Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I know, I know 6 weeks in between blog entries is unacceptable! So we will give you a rundown of just the highlights and hope for a quicker entry next time.

Isaac turned 1 on May 31st!

It seems like just yesterday he was surprising us all and coming a month early. He still brings such joy to all he meets. He lights up any room he enters. We celebrated by going to Nairobi. We ate at the Simba saloon where they serve wild game. Then we took Isaac and the boys to meet the giraffes at the giraffe center. It was so fun! He also just started walking last night! It’s not just 1 or 2 steps, but like 10 or 15!


We moved to another house on the missionary compound. It has been a great move for us. The house is the biggest house we’ve ever lived in. We even have 2 bathrooms. The view is incredible from our backyard and we even have a swing set now! We’ve been painting and my friend Amanda has been helping me with some d├ęcor. So pictures will come when it is complete I promise. For now here is a preview of the view from our backyard. I know you all are on expedia.com right now booking your flights for a visit toKenya!


We have 2 tortoises now. The first is named Toby and the 2nd is Goliath. A man from the valley came all the way up here in hopes of selling some turtles he captured in order to buy food for his family. We happily accepted these low maintenance pets.


Jude gave up his paci and is doing just fine without it. Grandparents have been praying for this one for a while J!


Kyle has been preaching a lot lately. He was able to preach on father’s day and encourage the father’s in Kenya to look to our Heavenly Father to guide them as they lead their families. He did an incredible job! He has been invited several other times to preach as well. We are so thankful the Lord is allowing us to invest spiritually to our community here. We are continually being stretched to serve beyond our own abilities.

Ladies Bible Study

I have been desiring to start a Bible study for my Kenyan friends since we arrived. The Lord opened the door just within this last month and we had an incredible turn out and the women seem to be hungry for the Word and to fellowship with one another! Christina has helped me get it going and I’m so thankful for her friendship. We also started a study for just the missionary women on the compound. It is encouraging. It also helps me feel a little less lonely at times when we get together and study the Word with each other.

Duininck Girls

We welcomed our first visitors from America! Emily and Hanna arrived on July 2! They both have naturally fit in and have been such servants here in Kapsowar. Emily is working hard in the hospital teaching the nurses some excellent nursing skills. Hanna has also spent some time at the hospital, but a lot of time here with me and the boys. She has an incredible energy and gift for teaching. Hudson loves it when she teaches him school! We stay up late talking, playing games or watching movies! I’m really enjoying having some girls around!

Pokot land here we come again!

Kyle spearheaded another trip to the valley to minister to the Pokot people. We had a team of 18 go this time. Including Christina, the OBGYN, 3 nurses, vaccinations, surgical specialist surveying needs for cleft palate repair (we have a grant that allows us to do the surgery here for free), pharmacy and local missionaries and pastors! We stayed the night this time. We had a full day of clinic and Kyle was able to encourage the elders of the Pokot church with the Word by fireside the night following the clinic. He did an amazing job. We have located some more Bibles in their language to distribute to them the next time we come. The translation was just completed last September. We definitely feel the Lord moving there and in our hearts to continue to serve this underserved community.

Homegoing of Grandpa Smith

We received word just before we left for our outreach trip that Kyle’s Grandpa Smith passed on into Glory! It was so very hard for us to be away from family during this time. Kyle’s grandpa was an amazing servant of Christ. He had a passion for the underserved and unreached peoples of the world. He translated the New Testament into the Chinantec language (a remote tribe in Mexico). He and Grandma have inspired us to obey the Lord’s calling in our lives to go to the Nations and preach Christ! We thought we would best honor his name by continuing our trip to the Pokot people and serve them and teach them from the Word of God. We promised the next time we came we would bring Bibles in dedication to Paul Smith, our beloved Grandpa who is now singing praises to our Lord with people from the Chinantec tribe! Our prayer is that Pokot believers will join Him in Glory as well as their lives are touched by God’s Word.

We miss you all so very much! Thanks for not forgetting about us! We remember you in our prayers and are so thankful for your friendship and partnership!


Learning 4 Life said...

You have so much going on it's amazing that you even have time to post! Thank you so much for sharing your story with the rest of us. I have been praying for your family since I heard about Kyle's grandfather (I read about it on Kelly's blog). You will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. God bless. Your work in Kenya is very inspiring. Thank you.

Dana said...

Precious pictures! Your boys look so much alike! I was thinking about you guys with Kyle's grandpa's passing. We are still praying for you and love the updates. Those tortoises are so neat!

Mary Lynne said...

Thanks for updating us Van & Kyle! Love hearing about all you are doing & all the Lord is doing through ya'll!!

NHP said...

I was just thinking it was time for an update and I am so thankful each time their are new pictures and praise reports to read about.
My heart both hurts and rejoices for your loss. That is so hard. But I did read on Marlene's FB that they were singing together to the Lord as he went to be with Him. What an awesome testimony to others!
Your family looks amazing, healthy and Vanessa, you look esp beautiful! Healthy glow of the Lord : )

Who did you all use to book your flights? With all the travel we will do next year on this one trip, we really need a travel agent. Do you know of one?
We love you and pray for you.
Hugs and Kisses to you all!

Amanda said...

I am just so thankful for all that is happening in your life. I pray you enjoy your time with Emily and Hanna. They are so precious. I miss you a lot, and it is so great to see your smiling face even if only in a picture. Your boys are SO big. Hudson looks so grown up, and his baby cheeks are gone. :( Yea for Jude and the paci! Next week, Lucy starts speech therapy, and I'm hoping as she learns more words we can communicate better and we can get rid of her paci. :) I love you.

Unknown said...

The amazing adventure continues. . . so good to see all those smiling faces!

Travis and Marlene said...

I love all the pictures! Sure miss all of you!
So,let us know, how can we contribute for the Bibles for the Pokot people?
Love and Hugs to all!

Christina (Kelley) Lenington said...

It's so wonderful to see what the Lord is doing through your lives! Thanks for devoting your lives to His service. Kyle, your boys look just like you! :)