Category Archives: Uncategorized

September Newsletter!

Jambo friends & family! 

I hope you had a great summer and you are getting ready to welcome the fall with open arms! 
 
God has been so good to us in Kenya! We had a fantastic end to our summer with 3 camps, our 2nd anniversary and 1 church plant- along with many more exciting things that you can read about in our September Newsletter!
 
Before you go on about your day, I want to give you 5 reasons you NEED to read our newsletter!
 
1. It will make us happy! As if that reason isn’t enough…let me continue…
2. You can get the inside scoop of our ministry! Our struggles and God’s victories! 
3. You will learn how to pray for us this month and what to thank God for! We see such an impact when God’s people stand with us in prayer!
4. You are a part of our ministry, what we complete in Kenya, isn’t by ourselves alone. You play an important role- in encouragement, prayer and financial support- so read about the impact you made this month, and lets give God the glory together!
5. You can learn how to get involved! There is so much you can do to get involved! Come and serve, give out of love and pray without ceasing!! 
 
I also wanted to include some goodies for you! Three awesome videos of our camps this summer! Seriously, these will make you smile, please take the time to check them out! 
 
http://vimeo.com/103501191 – Awana Camp in Kisumu
http://vimeo.com/105107542 – Awana Camp in Ouya
http://youtu.be/kIk_Q57z_MY – Youth Camp in Kisumu
 
Click here to view our Newsletter online:  September Newsletter
 
Lastly, please, we would love to hear back from you! Tell us about your summer and let us how we can pray for you! We miss our family and friends, and nothing brings us joy like hearing from you! So if you have time, send us a line- it would bless us! 
 
Your Kenya Missionaries,
Fred, Holly & Lucy Okoth
 
September 14 Newsletter 1
September 14 Newsletter 2September 14 Newsletter 3

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Good Night!

DID YOU KNOW, an average human will spend one-third of their life sleeping?

Did you also know that most children in Kenya sleep without a mattress, and even some without a mosquito net or blanket?

Last month, we sat down with our sponsored children and their guardian and we learned this is the case for many children in Kenya. 

So, we aren’t keeping quiet! Instead this July we are having a “Good Night Kenya” campaign with the help of  Trinity and St. John’s Vacation Bible School and many of you!

It is our goal to provide 100 sets of blankets, mattresses and mosquito nets, for just $35 a set!

It is our prayer that you will partner with us and spread the word to help make a child in Kenya have a good night sleep!

If you’re interested in partnering with us by donating a set or two, please e-mail me at hollyandfred@goodnewskenya.org!

Check out this video we made for St. John’s as they partner with us for our Good Night Kenya Campaign!

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Father’s Day with the fatherless

This Father’s Day Weekend was special, not because I had quality time with my father, or because Lucy and I did something special for Fred, but solely because we spent it with the fatherless- The orphaned children who didn’t have a father, some even a mother to call their own, to give a hug and say Happy Father’s Day.

BUT- we made it special for them- because in eyes of the Lord, surely they aren’t fatherless, they are deeply loved by the Father! 

Saturday we traveled to Ouya Village to meet with all of our sponsored children and their guardians. We met with each one one-on-one counseled them, encouraged them and made them feel loved! We also performed health assessments, tested each child for HIV and prepared updates for their sponsors. We also enjoyed a meal together and played, God is good! 

 Happy Father’s Day to not only fathers, but anyone who plays a father-role in someone’s life! Your love is special!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

I’m NOT a missionary

First off, I want to apologize for not updating! I can count on one hand how many I opened my laptop in the month of April. A lot of my day-to -day ministry in Kenya, involves my laptop- updates, newsletters, sponsorship communication, curriculum writing, missions research, e-mails and so on. As you can guess, that means I did very little “ministry” in April.

So if I wasn’t doing “ministry” what was I doing?

I was living.

Let me take you through April for our family.

The first week of April was a wonderful beginning as we spent Mom’s last days at the Coast! We were relaxed and rejuvenated as we returned back to Kisumu. As we traveled to Kisumu to Mombasa (over a 30 hour journey!) and back- we were truly protected by the blood of Jesus. We left Nairobi an hour before a bus bombing, miles from where we were. Once we arrived in Mombasa, we had reached our hotel 2 hours before the murder of a well-known terrorist in Mombasa. Then as we headed back to Nairobi, we had passed Mombasa City, 2 hours before a huge riot took place due to the murder of the terrorist that had taken place earlier in the week.  At the end of our journey we looked back and saw how God had protected us every step of the way. He is faithful.

Image

Once we arrived in Nairobi, Mom traveled back to the States and we went back home to Kisumu. It was a sad goodbye, but it was such a memorable time together!

But our month of “living” in April, wasn’t just beaches and relaxation…

After we arrived back in Kisumu, we heard difficult news that a church member and close friend, Samuel, had been admitted to the hospital and wasn’t doing well. Fred and I are very close to Samuel, and I’m especially close with his wife Milkah. I would consider Milkah to be my best Kenyan friend. Earlier this year, Samuel was having a difficult time finding a job, so Fred helped him open a small shop selling everyday goods for his village. Milkah comes over to help me wash clothes during the week as we don’t have a washing machine, and it would take me HOURS to wash clothes by hand. Before we were married she had asked Fred if she could help us because both her and her husband weren’t working.  I was resistant at first, but it only took a couple days of washing clothes to realize if I was to do any ministry, I needed some help! We’ve grown to love this family; we have had them over for dinner, game nights, Christmas and more.

Friday, April 11, Fred and I traveled 4 hours to go visit Sam in the hospital as his condition was getting worse and he was no longer stable. We never knew that his life would end so fast, but that Friday evening after we reached back home, Sam passed away. Milkah called me screaming the moment he died. She had lost so much, a husband, a friend, her son’s father and her supporter. Milkah had stayed where Sam died for 1 week, (4 hours away) until the funeral. Two days after Sam’s death, I told Fred I couldn’t stay in Kisumu any longer. I needed to go be with Milkah until the funeral. There were a lot of precautions with me being white. Kenya funerals are VERY different and I had never attended one, nor stood by the wife during the process. I remember telling Fred, “I know it won’t’ be easy for me to go, it will be a sacrifice, it will be challenging and difficult, it is in every way out of my comfort zone, but it is what I need to do- she is my closest friend in Kenya and if I was in the States, I would be beside my best friend the entire time.”  Fred allowed me to go for 4 days, until the body would be taken and we would travel to the village for the funeral.

Image

As we came back from the funeral, we helped Milkah find a new house to rent, move her and get her settled. She is doing good and is now adjusting back to life and continues to say “I want to serve the Lord wholeheartedly.”

As I prayed and contemplated all that had happened over the two weeks- of Sam’s death and funeral, I realized I never once felt like a “missionary.”

Definition of Missionary: mis·sion·ar·y
noun
noun: missionary; plural noun: missionaries1.
  1. a person sent on a religious mission, especially one sent to promote Christianity in a foreign country.

I had felt like I actually lived here, and these people are my people. It was a great feeling to see how God used the opportunity to grow and challenge me. Each day this place becomes more and more of my home- and losing a brother, and supporting my best friend in Kenya- felt like the most natural thing I’ve done since I’ve been here. What I know is that God has called me to be a missionary here, but in the same way that you be may feel like a missionary in your hometown, that is how I feel. I don’t feel like Kenya “is so far” anymore or that these people are so different from me. God continues to give me a heart for my people as he makes Kenya feel more like home every day.

As the month continued- it was time to get Lucy ready to go back to School, Kenya has the month of April off from school (they go year round, with one month breaks three times a year). So here I am now in the first week of May, trying to get back into “ministry.” This week has been filled with bringing our sponsored children back to school, paying school fees, preparing them, meeting with leaders, training new Awana leaders, preparing  Sunday School curriculum and planning with our Youth leaders. As I return to ministry, I return with a new outlook, a new revelation of the place I am serving and living, and the people I am reaching and loving.

God’s moving in my heart, in my life, as I live every day for him.

As I seek more of Him, He continues to give me more, a bigger heart for my people and a bigger desire to serve Him, this is my journey to more.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sermon at Trinity Church

It’s almost been two weeks since I’ve been home from the States. Fred welcomed be back when he picked me up from the Nairobi Airport on the 28th. A missionary friend of ours from Kisumu had traveled on the same plane as Fred to Nairobi and when she saw us together she quick took a picture of our beaming smiles as we were happy to be back together.

Image

We spent two days in Nairobi before we headed home to see Lucy. She LOVED all of her gifts from home!

Image

Image

Image

 

It’s been good to be back home in Kenya. What am I doing now you ask? Cleaning my house so it’s spotless when my mom comes to visit on the 24th! We can’t wait to have her with us for two weeks! Lucy and Fred are very excited to see her again.

 

Being back in the States was so enjoyable! I enjoyed sharing at both St. John’s and Trinity about what God has been doing in Kenya. If you missed an opportunity to hear me at one of the churches…Below is a link to the video and or audio of my message at Trinity Church on February 23rd.

Message: Holly Okoth at Trinity Church 

1 Comment

March 13, 2014 · 10:01 am

In the Father’s Arms

 

We are mourning this week, as we have lost the life of a young boy in our sponsorship program. Lucas, 8 years old has been battling HIV since birth. Since he was sponsored we have been battling with off and on sicknesses due to the disease progressing. Yesterday he lost the battle to AIDS at a hospital in Kenya. We are comforted knowing that he is now healed and rejoicing in his eternal home with Jesus.
We are thankful to his sponsors that fought the battle with him until the end, Lucas you are loved.

Image

Lucas’ parents passed away to the same disease years earlier. Lucas lived with his Grandmother and aunt after his parents death.
Please pray for his family as they mourn the loss of Lucas and start to prepare funeral arrangements. 
Lucas, we are so happy you are home! 


 

Revelation 21:1-7
 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone.  And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

  I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Airport Appreciations

It’s Wednesday at 3:30pm- and I’m at O’hare Airport- getting ready to board my 4:45 flight back home- home to Fred & Lucy.

The airport is one of my favorite places- and one of the places I dread the most. It is where reuniting happens- and it is where goodbyes are said. Today goodbyes were said- and in 24 hours reuniting will happen. Lots of emotions, lots of changing emotions. But one thing remains- He is Lord- and He is good- He brings joy, He is love- and He also lets Skype happen! 🙂 

For the last hour- I’ve had time to reflect on my last two weeks at home, in Wisconsin. In some ways I feel like it has gone too fast- and in some ways I feel like I’ve been away from Fred and Lucy forever!!!
However, as I reflect- I’m appreciative. Therefore- we have airport appreciations 🙂 

I’m thankful for Fred & Lucy who were happy for me to go be with my family.
I’m thankful for my family who has spoiled me like crazy when I was home. 
I’m thankful for our churches who continues to care, love, give and pray!
I’m thankful for my friends- that allow our relationships to pick up where we left them.
I’m thankful for all of the encouraging words I’ve heard and continue to hear.
I’m thankful for the community that loves and understands. 
I’m thankful for my host who opened their home to me. 
And….I’m thankful to God, for letting all of this happen!

I’ve read a lot of material saying how re-entry can be difficult-but I’m so thankful that the community that has surrounded me has made my re-entry to be enjoyable and refreshing! 

So thank you- because- if you’re reading this- chances are you’re one of the many that I’m thankful for! 
It’s an honor to be your family, your friends, your missionary. 

Asante sana- Thank you very much! 
See you soon! 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized