Wednesday, September 17, 2008

For Lou Lou

Our neighbor Lou Ann moved away on August 1. She was a dear, sweet friend to us. My boys absolutely loved her and she absolutely adored them. She gave so much joy to our family and we miss her dearly. I could call on her anytime...night or day and she would be there to listen, change a diaper, cook a meal, wrestle with Hudson, rock Jude to sleep and sometimes I even caught her mowing our lawn. She moved to Texas to be close to her sister. It's been almost 2 months now and I still find myself looking out the door waiting for her green truck to pull up. When she calls I put the phone up to Jude's ear and he smiles from ear to ear and tries to talk back to her. She's been emailinng requesting pictures of the boys, so this video is for her from Hudson 'cause I know she misses his sweet little voice, just as much as we miss hers.

Is that Jude Walking?

Jude started taking his first steps at 10 1/2 months. And by 11 months he's cruising around the house. Here's proof. Plus a few extra photos of the boys for those who don't get to see their sweet faces all the time.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Tiger Magic

On September 5, 2008 (Happy Birthday Laurel), on an unusually cool day in Tulsa, we hopped in the car and headed to the Broken Arrow vs. Union game. We traditionally go every single year. Each year, I wonder why we torture ourselves because it has be at least 19 years since Broken Arrow has beat Union. Half time always makes up for the bummer of a game. But this year was different. The streak has been broken and the Tigers clobbered those Redskins!!
24-9! As I sat there watching the game and daydreaming (which I usually do during all sports events) I went back to my high school years. I remembered the lifelong friends that I made that were a family to me when mine was broken. A family that took my hand and put it into the hands of Jesus. They showed me how to be loved and to love as Christ compels us to. I remember those high school years so clearly. I was at every football game because I played the clarinet in the marching band.

**Side note**
And I must take a moment to tell you the Broken Arrow Pride is truly the grandest band in all the land (not just for its honors-we were always the underdog during my years). I made the best of friends and the sweetest of memories while committed to the Pride. Broken Arrow is an unusual school. The band kids aren't outcasts. Most everyone finds their niche and is accepted for who they are. I know, I know they aren't as cool, but they aren't the stereotypical band nerds either. Case in point...on Friday night after the game was over and the crowd rushed the field in great excitement, the football players ran over to the band yelling & cheering, helmets high as the band played the fight song over and over. They appeared to recognize their faithfulness as fans all these years through victories and many defeats.

Anyway, I remember those days when I only knew when to cheer because everyone else around me started to. Or when Betsy, our drum major, raised her arms in preparation for us to play. I used to sit in those bleachers and dream about what my life would be like. The Lord gave me visions that I have seen fulfilled. I graduated from college and spent my short career outside the home serving women and children who were hurting. I am married to the most amazing husband, my best friend, the Christian boy who played the saxophone right alongside me during those years (who taught me a significant lesson about football fields-if you are curious ask me about it sometime). Being blessed with 2 children of my own. Going overseas to serve people for the Lord with my family. I cherished the memories made Friday night, watching Hudson chant "B-A, B-A, Broken Arrow Tigers" with his cousins. Watching Hudson running as fast as he could, tackling Kyle once he was let loose on that giant field. I was in awe as I watched Jude mesmerized at the band's half time performance. Oh, what a faithful God I serve. Thank You for giving me vision, for fulfilling those precious dreams You gave me and for walking with me in times of trial and times of joy. Thank You Jesus for making my life here on this earth so much more beautiful because of your handiwork.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Spiritual Secrets of Hudson Travis

~About 1 month after our neighbor died we were playing in the backyard and Hudson exclaimed,

"I can't wait to see Nora's body!"
Explanation: When I told him she died I said that God was going to give her a new, strong, healthy body.

~On 4th of July we were at a swim party with some of Kyle's colleagues. We walked in the house and Hudson saw a crowd around one of his "grown up" friends, Andrew.

Hudson said, "What's wrong with Andrew?"
Vanessa said, "He hurt his toe."
Hudson said, "Well, I will pray for him."
He proceeded to walk up to Andrew and put his chubby little hand on Andrew's ankle and prayed,

"Dear Jesus, Thank you Lord for Andrew. Thank you Lord for Andrew's toe. Please help him feel better real soon. Amen."

Explanation: Because this was a "doctor party" they had everything to perform a minor surgery on Andrew's toe. He had fallen on a rock and his toenail was about to fall off.

~On the way home one evening after Bible study, I was trying to make some conversation with Hudson.

Vanessa:"Hudson, you know what?"
Hudson: "What mom?"
Vanessa: "Every time we say a prayer God catches it in a big, golden bowl. And saves it forever! Do you want to try?"
Hudson: "No mom, it's really dark outside and He won't be able to see. Can we try it when the sun wakes up?"
Vanessa: "Sure."

Explanation: In the book of Revelation it speaks of God collecting all the prayers, praises and tears of the saints in golden bowls and upon the day of His return they will be poured out as an offering! Sure inspires me to keep praying, even when it feels like no one is listening.

~One afternoon I was trying to finish my Bible study (I had waited until the day of the Bible study to finish the last 3 days of homework.) The kids were crawling all over me and trying really hard to get my undivided attention.

So I finally gave in and took Hudson's hand and started writing on his hand. I wrote, "Mommy, Daddy, Grammy, Papa, Jonah, and Anna"
Hudson: "Mommy, why did you color on my hand?"
Vanessa: "Did you know that when you ask Jesus to come into your heart and decide to follow Him he writes your name on His hand? But when He writes it on His hand it will never, ever, ever be erased? So Mommy, Daddy, Grammy, Papa, Jonah and Anna have all decided to ask Jesus in their hearts and our names our on His hand."
Hudson: "But mom I want Jesus to live in my heart. How can He live in everybody's heart if I want Him to live in mine?"
Vanessa: "Let's ask your dad when he gets home."

~Last funny story...
Hudson was sick today. He really has an amazing warning sense before he's going to throw up. I never have to clean up the mess. I think it's the one good thing about me being so sick when I'm pregnant. He watched me run to the bathroom every time.

Anyway, today he started to feel better and had some food. He asked for another cheese stick. I told him no, too many cheese sticks might make his tummy upset. He started laughing so hard.
Hudson: "Mommy, tummy's don't get upset. Tummy's can't cry!"

Ahhh...these are the days! I treasure these moments that I get to spend with my sweet boys as they grow and ask good questions. Questions that cause me to grow in my faith and really just make me smile a whole lot.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Finally a post from Vanessa

I know, I know it's been forever since I've posted. There are a few of you faithful bloggers and friends who check in hopes that I haven't given up on the blog world. But to tell you the truth life outside of being on global expeditions just doesn't seem as exciting to write about. But here I go anyway.

Life since our return has been a whirlwind to say the least. We hit the road running the day we got back. I think we're just now coming up for air. There have been some family trials...the main one being my sister being diagnosed with breast cancer. She has two children. She is one of the most courageous women I know. Please remember her in your prayers. Another trial and celebration is that my sweet neighbor, Nora went to be with the Lord. She would have been 104 years old on July 27. I sure miss seeing her out working in her garden and sneaking cookies to Hudson through the fence. What a sweet life she lived. Hudson so wants her to come home. What a lesson to learn at the tender age of 3. He's so honest. When we told him about her death, he fought back the tears and sweetly said, "But I will miss her." We told him that we could see her in heaven someday, and that she was with Jesus. He replied, "I just want her to come home."

We just finished what In His Image calls a "retreat". Since Kyle is the chief and I am his wife we had a lot of responsibility. There was much preparation and work involved for us this year. But I think this year is going to be full of the Lord's blessings. Kyle is such a gifted leader and truly pours out everything in himself with the tasks at hand. He received 3rd place for his research! We had a wonderful ladies brunch that I helped plan. Our featured speaker was a sweet lady that is a missionary with 6 children. She truly blessed us with her transparency and encouragement.

We genuinely miss Kenya. What a sweet time we had serving the Lord. I found myself taking walks just to meet people. But it wasn't the same. People here are busy and on a mission of their own. They don't have the time to stop and talk. For example, my car alarm was going off one day. Some sort of malfunction. I couldn't get it to stop or even get my car started. I had both my boys with me on a hot summer day. I found people staring ugly stares at me. I was totally disrupting and annoying them. No one offered to help. I remember in Kenya when we got a flat tire...there were at least 5 people there assisting us with changing the tire. Sure we were white folk and received lots of attention wherever we went. But how often do we see someone here from another culture in need and turn the other way. It was a lesson for me as well as a reminder of the appreciation and love I have for the people of Kenya.

Well we are in the process of planning our next mission trip overseas for February. So my posts will again be adventurous an exciting. Stay tuned. Until then keep checking and I'll try and keep you up with the Jones'.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Final Kenya Update At Last

OK, I know I'm about a month late in adding this last update that I promised, but I suppose it's better late than never. I thought I might cheat a little and copy in the report I wrote to CMDA. It's a pretty good summary of the trip very condensed. Thanks to all who kept in touch with us through the blog. Love you all.

Praise the Lord! God has been so good to the Jones family. We recently returned from our family mission trip to Tenwek Hospital in Kenya, Africa. We are so thankful to God and to all those who supported us on our way. God truly did some amazing things in our hearts and through our hands as we served the people there. We were so impressed with the people of Kenya and felt God’s heart for them to know Him.
During our time there I was able to minister to patients at the 300 bed mission hospital. I was honestly at times overwhelmed with the difficulties of the situations they face. It was hard to see death and sickness every day. Their stories still touch my heart and my soul. I think of a young boy named Kipkorich who was diagnosed with Leukemia and when I met him he had a dangerously low blood level and was bleeding from his nose. He had been sent back from the national hospital because they didn’t have his rare blood type. Praise God that we were able to find him some blood and stop the bleeding. During his stay at our hospital he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior! Praise the Lord for His sovereignty and goodness. It was a joy to share with them the love of Jesus.
Vanessa and the kids had lots of fun as well. Hudson who is 3 was at home right away and made friends wherever he went. There were several other families there with small children so he spent a lot of time outside playing with his new friends. Vanessa and Hudson were able to go to an orphanage to see the work being done and love on the kids for a day. The orphans were so interested in Hudson and his funny looking white skin. Jude our 7 month old also did great even on the long plane rides. The Kenyan women loved to pat his little head. Vanessa also got to go to the hospital to hold the little babies in the nursery and pray over them. She loved it! Overall, we felt like Tenwek was a great environment for our family and we could see ourselves really thriving there.
There are so many other stories and thoughts to share. We covet your prayers as we seek God for further direction for our future. We are praying about what God would have us do after I finish my Family Medicine residency next year June 2009. Tenwek Hospital interestingly was in need of family doctors to help continue their family medicine training program. Maybe God had more in mind for us than just a short-term trip. May God bless you.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Home Soon!

We're coming home soon! We will be flying in from Dallas Fort Worth on American Airlines and are scheduled to arrive on Tuesday April 29th at 6:25 pm. We had a good day today with a nice time for processing some of the things that went on this month with some of the other visiting physicians and one of the missionary couples. It was a great time of sharing some of the highs and lows, dreams and visions. Tonight the German medical students in the guest house have made us some traditional German food and they are ready to start soon. I will post again hopefully soon to give more details and wrap up some of our thoughts about our time here.

9:08 am Tuesday, April 29th
A quick update from Kelly:

I just checked their flight from London to Dallas and it looks like they left 2 hours late. This will put them in Dallas too late to make the connecting flight from Dallas to Tulsa. It is possible they will make up for lost time in the air, but I don't know. Most likely, they will have to catch the next flight out of Dallas. It looks like there is a flight leaving Dallas at 7:00pm and one that leaves at 8:25. I will keep you posted.

6:29 pm Tuesday, April 29th
Kyle, Vanessa, Hudson and Jude are on the 7:00 flight from Dallas to Tulsa. They should arrive at 8:00. We are still waiting to see it mom and dad (Travis and Marlene) make it on that flight - they are currently on standby.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pray with Me

Well we have had a good week here at Tenwek and our time is coming near to the end. Before we left we had some things that we definitely wanted to fit in. On Wednesday Travis and I went out with the Community Health team to a little village about an hour away. Of course the ride was adventerous with 9 of us piled in a Land Rover on bumpy roads. When we got there we saw a simple building with 4 locked doors. We found out that the man that had the key went into town and wouldn't be back until he was done with his business. Oh well we said, we'll just have the clinic outside. The people must wait until they see the car coming because there was no one there initially. We made use of the time by getting a tour of the village and the local high school. They wanted to hear from the white people that came to their little village so all the high school kids gathered outside so we could speak with them. It was fun to share with them about our lives and our relationship with Christ which was the real reason we had come to Kenya. I shared with them about how to make good choices by repeating something I have probably heard my dad share a thousand times. Before making a decision you must ask yourself how it affects God, others and you. There is so much HIV/AIDS in Africa so it was good to be able to encourage the young kids to stay pure in their relationships. By the time we got back the clinic was full and we had a good time seeing the babies, giving shots and doing check-ups for the pregnant moms. Dad was in charge of praying for the moms before they left. We had a great time.
That same afternoon Vanessa got to go with some of the missionary ladies to a local women's ministry gathering. The Kenyan ladies had a big special event planned for one of the missionary ladies who will be going on furlough soon. Vanessa said it was so special to see how they welcomed them in to the area with singing, hugs and little gifts. Then they each shared how God had impacted their life personally through the study group. Praise God for the strong women's ministry going on. Vanessa said she could see herself really enjoying that kind of work. She also thought that next time we have guests at TBC we should welcome them with loud singing, hugs and gifts.
Hudson had a great time with his new pet Salamander that he and Papa found. We played with it all day and then finally let it go back to it's home. It walked so slow and would just walk up your arm and crawl in your hair. Hudson thought it was so cool and a little tickly.
The work at the hospital continues to be tough but rewarding. I enjoy teaching the interns and learning from them as well every day. They are truly amazing people and the patients are so sweet. I have been working mostly in Pediatrics which has been bitter-sweet. I love taking care of the little ones and seeing them get stronger each day. There are still tough moments when there is nothing more that we can do. Currently there is a boy that we are treating for Acute Leukemia. He really needs chemotherapy, but his blood levels have been so low because of recurrent severe nose bleeds. He has a rare blood type that has been difficult to find. Pray that his condition will stabilize and we will be able to transfer him to another facility tomorrow. His name is "Kip" for short. His picture is above which I took right after we finally were able to stop his latest nose bleed. I told him that I would show the picture to my friends in America and that they would pray for Him. Praise God that he did accept Jesus Christ into his life yesterday.
Well I should go to bed. I will be on call for the last time tomorrow and then I have the weekend off. We plan to teach the children in Sunday School and visit another Kenyan church. May God bless you all.
P.S. Happy Birthday Missy! We love you.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Day Trips!

We had an amazing weekend! We finally were around to explore the beauty of Tenwek. There is an incredible water fall that generates power for the hospital and surrounding areas. We were filled with visions of young and old carrying huge packs on their backs up an down this hill/mountain. It was so picture perfect.

On Sunday we were given the honor of attending a nationals church. The genuine sincerity of their service was heart warming. They had one instrument, a keyboard. We were very late (because the Matatu-taxi) was late. We came in and I hurriedly sat down next to my husband. Kyle whispered to me..."Look, I think you are supposed to be sitting over there." The women and the men sat on separate sides of the sanctuary. I was emabarrased and immediately got up and sat on the other side. Marlene whispered to me, "I thought you may have just been trying to be rebelious." Most of you know that is not me at all. We were then each asked to give a word to the congregation. I spent some time outside with Hudson and Jude. Most of the children followed me. It was fun. Neither of us understood a word the other was saying, but each of us were filled with joy and entertainment as we sat and played together. This was the first day that I saw Hudson growing a little weary of all the attention. He didn't want his photo taken and he seemed a little hesitant to play and sing as normal, because he always has an audience.

We were then invited to have lunch at Alfred's home. Alfred is an intern here at Tenwek that Kyle has been working with. He actually was his doctor for a week as Alfred had malaria. Alfred has a beautiful wife, Florence and two children Abigail 5 and Lucas 2. We were treated like such royalty. It was a humbling experience as their nephew came around to us with a sports coat on with a pitcher of water and a bowl for us to wash our hands. Florence prepared a beef stew with rice and chipates. She never made it to eat with us. The reason why...I found her in her kitchen. Her kitchen consists of a hut with a wood fire in which she has 2 pots to prepare things with. She washes her dishes behind the hut with a water spout. There is a tiny little bed for Lucas to lay in there...I guess she spends quite a bit of time there. They grow crops on their land that helps to support their family. They have a great vision for their community. They are trying to reach the young people so that they can reach their parents. There is an alcohol problem in the area. On our walk to his home we encounter 2 very drunk people. They also plan to give their land to be used for a children's home as their is a growing number of orphans due to AIDS and alcholoism. Behind them lives a 100 year old lady. She was so joyful and beautiful. She reminded me so much of our sweet, 103 year old neighbor Nora. She has physical and mental strength. She was truly honored to have us visit them. She said in all her years she had not had a "Wazungo" (white person) visit her home. Again we are taught something so huge about the culture and how much we have to learn. I pray that I show as much love, hospitatlity and honor to those that step foot in my home. By the way...Florence finally joined us for chai and we had a sweet time of prayer for them and their community.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Great Times at Tenwek

We have had a meaningful and fun week with many highlights. We had 3 Kenyan interns over for dinner on Tuesday night. It was a sweet time of fellowship. They are such a kind and genuine people. They even ate all their American food filled plates. It was a sweet time of fellowship as we shared our hearts and prayed for each other. I encouraged them to continue to be bold and combine their faith with their medicine. They shared their faith building experiences when they were bold and took the time to share the love of Jesus with their patients. Since my time here I have seen that sometimes the doctors are less active at sharing Christ with their patients and tend to rely heavily on the chaplains. By God's grace if anything I pray that they might be renewed in their vision of Christ centered patient care. It certainly makes the long rounds, difficult patient cases, limited resources worth it when we can also be involved in Kingdom work.

Wednesday we hosted the weekly Bible study while the long term missionaries were away. We had a most amazing time of worship. Everyone was on their feet dancing to the Kenyan worship songs. We then opened the Word and I was able to lead the group in a study on God's heart for the nations throughout scripture from Genesis to Revelation. We broke up into small groups and prayed for the nations. It was such a sweet time and a taste of heaven.

Today Vanessa, Hudson and Marlene were able to go to an orphanage about 2 hours away on a very bumpy road. Apparently they had quite an adventure with getting stuck in mud 3 times, 1 flat tire in the rain and 4 grown adults in the back seat of a small car. When they got there Hudson was the biggest hit of all. The kids were so enamered with his white skin and fun personality. When they left the kids asked if Hudson could stay with them. Vanessa was a little hesitant to leave him of course. They have some great needs there like fresh water tanks, mattresses, school uniforms or maybe even a cow to provide them with milk. Might be a nice Sunday School project.

Please continue to pray for us and the people here. Thanks.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Tale of Two Birthdays

On April 10, 1979 I came into the world. Strong and healthy. My mom always told me I was "right on time". She missed a concert because she thought "surely this baby won't come on the due date". But I did. You could say I was predictable from birth. I have walked a fairly narrow path with few surprises. That is why it is no surprise that I celebrated my birthday here in Kenya with some very sweet people. The day started off a little rough. I was grumpy. I was up every hour the night before either nudging Kyle to go answer the phone (he was on call) or feeding Jude. But my sweet mother in law woke up with a servant's heart. She and Hudson excitedly made me a cake. I even was able to take a nap that afternoon. We invited all the visiting doctors and the Kenyan residents to attend my birthday party. We would serve the traditional chai tea and eat a scrumptious cake. But things turned out a little differently. Kyle did not come home for lunch. We later heard that at around 10:30 am Rosalyn was scheduled for an elective c-section. Rosalyn has lost 3 babies and they were hoping to prevent death by delivering 2 weeks early. Kyle was responsible for taking care of the baby once delivered. Little baby Hope was born. She did not look well. Kyle then began resucitating the baby. He bagged her for approximately 3 hours because they did not have another ventilator machine. At one point Hope made some efforts to breath and we were praying for a miracle. Things looked good for a while. Kyle came home for dinner. But the birthday party was low attended and some seemed a little sad. We later found out that baby Hope had taken a turn for the worse. Another one of the visiting doctors took care of her until 11:30pm. But Jesus loved her so much he took her home to be with him. When the doctor (Christina) told Rosalyn what had happened, tears streaming down her face, Rosalyn began to pray for her. We came to Kenya to give light, and love and hope of Jesus to them, but instead this is what they have given us. So, it is no accident that I was here on this birthday because now I will never take for granted another birthday I have been given. Each day is a gift. Every moment with my husband and family I will treasure. There are now 2 baby Hopes I can't wait to meet in heaven. Both have impacted the lives of so many in the short time they were here. It wasn't the happiest of birthdays, but it was very significant and one that I will never forget. Thank you to all that wished me well. I love you all very much. It is such an encouragement to us when you read, post and pray. Thank you faithful family and friends.

On a lighter note...we went on a little weekend safari. We saw lots of exotic animals. Kyle even petted a baby Rhino. Kyle spotted a lion from a far distance and we drove right next to it (5 feet away). It was amazing. The boys loved it. We'll try and post pictures as soon as we can.

I also got to go to the hospital NICU last week and hold some premature babies. It was such a sweet time to pray for them as I know the Lord has good plans for their lives.

We are all doing well and miss you very much!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

First Week in Tenwek

Wow, so much has happened in the last week. We have gotten our email established now so we may be able to post updates more often. We flew in to where the hospital is located in beautiful Bomet. We were greeted on the gravel/grass runway by a large group of local Kenyans. They really liked to see their picture in the amazing digital camera. The pilot said we were fortunate because normally there are cows grazing on the runway. Eventually someone came to pick us up and take us to the hospital. Our apartment in the guest house is very nice and the boys are sleeping somewhat better. They gave me a short hospital orientation that afternoon and the next day I was placed in charge of the medical ward which was an amazing and overwhelming expierence. They gave me 3 Kenyan interns that I was to be over. They are wonderful and probably teach me more than I teach them. I was also on call that first day. I realized right away how difficult it is to work in this environment. Patients die every day and my first night we actually had 3 babies that passed away. Honestly, those first few days I told Vanessa I am not sure I even want to do medical missions anymore. There are so many needs and often so few resources. Ultimately, I was reminded that what they really need is the Lord and for someone to tell them about him.

Vanessa and the boys are adjusting well to Kenyan life. They take walks everyday and find new people to talk and play with. Of course, Hudson never meets a stranger and everyone loves to pet Jude's little head. Vanessa has really enjoyed visiting with the local missionary wives and seeing what it's like to raise kids in this environment. I started working in the newborn nursery today and have found some baby's that are in need of some extra love and care so she will be helping out in that way and others such as helping teach Sunday school to about 50 Kenyan kids at the local church.

My parents did arrive safely and are enjoying their time very much. I sent dad today to work with the chaplains at the hospital and he fit right in, shared Bible verses and the gospel and at least 1 man prayed to receive Christ. I know he and mom will have a tremendous ministry here.

Well, I better wrap it up for now. Please pray for us, especially over the next couple of weeks as we found out when we got here that this was the month that pretty much all the missionaries are taking their annual retreat and myself, 3 other visiting physicians and the Kenyan interns will be manning the hospital. He is faithful. God bless.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Fun in Nairobi

We've had an amazing, jam-packed last 2 days! We visited our first African church. It was a sweet and refreshing time with beautiful Kenyan voices singing loudly to the Lord. The pastor spoke frankly regarding the recent crisis and the church's responsibility. We prayed for the nation of Kenya. Please pray for them as well. The Kenyan people were so hospitable. Hudson threw up all his breakfast in the back of the church and they were there right away to help us clean it up. He still perservered and attended children's church and had a blast! Even though he is frowning in the picture. We were then invited for some Kenyan tea in a shed behind the church. Kyle and I are growing and learning new things from the Lord each and everyday. We are challenged by the missionaries we meet to serve selflessly and be good stewards of our time and money. We proceeded to have some authentic Ethiopian food that we had to eat with our fingers! Today we did all sorts of touristy things. Visited the swanky mall, the giraffe conservation park, the safari walk and a local bead factory store. We were exhausted. I'm continually amazed at how God has given us such flexible kids. Jude still struggles in the evenings-keep praying for him. Tomorrow we head out to Tenwek by plane. We are so excited to begin serving. We may not be able to post the next couple of days. Until then we are praying for you all too!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Day at Kijabe

Today we drove to the edge of the great Rift Valley to visit the Kijabe Hospital and Rift Valley Acadamy. I was able to meet 2 of the missionary doctors that work there and I was so encouraged to see the incredible work that they are doing there. Of course they mentioned that they will be running short on family physicians with 2 of them leaving later this year. Hudson made friends right away with Joanna, a 3 year old little African girl adopted by 1 of the doctors. Jude was very content and happy the whole trip, much better than last night when he decided to not go to sleep until about 5am. We would appreciate prayers for jet lag. Thanks and God bless.

Friday, March 28, 2008

We Made It!

Praise God we arrived safe in Kenya with all our bags and everything. Hudson and Jude were great world travellers. We will spend these first few days with my Uncle Marv and Aunt Jan, missionaries here with Africa Inland Mission, and head out to Tenwek on Tuesday. We plan to visit the Kijabe Hospital tomorrow and hopefully see some real animals as well here in Nairobi. Please pray for our time with the local missionaries to be an encouragement to them and us. God bless.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Up and Away!

A quick update from Kelly(Kyle's sister)...

Some of you may have seen on the news that American Airlines cancelled 200 of their flights this morning. The first flight of the trip to Kenya was one of them. Kyle, Vanessa and the boys along with Travis and Marlene (mom and dad) were supposed to leave at 12:45 this afternoon on a flight to Chicago. When they found out the flight was cancelled, they quickly scrambled to find another flight to Chicago. The only flight they could get on left at 10:35 this morning. They quickly packed everything in the car and rushed to the airport to make the flight and they did! The rest of their itinerary should be the same. I just talked to them on the phone and it looks like the flight to London will not be a full one, so they should have a little room to stretch out. Hudson and Jude both did great on the flight from Tulsa to Chicago. Pray that they do just as well on the rest of the flights. Pray also that none of their luggage gets lost since they had to do all the last minute shuffling around with flights. Here is a picture of them before they left the Tulsa Airport this morning...

Kenya or Bust!

As we furiously pack our belongings to set up home in a distant land, our hearts race with excitement to see what the Lord has in store for our family on this trip to Kenya! Hudson said, "Mommy, maybe we can see heaven and Jesus from the airplane." And I thought, I sure hope we take every moment to see Jesus each and every step of the way. We pray He will use us to further His kingdom in a mighty way! Please continue to pray for us as we travel. Here is our itenerary:

Leave Tulsa: 12:45pm (March 26)
Arrive in Chicago: 2:35pm
Depart Chicago: 6:25pm
Arrive in London: 7:20am (March 27)
Depart London:10:05am
Arrive in Nairobi: 9:30pm

Praise the Lord that He provided financially for our entire trip! Thank you to all who generously gave to this mission trip. Thank you all who faithfully prayed for us! Words are not enough to express our gratitude. We love you and will keep you posted as often as we can.

Here is our address in Kenya:
Tenwek Hospital
P.O. Box 39
Bomet, Kenya
East Africa

Monday, February 18, 2008

Please Pray for Us

To Kenya We Go

Dear family and friends,
We are writing to inform you of our family’s upcoming trip to serve at Tenwek Hospital in Bomet, Kenya March 26-April 29, 2008. We have been planning this trip for some time now and are excited about what God is going to do in and through us for His glory. It is especially exciting to be able to trust Him with everything that has been going on in Kenya recently. As you may know, the once peaceful, democratic country of Kenya has recently been through a terrible time of violence and ethnic hatred centered around the recent political election. The election triggered violence killing more than 1,000 people and displacing 300,000. Currently peace negotiations are underway between the two groups and violence appears to be subsiding.
Kyle’s Uncle Marv is currently serving in Nairobi, Kenya and we hope to spend some time initially visiting with him. He has kept us up to date with what is going on and has been positive that it is still safe for missionaries. Honestly, as we heard of the news and prayed about what we should do it was an incredible opportunity for us to really hear from the Lord and rest in His perfect will for us. There is no safer place to be. We feel this is an amazing time for us to go and serve the people in Kenya that have experienced so much hurt in the last few months.
Kyle will mostly be working in the hospital and ministering to the Kenyan medical interns who are in training. The hospital is on a missionary center with many other activities and ministries going on as well. Vanessa plans to volunteer at the hospital, spend time with the local women and children, and maybe do some village outreach trips. We are confident that Hudson (3 yrs old), with his fun-loving, “rarely meets a stranger” personality will make many friends. And sweet, Jude (6 mos.) is sure to attract some attention with his contagious smile. We are so excited to be taking this journey as a family. Not only will our kids be there, but Kyle’s parents, Travis and Marlene will be joining us as well. What a blessing!
For those who are interested in supporting us through prayer and finances we would appreciate your help. The total cost of our trip will be approximately $8500. There is an account set up for us at World Medical Mission. Make checks payable to “World Medical Mission” and write our account #003531/Kyle & Vanessa Jones in the memo line. The check can be sent to World Medical Mission, P.O. Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607.
We would love to keep you informed while we are in Kenya. Send us an email at and we will send you updates on our journey. Thank you so much for sharing in the ministry that God has called us.
In Christ Alone,
Kyle, Vanessa, Hudson & Jude Jones