Thursday, October 16, 2014

Update from Johannesburg

We are having a wonderful time seeing God at work in Johannesburg.  We are feeling great and energized by all that God is doing here.

We had a great 2-Day Celebrate Recovery International Seminar in Johannesburg with over 60 people from 18 churches in attendance, some with existing or developing ministries and others just learning about Celebrate Recovery. They are excited to get their CR ministries going strong and then adding The Landing and Celebration Place for which there is a great need, including discussions of how to take them into the schools.

We have visited several churches and met with their leaders to coach them toward healthy Celebrate Recovery ministries. It is so encouraging to see how God is using this ministry in South Africa.

We’ve attended 3 General Meeting nights at different churches. We’ve seen much of Gauteng (the JoBurg region) as we travel from place to place.  We’ve heard many testimonies of how God is working in people’s lives and bringing healing through Celebrate Recovery.

We’ve enjoyed wonderful fellowship with our Regional Rep for South Africa and his wife, Tobie and Ria Tolken, and have been blessed to stay in their home. They are doing an awesome job representing Celebrate Recovery in South Africa and helping churches build strong, healthy CR ministries.

We visited Modderbee Correctional Facility with 6000+ inmates.  They have a church of 300 members led by inmates along with an awesome rehabilitation program that is serving as a model for South Africa.  They have 2 different 24/7 prayer vigils in the units.  Pray for them as they will begin Celebrate Recovery in the near future. 

This evening we fly to Cape Town where we will hold another 2-Day CR seminar for churches in the Western Cape before heading home on Sunday.

Prayer requests: Travel mercies, good rest, wake up refreshed for the seminar which begins in the morning. Pray for those that will be attending for willing hearts and open minds. Pray for the churches both in JoBurg and Cape Town as they go forward with Celebrate Recovery. Pray for Tobie as he carries the torch of Celebrate Recovery in South Africa.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Leaving for South Africa

Jana O’Guin, John and Linda Brennan will depart October 7 for South Africa and return October 20. We will visit several Celebrate Recovery programs in the Johannesburg area and conduct a 2-Day Seminar for churches in Johannesburg. We will fly to Cape Town and hold another 2-Day Seminar for churches in the Cape Town area.

Your prayers are so important, please pray throughout the trip. Check back for updates and specific prayer requests.

Tuesday - Wednesday, October 7 - 8 – John & Linda will depart from Chicago and Jana will depart Dallas midafternoon. We will meet in Atlanta and fly together on to Johannesburg, arriving late afternoon on Wednesday.
Please pray:
• For travel mercies, airline connections, luggage arrival and safe passage through customs.
• For our health and for strength throughout this missionary journey, to accomplish the tasks God has set before us.
• For peace for family members and friends at home.

Thursday, October 9 – Meet with ministry partners to finalize plans for the seminars.
Please pray:
• To wake up refreshed and Spirit led for all of the divine appointments ahead.
• For the details about of the seminars to be worked out smoothly.

Friday & Saturday, October 10 & 11 – Hold 2-Day Celebrate Recovery seminar for churches in greater Johannesburg.
Please pray:
• To be used for God’s purpose and help the attendees to understand how to start or grow their own CR ministry.
• The Holy Spirit opens hearts of those attending to hear His message.

Sunday - Thursday, October 12 - 16 – Visit & speak at churches that have existing CR ministries. Meet with leaders to help them develop strong CR models. Thursday evening fly to Cape Town.
Please pray:
• For connections with the people that God wants us to visit.
• Wisdom and guidance for how best to help their CR ministries continue growing strong.
• A fun time of fellowship.
• For travel mercies going to and from Cape Town and reconnecting with friends.

Friday & Saturday, October 17 & 18 – Hold 2-Day Celebrate Recovery seminar for churches in Cape Town
Please pray:
• To be used for God’s purpose and help the attendees to understand how to start or grow their own CR ministry.
• The Holy Spirit opens hearts of those attending to hear His message.

Sunday, October 19 – Attend church. Flight departing Sunday evening from Cape Town, connecting in JoBurg then on to Atlanta.
Please pray:
• A day for Divine Appointments He has set in advance

Monday, October 20 – From Atlanta, John & Linda will go on to Chicago while Jana travels to Dallas, all arriving home around noon on Monday.
Please pray:
• For travel mercies, airline connections, luggage arrival and safe passage through customs.
• For reunion with family members and friends at home.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Our Time in Rwanda

We had such a blessed time in the Land of a Thousand Hills although I think they underestimated the number of hills, it’s more like a million! The country side is beautiful with constant rolling hills covered with home sites with small terraced farm plots growing everything they eat from rice to cauliflower, potatoes, beans, cassava, maize and bananas.

We visited 4 churches in western Rwanda that have existing CR ministries. They have begun with Large Group meetings. Two of the churches are ready to begin step study groups and we trained them to do that.

We heard testimonies of healing, restoration and changed lives. CR ministries are growing in size and have expanded to 6 churches.

We attended church service on Sunday in Kigali at a church that is interested in starting CR. We met with their Bishop about how to move forward. We are praying about timing for the next trip and when to train his church leaders.

We can't wait to see what God does in this country and the hearts of the beautiful people here through Celebrate Recovery.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Week in Kenya

We visited Kapenguria Prisons seeing both the men and women. We shared our testimonies and encouraged their CR ministry. We visited Kitale Women’s prison and shared our CR stories and encouraged them. We brought some basic necessities for the women which they greatly appreciated and honored us with their singing.

We spoke at a Women’s Conference and laid the foundation for Deliverance Church Kitale to relaunch CR in September. It was a great time of fellowship.

We got to spend awesome time with my 5 God children. They are growing so much and doing great. We took them to visit their grandmother in a village in Western Kenya, a blessed time was had by all. We took them shopping for new shoes and got to ride on a moving sidewalk to the second floor. They were so excited and had many firsts during our visit, including their first hot showers. :-)

Three of my kid’s moms are serving their remaining sentences at Kitale Women’s prison and we were all able to have a great visit together. Nolaga (mother of 2 children) is serving a sentence for manslaughter, went through CR and is now the woman’s pastor at the prison and will be released in 2 years. Rose, the mom of Rosie gets out in 2019 and is going through CR.

We got to spend time with some long time friends while in Kenya too.

We are in Nairobi on our way to Rwanda and excited to see what God has in store for our time there.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Kenya & Rwanda Celebrate Recovery Mission Team Leaves Tomorrow

Isaiah 6:8 “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said,
‘Here I am. Send me!’”

Jana O’Guin from Preston Trail Community Church in Frisco, TX & Cyndi Crawford from The Heights Baptist Church in Richardson, TX will depart August 20 for Kenya and Rwanda and will return September 5. We will visit Celebrate Recovery ministries in churches and prisons in the Rift Valley, along with friends and our 5 beautiful Kenyan children. We will fly to Rwanda where we will visit & encourage existing CR ministries in Muhanga District and Karongi District and churches in Kigali that are just beginning Celebrate Recovery. Check back later to read about the trip and for prayer requests as they come up.

Wednesday, August 20 – Depart DFW midafternoon on a non-stop flight to Amsterdam. After a 3 hour layover, take an 8-hour flight to Nairobi, arriving the evening of the 21st.

Friday, August 22 – Meet with prison headquarters in Nairobi to about of CR ministries in the Kenya prisons.

Saturday, August 23 – Fly to Kitale.

Sunday- Friday, August 24 - 29 –Visit CR ministries in the Rift Valley and take our 5 children to visit their mothers who remain in prison there.

Saturday, August 30 – Fly from Kitale to Nairobi, then Nairobi to Kigali, Rwanda.

Sunday - Thursday, August 31 – September 4 – Visit existing CR groups and those just beginning to encourage them to the “next steps” to having strong CR ministries.

Thursday - Friday, September 4 & 5 – Depart Kigali in the afternoon for Nairobi, after a brief layover then on to Amsterdam, arriving in the early morning. After a 5 hour layover, take a non-stop flight on to DFW arriving home around noon on Friday.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Isaiah 6:8 “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said,
‘Here I am. Send me!’”

Jana O’Guin will depart March 19 for South Africa and return April 1st. I will be with African ministries partners and friends throughout the trip. We will visit several Celebrate Recovery programs in the Johannesburg area and hold an advanced Celebrate Recovery seminar for churches that have previously been trained and most have started their own CR ministry. I will fly to Cape Town to meet with a church wanting to transition their current recovery program to a model Celebrate Recovery ministry.

Your prayers are so important, please pray throughout the trip. There will be updates and specific prayer requests during the trip on my Facebook page and this CR Africa blog.

Wednesday - Thursday, March 19-20 – Depart DFW to Atlanta then on to Johannesburg,

Friday, March 21 – Meet with ministry partners to finalize plans for the trip.

Saturday, March 22 – Spend the day with friends made during previous trips.

Sunday - Tuesday, March 23 - 25 – Visit & speak at churches that previously attended CR training. Attend CR meetings. Meet with leaders to help take them develop strong CR models.

Wednesday – Friday, March 26 - 28 – Wednesday morning flight to Cape Town, meetings with senior pastor and recovery ministry leaders, guide them toward growing a model CR ministry. Friday evening flight back to Johannesburg.

Saturday, March 29 – Advanced Training for CR ministries in Johannesburg.

Sunday, March 30 – Attend church with CR, spend time with their leaders.

Monday - Tuesday, March 31 – April 1 – Flight departing JoBurg to Atlanta, then home to DFW.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Rwanda Trip update

A trip was taken by Saddleback Church to Rwanda October 16-25, 2013 to introduce Celebrate Recovery in Kigali and follow up with churches in Muhanga and Karongi that have active CR ministries.

Kigali Senior Pastor Introduction
A total 17 pastors from 15 different churches attended the CR Introduction meeting at the PEACE PLAN office. Most of the pastors were interested in having CR in their churches. We requested that they choose 2 or 3 people that could be CR champions to attend the training scheduled for Saturday.

Kigali Church Leader Training
Thirty five church leaders from 20 different churches attended an all day training held at Christian Life Assembly. We trained them how to begin Large Group meetings in the morning and in the afternoon they led their first Large Group meeting. Afterward we had a time of discussion but in the end they were equipped to begin Large Group meetings in their churches.

On Monday the team traveled to the small island of Iwawa near the Congo border. The Minister of Youth requested our visit. Iwawa is a rehabilitation center that the government started about 3 years ago to help rehabilitate young men ages 18-35 that are drug users among other things. There are almost 2000 men presently there and have had 2700 graduates. They spend 6 months focusing on rehabilitation then 6 months on occupational training.

We introduced Celebrate Recovery and they were very eager to learn more about it. We gave a brief training and suggested they begin Step Study groups with their staff to get more familiar with the materials. When they get approval, they can begin teaching the Large Group lessons for the residents.

The team drove to Muhanga where we met with the CR leader who is a widow with 2 teenage children named Prisca of Liber Methodist Church. They have had an active CR ministry since 2009. There are 2 groups that meet, one on Tuesday mornings at 5:30 with 8 participants and another group of 15 people meet on Thursday afternoons at 2:00. They each begin following the Large Group format then break into groups of 2 people and share about how the lesson applies to their lives and other things that going on in their lives. On the second Sunday of each month they all meet together. The church has grown as 5 non-churched people attended CR then joined the church. The church has about 60 members total.

Tuesday afternoon we met with Pastor Silas and CR participants of Friends Church. The church is has 35-40 members that are mostly women. They have an active CR ministry. They first began with 5 home groups which included Large Group teachings but then added some other things like Bible study and prayer groups. People were not really opening up in the home groups.

Recently they restarted with Large Group meetings at the church before the Sunday morning service. After Large Group they have Open Share groups then join the church service. They shared testimonies about how great it was to have someone to trust and really share their life with and how that brings peace in their lives.

We encouraged them to combine some of their groups to form larger groups for Open Share and they were very uncomfortable with that idea. They liked having only 2 or 3 people together. They wanted more to study and after some discussion, they agreed to test something for CR and have Step Study groups during the week with their current Open Share partner. They will continue attending the Large Group meetings on Sunday mornings. That will give us valuable feedback applicable to other churches in Rwanda, especially if Step Studies can be done in groups or if they are more effective with just 2 people going through together.

Wednesday we met with 5 church pastors, 2 that are doing CR and 3 others yet to start. There are 3 active CR ministries in the Karongi region - Friends Church, Goshen Holy Church and ADEPR Gishyita.

Pastor Alloys from Goshen Holy Church attended and reported what they were doing. They printed the 8 Principles of CR and posted them in their church. They read them during the Sunday church service. 100% of the 66 church members attend CR during the week. They have 4 different Large Group meetings – one each for men, young men, women and young women. They break up in groups of 2 and share about how the lesson applies to their own lives and any other challenges they have had that week. Each group works independently and they are on different lessons.

Since having CR at their church, Pastor Alloys has observed the church members working together and his job is so much easier. Members are even doing things for the church now like purchasing chairs, etc.

ADEPR Gishyita has its CR meetings on Tuesday afternoon. We hope to visit them next time.

We met with a translator about Celebration Station and The Landing and feels confident that he can translate the curriculum to Kinyarwanda as well as make the necessary cultural adjustments.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Kenya Update

My time in Kenya was awesome, although it went by so quickly. In Nairobi I met with Prison officials, CR is growing in more prisons and continues to do well. My time was short so I was not able to visit any CR ministries while in Nairobi but spoke to some over the phone.  I also met with a transition center for ex-prisoners as they are released to help integrate them into the community. They are interested in starting CR so I connected them with some of the prisons in the area doing CR. We are considering completing the translation to Swahili.

In Kitale I reconnected with many friends and our God-children. Our 4 children are growing so much. Bryan is almost as tall as me at 11 years old. He's going to be a tall man. They are all doing very well in school with Calvin #1 in his class and Augustine #3. Elizabeth and Bryan started school late but are catching up with their age mates quickly.

We only visited one prison this time, Kitale Women's.  We had a God-inspired 3 hour program. The children's mother, Nolega, has been moved there so she is closer to the children.  She has 3 years left on her sentence.  After our program the senior officials approached me and told me the story of one little girl. Her name is Rose and she's 4 years old. Women prisoners can have 1 child stay with them in prison until the child is 4 then they have to go live with relatives. Rose has no relatives that will take her. Her future looks very grim and she would likely end up living on the streets  even if one of her relatives agreed to take her and the officials knew this. They asked me to take her to be with our other 4 children there. After prayer and talking to my husband, we agreed to take her. So now we have 5 Kenyan children!! They live in a house that we rent for a pastor and his family so they can be in a loving, Christian family and get a good Christian education.  God is full of surprises.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mission trip leaves tomorrow for Kenya & Rwanda

Jana O’Guin will depart October 9 for Kenya and Rwanda and will return October 25.   I will be traveling to and from Africa by myself but will be with African ministries partners and friends throughout the trip.  We will visit Celebrate Recovery ministries in churches and prisons in the Rift Valley, along with friends and our 4 beautiful Kenyan children.  I will fly to Rwanda where we will meet with pastors and church leaders in Kigali to introduce Celebrate Recovery for the whole family, as part of the Orphan Care initiative through Saddleback Church. We will also visit existing CR ministries in Muhanga District and Karongi District. Below is our agenda, we'll see what God's agenda is as we go along.

Please pray for all of the details of the trip and check back here periodically for updates and specific prayer requests as they come up.

Wednesday, October 9 – Depart DFW midafternoon on a non-stop flight to Amsterdam.  After a 3 hour layover, take an 8-hour flight to Nairobi, arriving the evening of the 10th.  
Friday, October 11 – Meet with prison headquarters in Nairobi to discuss progress of CR ministries in the Kenya prisons.
Saturday, October 12 – Friends from Kitale will meet me at my hotel and will drive 8-10 hours to Kitale.
Sunday, October 13 – Attend church in the morning. Spend the afternoon reuniting with friends.
Monday – Tuesday, October 14 & 15 – Visit CR ministries in Kitale and take our 4 children to visit their mother who remains in prison there.
Wednesday, October 16 - Drive to Eldoret then fly to Nairobi in the morning. Take an afternoon flight to Kigali, Rwanda.
Thursday, October 17 – Meetings with PEACE Staff and key pastors in Kigali.
Friday, October 18 – Hold CR training for PEACE Board members and senior pastors and church leaders whose churches will lead the Orphan Care initiative and are interested in starting Celebrate Recovery.
Saturday, October 19 – Train church leaders from previous day training how to begin a CR ministry in their churches.
Sunday, October 20 – Attend church in the morning at Divine Destiny in Kigali. In the afternoon drive to Rubavu in Western Rwanda.
Monday, October 21 – Meet with the boys in a rehabilitation center on the Island of Iwana. Travel back to Kigali.
Tuesday, October 22 – Visit CR ministries at churches in Muhanga to encourage them and help them continue to grow. Drive to Karongi in Western Rwanda.
Wednesday, October 23 – Visit CR ministries at churches in Karongi to encourage them and help them continue to grow. Travel back to Kigali.
Thursday - Friday, October 24& 25 – Depart Kigali in the afternoon for Nairobi, after a brief layover then on to Amsterdam, arriving in the early morning.  After a 5 hour layover, take a non-stop flight on to DFW arriving home around noon on Friday.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Report from Ghana

Celebrate Recovery Ghana was introduce October, 2010 by Norma Murphy and team from Southern Hills Baptist Church, Tulsa Ok USA with the support of Bishop Francis Afotey Odai.  The CR team revisited Ghana again in February, 2011 to established CR Ghana and has since been in progress and active. 
Our CR family meetings are held every Sunday from 4:00pm to 6:30pm.
CR Ghana
The Celebrate Recovery is growing by grace of God and our meetings are very successful. Bishop Odai, the president has always supported us with all the necessary things we need like refreshment every Sundays, this is because most of our members are people who are really challenged with problems and are not in the position to contribute financially towards the group.  Never the less God is working on them through celebrate recovery, we have by the grace of God tried to build confidence in one another by trusting each other with our problems. This is not easy though some members still fine it very difficult to trust anyone because of pass experience.

Apart from that we have completed all the lesson and are ready to move on with step study if Norma and the team are ready to come and help us through it, we also have ministers who will like to be trained to start celebrate recovery at their churches.

CR in South Africa

A 4-Day conference was held in Johannesburg January by Saddleback Church CR.  Eleven churches attended and agreed to start Celebrate Recovery and serve as model CRs in South Africa.  Some churches are new to recovery programs and others are using Celebrate Recovery materials but using their own format.  Most of the participants were pastors, counselors or lay leaders. 
The response overall was very good and the churches were eager to start Celebrate Recovery.  Reports since then been very encouraging in their progress.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Headed Home

Monday morning, we drove about an hour from Kigali to Muhanga where we had a follow up meeting for churches that had previously been trained to start CR. There were 16 churches coming to learn more about CR.  Several churches gave reports of what they were doing and how they were progressing.  We reviewed the Large Group meeting format then demonstrated a meeting for them with Jean Baptiste teaching the lesson on Forgiveness.  Six churches committed to developing a strong CR ministry.  Moses and Jean Baptiste will visit them in a few weeks to see how they are progressing.

We drove about 2 hours to Karongi district and checked into Bethany hotel at Lake Kivu.  The next morning we went held a follow up meeting with churches previously trained in CR.  Twelve churches were represented, some gave reports of their progress. We reviewed the Large Group meeting format and demonstrated a meeting with Jean Baptiste teaching the lesson of Denial. Seven churches committed to following the training for their CR ministry.  Moses and Jean Baptise will visit them to see how they are progressing.  We drove back to Kigali in the late afternoon.

We had a meeting at the PEACE office to talk about CR and Orphan care.  There are 33 orphanages in Rwanda that will be closed by the end of 2014. We discussed various ways of using CR for the families receiving the children and The Landing for the youth and Celebration Station for the children so the orphans can find healing as well. It looks like The Landing will translate culturally, Celebration Station will need further review to see is it is relevant to the children of Rwanda.  They will get estimates to translate the materials to Kinyarwanda and we will proceed from there.

Today we had a meeting at the PEACE office with the key leaders overseeing the Purpose Driven activities in Rwanda.  We developed a good plan for CR and possibly The Landing 

Pray for travel mercies as I depart Kigali this evening, have a quick stop in Entebbe, Uganda then fly on to Amsterdam.  After a 4 hour layover, I have a non-stop flight to Los Angeles. Pray for good rest, leg room and an uneventlful journey home. Pray for the churches of Rwanda as they go forward with CR. Pray for the churches and prisons of Kenya and their CR ministries.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Night in Kigali Rwanda

The last few days have been so packed so I have some catching up to do.  The Internet connection was very slow in Kitale Kenya so even getting emails has been a challenge.  So here goes….

We went to Kitale prisons, where CR first began in Kenya in 2005.  First we visited the CR group at the Main prison for men. The chaplains that lead the CR ministry were all transferred to other prisons in the last year but it was great to see that the inmates carried it forward and are now leading the group. One man of the original group that we trained in 2005 was still there.  They had a graduation of 20 men who have completed a step study group. What an honor it was to present these men with their certificates for completing a step study.  It was heartwarming to hear their testimonies of forgiveness and transformation. They had a very nice graduation program and it was great to see all that God is doing there in that prison. It bought back so many memories of going into that prison for the first time and to recognize all that God has done in the prisons throughout Kenya with CR since then, something only God could do.

We visited the women’s prison.  We had a nice program with them too, the choir sang so beautifully and I even got to join a tribal dance with them.  The inmate that was leading their CR group was transferred to another prison in Nairobi, maybe she can help lead CR there J.  As God arranged it, a chaplain from Kakamega women’s prison who has gone through CR was transferred to Kitale women recently so she will take over leading the step study group that is going.

There is new staff at both the men and women’s prisons so we spent some time training them on CR and how to lead step study groups and for the men to hold the large group meetings.

We drove about an hour northeast of Kitale to Kapenguria Prison.  It’s a remote area with rolling hills and farm land with tall maize all around, a very peaceful place.  One of the chaplains from Kitale was transferred there and had begun teaching CR large group lessons. We met with several officials and had a CR training, some had been through seminars previously.  They are ready to move ahead on a larger scale and will be starting step study groups soon.  We spent some time with the inmates encouraging them and introducing the step study groups. They are very eager to get started.

I went around Kitale connecting with friend.  I also visited some churches and heard testimonies of lives that have been transformed through CR. One day at a time, one life at a time.  I enjoyed taking my kids shoe shopping in town.

I rested in the morning and began to pack and prepare to leave for Rwanda tomorrow. In the afternoon I spent time with my kids, playing games and just enjoying being together.

I left Kitale at 5:30 am for 1 ½ hour drive to Eldoret by taxi to catch a 45 minute flight to Nairobi.  I changed planes then flew to Kigali, Rwanda via Bujumbura, Burundi. I was met by Moses at the PEACE office and got settled in at Iris Guest House.  I had a relaxing afternoon and evening.

This morning I attended church at Prayer Palace with Moses and Bonita. The senior pastor is someone I met during my second trip to Rwanda.  It was good to see him again.  The service was lively with great worship with songs and dancing and a very inspiring message.  This afternoon I had a chance to rest and to get prepared for the next few days when we will have seminars in Muhanga and Karongi districts then meetings back in Kigali.  I also had time to catch up on the blog.

Please pray for travel mercies as Moses, Jean Baptiste and I travel about an hour to Muhanga Monday morning, have a seminar then drive on to Karongi (about another 2 hours) where we will spend the night. Pray for the seminars that we will have for churches that have started CR in Muhanga (Monday) and also in Karongi (Tuesday). Pray for wisdom on how best to help them take the next steps with their ministries. Pray for travel mercies as we drive back to Kigali on Tuesday evening after the second seminar.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Night Catching Up

I've been traveling around quite a bit the last few days. There is so much to catch up on so here goes. I tried to upload some photos but the connection is too slow.
We left Kakamega early in the morning and drove through the rolling hills of sugar cane fields of Western Kenya to Busia Prison which is walking distance to Uganda (even for a mzungu). We visited with the officers that attended the CR introduction meeting held earlier this year then we trained them so they could start CR step study groups. They were so appreciative of the visit and are looking forward to starting their first CR group. 
We drove on to Bungoma to visit their prison.  Several of their officials had attended the same CR introduction meeting earlier this year.  In anticipation of our visit they assembled a good group for us to train to start step study groups. The “in charge” attended the whole seminar and was very eager to get started.
It began raining so hard as we were leaving Bungoma, we even had to pull over and wait a while because we could not see to drive.  It let up and we drove on to Kitale, reaching town just as it was getting dark.  I had a nice reunion with my friend Margaret who I am staying with then got some much needed rest.
I had no scheduled meetings for the day for the first since being in Kenya. I had a late afternoon flight from Kitale to Nairobi for some scheduled meetings on Sunday.  I spent the morning with my 4 kids and we had a great time together.  I was finally able to reach the airline to confirm my flight to Nairobi (no one answered the phone the first few times I called) and they informed me that my flight was canceled and they were busing us to Eldoret (a 2 hour drive) to take a flight from there.  The bus was leaving in 10 minutes! Fortunately I was packed so they rushed me to town to catch the ride.  It’s a good thing I was able to reach them, otherwise I would have not been able to get to Nairobi for my meetings. So I arrived back in Nairobi.
I attended church service at ICC (International Christian Centre) in Nairobi. They attended a seminar 2 years ago and have started a CR ministry.  After church I had lunch with the senior pastor, his wife, the associate pastor and his wife who is the head of the healing ministries. We had some great discussions about how to grow CR and reach more people.  They are very committed to CR and have a very good strategic plan for growing their ministry.  It’s exciting to see what God is doing in their church.
I got up very early and flew back to Eldoret.  My friend Rose from Prison Headquarters, Margaret and my 4 kids made the 2 hour drive from Kitale to meet my 8 am arriving flight. We went to Eldoret Women’s prison for 2 reasons. One, the mother of my kids is an inmate there. The only time they get to see her is when I am here and take them.  We had a great reunion with Nolega (their mom).  The other reason is to do some CR training.  We spent time with the staff visiting then held a training for some staff members to restart CR. The majority of inmates that had gone through it before have been released.  We trained some new staff how to start step study groups. Then we drove back to Kitale.
Please pray for energy for me, I’ve been going non-stop since arriving here. Pray for open doors for the meetings that God wants to happen during my time in Kitale this week. I have some plans, now we’ll see what God plans are.  Pray for my mother-in-law who is not doing well.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thursday Evening

We completed our 4-day seminar today with great excitement about starting Celebrate Recovery from the 50+ people representing the 4 churches and 4 prisons in attendance.  We planned to take a nice group photo at the end but the rains came, again.  And we lost power, again.  It has rained so much here but it has not damped the enthusiasm for CR. It will be exciting to watch as 2 men’s prisons, 1 women’s prison and the largest boy’s prison begin this ministry that will change so many lives and bring healing to so many.

Closing prayer in a Step Study group

The leaders and co-leaders for 4 prisons.

Tomorrow (Friday) we travel to other parts of Western Kenya to visit more prisons then we drive on to Kitale where we will be tomorrow evening.
Thanks for your prayers for Moses, he is feeling much better now. Pray for travel mercies as we drive across Western Kenya.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday in Kakamega

Sunday the church service was great and they announced the launch of their CR ministry at Deliverance Church Kitengela. Some friends took me to the airport for my flight to Kisumu. My flight was delayed an hour but that was no problem. Bishop Moses from ICM Kitale drove to Kisumu (normally a 4 hour drive) to meet me but there was a traffic jam in Kakamega where he could only drive 1 kilometer in 3 hours because of a street revival. It gave me a chance to have a cup of chai and relax a bit.  He finally arrived to pick me then we drove the 2 hours back to Kakamega in the rain.
Monday we had the first day of our CR seminar held at Shikusa Prisons. We are meeting at the largest boys prison in Kenya with about 500 boys age 15-18.  The prisons are very supportive of CR and someone from the department of rehabilitation at headquarters in Nairobi came and is attending the whole week.  Rose had attended the seminar we had in March and is helping teach. Overall the response is very good.
We limited the seminar to 50 people to attend and it is very full.  There is a good mix of mostly prison officers and staff with some local churches. For the prison there are officers from spiritual welfare and the spiritual leaders for Protestants, Catholic, Seven Day Adventist and Muslims along with guards and other staff. They are enjoying the class and are asking very good questions.
Last night we planned to go to a local restaurant for dinner but it began raining…..and raining….and raining. Not like a California rain, but very hard rain. Then the electricity went out. Fortunately they have a restaurant at our hotel with a generator for the kitchen and dining area.  After the rain let up some we went there for dinner, the generator even went out a couple of times.  The electricity was on and off, mostly off, for the evening all around Kakamega.  It was funny because I had given homework to answer questions in lesson 2 called Powerless.  We were all powerless last night so we had fun with that today.
Please pray for quick healing for Bishop Moses as he was diagnosed with malaria today and has begun taking medication for it. Pray for open hearts toward CR and seeing a way forward for those attending the seminar. Pray for wisdom for me as I continue the training. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012


I spent the morning visiting the Athi River Prison Celebrate Recovery ministry. The second group had completed a step study group and today was their graduation. The whole prison yard was invited to the ceremony. A representative from prison headquarters attended along with the CR leaders from Deliverance Church Kitengela located nearby.
The 25 graduates were distinguished by their beautiful bright blue choir robes which they wore proudly.  There was great singing and then a skit performed by some of the men in CR about a man who struggled with anger. He was imprisoned because of fighting then continued to have problems inside because of his anger.  Someone invited him to CR and it transformed his life. It was very creative and funny while capturing the essence of what CR is all about. They sang a song that they wrote about the 8 principles of CR. I was privileged to present their certificates of completion of a step study. The 3 hour ceremony was really nice and many are excited to join the next group.  It was a pretty amazing experience.
Later I met with the CR leaders from DC Kitengela.  They have been meeting as a leadership team and familiarizing themselves with the materials as they planned how to begin.  They will launch the Large Group meeting and Open Share groups next Sunday. They will have their meetings on Sunday afternoons. We had some great discussions about how to launch and they are excited to begin it church wide.
I had afternoon chai at the home of one of the CR leaders from DC. Carolyne and I met the last time I was here and she has been driving me around. It was great to spend time with her and her family again.
Praise report – I had great sleep last night so thanks for your prayers. Pray for Deliverance Church as they launch their CR. Pray for Athi River as they start their third step study group. Pray for travel mercies as I fly to Kisumu Sunday afternoon after attending church. Bishop Moses will meet me at the airport then we will drive to Kakamega for the 4-day seminar that begins Monday morning.

Friday, August 31, 2012


When we were getting ready for takeoff at LAX a flight crew member accidently deployed the emergency escape slide, I’m sure they had a lot of explaining to do later.  That led to a 4 hour delay so I got to spend several hours in Amsterdam airport waiting for the next flight to Nairobi as I missed my connection.  I bought a touristy t-shirt at the airport and was able to take a shower so I was a little refreshed.  I arrived early morning on Tuesday and had a full day of meetings.
In the last 3 days I’ve, visited 6 prisons, spoken to several churches around Kenya and reconnected with many friends. A highlight for me was meeting with some young men (teenagers) in a youth correctional training center in Nairobi.  They are arrested for a variety of crimes and have a 4 month stay at YCTC in an effort to rehabilitate them. Unfortunately many of them end up in prison later.  There is a group of brave souls that are in the first step study.  Since their stay is short, they are meeting 3 times a week and so they can complete the full step study before they are released. They are just starting to write their inventory so we spent a lot of time talking about that. It was awesome to see the hope that they have of having a different future. I was asked to encourage and inspire them, I think I got the blessing because they certainly encouraged and inspired me.
Today (Friday) I have no meetings but am getting caught up on a few logistic things for my remaining time on this trip and finally have some time to post a blog.
Pray for the meetings this weekend. I’m attending a step study graduation tomorrow morning at Athi River prison where I get the honor of presenting each participant with a certificate of completion of a step study.  It’s the second group to complete step studies at this prison.  I’m meeting with the CR group at Deliverance Church Kitengela in the afternoon then attending their church on Sunday.  Please pray for good rest for me, arriving in the morning on Tuesday instead of Monday evening has really been hard on my sleep cycle.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

CR Trip to Kenya & Rwanda

Isaiah 6:8 “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said, ‘Here I am. Send me!’”

Jana O’Guin will depart August 26th for Kenya and Rwanda and will return September 21st. I will be traveling to and from Africa by myself but will be with African ministries partners and friends throughout the trip. We will visit several Celebrate Recovery ministries in the Nairobi area and hold a Celebrate Recovery Seminar for Pastors in Kakamega in Western Kenya so that they will be equipped to implement Celebrate Recovery in their churches and prisons. I will visit friends and CR ministries in the Kitale area and my 4 beautiful Kenyan children. I will fly to Rwanda to hold follow up seminars for churches with CR ministries in Muhanga District and Karongi District and meet with leaders from the Orphan Care initiative to discuss long term plans for Celebrate Recovery for the whole family.

Your prayers are so important. Please pray now and throughout the trip. There will be updates and specific prayer requests during the trip on this blog.

Sunday - Monday, August 26 - 27 – Depart LAX in the early afternoon on a non-stop flight to Amsterdam. After a 2 hour layover take an 8-hour flight to Nairobi, arriving the evening of the 27th. Kenya is 10 hours ahead of PDT.

Tuesday, August 28 – Saturday, September 1 – Meet with ministry partners to finalize plans for the trip. Visit several CR ministries at churches and prisons in the Nairobi area.

Sunday, September 2 – Attend church in the morning. Fly to Eldoret then drive to Kakamega in the afternoon.

Monday – Thursday, September 3 - 6 – Hold a Celebrate Recovery seminar for pastors and prison officials to equip them to start CR in their respective churches and prisons. We will be teaching the Celebrate Recovery curriculum, facilitating small groups, giving our testimonies, and equipping them to begin CR programs.

Friday, September 7 – Spend the day with friends while visiting their CR ministries.

Saturday, September 8 – Drive to Eldoret then fly back to Nairobi.

Sunday, September 9 – Attend church in the morning at ICC. Meet with their CR ministry.

Monday - Friday, September 10 - 14 – Morning flight to Eldoret, then drive to Kitale. Spend time in and around Kitale with friends, attend and encourage CR ministries at churches and prisons. Spend time with our 4 Kenyan children and many local friends at Purpose Driven Academy, Oasis of Hope, and Sister Freda’s Hospital.

Saturday, September 15 – Fly from Eldoret to Nairobi and on to Kigali, Rwanda.

Sunday, September 16 – Attend church in the morning.

Monday, September 17 – Drive from Kigali to Muhanga to meet with churches with existing CR ministries. Hold refresher training and help them continue strengthening their ministries. Drive to Karongi in Western Rwanda.

Tuesday, September 18 - Hold refresher training for churches in Karongi District and help them continue strengthening their ministries. Drive back to Kigali.

Wednesday, September 19 – Meetings at the PEACE office about future growth of CR in Rwanda.

Thursday – Friday. September 20 - 21 – Depart Kigali in the evening for Amsterdam, arriving in the early morning. After a 3 hour layover, take a non-stop flight on to LAX arriving around noon on Friday.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”

Monday, May 21, 2012

CR is Growing in Ghana

Teams from Southern Hills Baptist, Tulsa, OK have traveled twice to Ghana, West Africa to share Celebrate Recovery with churches in the last six months. We returned Feb. 10, 2012 from the second trip where we held a 4 Day Training for 40 people to equip them to start a Main Event Night. PRAY for these pastors from 3-5 churches and their Lay Leaders who plan to start CR in Ghana churches.
Thank God for Bishop Francis Afotey Odai whose church, Maranatha Power Ministries, hosted this event! We set up just outside the Shiloh Guest House where we stayed!
Wearing Home Run shirts to tell the Ghanaians that the movie is coming soon! These construction workers are building a District school!
The first Open Share group for men in Ghana!! (They were so excited to have their picture taken for this historic occasion!)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


The time in Rwanda was really good. We held 2 CR seminars, 1 in Muhanga District and another in Karongi District for churches that have previously attended CR training seminars. They are progressing well in starting CR and people are beginning to feel safe to open up and talk about some hurts in their lives for the first time. It is a slow process because the people of Rwanda have been through so much pain, it is hard to even comprehend. 1,000,000 people were killed in 100 days during the 1994 genocide. Everyone in the country was affected by it one way or another.

CR is starting in Rwanda with Large Group meetings to give people a chance to think about their own lives. They will gradually add Open Share groups as people feel safer to talk to one another. Later they will add Step Study groups.

Both the Leader's Guides and Participant's Guides have been published in their local language of Kinyarwanda.

Please pray for the people of Rwanda as they go forward with CR. Pray for the leader's of these new CR ministries. Pray for God's plans for future trainings and timing, possibly in September.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday in Kigali, Rwanda

Saturday & Sunday we had meetings with Deliverance Church Kitengela, on the outskirts of Nairobi. On previous trips I had met the senior pastor and another pastor and they were very excited about learning more about CR. Two weeks ago, Pastor Peter attended our 4-day seminar in Nairobi to learn how to start CR in their church. They are so eager to get going that they asked me to help introduce CR to their church and begin training some key leaders and church members.

We had great meetings and they have an awesome CR leadership team made up of 4 men and 4 women. A Kenyan friend from another CR came over to assist them as they begin. He also shared his own CR testimony. It was so powerful. I met so many wonderful people with a heart for serving the Lord.

Today I flew from Nairobi to Burundi then on to Kigali, Rwanda. It’s cooler here and everything is so green. It has been very dry in Kenya but in Rwanda the rains have come already. I have a slower paced schedule this afternoon to relax a bit and connect with some friends then my friend and translator Pastor Jean Baptiste arrives this evening.

Tomorrow we start the day early as we drive about 1 hour to Gitarama for our first CR seminar. I’m excited to see what they have done with CR since our last visit. In the afternoon we drive on to Kibuye on the Rwanda-Congo border to have another CR seminar on Wednesday to encourage their CR ministries. We drive back to Kigali on Wednesday evening.

Please pray for God’s wisdom and guidance for the 2 seminars. We don’t have a training plan, just go and see what they need and help them based on where they are. Pray for greater understanding of their culture to better help them with CR. Pray for travel mercies as we drive through the rolling hills across the country. Pray for renewed energy and good rest for us.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday night in Kitengela

I am back in a small town close to Nairobi and the Internet connection is more reliable. There is more catching up to do.

Wednesday Margaret and I took the kids to see their mother in prison in Eldoret. She continues to do so well. Nolega was convicted of murder and sentenced to die, she was retried and her conviction was reduced to man-slaughter and she was given a sentence of 15 years to serve. She became the pastor of the women’s prison, started CR inside and is now given privileges to go into town unsupervised to purchase supplies for the prison. She is scheduled for release in December 2016 but is hoping for an early release because she has proven that she has truly reformed.

After spending time with their mother, we took Calvin, Brian, Augstine and Elzabeth (left to right) to a local zoo/park for the afternoon. There were animals from within Kenya like lions, monkeys, crocodiles, reptiles, ostriches, parrots, etc. There was a huge playground too. We really enjoyed our time together. We were so tired we all slept during the drive back to Kitale.

When not with my kids (they were in school) I visited with several church leaders and prison officials Kitale and the surrounding area. It was so good to hear stories of lives changing through CR. I was also able to visit with several friends in the area.

I saw my friend Geoffrey at Oasis of Hope, a center that helps street kids get off the street, back into school and have productive lives. They are having such an impact on these once forgotten and hopeless children.

This afternoon I flew from Kitale back to Nairobi in a 35 passenger plane then David met me and tool me to Kitengela on the outskirts of Nairobi. Tomorrow and Sudnay I will be training churches in the area on how to get their CR ministries going.

Thanks for all of your prayers. Other than a scratchy throat because of dusty roads, I am feeling well. Pray for the people attending the seminar tomorrow, that they will have open hearts and good ideas about how to move forward with CR. Pray for wisdom for me and the pastors and other church leaders who will be facilitating the training. Pray for renewed energy as I have been going at a pretty steady pace since arriving in Kenya.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday Night in Kitale

I’ve had limited Internet access so I have a lot of catching up to do since my last post on Friday night.

We visited 3 prisons for the first time in Western Kenya - Kakamega Main for men, Kakamega Women’s and Shikusa Farm Prison. At Kakamega Main we met in the prison yard with several hundred men, from those in Remands (not convicted) to those who have been condemned (sentenced to death) from all denominations. They we very eager to learn about Celebrate Recovery and excited to be starting it later this year when we come back and train their prison officials.

We visited the women’s prison and were warmly welcomed by beautiful singing. They sang several songs and I can still hear their sweet voices praising our Lord. CR was started there a few years ago by a chaplain friend who attended a CR seminar in Kitale. She trained some leaders (inmates) to carry it out. Most have since been released and they are excited to getting it going again on a broader scale and with more support.

We visited Shikusa Farm Prison and met with some of the CR leaders (inmates) to discuss how it was going. They have about 150 men attending the Large Group teachings. CR was started there recently by a chaplain friend who was transferred from Kitale Main Prison where CR originally started. They will be starting their first step study group very soon. We met with many of the 500 men that reside in this prison and heard testimonies from some of the men that have already started CR.
It is amazing to see how God is spreading this ministry in the prisons by either transferring prisoners from one place to another or by relocating prison officials. CR is changing so many lives and truly rehabilitating men and women during this challenging time in their lives.

Bishop Moses and I made the 2+ hour drive to Kitale through beautiful countryside. It was nice to see my friends again and settle in at my friend’s house where I am staying this week.

Sunday morning we attended church and spent time reconnecting with friends and family. I had a wonderful reunion with my 4 God-children. They have grown so much and their English had gotten very good so we can communicate easily now. We had a wonderful day of relaxing and enjoying spending time together.

I met with some churches and encouragd some along with their progress with CR and with others that are interested in starting it. It was great to hear how CR is impacting people’s lives and helping churches by providing a way of healing for church members. It is bringing reconciliation and hope to many.

I visited Purpose Driven High School which was opened since I was here last year. I spoke to the students and encouraged their education. In the afternoon I took my kids shopping for new shoes, always a special time when we are together.

Today it was back to prison. I visited Kitale Main and Women’s prison. Many of the men’s CR group members that were here last year have been released. Two of the former CR leaders are now pastors and have started their own churches outside, with CR at the very core of the church. Inside, the men’s CR ministry is growing again with over 60 men attending Large Group meetings. They are starting a new Step Study group very soon.

The women’s prison is always a special place to visit for me. That is where my God-son was born. It is so heartbreaking to see so many children in prison with their mothers, up to the age of 4. Yet at least they get to be with their mothers when they are so young. There has been a real turnover of inmates which is good, that means they are not staying inside that long. We heard testimonies from 2 women that murdered their husbands. They are finding peace and healing.

In the afternoon I met with another church with CR. Through CR they have an amazing outreach into the villages and so many lives have been transformed. Prostitutes are now seamstresses, drug addicts are learning computer skills. They are finding healing and hope for a different life.

Tomorrow I take my God-children to Eldoret (about a 2 hour drive each way) to visit their mother who is in prison. They have not seen her since I was here last and they are very eager to see her. I am looking forward to spending the day with them.

Thanks so much for your continuing prayers. Please pray for travel mercies for tomorrow as we journey over less than ideal roads to Eldoret. Pray for a wonderful reunion with their mother. Pray for a fun day with the kids. Pray for my health, I still have a scratchy throat on and off but it seems to be getting worse with some dry coughing now. I have been talking non-stop since arriving in Kenya plus it is hot and dusty so that doesn’t help either.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Night in Kakamega

The CR Introduction seminar went really well today. We were expecting 60-80 people but 125 came to hear about this Christ-centered ministry called Celebrate Recovery. About half were from churches and the other half from prisons from all over the Western Provence. There were Protestants, Catholics, 7-Day Adventists and Muslims in attendance. They were all so open and eager to learn more.

We sat with a small group of senior pastors that are part of a pastor fellowship in the area to develop a strategy for when we come back later in the year to do a more in depth training like we did in Nairobi this week. We also met with the prison leadership for similar discussions.

Morris will go visit his family tomorrow who lives nearby then return back to Nairobi while Bishop Moses and I continue the ministry here.

There are 4 prisons in the Kakamega area and we are scheduled to visit all of them tomorrow. Wow, that is a lot of prison time! God is opening so many doors here. After that we will drive to Kitale (about 2 hours) where I will be the next few days.

The next few days I will be visiting existing CR ministries to encourage them and reconnect with many friends and of course my 4 God-children.

Please pray for open hearts during the prison visits tomorrow, both the officials and inmates. Pray that we speak His words during our time there. Pray for safe travels and a good time of fellowship for Morris and his family. Pray for travel mercies for Moses and I as we drive to Kitale. Pray for a great time of fellowship and reunion with friends and my 4 God-children.