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March 2016

Packing My Bags

 Lions 2
I am in Virginia for a family gathering, but this Thursday I depart for Kenya with 12 other people. We will be home in mid-March, so I am in the midst of wrapping up all my usual last-minute preparations for the trip. People ask me if I am excited, and I usually respond, "Not yet, but I will be come Wednesday!"

I have taken about 300 people to Africa since 1996, and each trip is different. One thing remains constant, however, and that is that every trip is a learning experience for me. Another question I regularly hear is, "Why do you go back so often? What do you do?" My standard answer is, "I don't go for what I do, I go for what I receive." Not only do I learn something new on each trip, I also experience massive amounts of joy as I meet with friends, associates and ministry opportunities there. I have often described Africa as a blood "disease" for which there is no cure, and for which you would not want one! The picture above is indicative of what we see when we go.

The annual trip when i take others is also special because I get to enjoy the people as they have their own African experience. Whether it is someone's first trip of their seventh, they also have their own unique encounters that add to mine. There are now four people who have started their own nonprofit organizations to address needs in Kenya that they saw as they visited. Those are not things I would have seen or addressed, so I am delighted to see our work expand not only to become bigger but also more diverse.

There is still time to give to the causes we support in Kenya before we leave on Thursday. You can give using PayPal or by sending a tax-deductible check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. You can also sign up to receive my travel blog updates here (click on the right-side link for "get email updates"). Thank you for your support.

Ten Days Till Kenya

I depart for Kenya in ten days with a team of 12 people (pictured right). As usual, it is a mix of returning and KenyaTeam2016rookie travelers, men and women, black and white, young and old - the youngest traveler is 17, and the oldest is 74! We are set to visit Nakuru, Bomet, and many places in and around Nairobi, and we will visit the Masai Mara along the way. Our group is divided into recreational, crafts, Bible and music teams that will work with the children as we visit schools and orphanages. We are taking money to bless our partners, who count on our support to feed, clothe and educate the children under their care.

I have been visiting Africa since 1993, and in 1996 starting taking people with me to Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, South Africa, and Kenya. No less than 300 people have gone with me on those trips, and four have come home to start their own nonprofit organizations to continue working with the people they met during our travels. Since 2009, I have raised about $175,000 to help feed widows and orphans. All that money has gone directly to those in need with no funds diverted to administrative costs. We have also gathered books, used laptops and educational supplies for libraries; collected shoes for men, women and children; and undergarments for young ladies.

Kenya KidsI need your help before I depart on February 25. I do not have the funds right now that I need to distribute to our partners. That is not unusual, for God is seldom early but always on time. Please help me help our brothers and sisters in need. Consider giving a gift today toward the poor in Kenya. Don't hold back because your gift is small, for every dollar makes a huge impact for those who have nothing.

You can give using PayPal through my website or by sending a tax-deductible check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. I will be writing my travel blog during the trip and you can subscribe here to receive those updates via email. If you do, you will read firsthand reports of how you made a difference in the lives of those who cannot repay you, except for their prayers to God on your behalf. Thank you for helping me help those in need, and I am confident that God will bless and reward you as you do.