REACH intern: ‘I can’t wait to see what this summer holds!’
A team of 11 REACH interns are serving with CMF’s partner, Missions of Hope International (MOHI), in Nairobi, Kenya, right now, and are feeling blessed, challenged, tired and exhilarated, all at the same time! Here are a few great stories from four teammates about their first weeks in Kenya.
“I have been in Kenya for two weeks and life here is great! Seeing God work in the community and the hearts of everyone is truly inspiring. This past week my team and I were assigned to our centers and had our first full week of work. I split my time between Kiamaiko, where I shadow a social worker making home visits, and Pangani, where I work in the communications department.
“Kiamaiko is a unique center because it is placed in the middle of a Muslim community. I was a little nervous before my first day because it’s so easy to feel out of place in a new culture and I thought I would feel completely isolated, but I so was wrong! The entire staff was so kind and on every home visit the families were so hospitable and truly cared for the wellbeing of their community. Also, Kiamakio has a large school and the kids are so fun to hang out with.
“Being here definitely has its hard moments. It’s not always easy to walk through the slums and see so many sick and impoverished people, and it’s difficult being in a completely new culture. But Kenyans have an infectious joy that continuously makes being here feel like home. I’m also surrounded by incredible teammates and an extremely loving God. I can’t wait to see what the rest of this summer holds.”
“I am working in Mabatini, partnering with CHE [Community Health Evangelism] and doing videography. My team and I wake up every day at 5:30 a.m., eat and head out to work. A visiting short-term team was there last week, running a VBS. I was able to help with that, and for the rest of the week, I went out with my mentor, Stella, to make home visits to check on families that have sick children.”
“This summer I am working in the Kosovo community with social workers, the kids, in the spiritual development area, and with a community health evangelist/educator. I am so excited to get to work in all of these different areas.
“This week has been challenging. There is a lot of poverty where I am working and being in a completely new culture can be difficult at times, but it is amazing to see the work God is doing in the Mathare Valley as well as what He is doing in the hearts of my teammates and myself. One thing that I am learning is the difference between Kenyan and American culture. The Kenyan culture is very friendly, kind, and hospitable, and they are very relationship oriented, which I find to be so important and so significant. Even though adjusting to the Kenyan culture has been a little challenging, I have been reminded of the hope that Jesus brings and the hope He is bringing in the slums of the communities here. The community of people here have absolutely beautiful hearts, and they are just another reminder of the Lord’s love!”
“My summer assignment is to work alongside a social worker named Anne in the MOHI center and community of Korogocho B. This is the incredible school that I was blessed to volunteer at during both times I served previously in Kenya.
“My team and I have been taking matatus (Kenyan public transportation) every day to the individual centers where we serve. The experiences that I have had on these fast-moving and extremely loud vans is something I will never forget or ever be able to fully explain!
“Although it has been a great first week, I have experienced some challenges. One challenge was acclimating to this new, crazy schedule our team is facing. Our host missionary gave us good advice that has brought peace over all fears and anxiety. She said, ‘There is absolutely no reason why you should know how to be a MOHI intern.’ This gave comfort, knowing that this is a learning process and we are here to serve alongside the ministry that is transforming so many lives.”