North Central College - Naperville, IL

Giving up the comforts of home for 15 days to explore Kenya

Giving up the comforts of home for 15 days to explore Kenya

Eight adventuresome North Central students and their leader, Jeremy Gudauskas, director of ministry and services, embarked on a summer mission trip to Nairobi. They volunteered at Koinonia Community, which runs multiple centers for street children, an orphanage and social enterprise that funds its humanitarian work in Africa. They also traveled to a remote village to help with a church-building project and to Mombasa on Kenya’s eastern coast.

“When you have to survive on the necessities, you really learn to bond with others and be thankful for what you have,” says Ryan Piers. “Sometimes it takes a trip across the world to realize how similar we all are and how little we all really need. Try learning that in a classroom!”

The hospitality the group encountered is among the favorite memories of the trip. In remote areas where visitors are rare, “Seas of children danced and sang for our nightly entertainment,” said one student.

Taylar Proctor expresses it this way: “To be looked upon from their perspective as a blessing sent from God was a reminder of how much we take for granted. The slums were by far the most eye-opening segment of our trip. Walking through the streets of Kibera was surreal to say the least. The people, however, are friendly and welcome you in as one of their own. I loved everything about Kenya—except the driving—it has been the best experience of my life.”