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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.

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

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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

Kenya’s Next Generation Leaders

Sunday we had our older Sunday School children lead our church service (for the first time ever!). They lead the entire service- worship, offering, a dance, a skit and even the preaching. We are so proud of them, everyone was very impressed. We called the parents and kids to thank them Sunday night- you could tell their families were proud of their children. Pray for Kenya’s next generation, that they would come to know, love and serve God.

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Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

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October 16, 2013 · 6:59 am

Home

Once a month our family heads to the village to worsihp with our sister congregation and the widows and orphans we serve with. A lot of our day to day ministry happens within our church here in Kisumu, and it’s hard to step away on a Sunday to worship in the village, but we love doing it!

We had a great monring as Fred preached and encouraged the church.
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As we continue to do this monthly, we hope that God will grow the church in the village and it will enable us to spread the Gospel and disciple more people. We want to bring Awana to the village soon, but it’s been difficult because all of the curriculum is in English. We are praying to have a children ministry in the village once a month, that will have the set up of Awana- so that as we worship there on Sunday, after church we will have a feeding program and then we can have Awana with the children. We’re praying God would bring this to pass. As I sat in the fronton Sunday looking outside the door behind Fred, God showed me that their is so much potential in the village. So many chances to serve and share the love of Christ.

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Lucy’s sitting on top of a mattress that we bought for Fred’s Dad- God blessed us with a small car this year. It enables us to move freely for ministry and we love it! But days like today- we sure feel the “smallness” of it :).

After we ministered in Ouya Village, we went to our “home” in the village- where Fred’s Dad and brothers live. In Luo (Fred’s tribe) culture, everyone has a “home” in the village with family. Even as we rent out house in Kisumu, we also have a house in our home in the village. A home is considered the land where the houses of the family members are established. So at our home, Dad has a house- his house is straight in front of the gate and then all of the sons are to build a house to the left and right of the parents house. So all of these houses/huts combined make up the HOME.

We’ve gone home for day trips over the last year, but haven’t had the chance to stay for the night since we were married. I love our home- Dad, brothers and everything. It’s very rustic- it’s very sad to see our family living in poverty. We help them with what we can now- but it never seems like it’s enough to advance their living standards. But despite the impoverished lifestyle- it’s home, and our family makes this home so special, we feel so at home there.
Here are some of the pictures of our time at home!
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Our house at home 🙂 I think we will do some renovating soon! 🙂
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I bet you didn’t know I could cook dinner over a fire…neither did I!
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I got a headlamp the other day- perfect when we don’t have electricity!
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Dad, Fred, Lucy and brohters, Kevin & Elijah in front of Dad’s house.

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Lucy with a 2 week old lamb 🙂

We had a great couple days at home with family 🙂 Please pray for them. Kevin, is starting college in January and Elijah is in 8th grade. We had a great time talking as a family for future plans and how God can provide for them. Pray these things will come to pass.

Now we’re back in Kisumu ready for a great week of ministry! I’m off to edit some video footage I took last week for a testimony video of our Sponsorship program and Fred is at church helping connect our new electricity! 🙂 God is good. Thanks for your prayers and partnership!

1 Comment

October 1, 2013 · 10:08 am

Hope

I thank God for last week, it was a memorable and highlight of my ministry so far.

A few months ago Pastor James, our director, brought a boy to my attention within our church. He was deaf. Pastor James told me to take a picture of him and see if we could find a sponsor for him. It was just before teams arrived and my head was spinning like a crazy women- which I’m sure I represented very well.

I rushed to take a picture, tried talking to his mom, but language got in the way and finding someone to translate was difficult. So I left it like that- because I knew in the upcoming months, finding someone to sponsor the child would be difficult as we would be consumed with teams coming. Especially because this boy and the family would need a lot of time to get started in the program as we would need to search and find him a deaf school- which we knew of none in the area. But this slender and tall boy was continuing to be brought to my mind among the chaos this summer. I would say a quick prayer for him and then dismiss it and turn to the next thing. But God had bigger plans for this sweet boy, named Joseph.

When our first team was here- a women who was a Sign Language Interpreter, told me how she would like to sponsor two more children. Immediately, this sweet boy’s face came to my mind.

Thank you God, for you know all of our needs and fill them.

I told her about Joseph and she was thrilled…

So over the last month Fred and I have had some great time with the family. Joseph is 11 years old, knows no sign language, only communicates through hand signals and has never been to school. His parents are proud of him and love him. He is the second born of six children and he loves smiling with his big white teeth.

Through reaching out to my missionary community in Kisumu, I was able to find a school about 45 minutes outside of Kisumu, Maseno School for the Deaf.

Over about a two week period of time, Fred, Joseph and his parents made several trips to Maseno, preparing him, filling out evaluations, doing assessments and getting him prepared to start boarding school, as of last week.

We have many children in our sponsorship program, but why is this child, family and sponsorship case so sweet to my heart? I fell in love with the family and Joseph so fast and the day we dropped him off at school, I think I cried more than his parents! I love that God connected the child with a sponsor that I know will love Him, pray for his family. They have a sweet connection that only God can ordain. But I think the main reason I loved watching God bring Joseph to school was because of Christ’s promise to us- that he would give us a hopeful future.

Hope. Joseph and his family never knew hope. They often got hopeful when other community pastors would recognize their son was deaf and promise to take him to school-but never did. The father told Fred, before he was brought to school last week- You may think I’m not excited or thankful for this, but I am. But you will see my real excitement when he is actually in school. The father had been through the process so many times, it was hard or him to have full hope that his son Joseph would finally have his first day of school, at 11 years old.

Joseph has hope. He has a hopeful future and a chance. He may have felt invisible- but He was never invisible to Christ. But Jesus always saw him and always had a plan for him. There is hope in Christ, and their is a future for Joseph.

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If you want to help bring HOPE to a child in Kenya, please contact me about sponsoring a child for $35 a month- to bring the hope of Christ to your child and their family.

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2 Comments

September 17, 2013 · 8:21 am

A Dream or Reality?

At this point in my journey it seems like a dream, all the preparations, packing, planning and endless tasks. Sometimes my dreams seem more like reality than my actual life.  But I don’t want to wake up from this dream that is my actuality because I am so enthralled at what God is doing all around me and through me; which is all for His Kingdom and glory.  I have been eagerly waiting for this dream to become my reality,my dream has finally turned into my full time calling and purpose in Kenya.

I have three months left until I move to Kenya and continue my journey there.  Half of the time I feel like three monthsImage is going to take forever to pass by.  While the other half of the time I feel like I’m trying to do everything I can to slow down the time.    While every holiday and significant event passes by I feel like I’m losing so much by moving away from my family, friends and everything I know.

Though this may be true, I know that I am gaining so much more than I could ever lose. 

I’m gaining the blessings of serving my God- by showing a heavenly Father to the children who may have never known their earthly father, or sharing the power of a healing God to a widow suffering from HIV.  Amongst the sorrows of leaving Wisconsin- I have a lot of hopefulness for what God has for Fred and me together.

I hope you will join me on this journey- this journey to more, as I continue to chase the fullness of Christ to the ends of the Earth.  I ask you to stand with us in prayer as we face triumphs and victories as well as sorrows and failures.  God has called me to this point in my journey, though He hasn’t promised this road to be an easy one. However, God has promised that this will be a journey that will lead me to experience more and MORE of Christ, which is a road that I never want to stray from.

3 Comments

April 7, 2012 · 9:02 pm