Trip Information

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Surrounded by a sea of students as they swarmed to the bookshelves eager to discover new treasures, I heard questions from every side.

“Where are your books about animals?”

“Are there any books about sports?”

“Where can I find the science books? “

“Is there any information about Kenya?”

‘’Can you show me where the literature books are?”

The Room was electric with excitement as the students were allowed into the library to browse at the shelves that until that morning had contained only a few textbooks, but now held the nearly 3,000 books we had shipped from the US. In their entire lives these students had never before seen this many books in one place. Now they were free to browse and peruse books about dozens of different subjects, issues, locations, and ideas. The students at the Ivugwi Secondary School had been anticipating this moment
for several weeks. I had been anticipating it for several months. God had planned it for years. I am not sure who received the greater blessing…the students or me.
When I first viewed a couple of photos of a typical library in rural Kenya I was appalled and saddened! The few books for the entire school were in poor condition…soiled and torn. I grew up around books. Books have brought laughter and tears. I have been challenged and encouraged by books. I have traveled to foreign countries and stepped into different cultures and time periods, through the pages of books. “How would my life be different today if I had never been exposed to books?” I wondered. Could it be possible that just maybe some young Kenyan’s life could be changed if they had the same opportunities to experience
books as I had?

Instead of a trip for someone else to take, traveling to Kenya now became a personal goal. I sensed the Lord telling me it was time for me to give something I could share with others. In a country where less than 50% of children are enrolled in primary schools and even fewer advance to the secondary level of education for a variety of reasons, I felt that there must be some way I could contribute. I committed to make the trip with Terry, and preparation began. The next several months passed quickly and included much prayer, planning and preparation. Reaching Hands Ministry put out word that used books were being accepted for a planned trip to Kenya in January of 2012. Books began to trickle in and before long the trickle had turned into a river. There were books of all kinds…reference books, biographies, books for young children, Bibles, devotional books, quality novels and more. The Lord provided abundantly! With the help of numerous individuals in the community there were approximately 3000 books that were sorted, catalogued, packed, and shipped to Kenya, arriving in Nairobi soon after Terry and I arrived. As Terry and I helped unpack and shelve these books in a small rural school a continent away from my home, I was privileged to watch the faces of students, teachers, and board members light up as they held the books in their hands. My prayer is that this library will help open the world in new ways to those students, lift some of them out of their poverty, and point them to a Savior who loves them enough that He died and rose again for them.

Ruth Clark


Terry and I were privileged to take a small library to Bondo Mennonite Primary School in March 2012. They had a total of 3 books for 60 students in grades Nursery – 2nd. In addition to the 4 tubs of books and learning aids we took, we also purchased textbooks in Nairobi with money that was donated. We purchased all the textbooks they needed and we still had the exact amount of money left needed to purchase textbooks for Korwa Primary School! God is so good to provide exactly what is needed! It was such a joy to see the children’s smiles and faces light up when they saw the books that they would have for their school. They will be able to learn about the Bible, learn about the world God created, and use their imaginations in ways that would not be possible without a library. We praise the Lord for his provision for these children that He loves and cares for so much.

Lynette Guisinger