Kenya 2016 Mission Trip, Post #3

Published October 22, 2016 by David Johnson

Soccer Tournament

Today is National Heroes Day in Kenya, and that means the kids did not have to go to school today. Instead, the staff scheduled a soccer tournament with the Laarei Catholic School boys, a private institution similar to Sodzo International. The boys had new cleats in bright orange and green colors, which really stood out, courtesy of Dave Robertson. The team from Laarei had bright orange uniforms. Sodzo won the tournament 2 to 1. The boys were very proud of their win, deservedly so. Dave Robertson and J Hill refereed the game and everyone came out to watch. It was a big deal, and I can't help believing that we were all inspired by how well our boys played as a team, with no one person hogging the ball.

Nathan Benesh and Mindy Brock helped build a new fire pit to be used to make bread to be sold to local merchants. Jan Barkley taught Eryjoy and Josephine how to make tomato bread and banana bread. Now before you jump to conclusions about tomato bread, give it a try, even it you don't like tomatoes. The bread tastes more like a spice cake than bread and it is delicious. Tomatoes are sliced and grated using one of those fancy graters one uses to grate cheese. Add a little flour and sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and before you know it, there is a tasty treat ready to come off of the fire in the dutch oven. In order to accommodate being able to cook multiple recipes at the same time, we discovered that a new fire pit would be just the ticket to success. With that in mind, and under careful guidance by Jan, Nathan and Mindy did a bang-up job of preparing the fire pit. What was unexpected was the unsolicited help we received from the staff and boys to help finish the pit.

J, Dave, and Greg got things going this morning with a rousing round of "slap the hands" with the boys. They picked up the concept quickly and were giving J and Greg a run for their money!

In honor of Heroes Day, and because the guests from Laarei were there, the cooks butchered a goat to make goat stew for lunch. The stew was served over rice along with potatoes and carrots, followed up with chapati bread. We really do live in a small world after all. Chapati bread looks surprisingly like flour tortillas and tastes about the same. Some of us actually put the stew into the chapati bread and ate it like a tortilla.

The fellowship and fun times we shared together helped to emphasize the message we are trying to convey: "What happens to you makes a difference to me." The sense of pride the kiddos felt after winning the soccer match was palpable. The interaction with the kids has been beneficial for both. We have played games, sung songs, held art class, and let kids be kids. "What happens to you makes a difference to me" is not just a cute, folksy saying, but is one way we used to help share the love of Christ to these kids and receive the love from the kids. What a wonderful blessing this has been for all of us and we're not finished yet!

David Johnson grew up at South Main. He is married to Susan Johnson and the son of Anne Johnson, and has three daughters and two grandchildren. He works in the SMBC Broadcast Ministry and serves on the SMBC Building Committee.