Missions Update from Kenya

This post is written by Chris and Krystal Settlemoir, who are working with Missions of Hope International in Nairobi, Kenya. To learn more about their missionary efforts, contact Ron Nickell.

Dear Family & Friends,

It’s winter here, but fleece and rain jackets have rarely been worn. It’s unusually warm this season and we’ve only been caught in a rainstorm once with Elijah. Chris carried him in his jacket while we walked to a teammate’s house for our monthly team meeting. Thankfully it was a short walk and I think Elijah enjoyed being all wrapped up.

TIME FLIES DURING “TEAM SEASON”

Summer in the US means “team season” at MOHI. The last few months MOHI has hosted many short term teams, some as large as 100 people! They partner with MOHI to put on VBS, professional trainings, medical camps and more! Our visitors’ presence is such an encouragement not only to our team, but the students, staff and church members. We love how MOHI draws people together, from different parts of the globe to honor and glorify God.

CHILDREN ARE A PRIORITY AT PANGANI CHURCH

Outreach Hope Church (OHC) Pangani, the church we attend in Mathare Valley slum, is carrying on well. While we were in the US, Pastor Stephen stepped down from his leadership role to pursue planting a church in a neighboring slum community. Pastor Henry, the previous co-pastor is now lead pastor. Chris’ first Sunday back was a youth-led service. They not only did a wonderful job leading worship service, but they were very cute while doing it. See for yourself in this video.

It’s encouraging to see the reach of the Pangani congregation and its potential to impact the lives of the youth living in Mathare. Please pray for how Chris and I will be involved with Pangani OHC under Henry’s leadership. Pray for Henry as he leads the church and for the church members as many of them do not have consistent work.

Pastor Henry prays over the children

One of the teens delivering the sermon

REACHING NEW PEOPLE WITH THE GOSPEL

MOHI has expanded to a village in Masabit, a rural and arid place in Northern Kenya. Marsabit consists of primarily nomadic pastoralists with livestock and camels. This people group does not have a Bible in their language, but the Gospel is being spread through oral Bible stories. There is a strong presence of Islam and cultic religions. MOHI will serve this community by being present among them and share the love of Christ in real, practical ways: Christian community, Christian education, feeding program and economic empowerment. Due to the current drought, this is a difficult time for Kenya, especially a place like Marsabit. Unfortunately, children experience a high risk of malnutrition, illness and death before the age of 5. Our prayer is that God will allow MOHI’s presence in Marsabit to redefine these odds and bring holistic health into the village it serves. May many come to know Jesus. Chris hopes to travel to Marsabit sometime later this year.

NEW POSITION

Mary Kamau, Founder and Director of MOHI, recently requested Chris to be head of the Communications Department. This is a great honor and privilege. It allows Chris to connect in new and deeper ways with his MOHI co-workers, leadership and the ministry as a whole. Pray God will grant Chris wisdom and discernment as he serves in this new position. Pray that he will look to God for guidance as he collaborates with his co-workers to share God’s story of love and redemption to Kenya and international audiences.

KENYA ELECTIONS

On August 8, Kenya will have its presidential election. To avoid possible post-election violence our team will travel to Zanzibar, an island off the coast of Tanzania, for our annual team retreat. We will spend ten days as a team to refresh and have focused time together in worship and prayer. Pray for peace for this country and pray for godly leadership. Pray for our team as we have purposed time together and ask God to show us ways we can work as one body for the kingdom.

OTHER NEWS

We have some disappointing news. There is an empty plot next door to our home and the owner has decided to build. The houses here are just a few feet apart making the construction unavoidable and consequently Elijah has a difficult time taking naps. We have found another unit available inside our current complex and have been in contact with the landlord. Pray for our housing situation, but ultimately pray for peace of mind and against the temptation to be too inward focused with our worries at home.

Krystal enjoys being home with Elijah and is grateful for responsibilities given to her by our team leader to do from home. She plans to go into the MOHI office and attend Outreach Hope Church Pangani sometime after elections.

Krystal’s family spent about one week in June with us. It brought us so much joy to share MOHI and, of course, Elijah. It was difficult to say ‘see ya later’. Pray for our families, as it can be difficult being so far away especially with Elijah growing so fast.

 

The Lord is so gracious to us. There have been a few unexpected turns. We can see how Satan is trying to distract us and use our stress and sleep deprivation against us. Most nights before we fall asleep Chris repeats a phrase that we learned from Mary Kamau, “God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good, and that is His nature. Wow.” We press on knowing His goodness remains regardless of our circumstances or our shortcomings. Thank you for loving and supporting us.

Blessings,
Chris & Krystal

*****

Mission of Hope International:

Mission Statement

To share Christ’s love and restore hope to orphaned and vulnerable children, their families, and others in disadvantaged communities through spiritual, physical, social and economic development.

Missions of Hope International (MOHI) is a Christ-centered, non-governmental organization that serves orphaned and vulnerable children and their families in the Mathare Valley slums of Nairobi and other disadvantaged communities throughout Kenya. MOHI’s goal is to alleviate the effects of extreme poverty by empowering individuals to transform their families and communities.

To fulfill its mission, MOHI administers holistic resource centers that provide education, basic health care, vocational skills training, microfinance loans, counseling and other services. MOHI collaborates with churches and other organizations to accomplish individual and community transformation.

http://www.mohiafrica.org