A Week in Kenya with #30HourFamine: Community and Empowerment

Sam Halverson




After arriving in Nairobi, getting a short night’s sleep, and taking a wonderful train ride west along the Mumbasa Highway to our destination, we arrived Sunday at the hotel which is located in a National Game Reserve. In fact, as I write this in my room I can look out the window at a watering hole where already hundreds of water buffalo, elephants, baboon, birds, giraffe, and meerkat make their way to spend time. This morning, though, the community watering hole is quiet. Only a line of guinea hen quickly run along the banks of the mudhole to gather the morning breakfast of beetle and cricket.

Tomorrow we will begin travelling around the area, meeting families as well as community co-ops to discover how they struggle with life here in Kenya and how World Vision helps relieve those struggles. I’m not sure what I will find. I have no doubt we’ll be shown some amazing things (why would an organization choose to show us something less of themselves) but I do look forward to meeting the people of Kenya and learning about how they find ways to overcome their hardships.

I have many questions for World Vision. It isn’t associated with any denomination, and I believe it’s important for me, as a United Methodist, to support my denominational connections with missional care and outreach. If World Vision is to be something I would recommend to youth ministries in working toward hunger relief in the world I will need to be impressed with how they work with the local people, how they use agencies and organizations here in the community, and how the local team connects relationally with the people they serve. I want to see how the money raised by our youth back home and how the child sponsorships make an impact on families and individuals.

I’m looking forward to finding out what God is doing.



Monday Night

What a day today.

We spent some time listening to statistics and background around the needs of the people here in Southeastern Kenya. Like much of Kenya (and much of Africa, for that matter) water is a huge issue. In order to farm it is essential to have available water, but in much of the country water can only be depended upon during the rainy season of which there are two a year - one much greater than the other one.

After hearing many reports and meeting the staff of the World Vision team here in this part of Kenya we were driven to meet with commissioners and heads of Drought Management where we heard how World Vision partners with various government organizations in the country to help those in need. These were good discussions, and we learned much (and traveled through beautiful mountains to get to our meetings), but I was ready to meet some of the people affected by ministries.

I was not disappointed.

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