Local man prepares for third mission trip to Kenya

IMG_2936Kevin Kinsall is a man on a mission. His third to be precise.

Kinsall is preparing for his third mission trip to Kenya next year. He heads over in late December and will be going as part of an outreach to an area northeast of Nairobi called Tharaka, which is one of the poorest regions in the country. He’s teaming with Each One Feed One, International, which has been working in Kenya for more than thirty years providing education, medical care, clean water, and food for the people. Kinsall will be teaching seventh and eighth grade mathematics and technology to students at Mama Linda’s Excellent Academy.

The opportunity to go to Africa first came to Kinsall a few years back through his church, First Baptist Fairview.
“My church had taken small group of seven or eight the previous year and I didn’t go. I was feeling it out, but I just wasn’t quite ready yet. Then the next year I decided that since I had the summers off, I would go. I loved it! We only stayed for about seven days because you kind of start out small and expand as you go. We had a soccer camp and a full blown vacation bible school,” Kinsall said.

He said the kids took to soccer very quickly.

“They’re big on soccer. We’d play a soccer game almost every evening with the kids,” said Kinsall.
Through other activities, Kinsall met Kyle and Victoria McCarter, who run Each One Feed One, International. During his second trip to Kenya, Kinsall spent time at both the mission through his church as well as the Each One Feed One location. He said he had a great time with the McCarters.

“After we were back, the McCarters gave me the open invitation to come back to Each One Feed One any time. I thought about it, and prayed about it, and decided that I’d like to take a full year to come and teach. They need help in math and that’s one of my stronger subjects, so I felt I could do that well,” Kinsall said.

Kinsall will also be teaching the students about technology and basic skills, like typing.

“Learning to type is huge for them and their prospects of getting a job after school. Just having some hands on time with technology opens up a lot of doors. They can get a desk job rather than a hard labor job. If they can get those skills, it pays big dividends,” he said.

When he was over in Kenya last time, Kinsall set up a computer lab and he said the kids’ desire to use the machines was obvious.

“I’d get one computer up and I’d get a huge crowd of kids. Then I’d get a second set up and have more kids. Finally, as I kept going, I had to kick the kids out until they were all set up and ready for them to use.”

Kinsall is not taking his responsibilities lightly because he knows the kids have a lot riding on their education.
“Kids there take a test right out of eighth grade. Depending on how well they do on that test, determines if they will be put into a good or bad secondary school. The beauty of that is that they know its competitive and its all on them. So they work really hard and study really hard. There’s a higher drive to want to learn,” he said.

Classes begin January 4 and run all year long, on a trimester basis. He plans to return home in December 2016.
Kinsall is a teacher at OTHS. He said the administration has been very supportive of his efforts.

“One of the big risks is taking a year off here, losing all that equity I’ve put in here. But I’ve talked to Dr. Benway and Principal Bickel and they are very supportive. They have been for the past few years whenever I’ve left.”

Kinsall is reaching out to the community and asking their support in his work. He is in need of donors and sponsors that can contribute $100 per month for the full 12 months he’ll be in Kenya.

“It’s an expensive trip overall, but almost all of the cost is getting there. Maybe eighty or ninety percent is travel. Once you’re there, because the dollar is so strong, you’re just fine,” he said.

Each One Feed One, International is a non-governmental organization and is registered in the United States as a 501(c)3 organization. Those interested in donating to help Kinsall can do so online by going to www.eachonefeedone.org and then clicking the “Donate” tab on the top right. Make sure to put “Kevin Kinsall” in the moment box on the donation page so that the donations go directly into an account set up for his financial support.

“Their big verse is Jeremiah 29:11. ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ They’re about giving hope and I want to do my part to help with that,” Kinsall said. “It’s way too good an opportunity to pass up. It’s going to be something to remember forever.”

To learn more about Each One Feed One, visit www.EachOneFeedOne.org. To learn more about Kinsall’s previous trips to Kenya, visit www.KenyaMissionTrip.org.