Incredible Day 1

Disclaimer: the description that you are about to read will not even come close to describing in full all of the incredible things we did today…

Everyone on the team slept soundly on the very hard, but somewhat comfortable bed last evening. (Please pray that this will continue in our days to come!) Breakfast was ready for us when we came downstairs. It consisted of: bananas (not processed- YAY), cereal with warm milk, coffee, juice, chai tea and omelets prepared to our liking with the options of tomatoes, cilantro, onion and a spicy combination of unknown items.

From breakfast we went to Rift Valley Academy (a boarding school where Dr.Case taught and Dr.Dixon attended). There are around 475 students from grade 1 to 12. Most of the students are missionary kids who are receiving an American education while their parents are in the mission field somewhere in Kenya. We learned that they are on trimesters and have chapel and a tea break every day.

While walking back to the Daraja house I witnessed two cultures breaking barriers. An African woman and her toddler son were walking on the dirt road up to a car of a white woman and her toddler son. The expression of sheer joy on the white boy’s face was something I wish I could have captured in a photo. He was so genuinely excited to see this African boy come up to the car. They both reached out their hands, one from sitting in the car and the other standing in the road, to greet each other and reunite. It might seem trivial but this moment was more than I can put into concise words. For me, it was the joining of two nations, two cultures. Skin color wasn’t seen. Wealth wasn’t displayed. Clothes didn’t matter. Living style wasn’t exploited. This one-minute interaction showed me that God’s love is not culturally bound.

For lunch we were served noodles with vegetables and cut up sausages along with a fruit salad, coleslaw, cucumbers and delicious homemade muffins. The meat here is lean and the fruit is fresh, and again not processed. YAY! After lunch a group of ten students, eight men and two women came to meet us at the Daraja house from the Moffat Bible College down the road. This school was started in 1929 and now gives the students an opportunity to earn a diploma. We went around the circle and introduced ourselves and told of what we were studying and what we wanted to do after graduating. After that time the floor was open for questions, and boy did they have some thoughtful ones!

The Moffat students asked us why God isn’t in schools or our government and why God isn’t influential there. All of us slightly chuckled at this and scratched our heads as to how we would begin to answer. After a lengthy discussion and not too much of a conclusion we moved on to answer more questions. For these Kenyan’s their relationship with Christ is communal, meaning that the church is a part of their relationship and journey. When they sin, the church knows and when there is praise, the church knows. In our debriefing session later in the evening, our team pondered if this was a mostly positive or negative aspect of Kenyan culture in comparison to the ways in which our relationship with Christ and our church is totally different in most situations. The Moffat students spoke slowly and softly and were in no rush to leave our team.

For a fun activity we headed back to RVA to watch the varsity boys rugby game. Yikes – it was intense! We then returned to our Kenyan home for dinner which entailed: beef stew, cooked carrots and peas, potatoes, kale, carrots and pineapple and chapatti (a type of thin flat bread like tortillas). To close the day we had our “table talk” time where all of us go around the circle and tell of things that impacted or stuck out to us throughout the day.

Speaking for the group, we are so thankful for this incredible experience already. The vastness of the nature is beautiful, but the people here are even more so. It is a strange feeling to be the minority and get weird looks at times, but it makes us (me at least) be challenged in the ways in which we look or treat people at home because of the differences we perceive. Please continue to pray for safety and health as we are gone. Also, that we will have eyes to see, ears to hear and grace in our hearts to obey.

And that was only the first day.

Blessings, Janelle J

P.S – Hi mom! Hi family and friends! Good luck getting me back from Africa… it will be a struggle to come home for sure.


  1. Paulette RhinehartMay 17, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    God bless and keep you all safe in His loving arms. You are all so blessed to be a part of this wonderful experience. Our prayers are with you and the beautiful people of Kenya.

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  5. This is a delightful and detailed account of your first day in Kenya, Janelle! Your descriptions, from the breakfast options to the heartwarming encounter between the children, paint a vivid picture of your experiences.

    It's interesting to learn about Rift Valley Academy and the unique educational opportunities it offers. Sharing a meal with the students and engaging in discussions with the Moffat Bible College students showcase your cultural exchange and the thoughtful questions exchanged.

    Your reflection on the children's interaction is insightful, highlighting the power of connection beyond cultural barriers. It's evident that you're not only observing but also actively seeking to understand and learn from the cultural differences.

    The details about the daily activities, like the rugby game and "table talk" time, provide a well-rounded perspective of your experience. Your concluding thoughts about the beauty of the land and the people, along with the challenges and personal growth, are honest and heartfelt.

    We wish you continued safety, health, and open-mindedness as you navigate your journey in Kenya. We're all eager to hear more about your adventures and the lessons you continue to learn.

    And yes, good luck to your family convincing you to come home – it sounds like Kenya is already capturing your heart!

    Thank you for sharing your captivating and insightful account, Janelle
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  6. Day One was fantastic! Event went smoothly from the very beginning with many fun activities such as icebreaker and active engagement in dialogues. The movements reflection of their creativity could not have been more on target; completely unique event ideas for college students were put forward by them which never got us bored and remained motivating at the same time.


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