Kenya Mathare 2019 Eastside Beyond Borders|Scott Eskelson

Headed to Kenya to serve the Lord and others! Learn More


The spiritual warfare that I have been experiencing leading up to this trip has been especially strong this time around. There have been a couple of situations which have arisen which have caused me to question whether I should even be going on this trip or not.  BUT, each time for a couple of days I went into an intense prayer mode regarding these situations asking the Lord what He wanted me to do.  And now I am even more confident that I am supposed to serve Him in Kenya this summer. 

One of my favorite verses is:

Jeremiah 29: 11-13, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. For then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart"

When I was struggling once before a very wise lady told me, “The safest place to be is in the center of God's will. How true is that!?! Like the verse above, God has this ALL under control and all we have to do is trust Him with ALL our hearts. 

Pray that I will continue to listen to His guidance and direction and search His will out in ALL situations.   And also pray for all of us going overseas that He will use us in any way He sees fit to further His kingdom.


My first experience with missionaries happened at Combie Bible Church (now Compass Community) in Auburn, Ca. Bob and Veronique Clifford would come back at times and tell us of what was happening on the mission field in the country of Chad in Africa. I was always intrigued by what they did and loved hearing the stories of how people's lives were being changed for Christ, but never really considered going long term until I eventually went to France.

Most of you who know me, know that I believe that our personal mission field is wherever God has us right now. It doesn't have to be overseas. It can be our workplace, school, coffee shop, playground, sports field, etc, Lucky for me back in my Combie days, the Lord had always put such good "local missionary" examples in my life with the Edwards, Espedals, Kimbrels, Iles, and Owens families.

So as I am getting closer to departure date this time around, memories keep flooding back to me of just over 20 years ago when I was preparing to go on the mission field (not sure where at the time, but eventually to France) and I was still teaching at Friends Christian School. From Jenna Lovcik McMahon's favorite line to me, "All you ever do, Mr E., is sit on your bucket as we are running our laps." To heading to countless sporting events of my students and then watching it come 180 degrees back and watching Sean Rooney give hitting lessons to my son Brett or Colin starting up an online magazine to encourage men in their relationship with God. Or the day when I was walking to an interview at Concordia University and all of a sudden I hear, "MR. E!" And Jordan Baker and I were able to reconnect while I worked there. These are just 3 examples of literally hundreds of connections that the Lord has brought back to me over the years.

I knew that I absolutely LOVED being in that environment, but I also KNEW that He was preparing me for something more. And as I was preparing to go longer term then, one of things that I would always stress to my ministry partners was that we are ALL missionaries wherever God has us just like I had started to learn at Combie so many years earlier.

Another memory that the Lord has brought back to me was a song that I held near and dear to my heart back then. And over the past couple of weeks it has again been an encouragement to me. It is a song by the group Point of Grace called Any Road, Any Cost and I wanted to share to lyrics with you.

Leaving the safe and familiar;
with their hearts set on a heavenly prize.
There were some who laid down their nets,
and some who laid down their lives.
Not sure where they were going,
but they did not have to know.
Cause they knew who had called them,
and they said, "We will go."

Down any road, at any cost.
Wherever you lead, we will follow.
Because we know that you've called us
to take up our cross;
down any road, at any cost.

It may be fear that we're feeling
when we see what we must sacrifice.
But you promised you'll go with us.
So we'll trust with our lives.

It's your love that compels us
to do what you've called us to do.
And be completely abandoned to you.

Down any road, at any cost.
Wherever you lead, we will follow.
Because we know that you've called us
to take up our cross;
down any road, at any cost.

Just once again remembering that He will be with us through whatever we face can be the best piece of encouragement that we can receive. Thank you so much for all of your continued prayers!

In Christ’s love,


DAY AFTER EASTER-- April 22, 2019

Dearest Friends and Family,

I wanted to check in with you today-- the day after what has become my favorite holiday, Easter. I think that when most of us were kids- Christmas was at the top of our list as we anticipated what gifts we might receive- even as our parents were reading us the story of baby Jesus in the manger. As we grew older, we might have grown fond of the 4th of July and the BBQs or Halloween and the Trunk or Treats and Trick or Treating.

Easter became my favorite a couple of decades ago when I finally understood the significance of it in relation to my faith. But lately the Lord has really been laying it on my heart about the sacrifice He actually made. To think, that Christ actually came down to Earth from His throne in Heaven to live among us has always blown my mind. And then to know that He allowed Himself to be put on the cross for my sins and die that excruciating way. Wow, just wow.

THEN, to know that He was raised on the 3rd day just like He and ALL the prophesies said He would is just amazing. And as a result of this, ALL of my sins can be forgiven if I will ask for forgiveness and give my whole life over to Christ. All of this can almost get to be overwhelming.

And yesterday it came even more full circle for me a little as Carson stood in front of the congregation at Eastside to take the step to be baptized. It was such a special moment to see him take this step of faith. And it was even more special for me as I got to walk out with him because he wanted someone with him in the changing and staging area. Please pray that this will be a day that he will remember for the rest of his life and that he can look to as God uses him to further His kingdom.

Pray for me as well. The past couple of weeks have been difficult as I have been undergoing some spiritual warfare. I just feel as I have been under constant attacks from different directions. Most of it has subsided, but I know that it can come back at any time. We are just under 2 months from leaving for Kenya and I can't wait to get there and serve Him.

In Christ's love,


April 11, 2019

So, as I update you once again about the Lord’s leading to Kenya we are just over 2 months away from going. Our team has met a couple more times and I am even more excited about the people that I am having the opportunity to serve with. They are an amazing group of people with diverse talents that I think will do great things over there.

What I really want to share with you today goes back to the beginning of this journey when I was sitting in church and Wallace and Mary Kamau told their story. I remember how they talked about driving past the Mathare Valley slums every day on their way to and from work and that the Lord placed it on their hearts to do something about what was going on there. From this calling, they formed Missions of Hope International along with some other ministry partners and got to work. They started serving 50 children in one area of the slums and today they reach 16,000 children in 23 different communities throughout Kenya. They started schools to provide a quality education, basic health care, job skills training, microfinance loans, counseling and other services. The goal of MOHI was to reach children as an entry point into families, then the community, to bring about lasting, holistic transformation for the entire community.

So I went back and watched a couple of videos that the Kamaus have done and they reminded me of why I am going. (Above I have attached a video that is really impactful). I can’t wait to get there and use the talents for kids that the Lord has given me.

Please continue to pray for me as I prepare to go. Specifically I am starting the Visa process and looking into needed immunizations. Pray that He will continue to prepare my heart for each person that I will encounter there. I just want to be ready for each and every situation/opportunity that He puts before me. Pray for my team as well. Also, pray that He provides all the funds needed to go.

Check out the video that I posted above for a little inspiration.

In Christ’s love,


March 10th

Serve Day 2019

So yesterday I got the opportunity to serve the homeless in Orange County with 5-6 of my Kenyan teammates and my older son Brett.  There are quite a few people who live in homeless situations right here in our own backyard.  We put together three different kits-food, hygiene and cleaning (which are all very important). These will be passed out to those in need very soon in local shelters and on the street.

There were about 50 people total there from our church helping, but I liked seeing our Kenyan team work together on a couple of different tasks.  I could see each of us doing our part and how we might work together for His purposes when we are overseas.  Each of us has different skills, talents, and abilities that God will use for whatever He needs done while we are there.

Plus Brett was there and it was fun to see him fit right in.  Anytime that you can see one of your own children give up a Saturday morning to serve others is truly a blessing.

I attached 3 more pictures up above and yes I did include one of Brett helping yesterday.

Please continue to pray for our team as we continue to prepare to go.  We are just over 3 months from departing and there is still much to do.  Pray specifically for each of our financial needs as I am confident that He will provide for each of us to go.

I am really looking forward to sharing more of this journey in the future that all of you have partnered with me in.

In Christ's love,


February 20th

My Team

Hello again everyone,

So I posted a new picture above of the team that I will have the honor of serving with while in Kenya.  (Side note, even though the picture doesn't show it, I am very happy to be going.  Haha)  Sitting there took me back to so many other times that I have sat at tables just like that preparing to serve the Lord in whatever capacity He wanted.  Memories just flooded my mind of people that God brought together to accomplish His will in those situations.  We served together, laughed together, cried together, broke bread together, prayed together.  

And as I sat there looking at each face around the table I got really excited about what God has in store for us individually and as a team.  Because He laid it on each one of our hearts, called us, and then we all responded to go.  And then He put us all together as a team.  We have members who have never been on a mission trip and we have some veterans.  We have some young members and older ones.  And we have all different skills and passions that God will use to ultimately accomplish His purpose while we are there.

None of us know what is in store for us, how God will challenge us, and how our faith will grow as a result of responding.  BUT He does and that's what excites me the most for each of us going.  Please pray for us and ALL that God has in store for us in the next few months.

February 16th

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank you so much for reading my letter regarding this amazing adventure that I am about to embark on for the Lord.  On this page, I wanted to simply update you occasionally on the preparations for the trip and hopefully even update it while I am there.  I have already posted some pictures of the Mathare Valley and some of the children that live there.  I plan on posting some pictures of the team that I will be serving with as well.

Below tells a little about the area of Mathare where I will be serving.


We serve just outside the capitol city of Nairobi in one of the largest slums in the Mathare Valley. The Mathare slum is home to 1 million who live on less than $2.00 dollars a day, and is known some of the poorest living conditions. Our partner there is Missions of Hope International (MOHI) who now serves over 16,000 children in multiple schools with Christian education, daily meals, and social services that care for these children and their families as well. We serve along side MOHI in the community with supporting the local church, medical and dental care, nutrition, solar energy, children’s education, and programing.


Mathare is just outside the capital city of Nairobi in Kenya which is a country in East Africa. It is situated on the equator on Africa's east coast, bordering the Indian Ocean in the south east, Neighboring countries are Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. Kenya has been described as "the cradle of humanity”. With an area of 580,000 km², the country is somewhat larger than Metropolitan France or slightly more than twice the size of the state Nevada. Kenya has a population of 38.6 million people (2009 census). The total area of the country is 224,961 square miles.

*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

Anonymous $44.00
So happy to serve with you!
Marissa Mandoki
Praying for you and am so excited!
Marty and Melissa Hannigan
I know Kenya will be an amazing experience for you and your team . God bless you on your journey.
Gil and Patricia Mertz $225.00
Keith and Nicki Harms
We are excited that the Lord is leading you to serve in this way. We pray for impactful ministry for you and your team!
Joel Cuthbert
Thank you for having such a huge impact on my life and others.
Gary and Beth Lovcik
PRAYING for God to bless this trip!!
Scott E
4/29 Offline Donations
The Jim and Leslie Morris Family
Prayers to you and your team on this venture! I pray that RJ (15) and Jim and I can participate hands on in an overseas mission before he graduated high school or before he is 20 at least! God bless you!
Bruce Peotter $50.00
Lorne K Havenhill
Wish I could do more buddy. I so admire you for doing Gods work
Colin Rooney
Excited for you and this trip you get to go on. We will be praying for you brotha!
Browne Family $50.00
Curtis and Susie Green
Scott we will be praying for you to have a wonderful experience and blessings to everyone that you touch to Jesus
Dean White
Hey Scott! This will be totally exciting! Praying that God does amazing things through your team!
Alan and Carolyn Ikemura $50.00
Valerie Chris Schluter
Thank you going and spreading Gods word.
Pam Olson
What an exciting opportunity to serve in Kenya! I'll be praying for you and your team to be blessed by this trip with a deeper walk with God, and to be a blessing to all you will come in contact with there as you serve others through Jesus. May more Kenyans come to know Christ because of this trip.
Anonymous $100.00

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