Partners and Friends,
Greetings from Nairobi! We are doing well on this side of the world. We hope that you all are well, and that our Stateside friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. The holiday season is always bittersweet for us. It is an incredible and full season for our family and ministry, but it is especially difficult to be away from our families during the holidays. That being said, we are so grateful for our lives here.
The past several months have brought about several changes for our family. Jamie has officially taken on a part-time position as Service-Learning Coordinator at Rosslyn Academy, which allows him to create opportunities for students and staff of the school, from all grade levels, to engage in service and relational building opportunities with partner programs, communities, and ministries all over Kenya. It has integrated beautifully with our missions’ work.
Jessica has taken on several new roles at Rosslyn this school. Her official title is the Director of Communications and Admissions. She is excited for the addition of Admissions to her role as she loved her time in Admissions at Emmanuel College before we moved to Kenya. This will be an area for growth as well as an area to use a skill set that she hasn’t had the opportunity to tap into for a while.
Sophie is loving her Middle School life, and strives to be involved in nearly everything…maybe too much. As a 7th Grader she is on the MS Worship Team, the MS Student Leadership Team, the MS Basketball Team, Imago Dei Choir, and she recently was selected to play a major role in the MS play, “Camelot and Camelittle,” which will be in February. In addition to all of these school commitments, she regularly teaches Sunday School (planning her on lessons from scratch), has started baby-sitting a few times a month, and continues to take piano lessons. She is extremely busy, but not to worry, she always finds time to hang with friends, watch plenty of Netflix/YouTube, and play with Axel (the dog).
Ethan is halfway through his 5th Grade year, which is hard to believe. They both will be in MS next year! We think he likes school, but the only updates we ever get are the scores and highlights of that day’s soccer matches at recess. 🙂 He is always moving…..playing soccer, basketball, running, riding his bike, hiking, skateboarding, chasing Axel (or being chased)….it is rare to find him being sedentary. He also loves playing drums and is continuing to take lessons. His ES Christmas concert is coming up, and he was chosen to play a percussion part during one song, which he is very excited about.
A few months ago, we moved to a new house on Rosslyn’s campus. This is our 5th house in 8 years (two were sold so we were forced to abruptly move), and may be our favorite. Being located on campus has made our lives much easier to navigate, especially when Jamie is traveling, since we only have one vehicle. Jessica and the kids can easily walk to class and work, and everyone can return home at any point when their activities are finished. Also, with the cost of fuel skyrocketing over the last year, it has been a blessing to cut our mileage considerably. This house is the perfect little cottage for our family, with an amazing back porch (where we spend most of our time), and a nice yard for Axel. We were also very happy to christen our new home with a visit from Jessica’s parents and sister! It’s always great to host family and share our life here with them.
Project and Ministry Update
St. Joyuna Classroom Project
The 5-Classroom Building Project is finally complete! We had the official dedication last week and the entire community came to celebrate the opening. This addition is such an improvement for the learning environment of the students at this school.
People to People Updates
We have nearly 250 children in the People to People child sponsorship program, which requires quite a bit of oversight. Luckily, we often make updates a family affair. A few months ago we all went to Kanja to do child updates at Emmanuel Prep. School. Sophie and Ethan have become incredible helpers with this process.
Christmas is Coming!
Our annual Christmas Project is upon us, and we have already started celebrating! This year we will be conducting 5 Christmas parties at partner programs that will feed hundreds of people, provide gifts for nearly 500 children, and assist with classroom building renovations.
This year’s gifts will be:
- Hosanna Children’s Home: New school shoes for 50 children
- Huruma Children’s Home: New school shoes for 49 children
- St. Joyuna Academy: New backpacks with relief food inside for 248 children
- Emmanuel Prep. School: Plastering of classrooms and renovations, as well as a celebratory meal
- Nakuru CMD: New school shoes for 46 children
- Pastor’s Children: Monetary gift to 75 Pastor’s Children
- Outreach Children: Gifts for 6 Outreach children (*Gift to be determined)
If you would like to make a contribution to this effort it will be greatly appreciated! You can do so here: https://give.iphc.org/missionary/james-and-jessica-dunning (choose “Dunning Jamie Ministry” in drop down menu.)
Because the students will be releasing for the holidays with students going to stay with their families and/or caretakers, we celebrated with St. Joyuna and Huruma last week.
Hosanna Children’s Home Water Treatment Plant
We were able to help install a new water treatment facility at Hosanna. Many of the children were dealing with stomach and other issues, so a water survey was conducted. It found that the water quality did not meet appropriate standards. With this new water treatment facility, the children are guaranteed the cleanest water possible!
In September, Jamie had the opportunity to visti Kigali, Rwanda, to learn about the work and ministry of Clement Muneza. There are several initiatives that are ongoing in Rwanda that we are planning to come alongside and support. These include micro-businesses, feeding programs, and People to People Child Sponsorship.
One of these is a Sewing Project that is run by Clement. This is a Micro-Business initiative that is empowering single mothers to transition towards a better life for themselves and their children. Through practical training and Christian discipleship, they are able to generate income to feed their families, pay school fees, and provide a service to the community.
Bogoria Scouting Trip
Ethan joined me on a scouting trip to visit a few ministry projects in the Bogoria/Baringo area. We took the opportunity to visit Lake Bogoria for the first time. We were blown away by the beauty of the landscape, and especially by the natural hot springs around the lake.
Trip to the US
It was a fairly spontaneous decision, but Jamie was able to go back home in August for 1 week to visit his parents and to attend General Conference in Florida. It was a quick trip, but always a blessing to be able to see family and connect with friends and partners….and eat way too much food.
- For the millions of people in Kenya facing drought, 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 email@example.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