Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Rift Valley and Beyond

We said goodbye to the Grace Church team and had a few days to regroup before presenting another 9 UniShow Universe outreaches around Nairobi and Rift Valley partnering with college friends of Dustin's who have served in Kenya for 18 years.

We first presented at the elite International School of Kenya in Nairobi for middle school students. Unfortunately, our equipment vehicle was stopped enroute to the school and the driver arrested. Police said our equipment had to be presented in court. Thankfully, ISK's head of security has influence and was able to get it all released without any "fine". We had some extra rehearsal/prep time at the school as we awaited our equipment. It finally arrived at ISK 10 minutes before show time and after a mad scrambled, by God's grace we managed to start only 5 minutes late.

The next day we were back at ISK for elementary and high school presentations. Thankful we left our equipment there overnight so we had plenty of time to prep for these two shows.

Both students and teachers were gushing afterward, exclaiming that the presentation was life changing, they couldn't stop talking about it, and they've never seen students so engaged. A student said, "That was epic! No, that was more than epic!" Teachers were amazed that the students who came to talk to us afterward were the ones they least expected, noting it was clear something connected with them.

Our next stop was Eastleigh, a Somali community with a reputation as a rough part of town. People warned us against going here but we were happy it was on our schedule and had a great time presenting in this Muslim community. A family has been building relationships here through sports ministry and brought us in to boost their presence. The UniShow outreach was scheduled at a time to draw people in after they left Friday prayers at the mosque. We had a smaller crowd but the local organizer was very thankful afterward that many in attendance had the opportunity to hear the Gospel for the first time.

Rift Valley Academy hosted a UniShow Universe event and the whole community came out for a fun Saturday evening. Many people said they were inspired and challenged by the presentation.


Cornerstone Academy was next where the school has grown out of an orphan ministry. The students were so cute in their bright blue uniforms. We had lunch with them after the assembly and many students surrounded us to ask us questions.

Kabarak elementary, middle school and University students were our next 2 audiences. The elementary and middle schools filled the retro wooden theater with 800 lively students. The university show was not mandatory so was more sparse but still a good time. 

Kabarak's Provost concluded each event, imparting Godly wisdom in summary of each show, saying, "If God can help this man ride a 10 ft unicycle He can help you with your homework and pass your exams." He also said, "We had a world champion here, that means we are a world class school." He summed up our message, challenging the students to put God in the center of the one life they have been given.

We felt like we went back in time as we entered the gates of Pembroke House School for our last UniShow Universe Kenya event. This prestigious British boarding school looked the part with stone buildings, towers and a Shakespearean round theater where we performed. All the students and some from the community filled the stone theater and were super responsive. Afterward we heard repeatedly how "brilliant" our performance was. 


It was encouraging to hear from each venue how inspired students were to use what they have to make a difference and to surrender all to Jesus. One teacher said he's sure we wonder if we're hitting the mark as we try to reach students with the Gospel and he assured us we were.

As we traversed the country on roads crazier than we've ever experienced in all our travels, we saw camel, baboons, monkeys and zebra as common as deer in Minnesota, making each trek a scenic adventure through another part of God's amazing creation.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Bega Kwa Bega 2019

After two solid months of training and preparing, the expanded UniShow team has hit the road! On January 11th, the four of us waved goodbye to Minnesota for a few months and headed west to California to catch a flight to Kenya. We failed at our few tourist attempts since we hit historic Mt. Rushmore just after dusk only to find out that the government shut down also meant electricity shut down so the usual lights were off. We also finally came across buffalo at dusk so they we're only a silhouette.

Once we arrived in San Jose, we parked our truck and trailer at the school we will present at immediately after returning from Kenya. Three flights later, totaling 20 hours airborne, we arrived in Nairobi Kenya.

This was our fourth time joining Grace Church serving Bega Kwa Bega (Shoulder to Shoulder) with their sister churches. We spent the first part of the week working with Athi River Baptist Church presenting in schools, churches and in men's and women's high security prisons. The second part of the week was partnering with Haduma Church in the Kawangware slum. Haduma means "to serve" and that is just what we did as we shared the love of Jesus in many ways.

Our Grace Church team of 50 distributed food and essentials, treated hundreds of patients in medical clinics, led kids clubs, marriage seminars, pastors training, women's business training, carpentry workshops and, with the creative team, we presented 22 UniShow Universe outreaches for almost 10,000 people.

The Guest House lodging had a gym with trainers who led us in some killer "So Easy" workouts!  One of the trainers, Jamal, was also a dance choreographer who taught us some new moves to incorporate into the UniShow.  David invited him to perform with us for our final Grace My Story outreach in Kawangware.  Jamal came and threw down some incredible flips and moves that wowed the crowd.  Then he listened intently to Dustin's testimony and Gospel presentation and others' stories and drama.  David talked with Jamal at length afterward and in the end, Jamal decided to surrender his life to Jesus!  The next day he thanked David for introducing him to Jesus saying,  "I feel so good and free!"

Our Grace team saw over 1,000 people indicate decisions to surrender to Jesus through the outreaches! God was at work and it was a privilege to be part of it!

We managed to squeeze in a morning Safari at the Nairobi National Park and saw an amazing amount of God's beautiful creation and creatures including Rhino, Hippo, Zebra, Giraffe, Gazelle, Impala, Antelope, Ostrich, Crocodile, Baboons, Lions, crazy looking Secretary birds and finally in broad daylight Buffalo!