Kenya Mission Trip!
There are 15 members of St Pauls heading to our mission partners in Kenya this August.
We will be running a Holiday Club for the 105 children at New Hope Children's Centre, near Nairobi.
Here is where you will find our blog and keep up to date with things to pray for.
My name is Erin Baldwin and I am one of the team members heading to Kenya next week. We hope to be updating this page daily, starting on Monday the 19th of August 2019, with a short daily summary of what we have been up to. Our Kenya 2019 team comprises of 4 families, the Bushyagers, the Ruddocks, the Baldwins and the Barkers and within the group there are 8 young people ranging from 9 to 16 years old. We would like to thank everyone who has supported our trip so far! All of the donations have been divided up and packed, ready to go to the orphanage. See you in Kenya!!
Erin Baldwin - 13/08/19
Good morning from KENYA!! We all arrived safely last night after a lovely 9 hour flight - the free complimentary drinks and even a mini magnum ice cream(!!) on board certainly made the journey a lot easier. We then managed to get through what could’ve been a rather hectic baggage reclaim, but thankfully we retrieved all of our 26+ bags. Our transport to the airport certainly introduced us to Africa as all of our luggage was simply flung on top of the van and off we went - it was quite a journey as we all nervously looked out the window, hoping not to see any of our bags rolling down the African roads. Luckily, our bags and the whole party made it to the hotel where we promptly had a pot noodle each and crashed into bed! We’re all up and ready to go to breakfast before we are transported to New Hope!
Erin Baldwin - 20/08/19
Morning from New Hope! We arrived safely at the orphanage yesterday and all of our luggage made it as well! Driving through Nairobi was both exciting and eye opening as it started to become a reality that we are actually in Kenya. New hope welcomed us with joy and excitement and to be surrounded by all of the childeren and to finally be at the orphanage was amazing! Anne introduced us to the staff and we had a short tour around whilst learning about the history of the orphanage. We then unpacked and sorted out all of the donations which they gratefully received and then stored in the main house until they were needed. We started to meet the children who were extremely enthusiastic about meeting us as many of them hadn’t seen a white child before - they loved Phoebe and Jacob! That’s all for now, we’re all looking forward to starting our holiday club experience!
Erin Baldwin - 21/08/19
Afternoon from New Hope!! We started our holiday club with the kids yesterday and it’s fair to say they absolutely loved it! The Bushyager’s and Ruddock’s performed the first acted out bible story which was Peter and the Fish - when Jon (he was Peter) pulled up a “fishing net” full of tissue paper fish it was like he had done magic, they were all amazed! The first craft/music/sport session went well, it was quite chaotic but there was lots of joy and fun as well! We have just returned from the grandmothers village which was set up by New Hope to support the grandmothers in the community. We were welcomed with lots of singing and dancing and it was a valuable trip as we got to see how New Hope isn’t just an orphanage and the effects that the team here have on the local community. Our young people loved seeing the wild monkeys jumping in the trees and Ruth has had a few lessons on dancing - Kenya style!!
Erin Baldwin - 23/08/19
Morning! We had a very busy day yesterday with a full holiday club in the morning and then our exciting trip to the giraffe and elephant sanctuaries. The kids loved making paper chains with the addition of stickers - which they were amazed by! Whilst doing this holiday club, we have realised that these kids seem to love the simpler tasks, they could spend hours colouring and they were amazed by the stickers and coloured paper. Whilst the kids are enjoying all of the activities, we are quickly seeing more of the day to day life here which Is really challenging us all. We currently have no electricity in half of our rooms, only 2 hot showers between 15 people, the toilets leak when you flush them (if they flush) and they mop the floors with a damp tea towel. Whilst we may complain, the reality is that this is how these children live, so it now isn’t surprising that they cherish even the simplest of things! That’s all for now, I will post a range of photos below for, the last few days
Erin Baldwin - 24/08/19
Good afternoon from New Hope! As we come to the end of our trip, we have started to experience the tougher side of life here. We had a complete blackout yesterday, so that meant no electricity, hot water or WiFi - this then meant no blog! The highlights from yesterday include a rather exciting church service where the entire group were involved in a massive praise conga, Kenya style! We danced for a solid half an hour before performing a last minute acapella version of “My Lighthouse” by Rend Collective. We have actually been teaching the children this song all week and it has become a firm favourite! Everywhere you go in the orphanage you can hear the children here softly singing the chorus and sometimes doing the actions too! These children are so eager to learn that they have even written out the lyrics from memory. This morning we have done our last morning holiday club session which included the Bushyagers and Baldwin’s acting out the entire Easter story in around 10 minutes - it was certainly entertaining!! We also filmed all the children and our team performing “My Lighthouse” with plans to post it on social media, send it to Rend Collective and make these wonderful children FAMOUS! As “Lighthouse” has been so popular we have started to paint a Lightouse mural on the wall in the main hall. Georgie is the artist of the group and has done an absolutely amazing job so far! That’s all for now as we are being called for our final lunch here!
Erin Baldwin- 26/08/19
Good evening, from New Hope! We have just had our last evening meal here (which was very nice!!) and the children here have presented their farewell “talent show”. We stared with traditional singing and dancing from the older and younger girls who had dressed up for the occasion and were wearing their rainbow bead necklaces that we made this afternoon as our farewell craft! After that, it was the boys turn and we’d had absolutely no idea what was going to happen next. They started with a dance where they managed to get almost every member of the group up and dancing’s with them! NExt, we had a rather exiting display of acrobatics! The older boys were climbing on top of each other and picking up the younger boys who were grinning and smiling the whole time. Just when we thought it’s couldn’t get any better, they proceeded to start the fire and knife display! Who would’ve thought that Kenyan orphans could perform fire eating and juggling with machetes?!? It really did show that these children are incredible. After that, we then attempted to perform the chorus of My Lightouse on junk musical instruments! It’s fair to say the kids were a lot better! The kids then sang us their farewell songs and we were all very emotional, it’s been a humbling and
tough but incredibly rewarding week!
Erin Baldwin - 27/08/19
Good evening! This will be the last blog post relating to the orphanage. The team collectively compiled a list of things they would like to post on the blog relating to the reality of the life the peo0e live at the orphanage. Here is the list:
Theres a large presence of the desire for self sufficiency here at the orphanage, they have a fully equipped water sterilisation station where a company has come in and started up a water sterilisation to supply’s another income.
Some of the orphans who have grown up now come back to New Hope to volunteer and inspire these children.
There is a distinct lack of male role models at the orphanage, they are soon to be hiring a male “headteacher” to fill this role
The children here think that the orphanage as basic as it may seem is a massive upgrade from the conditions where they were living before.
The culture here is very much community based- everyone calls Anne “Mum, the orphanage heavily promotes education and all of the peo0e here cherish learning English.
Its been an incredible experience for all members of the group in many ways and I hope that through this blog, we have been able to share a little of it with you all!
Erin Baldwin - 28/08/19