138 Dirksen Drive, DeBary, FL US 32713
According to Reverend Wambua, after guests spend three days in Kenya, they are no longer visitors; they are friends. Saying goodbye to our friends at AIC Zion today was one of the hardest parts of the trip, although it was not truly “goodbye,” only “see you later.” God willing, we will be returning next year, and the children of the school have been begging us to come back with an even larger team.
The teachers, administrators, and hundreds of primary school students piled into Zion’s worship center to throw us a goodbye ceremony complete with music, singing, and performances from the drama team and the Kenya Scouts. Each member from our team was able to personally say goodbye and give a final encouragement to the students. We each expressed our desires for them to continue to succeed in their academics and to pursue a relationship with Jesus. Reverend Wambua closed the ceremony by giving the students a verse to memorize: “I can do all things through He who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Before we left the worship center, the staff played Cotton Eyed Joe and forced Matthew and Ben to lead the students in the dance. Soon enough, the goodbye ceremony was transformed into a massive dance party. The team waded through a sea of cheering students, giving countless high fives and dancing to a few more songs before leaving the worship center and heading towards their van, the first steps of a long journey home to Pittsburgh.
We would like to thank our sponsors who prayed for us and supported us financially so that we could spend ten unforgettable days serving in Mathare. We extend our gratitude to Reverend Wambua and the members of AIC Zion for being incredibly gracious hosts throughout the week. A special thank you is also given to the staff and students at Zion for inspiring us as we interacted with students who overcome countless obstacles every day and teachers who are unshakably committed to their mission. Additionally, we thank Kaiani primary school, AIC Sinai, and the Maasai people for warmly welcoming complete strangers from a world away to meet their families and foster growth in their children. Lastly and most importantly, all glory and gratitude is given to God. Any impact that we made during this trip was inspired and originated by Him, and we are humbled to be instruments in His perfect plan.
Every day of our lives should be treated as a mission trip; as Christians, we should wake up each morning and ask ourselves what we will do for the Kingdom throughout the day. As Reverend Wambua frequently says, “just do something!” We encourage every member of the Bible Chapel to do “something” by supporting the mission of AIC Zion. Pray for the continued safety, academic progress, and spiritual walk of the students who enter Zion’s doors. Pray for the teachers and administration to remain motivated and energetic. Finally, pray that Zion continues to represent the hope of Jesus in Mathare and beyond. Contact if you feel called to contribute to Zion financially.
Once we return to the United States, each of the five team members will resume their normal routines. However, Kenya will always hold a part of our hearts and a spot in the back of our minds. AIC Zion will always be a second home to us and to all who enter its doors.
(Written by Ben Zeisloft, on behalf of the team)