Touching lives in Kenya

Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Kirsten and her Nehemiah team standing at the equator.
Photos provided

Kirsten Adcock of Manila spent two months on a missionary trip to Kenya during her summer break from Arkansas State University. The experience has inspired her in numerous ways. She said she definitely left a piece of her heart in Kenya and hopes to some day be able to return.

Kirsten, daughter of Michael and Mitzi Adcock of Manila, is a 2014 graduate of Manila High School and a super senior at Arkansas State University. She is majoring in physical education.

Kirsten has always enjoyed traveling with her family and has had the opportunity to join other members of the Manila First Baptist Church on two seven day missionary trips to Nicaragua.

Kirsten Adcock kissing a giraffe while in Kenya.

When she heard about the Nehemiah Team affiliated with the International Mission Board (IMB), she felt a calling. The missionary trip is centered around Camp BlueSky, a Christian camp located on the outskirts of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

“I started fund raising for the trip and it all came together,” Kirsten said. “I appreciate everyone who helped me. I know God provided.”

Kirsten served as counselor working with 8-11 year old campers. The junior and senior camp was open to 7-18 year olds. The five day camp had a different group each week. There are six sessions of camp each summer.

Rafting on the Tana River. Kirsten is in the very front of the raft.

“We took our training in Alabama and arrived during the second week of camp,” Kirsten said.

The trip started with training in Alabama; flying to Atlanta, Miami, London and then on to Kenya. Due to a delay in Miami they missed their flight in London and the trip took a few hours longer making it a 48 hour flight.

In addition to the camp, the leaders had the opportunity to spend three weeks sight-seeing and shadowing different ministries. They had the opportunities to work with missionaries.

Making friends.

She said during their sight-seeing time they got to go on the two day Maasal Mara National Reserve safari. The group saw four of the big five including lions, leopards, elephants and buffalo. They missed the rhinoceros but they did get to see giraffes, monkeys, antelopes and many other animals. She also got to go rafting on the Tana River.

They visited the International City Schools and village schools.

“The students were very welcoming and friendly,” Kirsten said.

Standing at the border of Kenya and Tanzania with the BlueSky team

During the camp days Kirsten had the opportunity to meet campers from all backgrounds including Christian, Muslim and atheist. Many missionary kids attended.

“On the last night of camp, I had a a girl come up to me and ask 'how do you know when Jesus is calling you by name,'” Kirsten said. “I was able to share with her my experience. I have had several message me and keep in touch. By keeping in touch I know the seed that was planted is being watered.”

The group lived in cabins, washed their clothes by hand at the camp. While they were traveling, they camped, stayed in village homes, slept on concrete floors and loved every minute of the journey.

Having some fun with the kids at the village school.

The seven girls on the missionary team included three others from Arkansas State University, one from Tennessee, one from Alabama and one from Louisiana. They became good friends as they made the 8,000 mile trip together.

“Some of the campers made fun of my southern accent,” Kirsten said. “All of the campers spoke fluent English. When we visited some of the villages we heard Swahili but most could speak English and we did not need a translator."

July is the coldest month, but it did not get too cold.

Opening ceremony of camp - Camp BlueSky.

Kirsten will be sharing her story and pictures with Manila First Baptist Church and Caraway First Baptist Church. She loves to talk about the trip.

“The experience was life changing,” Kirsten said. “It was humbling and I am so thankful for the opportunity. Emotionally and physically I am still adjusting to being home. I know there will be more callings for me in the future.”

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