Online contacts and blogs

Hi all, The posts from Dr Ballard will be concerning the Kenya Service Learning trip with nursing students, headed by Jack and Lori Ballard, through World Gospel Mission and Malone University. The following link will serve as direct access to the blog posts on

Game Park

Jambo! The team just got back from the Maasai Mara Game Park (idk if that's spelled right). It was absolutely amazing! It was a very fancy resort; every night they put a hot thingy mabob in our beds! We were completely unaware that we were going to such a place, though. Jay and Marcia kept the fanciness a secret. Staying at the resort supported a lot of jobs though, and allowed us to really take in God's incredible creation. Each day we woke up early (like 6am) to a soft "Jambo" at the tent flap. Then we met in the lobby to get on the Land Rovers that then drove us into the wild. We split into teams; each car had five of us and the driver. Our cars took different paths, and so we saw different things. However, we all saw the Big Five! (Or in one car's case the big 4 1/2). "The Big Five" refers to major animals in the area that were once hunted for various reasons. They are: Leopard, Lion, Elephant, Rhino, and the Cape Buffalo. (Apparently water buffalo a

Sunday Funday

(by Sarah and Olga) Jambo! This morning, we were able to attend a church service held by Rift Valley Fellowship. The congregation of this church primarily consists of the women and children this ministry has rescued. When we arrived, we saw everyone gathered under a tent, worshiping in Swahili. The people were praising God through song and dance, expressing an overwhelming amount of joy. We couldn't help but smile and clap along with them! Rift Valley Fellowship wanted to include us in the service and asked for us to share a song and a few testimonies. We sang "In Christ Alone" and our teammates Noah and Courtney H. briefly shared their stories, which encouraged the people to be faithful and focus on God and the goodness he can bring. One of our team leaders, Jay, was also given the opportunity to give the message. He spoke about how God became man and experienced trouble on Earth just as we have. This encouraged us to know that we are not alone, and have faith in Him. Af

The Stories We Share

(by Courtney and Courtney) Hey guys! It’s Courtney squared and we have much to update you on. Today we had the privilege of being able to serve with Rift Valley Fellowship to visit the homes of the families of the children who are in rescue homes. We got to deliver a bundle of food to each of the families as well as being able to ask about their lives. While engaging in fellowship we were able pray for any needs that they had. We came back with experiences that we will remember forever; there were children with bright eyes and wide smiles, women with warm hearts and encouraging testimonies, as well as the faithful women and men who welcomed us into their homes. A few of the homes that we visited today involved some of the women who were part of a women’s Bible study group, Women of Courage. We were able to get a glimpse into their lives, their struggles, their faith, as well as swooning over the creations they had made for us to look at, and eventually purchase. In the first half of th

On the 3rd Day..

(by Noah and Taylor) Hello everyone! We are on our third day out here in Kenya and it's awesome. Wanna know why it's awesome? Great, read this. Yesterday we woke up and had a wonderful breakfast as a team. We indulged on some fruit, beef sausage, and some little bread things (called Mandazi). We left a little earlier than normal due to rain, to take the more mainland (LONG) route. We arrived at Rift Valley Fellowship in Maai Maihu and we were excited for what the staff had planned for us. [caption id="attachment_353" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The main building of Rift Valley Fellowship[/caption] We split into 3 groups, each group had one person from the RVF staff and we traveled alongside them to visit homes of church members. We were just going on this visit to talk with them, learn more about their stories, and pray with them. One instance we remember was a woman named Julia. She was a mother of 8 children, 3 of them were college students

What’s up baboons and baboonettes?

THURSDAY, 5/24  Written by Rusty and Olga This morning we woke up (obviously) and had some solid breakfast. After breakfast, we went to Moffat Bible College. We attended their chapel where they started off the service by singing Jesus is the Rock in Swahili. That was followed by a third year student who preached on Ephesians 2. They closed in song as well. When the service ended, we joined the students for their chai break. There, we socialized and got to know each other. One of the students, Stephen, was a second year student studying theology. He wants to focus on child ministry after graduating. Another student named Obadiah was a bible/theology major and wanted to pursue his master’s degree in counseling and help at a church with those struggling with addiction. At Moffat Bible College, they offer four majors including: Bible/Theology, HIV/AIDS program, Community Development, and Counseling. We attended a class on the book of Acts. We heard two students give presentations on missio

First Day

Hey guys! We finished up our first day in Kenya! After landing at the airport in Niarobi, we stayed overnight at a guest house nearby. Now, we are staying at a guest house in a small town called Kijabe, at a bible college. During our first day, we visited a ministry in Maai Mahiu called Rift Valley Fellowship. We will be working with them throughout the week. This ministry works with youth throughout Maai Mahui, and their families. They rescue boys and girls off the streets and connect with their mothers, who often go into prostitution. There have been exceptional amounts of rain, so the roads have been eroded in parts, causing our journey in the vans to be quite eventful! On the way to Maai Mahiu, we passed the second biggest slum in Africa. This slum stretched for miles, which was very eye opening and incomprehensible. After visiting the ministry, they took us out to eat to a restaurant called Cafe of Ubuntu. This cafe supplies the water that we drink here! After eating, they showed