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

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 :)