Friday, April 24, 2015

Mission Trips Change Lives Part 3


2009 was my first trip to Kenya. It was actually my first trip out of the United States. How I even got to be a part of the trip was a “God thing” as we like to say. I went through a rough couple of years with my parents getting divorced when I was sixteen and fell out of the church scene. In the spring of 2009 before I graduated high school, I slipped into the back of Community Bible Church in San Antonio. During that service, I was flipping through the bulletin and at the very bottom of the page read “If you want to go to Mombasa, Kenya: Call Chris Moore.”

In that moment a peace came over me and I knew I had to make the call. I called Chris that night and talked to him for two hours! He would not remember this, but I shared with him my struggles I had been going through and my desire to follow Christ fully and I am blessed that he was a listening ear for me. He had never met me before, but spent that precious time on the phone with me that Sunday evening. That phone call changed my life forever.

I prepared. I got my passport, raised the funds and hopped on the plane with the rest of my team in July 2009. It was a trip that I will never forget and the memories were now engraved in my heart. I came back to my first year at Texas A&M and knew I had to go back. I got in touch with Chris and Lisa and made my way back in June 2010 for a month. Then, that following year they asked me to lead a team. It was a task I saw as impossible. Me; a 20-year-old girl, leading a team of individuals who were almost all older then me? But, the Lord took the impossible and made it all possible. In July 2011, I led my first team to Chris and Lisa.

During that following year, I started a nonprofit called Imani to partner with individuals in East Africa. I started working with an organization in Burundi as well as in Uganda. In 2012, Imani sent 4 teams to Kenya, Burundi and Uganda as well as had a group of summer interns in Kenya. In the midst of all of this the Lord was asking for more, so in 2013 we changed our focus to stay in Kenya within Mtepeni Village. We brought our focus back to where it all began in 2009. In May 2013, Imani started a women’s empowerment program to help the single, widowed and disadvantaged women of Mtepeni. Most of these women we work with are the mothers of the children that go to Mbewau Academy, so finally seeing them able to provide for their family has been so encouraging.


During all of this, the Lord was working in my heart big time. I traveled back to Kenya every summer and every time I stepped on Kenya soil, my heart was at peace. I knew eventually that I would have to make these short trips into longer trips, but did not know if I was ready. When I came back in 2013, I planned to stay for 7 months. I had gotten approval from my Dean at Texas A&M that I could finish my masters program online while I was in Kenya, so that gave me the open door to come back. Much to my surprise this last “short” trip turned into a much longer ride. I got back and surrendered it all to Christ. I was ready to finally give up all my desires of the world and live for Him alone. That following week, the women’s program started, ImaniXchange.  I moved to the village and lived side by side with my women that year. I learned how to live with no electricity, no running water and was surprised by many bugs every day for those six months of life. Also, during that first month back I met my husband, Sean. That December we flew home and got married and have dedicated our lives to full time missions.


It all started with a phone call and a trip that I am forever thankful for. My “Kenyan parents” as I call Chris and Lisa were there for me through all my ups and downs. They were there through every trip, every failed relationship, every crisis, every mosquito bite; they were there. Lisa even asked Sean a million questions to make sure he was the guy for her girl and they even made it to our wedding! They were there for all my stages of figuring out “life” from complaints about college classes to making my big move to the village; they were always there.

My life would be completely different if Chris would have ignored that phone call.
I now live in Mombasa with my husband and live a life I never imagined I would be living. I came to Kenya when I was 18, broken and the Lord continued to pursue me and remind me everyday that I am redeemed.


Thank you Chris and Lisa for everything.
Jenny Nuccio

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Mission Trips Change Lives Part 2!

Before my first trip to Kenya, my life was preoccupied with the worries of this world and a constant state of concern about having enough money to pay for the everyday expenses that we all have.  My youngest daughter, who was three years old at that time, had severe food allergies and there was always that concern about her health and the pediatric and specialist bills that came along with them.  My concerns were no different than most people, but they were my worries. 



It was around that time, that I had run into an old friend at work who had just returned from a mission trip to Kenya.  He was sharing photos and stories about the trip and as we were discussing it, I thought to myself, “Wow, what a trip of a lifetime.”  I knew in my head that the possibilities of going on a trip was next to impossible due to my current financial situation.  But, David walked me through the process of raising the funds by using support letters and fund raisers in order to get the finances for the trip.  Only one problem…I hate asking for money!  But, after talking to some mentors that were older in the faith, and much wiser, they said that I should allow others to bless me by providing for me.  This was a completely foreign concept to me.  I thought, “Who would provide?  They would just send me money and not get anything in return?”  Well, I trusted the much wiser individuals and had a little “mustard seed” of faith.  I sent out support letters and ended up having enough left over to help others with their funds.  It was amazing! 
                  
So, skip forward several months.  I’m on my way to Kenya with a group of individuals that I did not know except through various training sessions that we had prior to leaving.  It was a very awkward situation, but little did I know that these people would become some of the best friends that I could ever have.  I got to know each one of them on a personal level through the next two weeks. 

         
     
I could not wait to get into Kenya to bless the people of Kenya and “change their world.”  I was quickly humbled of those thoughts once I arrived at the schools.  I guess that I expected to see children with sad faces because of poor living conditions.  Just the opposite happened.  I arrived to see smiling children and joy that cannot be described.   Their living conditions were very bad at home, but they were happy and content with what they had.  They realized their need for help, but were grateful to God for what they did have.  I was extremely ashamed of myself and my actions leading up to that moment.  I witnessed women traveling from miles away to get clean water from a well, just to turn around and carry it back to their homes to wash clothes, clean, cook and drink.  While I witnessed this, I was comfortably sipping on my bottled water.  I witnessed children wearing the same clothes every day, while I got to go back to the hotel, shower, and put on fresh clothes.  I witnessed children that had been burned by falling into a fire that was used for cooking.  Their heads, legs, and arms still had the scars from severe burns.  The medical attention was very limited, while my daughter had access to any doctor or specialist with one phone call.  I could go on for hours and days of the things that I witnessed.  Admittedly, I felt guilty for how God had blessed me and my family.  But, now I realize that that feeling was not what God wants.  Just like the children at that school, I should be content.   I heard a quote once that stated, “I was crying because I had no shoes, until I saw a man with no feet.”  The experience of going to Kenya and seeing their contentment rocked my world.  I no longer am discontent with what I have or don’t have.  I consider what I do have to be a blessing.  As I am blessed, I have learned to use that time or money to bless others.  There is a huge blessing in knowing that the funds are being used to further God’s kingdom and provide for those that are going without.  Like I said earlier, the concept of giving money and not getting anything in return, was illogical too me.  But, the blessings that have come from that and the contentment and gratitude that I now have are far more rewarding than anything that I can achieve materially.  This trip and the following four trips back to Kenya have changed the way I live EVERYDAY.   There is literally not an hour that goes by, that I don’t think about the trips or people in Kenya and I can’t wait to get back again. 


Monday, March 30, 2015

Mission Trips Change Lives Part 1!

Mission teams are a vital part of Real 4 Christ Ministries.  Each team is very different but they all go to Kenya to share the love of Christ with the Kenyan people.  Here is a great story of how God touched Courtney's life and changed her direction!
Courtney and Morgan at Mbewau

Loving on the children of Kenya.




Six years ago I saw a video that would change my life forever. My friends David and Kim Hayes had just returned home from their first mission trip to Kenya and they were excited to share their experiences with me. From the moment I saw pictures, heard the voices of the precious children singing, and saw the work that the Lord was doing through Chris and Lisa Moore and Real 4 Christ Ministries in Kenya, I knew God was calling me to go. It would take two years for me to work out the logistics and finances, but in June of 2011, I was on the plane headed to Mombasa, Kenya, and my life has not been the same ever since. 

As soon as I began spending time in Kenya, I fell in love with the Kenyan people and children, with the country, the language, and the culture. I fell in love with my community of friends and teammates and with Chris and Lisa Moore and the work God was doing in and through them and REAL 4 Christ Ministries. But most of all, I now know I was falling more and more in love with the Lord. He met me in a new way, showed me His deep love for me and others more tangibly than I had ever felt, and He radically changed me in the villages of Mombasa and Shimba Hills, Kenya. And it was there where He began to form in me a heart for missions and for ministry. 

As soon as I came home from Kenya that first year, I knew God was calling me to work in ministry somehow and someway, but I did not know what that would look like or where to even begin. It's a good thing God knows what He is doing and He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Because He began to do just that in my own life, however it would not look that way for awhile. I was laid off from my job in radio promotions in September of 2011. I was unemployed for three months and began to apply for all kinds of jobs in ministry, attempting to follow God's call on my life that I felt in Kenya just a few months prior. However, nothing seemed to be working out and as I began to get discouraged, I took a temporary job at Dallas Baptist University (my alma mater) in their Marketing office. 

While I was at DBU I was introduced to a Christian ministry in West Dallas called Brother Bill's Helping Hand, an organization that served the low income area of West Dallas by seeking to meet the physical needs for food and medical care, while simultaneously seeking to meet the greater spiritual need for Christ. I began volunteering on a regular basis and Dr. Cook, the university president, asked me to coordinate recruiting volunteers from DBU and serving alongside them at BBHH each month. As I volunteered each month, the Lord continued to stir my affection for Him as I saw the work He was doing in and through BBHH, the neighbors of West Dallas, and in the volunteers serving the community. I began to once again feel the love of the Lord so authentically and see the Spirit working so visibly, just as I had my first year in Kenya, and I knew that Brother Bill's Helping Hand was where God was calling me. Not long after I felt this clear tug on my heart and nudge from the Spirit, I learned of a job opening at BBHH. I applied for the job, interviewed, and got hired on as the new Volunteer Coordinator. It was such a tangible way of seeing God clearly orchestrating my steps all the way from the villages in Kenya into the job at Brother Bill's Helping Hand and I have been so blessed to work there and get to share God’s love with the neighbors and volunteers every day since. 

I still have such a special place in my heart for Kenya, for the Moores, and for REAL 4 Christ Ministries. I have been so blessed to go to Kenya three times and I hope I get to go back many more. Frederick Buechner once said "The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." For me that is Kenya, for me that is Brother Bill's Helping Hand. It is anywhere my affection is stirred for the Lord as I share His unconditional love and salvation with those who are longing to be filled, not just with bread alone, but with the satisfying word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). I am so thankful for my friends in Kenya, for my friends in Dallas/Ft. Worth, and for my friends all over the world who are ambassadors for Christ and ministers of reconciliation, allowing God to make His appeal through them, and who have encouraged me to do the same (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)! And I join Paul in thanking my God every time I remember them. "In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus!" (Philippians 1:3-6)

Working at Brother Bills

Working at Brother Bills

If God has "messed you up" on a mission trip to Kenya and you would like to share your story please contact David Hayes @ dkhayes1@gmail.com

Monday, February 9, 2015

2014 A blessed and successful year.

Ministry in Kenya can be very challenging.  2014 had its challenges but God has worked in our churches, schools and feeding programs.  We wanted to share with you the successes and blessing that God allowed Real 4 Christ Ministries to be a part of in 2014 and give you a glimpse into what 2015 holds.





Decisions for Christ:
Mbewau 85 salvations and 8 baptisms.
Maasai Corner Ministries (our church in a predominately Muslim area)
64 salvations and 23 baptisms.

Lisa and the medical team treated over 4000 patients.













Funds were raised and staff housing was completed.

The child sponsorship program has grown in a big way.  We ended the year with 200 students being sponsored through this program.  If you would like to sponsor a child please visit www.real4christ.com and click on the sponsor a child tab.  

The feeding program served over 12,000 meals a month and over 150,000 for the year.


2015
Construction continues on phase two of the Maasai Corner School project.

Chris is working with several men to begin new Bible studies close to the Tanzania border and these works will be our next church plants.

5 Mission teams will be visiting Kenya this summer and fall.

The Adams family will be moving to Kenya on May 13 and joining our ministry team here.



Thank you so very much for your prayers and support.  The work being done in Kenya could not continue without your help.  God bless!





Saturday, November 15, 2014

Graduation Celebration

The last day of school for our Kindergarten Class in Kenya is quite special!!  We throw a party, we have cake and fruit juice.  We dress up in awesome caps & gowns.  And we have a huge celebration ceremony for all these 5 & 6 year olds who have accomplished great things!!  This year we closed both of our schools with three separate ceremonies.  Primarily, Muslim mothers fill the seats, anxious to hear and see what their kids have learned this past year.  It was a busy two days but well worth it.  The kids will have the next seven weeks off and return back to class on January 5th.  Thanks for supporting Lisa & I as we get this amazing opportunity to help change children's lives forever!!!

































































Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New Church Plant!!



From L to R: Pastor Hesbon Kioko, Pastor Rasto, Mr & Mrs Mangwabi (owners who donated the land for the church and borehole)


After 7 years of working with MBEWAU Church, God has allowed them to start their first "baby" church. The new church called "Makuhuru Fellowship" is located approximately 5 miles away and is in an unreached area.

It is exciting for me to watch these young churches get to the place that they are now mature enough to recognize the need for an "extension" of their own ministry. I am honored to work with Pastor Rasto as he now mentors Pastor Hesbon Kioko in his new role. Just one more GREAT reason for Lisa & I to be here in Kenya!!!

Mr & Mrs Mangwabi donated the half acre land for the church and borehole. In the next few months we will build a simple mud church and dig a community borehole. I know God will do great things on this "holy ground" HE has provided.

Pastor Hesbon graduated Crossroads Bible College in Vipingo earlier this year. I had the opportunity to teach him in a few classes over the past 3 years. He is 27 years old, single, from Kakamega and works at the Vipingo Sisal Plantation. I am excited to see what God has in store for him @ his new church, Makuhuru Fellowship!