We hope that you are all doing well. As you are entering into the summer months in the States, things are cooling down in Nairobi, with the “winter” months approaching. We use the term winter loosely as the coolest nights are in the 50’s. This summer we are staying in Kenya and are looking forward to hosting several groups of visitors. It will be a busy, but good couple of months. We hope you enjoy the update below about what we have been up to since our last newsletter. We love and appreciate you all so much.
The last couple of months have been quite eventful for our family. We celebrated our 11-year wedding Anniversary in March, Ethan had his 4th birthday in April, and Sophie had an end-of-the-year ballet recital, school concert, and Award Ceremony, in addition to all of the activities that come with the end of the school year.
Sophie just finished her last week of KG. She had an incredible first year of school. She is looking forward to the holiday, but is also a bit sad to leave her friends for the summer. One of the downsides of going to an International School is that families frequently relocate, so Sophie is getting used to having friends come and go. We are very proud that she received the “Simply Sweet” Award for her class. This award goes to the student that is kind, compassionate, and frequently puts the needs of others first…..that is our girl.
Sophie at her ballet recital… KG Award Ceremony…
Early birthday celebration with classmates…
Ethan celebrated his 4th birthday in April. He decided to have a Star Wars party…he has never seen any of the films, but absolutely loves the characters. In addition to Star Wars, he is extremely interested in Dinosaurs right now. He is learning all kinds of facts about them and amazes us at what he retains. He can pronounce names of dinosaurs that we didn’t even knew existed. He is very excited about starting pre-school in August, because “I get to play with my friends all day.”
Star Wars Birthday Boy… Light Saber Cupcakes….
With his best bud…
As you know Jessica has been working part time at Rosslyn Academy. Her duties have recently increased slightly. In April she planned and oversaw a fundraising gala event at Rosslyn Academy. The event centered around the school’s Spring Musical Production of Les Miserables and was a fundraising night for the school’s Going Green Initiative. It was a beautiful evening and raised over $5,000 for the initiative. She has also been busy assisting the new staff coming into Rosslyn as they are preparing to make the transition to Kenya in July. Jessica has wrapped her duties at Rosslyn for the summer, so it will be nice for us to be able to travel around the country as a family during the break.
People to People and Ministry:
We just completed a very busy season, which leads into a small season of reprieve before we start Visitor/Team season that comes in the summer. We are very excited about the progress we are seeing and what the future holds for our work.
Each year we get updates on the children that are sponsored through People to People Ministries. This process includes getting updated photos, as well as having the children write letters, make crafts, and complete questionaries. We currently have 75 sponsored children in Kenya, so this is a time-intensive procedure, but we enjoy getting to know the children on deeper levels through this process.
Children working on updates… Update process in Lokichoggio…
Ethan and Sophie love helping with updates…
Lokichoggio Trip: Northern Kenya Feeding Program
In early May, Jamie traveled to Lokichoggio with Joe, the People to People Kenya Assistant, to get updates on the People to People children, as well as check-in on the feeding program there. The feeding program is continuing to reach nearly 100 children every weekend. Many families in the community rely on this feeding program and receive great benefit from it. Our hope is to be able to increase the frequency of feeding days and we are currently working towards that. We were also able to check in with the Women’s Beadwork Micro-Business that we helped to start. The women are making a lot of beautiful products and are working towards finding reliable markets. This business is providing extra income for these women and their families. We have made a few orders from them, and we will continue to do so as we move forward, but we are praying that they will also be able to find a consistent market outside of us. We were also excited to see that the Moringa seeds we delivered last year are growing well! Within a few months these plants will start providing a nutritious supplement for the feeding program. As happy as we are with all of the progress with this project, there are also many needs that we are in the process of praying over and considering. There are serious issues present: poor healthcare, poor economy, security risks, and the need for more feeding days. We will share more on these needs as we determine the best way forward. There is a lot to be thankful for and proud of, but still much to do. If you are interested in helping this program, you can do so here. (If so, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can properly allocate the funds. Thanks!)
The people of Lokichoggio PH Church… Jamie and Joe boarding the MAF Flight…
The women that prepare the food.. The Women’s Beadwork Micro-Business…
One of the Moringa tress… Some of the children…
The children lining up for the meal… The view from the church compound….
Playground and Classroom Projects
We often focus on the major needs at our partner projects (feeding, income-generation, school fees, medical, etc.), but we also like to be able to do things that are strictly to bring joy to the kids. Thanks to some very generous donors, in the last two months we were able to deliver two playground sets to Calvary Community School Ruai and Nakuru CMD. We were also able to complete the classroom project at Calvary Community. Seeing the smiles and hearing the excited shrieks of the children….it doesn’t get much better.
Bishop Laban Wekesa
In May, we were sad to see the passing of Bishop Laban Wekesa. He had been battling cancer for the last few years. He was great man, leader, and friend. He was the Director of Nakuru CMD and Pastor of Nakuru Worship Center. He was one of the first people we met on our initial trip to Kenya in 2002. His heart for abandoned children, love for others, and compassionate leadership (along with his wife Gladys Wekesa) greatly impacted us as young college students. Over the years he has played a large role in our development and in who we’ve become. We are thankful to have known him and for the gift of working with him over the years. He will be missed, but his vision of Christian service and compassion for the “least of these” will go on.
Sustainable Development Project Updates:
Hosanna Children’s Home Tilapia Pond
The fish pond at Hosanna is going well. The fish were recently weighed and the progress was extremely encouraging. Within the next couple of months the fish will be ready to be sold in the local market. The funds generated will help support the feeding program and provide educational fees for the children at Hosanna Children’s Home.
Nakuru CMD Farm Project
We are excited to report that the rains have come! The crops are growing extremely well and we are very thankful. This project will provide food for the feeding program at Christian Ministries to the Destitute in Nakuru, as well as income through vegetables sold in the local market. Alice (pictured below in brown) is doing an amazing job organizing and overseeing this huge project!
If you are interested in supporting other projects like these, you can use the information below:
For Credit/Debit Card Support:
Dunning Ministry Acct #11521M:
Support Mailing Address:
IPHC-World Missions Ministries
PO Box 12609
Oklahoma City, OK
ATTN: James and Jessica Dunning
(Make Checks payable to IPHC)
Dunning Ministry Acct. #11521M (Memo Line)
(Because everybody loves pictures of the kids)
Tinga Tinga the Musical… Ethan helping deliver watermelons..
Cool Chameleon we found…
Easter Egg Hunt… Digging for dinosaur bones…
Ethan and Sela chilling in the backyard… Sophie’s Class Art Show…
Indian Lunch with Daddy… Sophie’s end of the year concert…
Making breakfast for Mother’s Day…
- That we would love God and others as He loves us, and that we will be faithful in all the areas that He is calling us.
- For continued direction, favor, and wisdom in our ministry.
- 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 serve Jesus.
- For the Nation of Kenya, and the individuals, ministries, and churches we support.
- For our extended families as they adjust back to life without us and the kids.
- For good health, safety and protection.
Opportunity to Give/Support:
As always, we are looking for opportunities to expand our network of partners. If you are currently one of our partners, would you prayerfully consider sharing about our ministry with your friends and family? We would love to have open doors into new churches, small groups, and home groups. If you have friends, family, or contacts that you feel may be interested in learning about our vision for outreach in Kenya, please let us know.
Click here for more details about our ministry.
Interested in becoming a Partner?
You can make a donation or become monthly supporter by clicking here. Information for mailing checks can be found at the bottom of this newsletter.
For Credit/Debit Card Support:
Support Acct. #11521S:
Ministry/Project Acct. #11521M: