Never the Same

Posted Jun 09, 2011 by 13 Comments

Well, I did it to them again.

Within 12 hours of landing in Kenya, I had taken my summer interns into the slums.  By the end of our first day, before our jet-lagged bodies had even a clue about what was going on, we had already visited three of our partner ministries in Nairobi.

And now, less than a week after getting on the plane, the team is spread out across the city, living in Kenyan host homes, eating local foods and trying to figure out the chaotic public transportation system of this bustling city.

But despite throwing them in head first, despite the long days and busy schedules, the team has handled it like pros.

This, more than anything else, has me super excited about the summer.  I can’t wait to see what God has in store for this amazing team…


Some of the team getting a tour of Beacon of Hope on Monday.

As you may have already guessed, we have just kicked off our third annual summer internship.  Each year, 3-5 interns from around the U.S. are chosen to join the World Next Door team for the summer.  They each “embed” with a partner ministry and write for our online magazine.

Bridgette Tilyou

For the next two months, this year’s team of interns (and our brand new year-long journalism fellow) will be writing articles about five Kenyan organizations that are doing some incredible things for the kingdom of God.

Each one brings a unique set of skills and gifts to the table, and will undoubtedly take us to new places as a ministry.  But before we jump into our articles and photo galleries for the summer, I think it would be helpful for you to meet the team!


Bridgette Tilyou, an Indianapolis local with journalism training and experience working in the corporate world, will spend the summer writing about Karura Community Chapel on the north side of Nairobi.  Bridgette’s honesty, passion and gift with words are just what are needed to tell the story of Karura.

Laura Stump

Karura, one of World Next Door’s earliest partner ministries, has an incredible social justice ministry.  Food distribution, free medical camps and even a sports program for boys at risk of joining one of the world’s most violent gangs…

It’s an awesome ministry and I can’t wait to see what Bridgette will discover this summer!


Laura Stump, another of our amazing interns, has a bit of a unique background.  Trained in animal sciences and Spanish at the University of Arizona, Tucson, you might not expect her to sign up for a journalism internship like this.

But Laura’s passion for women’s rights, her incredible ability to build relationships across cultural barriers and her gift of writing make her a perfect fit for our partner ministry Zana Africa.

Zana, which works primarily in Kibera slum, empowers teenage girls to break the cycle of poverty.  Wading into the often taboo topics of puberty and sexuality, Zana is the only ministry of its kind that I have ever seen… and it is making a huge impact.

Molly Meyer

I have a feeling that Laura’s articles will inspire and challenge us all.


Molly Meyer, a senior journalism major at Indiana Wesleyan University, will be embedded with our brand new partner organization, Beacon of Hope.  Molly is the youngest of our interns, but she brings a ton of journalism experience and creativity to the table and has a true learner’s heart… just what is needed to tell the story of Beacon!

Beacon of Hope, which began as a tiny ministry to women infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in a community southwest of Nairobi, has blossomed into a huge and influential organization that touches the lives of thousands.

Job skills training, a medical clinic, kindergarten classes, youth programs, agricultural education, and even a new micro-finance initiative… Let’s just say that Molly will have her hands full for the next two months!

Jocelyn Post


Jocelyn Post, a recent graduate of Concordia University in Irvine, California, will be embedded with Tanari International.  Tanari has recently begun partnering with a new initiative called Technoserve which gives business skills training to high-school age girls in Mathare and Kawangware slums.

Jocelyn, whose background is in Christian education leadership and youth ministry, is a perfect fit for Tanari.  She has a huge passion for youth and refreshing originality which will undoubtedly draw us all into the story of that ministry!

I can’t wait to read about her experiences this summer…

Stephen Crane


Stephen Crane is World Next Door’s first year-long journalism fellow.  Trained in religious studies at Calvin College, he went on to earn a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.  This summer Stephen will be tackling one of our most challenging assignments: Tumaini Clinic in Korogocho Slum.

Tumaini puts a lot of energy into prenatal and neonatal care and has made a huge difference in one of Nairobi’s roughest areas.  Stephen, who has had a lot of intense cross-cultural experiences in the past, is perfectly suited to tell the stories of the men, women and children he meets there.

I don’t know about you, but I am excited to have my eyes opened to the challenges and hope that exist in Korogocho!


Finally, I will also be contributing articles throughout the summer.  As I did two summers ago, I will be living in Kibera Slum with my dear friends at Tumaini Church.

I can’t wait to see what God has in store!

Kibera, the largest slum in East Africa, is an incredible place.  In the midst of poverty, there is hope.  In the midst of despair, there is determination.  By living in the slum, I will get a unique and fascinating perspective on what life is really like and how God is moving there…

Stay Tuned

As I mentioned above, we are all still getting settled here in Nairobi, but you can expect our first articles to go live in just a few more days.

I invite you to join us this summer as we journey deep into the heart of what God is doing in Kenya.  I don’t know just what to expect from our time in Nairobi, but I do know one thing…

…we will not return the same!

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About the Author: Barry is the founder and Executive Director of World Next Door. A storyteller, traveller and giant nerd, he lives to compel suburban Americans to get engaged with social justice and find their place in God's kingdom revolution. His ultimate dream is to adopt a pet monkey named Kevin.

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  1. Kristen said... 


    June 9th, 2011 at 9:24 am  

    Excited to see what God has in store for the 5 of you this summer. We will be praying for safe travels and that your lives will be forever changed…or “wrecked” as you like to say. Stay safe and have fun!

  2. Curtis Honeycutt said... 


    June 9th, 2011 at 10:53 am  

    This is a ridiculously talented group of people. I’m on pins and needles to hear what God is doing in them and in the work of the Kenyan partner ministries.

  3. Jessica said... 


    June 9th, 2011 at 11:53 am  

    Wow, I can tell this is going to be a great summer. Can’t wait to learn from you and from your Kenyan partners through you!

  4. Dave Rod said... 


    June 9th, 2011 at 2:20 pm  

    OK guys…no pressure but we’re anxiously awaiting some heart shaping reporting! Bring it!

  5. Julie said... 


    June 9th, 2011 at 3:42 pm  

    Can’t wait to read about what you all will witness!

  6. Josie Tilyou said... 


    June 9th, 2011 at 10:36 pm  

    What a team! Looking forward to following your experiences.

  7. Breanna Sipple said... 


    June 10th, 2011 at 1:10 am  

    Exciting! God has such amazing plans in store. I can’t wait to read about it all. Barry, those are great photographs of all the interns!

    And one extra shout-out for Molly and IWU :) Yay!

  8. Gary Paultre said... 


    June 12th, 2011 at 8:02 am  

    Look forward to reading about your experiences!

    Go Bridgette :)

  9. Amy Sorrells said... 


    June 13th, 2011 at 5:23 pm  

    Strumming fingers on tabletop waiting for article(s) to post . . . :) Praying God stirs up some fired up words in your AWESOME writer hearts!!!

  10. Adam Wason said... 


    June 14th, 2011 at 4:27 pm  

    The work each of you will be doing is truly inspiring! Our family will be praying for each of you, the work that you will be doing and for your health and safety.

    As a close friend of Stephen, I know that Gods work will shine through in his writing and in his daily encounters.

  11. Maeven said... 


    June 14th, 2011 at 6:59 pm  


  12. Nitin Chadha said... 


    June 15th, 2011 at 4:53 pm  

    I too agree with you all, i met Laura and Molly in the flight to Amsterdam, these people are totally different, there level of learning and understanding is simply awesome.

    There passion to learn about new things, culture is simply unbelievable. All the best to all of you for Kenya work.

    GOD bless you with grace and give the spark to shine like anything

  13. Tony said... 


    June 19th, 2011 at 1:53 pm  

    Proud of you guys, glad u r not scared coming to Kenya, happy to host you in in my shack

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