Category Archives: Preparing for Africa

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We are getting ready to send out our first email to those who would like regular updates on our progress toward Kenya, and we want to invite you to join the club! We pledge to never send anything wild & crazy or to flood your inbox with messages, but we do want to keep you updated on what we’re up to. If you’re interested, simply fill out the form below. And please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you so much for your prayers and support!!

 

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The Horns Are On Their Way!

Today is the big day for our dear friends, Eli & Krista! They’ve stored their belongings, packed their bags, and are leaving for Kenya! We could not be more excited for them. And, let’s be honest, we REALLY wish we were on the plane alongside them!

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You might remember Eli, Krista, and their boys from this post I wrote a while back introducing the other half of our Kenya team. We met the Horns while Eli & Pete were in residency together about five years ago. It was then we realized both families had dreams of doing medical mission work in Africa, so we prayed about joining forces and going as a team. In the last five years, the Horns have become dear, dear friends to us. I can’t describe just how wonderful it is to be on this unique journey with another family going the same direction. We have spent lots of time dreaming together and praying together and watching our flock of children grow together from one little Ella to Ella and four little boys. (Good thing Ella is such a mother hen!) We spent hours and hours praying about the decision of which missions organization to apply to and then applying together and attending trainings together. It has been our plan for a while that they Horns would go a little while before us. It’s just hard to believe that day has come! You can follow their adventures on their blog Stories in Mission.

Last fall, Ella was thrilled to meet baby Asa. Oh, and I’ll point out that baby Asa was one week old in this photo. All three Horn boys were 10+ pounds at birth. Krista, you amaze me. Seriously.

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Sam wasn’t sure what he thought about his big sister holding a baby. 

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Will you please join us in praying over Eli, Krista, Caleb, Kai, and Asa as they make the very long flights to Nairobi and then drive to their new home at Tenwek Hospital? They have a lot of newness coming, but we trust and believe God has already seen every step of the way and will guide them and comfort them.

We love you, Horns! Save a spot for us…We’ll be there soon!

 

 


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Our First Big Goal? Check!

You guys! We’ve hit our first financial goal in getting to Kenya and we are super, super excited to share it with you! Ready?!

We have raised enough funds to cover all of our one time costs!

This is HUGE! Obviously we could not be celebrating this milestone without all of our supporters, so we send out a ginormous THANK YOU to every single one of you who have already joined us financially. We want to give you each a giant hug! Also, Sam has a message for you…

Now, what does this mean exactly? Let me tell you. It means that all of the things we need to pay for just one time, not every month, have now been covered through financial gifts. Curious to know what some of those expenses are? Here are a few…

Plane Tickets & Moving Expenses. Getting over to Kenya and then back again after two years.

Legal Fees & Papers. So they actually let us into the country. That would be nice.

Furniture. Beds. A kitchen table. A few things that make a house a home.

Trainings. We’ve already spent one week in training at our mission’s headquarters and we’ll spend one more week there this summer. Then, right before we leave for Kenya, we’ll study as a family for four weeks at a cross-cultural training facility in Colorado Springs.

Language School. We plan to attend a 2-3 months of intense Swahili language school as soon as we arrive in Kenya. This will be vital to the long-term work we will be able to do there and the relationships we will be able to build.

So what’s next? Now we continue doing what we’ve been doing. Visiting churches, meeting with friends, speaking with small groups. We love sharing our story and our vision for what we’ll be doing in Kenya. With that, we invite people to pray about joining us financially. We won’t be paid by the hospital in Kenya, so we need to raise everything for our first two years there before we leave. That can be done two ways. The first is through one-time gifts. The second is through pledging a specific amount each month. We currently have 28% of our monthly budget pledged.

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Our next major goal is to reach 50% of our monthly expenses pledged. Why 50%? That is when big things happen. First, we can register for our last two trainings. Second, we will be eligible for health insurance through our mission organization. We are currently paying for insurance ourselves, as Pete is working as a freelance ER doc. Being on the mission’s health insurance will take a pretty big burden off our current budget, allowing us to pay Pete’s medical school loan faster, something we want to have finished before leaving for Kenya.

We are thrilled to share this news of having our one-time costs covered! Thank you for trusting us to be good stewards of these funds. We look forward to sharing more updates in the near future!

Do you know of a group, church, or family who would be interested in hearing more about what we’ll be doing in Kenya? Please use this contact form to send us an email.

Want to learn more about making a financial contribution to the work we’ll be doing in Kenya? Click here for information and click here to donate! Thank you!


 

Photo Friday is a little glimpse at our week in pictures. To see more, follow @TheMangoMemoirs on Instagram!

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The Mango Gala

At long last, I am so happy to share details and photos from The Mango Gala!

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On Thursday, January 14, Pete and I were honored to host a gala to celebrate our upcoming journey to Kenya and share in-depth details about what we will be doing when our family moves to East Africa. My dear friend, Anna of Along an Inland Sea Photography, very graciously captured these photos of the night.

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About eighty friends, new and old, joined us at Greysolon Ballroom. A bit of a snowstorm the same evening prevented more from joining us, but we had a wonderful time with those who were able to make it through the drifts.

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Ella was given a very special job with our dear Luke and Hannah. She welcomed guests and carefully hung their coats in the very cute little coat room. Greysolon is filled with sweet spaces and lots of character.

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Following a time of hors d’oeuvres and conversation, everyone took their seat for a program.

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Pete began by telling stories of working in the hospital during our earlier two months in Kenya and sharing details about what he’ll be doing when we return.

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I was able to share what I believe I’ll be doing when we get to Kenya, including homeschooling the kids and working with a new special needs clinic.

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Ella also had an opportunity to share her memories of Kenya and to talk about what she’s most excited for when we return. She often tells us she wants to play with the neighbors she remembers from when she was three. Ella is so very articulate on stage. We were so proud of her!

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After the program, we were able to talk individually with just about every person who attended the event while Randy Lee and a few members of his band played some very excellent jazz music. A special detail? These were some of the same musicians who played at our wedding reception over eight years ago!

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I snapped this photo of Ella dancing with Daddy. I think she felt quite grown up at the gala.

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The exciting news following the gala is that we have now reached 27% of our monthly financial support! I’ll be sharing the details on that number and what it means in the next few days.

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We want to thank every person who joined us for The Mango Gala! We know many others hoped to make it, and we are so thankful to you, as well,  and ask you to continue to pray for us. If you weren’t able to join us but would still like details on how you can financially partner with what we’ll be doing in Kenya, please visit our mission page at www.wgm.org/olsen or send us a message through the contact tab at the top of this page. We are always happy to answer any question you may have. Thank you!

 


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