General Mission Trips
In my opinion, November’s general mission trip with Simba Educational Ministries to Kenya is the funnest, most meaningful things one could do in a lifetime. Other Simba mission trips are for those with either medical experience, athleticism or the gift of teaching, but this trip is for the sole purpose of loving the Kenyan students, families, teachers and staff. I jokingly say that this is the trip for those of us with no skills, but anyone with a heart for people and a call to share the love of Jesus with those God takes them to, are fully equipped to make the trip.
Last November ten of us embarked on this Kenyan adventure. We were not sure what we would find, but we were all excited and felt like God had called us to make the trip. We got the Yellow Fever shot, studied the information packet which presented the facts about Kenya and the school that Simba partners with and prayed. What we did not prepare for was the overwhelming welcome, joy and love that was awaiting us. The students sang and smiled and introduced themselves with a handshake. Every time we entered the school compound they would race toward the vehicle as if to meet their long lost friends. They honestly loved and enjoyed our company.
The students were our primary mission field and we paired up with the teachers to teach Vacation Bible School, but we also visited the families of the sponsored students. These home visits were intimate powerful meetings where the families were honored. They shared their family history and Simba simply shared the Gospel Message. Jesus demonstrated how He wants to relate to us intimately when He washed the feet of the disciples, and we mirrored this desire to love intimately to the sponsored child’s families by washing their feet. This was both amazing and humbling.
When we were not with the students or the student’ families, we painted the lines on the basketball court and the outlines of the track. We did this alongside the teachers and enjoyed getting to know them outside of a class setting. And it wasn’t all work, we also enjoyed a hike up a waterfall with the teachers. We learned that inside and outside the classroom this group of young men and woman are gifted and dedicated. Seeing how they set such a high standard for respect, obedience, academic achievement and Biblical knowledge and application was refreshing. They not only know how important, but also have the authority to place Jesus Christ at the headship of all they do in educating the students. Ben, the teacher I was paired with, has an amazing testimony of how he was saved by Jesus and his students see him building on and using this foundation.
Observing how few material possessions and modern day comforts the Kenyans have such as electricity, running water, bathrooms, etc. (many did not even have Bibles) and yet how full of joy and faith they are, made me realize that the mission field was also my heart and outlook. Some things we think we need are just wants and yet without them we think we are poor. In Jesus we are all rich. My view of the world got bigger and my view of my own needs got smaller.
Needless to say, I believe that everyone who has ever felt or heard the Lord tug at them to leave the comfort of home and go love someone in Africa, should sign up to go on the 2017 Simba November general mission trip. The message God will send with us is, “He is the One and Only and He can bring His love from all corners of the earth.”
Lastly, I want to pray a prayer that one of my Kenyan students prayed for me:
I pray that you can live long and come back to Kenya. I hope that you may live with your family peacefully and being kind to each other. I pray that you would be with Jesus. Take time for Him to lead you and to love Him with all your life. He has created you very specially. -LeAnn
Nov. 25 - Dec. 5, 2016
The second general mission trip. This group had full agenda load. The group first did service projects which included: Painting dorms, organizing the library, general cleaning, putting up and painting playground equipment, helping build a storage shed, putting up a cow shed, and landscaping at the school. The group also taught VBS (Vacation Bible School) to the kids on their holiday season. Lastly, the group did a number of intimate home visits to the children in the sponsorship program. More details to follow.
Nov. 27- Dec.6, 2014
The first mission trip that Simba Educational Ministries consisted of Chase Ward, founder of Simba Educational Ministries, Winnie Opp, president of Simba Educational Minstries, David and Annie Ward parents of the Founder, and Talia, friend of the founder. The mission of this trip was to explore the partner school, get the goals and foundation of the ministry established, and to show the other group members the vision of the founder had experienced on his travels. The group was able to hold a small health clinic at the school, which lead to the health and wellness point of the ministry. The health clinic saw all the kids at school and members of the community. The clinic offered healing prayer, basic assessments, wound care, and chiropractic care. This trip was the first time that sponsors got to meet the children that they sponsor. David and Annie Ward were apart of that group who went on home visits to see where their children come from. Winnie also had the opportunity to do the same with the boy she sponsors. It was an eye opening experience for everyone in the group. It helped start a fire in the hearts of those involved on the trip. They got to experience the very impoverished living conditions and see the families and the joy that the Lord had given them. They felt the Holy Spirit at the school and got to see the Christ-centered education. The team did the group breaking work for the foundation of the new computer lab.