Partners and Friends,
Greetings from Nairobi. We returned to Kenya in late July after 10 weeks in the States. We are always grateful for the chance to get home, be with family, and to connect with so many of you. Though, this trip wasn’t without its challenges. My extended family contracted Covid while we were home, and Sophie and Ethan both tested positive. Fortunately, both kids had mild cases, but we still lost some of our time as we needed to isolate and quarantine with them. My extended family wasn’t as fortunate, as several had very serious battles with the disease. We are grateful that we were able to be there to support and care for them and that everyone has recovered, though some are still facing some extended effects. Please pray for them. At the time, Jessica and I had just received our second vaccine dose so, fortunately, we were able to avoid contracting it.
Despite the challenges that this created, we still had incredible times connecting with our families and were able to visit many churches and partners, though there is never enough time to visit as many as we would like.
Since our return to Kenya, we have hit the ground running and we have many exciting developments to share with you.
Update from Jamie: In addition to serving as the People to People Coordinator for East Africa and our Development and Relief work through our network of partners, Jamie has agreed to give a portion of time developing a Service Learning program at Rosslyn Academy. This is a great opportunity to connect Rosslyn students and community with opportunities to build relationship, serve and learn from ministries and organizations throughout Kenya, while also providing similar benefits to these communities.
Update from Jessica: Things are going well in my role at Rosslyn Academy. The school year started off quite busy in one of my roles as the Transition Coordinator. We onboarded 27 new staff members this school year. It was a joy to welcome so many new wonderful staff members, but also a lot to navigate logistically. Following this the school year kicked into high gear, with many of our annual events returning after a hiatus due to Covid. Covid continues to limit us in some ways as a school, but we are experiencing more normalcy in our operations than we did last year. My job at Rosslyn is multi-faceted, but I enjoy the diversity and challenges that each new month brings.
Update from Sophie: I am in the 6th grade now, so I am in Middle School! It was a big change for me at first, but now I have gotten used to it and I really like it. It gives me a lot of fun opportunities. I sing on the MS Worship Team and I am in the 6th grade choir. I also play on the 6th grade basketball team every Tuesday-Thursday. I still play piano and I am learning to play chords and transpose songs. Another great thing about MS is clubs. I am in the photography club and I have realized that I love taking pictures! Recently we went camping at Ol Pejeta. It was a cool experience because Elephants came to our camp! We also saw many other animals like rhino, giraffe, gazelle, impala, and lost of buffalos.
Update from Ethan: I am in the 4th grade now. I really like my teachers and I have good friends in my class. I play soccer intramurals on Monday, but it will soon change to basketball. I also take drum lessons on Mondays. On Saturday I do Ambassadors soccer. One thing that I have recently been enjoying is skateboarding. My friend’s Dad built some ramps for us to use, and there is a cool skatepark in Nairobi now. Our family camped at Ol Pejeta and we got to pet a rhino named Baraka!
Annual Christmas Project
Each year we provide gifts and celebratory meals for the children and staff of our partner feeding programs. We are in the process of planning for this year’s project and ironing out the details. This is a major project for us each year and requires a considerable amount of funds (typically between $6,500 – $8,000). If you are interested in assisting with this project, you can make a contribution here: https://give.iphc.org/missionary/james-and-jessica-dunning (use the Dunning Jamie Ministry tab).
We greatly appreciate it! You can see the update on last year’s project here: https://dunningsinkenya.com/2021/01/05/christmas-project-2020-recap/
Project and Ministry Updates
Smile Star’d Days 4 Girls Enterprise
The Smile Star’d Enterprise is continuing to grow, now employing 26 people! They continue to make reusable sanitary pad kits for young girls, and they have also started making masks, rain jackets, and school uniforms. This enterprise is self-sustained and predominantly supported by other organizations (Days 4 Girls, DoTerra), but we have been partnering with the Director, Alice, for many years on a variety of projects and programs. We have been able to assist this enterprise with micro-loans, orders, and, most recently, with a building expansion to accommodate the growing enterprise.
Hosanna Dairy Project Expansion
The Dairy Project has continued to expand and grow, now boasting a heard of 10 cows! This growth led to the need for a new, modern shed and feeding area. This project is nearing completion and we will have an official dedication in the coming weeks. We are grateful for the success of this project that continues to provide for all of the children’s dairy needs, as well as generates income for the home.
Mtampani Irrigation/Agriculture Project
The 6th Village Irrigation/Agriculture project in Tana River was recently completed! This is in a small community called Mtampani. This project will provide a reliable water source, the ability to produce food for the community, the dignity and purpose that comes through meaningful work, and open doors for Grace (community leader) and Bocha (our partner and colleague) to share their faith and love with the community. Jamie will be visiting the site in the coming weeks.
Ramada Water Project
The community of Ramada (not the hotel) is located close enough to town that they receive municipal water, however, the water is unreliable. We were able to provide a large storage tank so that the community can take advantage of the water when it is available and have access when it isn’t. Like our other community initiatives, this project is giving individuals a constant source of water, while opening tremendous relational doors for us and our partners.
Western Kenya Trip
Last week, Jamie was able to take a long road trip around Western Kenya, visiting many of our partners and programs. So much of this relational aspect of our ministry suffered due to the Covid Pandemic restrictions, so it is truly a gift to see the return of a bit of normalcy. It is a gift and a blessing to be able to drive around this beautiful country, to sit and share a meal or cup of tea, to encourage one another, and to celebrate and dream together.
PWF Development and Relief Summit in Finland
Jamie had the opportunity to travel to Helsinki, Finland, for the 2nd PWF Development and Relief Partners Summit. It was a great opportunity to grow and learn from other practitioners and organizations and to prayerful consider how our agencies can better network and support one another. The first summit was in OKC in January 2020.
- For the country of Kenya, and all nations that lack adequate access, to gain greater access to Covid vaccines.
- That we would love God and others as He loves us, and that we will be faithful in all the areas that we are being called.
- For continued direction and wisdom in our work.
- For our marriage to grow stronger every day.
- For Sophie and Ethan…that they will feel a meaningful connection to our ministry and that they both will grow to love and follow Jesus.
- For the Nation of Kenya, and the individuals, ministries, communities and churches that we have partnerships with.
- For our extended families as they live life without having us and the kids nearby.
- For good health, safety and protection.
Can we pray for you? Please send us your requests at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We love and appreciate you all! Your support, prayers, and encouragement mean everything to us. Thank you for partnering with us.
Grace and Peace,
Jamie, Jessica, Sophie and Ethan