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Karibu

When [Lydia] and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home." And she prevailed upon us. Acts 16:15


Dear Friends in Christ,

I just returned from Kenya, where Brandon Dasinger led a group of people on a mission journey with the ministry ‘Project 82 Kenya.’ Project 82 takes its name from Psalm 82, where we are called to ‘defend the fatherless.’ This ministry seeks to place abandoned or orphaned children in Kenya with their families or extended families or in adoptive homes, along with empowering support. Brandon has worked with Project 82 for many years and this trip was a chance for me to learn more about the ministry and experience a part of Africa for the first time. My wife, Silke, came with us, as did Brandon’s wife Kelli and their older daughter Kenzie, along with seven others from the US. We visited their two primary locations in Molo and Nanyuki, both near the equator at high elevation. The climate was wonderful, the scenery beautiful, and the people were especially gracious.

The staff and caretakers, parents and children welcomed us with joy. The most common word we heard on our trip was Karibu, welcome. This was not a showy welcome as if we were dignitaries, this was a friendly embrace as if we were family. With food and smiles and song and personal introductions, we were welcomed into a sense of home. Then they could learn more about us, and we could learn more about them, and we could grow together.

Project 82 has moved from a more institutional structure of caring for kids in an orphanage-styled setting, to one of placing kids in families, even as they await adoption or reunification. Their discernment is that the care of family and home is more important than the western conveniences of an orphanage. Their homes are quite rustic, but their personal love and care is what the children (and all of us) need. Karibu.

Certainly, Project 82 continues to function as an organization, but their focus is supporting and empowering caregivers and children and families in their homes. Thus, the institution supports the welcome and relationships of families. Karibu.

How can we at St. Peter & St. Paul (from pews to pulpit) grow disciples of Jesus by empowering relationships with God and with each other in Christ? Instead of relying on an institution to raise Christians, how can we become a community where each of us and all of us together nurture these relationships with personal welcome, personal invitation, personal care, prayer and embrace? How can we develop a frame of heart and mind of karibu so thatmore may come to know and love Jesus, not as an institutional affiliation, but in abiding relationship with our Lord?

Welcome to the life-changing love of Christ! Karibu.

Yours in Christ,

-Tom

Learn more about this mission trip, and the upcoming Youth mission trip to the Carolinas at the “Mission Trip Rewind” on Sunday, July 30 at 9:15 in the Parish Hall.

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