Tour Blog 2007

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December Gigs

Thur., 22 - Arrival in Nairobi, Kenya
We arrived in Kenya on the 22nd to a warm welcome of Kenyan sausages and coffee at the airport thanks to Megan White, who set up a picnic right at the parking lot. By the time Kanjii had come to pick us up, an hour later (see what friends we have?), we had been treated to a hearty breakfast. Kenya has been fun. We've recorded a TV show called VIPI, and attended and performed at Mashariki Church with Pastor Gowi, a longtime friend. It was such a nice time on Christmas Eve. I'd forgotten how Kenyans can dance. Oh my goodness, too much fun! On Christmas Day we attended a service at Nairobi Baptist and had a wonderful time there. They have an amazing new sanctuary; maybe we should hold our CHANGE 2006 concert there (just hinting). Thanks to Pastor Mulandi who apparently did not take dance classes at seminary school like me. We love the family at Nairobi Baptist (or "Bapo", as it is commonly known here).

Kenya is amazing though Mandera in northern Kenya is going through a famine. We plan on donating food to to this cause during our January 7th concert. If you are in Kenya, please, please help in this, and if you are abroad, just log onto www.milele.com and make a donation through our store page. We need to stand with our friends in this place. For more info on the famine, please see www.nationmedia.com or www.eastandard.net. Love and blessings from Nairobi, Kenya.

Christian

Sat., 17 - Orange Hills Assembly Church, CA
We have formed  a friendship with Orange Hills assembly and we spent some time sharing in song at the church a day before we left for kenya, though it was evident that our christmas carol skills still leave alot to be desired we had fun with the people who were there, even Stephanie the girl who beat Harry at basketball sometime back. Click Here for some pictures.

Christian



November Gigs

Sun 18th Journey of Faith Community, Manhattan Beach CA.

An early morning but rewarding nonetheless; we sang with a forty member choir that included children. After the main services, we had a forty-five minute concert/banquet that included Cuban cuisine, yum yum. Click here for pictures.

Sat 10th and Sun 11th Mariners Church, Newport Beach CA. T.I.A Finale!!!!

Mariners was the pinnacle of Mavuno’s US tour. The hospitality of the host families, the cordiality of the Mariners Worship department staff was humbling. More importantly the Sunday evening concert was par excellence. Thanks to the Global Outreach Staff. It was also our celebration of 10 years of Milele and what a way to commemorate this milestone.

click here for pictures.

Fri 9th Hope Chapel Hermosa Beach CA.

The first time Milele played at Hope Chapel was a few days before we went to Kenya for the first time in 2000. As always, Alan Kisaka was congenial as ever. Click here for pictures.

 

Wed 7th Faith Community Church, West Covina CA.

Faith Community church was one of the first churches to open its doors to Milele eight years ago. Their support never seems to wane. Click here for pictures.

Sat 3rd Sun 4th Hillside Community Church Alta-Loma CA.

Milele hosted our sister church from Kenya, Mavuno, whose worship band was on a seven week tour of the US.

Incidentally, Kanjii, who is a member of Milele, is their Worship director. Mavuno began in Indiana and ended in sunny southern California. Despite their travel fatigue (they arrived on the morning of the 3rd), we had a great time worshipping at Hillside. Hillside’s senior pastor, Dr.

David Burns, graciously gave us the whole service to teach the church a few Kenyan dance moves. Click here for pictures.



October Gigs

28th Epic Church Fullerton CA.

We perform almost once a year at Epic, a wonderful church with wonderful people led by Kevin Doi. Click here for pictures.

27th Human Factor Leadership Academy Fundraiser, Gateway Church El-Cajon CA

Human Factor Development, San Diego California Milele performed at a fund raising event for the International Institute for Human Factor development headed by Dr. Senyo Adjibolosoo, a Professor of Economics at Point Loma Nazarene University. Click here for pictures.

12th 13th and 14th Minneapolis Tour. Destiny Fellowship and North Heights Lutheran.

We went to Club 3 degrees a Christian club in Minneapolis Minnesota that was quite fascinating.  It was a special night as it was the same day that they were hosting Ann Nesby from the movie “Fighting Temptations” Which starred Cuba Gooding and Beyonce Knowles and is had brilliant music from her and the other music greats. Ms Nesby is also a founding member of the popular group Sounds of Blackness who also joined her on stage. With her was little pretty Paris Bennet a finalist at American Idol season 898 I can’t remember. All this to say that Milele was to follow them, honest to goodness I thought that when we started to sing the whole crowd would walk away in protest, But we had one things going for us, we are from Africa and we are professional so we got up there right after them and we did what we do best which be our passionate selves and the rest was soon history. Here are pictures from that night. The next day was great. Carol arrived at an ungodly hour by her lonesome self and someone had to wake up early to pick her up.  There were a lot of people from her village in Kenya Kisii and boy did she fit right in, even to the extent of starting the concert with a traditional Kisii circumcision folk song. That aside it was a powerful concert. Christian as usual wowed the crowd with his usual out of step dance. But we eventually saw people comeback to God. That was amazing. It is those moments that you understand the reason why we do what we do. There was a feast made by members of the fellowship and it did not disappoint. Muthoni Munala was fun. We went to her house for tea. We had a great time with her family, Daphne and her fiancé and of course Muchiri. Sunday was nice. We led worship at the young Adults fellowship of the Lutheran church. It was a blessed moment. We then left for lunch at pastor’s house, Muthoni unleashed her gladiator utensils. That was nice. I felt like I was at feast at medieval times. Seemed like eating was the theme of the weekend as we left Pastor Munala’s straight to another feast where our friend Shelley Klevos was celebrating her 15th (wishful thinking) birthday. She and Kim Smolik are a part of our family here in America ever since we met them almost 4 years ago. They have since then hosted us every time we are in Minneapolis that there infamous yellow house has become our headquarters in the mid west. We love you ladies and thanks for all you are to us. To all the members of Destiny Fellowship especially Muchiri who made it happen, may God richly bless you. Mbarikiwe mparare!! Pastor Munala we have no words you are a man of character and integrity, we respect, honor and look up to you. Thanks for all your continued support since time immemorial. All our Minneapolis connections thanks and see you in January, hopefully as we are not sure we can stand that winter time. Click here for more pictures from the weekend.

 

Sun 7th Central Christian Assembly, Baltimore MD. Services and Concert.

So this past weekend we went back to Central Christian in Baltimore. The difference this time was that we took the entire crew which included our very talented band comprising of Ted Bello on bass, Ron Lee on drums, MD Kaima and of course the infamous Kenyan virtuoso guitarist Karis. It’s quite an experience to have a live band as it changes so many dynamics it’s an experience that is not so easily forgotten. We were hosted by members of the church Pastor Scott Maisel worship director, Laurie of “The Steelers” and Tim the drummer of the church worship team. They did an awesome job and made us feel as comfy as ever. The morning services were fun, playing with the church worship team and of course introducing some African antics into the set which was interesting to watch to say the least. We were very well received by Pastor Terry and Larry Kirk and had a great service together. Thereafter we started to set up for the evening concert. Boy! Did Jason Kisser and Zac work on that sound. Let’s just say the difference between the sound in the morning and in the evening concert was like light years difference. It was amazing what they did with it, they brought subs and amps from the youth church and boosted what was in the sanctuary that when Ron hit his kick, it resonated in the intestines. This paved way for the concert which was different to say the least, of course being that we had not played with the band in a while it was not devoid of some very obvious glitches here and there but all in all we felt like the message got out there in one way or another even if not as melodious as it should. The best thing of the evening was to look into the audience and notice a whole bunch of familiar faces and NO they were not from Central Christian, rather a whole bus load of friends who drove all the way from Woods Memorial Pres to attend the concert. That so touched our hearts to see young people love on us as this team did. Christie, Steve and the gang we so appreciate you so much and we feel the love beyond measure. All in all it was an amazing weekend, short though but sweet and shiny. Karis was his silly self as you can see from the pictures, please pray and fast for this solitary disturbed soul that it may find total and complete rest and not remain in its primal primitive state.




September Gigs

Sat 22nd African Child Foundation Banquet, Santa Ana Zoo CA.

African Child Foundation banquet is an amazing event that is geared towards sponsoring the work of Father Henry Simaro in Kenya. The director of ACF US is a good friend Lauren Peterson who has invited us to several places as we have struck some very cordial relations. This Saturday was another time for one of their very well planned and detailed events. It was a 10 times better than the previous one and at the rate they are going next one might be at the Madison Square Garden. I love the attention to detail and excellence and hence the great strides. At times I wonder if the kids back home have a clue of the devotion people out here have to make sure that they live another day and at least lead a more fulfilled life. We had great moments with the auctions, the pledges, the food, the food, the food, did I mention the food and of course some Milele music its always fun to see some friends of a lighter hue trying to do some crazy African dance, I tell them that the show is really off stage as we stand there and have a field day being entertained. “And you wonder why we come back”. Great event we must say and we know this group is one we will be rallying around for a longtime, as their heart and work speaks for itself. Click here to see pictures courtesy of Chandre. Thanks for the lovely pictures, please consider being the resident Milele photographer.

Sat 15th The Wave Hawaii, Pray for Surf Benefit Concert, Honolulu Hawaii.

The wave Hawaii is preparing to take a whole bunch of young people from the Island of Oahu to Nairobi Kenya at the end of next year to come and build a Milele house for the family homes project. In keeping with that they have a plethora of events lined up and this past week we happened to be invited to headline an evening fundraiser geared towards raising awareness on the trip and also fundraise. We travelled all the way for just one evening concert, this just shows how much this team is devoted to make a difference and stand with us. It almost felt like a vacation as we just relaxed for the most part and was it not for Pastor Art and Kuna Sepulveda of Word of Life inviting us to make an appearance at their Sunday worship service; it would have been a total complete and much needed vacation.  Even my cousin Benson Wandario who was visiting from Kenya made the trip though he spent much of the time there looking for “Jeremiah’s waters” and he did not seem to miss finding them. It was a great evening of music from various groups and ultimately a step closer towards the goal of making the dream of Kenya a reality. Please keep watch for this and if you want to join this trip, do not hesitate to contact us on the same. Here are some pictures. Bob and Melody and the Wave Hawaii team we can’t wait to go to Kenya so start packing now!!!!.

Sun 9th Woods Memorial Pres, Severna Park MD.

Woods Memorial Pres in Severna Park Maryland is a place that won’t be easily forgotten if for nothing else for their overly enthusiastic, embracing, crazy and rave depraved kids among others. These kids were hanging from the chandeliers the balcony and every place of an otherwise very somber and usually subdued Presbyterian church. Hope the elders did not see them as they would be immediately be reprimanded for being sacrilegious. All the same it was a wonderful night of worship, song, dance and inspiration. Better still we connected with them in more than one level and I know this is not the end of our fellowship with them. Thanks to the Ansett’s and Christie for hosting us and to Hilda Gore for carrying us with her since our first time in Virginia many years ago. Christie we are still waiting on the pictures you promised it is your fault that we don’t have them. Okay my fault that I lost the camera but your fault that you brought yours and told me you would take some shots for me. So bring them over or else ill come and repossess the Milele T-shirt I gave you. We were blessed to be here. We had earlier on played in the main services where we came to know that the Presbyterians also have another name. “The frozen Chosen”. Click here to call Christie and ask her for the pictures (another uuuuuuaahhhhh)


August Gigs

Sat 25th Anaheim Convention Center, Chamber of Commerce Banquet./ Compassion INT

They say (by the way who is they) if you know them please let me know. All the same they say that time and tide waits for no man. As soon as we got back from Kenya, we were back at it this time at a very prestigious classy event. The Orange county black Chamber of commerce on invitation from Bobby MacDonald affectionately known as the “Mac man”.  This is an annual banquet for the who’s who in Orange County. We were honored to be there and we had a great time singing for the guests as they arrived and as they had dinner. I had lost the camera so we did not take any pictures but the photographer of the even Mr. Jeff Lewis promised to get me a few. Jeff I’m still waiting and so are a million others who come here to read this boring updates that mean nothing without the pictures. So click here if you want to but nothing will come up. Play the click game uuuuaahhh!!!! (Expression for boring joke) We had a while back been invited to visit Compassion International headquarters in Colorado Spring for some business talks which we will be announcing later on, but here are some pictures from that visit it was awesome. Watch for more on this later.

Sat 18th Hillsong Church London, United Kingdom.

My last and final stop on this trip took me to a revolutional church in a place where the gospel seemed to have died. London UK.  We here of the horror stories of how churches are closing down in what was once the hub of missionaries. But God has His remnant in place. Enter Hillsong Church London. This is a branch of the much acclaimed Hillsong Church in Australia which is the number one trend setter in worship songs in the evangelical churches in the world. I had the privilege of visiting them and meeting with some of the leaders and it was unbelievable what God is doing in that church. Firstly they have service in three different locations. Leatherhead in suburbia London, Paris France and the main one in downtown London at a major theatre. I attended the Saturday service in docking and then by default made it to the main one in London. I had and amazing time meeting with especially Pastor Bevan Russell who was speaking that weekend on the freedom we have in Christ. A timely message for many especially in that area who need to know of God’s love for us. It was a blessed time. We talked about getting Milele there for some performances as God would so choose, so we anticipate a return this time to do what we do best. Here are some pictures.

August 3rd through the 15th. Projects, Meetings and Various Functions.

The other aspect of our trip to Kenya was to see the land where Kathi’s house which we had just done a fundraiser for in Georgia will be built. We also wanted to meet Pastor John and his wife who are taking in the 5 kids who are HIV positive. These kids are just amazing, my heart was stolen by Rebecca she is gorgeous and in spite of some recurring sores she is just the most amazing kid. We attended the service at Glory Outreach Assembly where Pastor John ministers. Maii Mahiu is a place plagued with a large population of HIV positive people because it’s a high risk area due to the truck stop.  We were able to hear and see how the place has been devastated by the scourge and we started planning on how we can be of assistance. Connie and the team from GOA are planning a campaign that will have everyone tested in the area and curb the mother to infant transmission to almost nil and I believe it is possible as the area only has about 10,000 people. Pray for us. Here are some pictures of the visit. Later on I went to meet with Peter Habyarimana from Uganda who works for Compassion International who we are in talks with about becoming ministry partners. More on that later, in the meantime see some pictures of Peter and I at Fairview hotel. It’s surreal the way you can come from such a hard place like Maii Mahiu to such an elaborate hotel in the same country. Believe me I struggle at times with so much but I know God is in control.  Also see pictures from a trip to NaroMoru to visit a family of 4 orphans who were rescued by International Justice Mission in Kenya and we are currently in talks and planning about how to house them in one of the Milele Family Houses. Pray for this project and we will give more details as the plans become more concrete. We went with Mercy Chege, Eunice Njuguna and Benson from IJM and met the grandma and of course the most gorgeous kids in Mary, Shiro, Gikaria and Kiama. IJM we commend you on a job well done and we will not rest until these precious ones are settled in a loving family. Their story in nothing short of heart wrenching.

 

Another major milestone that we witnessed during this trip to Kenya was the introduction of the first Oral Testing Kits for HIV. These were unveiled during the public service week event that was held at KICC for three days. It was an amazing time the main day being graced by Hon Moses Akaranga Minster for Public Service Assistant Ministers such as Boniface Mganga, Commissioner of Police Major General Ali among other dignitaries. It was great to see some of our musician friends Eric Wainaina who is slated to be Kenya’s best and Rufftone who pulled me out of the audience to go dance with him. Our partner Connie Cheren was a big part of this as she had played a major role in getting Oral Sure he supplier of the Oral test kits to come and be a part of the auspicious occasion that is a hallmark in the fight against Aids. Here are some excerpts from Connie’s report. Here are pictures from the event.

Today was the opening of the Civil Service Week. Each ministry had a display outside under tents showcasing what their office does. It was an impressive event. We obtained many resources and learned a lot!  The opening ceremony was impressive with entertainment, dancing, and speeches. Christian joined us and danced with one of the singers. It was like the opening of the Olympics with much celebration. Kenya won the United Nation award for most improved transparency in government.

Profession Orego was in all the papers and on television talking about HIV/ AIDs. The country announced a decrease in prevalence. However there have only been two million tested from a population of 25 million. And Professor Orego is passionate about testing all Kenyans.

Tonight was tough!  David sat up to testing imitative to test a goal of 200 high risk people tomorrow. Tonight we trained 22 VCT counselors and learned how important understanding culture is!  There are clear differences in the way they test and the way it is being done in US.  We are anxious for tomorrow as we pilot oral mobile testing - first time in Kenya. Tonight we pray for the counselors and for those who tomorrow may hear they are HIV positive.

 Thank you for your prayers for the people of Kenya. Connie

The oral mobile testing initiative went well with the Kenyan VCT counselors doing an excellent job!  They were able to set up pre-counseling, intake, testing and post counseling the way they thought it would flow the best for the clients.  208 people were tested with 24 positive - 12% of those tested. It was very sad to see so many people (mostly women).  They were all linked to services. There were young women and old women and men positive for HIV. One woman who tested positive had her 8 month old baby with her who appeared sick. The baby could also be infected.

 We learned many things from the 25 certified counselors who worked with us on this pilot testing. We also learned that mobile oral testing can be an effective way of testing.

 Again I ask you to pray for those who were found infected. Pray they receive treatment so they can live. Connie

Today the team met with Professor Orego (Director of the National Aids

 Control Council).  Some of you may have seen the news yesterday of Professor Orego announcing the use of oral rapid test. We agreed to a partnership of Partners for Care and Recovery Consultants, National Aids Control Council and OralSure to test all Kenyans by 2010. Professor Orego asked we conduct an oral mobile testing in all nine provinces of Kenyan. He has staff in each province and he had the head of those offices in the meeting and requested him to coordinate this initiative with us.

 This is both an opportunity and a challenge. Only four of the provinces are accessible by air. We are once again reminded we can't but He can.

 We are grateful God has called us to help in this war against HIV/AIDS.

Connie

I’m sure by now you think it’s all doom and gloom, but rest assured this is a message of hope and I believe that you and I are that hope so I encourage is to assert  ourselves and play our part in being the change we want to see. On a lighter not we had some nice moments one such being David Makuyu’s wedding. You may remember him as the non Milele member groomsman from Kanji’s wedding. Well his time came and click here to see what fish he landed. Very beautiful occasion, notice Kanjii in a suit as a groomsman at the wedding. Also click here to see Milele’s first family in Kanjii Mwendie and soon to arrive Selah. Amazing huh!!!! Look at Tunde trying to be cool! it aint working dude.

Thu 2nd Kibera Slum Nairobi, Kenya.

Nairobi Kenya has of late become a hop skip and jump, at least it seems so from the number of times we find ourselves there. This August was yet another opportunity to go home. This trip was multi faceted. There was the Kibera project where we went alongside some of our friends who you may remember from last year, Yasemin and this time she came with Naomi from France. We first stopped at the Kibera project with the boys Ken, Pape and the others. We helped get some food supplies as they have done this consistently for the past year. The project has done quite well that we are now thinking of venturing into more tangible assistance where the 100 widows registered with the boys can start developing some life skills that will see them be more sustainable. The boys once again took us to Tunza Children’s center which is right by their office and there we witnessed firsthand some dire needs.  Immediately Yasemin and Naomi flung into action by asking what those needs were. Food, Uniforms, supplies etc were atop the list. We were able to purchase most of these including mattresses and made an order for 20 desks and tables. The guys at school outfitters had a good day as Yasemin and Naomi helped procure over 200 pairs of uniform for Tunza and another center in Narok. The next day all the stuff was delivered, including some rarities such as sausages which were in plenty. These ladies are even considering supporting Tunza on a monthly basis so they can take care of the 150 kids in the school there and also the 40 who reside there. It was an amazing time. Watch out for more on the Kibera project as over the year. Click here for pictures. Yasemin and Naomi may God richly bless you and it’s never in vain, thanks for coming alongside us to assist in this most noble way. Ken Pape and the rest, you guys are ready for some major blessings in your life. Keep serving.



July Gigs

Sun 22nd St John's Lutheran Church, Orange CA.

We have become very good friends with St John’s Lutheran in Orange that we are now family. This weekend we had the privilege of leading worship with their band. What a wonderful time it was! We really bonded with Pastor Chris Higgins and his team and of course Pastor Chris Singer I’m almost tempted to say Pastor Christian Mungai as it seems there is a Chris theme going on, but I’m just being factitious. Best of all was seeing a whole bunch of Lutheran’s actually dancing in Church without minding being sacrilegious. We know that there is much more we are going to do together with our new found family in Orange. As a matter of fact we have something planned with them in November but this time with Kanjii and the Mavuno worship team in a tour we are calling TIA. This is Africa, more on this later. See some pics from the weekend. Did I mention that our friends from Georgia Connie Cheren and her kids David and Mindy joined us? What a treat it was to have them around. We love you guys. The band we were honored to play with you and we were proud of the way you played especially our music. Kenya is our next stop together!!!

Sat 14th Roswell United Methodist Church, Roswell GA. Kathi's House Benefit.

Are there those moments that you meet someone and after a while of interaction you can only attribute your relationship to divine connections? Well this is the case with Partners for Care and specifically Connie Cheren. We met at last year’s Saddleback Aids conference. We have since become not only ministry partners but great friends and together we believe God is doing something in and through us that is beyond our finite minds can fathom. You may remember the medical camp at kiambiu slums in Kenya early on this year, is such an example. This time we came together with one thing in mind. Some five kids in Kenya from an Orphanage run by Glory Outreach Assembly in Mukuru Slum. Long story short these five kids were to be moved from the orphanage to live a family. Pastor John Njuguna and his wife from Maii Mahiu responded to the call of taking in the kids. However housing is a problem as they already have their own kids so the plan was to come together to do a fundraiser concert to provide housing for the Pastor and his now enlarged family. The venue was Roswell United Methodist in Georgia there were about 12 sponsors for the event.  The event was a seamless example of God’s orchestration everything flowed from top to bottom. We were graced by the presence of Celeste Johnson who totally directed the event with precision and anointing. David Gruber was a major player in this as he shared a heart wrenching experience of losing not just a wife and mother but a woman who had a larger than life love for people. Kathi Gruber. In her memory David and his family were going to make a large contribution to the Pastors house in Maii Mahiu and the house would be called Kathi’s house in here memory. Talk about strength in the midst of pain, it was surreal for most of us who were in attendance. The concert went well, we had a great time but the best thing was after the concert almost all monies needed for the house were raised and this was to be the beginning of some amazing work in that area. More on this later just remember this story. Here are the pictures of our weekend in Georgia. We had the pleasure of meeting a lovely family the Rolls. Pastor Mel and Teresa and of course Katie our lovely friend who I met during our trip to Kenya. That Sunday we visited their church Rescue Atlanta Mission based in downtown ATL, where they minister to those in dire needed.  We were taken aback by the ministry they have at that place; we had a lovely time of worship and fun. We love you guys and we will be back. We later went to a Kenyan Church in Marietta, Christ Harvesters Ministries, where we had a fun time with the youth from the church. We promised to go back and have a great time with the entire church sooner than later.

Sun 1st James Madison University, Harrisonburg VA. KCFA

KCFA, need I say any more on them? Our family, friends and longtime partners in ministry. Always a delight to go back and have a wonderful time. Interesting how we have grown with them. Some kids we used to see are now grown men and women. That must say something about us too, let’s not even go there as I the one to be most afraid. For the first time we took the ladies and we could certainly notice the mixed feelings. Some thought it was brilliant having the addition and new look, others thought “where is Kanjii and Mwaurah” needless to say it was the ladies who missed the other boys,  the guys were glad to finally look at some beautiful ladies. All is all is was a wonderful experience always nice to see some great Kenyan leaders such as Bishop Armstrong Chege, Bishop J.B Masinde, my dad’s boss Rev Githii moderator of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa among others and of course KCFA leaders as Lucas Kimani, Douglas Otieno, Gideon Robi, Erastus Njenga among others.  Always good to see Fundi James aka Finjo aka Baba Zero aka makanyaga aka ithe wa music aka F.J the man Felix Mwangi. We can’t forget DJ Fresh who is just the nicest guy ever we love you dude. Was great to see what we now call Kenyamerican kids get down and dance to Zaidi ya Muziki’s “Fundi wa mbao” and of course reminds us of how ancient we are, I can’t dance like that anymore so I sit back and reminisce the good ol days when I could jump from stage. Great time it was of course Carol had to come get me from the people as I was having a great time not realizing it was 1am and we had a flight to catch at 6am and a 3hr drive ahead. Here are some pictures. This concluded our week long in the east coast.

Sun 1st Trinity Assembly Church, Lanham MD.

Networking in one of the ways we have been able to continue in Ministry for the last now almost 10years. Pastor Cathy Mechlin from Word of Life introduced us to Pastor Tino Cione of Trinity Assembly in Lanham Maryland. I don’t know what she told him but when we got there this Sunday he asked us to do whatever we wanted and even take over the service and conduct it as the Lord leads us. This was the first of its kind where a Pastor would give a group he has never met before and totally give us such liberty. We were taken aback to where we told him that we would follow his lead and ultimately we had a great morning of worship dance and encouragement. It was a great connection as we were immediately invited to stay for their 4th of July celebration which we could not make due to prior travel arrangements. However we had a special connection with this church and I largely attribute it to Pastor Tino’s embrace of our ministry.  We will certainly be back sooner than later and especially for the July celebration. Thanks for your love we received at the Church. Maddie thanks for coming to hang with us we appreciate you. Click here for pics.

June Gigs

Fri 29th Lebanon Evangelical Free Church, Jonestown PA. AFCA Fundraiser

We spent the entire week lounging and having some down time except for Carol who had to travel back to LA for work and be back the next weekend for the next set of concerts. If you are a prayer warrior out there please make this priority, tell God we want to serve in ministry and not have to hold other jobs as we all currently do. Of course we were a menace to Joseph and Carol Mathenge, and were it not that Joseph and Nimo are siblings ‘hard to believe but it’s purported to be so’, we would have been kicked out. Kaima was busted having some of the baby formula for their newly born sweet angel Dida. We of course want to still authenticate the fact that Joseph is the father as she is way too cute to have come from him, but miracles never cease is the understanding in this case.  We travelled to New York to visit with Nimo’s other brother Pastor Cyrus Mathenge and his family. This family has taken the command multiply and fills the earth seriously and acted accordingly. They are all over. I kid you not and to prove it our lawyer in Kenya one Paul Kaguru is also suspected to be a sibling. We had a great time with them as we also toured to big apple before going back to Virginia to pick Carol up and head back north to Amish country Jonestown Philadelphia.  Lebanon E.V Free church was our next stop. We had connected with Tanya Weaver a member of the Church at the Saddleback Conference and we had been in talks about going to help fundraiser for a ministry she is involved in AFCA, which involved with Aids in Africa. We were glad to see a rather sizeable crowd on a Friday night in a little town in the boonies. We had an incredible time and it felt like we were back home when after the concert most of the people hang out to drink tea and talk as opposed to the west coast busy life where people are sitting on needles and can’t wait for the programs to end so as to run to the next. It was surreal to observe this. We were elated when they suggested that we work on going to Kenya with a team from there to build a house. Eric, Tanya’s husband is already working on doing that in the coming year. What a blessing and connection with a group we just met. Here are some pics from the event and our week in the east coast.

Sun 24th Word of Life Church Springfield VA. African night of Worship

The African Night of Worship at Word of Life Church in Virginia is a special event where they invite African bands to lead worship.  This is testament to how embracing the Church is to Africa and especially those who are in Diaspora. This year they invited us back and we were honored and obliged to do so. As always we had a wonderful time in worship and in sheer African fashion we extended the service way after sunset, not very used to using the invention better known as the chronometer. We observed that not as many Americans showed up as they did last time as they were wary of our liberty as pertaining to time. This however did not hinder us and the other groups invited from taking it back home. It was a great night and we thank the staff Pastor Cathy Mechlin for inviting us again. “We will be back” to quote the great “theologian” the governator! Click here to see pictures from that evening. Notice Dida Josephs and Carols baby. They hosted us the entire week we were in the east coast and to them we have nothing but relentless appreciation for their incredible hospitality. Too bad they asked us to come again so they are bound to see us sooner than later. Word to the wise never tell Kenyans “Welcome anytime”! .

Sun 24th Immanuel Church, Silver Spring MD.

So Immanuel Church in Silver Springs Maryland is one of our east coast families. This Church is very adept to missions including supporting a ministry from Kenya whose founder is a member of the Church. JAMII is the ministry and Maurice Kinyanjui and his sister are the founders. This June we had a chance to be invited back to minister during their morning services. As always we had a great time, these guys are so easy to work with as most of them have the rhythm thing down so we just pick up from where we left. The only sad thing about this trip was that we were to be at the JAMII celebration the following weekend and due to unforeseen scheduling times we sadly and regrettably missed it. All the same we hope that we can make it next time. Here are some pics from that morning.

Mon 18th to Wed 20th Integrity Leaders Meeting, Phoenix AZ.

Integrity Leaders Meeting is an Organization like no other I have seen. So picture all these Pastors who have churches of not more than 5000 members plus actually imagine 30,000 as Joel Osteen was there, need I say more. But the numbers to me are not even the captivating factor, it’s the humility of all these most accomplished men and women of God coming together to hold each other accountable and have a refreshing time of networking and loving each other. Now that is amazing. I was honored, privileged astonished amazed, that the executive Pastor at my church Faith Community in West Covina, Dan Reeve invited me to be a part of such a distinguished audience. It was mesmerizing to see all these people who you only see of TV at close quarters and not just that but also interacting with the rest of us. I had to stop and think of why God would have me attend such a conference as I was the only African in that place.  The details of the meetings is something I would rather not get into as it was very intimate and so real, but ill mention this that these mighty men and women of God are just like any of us and they have allowed God to use them as they are. Joel Osteen put so well, when he said he was just available to the call and to this day he said he never feels adequate for the job so he totally relies on God. What a man, I mused. Christine Caine, Craig Groeshel, Keith Kraft, Phil Munsey, Rob Koke among others were the speakers. The best thing is that our Pastor Dr Jim Reeve is the chairman of the meeting and was the hosting Pastor so our worship team at church was leading that time. It was a humbling moment but also so affirming for us as we believe that God is up to something hence the connections. Here are some pictures from the conference see who you may recognize.

Sun 10th TIAS Arms Fundraiser, Costa-Mesa CA. / Mariners Worship Concert

Michelle Bendera is great friend of ours whom we met sometime last year at “Be the Cause Walk” She has invited us to various events and introduced us to so many people. This past weekend she had invited us to a fundraiser for one of her friends Joanne Baker founder of TIAS arms. It was a good occasion with all kinds of people, very fashionable I must add. We played some songs and those who were there enjoyed every bit of it. Joanne thanks for the invite, Michelle we appreciate you so much. Sukh we will see you soon and y’all need to come to Kenya with us sooner than later. Here are some pictures. Later on we attended a worship concert at Mariners Church and I could not resist uploading some pictures from the event, it’s amazi

Sat 9th Shepherds Home Fundraiser La Canada CA.

Shepherds Home is not only one of our partners for Milele Family Homes, the founders Dr Mac and Nelly Kiiru are Harry Mwaurah’s parents. We have partnered with them at various events and so when Doug Milham a wonderful friend and Director of Discover the World the cover for Shepherds here in America, called upon us to their fundraiser, we were much obliged to attend. It was at one of the loveliest couples we have ever met. Bob and Janice McGlashan’s. They not only have a beautiful place but also have the greatest hearts as they so warmly welcomed us to their home. It was a wonderful evening of singing, dancing and interacting with an assortment of wonderful guests. The catering was out of this world ask me, I live to eat and my food never goes to waste, it only makes its way to my waist. A beautiful evening shared with the most beautiful and loving people. Shepherds Home is doing so much for Aids orphans back home and we applaud them and are glad to be a part of the family. It was great to see familiar faces from the pictures of the kids as we have interacted with them. Doug thanks for the invite our love and regards to Carol and he team. McGlashan’s thanks and when we grow up we want to be just like you.

Here are some pictures

Thu 7th US Doctors for Africa, Casa Del Mar Santa Monica CA.

US Doctors for Africa is an amazing organization that is spearheading medical facilitation in Africa. So when they extended an invite to a star studded fundraising event we were not only honored but elated at the fact that we would be singing before some very popular Hollywood stars and for whatever reason it’s always exciting to tell stories of celebrities we meet. Among those in attendance were Quincy Jones, Chris Tucker, Dikembe Mutombo, Baron Davis, Jaime Jones of Grammy wining group All 4 one who was the headliner, just to mention a few. What is interesting is that these guys are all so normal and I think its we who make it a big deal, bottom line they are just like any of us only with a little more disposable income. Not to dwell so much on that, the event was incredible very inspiring and I could see us doing such events in the future as we gleaning from these who have gone before us. The best thing about USDFA is that I was founded by a great Ethiopian gentleman and friend Ted Alemahyu. Our hat’s out to him as he has done an incredible job click on the website to see what they have accomplished so far. We made some very neat connections as we got everyone dancing to our African tunes at a dignified dinner and if you know anything about our music there is no dignity to it. As always we got an amazing welcome and appreciation and it’s an honor to be recognized among the elite in society. We thank God for favor as we would never plan for any of that. Aunt Evelyn of Outreach to Africa thanks for the connection we appreciate and love you so much. Here are some pictures see if you can identify some celebs.

Sat 2nd American Way Cultural Way, Proms 2007. Orange CA

American Way Cultural Center is a place that has become a second home for us. More so for me as this is where I have worked for the last 10 years. “Yes we all have real jobs”. We plan events such as weddings, proms, corporate parties, grad night etc. Every year we have a different theme and I actually got the job there when they first held the first African theme and I was divinely brought in as the resident consultant. I’m still there. Marty and Joe Adair run the place and they have been the most amazing people in our lives always supporting our every venture as Milele. They have witnessed our growth and been a big part of the growth. This year was a time to celebrate the African theme again. As part of my job I was to look for an African band for the events. After much searching like looking for a needle in the haystack I found a band in our back yard called Milele. Long story short we are playing all events at the center this year in celebrating the royalty of Africa. These last months we have played at various proms and just wanted you to experience what being at the event is like. One very memorable one was when we were singing away in an Kenyan dialect “Kikuyu” some kids picked up on two words “ee Muoyo Jesu ee Muoyo” unbenounced to them a group from an unnamed school joined us on stage and went crazy dancing to that tune. If only they knew what they were saying. It was surreal. Translation is “He is alive Jesus is alive”  Go figure a public school declaring that Jesus is alive during prom night!!!!. We know His word never returns to Him void, they declared it and sang it. Now He will watch His word to perform it. We are truly missionaries to this country. Here are some pictures.

 

May Gigs

Sat 26th Celebration of Life! One of a Kind Lanikai, Hawaii.

I usually don’t do this but I have no excuses for this particular one. A week ago we received word that one of our very good friends Kulia Ko-Henry from Hawaii had lost her mother Dana, who was also a good friend. Dana’s demise was very untimely as her Father and Kulia’s grandpa Don Ho, one of Hawaii’s most renowned musicians had just passed a little while ago. So it was a hard time for the entire family two deaths in under a month. We came to know that the funeral was on the 26th of May which happened to be the only Saturday we were off in almost 7 weeks. So without much planning it was agreed that I was to go represent Milele at the “funeral”. (You will understand the quotes). I did not know what to expect but I was not ready for what I was to experience. On arrival Denise a good friend took me straight to the funeral as I arrived on the very day. My first shock was I immediately noticed that I was the most dressed in jeans and a collard shirt. Everyone else was in their casual Hawaii dress which is not much. The ceremony was amazing as Pastor Lance of Revival Church was conducting. When I saw Tim Farley our friend and Kulia’s uncle he came up and hugged me with the most sincere hug and full of tears in his eyes. Next Kulia did one of the most unexpected things. She attempted to dance to a song, she looked calm and we were all in shock at her poise, but the time came that she broke and could not continue, without missing a beat, her mentor and Pastor Lance’s wife Caron got up and danced the song for her. At this time there was not a dry eye in the place. Thereafter Pastor Lance came and talked about the celebration of Dana’s life and the mood changed, he made an altar call and it seemed like everyone in the place was making a commitment to Jesus at a time of death. Then without much ado he made a call for people to come and get baptized as the ceremony was by the beach. I kid you not over 30 people came forth. The service closed with the praise Hula dancers worshiping to “I can only imagine” I wont say much about that as you can only imagine what that was like. Sob sob sob everywhere. Lance went on and baptized all those who had made a commitment for the first time. Note everyone is in bikinis, topless and just having a grand time. After that they rowed out to sea in canoes and scattered Dana’s ashes and flowers and said some prayers. I noticed something very interesting, all the flowers came back to shore in a single file. I can’t explain that. Thereafter the food was brought out. I’m talking a feast, not just some finger foods, it was like a bountiful harvest or celebration that at this time it seemed like Dana’s life was just being celebrated and not mourned. I must say I was tongue tied as I watched all this unfold right before my eyes. Gave me a new revelation on funerals and passing on in Christ. No wonder someone said “ We should cry when someone is born as they come to a world with problems and issues, and we should dance and celebrate when one passes on as they rest from the toils of this world and return to their maker” I witnessed a real celebration of life and it left an indelible mark in me. Kulia we love you and we will see you soon. Tim you are our brother for life. Denise thanks for all your kindness and Revival Church you are a true light in darkness. Here are pictures from the event.

Sat 19th St John's Lutheran Church, Orange CA.

There are those moments you meet someone and instantaneously you get a divine kindred connection. This is the case with St John’s Lutheran Church Pastor Chris Singer. We were connected to Pastor Chris by a longtime friend and a ministry partner Susan Njemanze who has done incredible work in her home town of Embu Kenya. They invited us to an event for a team from the Church that was accompanying Susan to Kenya last Month. Since then we have met several time and so this last week when they were coming together to give a report of the trip, Pastor Chris asked us if we would come. Normally it would have been hard as we were coming from a service in Hillside Church Rancho-Cucamonga and heading to play at Laguna Hills high school prom, but due to the bond with the Church we tried somehow to take a risk and squeeze it in and thankfully it worked. We had a great time though short but according to Pastor Chris “it set a good tone for the rest of the event”. We have planned several other connections with St John’s and we look forward to every last one of them. Blessings and love. Susan you are our hero, when we grow up we want to be live you. Here are some pictures. Courtesy of Karis, thanks bro for hanging with us we love you though you are always late for gigs.

Sat 12th Sun 13th Sat 19th Sun 20th, Hillside Community Church, Alta-Loma CA.

Someone once said favor ain't fair. Oh well I absolutely agree with that. As I have watched God grow us from day to day and year to year, we can only attribute it to divine favor. So when a Senior “Parishioner” calls us and tells us that he saw as at the Saddleback Aids Conference, and that he thinks it would be great for us to play at his church, it leaves us but to give all glory and thanks to God. Hillside Community Church is a mission a great church and the things they have done for the mission field is nothing short of glorious. So this last two weekends they asked us to be at their services where they are kicking off a series on missions. It was an amazing two weeks. Actually it’s one of the two churches where we have been on back to back weekends and had the people as equally excited on both occasions.  They were featuring some great speakers from Empowering Lives International with whom we have cordial relations in ministry. Juli McGowan and Alison Tjaden are shinning stars in a cloudy world. They are both based in very remote villages in Kenya that we as Kenyans have not dared to venture. God is doing an amazing work in and through them and we are humbled to call them our friends. It was so nice to sit and listen as they captivated the audience with their thrilling God stories of life in the Village all so inspiring. We love you guys, Brother David Tarus it was so good to see you dancing to the now popular song “Faya” that Kanjii has become famous for in Kipkaren. I promise we will come one of these days and FAYA away. The McGowan’s we need to come back to Redding for some cheesy potatoes soon, so brace yourselves, Nimo and Carol eat twice as much as Kanjii and Harry.  Parishioner David Burns thanks for the invite we have had a wonderful two weeks and what a congregation, so generous and loving and our hearts took to them in a special way. We look forward to a wonderful relationship with you guys. Donna you forgot to come and take more pictures as a result we don’t have “enough” pictures from your church. Thanks to everyone and we thank God for divine connections. Click here to see pictures from the two weekends.

Sat 12th Ordinary Women Inc, Annual Spring Event, Coto de Caza CA.

Ordinary women are exactly that, but they are empowered from above and due to that they have accomplished extra-ordinary things. We have had the honor of even traveling with them to Kenya to witness some of the great work. Also this year we were able to take some of them to Mavuno Church our home church in Kenya. This weekend they hosted their annual spring event, but this time it was at a different but spectacular venue. What an amazing place, one wonderful lady Janice opened her home for the event and it was another level of extra-ordinary. The event brought together almost 200 guests and it was a wonderful time. Our friend Paul Holgate spoke with such poise and precision and we loved the way touched on many aspects in a very personal way, so amazing. Paul please consider being a preacher, you are an excellent communicator. The women have planned great things for the year, so please try and keep up with them if you can. We are blessed to be in fellowship with them and we totally and absolutely love you. Karen Helphand even went and lived in Kiminini in Kenya for about 3 months, if that does not speak to the commitment of the group then I don’t know what does. Always know we are here to stand and support you. Even Karis, though he ditched the event!!!!! Click here for pictures.

Thu 10th Outreach to Africa Fundraiser, The Montage Laguna Hills CA.

The Montage is an amazing place in South Orange County, maybe the epitomy of grandeur and beauty. So when we were invited by the O’Neil group to play for a fundraiser for Outreach to Africa, we were much obliged. This is a different place the ambience and air is different from where we live “across the tracks” breathtaking views. Carol even looked more picturesque against the amazing background, so she went on and on taking more pictures. All the same the event was amazing, Ive never seen people spend so much at an auction, many times I caught myself asking “all that money for that vase” then I remembered the cause It was going for and it reminded me that kids lives are priceless. What a generous people, we met the family of the Devlins who are putting up a school in Uganda in memory of the patriarch of the family and to them we say thanks on behalf of the children of Uganda. Pierre the MC for the night was amazing, what a voice. We got to play a little and that was fun trying to get the other side of Orange County people moving “easier to get blood from a rock” Amy and Ashley pretended they could dance and to our dismay they faked it. Aunt Evelyn and Kanyunyu we are grateful for your hard work and as you can see God has His hand upon you, so keep up and never lose heart, we are here with you, then, now and always. Click here for pictures. Nimo was late!!!!!!

Sun 6th Crossroads Bible Church, San Jose CA.

It was well past midnight when we left the Water Wells Event, the next day we had two concerts, one at Garden grove for the inter faith unity dinner. Very interesting, where a person from all different faith’s come together and share an evening. It was great but we left in a hurry as we were scheduled to play at a prom event for Chaffey high school at the American Way Cultural center. We do not have pictures from the two events as we were running late. The concert went on to midnight and just as soon as we hit the bed well after 1:30am Sunday morning, Kaima again woke me up telling me that we were running late to catch our flight to San Jose for services at Crossroads Church. Who said miracles don’t happen, here is one. We left the house at 4:55am our flight was at 6am. We live 40 minutes from Lax, and we somehow made it. Ill say no more about that, you go figure!!!! All in all the girls beat us to the airport but we made the flight and we got to San Jose and what a family we have there. We feel so at home in this area as we have formed some of the greatest relationships ever. We love all our friends there and some even took off from their respective churches to come and be with us, including leading worship with us. No names mentioned. Dave Hockenberry, and James. Some also came to support us like Sherry, Michelle, and of course Torrey and Jack Elwell. We totally love these guys. Our dear friend Dr Markos Zemede founder of Horn of Africa Mission was the speaker at the culmination of a mission’s weekend at Crossroads. Afterwards we had a great lunch with the team, and for some of us it was the best part of the day, Indian cuisine courtesy of Liz Nandakumar, great choice Liz you will be forever on the Milele Wall of Fame. Pritika it was nice meeting you, and stop listening to Kurt Cobain and Metallica try some Milele it sounds the same!!!!! We had a great time, but we were totally exhausted but we had to go back to LA the same day, so we went to the gate and needless to say we blacked out on the floor, at least those of us who have no shame in our game, as for the girls, lets just say they have reputations to uphold!!! Click here for pictures from the weekend. Pastor Kyle and Brandon always get away when we are in town!! wonder why!!!!

Fri 4th Hermosa Beach Community Center, Water Wells for Africa, Hermos beach CA.

Before we could fully recover from our weekend escapade another one was on the way. Friday night we were invited to play at the Water Wells for Africa silent auction. What an event that was. Really well done and they went all out, with banners on the streets of Hermosa Beach and hosting it at the community center. Water Wells is a ministry of Breakwater church that focuses on digging wells in Malawi in very arid and needy villages. Great ministry and we were humbled to be a part of an event that featured some distinguished personalities. Jimmy Weldon “the motivator” voice of Yogi Bear, Kelli Pomarolli comedian from Hollywood, Oblinyanko dance troupe from Ghana among others. Jimmy was amazing as the MC for the evening; surely they don’t make them the way they made them in his days. Such wit and wisdom in his comedy, yet with a touch of invaluable wisdom from his experience in Hollywood. The items for auction were great too. Pastor Kurt the founder of breakwater gave a great speech on why they do what they are doing. Doug Herbst the Director of Water wells made sure that all was going according to plan. The place was packed with an enthralled crowd and there was not a dull moment all night. Great time and we were blessed to play and receive a donation towards our Milele Homes and for that we are eternally grateful to Water wells and we will continue to work together to change Africa. Thanks for the opportunity. Here are pictures from the event.

 

April Gigs

Sun 29th Central Christian Center MD, Trinity Episcopal Church Philadelphia 24!

The TV show 24 is very popular here in the United states, this past weekend we happened to be involved in a barrage of activities that gave us a slight glimpse of what it would be like to be on the show. The following activities take place on the 28th and 29th of April between 9:30pm to 9:30am.

9:30pm Long beach airport, board flight to Dulles airport Virginia.5:00am Arrive Dulles Airport, rent car and drive to Baltimore MD.

8:26 am arrive at Ruth Mathenge’s aka Konyu! For breakfast. Nimo’s sister.

9:30 Depart for Central Christian Center for service, wonderful great worship time.

12:00pm Chit chat with friends from Maryland, special thanks to Mark Njiiri for setting us up with his church, great people. Loved the message by Pastor Terry Kirk.

1:07pm Depart Maryland enroute to Philadelphia.

3:48pm arrive in Philadelphia, magnificent lunch at Debbie’s, Carol’s cousin.

4:56pm depart for St Thomas Episcopal Church in Collingdale.5:30pm Finish set up for the concert, and start on opening acts which are all so amazing.

6:03pm Milele concert commences.7:40pm Concert ends, great time with those in attendance, talk about our projects. Get great support from members. One guy chooses to educate a family of girls in the slum. Simply amazing offer, the best a child in the slum can ask for. Thanks to you!!!

8:42pm Dinner at Pastor Muthoga’s, Muthui and Judy Gitonga feeds us like never before, Judy organized the whole event, congrats and thanks to you. She slept through the concert.

10:17pm depart Philadelphia for Virginia.

1:50am arrive at Joseph Mathenge’s house; (only Kenyans) would do that!

2:30am try getting a wink of sleep.

4:00am Kaima starts waking us up

4:40am leave Josephs place for Dulles airport.

5:49am arrive at airport.

7:00am depart from Dulles airport Virginia.

9:30am arrive Long beach airport California.

NB: Carol has to go to work, with no sleep, Nimo is totally sick, can’t talk, and has come down with a cold. Kaima is Kaima and I am totally incapacitated. Carol makes it to work late, but non functional. Next day she too gets bed ridden! This is the life. Does anybody want to join Milele?? Send applications!!!!!! Click here to see 24.

Thu 19th Knott Ave Christian Church, Youth Night, Anahiem CA.

Before some of us could even get over jet lag it was time again to be on a stage ministering. Luckily enough it was just around the corner from our place. Knott Ave Christian Center for their Youth Night. Their leader Evan had asked that we join them on this past Thursday night to share about stretching beyond your comfort zone. It was a great evening and even more inspiring to see kids who are desiring to do all they can to make a difference. Here are some pictures.

Kenya! The other side of it. Compare and Contrast with the previous story!!!!

The hardest thing about being in Kenya for me is not even the fact that you see people who live in abject poverty and are going through all kinds of atrocities it’s the fact that I and others can leave the slums and go and almost live in a totally different world in the same country. This duality really breaks me and I often ask God what I need to do. In the meantime just take a look at the other side of Kenya which is miles apart from the slum life. Look out for the beautiful Lakes and waterfalls, Mavuno Church, Marjaana, Jodie and Debbie from Saddleback Church part of the Ordinary Women team, my parents and I, the piece of land where Milele’s first houses are soon going to be built. Tunde the crazy kid, blame Makena her mother who is Kanji’s sister in love as they call them today. Kanjii, Wanjii and Mutho the Mbugua Family, The group Zaidi ya Muziki Kenya’s hottest gospel group. Click here for all the above and more.

Sun 1st to Tue 17th Kenya Trip with Partners for Care from North Point Church Georgia.

I know you have missed hearing from me, and no we have not quit! We had a “short break” and during that time, we decided to accompany a group from North Point Church in Georgia called Partners for Care on a medical camp to Kenya. This is Milele’s idea of taking a “short break”. We met Connie Cheren during last years Saddleback Aids Conference and really connected. Partners for Care work with a local Church Glory Outreach Assembly which is like no other in Kenya. They have over 86 Churches in Kenya and in Congo Burundi Botswana. Above that they are deeply involved in social development such as Msamaria Mwema in Kiambiu slums where the medical camp was held. Christ Compassion Kids in Ruai for former street boys, Merciful Redeemer Home in Mukuru slums among many others. For us, it was an honor to be a part of the entire trip.

A summary of the trip:

Three day free medical camp in the Kiambiu slum providing community teaching, nurses, doctors, medications, eye exams and glasses, TB screeing, diabetes screening, dental services, family planning and HIV/AIDs testing. 2,161 people seen, 40 tested for HIV/AIDs - two positive, and approx 400 questionnaires completed by the research students. Four transferred to the hospital for additional care. And four home visits made with Agnes and US team with one taken to the hospital. 

Worship in the new Nairobi church.

Trip to Paradise Lost with 50 kids and staff from Christ Compassion.  

 Trip to National Park with 65 children and 7 staff from Merciful Redeemer.

Trip to Aberdare and Lake Nakuru with 14 GOA leaders/wives and 5 of their children.

Increased knowledge of the story of GOA and the leaders' stories which are amazing!

 And all of our hearts broken, changed forever and a desire to return! click here for pics.  more

pics.


March Gigs

Tue 12th San-Dimas High School, San-Dimas CA. International Day.

High School kids are just the best; it’s very intriguing to watch how they act around each other. We have had the privilege of being invited to several High Schools including public schools such as San Dimas High School this week. It was their international day and one of our friends Lance Beckford who is a music teacher there took the chance to invite us. The experience is one you can’t easily forget as you watch them caught between wanting to get up and be crazy as opposed to try something and become the laughing stock of the day. All in all the vibe in the place was very welcoming and warm. We had the attention of several people including some faculty. We never try to tone down the message of our music, so it came out loud and clear on whom we were giving all the Praise and Glory to. Shared a little on AIDS in Africa and how they can make a difference. It was a great time. Lance thanks for making it happen, now we need to come and jam with your band members. Later on in the evening we were invited to a more somber event at Western University where the classical ensemble had put together an AIDS awareness concert and fundraise with some of the proceeds being donated to Milele Family Home. Arin our Development Director and I made it, to this lovely event. Marika and team we applaud you for a job well done, it takes one to make a change and you guys touched many. Thanks for the generous donation. Here are pictures from our unusually busy Tuesday. Karis it was nice to be with you, we love and appreciate you.

Sun 11th Journey Community Church, Clovis CA.

““Be not afraid ye of little flock for it are the Father’s will to give you the kingdom” ever read that in your bible? Its one thing to read, it and another to experience it. This Sunday we witnessed the scripture in its context. This was at Journey Community Church in Clovis Northern California. A friend from Horn of Africa, Dr Markos Zemede referred Pastor Walt Wilson to Milele. They wasted no time in inviting us over but we were not ready for the powerful time God had set apart for us. The drive was nice and smooth, though Nimo delayed us as she was the one assigned to pick up the rental car, so we got there pretty late. On our way there we called to say we were in the area and one Kirsten re-directed us to “the other direction” only to realize we were on the right track. Eventually we got to Dottie’s house and lo and behold a feast awaited us. Carol is famous for not eating chicken but she delved into that chicken like we have never seen before, it was almost embarrassing when she got up to go for her unprecedented fourth helping. Then came a sumptuous desert that Kirsten had prepared, “Ive never had a pizza type desert” it was delicious that Kaima wanted to have it for breakfast. This set the tone for the entire time there, that the title of the message was “food”. Only we did not know it was divine food from above. What a special time we had. We shared in song on that Sunday and God’s presence was so evident as we were also ministered to in the most powerful way. The people in this Church are full of life, and I guess it all stems from the energizer bunny in Pastor Walt, im sure he will be one of the people receiving people in heaven as he is as warm, loving kind, loud and enthusiastic as they come. What a great man of God. Everything was so God orchestrated that at one time nothing had to be said, Kaima just played “Great is thy faithfulness on the keys” and an anointing filled the place. Talk about what happens when people open up to receive from God. I will never be able to capture that moment for you, so I won’t try; all we know is that God was speaking to us all in various ways. Kirsten we really appreciate you and love you for all you are, your heart supersedes that of many we have come across. Dottie Mike and Michelle, thanks for the hospitality and love you showed. Pastor Walt this is truly the beginning of many things to come. What a church!! Steve, John and Andrew thanks for the tech help. You guys have adopted more kids than some mega churches; this is why your golden hearts are before God and He will reward you for all your deeds, we love you all. Spaghetti factory was awesome and what was that desert again! It was heavenly!!! Click here for pictures.

Fri 9th Latin American Bible Institute, La-Puente CA.

It’s great to know that the future of this great nation is secure in the hands of its youth. We had an opportunity to witness such youth this past Friday at the Latin American Bible Institute. It’s imperative that every country invest in its young people as they are the hope for the future. This Institute is set up to nurture the students in the in bible and other skills that will prepare them for ministry in the future. Steve Pinto our host did a great job of making it happen. We shared in song and in word and had a great time with the energetic youth who did not miss a beat or a step in the entire concert. We love you guys and hold up high the faith in you; it’s the key to your success. See you again soon. Carol and Nimo froze to death as it was a little chilly. Gabriel visiting from St Louis helped us with the pictures thanks for that and you need to teach us French. After that we went out to do what we do best. Eat! Here are some pictures.

Sun 4th Our Lady Queen of Angles, Newport Beach CA.

After a long busy weekend we remembered that we had to go to another function Our Lady Queen of Angels in Newport Beach. African Child Foundation was having a fundraising dinner for their Kenya Project with Father Henry Simaro. They had just come from a visit there at the end of last year and they were reporting and on their experience. The stories were so amazing and the slide show very moving. Its unbelievable how much need there is back home, but because of Organizations like this there is hope and we are so honored to be associated with them in a small way. Lauren Peterson the President of A.C.F has a great heart for Kenya and her team of volunteers is so dedicated and it shows from what they have achieved in less than two years. I can’t explain it all so click here to see from their website. It was a great evening especially when we were invited to lead a final song at the end of the Mass at the Church, it was as though Africa had just come to Newport Beach as they all joined in jubilant African Praise to God. We made some really neat connections with friends who have a great desire to be the change they want to see in the world today. We salute you all and always remember it’s never in vain. It starts with one step and you guys are way ahead of the first. Click here to see some pictures.

Sat/Sun 3rd, 4th and Wed 7th Knott Avenue Christian Church, Anaheim CA.

You think after so many years of traveling you would think that we would get used to it. Oh well wrong not even. So when for the first time ever we were invited to a church half a mile from our current residence, it instantly became Christmas in March. Knott Ave Christian Church this past week has been having their annual Global Missions week. What is so impressive about Knott Ave is that they dedicated a whole week to global missions. As a result we were invited to be with them for this past week. We started on Saturday night during their service into three services on Sunday. We really enjoyed leading worship with the Church band. Jeff the band director and Matt Whelchel the Worship Pastor put it all together and what a wonderful time this was. We played some common songs and then switched up to play some Milele tunes with the dynamic band which mastered two songs in less than 10 minutes. Come Sunday morning the band was ready to go on tour with us as they had everything down, of course except for the dancing and that will take a miracle. Mike Carman the missions Pastor is the one who invited us to Knott Ave and he and the team had put together a great week for emphasis on missions. Senior Pastor Shane Womack the shared a great word on “mission possible”. On Wednesday we went back this time to lead worship and share some African Praise and boy! Was it wild in there. Apparently the high school team was told about the event and they came in ready to rumble, at one point they had a Zion train going all around the church. The best part of the night was hearing from three dynamic speakers one from Kenya, another from Indonesia and S.P Daniel from India. Knott Ave has a unique niche in the way they are undertaking missions as they are working in some of the neediest places, China, Indonesia, India and Kenya. All with very significant reasons why. We had a great time and instead of going into crazy details click here to see the pictures from this incredible weekend a stone throw from our residence. Pastor Mark and Matt thanks for making it possible we love you guys and the church family. Rumor has it that we will be seeing you soon. Better work on that dancing Mark! Blessings to all and thanks for opening up not only your church but your hearts to us, we are honored. My favorite part however was the IN n OUT Dinner!!

 

February Gigs

Sat/Sun 17th/18th, Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church, Austin TX.

During last years Saddleback Aids Conference we made some great new connections. One such connection was with some friends from Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church. I remember meeting Leigh and Morgan Stokes, and we talked about Milele coming to Austin to visit their church. Now if you know anything about ministry most people love the excitement and the thought of such invitations but at times it takes a while to actually get anything done. Oh no not with Morgan and the crew from Westlake Hills. The immediately got back and started working on how to get us there for their missions conference dubbed “Taking a step towards Africa” and oh boy did they make leaps. Long story short this past weekend was a culmination of some long term planning as only American’s do it. I tell you! we have a whole lot to learn. I really enjoyed seeing the up to the minute schedule and they almost broke it down to the kind of food and the recipe used to make the cinnamon pastries that Travis made.  We were so well received by Susie Kelly and Lisa Marks who hosted us and we had the fortunate chance of being on the same flight with Bob and Bobbie Snyder the speakers for the weekend, who have been missionaries in Africa for the longest time and we even share common friends. It was a great connection right from the start. We enjoyed a wonderful branch and got to meet some of the leaders like Rev Carol, Bob, Walter Stokes Morgan hubby, Travis the Cinnamon guy, Leah a cute little girl who became my best friend for the weekend and not to forget the riotous Nancy Kocurek among others. After that we were treated to a wonderful tour of Austin by Nancy who went around leaving people behind, locking others in the car, getting others out, I mean she was just hilarious but became our instant hero.  Saturday evening was a full on Milele concert and we shared from our hearts and got some Presbyterians moving imagine. Miracles do still happen. I’m raised as one so I know how stoic we are. Sunday morning saw us lead worship at all three services and once again the 8:15 service was up and about rolling around the pews, doing back flips!! Oh not even, but they did move more than they usually do and it was great to share with them. The day ended with sponsorship of orphans from Zambia by World Vision with Zack, Dan and Sandra sharing with the members the opportunity to make a difference in that country. Later on they all joined together to assemble care kits and it was the most wonderful thing to see all the members come together to work at blessing people across the seas they have never met and maybe never will. If this is not an honor for us to be a part of this, I wonder what is. We are truly one big family and we must function together as one. What a delight. We thank God and everyone who made our trip possible Morgan really worked hard to get everything done and may God reward you. Doug and Greg thanks for all the tech assistance as for the Susie Kelly and Dave and Lisa we appreciate you. Cameron and Taylor our lovely hosts who have a pet rat “stitch” thanks for sharing all. We certainly will be back to Westlake it was all the blessings you can think of. We love you. Here are some pictures. Notice Tshakie our friend in Denver our stop over too cool.

Wed 14th, Faith Community Church, West Covina CA.

“Is somebody breathing out there”, is a phrase we are very familiar with. This from the great thespian Dr Jim Reeve our Pastor at Faith Community Church. We have had the fortunate opportunity to be members at this church for a longtime. Personally it has been almost 11yrs. As a result we have been there to see Faith grow through many phases and unbeknown to us we have been a part of the growth. We are always delighted to be given a chance to be on that stage that see’s some of the world’s most renowned speakers and musicians. So for some unknown African group to share that same platform is nothing short of divine honor and favor. Just this month alone, Faith Community has hosted and will be hosting. Bebe Winan’s, Israel Houghton, Marvin Winans and Christine Caine among other notable ministers. There in somewhere will also be Milele. This past Wednesday we had the privileged chance to minister in song. What is so cool about it is, when we hear of all these people come and tell us how God has put Africa in their hearts and express the desire to come and visit. To all of you we welcome you. Always know that you have a home in Kenya now and even when we finally return and settle there always know there are members of your Faith family in Kenya. Pastor Dawn Jackson out did herself when sharing the vision of the Milele Family Homes Project, she nailed it better than even we ourselves could ever do it. Pastor Dawn you are now an honorary Milele Member sorry! And your Swahili name is Amani. Find out what it means. Thanks to Pastor Jim, Pastor Dan, Tina Sprague, Kim Garcia, Janice and all that facilitated our wonderful time at Faith this past Wednesday. We appreciate and love you all dearly. Click here to see our stylish ride to Faith, this is how we do it in Kenya.

 

January Gigs

Sun 27th, St Stephen's Cathedral COGIC, San-Diego CA.

We had the honor of attending St Stephen’s Cathedral Church of God in Christ in San-Diego this past weekend. For an hour and a half journey from Orange County it seemed to takeforever. This is because we had to be there by 7:45am to make the 8:00am service.  I can’t believe people go to Church that early. We had known of the Church via Bishop George McKinney, whom we had met briefly at San Francisco Christian Church at the tail end of last year. He invited us to San-Diego and upon our return from Kenya we decided to go visit them. It was a great morning with a warm reception from the congregation. Bishop McKinney brought the word with excellence and precision. The church is going through a year long celebration of some major milestones in their ministry. 45 years of the Ministry under Bishop McKinney, 60 years of Ministry for him and he will be celebrating his 75th Birthday.

Wow what an accomplishment, I wonder if we in this generation shall ever look back and attain such success. We wish them the best and we appreciated the opportunity to share in song and take some Africa to them on this morning at the two services. Here are some pictures.

Milele in Kenya Media Dec 2006/ Jan 2007.  Nairobi, Kenya.

We have been blessed to get some media favor in Kenya, featured in a few media things. Kenya Television Network accompanied us on one of our trips to the Kibera. “Straight UP” is the program we were on. Citizen TV hosted us on their “Shangilia” program which is hosted by Kenya’s greatest gospel singer Esther Wahome. Grace Sowairina and Alex at KTN, thanks. Margaret and Fortunate at Standard we appreciate you. Eunice, Crispin and Esther at Citizen Thanks. Joey Mugweru, Phillip Mwaniki and Arthur Kamau at Nation together forever. We always appreciate the support and love the media give us in achieving what God has called us to do. Here are some Pictures. Watch for video clips on our website video page coming soon.

 

More Performances

Tour Blog (2009)
Tour Blog (2008)
Tour Blog (2007)
Tour Blog (2006)
Tour Blog (2005)


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