Today we are going to talk Mission of hope which we will refer to as MOHI. MOHI is one of CCV’s most strategic partners We will talk about they do and what is like to go on a missions trip to Nairobi, Kenya.
Today I have the honor of introducing one of my closest friends. Over the past 13 years CCV and MOHI has formed a special relationship and together we have seen God move in amazing ways.
MARY is the Co-Founder of Missions of Hope International, along with her husband Wallace. We will refer to Mission of Hope as MOHI. Mary Kamau holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Kenyatta University and a Masters degree in Leadership from Pan Africa Christian University. Prior to forming MOHI, MARY has worked and volunteered with various organizations in community development.
The XXXX Project:
Christ’s Church of the Valley: https://ccv.church/
CCV Missions: www.ccv.church/missions
Pastor Larrie Fraley: linkedin.com/in/larrie-fraley-53445032
Larrie: [00:00:02] Welcome to another episode of Let's Go 360. Let's Go 360 is a podcast for listeners who want to know More about what God is doing around the world here, near and far. This podcast is sponsored by Christ’s Church of the Valley, also known as CCV One Church with many locations across the Greater Phoenix area with plans to expand wherever God wants to go. And as always, our show notes will have links to helpful information discussed in each podcast episode, along with a complete transcript of every episode. Check out all episodes on letsgo360.org and be sure to check out CCV at our CCV website ccv.church. My name is Larrie Fraley. I'm your host and lead pastor of the local and global missions here at CCV. Today, we are going to talk with Missions of Hope, which we will refer to as MOHI. MOHI is one of CCV's most strategic partners, and we'll talk about what they do and what it's like to go on a missions trip to Nairobi, Kenya. Today, I have the honor of introducing one of my closest friends. Over the past 13 years, CCV and MOHI has formed a special relationship and together we have seen God move in amazing ways.
Larrie: [00:01:30] Mary is the co founder of Missions of Hope International, along with her husband, Wallace. Mary holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Kenyatta University and a master's degree in leadership from Pan African Christian University. Prior to forming MOHI, Mary worked and volunteered with various organizations in community development. In 1992, as a young college student, Mary was introduced by a worship leader of her church to the Mathare Valley in the streets of Nairobi, Kenya. That introduction profoundly changed Mary's life and laid the foundation that has inspired MOHI’s future work. Around the same time, Mary's future husband and co founder of MOHI, also felt led to minister in the Mathare Valley as a college student. And as the Kamaus completed their education, God continued weaving his story for the people of Mathare Valley into their hearts. Mary completed her degree and began working with various organizations serving children, including the church in Mathare. Likewise, Wallis began ministering to churches in Mathare. Apart from his career as an accountant with Price Waterhouse. The couple met in a prayer meeting in 1994 and married in the following year. Mary welcome to the show.
Mary: [00:02:57] Thank you very much, Larrie.
Larrie: [00:02:59] Hey, before we dive in today, tell us a little bit more about your family, you and Wallace and your children.
Mary: [00:03:05] I am married to Wallace. We have been married for the last 26 years and we have three children. Our daughter is 25 and we have a son who is 23, another son that is15. And we also have a foster daughter, Joyce, who is 14.
Larrie: [00:03:26] Now. So I've met all of your family. They're a beautiful family. And even as we speak, Victory is now graduating and is planning to begin an internship here at CCV. We are so excited to have him on staff here to further his education, but more importantly, just to get to know him better.
Mary: [00:03:47] He's very excited. And as a family, we can't wait for Victoria to get a great experience at CCV.
Larrie: [00:03:55] Well, first of all, could you share a little bit about about MOHI, about how many schools there are and children and MOHI now is operating outside of just Nairobi. So fill us in about what's going on.
Mary: [00:04:08] Well, we started Missions of Hope by in the yearr 2000. We started with one school in the Mathare slums with 50 kids, boys and girls age 4 to 6. And over the last over 21 years, God has blessed this ministry. We are now in 30 different locations, and we have 22,568 students in our schools.
Larrie: [00:04:36] Wow. And I know you're expanding outside of Nairobi. Tell us about Liberia.
Mary: [00:04:40] Yes, we actually our schools, these locations we are working in, both among the urban communities and rural communities in Kenya. And a few years ago, we got connected to our good friends in Liberia. There is one Pastor Blatey Williams who had previously been working with CCV, and he came to visit alongside CCV to visit MOHI, here in Nairobi, Kenya. And he got so excited and invited us to go and take MOHI to Liberia. And so we are excited. We have the location where he has been serving in this community. We have identified more than 1200 kids that are part of MOHI, and we have another community with over 200 children. And we are just very excited that God is taking this model to Liberia as well.
Larrie: [00:05:40] Now, I know child sponsorship is a method or Model to be used in community development and to further the education and the spiritual development of children. But there's something different about MOHI. Can you explain what happens in the day in the life of a child who is a student at MOHI?
Mary: [00:06:02] That's a really good question, Larrie. So we have a child sponsorship program, but what happens is that when children are sponsored in Missions of Hope, they become part of the one of our hope centers. And this child is able to come every day of the week from Monday to Saturday, from Monday to Friday. They go through school using the Kenyan school curriculum and they have two meals a day. They are provided with the spiritual development. They are in morning devotions before they start learning in their classrooms. They also have their basic health care taken care of in our clinics. But these children also provide an entry point to their families. And so we are able to have a way to get into their family and to their community as a whole, to be able to evangelize to them, but also connect them to local churches that we are planting in their communities as well.
Larrie: [00:07:08] Now, also, these children are fed twice a day. That's very unusual for a ministry or a child sponsorship ministry to be able to feed a child at all, let alone twice a day. That's something you've done for quite a while now.
Mary: [00:07:25] We do this because these children are coming from families where they don't have regular income to be able to provide food every day for their children. And so we realized that having a feeding program for these children where they are in school contributes one to the good development healthwise, but also to them being in school and being able to focus in school and concentrate on their studies. So that is a very important aspect. And so school is Monday through Friday, but also on Saturdays we have mentorship programs, two Saturdays a month, and they also are able to get food on those Saturdays as well.
Larrie: [00:08:11] And I've certainly I've been there several times and I can attest to the quality of the education and also as the graduating seniors go out into the world to to now work in the community, these children are very bright. They pass college exams and are able to then continue their education in the universities there in the surrounding areas. Tell us a little bit about how that works.
Mary: [00:08:38] Yes. So as these children, of course, complete eighth grade in Kenya, generally every eighth grader have to sit for a national exam which determines who goes to high school. So it's not automatic for every child to go to high school. And so far over the years since 2009, because that's when we had the first eighth graders, we have had over 96% transition from eighth grade to high school. And even the 4% that don't go to high school, we kind of connect them to our vocational skills training center so that they can be able to get some trade skills that they can use to really be able to build their future. However, these children, as they go through high school, we are able to continue working with them. They continue being in our child sponsorship program, and by the time they complete high school, four years of high school, they are ready to go to college or be able to start small businesses or go to some kind of college that can really give them skills to be able to find jobs in the future. And we have a number of these students who are actually now working in Missions of Hope. And that is one of the most exciting things.
Larrie: [00:10:04] Now, I know you're not being you're not sharing the complete story because there is a your Model and the quality of education that you're giving the children there is not going unnoticed by the public school systems. In fact, some of the school systems are asking you Missions of Hope to come in and administer their program, correct?
Mary: [00:10:29] That is very true. Actually, in some of the counties, specifically in Turkana County, the government officials requested whether Missions of Hope could partner with the public schools. And we have been partnering with two public schools and it has worked so well in these two schools. Nobody, no boy, no girl had ever stepped in a high school from those primary schools. But after we started partnering with them, there has been literally hundred percent transition of students from eighth grade to high school, and that is unheard of in that county Turkana county, having like all students in a certain school be able to go to high school. And so we have had more schools now ask us to partner with them and in the future we want to be able to do more of these. We have had a few other counties get to know what is happening in Turkana and they have started asking us if we can partner with them as well.
Larrie: [00:11:38] Well, it's so hard to describe what it's like there in that in Nairobi, Kenya, and particularly in MOHI. But we have a way to help our audience actually experience that, because all we can do on this side, as attendees and members of CCV is to read and learn about information. And then we can use our imagination as to what it must be like there. But it's not until you actually experience it and actually go on location for that transformation to take place. And so we do that in the form of mission trips and CCV sends hundreds of trip participants to visit MOHI, to experience the life there, to actually be involved in in the life of a child and see firsthand what's going on. We send hundreds of high school students because it's during those high school years that students lives are most transformed in some way. It can be transformed from the culture they live in. It can be transformed from the experiences. It can be transformed by the people they know that influence their life. But one way that their lives are transformed is to actually go to Missions of hope in Nairobi, Kenya. And CCV has provided a way to do that.
Larrie: [00:13:06] It's easy, if you're interested in that, whether you're a high school student or whether you're an adult. Go to our website CCV.church, go to the missions page and learn more about and register to go on a mission strip. The missions team at CCV will then take over and train you, educate you, inform you about what it would be like to actually go on a missions trip. And the good news about that is we also teach you how to raise your own funds to go. And so if you are really interested but have always thought that it's too expensive, that you can't afford it, that's not true. Almost everyone who goes through our training and tries to raise funds for themselves are able to go. And so we really encourage you to take the next step in your spiritual journey to go on a mission trip. And the first one I'd recommend is to go to Kenya. Mary We talk a lot about mission trips, but could you maybe help us understand what it would be like if a team arrives or an individual arrives on location there and actually begins a mission trip? What happens?
Mary: [00:14:19] Wonderful. So when you come on a mission trip to missions of Hope, it would be such a great experience of your lifetime because, number one, when you come, we are able to spend some time just sharing with you the God story about Missions of Hope and what God is doing, what God has been doing. And then we give you an opportunity. If you sponsor a child to meet the child, all the children that you sponsor, you meet them in person, you spend some time with them, you interact with them. Our social workers come alongside, do to help, you know, you be able to meet to make that meeting with your child. And then we take you to the community where you'll be observing the rest of the week. And sometimes you may be involved in doing VBS in the school where we partner with CCV, Korogocho, by the way, it is the best performing school at the moment. We just got the eighth grade exams, results and KB we call it K, B, we call it Korogocho B emerged the best among the Missions of Hope schools. And anyway, so if you go to Korogocho B you do you can do VBS, you can do sports ministry with them. And also the other neighboring schools. You are able to make home visits to the homes that these children come from. And when you do these home visits, you interact with the parents, you interact with the community members, you can interact with the youth in this community.
Mary: [00:15:59] And they share. They share about their lives with you. They see you as their friend because you came all the way from Phoenix just for them to visit them in their homes. And then you are able to pray with them and you do this alongside our staff. The Kenyan staff have such a great joy having you come and work alongside them. So you literally plug in to what they do, what our social workers do every day, what our trainers, community, health and educators do every day. Other times, you know, if you have skills in the medical area, you can be able to use those skills and do a medical camp or a medical clinic for our students, but also for our staff and our community members. If you have skills in sewing, you can be able to use those skills in sewing. Whatever skills that God has given you, you can be able to make use of them in missions of hope, even hairdressing and beauty, even welding, even plumbing, even electrical wiring. You can do this in our skills training center. And so it is such a great encouragement that I would give all of you to come alongside missions of group and come and serve with us and you have a lifetime experience.
Larrie: [00:17:25] And I want to encourage those of you who are in the professional areas that are sort of non-technical, so to speak, maybe you have a business education or background, maybe you're a CEO of a company, maybe you're a CPA. There is still something for you to do there. Missions of hope as programs where they are actually doing micro financing and teaching their members there. And there are people there to operate small businesses. So if you're a business owner who has some practical business knowledge, you're also very valuable to come and help teach some of those practices to the Missions of Hope, people and community there. You know, Korogoho B, which Mary mentioned was the one of the first schools that CCV got involved with. And I can remember those days when there was nothing there. And so I went to visit and they they warned me that you're going to be walking down the streets where many of the people there have not seen a white person before. And so as we begin to walk down those streets, I remember getting some strange looks, but I can tell you that they are the most friendly people that welcomed us into the community. And not too long after that, we began to open the school and things began to grow. We went on missions, trips, we went on medical trips there, and now Korogocho B has grown. I'm excited about the next adventure that CCV is getting involved with, with Missions of Hope in a school called Mitangoni. Mary, could you share with us a little bit about that opportunity that CCV is getting involved with in a big way?
Mary: [00:19:04] Thank you, Larrie. Very exciting. Well, in Kenya, we have several communities that are actually unreached people groups. And there is this one community called Mitangoni. It is in the coastal region of Kenya. And this community had no school, had no church and they always felt left out and forgotten, kind of forgotten. And so a few years ago, they started we kind of made a visit, you know, God just spoke to us to go to the coastal region, and we visited some of the government offices. And it happened that when the chief called for a meeting of community leaders in that meeting, there was this old man called Choma Charro and Choma kind of started talking about his community and how his community had always been left out. And nothing good happened in this community. And he requested and he pleaded where the Missions of Hope group could consider doing a school for their children in this community. And so he took us to this community and we started interacting with the community members. And for sure we learned that for any child who desired to go to school, they originally had to walk for more than eight miles to get to a school. And so we started the school this last year in this community.
Mary: [00:20:35] We initially didn't have money even to buy property, to be able to build the school. And through CCV and members of CCV, we were able to get money to buy land and then we were able to get money recently from CCV to start building a school. And a church for this community. And the community members said that because building a permanent putting up a permanent building is going to take long, why not do a temporary building for the church building and then rent some space to just get started with the school while we wait to build the school and the church, let alone a permanent church building later on. And so we got started. And so as we speak right now, we have 268 children attending school. And we have a church we have a church planter. We have started the church there, and every one of them in this community is just so excited that they have a church right in their community, and now they also have a school in this community. And we give glory to God and we are thankful to CCV and the partnership we have with CCV.
Larrie: [00:21:55] Yeah. I'm looking forward this year to coming and visiting to just see the progress going on there. We are so excited here about about that and can't wait to to see it firsthand. Now, it's also important to note, because you mentioned it, that with every school that is started in MOHI, there is a church also started. So it's the goal for every child to have a school in, every family to have a church. So, MOHI, he is as involved in church planting as they are in school planting. And so that's important to note. Mary, we're going to have to wrap up. And so as we wrap up here today, how can we pray for you?
Mary: [00:22:34] Thanks for asking that question. Yes, we ask for prayers as Missions of Hope because we have a God sized goal to keep expanding and to keep taking this holistic ministry Model to many More communities across Kenya, across Africa and wherever else God is going to say that we feel led to have at least expect to have to expand to these about 100 communities by the year 2030 so that we can be able to replicate this holistic ministry model to these communities. And in these 100 communities, we want to be able to have 100 such plants. And that means a hundred schools, whether they are missions of schools or they are going to be public schools that we are going to partner with. But in all these schools and in these communities, we want to have at least 100,000 children. And that means a hundred thousand souls of children that will get to know Jesus.
Larrie: [00:23:46] Those are big prayers, big dreams. We know that you can't out dream God and you've got some God sized dreams. And so we look forward to joining you in that goal with those goals and those objectives for the future. Mary, thank you for joining us today. We look forward to having you back soon as we continue to learn More about what God is doing in your part of the world.
Mary: [00:24:10] Thank you very much.
Larrie: [00:24:14] Well, as we wrap up today's show, we want to thank you for listening. You can follow us on your favorite podcast app and leave us a five star review if you like what you've heard today and want to hear more. That way more people can hear about what God is doing around the world. Also, you can follow us on our website at www.letsgo360.org. You can also check out at CCV website ccv.church. Thanks for joining us. And as we talk with those living out the great commission inspired by the Great Commandments so that we might stand before the great multitudes, before the throne, when the mission of God is complete. May God bless you as we go and send those here near and far.