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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Update on Meja!

Meja was a trooper at the doctors office.
He was in great spirits and really brave.

Meet Meja.  He is a normal 10 year old little boy except for one significant difference, he is totally blind.  We have been very busy the last several months with Mission:180’s “Hampers Of Hope” campaign, and on one of our deliveries we found ourselves at young Meja's home.  Our hearts were really touched by his situation, and we felt really compelled to do something to try and help.  We included his story in our last blog post, and many of you responded generously with funds to help with medical expenses.  We were able to take him to the “Lions First Sight” hospital in Nairobi recently, where several specialists saw Meja.

Sadly, Meja has been given a very poor prognosis.  It seems something caused swelling in his brain, directly behind his eyes.  The pressure cut off the blood supply to his optic nerves for a prolonged time frame, causing the nerves to die, which is the cause of his blindness.  It seems that once nerves have been totally damaged in this way, they can never recover. So Meja has been told he will never see again.  This terrible diagnosis was very difficult to hear, as we were desperately hoping that this would be a treatable and curable condition.  It is even more infuriating because we have been told this likely would have been treatable and preventable had he received proper care early on.

Checking for "refraction". Nothing is happening.
Where do we go from here? What is the next step for Meja? We are committed to helping him so in the new year we will be looking into various residential care facilities where he will be taught how to read Brail, how to walk with a cane, and basically how to live with and cope with his disability. 

A very sad prognosis followed this machine.
We are really hoping and praying for a miracle in this precious little boys life. However, we are also going to do what we can in the meantime to help him. 

Thank-you all for your words of kindness towards Meja, for your prayers for him, and for your generous support of his medical care and now his specialized education.

Jason, Jennifer and Joshua Sheppard
Mission:180 Kenya!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

A Successful Christmas Campaign!

We are often way off the road to
make a delivery!
Marjorie organizing and
assembling hampers
A very full Toyota!
It has been amazing few months here in Kenya.  We have been working hard, with the help of some visitors from Canada, (thanks Brandt, Shawna, Marjorie and Nicole) to keep up with the generous outpouring from many of you back in Canada towards the "Hampers Of Hope" annual Christmas campaign.  What an impact you are making with your giving! We have delivered 128 hampers so far, and we have 19 more to deliver, bringing us to a total of 147!!! Last year we delivered 72 hampers, so we have more than doubled last years giving to this project.  We want to express a HUGE THANK-YOU to all of you who have participated in the "Hampers Of Hope 2012" Campaign!  
What a "Hamper Of Hope"
looks like when delivered.
Jennifer and a completed
Please note, the Christmas campaign is officially past the deadline to give them as Christmas gifts, however that does not mean you can't get in on the "Hamper Of Hope" campaign throughout the year.  The hampers make excellent birthday gifts for your friends and family in lieu of something in Canada, give a gift to a needy family on their behalf! This can be done any-time  for any occasion or reason.  We will make sure you get photo's and a brief bio of the family you are blessing!

The School sponsorship campaign is also a huge success, with all of the children fully sponsored for the 2013 school year! Again, a HUGE THANK-YOU to all who participated in this initiative! The lives of some very needy little Kenyans will be blessed, for the long term, because you gave! The gift of education cannot be underestimated.  It can't be stolen, it can't be returned and it never expires!! Once received, its yours for as long as you live! That is the kind of difference you have made!!!

Marjorie and Nicole in front of
the half-way completed first home.
Finally Mission:180's big project! The housing project on our property at "Kona Baridi", (Cold Corner), at the base of the Ngong Hills in Kajiado District Kenya.  We are actively building a "village" or community if you will where there was not one before.  This community will consist of at least 12 homes, a playground, greenhouses and animal husbandry for self sustaining food, renewable sustainable power in the form of wind turbines and solar energy, renewable sustainable fuel in the form of a Bio-Gas system for cooking, water from our already functioning well and community water project.  Each of these homes is budgeted at $50,000 Canadian dollars. There will also be the smaller projects for the other elements of the village that I just mentioned. We will keep you informed as we become aware of costs for those projects.

Right now, we are just over halfway towards completing the first home.  We need to raise another $22,000 to see it ready to be lived in.  This first home will be an Infant Rescue Centre. So many infants are abandoned in Kenya every day thrown away like so much trash by mothers in extreme poverty and despair. It is often because these babies are the product of prostitution, incest or rape and are therefore culturally taboo.  Our first priority will be to begin rescuing these infants, literally from the claws  of certain death.

To participate in making this first home become operational ASAP, please consider making a contribution towards the completion of this first home. No amount is too small or too great! If 44 people  gave $500.00, or 88 gave $250.00, or 220 of you gave $ get the picture! This is not a huge sum of money, and if we work together we can see this and all 12 homes completed and so many children and widows given a new lease on life! 

Thanks for taking the time to read this update on the work of Mission:180 Ministries.  May you be blessed as you consider what you can do now and in the future. To those of you who have contributed, and who continue to give to make it possible for this work to continue, we say THANK-YOU and may God bless you richly for your continued generosity!

Monday, 19 November 2012

A Tough Day!

This lady was in a serious car accident
just the day before we arrived at her home
to help her. She was in extreme pain. 
We started out today to deliver Hampers Of Hope like any other day.  We had no idea how emotionally draining and impacting this day would be. It was just one of those days where each family we visited was in such desperate need, and with heartbreaking gut wrenching circumstances.

We have these visits planned in advance by our community liaison a few days in advance.  The first home we were planned to visit today experienced a serious car accident yesterday.  The mom was riding in a public transportation vehicle that went over an embankment and down a very steep and large slope, before crashing into a local home. When we arrived today she was injured and in extreme pain and she had not yet seen a doctor. She should have been rushed to hospital from the accident scene, instead she walked home!!!  We gave her one of the hampers, then prayed with her as she wept. We could hear that each breath was laboured and painful.  We gave her some money so she could go to the clinic and get x-rays and a check up.

Recently Widowed, this elderly gentleman was still
very much grieving. His daughter, shown here, wept
throughout our visit.
He is a very kind older gentleman.
We made our way to the home of a man in his sixties.  His daughter and grandchildren lived with him, and everyone was grieving. A month ago his wife of many years was tragically killed in a car accident. He is a broken man, and he was very emotional when we visited him.  His daughter wept uncontrollably while we talked and prayed together. It was a tough visit.  We left them with hugs and shared tears as we felt a little bit of the burden of his grief.  In a polygamist culture, this old gentleman had been married to only one woman, whom he clearly adored as the love of his life. In my career as a minister I have often felt so overwhelmed by the circumstances and challenges people share with me, and I have often wished I could do so much more for them.  This would be one of those days, and this was one of those situations. They were so grateful in their extreme poverty to receive a two to three month supply of food, but I tell you it felt like such a small token in light of their need and grief.

He is a very scared and confused
little boy.

10 year old Meja. 

We made our way to the next homestead and my heart sank. There was a  ten year old little boy named Meja.  He is very cute, but looked frightened and a little lost. I knew something was wrong when he did not move or look at us. Even when we broke out the sweets he did not even move. Three months ago this little boy began to lose his sight.  Today when we met him, he is mostly blind. He can't go to school anymore, he can't play, and he only moves on his own in very familiar surroundings.  He is a scared and confused little boy, and I wept openly as I prayed for him. I just kept thinking about how scared, how terrified he must be. In such a short timeframe he has gone from being a student, a playmate to his siblings and a helper to his mother to being completely dependant and unable to even walk freely around his home, nonetheless run and play as he should! I am very upset as I write this, with all kinds of questions going through my mind, feeling overwhelmed by my emotions. I think about what I would do for my son if this happened to him. I think about how helpless and guilty his mom must be feeling. my friends we need to help this little guy.  He has yet to see a doctor who can help him.  They don't have money for their daily food needs, so medical care is an impossibility to him.  Mission:180 is here in Kenya for a number of purposes, and one of those is to help fund medical care when its needed.  Meja is one of the cases that we will be helping.  ASAP! He may have a very treatable condition, he may need surgery, whatever the case may be, we are committed to helping this little guy.  WE NEED YOUR HELP.  Please consider contributing a little bit to help Meja. If we all do a little, together we can impact his little life.  Maybe we can stop the fear and bring back some joy and hope. As we say in Kiswahili, "twende pamoja", lets go together to make a difference!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Be a part of a "Forever Home"!

It was a very early morning, we were leaving Nairobi to drive the 40 km to the site of our big project, where we are building 12 homes for widows, orphans, and abandoned babies. I remember it was a cool morning.  Believe it or not some mornings you can see your breath. On our way out of town we passed by a few familiar landmarks. Near one of Nairobi's fancier shopping malls we always see children begging.  They are at the entrance to the parking lots, or often in traffic.  Anywhere the traffic has to slow down, that's where the kids will be standing, hands out asking for food and or money. There was no traffic yet, the sun was barely up. It was too early for begging. I always wondered where these kids go at night.  This morning I learned the answer.  They go nowhere.  They have nowhere.  As we drove by on this day, they were lying near their sections of road. There on the sidewalk, curled up in a little ball, as tight as he could go, was a little guy around age 4. He had a filthy, tattered and torn pink parka that was much too small that he was trying to cover up with. I am sure the faux fur collar around the hood was white in some previous life, before it was donated somewhere at some used clothing depot.  This hit me hard.  I couldn't help but think about tucking my son into his warm comfy bed, praying with him, kissing him, telling him I love him. This little guy has no one.

Any home is only as strong as its foundation.

Getting started on the walls!

Recently we visited the Internally Displaced Peoples Camp we regularly deliver food to. This time we were shocked when we were asked to take a new born infant. They asked us to literally take the baby for good, so that the grade 10 student who is his mother could return to her studies.  This is always a very sobering reminder of why we are here in Kenya.  The big picture for us here, our big job, is to provide long-term care, spiritual, emotional and physical to the many abandoned babies and street children.  There are countless thousands of them, and more today, and even more tomorrow. This tragedy is not going away, and we have to get our children's homes built so we can help bring hope to some of these children.
Almost ready for the roof!

Its starting to look like a house!
Everyday in Kenya, babies are born to mothers in extreme poverty. Often the product of prostitution, because mom was hungry enough to give herself away for some bread or some cheap meal, these babies are unwanted, and their desperate mothers have no way to care for them. They can barely survive on their own, never mind with a child to care for. These babies are discarded, thrown away like so much trash. They are put into plastic grocery bags and thrown away, or dumped into a pit latrine. Often found in a bush or dumpster. The lucky ones are simply left in the hospital, mom sneaks away in the night. Or they are dropped off at an orphanage.
From the front! Now it needs the windows, the electrical work,
 the plumbing, the paint and all the interior finishing work. 

We share this harsh reality with you because we hope you can understand why we are here. We have to help these children and infants. WE HAVE TO!

We need to complete this first of the twelve homes.  We are well on the way, but we are still quite a way from having the funds to finish the task and get this home to the point we can fill it with these precious abandoned infants. Please consider making a contribution to the building project.  Many of you already support us by giving to our general budget.  now I am asking if you can go above and beyond! For those of you who have not yet made any contributions, this is a great way to start!

If we can find 100 people to donate $500.00, we will have one whole house ready to become a forever home! If $500.00 is too much for your budget situation, can I just challenge you to give what you can. Every dollar counts.

Please consider helping us help them.  You can make an impact, one life at a time! 

The Village Time Forgot and other news from Mission:180 in Kenya

The "road" to the village. Rough going.  We were bounced
around a lot, I even got a sore back from this ride.

We travel in two vehicles, this is our super tough
Mitsubishi Pajero Exceed.
The new Toyota Hilux Surf. We spend a lot of time
in these vehicles.
What a day we had yesterday. We spent over 6 hours in the vehicles, 4 of them literally off the road, bouncing over boulders, through ditches, dried stream beds, up and down steep boulder strewn hills and through thorny Acacia tree shrubs.
Not much has changed in how the traditional Masai live
for many generations. This is a real Masai community.
We arrived in this beautiful valley at a very old, very traditional Masai Village.  These people are unaware of such things as the internet.  They have not changed the way they live for generations.

What brings us so far out of the way to a little forgotten part of the world? Hope, love, compassion, and a genuine desire to deliver the aforementioned qualities to some desperately needy people.  Its hamper time for Mission:180 in Kenya.  Its the time of the year when we really focus on connecting our Canadian supporters with Kenyans in desperate need.  We accomplish this by giving you the opportunity to purchase a hamper of staple foods that we will assemble and deliver on your behalf.

Some of the Masai men in the village.   
We need your help to fulfill our purposes here in Kenya.  The Christmas Hamper initiative, called "Hampers Of Hope", is one way you can do that. We are here in Kenya to improve the lives of the Kenyan people one life at a time.  Providing food to people in desperately needy situations is one way we do accomplish this huge task.
If you haven't already done so, please sign up by emailing,  and indicate you want to feed a family in Kenya this Christmas.  For more details, read the post from September 17 on this page.

Home Sweet Home!
The Village Time Forgot.
We have guests from Canada with us now all the way through to December 2nd. We have more arriving on the 1st of December, through till the 13th.  Then we are blessed with more from December 28 - January 10. It's amazing to host our friends from Canada, to see Kenya through your eyes, most of you for the first time.  It's refreshing, encouraging, and a real treat for us. We are thrilled to host you.  Why not plan a life changing Impact Trip to Kenya! You will not leave here like you came!

Everyone loves sweets!
Jeremy, one of our staff, who serves as our  Community
Liaison with the Masai people. He is standing with the
local pastor and some of the residents of the village.
We have the amazing privilege of visiting these beautiful people in their homes and communities, bringing them much needed staple foods, and this message of hope, "Someone out there knows about me, and cares"! Thank-you so much to all of you who have donated for the hamper program. Without you, this does not happen.  We need more hampers, so if you want to be a part of this incredible initiative, please let us know ASAP! We will be thrilled to deliver hope on your behalf this Christmas season!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Mission:180's Christmas Gift Giving Options 2012

It is only mid September but we here at Mission:180 in Kenya are already gearing up for the Christmas season.  We are very excited to announce our annual "Christmas Gift Giving Options" for the current year!!

This year we are offering the following 3 options for you to give back this Christmas Season:

Option #1
Hampers of Hope

A Christmas hamper is not only a gift of food; it's a gift of HOPE!  It is a gift that says someone cares about us!

The cost of the hamper is $70 Canadian and is broken down as follows:
  • $65 for food items in hamper
  • $5 cost of delivering hamper (Fuel)


Each hamper will contain 135 pounds of staple foods made up of the following:

                2 - 2kg bags of Chapati Flour 
                2 - 5kg bags of Rice
                2 - 2kg bags of Sugar
                3 - 10kg bags of Maize Flour
                4 - 1kg bags of Kidney Beans
                4 - 1kg bags of Nyayo Beans
                1 - 1kg bag of Sour Porridge
                1 - 1kg bag of Uji Porridge
                1 - 500 gram bag of Tea
                1 - 5kg tub of Cooking Fat
                1 - 500gram bag of salt
                1 - Laundry/Dish soap

This is enough food to feed a family of four to six people for up to 10 weeks.  By donating a hamper, it not only provides much needed physical sustenance but also hope and encouragement that somewhere there are people who know about them and their situation, and who care enough to give generously to help them.

By mid December each hamper donor will receive an email from Jennifer with pictures and a short bio of the family that received your hamper.

If you would like to be a part of this program and purchase a Christmas Hamper as a gift for yourself or on behalf of someone else, please email Jennifer at

Please ensure that you send an email to Jennifer to indicate how many hampers you would like to donate BEFORE you send payment.

Payment options are cheque or PayPal though our website at but please note that any payments made through PayPal will need to have a $2 transaction fee added to it.
·      Paying by cheque - $70
·      Paying by PayPal - $72 
Mission:180 will issue receipts for all hampers in early 2013.  

The final cut off for all Christmas Hampers is November 15th so that we can deliver them in time for Christmas.

Option #2
Housing Project

It has begun!  The big project that God brought Mission:180 to Kenya for has started!  We have broken ground and begun construction on the 1st of 12 children's homes.    Each individual house will cost $50,000.00.

This year, as part of Mission:180's annual Christmas Gift Giving Options, we are looking for 100 people/families/businesses/groups to donate $500 each to help us complete construction on the 1st house.   This Christmas you can help Mission:180 make a PERMANENT difference in the lives of 8 orphans and 1 widow.

If a contribution of $500 is too much for you or your family then maybe consider teaming up with family/friends/co-workers and sharing the $500 donation between you.  Feel free to get creative or to donate whatever amount is comfortable for you.

Donations can be made the following ways:

                you can contribute through PayPal by clicking the "donate" button on our website at or our blog at
                sending a cheque made out to "Mission:180 Ministries" to:
                     Mission:180 Ministries
                     1505 Jackson Ave
                     Saskatoon, SK
                     S7H 2N1

Please mark or mention "building fund" when making your donation.  Tax receipts for all donations will be issued in early 2013 so please ensure you provide us with your correct mailing address as well as your email address so that we can keep you updated as things progress.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact or

Option #3
Education Sponsorship

**Please note - Last year the sponsorship spots went fast so I would recommend emailing Jennifer as soon as possible to let us know who you would like to sponsor.**

Nikita Dangi

Nikita was born on June 24, 2009 and will be attending Nursery School at Hakibiafra Academy in January.  Nikita loves to play with her skipping rope in her spare time as well as playing with her sister and her neighbors.  Nikita’s favorite color is pink.

Please note that Nikita’s school fees include a snack and tea 5 days a week as she only attends school from 8:00 am until noon.

The fees required for Nikita to attend Nursery School are $200.00 CDN.

We are looking for 4 people to sponsor Nikita at $50 each.

If you would like to help Nikita attend Nursery School in January please contact Jennifer at

Prudence Kagonya

Prudence was born on September 9, 2000 and will be entering Grade 7 at Excel Academy in Nairobi in January 2013.  Her favorite subject at school is Social Studies.  Prudence enjoys participating in athletics, specifically racing events but in her spare time she really enjoys playing hide and seek with her friends.  Prudence’s favorite color is pink.

Please note that Prudence’s school fees include lunch and tea 5 days a week.

The fees required for Prudence to attend Grade 7 are $700.00 CDN.

We are only looking for 1 more person to sponsor Prudence for $70 as we have already raised $630.00 towards her fees.

If you would like to help Prudence attend Grade 7 in January please contact Jennifer at

Bryce Mbulika

Bryce was born on March 26, 2008 and will be entering Kindergarten at Excel Academy in January 2013.   His favorite subject at school is learning how to read.  Bryce loves to play soccer in his spare time but was just given a bicycle so he spends a lot of time riding it.  Bryce says that blue is his favorite color.

Please note that Bryce’s school fees include lunch and tea 5 days a week.

The fees required for Bryce to attend Kindergarten are $600.00 CDN.

We are only looking for 2 more people to sponsor Bryce at $75 each as we have already raised $450.00 towards his fees.

If you would like to help Bryce attend Kindergarten in January please contact Jennifer at

Thank you so much for your support of the various projects we here at Mission:180 are working at providing. You generosity makes it possible for us to make an IMPACT, one life at a time, one family at at time.  May this coming Christmas season be a time of blessing and peace in your family, home and workplace.

Jennifer and Jason Sheppard
Mission:180 Ministries

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Ground Breaking, The construction begins!

On September 5th 2012, we went out to Mission:180's land to have a ground-breaking ceremony.  We prayed, we read some scripture and we dedicated the property, asking God to bless it, to provide safety for the workers doing the building, and peace and love in the homes from day one of construction!
Mission:180 Kenya! Left to right, Jeremy Sailoji, Jennifer and Jason
Sheppard, and Joseph Mutua. We broke the ground together!

This was a very exciting day, with a great sense of progress and moving forward towards the big project we have come to Kenya to do.
It was great to have Maurice and Maureen Potter, fellow missionaries
with us for this dedication.

In building, and life, its all about paying attention to the foundation!

To see more pictures from this great day and more details about the construction, click on this link to go to Mission:180's web albums