Missions News

The Klingforths in Kenya

by Travis & Lydia Klingforth on February 4, 2014
The Klingforths in Kenya
News from Travis, Lydia, Meshach & Silas

January 23, 2014


    A year ago I (Lydia) was sad when one of our two papaya trees was blown over in a windstorm. Everyone here knows that papaya trees can't bear fruit alone. One has to pollinate the other. Thankfully, our neighbors also grow papayas and the bees travel from their tree to ours. So we still get fruit because cross- pollination continues.

PHOTO ABOVE: Papaya fruit, a tasty part of living in Kenya
    In the same way, “cross-pollination” within the Kenya Navigators has been vital to the Nakuru team’s fruitfulness in the past two years. In 2012, our team and two other Navigators teams in western Kenya began meeting several weekends a year for training and mutual encouragement. Besides having geography in common, we all lead storytelling Bible studies and work with the urban or rural poor. It has been great to exchange ideas and help each other.

PHOTO ABOVE: A Big Team - The Navigators in western Kenya meet regularly to share ideas and help each other.

    As you may remember, back in October 2012, some students from Eldoret (a city three hours away) joined one of our team’s storytelling Bible study groups as they did a series of home visits to share the Gospel with their own friends and family. Through the preparations and the visits themselves, three people accepted the Lord. 
    This past November, Travis and our teammates Loice Kabaki and Susan Kamau spent a week with a Navigators team in rural southwestern Kenya. Loice and Susan helped teach an interactive Women’s Health Day. That same day, the men did a Bible study and built an improved pit latrine at one of the group member’s homes.
    All of this cross-pollination of help and ideas is vital for us. Like papaya trees, we weren’t made to bear fruit alone.

Oh where is my hubcap? 


    In December,  my (Travis’) hubcap was stolen. Or so I thought. I had parked my car in downtown Nakuru when the hubcap disappeared, just a few yards away from a guy selling used hubcaps on the corner.
    I spent the next two hours fuming. I was mad at the street urchin who doubtless stole it. I was mad at Kenya in general. I was mad at myself for not being careful enough. (Earlier in the day I had cut off the zip ties I use as a theft deterrent because I got my wheels aligned.) And I was mad that I had to fork over four bucks (a day's wages here) to buy a used hubcap, which didn’t even match, from the guy at the corner.
    The next day I saw my hubcap hanging on my neighbor’s gate. He had found it on our street and was trying to locate the owner.
    I felt both shocked and sheepish. The street urchin, the used hubcap salesman, and Kenya in general had been exonerated.
    My prayer had been answered, except that I'd never even prayed it. I wasted two hours being angry instead. It was as if God was gently rebuking me: "If I can take care of wildflowers and birds, don't you think I can keep track of missing hubcaps?”


Glad to Be Alive — Ringing in the New Year

    New Year’s Eve is many Kenyan Christians’ favorite holiday. They celebrate with a kesha, an all night worship service at church. The mood is similar to an American Thanksgiving celebration– as we look back on the past year, what has God done? 
    However, the gratitude expressed at a Kenyan New Year’s Eve service is more graphic. Many people say variations of this testimony: “There are others who would have liked to be with us here today to celebrate but they could not. Some are sick and some are dead. But we are here together, so let’s thank God for his goodness to us.”
    They are not exaggerating. Traffic fatalities are everyday news, and almost every extended family has lost someone to HIV/AIDS.*
    Yet these stark realities do not darken the mood of the annual New Year’s kesha. Life is a gift to be thoroughly enjoyed.  No one is taking that for granted. ·
* According to Wikipedia: Kenya has 109 times the road fatalities as the USA, per vehicle on the road, and one in 16 Kenyans has HIV/AIDS.


Fruit Trees + Friends = a Party


PHOTO ABOVE: Fruitful - We had abundant rainfall this year, and our two backyard guava trees were impossibly generous. So we invited all the women in our team’s Bible studies, plus their children, to come over and help us harvest. Forty six people came. It was a little crazy, but everybody had a blast. Tug-of-war (photo above) was a highlight. Kids of all sizes rode our little  boys’ bikes all day.

PHOTO ABOVE: Party Favors - We harvested so much that each of the 15 families represented took home two liters of freshly-made guava juice plus a large bag of guavas.

Our address in Kenya:
Travis & Lydia Klingforth  •  Email: klingforth@pobox.com
PO Box 7310-20110, Nakuru, Kenya, East Africa

To make a financial gift, please contact:
The Navigators • PO Box 6000, Colorado Springs, CO 80934
navigators.org •  Toll-free (866) 568-7827
(Be sure to include our account #23726755 with your gift)

Or click here to donate securely online


PHOTO ABOVE: Kenya celebrates 50 years of independence

Praise God!

+— For fruitful guava trees and abundant rain in the midst of an otherwise tough economic year for Kenya (see photos below).

+ For a teenage girl (Loise) beginning to follow Christ in one of our team’s weekly Bible studies.

+ For spiritual growth in other lives (see below).


PHOTO ABOVE: Friends from church praying for Lydia’s jaw

Pray with us...

—+ Lydia’s old TMJ jaw pain has flared up. (Good news: visiting British dentist friends gave her treatment suggestions that have helped.)

+ January is a tough month for most of those we work with. They all have to pay steep tuition fees to keep their kids in school. 


Words for the Wise
  "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."

African Proverb


Spiritual Buds of New Growth

    In December, Travis’  Sunday afternoon men’s Bible study finished reading through the entire New Testament, which was a first for two of them. Now we are reading through the whole Bible over the next two years.
    The guys also spent a half day in personal prayer and Bible reading, which was a first for several of them as well. “I didn’t think I could pray that long, but I did. Time flew by!” one man said.


Would you like to make a donation toward our work in Kenya?  Click here to give securely online



Thanks so much for your prayers and support!