Update-May 2022

Partners and Friends,

Greetings from Nairobi! We are well and finally enjoying some rain here in Kenya and it is very welcome (we have been in quite a drought). Things have been going well for us, though our 2022 got off to an unfortunate start. Just after Christmas, Jessica and I tested positive for Covid. We had mild cases, but it did mean that the majority of the kids Christmas break was spent in isolation (luckily they avoided getting it again). The kids were so worried because part of their Christmas gift was a trip to the Masai Mara to go on a proper safari, and our isolation period could have run into those dates. Fortunately, after 8 days, we tested negative and we came out of quarantine just in time to go! The kids loved it and they got to see so many amazing Kenyan animals. Since we have lived in Kenya for 14 years, we think of this as something we have done many times, but we realized that since we hadn’t done one in several years the kids didn’t have strong memories of a “proper” safari (when you are in the official safari vehicles and stay at the lodge). It ended being the perfect way to end a break and kick off the New Year.

The biggest recent news in our family is that we have added a new member! Meet Axel, our 3-month old Rhodesian Ridgeback that Sophie and Ethan have been hoping and praying for for months (years for a dog, but months for Axel). We have had him just over a week and he is already an integral member of our family!

Update from Sophie: Things have been going well for me. I am still on the worship team at school, and I am on the Student Leadership Team for Middle School. We help plan activities and events at school. I was also in the Middle School play (The Enchanted Book Shop) and played as the Wicked Witch and was the Student Director. I am still playing piano, and I am very excited about my recital on May 19. I also have a new hobby, photography. I got a new camera for Christmas, and I love taking photos.

Update from Ethan: My favorite things to do are still soccer, basketball and skateboarding. Recently I went on a field trip and we hiked Mt. Longonot, which is a dormant volcano. In January, we had Sports Day and I won 5 ribbons! I am also still playing drums and I have a recital in a few weeks. I also was chosen to play mallets in my school concert.


Project and Ministry Updates

St. Joyuna Academy, Ruai

We have had an ongoing partnership with this school (formerly Calvary Christian School) since 2009! Over the years we have seen much growth for this school and church. The school now has around 230 students that receive a Christ-centered education and two meals every day. We have also been able to invest in two successful income-generating activities (Chicken Project and Water Kiosk).

In the last few months we have been constructing a new classroom structure to accommodate the growing student body. The project is on-going and is in it’s final stage. We have made a lot of progress, but are raising funds to finish the project (if you would like to support this project you can do so here: https://give.iphc.org/missionary/james-and-jessica-dunning, choose “Dunning Ministry” in drop down menu).

We were also able to provide dozens of tree saplings to the students to meet the new Kenyan Curriculum Standards. The students in Class 4 are required to plant the trees, tend them, and harvest the fruit. The passion fruit and avocado trees we provided will meet this need, but also supplement the school feeding program with nutritious fruits!

Hosanna Children’s Home Dairy Project

The dairy project at Hosanna continues to grow! The new Cow Shed has been completed and was commissioned towards the end of last year. It is a nice modern space that includes feeding areas, storage rooms, and a room for the caretaker.

The herd now has 10 heifers and 2 bulls. 7 are producing milk and they are getting around 100 liters per day! Unfortunately, one calf that was born in February passed away. It was the first loss of the project, which was difficult. But we are grateful for how well the project is doing overall.

Tana River Delta Projects

The work in the communities of Tana River Delta through out partnership with Bocha Hussein is continuing to go well. In the last several months the irrigation/farming project in Mtampani has been completed and they are producing crops in a dry and parched region, the water project in Ramada is providing much needed relief to many people from several communities, another water project in Karach Dera has been completed, and we have helped conduct several relief distributions.

Sadly, the drought in Kenya has continued to be a major issue over the last several months and people in this region are feeling the effects greatly. That coupled with the impact of world events on the price of goods and fuel, as well as the on-going effects and economic impact of the Covid pandemic has left many people without access to adequate food. As of March, over 3.1 million Kenyans were facing food shortages and insecurity, with the number projected to increase to 3.5 million by May. The events in Ukraine are also expected to have a considerable impact moving forward, as approximately 45% of Kenya’s grain is imported from Ukraine/Russia. Because of this, things are expected to get even worse, but we are praying for Divine intervention and that we will be in a position to respond as much as we can to these needs. Fortunately, the rains have started. Though late, we are praying it will be adequate and even make up for the recent lack of rain and failed rainy seasons and will help alleviate some of the suffering that people are facing.

Thank you for your support which helps us respond in these situations.

People to People Child Sponsorship Updates

Starting in March, we always began our annual PtoP Child Sponsorship Update process. We currently have 196 children in the program, so the update process requires a lot of time and travel, but it is always great to have 1-on-1 time to connect with the kids face to face. (Thanks to Chris Dunlap for the high quality photos….I think it is obvious which 2 are the high quality ones).

Micro-Business Seminar at East Africa Bible College

Jamie had the opportunity to conduct a 2-day seminar with the students of EABC in March. The training went well, and we are excited to see how these future pastors and leaders use business as a way to sustain their ministry, churches, projects and families.

Rosslyn Academy Cultural Field Studies

CFS is a program at Rosslyn Academy that gives students an opportunity to learn from the culture and experiences of the greater Kenyan Community. It is also a time for them to serve and build relationship with different communities, programs and ministries. Jessica has always helped plan this event and I have often assisted by hosting a site. However, with Jamie stepping into the part-time Service Learning Coordinator role, we are now planning this event together. For the HS, this typically entails sending 16 different groups of students to various locations across the country. The students engage in cultural experiences, service initiatives and intentional reflection and devotional activities. This a great program that offers mutual benefit for the students as well as the communities and programs being partnered with. Through CFS trip and service days, the students were able to plant over 400 trees at partner organizations, clean school grounds, conduct community and forest litter clean-up, paint rooms, visit local churches, engage in ministry, provide funds for new classrooms, conduct relief distributions, pack and distribute 500 menstrual kits, participate in home visits, and interact with and play with children across the country. They were also able to experience the beauty of this country and learn from the amazing work and ministry of people and organizations all over Kenya, not to mention learning about the culture and customs of this incredibly diverse country. Unfortunately, since it is only a 5-day experience and the sites are separated by hundreds of miles, we were not able to visit all of the sites while the teams were there, but I was able to visit 4 of the 7. It is amazing to see the impact that communities have on these students and the impact the team has on the communities. It is a truly a beautiful picture of mutual and relational service and Christ-like love.

Jamie also helped coordinate the 8th grade CFS experience. I had the chance to help lead a group of 50 8th Graders on a 3-day trip up Mt. Suswa. I coordinated the logistics with the local community and the team was able to help install a water harvesting system that harnesses the steam from natural steam vents (Mt. Suswa is a dormant volcano) and stores the water as it cools. The students also earned about the Masai community and culture, hiked to the summit and explored the volcanic caves, and had meaningful opportunities to identify Christ’s work within themselves, the host community, others and creation. Grateful to be a part of coordinating and leading this experience.

Mt. Suswa Relief Distribution

Another area greatly impacted by the recent drought are communities in Kajiado and Narok counties. In January, I was able to coordinate a relief distribution around the Mt. Suswa area on behalf of Rosslyn.

Prayer Requests

  • For the millions of people facing food insecurity and the uncertainty of what is to come.
  • For the Nation of Kenya, and the individuals, ministries, communities and churches that we have partnerships with.
  • 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 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 dunningsinkenya@gmail.com.


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

Update – October 2021

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. 


Prayer Requests

  • 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 dunningsinkenya@gmail.com.


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

April 2021 Update

Partners and Friends,

We pray that you all are well. We are well, but we feel like we have entered bit of a time warp! Kenya’s fight against Covid has been going well, and in many ways better than most other places around the world. However, with the emergence of new variants, Kenya’s cases are rising and hospital wards have been filling up. In an effort to combat this, Kenya has returned to the same lock-down measures we were facing in March of last year, with a few differences. Schools are closed, restaurants are only open for take away services, no travel into or out of the lock-down zone (Nairobi and surrounding counties), and there is an 8:00pm curfew. One positive is that we are well equipped and familiar with how to function in this situation. We have had a lot of practice! Also, many of our projects and partners are within the lock-down zone, so we’ve been able to continue visiting. Unfortunately, Jamie did have to postpone several trips to locations outside the lock-down zone. Most of these were partnerships he hasn’t been able to visit in over a year, which is difficult, because we were finally at a point that some sense of normalcy had returned, so he had several trips planned. So it goes. Fortunately, the current measures seem to be helping. Only 4 weeks in and we are already seeing a significant drop in cases, deaths and infection rate. That being said, these types of measures always have negative impacts on livelihoods, especially those that are the most vulnerable (more on this below).

The kids are troopers and are doing an amazing job navigating on-line learning and being flexible with our every shifting schedules. They are adaptable and able to adjust to nearly any situation. Though, like many kids around the globe, they do miss friends and are grieving the loss of social experiences and school events and activities.

One good piece of news on the fight against Covid is that Kenya has started the vaccination roll out! Unfortunately, as with many things in our world, it is exposing the drastic divide between the rich and the poor in this country. Many people are finding it very difficult to gain access, and the current vaccination plan doesn’t have the majority of the population having access for years. We are praying that Kenya’s access to vaccines increases through COVAX, and that manufacturing and distribution continues to improve.

Speaking of vaccinations….we are coming to the States for a couple of months this summer! This is a regularly scheduled furlough, however, with travel restrictions and complications and the kids modified school schedule (before going back on-line), we hadn’t known for certain if we would be able to travel home this year. However, with the kids going back on-line and their ability to school from anywhere, and with us having access to vaccination this summer, we decided that it would be possible to come home. So we made a fairly sudden decision to come in mid-May! We have a lot to do to be in a position to leave for the summer, but we have time to get everything in order. We know international travel in the time of Covid is going to be a bit more tedious, but we are so excited that we will get to see family, partners, and friends for the first time in 2 years! Unfortunately, we will only be home for a little over two months, so we won’t be able to travel to as many churches as we would like. But we are going to try to get to as many as we can in this short period. We will be reaching out to pastors, missions directors and churches within the week. We are also working on an update video that we will send to all of our churches and partners that we are unable to visit.

As always, here are a few family shots from the last few months. Fortunately, (before things locked-down again) we were able to go camping in Samburu National Reserve a few months ago (this is a reserve we’ve always wanted to visit, but had never made happen), and take a trip to the Coast over the kids Spring Break (things locked down while we were away, so fortunately we got back in to Nairobi!). In February, Sophie also performed in the school talent show in front of hundreds of people. We were so proud of her. We’ve also had many wonderful weekend hikes in Karura Forest the last few months. Looking at these photos reminds us that even with this difficult season, and current lock-down, we are so grateful that we have had pockets to “get out” and enjoy this beautiful country.


Ministry and Project Updates

Relief Distribution

A fairly constant area of focus for us this past year has been relief.  Due to Kenya’s Covid lock-downs in 2020 and 2021, many people have lost income and consistent work.  So many people in Kenya work in the informal sector.  When the economy is disrupted, or the flow of commerce is negatively affected, opportunities for employment are scarce.  In addition, with schools, churches, and restaurants being closed for much of 2020 and now again for this past month, many teachers, pastors, and workers in the service industry have suffered greatly.  The result is that relief distributions to partner communities have become a fairly regular occurrence. 

In addition to the effects of the pandemic, Kenya has also been devastated by environmental disasters that have destroyed livelihoods.  Flooding has become a yearly event (sometimes twice a year) in the Tana River Delta, and over the last year locust invasions have infested cropland throughout the country.  We are not in a position to scratch the surface of helping to meet the needs that these types of events create.  However, we are grateful that, in partnership with incredible partners within these communities, we have been able to respond through food aid and relief.

Please keep the people of Kenya in your prayers, especially those that reside in informal settlements, rural areas that depend on agriculture, and those in extremely remote areas that lack development and infrastructure.

Smile Star’d-Days 4 Girls Enterprise

Smile Star’d-Days 4 Girls Enterprise is an amazing organization started by our partner, Alice Mwangi. The enterprise creates sustainable, reusable sanitary pad kids for young girls in order to help them stay in school. They also provide education on feminine hygiene in local schools. In order to meet this demand, local women are hired and trained as seamstresses. This has the added benefit of providing these women, and their families, with dependable and consistent work. The enterprise started a little over 2 years ago with 4 seamstresses, but has quickly grown to employ 10 women, as well as a team of educational trainers and facilitators. This growth led to a great problem….the building they had was not large enough for all 10 women to work comfortably. We are happy to report that a new building is nearly complete! It will provide a more spacious workspace, as well as additional storage and work rooms. We are very excited about this development!

Tana River Irrigation/Agriculture Projects

We are excited to report that the 5th Community Irrigation/Agriculture project in Tana River has been completed!  This project is in a community called Bandi, a community we have had a long relationship with through disaster relief and food aid.  It was delayed due to heavy rains earlier in the year, but now the work is completed and the farm is already producing food for the community (pictured below).  If you would like to read specific details about each of these projects and how they are impacting these communities, you can read about them here: https://dunningsinkenya.com/2021/04/21/an-update-on-tana-river-projects/

We are currently working with our partner, Bocha, on plans to do yet another project in a community called Mtampani.  This project will be managed by Grace, a tremendous leader in her community.  She has a heart to help meet the needs in her community as well as a desire to share the love of Christ with them.  This project will serve as catalyst for each of these desires!

CFS: Rosslyn Cultural Field Studies

In March, I was able to take a group of seniors from Rosslyn Academy on a Cultural Field Studies trip to Ormanie Suswa.  Each year Rosslyn sends 16 groups of HS students to different locations all over Kenya for cultural learning and service.  This a huge initiative that Jessica coordinates and plans each year.  As of February, Jamie has also agreed to volunteer a bit of time each week to Rosslyn as their Service Learning Coordinator.  This involves finding opportunities to connect Rosslyn students and staff with service opportunities throughout Nairobi and Kenya.  Part of this involves assisting Jess with coordinating CFS, so this is now something that we will do together.

Due to Covid, most of this year’s trips had to be cancelled, but we were still able to offer the Seniors an opportunity.  Making sure that the teams were responsible and safe (for themselves and the host communities) during Covid required a lot of extra planning and logistics.  Ensuring all activities were outdoors, modified sleeping arrangements, washing stations, providing masks, transportation adjustments, Covid tests for 70 participants before and after the trip.….it was a lot to manage.  However, to give these students this opportunity after a year of losses made it worth it.  Not to mention, the benefit to the communities.  They were all grateful for the opportunity to host the students. 

Jamie also hosted a site in Ormanie Suswa, and Ethan joined the team as well.  The team was immersed in Masai culture.  They learned to slaughter a goat, build fire traditionally, night hunt with nothing but flashlights and sticks (successfully!), and even track wild elephants.  They also ministered in the local church and assisted the community with rebuilding the barrier fence around the community dam that was trampled by elephants.  It was a great experience for the students and community, especially after a year of social isolation and distance. 

Odhole Elevated Pit Latrine Project

We were able to provide another elevated pit latrine in the community of Odhole.  The elders of the community requested these last year because the community does not have enough latrines for the population of the community, and the ones that exist often flood during rainy season.  This leads to sickness and disease.  This is the 3rd one we have been able to provide.  We hope to continue providing them at different locations throughout the community.  This effort not only improves sanitation and dignity among the community, but it also serves as an opportunity to continue building relationships and establish trust with the elders and leadership.  This, along with other relief and sustainability efforts we have conducted in Odhole, further empower the team of local missionaries that reside there to work and minister.

Hosanna Dairy Project

This Hosanna Dairy Project continues to grow and improve.  Currently there are 6 heifers and 4 calves with two more on the way!  The project is growing so quickly that we are now making plans to build another cow shed/feeding area to house the expanding herd. 

They are currently producing around 70 liters of milk a day!  Around 20-25 liters of this are consumed by the children and staff each day, and the remaining is sold at around $0.40 a liter.  The income generated, in addition the savings from eliminating the need to purchase milk for consumption, is making a huge difference. 

This project is one incredible example of our desire to see our partner programs empowered through self-sustainability initiatives!  The ministry of this home is so important, as very real needs are met, and the love of Christ is shown to these children and community on a daily basis.  This dairy project serves as a catalyst for helping make that ministry continue and thrive.

St Joyuna Chicken Project

Another great example of a successful sustainability project (and micro-finance loan initiative) is the chicken project at St. Joyuna Christian school.  The project was started with a gift of 200 broilers, feed, feeders, etc., but it was expanded through a micro-finance loan we were able to offer.  The project now has 400-450 broilers at a time, groups of 200-250 purchased 3-4 weeks apart.  This ensures that 200 chickens are ready to sale every 3-4 weeks, while the newest brood are growing. 

These funds help sustain the feeding program and meet the financial obligations of the school.  A few pics of the current brood (as of April) are below!


Prayer Requests

  • For the country of Kenya, and all nations that lack adequate access, to gain greater access to Covid vaccines.
  • For safety and protection as we travel to the States for a couple of months this summer.
  • 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 dunningsinkenya@gmail.com.


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

An Update on Tana River Projects

As you know, we have had the opportunity to start 5 different irrigation/agriculture projects in partner communities throughout Tana River Delta over the last several years. These communities are fairly isolated and frequently suffer from a cycle of extreme drought/flooding. Our partner, Bocha Huessin, lives and works in this area, sharing the love of Christ and finding ways to advocate for, and assist, these communities. Through our partnership with Bocha, we have been conducting relief distributions in this region for many years, however, we wanted to find a way to invest in the community in ways that provide meaningful work, food security, access to water, and dignity. These projects do just that. To be clear, we are only a part of the success of these projects. Bocha’s commitment and dedication to these projects and people is impeccable. Below is an update of how each project is currently doing. In addition to these benefits, these projects also open the door for deeper relationships and opportunity to share the love of Christ. We are also planning a 6th project in a community called Mtampani within the year!


Gardeni

The project in Gardeni is being managed by a woman named Fatuma and her team of 10 other women. They primarily use the project to grow tomatoes, kale, spinach, and lentils. As a committee, they have decided to sale all of the produce they harvest, set a portion of money aside for future plating, and divide the remaining income between the other households (52) within the community. The men in this community were not as interested in the project, so Fatuma and her team took ownership. This is a project that blesses the entire community. It empowers these women with dignified work, and also gives them to means to bless and serve their community. The recent floods were extremely high and water covered the farm, but fortunately, they had just harvested. They have since returned and replanted.


Vumbwe

This project is managed by a Christian woman named Halima. She uses the farming project to generate income, provide relief to the community, and as an avenue to disciple woman that work on the farm. They primarily grow kale, spinach and tomatoes, and also distribute the produce to the most vulnerable members of the community. They have also saved money and purchased goats and are now doing goat farming as well!


Peponi

This is the first project we ever started. It has been going for 4 years now! It has faced difficulties over the years, but continues to overcome these challenges to be a regular source of food for the community. It is managed by a local Pastor, Noah, and his family. However, there isa possibility it will be handed over to the community for management. They have just planted tomato, kale, and okra seeds in seed beds, and will transplant them in the coming month.


Odhole

This project was started a few years ago, and it has had major challenges. Shortly after completion a hired tractor accidentally damaged most of the irrigation lines, which have not been able to be repaired. Even with that, the water in the well and tank is abundant, so they are still able to farm the 5-acre plot. This project is managed by Charles, Lucy, and a local missionary team that resides in the village. They predominantly grow maize and lentils. The crops are sold to generate income to help sustain the team that resides there, and the reaming supplement the local school feeding program and is distributed among the most vulnerable within the community.


Bandi

This is our most recent project. Unfortunately, just as the construction was starting, the floods came and delayed progress. However, at this point, they have returned to their homes, construction has finished, they have planted, and crops are growing. This project is managed by a group of young adults that have trouble finding meaningful employment. They are using this project as an income generating activity, as well as to provide a portion of each harvest to the most vulnerable members of the community.

Mtampani

This is our next project site! This project will be managed a female leader and elder in the community named Maria. She is an incredible woman with a tremendous faith in the Lord and a passion for her community. This project will help to provide a reliable food source for this community, and well as meaningful work and employment!

If you are interested in supporting this project, you can do so in the following ways:

To give on-line go to:

Use this link: Dunning Ministry Account (choose “Dunning Jamie Ministry” Option further down on the page.)

To send donations by mail:

  • World Missions Ministries
  • PO Box 12609
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73157
  • Attention: James/Jessica Dunning
  • Ministry Account #11521M

January 2021 Update

Partners and Friends,

Happy New Year!  We pray that you are well.  As we begin 2021, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the state of affairs in our world.  With the pandemic continuing to rage around the globe, political, racial and social divisions in the US and abroad, and the loneliness, isolation and fear many are facing, it is a difficult period in time for many.  It can easily leave us feeling hopeless.  However, we know that we have hope and that hope is in Christ.  Therefore, our prayer for 2021, for ourselves and for each of you, is that we will be acutely aware of Christ in the midst of our every moment.  We pray that we would be sensitive to following him, and that our only motivation will be to see his Kingdom come in our communities and nations.  His Kingdom that is known for love of neighbor and enemy.  A Kingdom that maintains a deep concern for the marginalized and the poor and the suffering.  A Kingdom that is self-sacrificial, generous, and full of mercy and grace.  A Kingdom that is upside-down and counter cultural.  We pray, Come Lord Jesus, Come.  Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.    

We have continued to ease our way back into the new “normal” of the Covid-19 era.  Sophie and Ethan both returned to in-person school last week (Sophie started back in November).  They are incredibly happy to be back at school and to be with friends again.  Of course, things aren’t completely back to normal.  There are no after school activities, and they only interact with the students in their homeroom class.  The Covid numbers in Kenya have continued to drop since November, but with all Kenyan Public schools returning for the first time since March, we are praying that we don’t see a surge in cases.

We had a great Christmas here.  It is always difficult to not be with family over the holidays, and this year was even more isolating because Ethan picked up a bacterial infection on Christmas Eve.  Since he had a fever, and we didn’t know exactly what he had, we isolated from our friends that we normally celebrate Christmas with until we had the results of Ethan’s bloodwork.  Of course, it was a food/water related bacterial infection (which are not uncommon here) that was not contagious, but we had already missed our Christmas Eve/Christmas Day traditions when we got the results.  All that being said, Ethan was not his normal energetic and joyful self on Christmas Day, and we spent the day at home just the four of us, but it still turned out to be a beautiful and joyful day in many ways. We have so many blessings, and we made sure to focus on those as we celebrated together.  We did take a night the week after Christmas to visit a local hotel so the kids could swim and enjoy the pool before starting back to school. It was just enough to feel like a short holiday for the kids before starting back to school the following week.


Ministry and Project Updates

Hosanna Dairy Project

The Dairy Income-generating Project at Hosanna Children’s Home has continued to grow!  As of December, they are selling an average of 44 liters of milk every day (@ $0.40 per liter).  In addition, the cows are producing all of the milk that is being consumed by the children and staff of Hosanna (20 liters per day).  This project continues to generate income, as well save income by providing milk for consumption!  The first heifer we purchased (Sheriff) has now given birth to 3 more calves.  Her first born (Sheriff Jr.) recently gave birth to a calf.  The second heifer we purchased (Farasi) has also given birth to a calf.  Another partner organization contributed funds for an additional heifer, and she has also given birth to another calf!  In all the project now has 7 females and one male (Molo…who will be sold when he is bigger).  We were also able to assist with the hiring of a piece of land so that Napier grass can be grown, which greatly reduces the cost of feeding the growing herd.  In addition, the biogas system that we installed many years ago is working again, so the waste from the cows is converted into methane which is used for cooking!  This greatly offsets the cost of firewood, charcoal, and gas canisters.  (If you are unfamiliar with biogas systems, this is a great resource that breaks down how it works: Bio Gas).  We are so proud to have been a part of this project and continue to be amazed at the amazing work Isaac, Gitau and Ngombo are doing to make it successful.

Isaac and the Hosanna staff have also done an incredible job using every inch of their property to produce food, and they have inspired and motivated some of the children and teens to embrace this endeavor.  It is incredible to see all that is being produced at this home.  It is a beautiful picture of the vision we’ve had to see sustainability and progress among the programs we are able to partner with. 

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Back to School

One challenge of Kenyan schools returning to in-person schooling is the COVID-19 protocols and requirements of the Kenyan Government.  Though they are necessary, they have provided unique hurdles for small, church-based schools to overcome.  Fortunately, through the support of many of you, we have been able to assist with some of these needs.  As a part of our Christmas project, we were able to contribute funds to Emmanuel Preparatory school to build an additional classroom structure so that they can meet distancing requirements.  For St. Joyuna Academy, we were able to provide 30 new desk units so that students can meet distancing requirements.  We have also been able to contribute reusable face masks for children at partner homes and schools, as they are required by the Government.  We expect that these will be an on-going need as the masks will need to be replaced periodically.  Many students in Kenya lost an entire year of education, as on-line learning was not feasible for the vast majority of the population.  So, we are so grateful to see these children returning to school, and we are praying they all stay safe and healthy.

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EABC Micro-Business Seminar

In November, I (Jamie) was able to teach a Micro-Business and Economic Empowerment Course that I designed for East Africa Bible College.  This was the first time teaching this course in this context, and it went well, but I was also able to see many places were I could make changes to (hopefully) make the course more beneficial and effective for the participants.  This course may be becoming a consistent part of the EABC course schedule in the future, so I am looking forward to continuing to grow and develop it.

Micro-Businesses

Several of the businesses that have been started through our micro-loan program are continuing to grow and develop, though they all faced very difficult times in 2020.  Currently, the loans we have provided have been used to start and sustain chicken projects, vegetable and produce shop, a shoe vendor, a sewing project, and a beauty product shop (pictured below).  Our heart is to see our local partners, both individuals and institutions, to be self-sustained and to be in a position to provide for themselves.  These loans are one small piece of that vision.

Christmas Project

In case you missed our update video on Christmas Project 2020, you can see it here: Christmas Project 2020


Prayer Requests

  • For unity of leaders and citizens as we seek to mitigate the risks, and find a solution to, the Covid-19 pandemic in Kenya, the US, and the World.
  • 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 dunningsinkenya@gmail.com.


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

November 2020 Update

Partners and Friends,

We pray that this update finds you well. Like most people these days, we are continuing to push forward, taking things a day at a time. We have entered into a slightly new season. Sophie has returned to in-person school. The Kenyan government allowed transition years to return to school, due to the National exam schedule, so Rosslyn took this opportunity to allow Grade 5 to return. She is excited to return to school and to see friends, but she is not excited about wearing a mask all day and having to stay in her desk most of the day. Ethan, of course, is disappointed. We have developed some good routines while doing on-line school from home, so he is disappointed at the prospect of being home alone for the next 6-weeks. Truthfully, we don’t know how long this will last. The Covid cases in Kenya had remained quite low, with a very low death rate, and as of August it felt as if the pandemic was nearly neutralized. However, with the loosening of restrictions, we are seeing cases reach the highest levels yet in recent weeks, and the rate of infection among tests has been going up significantly. Due to this, Kenyan schools haven’t returned in full to in-person learning as planned, and there is a good possibility the government will reinstate containment measures this week. We are waiting to see what the President will announce. We keep telling the kids….we take it a day at a time and hold it all loosely.

Overall, we are well. We were able to take a trip to the Abedares over Mashujaa Day weekend (National Kenyan Holiday celebrating national heroes). The Abedares are a highland mountain range in Central Kenya that can trick you into thinking you are in the Appalachians….(if you don’t look at the vegetation too closely). It was good for us to sit by (and play in) an ice cold river (yes, even in Kenya) and enjoy the view of rolling hills covered with tea fields. The weather was quite cold and rainy, but nothing a nice fire couldn’t help.

Recent Family Happenings


Projects and Ministry Updates

Christmas Project 2020

We are currently in the process of planning for this year’s Christmas Project. If you would like to read more about it, you can do so here: https://dunningsinkenya.com/2020/10/27/christmas-is-coming-6/

Covid Relief Distribution in Oloitokitok

Last month we were able to deliver relief food to 18 different churches in the Oloitokitok area. These communities, like many in Kenya, have been hit hard by the negative economic impacts of the pandemic. Ethan was able to join me (Jamie) on the trip, so on the way home we stopped off at Kimana Sanctuary to camp for the night. We were surprised with beautiful views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and many amazing animal encounters. Working and traveling around Kenya never disappoints.

Nakuru CMD Visit

A recent visit to Nakuru CMD was bittersweet. Tragedy stuck at Nakuru CMD last month, as a fire burned down the girls dorm. Fortunately, all of the children were in church, so no one was harmed. At this point, the cause of the fire is unknown. The girls are moving into one of the school classrooms, and we are working on making renovations so that it is a more suitable dormitory. We have a plan to replace many of the lost items as a part of this year’s Christmas project. You can read more about that project below.

Though we were sad to lose the dorm, it was good to see our recent window renovation project for the classroom building. I was also able to spend some time speaking to the children.

Hosanna Dairy Project Update

The Dairy Project at Hosanna is thriving!

Chickens and Water at St. Joyuna

Speaking of income generating projects that are thriving….the chicken project and the water kiosk at St. Joyuna are doing extremely well. We were able to provide the first round of 200 broilers, feed, and needed items to the school. The second round of 200 chicks were purchased through a micro-finance loan that we were able to offer. It takes 6 weeks for the chicks to mature and to be ready for market, so they are now able to sell 200 (at 320/-, $3.00 each) every 3 weeks! This income provides for the many needs of the school and the church. The water kiosk is also continuing to generate income while meeting the needs of the community. Due to Covid restrictions, the school is currently only allowed to have Class 4 and Class 8 in person, but they are hoping that the full school will resume in January.

Days for Girls Red Line Campaign

Our partner, Alice, hosted the Days for Girls Red Line Campaign in Nakuru last week. It was an incredible event that highlighted the great work of the enterprise: providing reusable sanitary pads to school girls, education on menstrual health and sexual reproduction, Covid response, and empowerment through employing a team of seamstresses. Jamie was proud to attend the event and speak, and it has been our honor to partner with this enterprise since it was a dream in Alice’s heart.

Micro-Loan Updates

We continue to look for opportunities to invest in the lives of individuals and partners by investing in economic opportunities through micro-loans. We are excited to have offered several loans in the last few months, and we are encouraged by the small businesses that have been started: chicken project, cosmetics shop, produce stand, and sewing project. Covid-19 has hit small businesses especially hard, so be in prayer that these individuals will have wisdom in how they manage these businesses.

Elevated Latrine Project in Tana River

On my last visit to Tana River the elders of one of the communities we parter with expressed a huge need for elevated pit latrines for community use. The community doesn’t have access to many toilets, and the ones that do exist often overflow during rainy season flooding. So the elevated latrines were a major need. The elders, along with our partner and local missionary to the community, Lucy, made a plan for the location of elevated latrines throughout the community. In the last month, we have been able to have the first two constructed. As funds become available, we will build more.

(The Community expressing gratitude and celebrating the new pit latrine)

Prayer Requests

  • For a solution to Covid-19 and for Kenyan (and US/World) leadership to have wisdom to know how to move forward.
  • 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 dunningsinkenya@gmail.com.


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

Christmas is Coming!

Christmas is just around the corner!  Last year we had another amazing Christmas with all of the People to People partner feeding programs around Kenya (You can see a recap of last year’s Christmas Project below). Due to Covid-19, several of our partners are facing challenges that are unique to this year, so we are aiming to do all we can to assist with these needs.

This year we will be providing gifts to 420 children.  We will also have 6 celebratory meals at different locations, however, we are still in the process of figuring out the safest and wisest way to do this.  A breakdown of the requested gifts for this year is below:

Hosanna Children’s Home: New school shoes for 71 children, a monetary gift for 10 staff members, as well as a special meal for everyone.

Huruma Children’s Home:  New school shoes for 50 children, monetary gifts for 8 staff members, as well as a special meal for everyone.

Outreach Children: New school shoes for 8 children, and a special meal.

Nakuru CMD: We will be providing gifts to 70 children. The girls dorm was lost to a fire in recent months, so we are planning to make renovations to convert one of the existing buildings to a usable dorm.  We will also replace the beds, blankets, towels, and sanitary products that were lost.  We will also provide a gift for each boy, but this gift has not yet been determined (they were not affected by the dorm fire).  This will be a very expensive piece of this year’s project.

Calvary Christian School Ruai Feeding Program: New backpacks filled with food items for 220 children, as well as a new laser jet copier/printer for the school, which is needed to effectively be able to meet the government demands for Covid reporting.

Emmanuel Prep. School:  We have assisted in constructing a new classroom block so that they are able to meet the governments Covid standards for returning to school.  

Lokichoggio Feeding Program: A special celebratory meal for 150 children and community members.

Isiolo Feeding Program: A special celebratory meal for 80 children and community members.

People to People Sponsored Pastor’s Children:  A monetary gift for 65 children and their families. (PtoP typically provides funds for this).

As you can imagine, this is a costly endeavor.  The budget for the above gifts, food, and meals is $9,000.  If you are interested in partnering with us to help make this Christmas special for all of these children, we would greatly appreciate any amount! 

You can click here to do so:  https://give.iphc.org/missionary/james-and-jessica-dunning Please use the “Dunning Jamie Ministry” Account box on the bottom left.

Christmas Project 2019 Recap:

August 2020 Update

Partners and Friends,

We hope this update finds you well. Here in Kenya, we are moving into a new season as things are starting to return back to “normal” for the first time since March. Of course, things aren’t truly normal at all. But we are embarking on a new version of normal that allows us to resume many of the activities that we are accustomed to, but in such a way that we still do everything we can to protect the most vulnerable individuals, communities, and mitigate as much risk as possible. The government of Kenya still has many regulations in place (masks, social distance, isolate when possible, 9pm curfew, no alcohol sales in restaurants, controlled population at church services and public gatherings, and no in-person school until January), but as long as these regulations are met, much of life is returning to this new form of normal. We were grateful that roads opened up last month, so we were able to get a couple of camping trips in (pictures below), which was so good for our souls.

That being said, there are many things that haven’t returned. Rosslyn begins school next week, but the entire semester will be on-line. This is a huge privilege that we do not take for granted because all public Kenyan schools were closed and the vast majority of Kenyan children will lose an entire year of education. So, we are grateful for the opportunity for the kids to start 3rd and 5th grade online, but of course they would love to go back to school in person. They also miss many of their friends (we are still committed to only having direct contact with 2 other families, and all other interactions are in-direct…distanced, masked, outdoors, etc….in an effort to reduce the potential spread). Ethan desperately wants to play soccer with a huge group of kids, and Sophie longs to hug her friends and interact normally. It has been a challenge for all of us, as it has been for most people around the globe, but we are grateful that the kids are in full agreement with how we are approaching it.

With school resuming on-line, Jess returned to work at Rosslyn full-time last week. Part of her role at Rosslyn is facilitating the transition and arrival of all new staff. This is always a big task, but in the time of Covid-19 coordinating international travel from a variety of nations, planning and executing large group gatherings and trainings, and hosting new arrivals, has been even more challenging than ever. But as you could safely assume, she handled it all spectacularly. It was all conducted professionally, safely, and with excellence.

She is glad to be back in the office, but this has of course led to a major transition for our family. With the kids having school online, Jamie will have to predominantly work from home during the week so that he is available to oversee the kids schooling. Any travel or project visits will have to happen on weekends. Last semester we both had the flexibility to work from home, so it made coordinating ministry, school, work, and home obligations much more manageable. We know the next few months are going to be different, and possibly more challenging, but we are also looking forward to this challenge. There are gifts hidden within each difficult and trying thing we encounter, so we are committed to being attentive as those gifts are revealed.

We know that you are also facing your own challenges during this time. We pray that you will also be aware of Christ’s presence and grace in the pains and the joys of this season, and that the gifts hidden within will become more visible.


Recent Family Happenings


Ministry and Projects

Current Project Needs

We have several projects that we are currently making preparations to begin. If you would like to read more about these projects you can scroll down past this update, or click here: https://dunningsinkenya.com/2020/08/17/current-project-needs/

Covid-19 Relief Efforts

Over the last several months, we have continued to stand with our local partners in meeting the needs of communities that have been affected by this pandemic, through food, goods, and mask distributions. At this point, approx. 1,800 households from communities all over the country have received Covid-19 relief, and many of these have received relief 2-3 times.

Another major need that the pandemic has created is the need for on-going education for children, since Kenyan schools have been closed. In the coming months, we will be investing in providing materials and tutors for the children at our partner children’s homes. This will ensure that they are able to stay on track with their education and be ready when schools reopen.

St. Joyuna Academy Chicken Sustainability Project

The chicken project at St. Joyuna Academy (formerly Calvary Christian) was our first venture into income generating, sustainability initiatives back in 2011. The chicken project was highly successful, and provided consistent income and food supplements for the school and church for years. However, due to several factors related to the market, the project was temporarily shut down for a couple of years. We are excited to announce that through the combination of a gift/micro-loan the project is relaunching! There are currently 200 chicks brooding, with another round of 200 on their way. The chicks are ready for the market after 6 weeks of brooding. The cycle has been set up so that every 3 weeks a new flock will be ready to sell. This initiative, in combination with the water kiosk income generating project that was started in April (read more in our last update: https://dunningsinkenya.com/2020/06/12/june-update/), St. Joyuna has made great strides toward self-sustainability, while meeting the needs of the school, church, and greater community.

Hosanna Children’s Home Dairy Project Update

We are happy to report that the Dairy Project at Hosanna has continued to grow! In June, we shared that we had purchased a new heifer, Farasi. In late June, she safely gave birth to a female calf, Molo. With the addition of Molo, there are now 5 females in the project. Just two weeks later Sheriff Sr. (the first heifer we bought a few years ago) gave birth to another calf, this time a male. The male calf will be raised for 2-3 years and sold for profit.

Isaac, the director of Hosanna and overseer of this project, has made an incredible connection with a local Dairy Co-op that has agreed to purchase all of the milk produced (that isn’t consumed). This is a great development because it provides a guaranteed market! This project is such a blessing, as it provides milk for the children, much needed income, and educational opportunities for the children to gain agricultural skills.

Micro-Finance Loan Opportunities

Another group that Covid-19 has had a detrimental impact on is small business owners. Unfortunately, a few of the individuals that have started businesses through micro-loans in the last 1-2 years were unable to maintain their business during this climate. Fortunately, we have been able to stand with them during this time and are committed to seeing these businesses get back on their feet.

On the brighter side, we have had the opportunity to extend a few new loans during this season. These loans are creating opportunities for individuals to generate income that will sustain themselves and their ministries. We are excited to see these how these small businesses grow and develop.

Tana River Agriculture Projects

We are pleased to share that the flooding from earlier this year has subsided and the communities were able to return to their homes. Even though they had lost their previous crops, they immediately got back to work. Through our partner, Bocha, we are able to provide seeds to help get them back on track. As you can see, they wasted no time in bringing life to their communities through those seeds!


Prayer Requests

  • For a solution to Covid-19 and for Kenyan (and US/World) leadership to have wisdom to know how to move forward.
  • 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 dunningsinkenya@gmail.com.


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