Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Update from Nairobi

The team members who remained on Mfangano after our colleagues departed with the medical team attended Sunday services at Kitawi on the south side of the island. African worship services are full of singing and praising God.

There is something about children singing in Suba, Swahili or any other African language that warms and encourages my heart. The singing, dancing, prayer and teaching/preaching always bless us greatly when we come to this place.

Monday was our final day of work. The construction team continued its work on the first cottage beside the guest house. At days end, the support posts and beams were complete with the structure ready for the roof to be added.

Bill and I scrounged enough wood scraps from the dock construction to make new seats for the equipment at the GGCC playground. One seesaw, one set of swings and the merry-go-round had been out of service for some time because of broken seats or broken supports.

During the day 2 men from the local technical school came to weld the swing and seesaw supports. GGCC fundi (maintenance men) assisted with the work. At days end the work was complete and playground equipment was ready for the children.

We received bad news from two fronts on Monday; the Gracia House in Nairobi advised that our reservations for Tuesday night were cancelled. It seems that another group that had been staying there for 4 days had their outgoing flight cancelled. Gracia House let them stay one more night in our rooms.

MAF let us know that we would only be able to load 1900 pounds on the outgoing flight from Mfangano, down from the usual 2200.

We obtained scales from the Sena Clinic to determine exactly what our updated body weights were, after our days and weeks on the island. Our total weight was 1913 pounds. With this unexpected change we would not be able to take everyone on the plane, nor take any baggage with us.

Problem? Our great God already had the resolutions ready and worked through his servants in Nairobi and on Mfangano Island to implement them.

Calvary's GO Kenya teams have used David Njau for years to handle transportation and other travel related issued in Nairobi and Kenya. He is a man of God and is clearly God's man for us in Kenya. It did not take David very long to report back that he had arranged housing for us. Turns out it is better than the Gracia House in some respects.

Naphtaly Mattah contacted MAF on our behalf and pleaded with them to allow 2200 pounds on the plane. Thankfully, they agreed! We were able to load everything except 3 trunks and we were able to depart without difficulty.

The trunks were taken by boat to Mbita and shipped via bus to Nairobi. They arrived at the hotel this morning at 6:15. Once again God displayed His faithfulness in our lives, as he has done so often throughout our time in Kenya.

Goodbyes were difficult as we realized it was time to leave the ones who had served us. Many prepared our food, cleaned the Guest House, washed our clothes (ironed them sometimes) and saw to our every need. Others carried our supplies to and from boats and transported us all over the region in the boats. All served gladly and with great joy in their hearts. We all give thanksgiving to God for each one of them.

By mid-Tuesday team members joined us, arriving by van from Tenwek. We spent the afternoon shopping and enjoyed an Italian dinner at a local restaurant. Calvary supported missionaries Tim and Bonnie Cook joined us for dinner. It was good to see and spend time with them again.

This morning (Wednesday) some of the team has gone to the game park. The rest of us will soon depart for a day of shopping. The others will join us at noon. We depart for London at 11:45 pm tonight. Please pray for safety as we embark on this long journey.

Looking back, we estimate we came into contact with over 5000 people while completing our 3 week mission. We depart trusting God to bless them and provide healing, comfort and encouragement.

We are thankful for your financial support and also for your prayers that sustained us.

Vince Eaton

Monday, July 26, 2010


We heard Saturday evening that Tyrese, the young boy who had been burned with boiling water last Saturday is recovering quickly.

The fingers on one hand have straightened completely and he has full use of them. The severely burned arm is healing and the recovery will enable him to have its full use as he grows up.

The bean in the girls ear was successfully removed Saturday afternoon with no injury to the inner part of her ear.

We continue to praise God for how blessing and work on Mfangano Island.
Vince Eaton

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday Evening

After crossing the lake to Ragwe we climbed up a hill, passing a huge kiln where bricks were made. The bricks were stacked 10-12 feet high and completely covered with mud. The entire structure radiated heat as the bricks cooled in the warm Kenyan winter.

As we approached the place we would be working we realized quickly that God had provided an ideal location for our work. The primary school was separate from the unfinished building the medical team would use.

The entire medical team from registration through the pharmacy was contained in an area the size of Calvary's Chapel.

Communication was easier as was crowd control. An additional benefit was that triage, doctors and pharmacy were all set up in separate rooms that enabled each to work efficiently in an uncrowded environment.

Additionally God provided slightly overcast skied and a gentle breeze. We were all blessed to be in this place this day.

The medical team treated a total of 260 patients at Ragwe. Included was a child with a bean in her ear that even the surgeons could not remove. The bean went in dry a month ago and had enlarged and filled the ear canal. Pray that God will provide resolution to this case in coming days.

The primary school team presented their program in an environment that was quite satisfactory for the program they were conducting. First they presented to 250 smaller students and then to 100 or so larger kids after lunch.

The construction team began construction of the first of five Kenyan style cottages that will be suitable for couples and/or smaller groups. This will provide accommodations for groups that are not large enough to use the Guest House. Construction will continue Saturday and Monday.

The dental team treated 50 patients and extracted teeth from them all. The last 3 extractions were done after dark in the dining hall at the Guest House. We had brought these cases with us when we returned from Ragwe.

The eye team treated 52 patients and performed 2 cataract surgeries outside the guest house in the dining hall. I was privileged to observe the operation close hand and was able to photograph parts of the procedure.

I was both humbled and blessed by the experience as I watched a skilled surgeon remove the cataract, clean up residual material in the surgical area and then insert a new lens.

Who could ever believe the design and complexity of the human eye "just happened" through evolution. We know our Great God created us in His image. To be able to observe such a procedure in a fairly primitive environment was simply amazing.

The medical teams combined to treat 362 patients today!

Evangelistic outreach around the medical team saw 34 souls profess faith in Jesus Christ!! At the primary school, many, many children accepted Christ.

The Community Health team received more surveys from their workers than expected. Follow up is planned for one month, three months and six months.

Malaria is a leading cause of infant death in this region. The team was provided with Provectors to be placed in homes across Mfangano Island.

The device is constructed like a flower with insecticide in the middle of the flower. Mosquitos are attracted to the flower and to the insecticide, they partake and immediately die.

Initial reports from several families indicate a significant absence of mosquitos in their homes. This could be a huge step in reducing malaria related deaths in the region. Evaluation continues over the next three months. Provectors have also been placed in all GGCC dormitories and in the Guest House.

Saturday morning saw the Tenwek teams, the New Colony team and part of Calvary team #2 depart Mfangano for Mbita where they loaded in vans and a bus to travel to Tenwek. The Calvary team members are scheduled to join the rest of the team in Nairobi next Tuesday afternoon.

Twelve of us remain at the Guest House. Our mission has essentially ended although cottage construction and a few service projects at GGCC remain. We will worship tomorrow at local Suba churches.

We are all thankful for your faithful prayer support. Much has been accomplished for the Kingdom. God has blessed us greatly as we have worked with joy and love with our Suba brothers and sisters, and teammates we did not know until we came together at this special place.

Summarizing this marvelous week of ministry:
> The medical teams treated 1665 patients.
> The primary school team presented its program to an estimated 1300 students.
> The construction team constructed 5 widow's huts and began work on the first guest cottage.
> The Community Health team began work that targets living conditions among the Subas. Specific recommendations that will have a life saving impact will follow when all data is received and analyzed.
> Approximately 700 people professed faith in Jesus Christ and committed their lives to Him this week! The decisions were a result of evangelistic outreach around the medical camps and in the primary schools. Pray for these new believers as they begin their Christian walk in a place where superstition, witchcraft and tribal customs run contrary to scripture.

Add these totals to the first week's service:
  • 100's of children received a new pair of shoes on freshly washed feet with the Gospel presented.
  • 1000's of children heard the Gospel presented at school programs including our friends at GGCC.
  • A total of 8 widow's huts were constructed with a dedication of these huts to the Lord.
  • 50 pastors were trained in the Doctrine of Salvation and Discipleship.
  • HIV education was shared with students and adults where HIV infection runs almost 40%.
  • Over 1600 received medical care with the Gospel.
  • Worship services began again on Rangiti Island.
  • Approximately 800 persons accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
These are not our final results. Results will be measured by future generations and into eternity. To God be the Glory!

Please continue praying:
> Calvary teammates driving 4 hours from Bomet to Nairobi Tuesday
> The rest of the Calvary team who depart Mfangano by air Tuesday
> The Tenwek teams as they resume their ministry to this region.
> The New Colony team as they return home to Massachusetts next Friday.

Thank you for your partnership through your faithful prayers! You are the most vital link to our service! More reports and photos to follow. Keep checking in on us as our team returns home!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Update

As the team neared Remba, the Lord caused the winds to increase and the waters to become restless. Clouds covered the sun and the temperature became significantly cooler. We feared a storm was coming.

The Lord; however, had another plan - a plan we were not aware of. How often, in our lives, is this the case. Our plans are insignificant and worthless when measured against those of God.

Arriving at Remba we encountered much difficulty landing and unloading our boats due to the rocky terrain and the many boats already on the beach. Finally, we were all on land and the chairman of the beach led us to the site where we would be serving.

The site was an open area with no shelter. A large tent was set up for the doctors. The pharmacy was located in the rear of a small African church. Triage was set up outside the front door of the church with registration located 50' feet or so away.

The foot washing/shoe distribution ministry was to have been inside the primary school. The conditions inside the school were so bad that a decision was made to do this ministry outside the church.

So, we had more than half of our team doing their work outside. Here is where we see the marvelous wisdom of God in action. He provided cloud cover the entire day with a gentle breeze providing additional comfort. Without this blessing we would have been "cooked" and it would have been more difficult to fulfill our mission.

Remba is populated with people from the Suba and Luo tribes, Ethiopians and others. There is a significant Muslim presence on the island.

The island is a rock, rocks and dust abound. There are no trees. It is easily one of the worst places for human habitation that I have ever been. We were all covered with dirt and grime to the point of nastiness when our day ended. We labored 8 hours in this place!

The medical team treated 231 people on Remba; the majority of the cases were malaria and typhoid related with many seeking treatment for STDs.

The eye team saw 55 individuals and performed 11 cataract surgeries. One of the cases was very difficult and will be followed today.

The dental team helped 35 patients and did 33 extractions. In all, God enabled these teams to treat 321 patients on this day.

Over 150 students received shoes and were presented the Gospel. Several Muslim students accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

One 9 year old Muslim boy wanted to accept Christ but did not do so, even after counseling by a team member. He said his family would disown him if he took this step. We are praying he will eventually become a Christ follower and lead his family to a saving knowledge of Him.

Another young boy expressed how thankful he was for the shoes and commented that his parents had never provided him a pair of shoes.

40 decisions were made to accept Christ as a result of evangelistic outreach around the medical camp on Remba.

Another 40 came to Christ as a result of open air preaching on the beach by Naphtaly Mattah and John Owitti.

At the primary school, 27 children came to a saving knowledge of Christ. With thanksgiving we praise God for the addition of another 107 souls to the kingdom today.

This morning the medical and primary school teams are travelling across the lake to the village of Ragwe, on the mainland.

Two members the medical team are surgeons and are operating on patients this morning. After their work is finished they will join us at Ragwe.

The construction team is working at the Guest House today.

Pray for us without ceasing, under girding our work. Clearly the Spirit of God is moving through the ministry of this team, the people serving us and those we continue to encounter.

Vince Eaton

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Travel on Mfangano and surrounding islands is by boat or foot; there are motorcycles on Mfangano, some of which serve as taxis for those willing to pay for the service.

The region is blessed with many birds, one of which is the magnificent fish eagle (similar to the American bald eagle.

While boating to Ouza I observed a fish eagle just above the surface of the water with his powerful wings moving just enough to help him from submerging in the waters.

As I continued watching, I realized I was witnessing a life and death struggle between the mighty fish eagle and a Nile perch. The eagle had swooped from the air in an attempt to snatch the fish from the waters.

The fish could be seen circling around as it struggled against the eagles clutches. As it continued to swim, the eagle continued to struggle to bring the fish out of the water.

Unfortunately we moved too far to see the eagle so I do not know who "won" this struggle. As we go through life, struggling against the evil one's schemes and attempts to separate us from God, we know our hope and salvation is in Christ Jesus.

That is the Mission of this GO Kenya team, to spread the name of Jesus so that they can escape the grasp of the evil one and move into a life saving and everlasting relationship with Christ.

After three days of ministry the primary school team has seen almost 300 students accept Christ in six schools. The team reported that every student at Ugena Primary School acknowledged that they were already following Him.

The construction team will complete its third widow's hut today. The huts are provided at no charge to widow's (usually with grandchildren) who have been living in conditions you and I cannot imagine. This team has been greatly blessed by the thanksgiving and gratitude expressed by the recipient of the hut.

The medical team is split into three separate teams; eye care, dental and medical. Only the medical travels, leaving eye and dental doctors In the same location.

The dental team has treated 117 patients through three days with many, many extractions being done. Much relief has been given to these hurting people through this ministry.

The eye team has treated 306 people, performing cataract surgeries on 49 of them, restoring vision to them in the process.

The medical team has visited three locations thus far, seeing a total of 528 people. Suba pastors have preached to people waiting to see the doctors and in nearby villages with many accepting Christ as their Savior.
The Community Health Team continues efforts to accumulate health related data in several locations on Mfangano. The objective is to define clearly how people can better care for themselves and their families.

Ministry continues today (Thursday) as we travel to Remba Island. The medical and primary school teams will serve together. Foot washing and shoe distribution will be provided for some 200 students. Secondary school students from GGCC are accompanying us to the island.

As I write this, we are in a crowded boat moving ever closer the work the Lord has called us to this day. It is a glorious day! As we departed from our Guest House camp the waters were restless and the wind strong. The Lord has calmed the wind and stilled the waters and given us bright sunshine. Praise His Name, for He is good.

Pray for the Calvary, Tenwek and New Colony teams as we continue working for the glory of God in this place. Three boats, 115 people, have been mobilized for the King's Army and are on the way to assault Remba in the name of the Lord.

Vince Eaton

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Monday Morning

The GO Kenya team saw 7 of its members depart Saturday morning. At the same time we welcomed another 13 teammates from Calvary and 10 from New Colony Baptist Church in Massachusetts.

The Calvary and New Colony teams moved from the airstrip to the Guest House to await the arrival of the medical team.

God's provision:
The new team had hardly been on site for an hour when a young year old boy and his mother arrived seeking medical help. Tyrese had been burned when he fell into a pot of boiling water.

He was burned slightly on his chest and one arm. The other arm; however, had been badly burned to the extent that skin from mid-bicep to wrist had come off.

The mother had taken Tyrese to the local clinic where he was given an injection and the burns wrapped in gauze.

In God's providence, our medical team was there. They treated the youngster and a decision was soon made to immediately transport Tyrese to a hospital in Homa Bay.

A local pastor accompanied Tyrese and his mother across the lake to Mbita and on to Homa Bay. He was admitted and seen by doctors within 20 minutes of arrival. Doctors expect him to remain at the hospital for 10-14 days.

We praise God for placing our medical team precisely where He wanted them to meet the needs of Tyrese.

Please pray with our team as we ask our Heavenly Father to provide complete healing.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bible translation

The Suba people of Kenya have never had their own Bible translation. They have had to read the Word in another language. This year, that has all changed. The Suba translation is at the printers and will be dedicated and distributed this winter. This is exciting news! Praise the Lord!

The photo you see is of the entry to the Bible Translation Center. You will note Revelations 1:9 on the entrance. "for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.". This is Calvary Church's scripture theme.

Calvary Church has been dedicated to sharing Jesus around the world for generations. The Suba translation is a result of that commitment.

Our trip these four weeks is a result of that commitment as well. We have taught the Word to pastors and children. Preached the Word in churches and schools. Climbed mountains and boated Lake Victoria to tell others about Jesus.

What a privilege! What a Savior! Thank you for your partnership!

Kenya's New Constitution

You will begin hearing more news about Kenya's new constitution. The vote to accept or reject is early August. I would not be surprised if violence escalates into world news.

So what are the issues? I am not aware of them all but here are the three that I am aware of:
(I do not have the exact wording. This will be a paraphrase.)

1. The new constitution allows abortion by demand. The previous proposed constitution allowed abortion by a healthcare professional (MD) only if the mother's life was in jeopardy. The new constitution would allow any health specialist to preform an abortion if the mother felt her life in danger. Notice the words specialist and danger. Specialist could be any trained person. Danger could be quality of life in danger. Abortion by demand becomes accepted.

2. The new constitution allows a Muslim court system to become established across the country. Nothing more need be said.

3. Gay marriages become constitutionally acceptable. In a country where family is held high and gay relationships are taboo, the new constitution promotes the gay agenda.

There are many other issues but these are the big three. Churches here are rallying to defeat this constitution. Please pray for these church leaders. Many of their lives are in harms way. Please pray for Kenya's leadership, many who are Muslim. Pray for their salvation which can only come through Jesus.

Pray for our national leaders. 10's of millions of our tax dollars are being spent right here in Kenya for this constitution. These types of expenditures can really let us know where our administration stands.

Pray without ceasing!

Internet problems

Sorry. Internet problems. Both teams wonderful. Team one in Nairobi. Team Two safe and on island. We hope internet issues are corrected soon. Please check back. God is doing something special!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mfangano Sunrise

Mfangano Island is an incredible place. We wake each morning on the shore of Lake Victoria. There are exotic birds all around. The people are warm and friendly. We rejoice in God's creation.

At the same time, the island is frozen in time. The leading industry is fishing. Electricity comes through a generator, a couple of hours a day, if you are blessed enough to have one. Plumbing is primitive. Roads are trails for the two cars on the island. Food is simple offering rice, beans, fish and chicken, Kenyan like bread and a few fruits. There is enough to survive.

The locals here are thankful for Calvary Church. They are thankful that Calvary did not forget them through the years but has partnered with them. They know that through Calvary Church's service to the Savior that their life is better - in the here and now and for eternity.

We continue to see God's faithfulness. He is blessing our service. Each team has seen God's work in both preparation and action. We are grateful for your prayers. They sustain us.

Please pray for our health. Several team members are experiencing some stomach and cold symptoms. Pray that the great physician will calm our illness.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


We began our ministries today that we will sustain for the week.

The first team visited two schools playing games, teaching about HIV prevention and sharing Christ.

It is amazing how many children have HIV. Young children. Some have been infected since birth, others through medical care and some by sexual activity. Our message is Jesus. A relationship with Christ and living by His Word is the best HIV preventative. We also discussed forgiveness and securing your eternity through Jesus.

The construction team began another widow's hut today. They completed the framing today and should complete the house tomorrow. These widows, many young, live in small two room dirt floor, mud side, thatch roof homes. They have numerous children - sometimes 4-10. The conditions are unbelievable. As building takes place, Jesus is shared.

The third team leads the Pastor's Conference. There are 35+ pastors seeking to serve the Savior. Most have no experience. Their doctrine is a mix of the Word and tradition. Teaching basic doctrine is paramount. Also, answering their questions is a challenge. Pray for this team as they develop their leaders.

Thank you for your prayers. It is an honor to serve the Savior with you.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Sunday was a wonderful day. We saw our team divide and go into two directions. One team went back to Ringiti and the other to Gethsemane Garden Children' Center.

The Ringiti team led in worship and saw five new brothers and sisters accept Jesus as Savior. Praise the Lord!

At the end of the service, guests introduce themselves. One man stood and proudly shared his name then with a smile said, "I received Jesus as my Savior today."

The Ringiti team then traveled by boat of course to another part of the island to minister to a widow whose husband has been a major translator of the Suba translation. He went to be with the Lord about a year ago. What a sweet visit as the family was encouraged by the Word, prayers and a financial contribution by Calvary Church.

The GGCC team celebrated worst at the Children's Center. Spirited worship has taken on a new meaning as almost 500 children celebrated our Savior's live and grace.

The GGCC team remained the afternoon playing games and celebrating the love of Jesus.

Praise the Lord for a wonderful day!

All remain healthy. We are thankful. We have been in extremely unclean areas. We realize that only by God's grace and your prayers are we healthy.

Thank you for your prayers and partnership.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Delivering shoes

Today we delivered the shoes that many of you donated through Calvary Church. We sized each child, washed their feet and told them of Jesus' love for them. It was incredible. Many children and their parents prayed to receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.

We knew God was going to do something special. You prayed at our departure. You pray for us daily. Before we began the distribution, we dedicated the building to the Lord. We asked Him to make it His sanctuary. God is faithful! Many have their eternity now secure in Jesus.

Tomorrow, Sunday, we go back to the same village to continue the investment we made today. Pray for transformed lives!

We are all healthy. We are growing more together as a family daily but miss our real family. Love and prayers to you from Mfangano Island, Africa.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Building Huts

Building widow's huts is one of our tasks. In this photograph Calvary's own Chuck Estes helps dig holes for the foundation of the hut.

Pray for our construction crew as they create livable conditions for these Kenyan ladies and their families.

Friday morning

We have arrived safely. After journeying Monday through Washington, Tuesday in London, and Nairobi Wednesday, we arrived Wednesday afternoon here to Mfangano Island.

We were greeted warmly by the 490 children of Gethsemane Garden Children's Center and their staff. We rejoice that we have brothers and sisters throughout the world. Our kinship is not based on the color of or skin but upon the blood of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Today, we begin construction work, prepare for distribution of 500+ socks and shoes to Ringiti Island and prep for medical clinics and HIV education seminars. We rejoice in the opportunities the Father has provided.

Last evening, we dined of perch, rice, fried potatoes and a local sauce to go over the rice. Sorry, I cannot guess what the sauce was made of. Add a little hot sauce and it was almost home.

Thank you for your prayers. God is working. I can wait to share as the says go by.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Setting Apart for Service

Tuesday, July 6 we begin our journey to serve the Suba people on Mfangano Island and other neighboring islands 0f Lake Victoria, Kenya. Our task involves serving the Savior through Pastor's Conferences, Medical Missions, Construction of Widow's Homes, Outreach to Suba Schools, Providing Shoes for Children, and Evangelism.

We thank our church family. Calvary Church of Charlotte for their prayers and support. You are our partners! It is our honor to represent you and most of all our Savior Jesus Christ! Thank you for your prayers as we serve you!

Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me."
Matthew 25:45 (NASB)

I can't wait to see where the Savior takes us!