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Encouraged

What to write about? How do you take a trip of 3 weeks and sum it up into a nice concise blog? How do you take an experience, a year in the making, and sum it up in a way that provokes a feeling of passion in the reader when they finish?  Better yet, how do you create something that erases apathy and stirs up empathy?

To me personally, this trip meant a lot. It was the culmination of several years of ideas and desires and it became the catalyst for plans and dreams for years to come. I’ve dedicated a large portion of my life to Africa, and generously she has dedicated a large part of herself to me. Africa has become one of the most confusing, challenging, beautiful, encouraging, and redemptive relationships of my life. I have found myself strangely dependent on her, much more so than the continent will ever depend on me.

As I think back to how the trip to Kenya impacted me, I’m left with more feelings than words can express. But if I had to sum it up with one main idea I would say the trip really encouraged me and forced me to focus on the future. It reignited my desire to see the youth of Kenya acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to be a vehicle for change within their own country.

The goals of Two Feet Project come with so many challenges but I have peace that God is at work within the youth of Kenya. Throughout the trip we heard the stories of young men and women overcoming insurmountable challenges, met with organizations that are just as hungry as we are to see sustainable change, and had a chance to reflect on my own desire to see things come to fruition. I’m confident about the future not only of Two Feet Project but more importantly the future of the youth of Kenya.  I’m just thrilled to be able to be a part of it all.

This trip has served as a reminder that this is only the beginning and that the future looks bright. I’m so excited to see where God takes Two Feet Project. I’m humbled to be a part of His plan for Kenya and I’m honored to be trusted by close friends and acquaintances in leading this trip.

“The ambitions we have will become the stories we live!”  ~~Donald Miller

God Bless!

Stephen Ishmael

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A lot given = A lot required

For the past few weeks I’ve completely failed to put pen to paper. I’d gone to Kenya intending to catalog the daily events, adding my insightful musings as the trip unfolded. But until now, those intentions have been a total bust. Aside from us being very busy, I think that for the most part I can blame that failure on the fact that this has been a lot to take in. No doubt my brain will be processing this three week period for a long time to come. Apart from merely copying down daily events, the monumental task of constructing an appropriate response to all that I’ve seen, heard, and felt these past twenty days as I’ve spoken with pastors, played futbol with kids, walked the slums, and spent time in orphanages, seems overwhelming.
 
One of the biggest challenges in returning home from a journey like this is maintaining perspective. You can’t walk away from an experience like this without having a significant shift in your worldview. For those who’ve been through a similar experience, you may know what I’m talking about. It’s as though, however briefly, the clouds part and you begin to see things much more clearly. The trivial problems with which most of us are so preoccupied are suddenly seen for what they are, those ‘pressing’ matters are quickly relegated to a much lower level of importance. When viewed through the frame of a much larger worldview, you see very quickly that many of those issues which we allow to consume our days are merely distractions. Distractions which keep us from seeing and doing what truly matters.
 
Moments of clarity like this are a gift we don’t often encounter, they’re an opportunity to step back from our needlessly harried lives to take stock of where we are, what we’re doing, and who we’re following. At this moment I’m in the afterglow of such an experience. Clinging to that renewed perspective, I’m attempting to look with new eyes at my life, my decisions, and ultimately, my impact on the world around me.
A couple of years ago I was sitting in church, zoning out, when a verse randomly cropped up in my mind. It’s a common verse – much recited among the religious – but in my own experience, not often exercised. For whatever reason it came back to me with a greater urgency than before.
 
“…when someone has been given much, much will be required in return;
and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be
required.”
 
I’ve never been great at scripture memorization. For someone who has grown up in and around the church I’m pretty pathetic really. I’ve always been that guy who has a minor panic attack whenever someone asks me to share a favorite verse. But in that moment it didn’t matter that I couldn’t remember where in the Bible that verse was found, I simply knew that it was directed at me. I’m not trying to romanticize that day and say that the verse came to me like some Godly lightning bolt or anything like that, it was just more of an ‘Aha’ moment. I think in that moment I saw a clear picture of the level of responsibility that comes with being afforded all the opportunities that I’ve been handed.
 
My life has been unbelievably blessed, a fact of which I’m well aware, but one that is truly hammered home each time I venture outside my comfortable life in the US. As I journeyed through Kenya, that verse kept jumping into my head.  Going forward, my hope is that I can maintain that shift in perspective gained through my time with the folks in Kenya. My hope is that, when I look back, I will continually be encouraged and inspired to be an agent of change, regardless of what setting I’m in. I also hope that those of you following along benefited in some way through partnering with us on this leg of TFP’s journey, and I look forward to sharing in the next one with you.
  
With Thanks,

Aaron Sawyer


Youth Outreach

The Two Feet Project team was lucky enough to partner with local rapper/speaker Martin Guya, Pastor Rymes, and several others as we continued our outreach to local youth in Kenya. Giving them the word of God and encouraging them, not only in their studies, but in everyday life as well.

At a school where a lot of the youth have been rejected and told they weren’t good enough to attend “better” schools. We wanted to make sure that they knew that they could achieve great things and that they were created by God to do great things!  The overall theme for the day was “Stay Alive”


Things I’ve Learned

A few things I’ve learned during my time in Kenya.

  1. The sweet Kenyan tea that locals so graciously offer us every chance they get is better than any tea in the states.
  2. Every single person in Kenya, children alike, are way better dancers than me.
  3. God is ALIVE in Kenya.

I don’t mean he pokes his head around every once in a while on Sunday mornings. I mean God is ALIVE in Kenya. When I pass Kenyan’s on the street, I see it on their faces, I hear it in their voices, and I feel it in their actions.

Why is it that God feels so much more alive in Kenya? Is it because we as Americans have all of our basic needs and necessities taken care of, most of us having wealth in relative excess, why would we ever need God? Or is because we don’t give God anytime. If he doesn’t move in the hour and a half church service or our ten-minute devotion every morning then we don’t have time for him. One verse that keeps coming back to me during this trip is: 2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. “ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ power may rest on me.

I think if we as Americans could lift the figurative curtains from our eyes and acknowledge our own weaknesses that’s when we grow and learn from God the most.

Peace,

Lauren Wilkins

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Are We Really That Different?

When most people think of Kenya, some of the first thoughts to go through their minds consist of things like poverty, sickness, sadness, and despair.  When I first made plans to go on this trip, it was amazing to watch people’s reaction when I told them where I was going. I even had one person ask, “Why would you ever want to go there? It just seems like such a horrible place.”

After spending the last 2 weeks in this fascinating country, my answer would be this: “The reason I am going to Kenya is because of the wonderful people, the precious orphans, and the amazing future that I envision for this country.”

One of the most interesting things I am taking away from this adventure has been that even though we live thousands of miles from this country, the people are very similar to us.  Their geographical surroundings, culture, history, and standard of living are different. However, they still love, laugh, cry, have fears; they experience failures and disappointment, as well as victories and happiness.  That is what makes being a human being so great.  We all have so many differences, but when you stop and look at the things that really matter in life, we are not very different at all.

I want to challenge you to look at the things in you life that truly matter to you and enjoy them completely today.  Don’t be fixated on tomorrow or sit regretting what happened yesterday.  Focus all of your energy on living today and loving every minute of it.  You are truly blessed and that is something to celebrate!

Nate Yokers

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Futbol

 


Prayer Caves


Nakuru

 

Here’s some video of our time in Nakuru. We spent a lot of time engaging in some serious dialogue with the youth. Trying to learn as much as we could about the challenges that come with being a young person in Kenya. Luckily we were able to explore a large portion of Kenya while doing this. All in all it was a great time and we took a lot away from the experience.


 

Here’s a short video of our arrival to Kenya as well as some clips of our time spending the day at a local orphanage called Happy Life.  Hope you enjoy it and get a small glimpse of the trip.

We hope to have more videos posted throughout the duration of the trip. So keep checking back to see everything that happened during our visit to Nakuru!

God Bless.

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