What is the plane ride like?
The flight across the ocean, and then on into Kenya is on a large plane, at least 10 seats across, with two aisles. Each seat has its own TV/video screen, remote and ear phones. Once in the air, you will be able to watch your choice of movies, play a variety of video games, or listen to music. You can also view a map which shows the exact location of the plane. It’s interesting to mark your progress over the ocean, Europe, and northern Africa. You may want to bring along an IPod.
Several meals are served, as well as snacks and cold drinks. Small pillows and lightweight blankets are provided. It is a LONG flight, and the seats do not recline much. Though the plane will be very crowded, it is suggested that you walk around a bit—both to use the restroom and to get a little exercise.
What is it like at the campsite?
Many photos are posted on FIREWIND MINISTRIES Facebook page and website. It would be beneficial to look at these.
Team members are assigned to permanent tents—sturdy large structures placed on a concrete pad. Four people can comfortably fit inside each tent, each with their own comfortable twin-sized bed. Sheets, blankets and pillows are furnished.
An electric fence surrounds the property, and Maasai guards keep watch both day and night.
Meals are prepared inside a kitchen and served in a dining hall—complete with fireplace.
There is a concrete choo (outhouse) and shower house (four private bathing stalls).
A campfire with chairs becomes the “hot spot” of the trip.
Is it safe to camp? What about the animals?
Maasai guards are hired to stay awake all night. They are armed with spears, clubs and poison arrows—weapons that are very effective for them. You will hear animal sounds, but you will be safe.
What animals are around the campsite?
You will see or hear hyena, wildebeests, zebras, hyrax, birds and maybe distant lions. At different times throughout the year, you might see elephants, giraffes, monkeys, antelope, gazelles, and much more.
Will we go on safari?
Teams experience at least a day safari into the game park. The roofs of the vans lift so that you may stand and get a good look at the animals. Cameras are a must! You will possibly see lions, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, antelope, gazelles, cape buffalo, elephants, warthogs, cheetahs, leopards, baboons, monkeys, hippos, and much more. As long as you remain inside the vehicles, you are perfectly safe.
What is it like in the Nairobi slums?
The slums of Nairobi are very dirty. The people are poor, diseased, and for the most part—hungry. There is no running water. Human sewage flows down the dirt streets. The houses are made of metal and wood scraps. Vermin are abundant. AIDS, malaria, and other diseases have claimed many lives, and there is an abundance of homeless orphans. Prostitution is rampant. Thievery and violence are common. People live and scrounge for food in the city dump.
You will visit some of the schools, orphanages and churches established by Firewind Ministries.
Is it safe to eat the food and drink the water?
Drink the water? Definitely not. You will be supplied with all of the safe drinking water that you need. Any other bottled beverages are safe to drink.
Any food that is cooked is safe. With regards to raw food—avoid the salad. Any fruit that can be peeled is safe. All food served at the campsite is safe. The Cheshiers will answer any questions that you may have about specific foods.
How do I brush my teeth?
You must not use tap water. Instead, use the provided bottled water to wet your toothbrush and rinse your mouth. The well water at the campsite has been tested to be safe.
What is typical Maasai village ministry like?
Upon finding the remote Maasai village, the translator/interpreter will ask for permission for the team to visit. When granted, the team will leave the vehicle and greet the people with a handshake.
Music and singing capture the attention of the people. Then, based upon the team leader’s directions, individual share brief testimonies, and the Word of God is preached. A salvation invitation is given, and prayer for the sick also takes place.
Before leaving the village, candy may be distributed.
I am not a preacher. What could I do to help the ministry?
People are needed to minister to the children with games and Bible stories. Others are needed in support roles which differ with each ministry task. Everyone has something that they can offer. “Ministry” means “seeing a need, and meeting it.” On medical missions assignments, doctors, nurses, dentists, and assistants are a great blessing!
Once in Kenya, what is travel like?
Teams ride in 8-10 seat passenger vans. Travel in Kenya is difficult, to say the least. Nairobi streets are EXTREMELY crowded. Our drivers are experienced. So rather than comment on the driving, it is best to close one’s eyes and thank God for His protective power.
Outside the city, there is some improvement in the highways. But once we get to the mara ministry area, the roads are ROUGH. You may expect many large potholes and lots of dust or mud (depending upon the season). Those individuals with chronic back problems should seriously consider the road conditions before venturing onto this mission field. The van is equipped with hold bars which help during difficult journeys.
There comes a point when we go “off road,” and travel through scrub bushes to reach villages. The drivers do their best to keep things as smooth as possible.
Should I take supplies or gifts for the Kenyan people?
Check with the Firewind Ministries office during your preparation time to find out what supplies are needed. Examples might include: school supplies, specific clothing items, etc.
What are some of the words I can learn?
We minister primarily between three languages:
English—the national language that is taught in schools.
Kiswahili—the language spoken in Nairobi and non-Maasai areas
Maa—the language spoken by the Maasai.
We have interpreters that will work with us. However, you may want to learn some of the words ahead of time. The Kenyans enjoy hearing us try to speak their language. There are many helpful websites that offer basic language learning. Simply type in Kiswahili or Maasai in the search engine.
Kiswahili Words You Will Use:
Karibu (Car-ee-boo)—Welcome or You’re welcome
Asante (Ah-san-tay)—Thank you
Bwana Asifiwe (Bwana Ah-si-fee-way)—Praise God!
Choo (long “o” sound)—toilet
Maa Words You will Use:
Mesesiyesu (Meh-seh—see-yay-sue)—Praise Jesus!