I have a ring on my left ring finger that says "Matt. 17:20 FAITH."

Matthew 17:20 says He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

I have seen God move mountains to provide for and to cleanse others.

I have seen God answer specific prayer requests that I have prayed.

I have seen God's healing power touch my mom.

I have the faith in God that I need to see Him move mountains in my life and the lives of others around me.

Today, I found a different kind of faith.

Today, I met the child that I sponsor.

Today, I met God's precious child that He adores.
Her name is Faith. She goes to school at Mabatini and she is in Nursery 2 (preschool). She is very very shy. Her favorite color is red. She is an orphan. Her mom was a single parent, but her mom died when Faith was really young. She lives with her uncle.

She is God's beloved. He has her in His hands. He loves her more than I could ever love her. He knows every single detail about her heart and life.

Around 11 am today I was able to meet Faith. Here is a picture of us first meeting.

At first, she would not come close to me or look me in the eye. After a little bit of time she opened up and sat on my lap as I gave her a Bible, pencils, and some other items.

I could see joy in her face as she was receiving the gifts. Sarah, the social worker at Mabatini told me that the Bible I gave her would be her most treasured gift.

I was able to be with Faith most of the day.

I cannot explain the joy I felt while holding her in my arms.

I had tears of joy and pain flowing at the same time.

Joy for knowing that through her going to school she is able to get an education, eat two meals a day, and learn about Jesus.

Pain for her living situation. Pain for realizing she does not have a woman's lap to sit on. Pain for all of the emotional stress she goes through. Pain for the unknown about her moms death.

BUT there is hope for Faith. As a part of Missions of Hope International, she has a way to have hope for her future.

I believe there are no words to describe how amazing, yet heart breaking today was.

I will cherish this day and remember it forever.

Here are some photos from our day together.

I'm so blessed to have met Faith.

I'm so blessed to call her my child.

Now, I have another way my faith in Jesus Christ has changed me.

For $35 a month, you too could change a life. You could be the answer to a child's prayers. I want to encourage you to pray for God's direction in your heart. For Him to show you if you could be the person a child has been waiting for. Be in prayer for God's direction and I have faith that He will show you His will for you. :)

You may be thinking that $35 a month is a lot. You may be thinking that you can not sacrifice that amount of money, but I can guarantee you that your gift will impact eternity.

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21

In Matthew 6, Jesus shares that our treasure should not be on earthly things, but that it should be set on eternity.

Is there an eternal reward for the money you may treasure?

Is there an eternal reward for spending money precariously?

These questions and many others have been going through my mind for several months leading up to this internship. Through lots of prayers, God has shown me that this is His Will for me. I don't know where He will lead you in this decision, but I know that it is in His hands.

Please join me in praying for Faith. Pray for God to provide her Uncle with all he needs to support her. Pray for her love of God to grow daily. Pray for protection from evil within Mathare.


While I was meeting Faith today, my friend Kylie (another intern) met her sponsor child named Agnes. Here are some group photos we took.

Thank you for following my blog and reading about God's Will for me as I am here in Kenya.

Be blessed and have faith in our Lord.

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Kenya 2.0

"You look very smart" means "You look very pretty"

"Sawa sawa" is my most used Kiswahili phrase. It means "It is good."

I work from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm Monday through Friday.

It is winter in Kenya right now. Daily I get questioned if I am cold, but my response is always a "No."

Most of the people in Mathare have cell phones. They are all prepaid.

It is very important to use your mosquito net because without it you can end up with over 50 mosquito bites on one arm. & yes I have over 50 bites on my left arm. 

A smile can light up most peoples faces. I will walk and look at Kenyans and they will have a blank stare on their faces, but if I smile it will make them smile. It's a small way God has shown me joy.

God has been convicting me and teaching me so much about myself and those around me. So much that sometimes I can't even put it into words.

My will and my way are not in line with God's. Therefore, I must seek and trust Him to lead me in all that I do.

I wear sandals to Mathare every day. I walk on dirt roads covered with trash and who knows what else. 

I have lost 20 pounds over the course of four months.

I walk at least 2 miles every single day. On Wednesdays I walk at least 5 miles.

I love praying for the loan groups to see God's provision for all of their needs.

Fridays loan groups are the worst, but Wednesdays are the best.

I miss Taco Bell....a lot

I have witnessed the power of prayers for healing when God healed my teammate of Mono. If she would have had mono, then she would have had to return to the US. 

I was in a room with about 30 high school students yesterday. We shared about life, played games, and talked about the Bible. It was very encouraging.

Ultimately, God is good.

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Temporary Home

While sharing my testimony with my coworker, Opiyo, I felt God taught me another lesson. I shared a very short, condensed version of my testimony basically explaining my living situation and how I found Christ.

I explained to him that I don't have a permanent home in America. Currently my home is here in Kenya. Once I arrive to Indiana, I will have a home at the CCH Girls House. In December I will graduate and no longer know where my home will be.

It has been very apparent that God is trying to teach me a lesson with this.

In the grand scheme of life, none of this matters.

I was NOT made for earth.

I was NOT made to make my permanent home here.

I am not HOMELESS.

I was made for heaven.

I was made to meet my Savior.

I have Heaven on my mind and I'm looking at everything with an eternal perspective.

THIS place here on earth, wherever I am is not my home.

THIS is my temporary home.

I will never be fulfilled by a home for as long as I am here.

In Christ,
Brandi :)

In Spirit

I was reading Francis Chan's book "Forgotten God" tonight and it spoke to me in huge ways.

I picked up the book and read a chapter about God's Will. Francis wrote about how we as Christians are constantly praying for God to show us what His Will for us to do in the next year or so is. Francis challenged his readers to not be worried about the future, but to seek God for today. For us to seek what the Holy Spirit is leading us to do every day. For us to yield to the Holy Spirit whenever we feel led to strike up conversation with someone. For us to yield to His call for each day and to not worry about the future and what it holds.

A constant prayer of mine for the last several years is that God would show me His Will for my future. For Him to lead me where He wants me to go, where His Will will be done.

I'm the kind of person that likes to be in control. I like to know the facts of what the future holds. It's time for me to let go of this need for control because ultimately, I'm not, nor will I ever be the one in control.

After December, I don't have a permanent home. I don't have a job opportunity. I don't know what God holds in my future. BUT what I do know is that it's time for me to let God be in control of all that I do. I need to be in step with the spirit during the here and now. I need to not worry about my future and what it may hold because I know it's all in God's hands.

My new prayer is to be led by the spirit every second of every day. I pray that this too, would be your daily prayer.

"For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God." Romans 8:14

In Christ,
Brandi :)

I'm Not Me Here

I'm not me here. I'm not me here at all. Why? Honestly, I can't pinpoint why I am not myself here.

Could it be my broken heart for the poverty stopping me from being me?

Could it be that I don't feel really connected with my teammates?

Could it be that I don't want people to hate me if I'm loud and obnoxious, like the "normal" Brandi?

I think it could very well be a mix of the latter. I'm not certain  if this is a good thing or if it is a bad thing.

Situational things like, who I am around, should not change me.

Fear of being hated should not stop me from being me.

Why am I acting so different? Why am I not the crazy loud girl?

I don't have the answers to any of these questions, but what I do know is that I am God's child. I am loved by Him no matter what I do, how I act, where I am, or who I'm with. No matter what I do or don't do, God will still love me the same.

His love is unconditional.
His love is never ending.
His love for me will never change.
His love for me is incomparable.

I praise God for teaching me that no matter how I act, He loves me through it all.

I praise God for His love that will never, ever fail.

I praise God for growing, stretching, and teaching me so much this summer.

He is good!

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

God is teaching me...

The following are 21 things that God has been teaching me during my internship to Kenya

God is teaching me that prayer is vital in reaching out to and loving on others.

God is teaching me that His plan is literally HIS, and not what I want it to be.

God is teaching me that I can do nothing without Him.

God is teaching me that He will provide a home for me after December.

God is teaching me to offer up every second of my life to Him.

God is teaching me patience.

God is teaching me to be more relationship oriented versus task oriented.

God is teaching me that His love is greater than any other.

God is teaching me that every person I encounter He already knows them by name.

God is teaching me that He is the source of life for those in the slums and essentially everyone.

God is teaching me to trust in His plan for a future spouse.

God is teaching me that I could very well use accounting with ministry.

God is teaching me that I am extremely blessed with having my CCH family.

God is teaching me that I am capable of more than just evangelism.

God is teaching me that He is present everywhere I walk.

God is teaching me that His love never fails.

God is teaching me that He is the ultimate protector over me wherever I go.

God is teaching me that worshipping is not only the words you sing, but it's the feeling of His presence over you.

God is teaching me that He always has His arms wrapped around me.

God is teaching me that no matter where I am, I am His servant.

God is teaching me that He is the only one that has control over my moms health.

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A "Normal" Week

I know you may be curious as to what a "normal" week looks like for this internship.

I'm in a microfinance meeting for at least 4 very very long hours. Topics of discussion include the good and bad of loan groups, word of encouragement (aka a sermon), reading over minutes from previous meetings, planning loan training for new clients, and any other concerns or questions. Meetings can be very draining. After the meetings we will take lunch and then I will reconcile loan accounts or just sit in the office.

Go to the field with a loan officer. Sit through 4-8 loan meetings with pretty much no break. At the meetings, clients will put money into a savings account and if they have a loan they will make a payment on it. These meetings occur once a week. I have simply just sat in on some meetings and listened to the clients speak in Kiswahili to doing all of the paperwork while the loan officer builds their relationships with clients.

Go to the field with Abraham Opiyo. This week marked my third time for visiting these groups. I was able to encourage the groups by asking them for prayer requests. They were very open and honest about the needs of their groups and families.

Work with Community Health Evangelism (CHE) with all social workers and community outreach people. Go out to one of the villages and do door to door evangelism with EvangeCubes spreading the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. I'm completely blown away from those that have made the commitment to be born again. God is working in each of the villages.

Repeat of Tuesday, but with different groups.

Spend the morning and afternoon at the cyber cafe and Masaai market using the Internet and purchasing really cheap African knick-knacks. For dinner we normally go to a MoHi staff persons home.

Go to church for around 3 hours. Eat lunch in town then come back to Ufungamano to rest all day.

Each day varies, but this is what has occurred most often in the past month.

Your part in this ministry has an eternal impact on the lives here. May God richly bless you.

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Church in Kenya

I have had the opportunity to go to three different church services since being in Nairobi. Each one has been long, encouraging, and very different from American churches. Two services have not started until myself and my teammates have arrived. In the beginning, there are few seats filled, but within 20 minutes there is not an empty seat.

Worship is very upbeat with dancing and shouts to the Lord. They ask for someone from the congregation to share a testimony or a word of encouragement and they will say something that God has laid on their hearts. The joy that the Kenyans have when they are worshiping the Lord is very encouraging to me.

Today at church, the worship leader stopped worship because the church was not singing. That demonstrates the bluntness of culture here. Even-though I don't know the words to songs I have been clapping and worshiping the Lord in a new way.

I have seen God work in peoples hearts to lay down their lives to them. I have seen people with a huge passion for Christ singing, dancing, and shouting praises to our Lord.

Service lasts around 3 hours which can be a struggle. It can be a struggle to focus to the message. It can be a struggle to stay awake. It can be a struggle to listen to the message that is being translated as it is preached.

God's presence is here in Mathare. He is moving in peoples hearts to go to church. He is moving in every village to bring the spirit of God there. He is moving people to commit their lives to Christ. He is present. He is working. He is MOVING.

All in all, church is different, but God is present and moving in peoples hearts. He is good!

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Kenya 101

There are no traffic laws here.

Kenyans believe if you are white you are automatically rich. I told a group of three ladies about my home life and God's provision for me through my situation and they were shocked that I had any problems.

Personal hygiene items are rather expensive here, whereas most other items are cheaper.

Children at MoHI schools have so much joy and passion. 

I play real life frogger everyday, several times a day.

Lunches are normally rice and beans or beef stew and ugali. 

On a normal day, I only eat dinner because I am out of the office all day. Dinner for me normally consists of chicken or a hamburger with chips (aka French fries). 

The place where we are staying has some really awesome security guards.

Kenyan culture is very touchy. It's not abnormal to see men holding hands while walking down the street.

God is present here.

My teammates are awesome.

God is growing, stretching, and moving in my heart sand my life.

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Heart

I'll be honest with you, God is doing a lot with my heart right now, a lot of which I do not understand. God has and still is breaking me for the people of Mathare. I'm broken for the beggars who are physically handicapped in some way. I'm broken for each of the glue boys (and even girls) that I encounter every single day. I'm broken for the fact that I stereotype the glue boys as "glue boys" because I know they are each God's child and they have a name. I'm broken for my mom who may have cancer again.

I'm not going to lie and say my heart is fully here in Mathare because it's not. My heart is BROKEN for the thought that my mom might have cancer again. The hardest part about this is that I have no way to contact her. God is teaching me a lot through this brokenness--He's good at that :) He is teaching me to trust in Him to be with, to protect, and to heal my mom. 

One thing I have realized since being here is that I am a leader and I REALLY like to be in control. Step one to releasing this need to be in control is trusting that God will heal my mom. Step two is to put my heart and focus to Heaven. 

I've realized that I treasure America. I treasure the food, friends, freedom, and, well everything. I know my treasure is not here on this earth, but it is in heaven. 

Matthew 6:19-21 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

My treasure is in heaven. My treasure is in the power of the gospel. My treasure is in Jesus Christ, my redeemer.

As you can tell my heart is in a few different places, but I know it needs to be set on Jesus.  Please pray with me as I seek, serve, and love Jesus with heaven in mind.  Also, please join me in praying for God's healing hands to touch my mother. I pray that God sets your treasure and heart on heaven so you can see earth in a new light.

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Update from the field

God is so good! I have been settling in here and adjusting to the culture and life in Kenya. I have 5 blogs that I need to post, but I need a wifi connection in order to do that. Tomorrow I may be able to go to a cyber cafe to post them. 

So far, this experience has been a roller coaster ride. From the highs of realizing I am really in Africa, to the lows of being overwhelmed with culture shock. The good news is that God has been here throughout all the bumps and He continues to be faithful to me. While I walk through Mathare I can literally feel the presence of God among me and the people I meet. Five years ago it would not have been safe to walk throughout Mathare, but God has worked much that you can feel Him there.

Simply walking through the slums is a roller coaster ride. Having children chant "Muzungus" or "How are you?" can bring so much joy and sorrow to my heart all at once. Muzungu translated means "white person." The kids will crowd around me asking for me to take a picture of them and wanting to simply hold my hand. I have had the opportunity to go on several house visits where I am able to sit and talk with families and learn about their lives in Mathare. The meetings can be very encouraging or discouraging. I have met with people who have seen God provide for them and their family in so many different ways. I have had the opportunity to meet a lady that makes 50 Kenyan schillings a day selling wood, but needs 1,000 schillings a month to pay for rent. (Please note that 86 Kenyan schillings equals 1 US dollar.) With the expenses of food and school fees, she needs another source of income. My heart was broken to know that she resorts to selling her body for additional funds. My teammate, Kiersten and I were able to encourage her in her pursuit of Christ. I could see her face light up when we shared about how God has provided for us in tough times. God is moving.

I have been placed under the microfinance area of ministry with Missions of Hope International. Being placed there was totally not my expectation, but that's what God is trying to teach me. I have been saying for a couple years now that I will never use my major with ministry and well, that's what I get for saying that. I have been able to sit in on loan meetings, crunch numbers, and sit in the office with no work to do (hence why I am writing this update). Starting next week I will be in the office most of the time doing data entry and filing. One perk about being in the office all the time is that I will be able to keep everyone updated on the ministry here. My team leaders are allowing me to work with evangelism on Thursdays. I will get a break from the office and be able to use my spiritual gift in ministry. :)

That's all for now, but I will write again soon. :)

Prayer concerns:
Pray for sick teammates.
Pray for God to heal the sick in Mathare.
Pray that the revival would continue to prosper in Mathare.

Thanks in advance for the prayers!

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Random Facts :)

I have watched a woman breast feed her baby at least once every day while on the field.

The word "pole" in Spanish means chicken, but in Kiswahili it means sorry.

On the way home one day I was in one minor wreck and about five minutes later I was almost in a head on collision.

While walking through the slums, actually while walking anywhere, it is not abnormal for children to shout "Muzungos." the literal translation of muzungos means white person. :)

Children everywhere want to touch a white person because they think we are celebrities.

Apparently because US currency has "In God we trust," some Kenyans think all of America is Christian.

No one in America has as much faith, trust, and reliance on God as the Christians in Mathare.

Rent for many "homes" in Mathare is equal to almost $13.00 or 1,000/= (1,000 Kenyan Schillings)

I can feel the presence of God and His hedge of protection over me as I walk throughout the slum.

Street boys sniff/eat glue used to repair shoes. The glue makes them high so that they forget about their hunger and to essentially forget life. They crowd around us as we wait to catch the matatu (bus) every day.

Their is A LOT of sickness in Mathare.

With blessings from Nairobi,
Brandi :)


I know some if you are curious as to the work I am doing while in Nairobi this summer. I have been placed in Microfinance where I will be assisting my coworkers in various ways.

What is microfinance?
Microfinance is one section of ministry that Missions of Hope International has where they are reaching out to those of Mathare. They enable people in the community to get together in groups and they provide loans for them. Most of the clients have students at one of MoHI's schools which is how we get connected with them. I'm not certain of how the beginning of the process looks, but I have had the opportunity to sit in on about 10 of the group meetings. I have been with two coworkers for each of the meetings, Priscilla and Josef. Meetings are held in churches, homes, or random shacks. Each group meets once a week to pay back a portion of their loan and to put some money into savings. Similar to committees and groups in the US, they have a chair person, a treasurer, and members. Clients take out a small loan and they have between 3-9 months to pay it back depending on the size of the loan. Once they have paid the loan back in full, then they have the opportunity to take out another loan. They are able to generate money to continue providing loans because of the money they have been saving and with assistance from group members. All of the meetings are conducted in Kiswahili which makes it very hard to understand and learn when I don't know the language. One of the meetings was in English which was very convenient. One of the group members asked me if I would rather deal with an active group member or a stubborn group member and I told him an active one. I then continued to ask him if he was stubborn and if we needed to kick him out of the group. Everyone was laughing. :) Later, that same guy stated that he was Barack Obama's cousin and he was telling me about their family. Oops. Haha

My job this summer is not going to include going to the meetings every day. Instead, I will be working in the office with data entry. Being behind a computer for 7 hours a day is not what I had dreamed my summer in Nairobi would be like. God has something to teach me with being in microfinance and I know He is going to use me in big ways there. My first day in microfinance I shared my testimony to one of my coworkers and we were both able to encourage and lift up each other.

I will be getting a break from data entry on Thursdays. My team leaders know that my heart is evangelism so they have asked the outreach leader if I could join their team on Thursdays. On Thursday's all of the social work team and community outreach team go into one of the villages (there are ten villages that make up Mathare) and share the gospel openly. Today is Thursday, but I did not go out because there are a couple short term teams here and they did evangelism yesterday.

Please be in prayer for my heart as I take on the task of using my major with ministry. Also, pray for the health of my teammates and myself (6 people stayed back on Wednesday due to sickness). Pray for safety as we are traveling throughout Nairobi.
Thanks in advance for your prayers. Please let me know if there are any ways which I can be praying for you. God bless.

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Today was day 2 of actually being on the field in Mathare. God has shown Himself to me in so many ways! I was able to be a part of 4 different areas of ministry at Missions of Hope International (MoHI). Yesterday I worked with teaching and community outreach. My teammate Kelsey and I were placed in class 3 yellow. Class 3 means they are each at the third grade level, but that does not necessarily mean that they are all the same age. The age of each child depends on when they first joined the program at MoHI whether through a sponsor or their parents supporting them. Yellow simply distinguishes one class from another. It was amazing to see how well behave each of the students were. They were very joyous and eager to learn. I was blessed with the opportunity to see how God is moving in their lives and giving them hope and joy.

After teaching, we were able to help out in the community outreach department. Kiersten and I went with Regina to visit Mary, one of MoHI's students and another lady. Mary's mother was telling us how her husband had left her (a common theme throughout Mathare) and she had to provide for her 3 children alone. She sold wood each day which gave her about 50 schillings each day (equivalent to about $0.60) and she needed 1,000 schillings each month just to pay for rent. 50 schillings a day for 30 days is equal to 1,500 schillings a month of income. She explained to us that she had to find another way to have income for her children. She sells her body to make up for the rest of the money. My heart was broken for this lady. I wanted so much for her to have hope and love through our Savior Jesus Christ, but she is at a lost in knowing how to provide for her family. My teammate and I were able to share about Gods provision in our very own lives and I could see her face light up from how God has provided for us. The second lady we visited was born again, but she has been going through a very rough time in her life. Two of her kids go to MoHI, but she has been unable o provide funds for them to go to school. Her husband was sent to jail last year and he will be there for 7 years. She needs God's divine intervention in her life to see Him provide for her.

Today, I was placed in spiritual development in the morning and Microfinance in the afternoon. For spiritual development, one of the staff ladies, 4 of my teammates, MoHI's pastor, and myself were able to go and make some house visits with people the pastor knew. We were so blessed and grateful for the opportunity to be encouraged by each persons faith in Christ and how He has provided for each of them. I definitely saw God at work today. For those that know Christ and live in Mathare, they have experienced more of God's provision than what I will ever experience. The amount of faith they have is like a watermelon compared to my mustard seed. God is absolutely working in the hearts and lives of those that know Him in Mathare. God is crazy good.

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Culture SHOCK

Well, I'm experiencing culture shock big time. It has been really hard for me to adjust to the food and building relationships. I'm a very picky eater and so far I have found about 3 of 10 things that I have liked. As a person who normally eats a lot, this is very new and different for me. Another aspect of culture shock gas been with my relationships. Basically, I have completely shut off myself from my teammates and stopped being the extrovert that I am. I have noticed myself skipping hang out times and distancing myself. Honestly, I feel like that is how I am reacting to the culture shock.

I'm so thankful and grateful to know that my God is and will be with me throughout this entire summer. Last night I was in need of some encouragement so I opened my Bible randomly. I opened to Isaiah 41:10, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." After reading that verse is was an awesome testimony for me to know and acknowledge that God is here with me & He is going to give me all I need to get trough this experience if culture shock.

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

In The Air

I'm currently sitting on the first leg of my 3 legs to Nairobi. I am with 6 of my teammates and two guys that are going to Turkana, Kenya for the summer. I have a window seat on the plane and I'm almost in tears because of the joy I have from this opportunity. To sit here and look out over the state of Ohio (maybe). It's crazy to think that the God I am going to Kenya to serve created this earth I am overlooking.

I'm blessed to have this opportunity.
I'm blessed to have so many people support me financially.
I'm blessed to have over 300 people lifting my team and myself up in prayer every day.
I'm blessed to be able to see the continent of Africa.
I'm blessed to be able to serve in the name of Jesus Christ to a slum that is home to over 850,000 people.

Orientation information:
For the past five days I have been learning more about CMF, Kenya, and many other life lessons. I want to share with you some of them. :)

•Culture shock is going to happen.
•They have Taco Bell in Kenya, but I was told it's just not the same at all.
•I will have one roommate for the summer.
•God is going to do great things.
•Drinking chai tea will happen A LOT.
•No matter where I'm placed, God is going to use me.
(Random side note on that fact: I found out that Missions of Hope International needs help with their accounting department. I've been saying for years now that I don't want anything to do with accounting, well, we will see where God places me in Nairobi.)
•There will be some down time where I won't have much to do, but I will need to be intentional about investing in relationships with others.
•Swahili has similar pronunciation  to Spanish.
•Most people in Nairobi, not the slum where I'll be working, will speak English.
•My team is composed of lots of leaders (lions) and influencers (otters). I am a lion.
•My team is adventurous. The night before departure we called a taxi cab just to go through the drive thru of McDonalds at 2 am. $46.97 later, 13 people received the McDonalds they were craving.
•Each of my team members comes from a different walk of life and God has used each of them in crazy, good ways.
•Don't unplug a washing machine because it might (aka DID) electrocute me.
•Riding the Matatus (public transportation) to work every day will be an adventure, not only because I will basically have to jump on and off, but I could end up getting on with 30 other chickens.
•Team unity is going to be really important.
•I'm not the only one on my trip that has a problem with laughing and peeing their pants (& yes I did just admit that!)
•I am prepared to poop my pants while on the field.
•13 girls and 4 guys living and working together for 8 weeks is going to be an experience.
•God is going to do so much I can't even fathom it.
•During a culture exercise the game turned from bartering to stealing. As in, I was the one stealing other peoples cards. I'm not going to do that in Kenya though.
•THE hardest thing was calling my mom and saying goodbye. During our conversation, I found out that she is going to need a hysterectomy sometime soon. The surgery is minor compared to others she has had. Please join me in prayer for her health.
•I will be living a mile higher in altitude in Nairobi.

I hope to continue the random facts in future blogs.

I don't think I can say "Thank you" enough, so THANK YOU!

God bless you!

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Here goes nothing!!

I will be departing for the airport in an hour!! :) I'm so excited to get this journey underway. Thank you for all of your support and prayers. I will keep you updated as much as possible. Thank you for joining me in doing God's work throughout the Mathare Valley. I pray that God will bless you this summer!

In Christ,

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Thursday, June 2nd, 2011, aka TODAY, I will be departing for Indianapolis, Indiana at 10 a.m. While in Indy, I will be meeting my teammates, and training for the 8 weeks ahead of me. :) I am rather anxious & ready to go! My suitcase and carry-on are packed with minor alterations still needing to be made. It's 7 hours before I leave and I'm not so sure I can sleep tonight.  I'm ready to leave!!! :) 

Here's a glimpse at what my schedule is like for the next 10 weeks.
June 2nd - June 7th: Indianapolis, Indiana for training
June 7th - June 9th: Depart from Indianapolis and go to NYC/JFK, then to London Heathrow, then (finally) I arrive in Nairobi, Kenya at 6:30 am their time.
June 9th - August 2nd: Work in the Mathare Valley
August 2nd - August 3rd: Depart from Kenya  and go to London Heathrow, to Chicago Ohare, and back to Indianapolis at 7:25 pm.
August 3rd - August 6th: Debriefing in Indianapolis.
August 6th - August 10th: National Student Conference in Evansville, IN (not related to my Kenya trip, but to the ministry on my campus)

I know there are several people that are interested in sending me letters and/or packages. (Please note this is not a request to have either sent to me, but just information...)
To send a letter or package, please send it to:

Brandi Wilcox
PO Box 59322
00200 City Square
Nairobi, Kenya
East Africa

If you write a letter, please be sure to take it to the post office to have it weighed. A normal 44 cent stamp will not get it all the way to me :( Price will be around $1.00 to send a letter that is less than 1 ounce.

If you would like to send me a package, please be aware that sending packages oversees is not cheap. I do not know how much they would cost, but USPS does sell flat rate boxes that you can send for $13.95. That is just a random number I pulled up on the internet, I do not know how legit it is. Also, please do not feel obligated to send me a package. Several people have asked me what I would like in a package and the following is a list. Packages will take two weeks or longer to arrive. Please do not send any after July 15th.  

Package List
Gummy and/or hard candies
Notes of encouragement :)
nail polish (only if in a plastic baggy in case it breaks!)
Strawberry flavored gum
Any other random candy you find at Walmart (no chocolate or watermelon flavored please)
Anything dealing with Jesus, from a note card to a book
Any random item you would like to make me smile with
Really, it could be anything at all :)

Side note: I have been warned that packages may be looked through & picked through before they actually arrive to you. Therefore, if you send me a package, only half of it could actually get to me. Please do not send anything valuable because I may never see it.

Remember, please do not feel like you need to send me anything, but if you do, I will be ecstatic! :) 

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”