One of the values we instill in the children of Maisha is to dream big dreams. It’s a lesson we’ve learned ourselves through every step we take at Maisha.
The prospect of gathering all the required documentation, getting all the required permissions, finding host homes and funding this endeavor (to mention a few) were daunting. Not to mention, once all that was compiled, the challenge that still lay ahead in the form of the Nairobi U.S. Embassy to grant visas allowing them to travel. BUT GOD!
They presented themselves in front of the consulate and a miracle happened. The joy they brought even to that government office was tangible and the visas were granted. They were off to Oklahoma that very week!
The primary purpose of their trip is to serve as ambassadors to the over 640 children Maisha serves in Kano and to participate in cross cultural activities with sister schools in Oklahoma. The group consists of 24 children aged 9 to 22 from the Maisha Academy to various local primary and secondary schools throughout Kisumu County.
On October 18th, they sang and danced their way into the hearts of the attendees of Maisha’s annual Light the Future fundraiser in Oklahoma City. Several of the children told their own story and the profound effect Maisha, as well as the Oklahoma community, has had on their life and hope for a brighter future through their Legacy of Hope educational sponsorships.
While in Oklahoma, the team has visited sister schools Prairie Vale Elementary and West Field Elementary where they’ve been communicating with pen pals and engaging in global activities learning about each other’s cultures. What an amazing opportunity they had to meet in person.
Additionally, partner churches, most who’ve served in missions at Maisha or supported their Kenyan projects, have hosted the Light the Future Choir to sing, dance and share their stories with their congregations.
They’ve experienced Oklahoma culture as they’ve taken field trips to the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History, the University of Oklahoma and Frontier City. Some have attended professional NBA Thunder games, visited the Oklahoma City Zoo and toured the Oklahoma City National Memorial. Several children, including Martin and Collins, have played soccer with Kenyan players in Oklahoma City.
The team adapted quickly to American food and the cooler weather. As the next few weeks pass, they will see the fall season as the leaves begin changing color. Perhaps the fullest impact of the cultural exchange has been experienced in the homes of their host families.
During the day, two teachers who traveled with them have assisted with their studies. They will complete the school term in a few weeks from Oklahoma.
Their calendar is full of more learning experiences and opportunities to represent the children of Kenya.
Upon their return to Kenya, they will carry all they’ve learned home to continue as leaders in their own community. They will showcase their musical talents at Maisha’s Friendraising Gala in Nairobi at the InterContinental Hotel on December 3rd.
Wherever they go in Oklahoma, they bring such beautiful light, joy and hope. If you haven’t seen them yet, make sure to catch a performance before they leave Nov 30th. Better yet, even if you have seen them, come watch them again!
For upcoming performances, view our events calendar at https://www.maishaproject.org/index.php?events.