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Rain in the Desert

 It rained in Kakuma refugee camp last night and this morning, transforming the dusty semi desert into a mud'n puddle fest. Rains don't fall often, but when they do, life slows down as moving around the camp becomes tough.

We are thankful for our partner, National Council of Churches Kenya (NCCK), and their transportation services! Their UN Land Cruisers got our team to the church on time this morning to continue with trauma care and theological training of refugee pastors.

We plan to visit our friends in the nearby camp for internally displaced Kenyans (IDP) this afternoon as well to follow up on some projects there (shelters, income-generation, and water). We're thankful to everyone who partners with us to make this ministry possible!

Click here to see a 30 second video clip showing our ride through the mud and water in the camp this morning.

Strengthening Faith

The refugee church plays an essential role in helping people survive and recover from forced displacement. That's one reason we are partnering with refugee churches in ways that strengthen their leaders and communities. We're doing that this week by responding to their request to bring theological and trauma care training.

Professor George Kalantzis from Wheaton College launched into the deep end with a hand picked group of refugee church leaders here this morning. Together the group is learning to think critically about why they believe what they believe and how to understand Scripture by understanding its context.

Leaders from Sudan, DR Congo, Ethiopia and Kenya are among the mix. Professor Kalantzis is a Greek. Jenny Hwang (here from Wheaton's Humanitarian Disaster Institute) is first generation American Korean. It's wonderful to be going deep, seeking truth, together as one body.

Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers and IAFR donors contributing to the Bibles for Refugees project as they have together made it possible for these pastors to have NLT Study Bibles - a wonderful resource in this remote place. We also thank Biblica for providing Study Bible Guides to help the pastors learn how to get the most from their Study Bibles.

Click here to see more photos and stories from our visit to Kakuma.

Greetings from Kakuma

I visited friends from Somalia and DR Congo before sunset tonight. It’s always good to just sit and talk about life -especially in a refugee camp. Cold Cokes appeared out of nowhere and soon we were talking about everything from surviving bomb attacks, the challenges of keeping in touch with family separated by continents, health concerns, the weather (looks like rain) and even photography.

At some point a boy asked if he could take a picture of his friend using my camera. I showed him how it worked and he quickly snapped this photo. It is the best picture my camera took today.

He then wanted a photo together with me. I handed the camera over to a clothing designer (refugee) from DR Congo who snapped the picture below (I’m the white guy). The boy made me promise to bring a print for him when I next visit.

These things might not sound special to many people – but people here don’t take them for granted. Little things matter a lot. Taking the time to sit, listen and share and pray and take photos are all re-humanizing for people in this forgotten refugee camp in remote northwestern Kenya.

Click here to follow our trip blog and see more stories and photos from Kakuma refugee camp.

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