Kenya Reflections : Michael Serrato
My first mission trip was to Kenya, ministering to communities within the Rift Valley along with organizations such as Rift Valley Hope and His Voice Global. The experience was one to remember as I took in the culture of the Kenyan people, strived to better understand their current situations, and worked with a team of amazing people dedicated to making a difference, big or small. We joined forces with ministry teams on the ground and while we worked I was amazed at the impact that a little love can make on the lives of God's people. We read about it, and sometimes carry it out, but love expressed through sincere time and investment renders some of life's greatest rewards. There's no secret formula on the streets of Maai Mahiu as to the impact HVG and RVH has made; it's simple love.
While with the Kenyan children and young adults, it was apparent to me that building relationships with them was going to be the foundation of any "ministry" that I might bring.
I didn't know what to expect but what I found were some of the kindest, most respectful, and loving people you could ever meet.
All they needed was someone to believe in them, show a little care, and sincerely love them. Home after home, while there wasn't much in the way of convenience, there was plenty in the way of hope and faith. These were the most joy-filled people I have met, and they didn't have much - but what they DID have was a faith that passed understanding - a kind of peace and joy that is promised to those who would place their faith in a God who gave all for each of them. Ministering to the people on the streets of Maai Mahiu was my most memorable time. On one occasion, we were out with Pastor Peter of RVH and were led to a blind man calling out to us. It was reminiscent of the account in Luke 18 but it was as real as ever on this day. We listened as the blind man told us his story and in love, we shared the gospel. More than anything each of us in that group wanted God to heal him of his blindness, but instead God gave him eternal sight by opening his heart to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior, right there on the streets. As to his earthly blindness, I'm still believing that his faith will complete that work too!
Finally, I will boast that we had the best time, with the best team ever on our Kenya mission trip. The unity and love (and tons of laughter) was so strong in our group. We lifted each other up, encouraged like crazy, and literally had the time of our lives. Special shout out to Danielle and Melissa, who fearlessly led our group and are truly special people to be around. Thank you HVG, and thank you Lord for this amazing opportunity!