When I woke up on August 7, 2009, I was a little disoriented.  “Where am I? Is this my host family’s house? Where is Christine (the fellow intern who had been sharing my room)?”  Then reality sank in: the night before, my World Next Door team flew home to the States, leaving me to continue my own adventure in Kenya.  For the next four months, I would be an independent WND journalist, and I had no idea what to expect.  Overwhelmed? Maybe a little.  Excited? Definitely!

Barwaaqo’s life was one of many I saw transformed because of the dedicated people at Karura Chapel.

Hiking to the tallest point in Aberdare National Park ended with an incredible view!

One thing I discovered right away was that I was certainly not alone.  From my wonderful host family, to my friends at Karura Community Chapel where I was an intern, I had plenty of people to support me…and plenty of time to get to know them better.  By going deeper with those relationships, I ended up with a better understanding of the complex social justice issues Kenyans face, and why so many have hope in the midst of them.

By the time I was finally ready to fly back to America myself, I had gained an even deeper love for this country and its people.  And as I experienced the gift of a newfound community there, I discovered an invaluable key to finding hope in the face of social injustice: fighting it together!  When we’re working as a community, God does incredible things…and now I have the pictures and the stories to prove it!

Culture Guide: Roadtrip!

On my road trip through the Rift Valley, I discovered some essential items to take along, and some basic necessities you can leave at home.

Click here to read this culture guide…

Retrospective: Owning the Issues

Witnessing real transformation in Kenya is making me think about social justice in a whole new way.

Click here to read this article…

 Walking With Susan

The more time I spend with Susan and her friends, the more I find to challenge and inspire me.

Click here to read this travel journal…

Photo Gallery: Building Peace

While the scars left from the 2008 post-election violence are still painfully visible throughout the Rift Valley, some communities are ready to rebuild in a new, meaningful way.

Click here to see this photo gallery…

A Past and a Dream

Meet Pastor Evans Makatia, the man behind KYSA…

Click here to read this article…

Have You Been Counted?

In a country as diverse as Kenya, it’s no wonder that a census would electrify the nation…

Click here to read this travel journal…

Photo Gallery: 4,001m High

After a few months living in the bustling city of Nairobi, there is no way I’d rather spend a Saturday than scaling a mountain – all 4,001 meters of it!

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Roughing It

As I lay awake on a camping expedition, I remembered those people who are currently “camping” because they’ve been displaced from their homes…

Click here to read this travel journal…

It’s Our Turn to Eat

When it comes to the fight against corruption, Kenyans are confronting injustice on every level, from the grassroots to the chambers of Parliament.

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Photo Gallery: Journey Beyond Kenya

My excursion to Marsabit in remote northern Kenya showed me just how diverse this country is.  I encountered new cultures, languages, threats, and incredible resilience.

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A Clean Start

In the face of daunting problems like drought and hunger, I discovered the power and promise in the gift of a clean start.

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Culture Guide: Cooking in Marsabit

Here are some tips for how to cook some delicious food, even when water and electricity are in short supply.

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Love Without Limits

Martha Mude has a way of taking ordinary concepts, like “love your neighbor” to extraordinary lengths.

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An Un-dependent Spirit

While lots of people blame a culture of dependency for poverty in Africa, this young entrepreneur is breaking the mold – he has enough initiative to transform his whole community!

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New Partnerships, New Hope

It was a joy for me to see how the right combination of motivated people, both in Kenya and the US, is bringing real transformation to Kibera slum.

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Just As You Are

John Ogonda won’t let his lack of money or credentials stop him from pursuing his dream to bring transformation to Kibera slum.

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About the Author: Jessica Shewan is a journalist with World Next Door. She graduated in 2009 from The University of Evansville with a bachelor's degree in History. She loves making new international friends and is passionate about seeing the global church pursue justice and peace!

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