At the close of 2011, we found the Lord really refining our team as we went through numerous trials: hurdles for Climb BlueSky, car accidents, instability in Kenya, and family medical trials back home. As we enter 2012, our team is rested and ready to see what the Lord has in store in 2012. We know that this year will bring its own set of trials and victories and we believe that the Lord will be faithful to use each of them to bring Glory to His name.
With the exception of 1 person, all of the team members are back and Kenya and plugging into their different ministry areas. The student team is meeting with their covenant groups, getting ready to kick off their weekly events, and will be assisting with a 3-day conference for homeschool students this week.
The Camp BlueSky team is continuing preparations for this summer and getting ready to start camper registration next month. We still need more counselors for next summer so if you know any college students who love Jesus, love kids, and want to spend their summer serving in Kenya, please send them our way!
BlueSky Adventures is positioning itself to roll out new programs in the upcoming weeks. We’ve created a corporate and a student track that will set teams on a course to complete a series of programs. Our hope is that this will bring the same teams back again and again so that we are able to continue to invest in and build relationships with them!
Progress is steady at Climb BlueSky. At this point the beginner wall, bouldering cave, birthday party deck, youth seating area and offices are all coming along. Enjoy this slideshow that show’s recent progress, its so exciting, this is going to be an awesome tool to enable us to engage our community.
Last week, Kim, David, and Beth were able to take a quick trip out to Western Kenya. They delivered 151 backpacks that were donated at the end of last year. They arrived Friday afternoon and saw 109 students from Rehema Primary. After giving Standards 8, 7, and 6 backpacks, they counted to make sure they had enough to give them to the Standard 5 children as well. Dave called out, “we have 23 backpacks” and Kim grabbed the class list from Standard 5 and saw it had exactly 23 names on it. Praise God, we had just enough backpacks for all of those students.
Prior to handing out the backpacks, Kim shared with them and told them that many people in the US love them and are praying for them, and those people had sent a gift to the students. Eyeing the backpacks, the students began to clap and shout for joy. She also congratulated them for finishing another school year and challenged them to study hard as they enter the next grade level. Then they gave each student a backpack and took their photo.
The next morning, they were able to meet with the 42 high school students and give them their backpacks. Kim gave them the chance to share something for the past year. Many students raised their hand and every single one thanked God for sending a sponsor who would love them and enable them to get a higher education. Many commented that they never imagined they would reach high school and now many of them have already finished their first year. They were truly humbled and appreciative. They continued to thank God for his provision.
We would like to thank each of the sponsors and those who donated backpacks for making a difference in the lives of these students. We are so thankful for your generosity to them. If you haven’t already done so, you can click on the Western Kenya tab at the top of the blog to view our project completion goals and our current progress. You can click on the Child Sponsorship tab to view the children with an urgent need for a sponsor.
Here are some pictures from last weeks trip.
Reach Out. That’s the challenge we gave Daley and Tyler when they answered the call to join the BlueSky Team. It would be their task to move us forward into a new school. When they met the principle of a local Hindu school, they hoped to find opportunities to reach into that school and community. When they arrived, they knew a handful of students they had met at camp. When they left that afternoon, they had tripled the number of students that they knew and had been invited to teach club events each week. Beginning in January, Daley will be leading a basketball club for girls and Tyler will be teaching American Football to boys every Friday afternoon.
The Hindu school isn’t the only place that the Lord has given our team opportunities to reach out. The Lord has blessed our team with relationships with students from 7 multinational schools, opening doors into the hearts of students who will rise up to be the next generation of world leaders. Each week 50 students are coming to our weekly BlueSky Middle and High School events, where they are hearing the Gospel. 45 students are in Covenant groups where they are going deeper and studying the Word together.
BlueSky Adventures: We love the way the challenge course offers opportunities to tear down walls and open lines of communication. This makes it an incredible tool in relationship building, both within the team and with those facilitating. Greg and his team have had several opportunities to enable the BlueSky Youth team to build relationships with students this semester. Lexi and Greg spent 2 days working with the middle school student council from the International School. Lexi works in that school and knew almost all of the students. It was an opportunity for her to develop deeper relationships with each of them. The rest of the Youth team has also been able to work Adventures groups with students, enabling them to engage students from several Nairobi area schools.
The Climb BlueSky team has begun building the beginner climbing walls and hopes to begin the student space soon. This will enable us to begin regularly hosting and engaging the community from our new facility. Please pray that the Lord would give Stephen, Andrew, and Jason wisdom as they continue to move forward. Also pray that the Lord would provide the additional $100,000 needed to complete the project!
Camp BlueSky: Lexi and Jason are heading up the Camp BlueSky team and much of their off-season time is being invested in re-designing the camp program so that we do an even better job of sharing the Gospel with students through each and every aspect of camp. One of the key components of this is putting together the 2012 camp staff, and YOU can help.
Camp BlueSky is looking for college students to answer Adventure’s call and serve as camp counselors in Kenya this summer. Do you know any college students who love Jesus and who would make great camp counselors? Counselors have the opportunity to share Jesus with multinational kids, serve in a couple of different villages, and take part in some of the finest adventures East Africa has to offer. Interested? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
In addition to thinking about anyone you may know, would you also help us spread the word by posting this to Facebook or Twitter?
BlueSky Youth: God has been so faithful to work in the lives of students this semester. Jackson is one student we see the Lord working in. He’s a junior and his parents recently moved to Kenya, he’s had a hard time adjusting to his new life. Its been evident in his behavior, he was recently suspended from school for 2 weeks. His friends are in Jason’s covenant group and he’s started attending regularly. Friday night, after a dramatic over-time semi-final soccer victory, Jackson and his friends went straight to “BlueSky.” That night Tyler talked about the cross and the resurrection, Jackson needed to hear the message that night. He felt like he had just left the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice just sitting there, ignored. The resurrected Christ meant he could have new life full of grace and love. Jesus sacrifice was more than enough to cover all that was wrong in his life.
The next morning Jackson’s soccer team had their final match. They won their second overtime thriller in 24-hours, becoming League Champions. As the celebration wrapped up, Jason saw Jackson walking alone across the field. He ran up to congratulate him and Jackson gave him a huge hug and with tears in his eyes he said “Thanks for being here. Not just at this game, but in my life. Thanks for being here. I really needed this.” Jason and the rest of the BlueSky team count it such a privilege to be able to be a friend to students like Jackson.
Staff Profile: Michelle Peteet is the Director of BlueSky Youth. She is originally from Athens, Georgia. After graduating from Berry College, she lived in Rome, Georgia where she worked in student ministry at First Presbyterian Church for 5 years. Michelle’s personal ministry passions are both outreach and discipleship. She loves seeing students from all nations come into a personal relationship with God and delights in walking along-side students in their journeys with Him. Michelle asks that you pray that the Lord would continue to build unity on the Youth team, that He would continue to open doors in the new schools we are pursuing, and that students would see Jesus for who He is and follow Him.
The 2011 BlueSky Annual Campaign is underway. Our desire is to continue to grow our ministry in Nairobi and establish a ministry hub at Climb BlueSky. Would you give a year-end gift to enable BlueSky to share the Gospel within the multinational community in Nairobi? Your gift will push us closer to reaching the $50,000 needed to finish 2011 and the $100,000 needed to complete Climb BlueSky.