Blogs


Privileged to Serve With You

Bishop Scott Jones

9/21/2016

What a privilege it is to serve God through the United Methodist Church! I am a fully committed follower of Jesus, and I believe that participating in the Wesleyan movement is the best way to serve Christ. I would do that as a layperson, but the opportunity to serve full-time as a pastor, seminary professor and now bishop is an incredible blessing for me. Now I get to serve as part of the Texas Annual Conference. I am blessed to have been assigned here. I have heard many wonderful things about ...


Kenya Trip 2015 - Final Reflection

Paula Arnold

2/11/2015

Now is the time to begin our journey back home. On the way back to Nairobi for the long flight home, we had the opportunity to visit a safari camp and see all kinds of African animals: lions, a cheetah, elephants, zebras, lots of monkeys, orynx and more.  Truly, a once in a lifetime experience.   It’s also a time to begin reflecting on the Zoe Project. It is abundantly clear to me that lives are saved, certainly the course of those lives are dramatically changed by introducing hope into ...


Visit 6 - Sunday

Paula Arnold

2/9/2015

Sunday – that means church. Reagan, the director of Zoe for Africa, invited us to his home church in a village about 1.5 hours from Maua. The distance wasn’t far but the road was a challenge - 1 mile/hour in some areas. It was worth the trip. A Methodist Church that defines hospitality. Wonderful music and preaching and a welcoming attitude that is an example to any church back home. We returned to the hotel for lunch and to wait for a visit to us from a working group formed in January, 2014 ...


Visit 5 - Saturday, February 7, 2015

Paula Arnold

2/8/2015

Today, Saturday, we had the extraordinary experience of watching a Zoe group at its first organizational meeting. We all had been prepared for a tough day. We knew these orphans wouldn’t be telling us their success stories. These would be children living on the very edge. Children with no parents, no food security and no hope.   When we all gathered at their meeting place, a huge Acacia tree near a school, we were a little surprised. There were several, about 8 of the 28, that were ...


Visit 4

Paula Arnold

2/7/2015

Today we visited with orphans who are in the 2nd year of the program. They began in April, 2014 so only 10 months later we find Zachary.  Zachary lives with his grandmother, both parents are deceased. He has 2 older brothers who are away from home looking for work. He has a 17 yr. old who has been in school but there wasn’t enough money to send both Zachary (19) and his younger brother. Zachary and his working group, The Visioners, have already begun their businesses. For Zachary, that means ...


2.6 Million Orphans in Kenya

Paula Arnold

2/6/2015

There are 2.6 million orphans in Kenya - some living with dying parents. Zoe serves both orphans and children who are vulnerable. Their model believes that the relief efforts should be converted empowerment. They respect the local organizations. They go to leadership and get the village leaders to recruit orphans. They do the inviting to the first meeting. They look for the prevalence of orphans in an area and go there to start working groups. They are informed by statistics. First they hold ...


Alfred

Paula Arnold

2/6/2015

Today we met an entire working group. This one is named Faith. The first day here we met a graduate, the next day this group in their third year, next it’ll be the 2nd years and then the group that is beginning this journey. The Faith Group is led by the chairman Alfred. He shares that when his parents died, he couldn’t feed his 4 siblings.  Sometimes they ate once a day and sometimes they went to sleep hungry. There was no money for uniforms to send his siblings to school so there was no hope ...


Samson Shares His Story

Paula Arnold

2/5/2015

Samson is an 18 year-old man living in a small community just outside Maua, Kenya. Normally when I introduce an 18 yr old the term would be 18 yr old boy. But Samson is an exceptional man who happens to be 18. Samson’s father died over 8 years ago leaving Samson and his 4 siblings: 6, 9, 13 and 16. Samson’s mother is unable to care for her children so Samson stepped into the role of both mother and father to his brothers and sister. Samson is a graduate of The Zoe Project. He’s completed his 3 ...


Team Arrives Safely in Kenya

Paula Arnold

2/4/2015

Bear with me Gentle Readers I am working on about 5 hours of restless sleep during the last 2 days. Unlike my fabulous husband, I have a terrible time sleeping on planes, then all my rhythms get screwed up and I can’t sleep once I get to where I am going. It’ll pass. Hopefully I won’t be too grumpy for my team members to stand. Speaking of the team, it is an extraordinary group. Many of them have been doing mission work all over the world.   One of our members, Scott has been to Kenya 9 times ...


Preparations and Leaving for Kenya

Paula Arnold

2/3/2015

On the plane. It’s a long, long way to Kenya. We left Houston at 3:45 pm. Twenty-three hours later we’ll arrive in Nairobi. This trip has been months in the planning but somehow I left my tooth brush and big box of granola bars back home. The organizers were very organized giving us list of important things to remember to bring – no tooth brush – geez. Part of that planning was some reading. One of the books was “Toxic Charity.” It was interesting and disturbing all at the same time. Early the...


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