Saturday, April 30, 2011

Parablelooza Night!

Mommy and Emma on stage at Rosslyn Academy,
after last night's performance of


This year's spring production for Rosslyn Academy Elementary was the musical-game show "Parablelooza". The children from kindergarten to fifth grade did a fantastic job in song and drama! Together they reminded us about the message of God's love shared in the parables of Jesus.


As a game show, the night was a competition between Orange Crush and the Green Machine, the two teams have been practicing for months. Although the music and dialogue were rehearsed, the games were happening in real time and the outcome was up in the air! Who would win the Parablelooza Challenge?

Emma and Josh as referees

Audience Participation

One highlight of the night for the students were several audience participation activities within the game show. Elementary parents, Rob Beyer and Kevin McGee, getting doctored to the glee of the children!

Orange Crush Wins!!!!
Announcer Keenan Carline announces the final results -- victory to the orange!

drama cast

so proud of our little actor

Directors Kim and Erica after another great production!

Celebrating a wonderful performance with our friend Mel

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Prayer Requests

Thank you for your support and prayers!

We want to thank everyone who has been following along with our blog and faithfully upholding our family and ministry in prayer. Without your generous support and commitment to standing with us, we don't know how we could ever have followed God's call to serve in Africa.

On the blog we tend to focus on the celebrations and joys of ministry and our family, but working here is not without its unique struggles and challenges. Some of you will know that we have encountered several thorns along the journey, one particular problem has been with digestive parasites (a common issue for anyone living in the developing world). Erica has acquired some chronic health issues that we believe have resulted from the constant battle with parasites and their treatment. Please keep her in prayer this week as she is going through a number of tests here in Nairobi. We pray that the doctors might get to the bottom of what is causing her so much discomfort and that the Lord might heal any damage caused to her digestive system.

Thank you all for upholding us in your prayers.

In the grace and peace of Christ,
Aaron & Erica

Cloning Not an Option

Laura Muema: If only cloning were an option!

This was our fifth Easter in Africa, since coming to Kenya withCanadian Baptist Ministries in December 2006. We are so thankful for the privilege of being able to live and minister with such incredible people in such a beautiful part of the world. We are especially grateful to God for the people we serve with as part of CBM's Kenya team. Laura Muema joined us in Eastleigh just over a year ago in the role of project officer for the Iftin Women's Empowerment Programthat CBM began in partnership with the Eastleigh Community Centre in 2008. Laura has overcome several obstacles through the past year as she jumped into the many activities and, at times, chaotic community life of Eastleigh.

In Prayer:
Please keep Laura in your prayers as she gives leadership, not only to the women's empowerment projects in the literacy classes, self help groups and community based training cohorts, but also to the children's clubs, youth groups and new peer educator's project. It is a lot of work, at times too much for one person.

Please pray for the refugee program team in Eastleigh as they pull together in their efforts to bring new hope and better lives to their community.

Please pray for the community of Eastleigh and the ever expanding Muslim refugee population within Kenya. According to the latest reports, the influx is steady with camps in Northeastern province bulging at the seems, for instance the Dadaab camps are now at over 320,000 people (more than double the camp population in 2006).

Pray for committed workers like Laura to come up from within the churches of Kenya to reach out to their own community and neighbours.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Daddy's Birthday

Daddy's Birthday Trifle

On Friday evening, we had some friends over for a backyard barbecue to celebrate the Easter long weekend and Aaron's birthday. According to our kids, the highlight of the evening were the desserts that Mommy made for Daddy!!!

"Happy Birthday Daddy!"

Ava helping out with the candles...

... and the yummy cakes!

Daddy's Settlers of Catan Birthday Cupcakes

Easter at Lake Naivasha

Easter Sunrise at Carnelley's Camp,
Lake Naivasha, Kenya

Team work!

This past weekend, we celebrated Easter at Camp Carnelley's, on the relaxing shore of Lake Naivasha in the Great Rift Valley. We arrived after a late lunch and found a quiet corner of the beautiful tenting area under a canopy of Yellow Acacias. Our site was separated from the Lake,and the hungry hippos, only by a shallow ditch and a three foot high fence, but other than the troops of vervet and colobus monkeys, we didn't have any trouble from the local wildlife getting too close to our tent.

Finished setting up the tent together
on Saturday afternoon

Daddy opening his birthday present at the campfire
...can't wait for those birthday cupcakes!

Ready for our sleeping bags after a big day...

Emma enjoying an Easter sunrise along the papyrus
lined banks of Carnelley's Camp

We enjoyed a quiet Easter Sunday, with a short family Easter service and lots of fun playing our favourite board games, walking along the Lake and cooking over our campfire (and our classic Webber grill... we love that charcoal barbecue) -- Easter bunny smores!!!. While Saturday night was pretty crowded at the camp, a thunder storm rolled in on Sunday afternoon and most of our neighbours hit the road. Fortunately for us, the storm moved on and we enjoyed the camp almost to ourselves on Sunday night and Monday morning.

Colobus monkeys in the tall Yellow Acacia trees over our tent

Daddy getting the gas lantern ready for Sunday night

Mommy and Ava at our campsite

Easter morning on Lake Naivasha

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mercy Mwikali

Hello from Kenya!

Earlier this week we took part in Canadian Baptist Ministries' roundtable meetings in Kenya and had the joy of officially welcoming Mercy Mwikali to the CBM Africa team. Mercy began her new role as the Guardians of Hope program officer for the Africa Brotherhood Church on March 1, 2011. "I am two months old now," shared Mercy, "but I've already met with 12 of the 13 Guardians of Hope groups within the ABC. I'll be travelling to the coast in the second week of May to visit the last group at ABC Mivamoni."

Mercy may be only "two months old" in her role, but she running full steam ahead as she has assisted in orphan and vulnerable children training for caregivers, overseen a project that has gotten 43 orphaned children into school with school fee assistance, and been a part of launching a new pottery income generating project in Kalimani.

In Prayer
Please remember Mercy and the Guardians of Hope groups of the Africa Brotherhood Church, where issues of leadership capacity and food security are crucial issues.

We praise God for a great training by Ruth Munyao and Henry Mwangi on Gender Rights and HIV and AIDS in the Africa Brotherhood Church. We pray that this training will have in impact on the ministry of the ABC in Eastern and Central Africa.

We remember our colleague Ruth Munyao as she returns to Kenya this weekend from her tour of Canada were she has been connecting with churches from Nova Scotia to British Columbia.

Monday, April 18, 2011

April Showers

Directors Erica and Kim
in drama rehearsals at Rosslyn Academy

This is the fifth elementary drama production that Erica has directed with her friend Kim Remich at Rosslyn Academy. This Spring's performance is called Parablelooza, by Jimmy and Gail Getzen, it is a musical game show based on the parables of Jesus.

Emma and Josh Hyodo rehearsing their role as referees for the drama which plays on the evening of April 29th.

April has been a wet month in Nairobi, as we are finally receiving some rain. The grass is bright green and everything is growing in our garden. Along with work, we are enjoying some great family time in the evenings and weekends. For Aaron's upcoming birthday (which falls this year on Easter Sunday), we are planning a family camping trip in the Rift Valley.

We are looking forward to hosting Thomas Coldwell and Jen Fry, two students from Crandall University, for the month of May. Both Thomas and Jen will be volunteering as student interns with the Iftin Women's Empowerment Program in Eastleigh. A major area of focus will be supporting the stars of peace youth group which has been struggling over the past six months. Please be praying for them and the Iftin program.

We hope that you have a wonderful Easter and that spring has found you where ever you are this April!

God Bless,
The Kennys

The boys on the way out to a friends barbecue with...

...the girls!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Urban Gardens

Vertical Gardening in Nairobi

The Iftin Women's Empowerment Program in Eastleigh, Nairobi, is striving to help vulnerable refugee families living in the informal settlements of Nairobi to improve their lives. As Canadian Baptists, we are committed to several aspects of transformation, including issues of food security. In urban areas of Africa, millions of people become trapped in sprawling ghettos, slums and shanty towns where people live on less than a dollar a day. In such communities, most of a family's income goes to either food or shelter.

Training in Eastleigh

Tim and Diane Bannister not only lead the short term volunteer program of Canadian Baptist Ministries in Kenya, but Tim is our resident agricultural and agro-forestry expert. We are looking forward to having him back in Eastleigh on May 16 and 17 to lead a training program on vertical sack gardening with the Iftin members. This will be our fourth training on sack gardening at the Eastleigh Community Centre. It has been encouraging to see God at work in the lives of families who had never gardened before.

Please keep Tim and the Iftin group in your prayers as we work together to provide a reliable and inexpensive supplement to the diet of refugee families.

The first vertical bag garden workshop at the Eastleigh Community Centre led by our Canadian Baptist Ministries colleague Timothy Bannister with Bruno Soucey and Aaron, back in 2009.

Learn more about the use of bag gardens in improving food security for impoverished communities through the work of other organizations serving in Kenya:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Solidarity Sunday 2011

Children living in the Gambala Community
of the Ifo Refugee Camp, Kenya

Every Mother’s Day, Canadian Baptists across the country come together for a very special reason:Solidarity Sunday.

This symbolic event enables us to stand in unity with our brothers and sisters in need around the world. Last year's Solidarity Sunday raised over $40,000 to help the women of Rwanda.

This year's Solidarity Sunday focuses on ministry with women in Kenya. To learn more of how you can participate, please follow this link to the Canadian Baptist Ministries website, where you can learn more about this program, download videos and order promotional materials for your church or group to be a part of Solidarity Sunday.

We also have a new update letter available for download. You can read it online or share it with your church by visiting our CBM webpage: simply use the link on our sidebar or below:

Our Update Letter:
March 2011 Update Link

April Podcast

April 2011 Podcast

This past week was busy, with Erica working in the city and Aaron attending a course in Mitaboni with Carey Theological College. We are back to our regular routines this week and, as promised, we have a new podcast this month taken from some of the audio content we recorded earlier in the year.

Conversation at Safari Park Hotel

This month's podcast takes us back to January during our time with Patricia Card, Henry Mwangi and Patrick Miana. Early one Tuesday morning, we met together to visit Guardians of Hope beneficiaries living in slums and informal settlements around Nairobi. Before we set out, we stopped for coffee and shared a brief conversation about how the Guardians of Hope started in Kenya and the impact it has had upon the African Christian Church and Schools.

In Prayer
It was very interesting to hear their perspective on what led to the formation of the Guardians and of the successes and ongoing challenges that the ministry encounters. Please be keeping the ACC&S in your prayers as it works to proclaim and embody the good news of faith in Christ throughout Kenya. We will be meeting with the ACC&S Guardians of Hope leadership early next month as we work through forming a strategic plan for the next chapter of the GOH program. Please remember us during this time of assessment and planning.

Erica and Patty this past January in Nairobi

To listen to this or any of our podcasts, please visit our audio site at or subscribe for free and automatic audio downloads at iTunes, just search for "fivekennys"

Friday, April 1, 2011

Video Download

Principles of Faith-based Community Development

What is Integral Mission? What are the goals of the work that we are apart of as Canadian Baptists in places like Eastleigh or in rural communities throughout Eastern and Central Africa?

We wanted to share with you a short video that we made for Saint Stephen's University on principles of development that undergird much of the ministry that we lead with Guardians of Hope and the Iftin Women's Empowerment Program. In the video, we talk about these questions and discuss the framework that shapes much of the ministry that we are a part of in Africa.