Dear Friends and Family,
I wanted to share some exciting news with you! Again this summer I be joining a team from Eastside Christian Church on a global compassion trip to Nairobi, Kenya. The trip will be June 19-30, 2019. Our team will work alongside Missions of Hope International (MOHI) in their ministry to children and families living in the slums of Mathare Valley. Some of our projects will include: a one-day women's conference (expecting 1,000 women to attend); conferences for Junior High girls and boys on career planning; a Vacation Bible School; building a playground at one of the MOHI school sites; visiting families' homes to offer encouragement through fellowship and prayer, and to meet practical needs with homewares and portable solar lights. In addition to these team projects, I will get to meet and spend time with the four MOHI students that Robin and I sponsor monthly.
I feel blessed to have this incredible opportunity to help others and know there is a lot of work ahead as we begin to prepare. My prayer is that I can contribute to our efforts by acting as a willing servant and experiencing first-hand just how far and wide God's love can reach. I could use your help.
First, I would be honored if you would pray for us…for preparation, for our journey, our ministry and for the spiritual battles surely ahead. Secondly, I'd like to know if you would contribute to the work we are doing by covering part of the cost of the trip.
Each team member has been entrusted with raising an equal share of the total cost to send us. The amount I must personally raise is $2,995 and it is due by June 16, 2019. If you wish to partner with me in this ministry please click on the “GIVE NOW” button to donate. (There is an option to cover the cost of the credit card fee that you can opt out of if you prefer.) Or if you prefer to give a check or cash donation you can make your check payable to “Eastside Christian Church” and note my name and "Kenya-Mathare 2019" in the memo line and mail/bring it to the address below. Contributions to our project are tax-deductible.
You're very important to me. Thank you for considering being a part of my team. If you have any questions I’d love the opportunity to tell you more so just call, text or email me!
With love and appreciation,
Gene Hartman email: firstname.lastname@example.org phone: 714-926-4622
*All donations are given to Eastside Christian Church and a tax-deductible statement will be issued to you at the end of the year. Contributions are made and received with the understanding that Eastside Christian Church has complete discretion and control over the use of all donated funds; they may be used for other participants, other mission trip expenses, or for future mission trips. No refunds will be issued to participants or donors.
Eastside Christian Church 3370 E Miraloma Ave. Suite 101 Anaheim CA 92806
July 13, 2019 3:19 PM
Dear family and friends,
So I’ve been back from the trip to Kenya for almost two weeks. I want to summarize the trip and thank you all again for your support. Your generosity and kindness went with me, and I deeply appreciate that you made the concrete commitment to partner with me on this mission trip.
Briefly, some of the projects we participated in: a women’s conference at which our Eastside women hosted a day of encouragement and fellowship of for about 1,000 Kenyan women; 4 days of Vacation Bible School at one of the Missions of Hope schools; 3 days of Disability Training for families with children who have disabilities (and loving childcare each day, so parents could be free to get the most out of the training); providing physical labor (breaking concrete, digging holes, and hauling dirt, rocks, and gravel) to support local workers in building a playground for one of the MOHI schools; visiting homes in the Mathare Valley and sharing home supplies, food, bedding, and solar lanterns; praying with families; sharing the gospel; sharing basic health information about HIV and malaria; a daylong Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) Training; personal visits with MOHI students who are sponsored by members of our team (I met the four girls whom Robin and sponsor); two days of conferences for JR HI boys and girls at two MOHI schools.
I have shared pictures on Facebook depicting my experiences. I was not at every one of the projects, but shared where I was involved. If you’re not already a friend of mine on FB, please feel free to send a request.
Lastly, some reflection of my experience. Last year, I strongly felt the presence of Jesus in the Mathare Valley through the MOHI staff who daily represent the Lord in their work on behalf of students and families who live there. This year, as I walked through Mathare and visited homes, I saw Jesus in the faces of the people living there. Jesus’ Parable of the Sheep and Goats (Matt. 25:31-46) was brought to mind again and again. The King’s judgement at the end of the parable is:
“He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will tell those on his right hand, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in. I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink? When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?’
“The King will answer them, ‘Most certainly I tell you, because you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Then he will say also to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you didn’t give me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me in; naked, and you didn’t clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
“Then they will also answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn’t help you?’
“Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Most certainly I tell you, because you didn’t do it to one of the least of these, you didn’t do it to me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.””
As I return to my life post-Mathare, I feel profoundly challenged by this lasting impression. I have seen the Lord up close in the faces of the hungry, poor, sick, and needy. How will I respond?
Thank you once again for making this experience possible through your support.