Wednesday, January 22, 2020

100 Christmas Dollies 2019 Construction

Mountain of Glory Church in Ganda, Kenya received the 100 Christmas Dolly 2019 award as a result of applying what they've learned from our Kingdom Business education toward constructing their own church. They purchased an acre of land and began farming, saving the profits for laying a new foundation and beginning construction on the walls. Our gift added pillars, ring beams, and gables. By the grace of God, we are all making a difference together.

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Friday, December 27, 2019

Sensible Shoes in Sita

A few beautiful ladies from church worked hard to organize our Sensible Shoes program with the local leader in Sita. When I arrived, I found everything set up and ready including hundreds (yes, well over 100) of children waiting. What a blessing these ladies were to Surprised by Hope and me.

Be sure to scroll down and find notes here and there about our time with the children of Sita.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2019

100 Christmas Dollies 2019 Celebration

Our eighth annual 100 Christmas Dollies program took place this year at Mountain of Glory Church in Ganda, Kenya. This church was selected as this year's beneficiary for many qualifying reasons, but most of all they love the Lord.

I was blessed to have been given the opportunity to teach the children about the birth of Christ from the perspective of Joseph, the shepherds, and the wise men to help them see just how significant the event really is. As the beneficiary of our 100 Christmas Dollies gift, the children received dollies and a belly full of food and the church will receive a grant to help them further construction they've already started (we will post updates as construction progresses).

Merry Christmas everyone. We couldn't do it without you!

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

100 Christmas Dollies 2019: Beneficiary Announcement

Mountain of Glory Church in Ganda is home to Bishop Kahindi, whom we’ve known since first coming to Kenya. Bishop is a wise and gracious church leader and he is also a fundi (a carpenter). He spends his days digging trenches to lay water pipe, roofing homes, or any number of skilled assignments.

Surprised by Hope brought Kingdom Business to Mountain of Glory several years ago. As a result of that training, the church joined together to purchase a piece of land upon which to farm so the proceeds could be used for construction. Together they prepared their acre with seeds sown, but no rain came. The next year, the floods came and washed away their nicely matured stalks of maize. And this year, finally, the crops sprung up and their hopes were realized. Taking their maize to market resulted in money invested to begin construction of a permanent structure.

Being a fundi, Bishop and several church members began laying their foundation and raising the walls for their sanctuary. Their work together inspired Surprised by Hope to share in the joys of community and select Mountain of Glory Church in Ganda as the recipient of the 100 Christmas Dolly gift for 2019.

Will you join together with Mountain of Glory Church and Bishop Kahindi in bringing their church to the next phase of construction by sponsoring a Christmas Dolly? Click here to go directly to the giving page or read below to learn more about how the program works.

Who Qualifies
  • Several criteria qualify a church to receive the 100 Christmas Dollies gift.
  • Attending a Kingdom Business conference.
  • Applying Christ-centered business lessons toward positive change in the church. We acknowledge that there are many ways to apply our lessons and that not all of them are tangible. However, our goal is to leave a tangible, long-lasting legacy and so we aim at selecting churches making physical improvements.
  • Evidencing self-motivation toward tangible church goals without expecting this gift.
  • Experiencing life in community where our gift is but a small portion among the giving of many members.

How it Works
  • Choose the one (or several) dollies calling your name.
  • Make a tax deductible donation of $25 per dolly using PayPal, or send a check in the mail to the U.S. address at the bottom of the home page. Don’t forget to include your dolly number(s) in the comment field.
  • On Christmas day we will provide a hot meal to the church and a simple Nativity message to the children with a gift of all the sponsored dollies.
  • Watch for a picture of your dolly with his or her new Kenyan mommy or daddy on social media or via email.
  • Then we’ll use your dolly donation to invest in the construction for Mountain of Glory Church in Ganda. Watch for future progress updates.
  • Pray regularly for the child who received your dolly and for the church.

Read About Previous Gifts

Stay Connected

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Saturday, August 31, 2019

Sensible Shoes Ramada-Mariani

As if Ramada isn’t far enough off the main road, which is it, Mariani is even farther after turning of the secondary road. So much so that I began to wonder if there were any people in this place at all and how on earth we would find 100 children to serve with Sensible Shoes ministry. Hidden behind tall bushes along the narrow trail were stalks of already-harvested maize waving in answer to my question. We soon found a tree under which sat a dozen people, eventually accumulating to more than 50, gathered at the last minute to hear an encouraging word from the white woman.

Mariani Baptist Church has been active for almost 25 years in an area where people live beyond what we would consider a reasonably walkable distance from any other church or school. This separation from urban life made the people of Mariani-Ramada the perfect recipients for our Sensible Shoes ministry.

How could we possibly say no to shoes and prayer for
an old woman who'd done nothing but serve others
for her entire life (and had no shoes).

In this place, both young and old received the gift of foot washing, prayer, and a new pair of sensible shoes. The true blessing came when the first young man whose feet I washed and over whom I’d prayed took a basin, filled it with water, and began washing the feet of younger children. And when I looked up, the oldest man in the group sat next to the pastor who were both washing the feet of the children and praying fervently over them. To understand the beauty of this act, it’s important to understand that in African culture women serve men and older men or men of high “status” (such as pastors) are particularly catered to. So to find these older men alongside the youth washing the feet of children with me simply filled my heart with gratitude.

Baraka, which means blessed, immediately began
serving other children and stayed throughout.

Pastor Raymond invited me to visit this church, which is not his,
and quietly began serving the children.

Mzee also began serving with any pomp. I could hear
him praying in whispers over these children.

Pr Isaac (right) served by matching shoes with children
while Onesimus (left) translated for me as well as aided
in shoe matching.

Gathered together after foot washing, shoe fitting, and individual prayers, we prayed corporately over the distant future of these children. We prayed they would be spiritual leaders in their families and churches, that they would be leaders in business practicing Christ-like character, we prayed that they would consumer government positions and make decisions aligning with Scripture, we prayed that they would one day become presidents of nations. We continue to sow these prayers into coastal Kenya believing that God is faithful and will answer our prayers in the days to come.

Your gifts make this Sensible Shoes ministry possible and your prayers make our vision for these children possible. Thank you from the depths of my soul.

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Mariani Baptist Church

As if Ramada isn’t far enough off the main road, which is it, Mariani is even farther after turning of the secondary road. So much so that I began to wonder if there were any people in this place at all. Hidden behind tall bushes along the narrow trail were stalks of already-harvested maize waving in answer to my question. We soon found a tree under which sat a dozen people, soon accumulating to more than 50, gathered at the last minute to hear an encouraging word from the white woman. For a moment I’d forgotten where I was and thought this would be a quick meeting between the pastor and me simply to see and pray over construction progress.

An invitation to visit a church under construction always leads to the greater responsibility of providing a word of encouragement for the church. First Chronicles 29 is always an excellent choice for it tells of when King David gave of his personal treasure for building the temple and then invited the people to do the same. Typically we walk around the church to pray, but in this case we joined hands together in dedicating this land and the building of the church structure to the Lord. What a lovely opportunity to remind people that THEY are the church, not the structure.

Pastor Isaac testified that, after 25 years of pastoring this church, he is finally constructing a permanent structure as a result of what he learned from our Kingdom Business teaching in Hadu a few years ago. We give thanks that he is a faithful servant of the Lord using the resources of the church wisely.

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Saturday, August 24, 2019

BibleWorks Short-term Ministry

Not unlike the western world, East Africa has a vibrant spiritual world, false teachers, misinformed church leaders, and people who are not well trained in using their Bible in Sword fighting (Ephesians 6:16). In response, we organized a single-day lesson for ten coastal Kenya communities to uncover how the Bible came to be and how it can be used to reveal the truth about who God is. Click here to learn more about the program and the seven questions we answered.

A short-term ministry team of three traveled to each location and ministered what participants told us was a very simple and essential training necessary for equipping believers to mature their understanding of God’s Word.

  • We ministered at 9 churches (1 church rescheduled for September).
  • We ministered to 264 adults, dozens of youth, and even more children (some of our content is child friendly).
  • We provided 87 Kiswahili Bibles for those identified as being most in need.
  • We received a total of $71.45 as a sacrificial offering from BibleWorks participants for Bible Translation & Literacy in Kenya.

A special note about the offering we received, add to that $24.00 that was given to Emmanuel Baptist Church for lunch food and returned to us because they catered for their own expenses. Praise God for Pastor Raymond's wisdom and understanding (and application of what he's been learning).

Christ Formation Church Kaloleni

Jesus Jubilee Church Bamba

PEFA Church Ganze

Light of God Evangelism Centre Tandia

Reconciliation Evangelism Centre Kanani

Emmanuel Baptist Church Hadu

Faith Gospel Pentecostal Ministries Langobaya

Kagombani Baptist Church

Mountain of Glory Church Ganda

As a result of this ministry opportunity, we believe people were not only equipped to navigate that great big book for themselves, but they also received freedom from ignorance, cultural strongholds, confusion, and oppression. Thank you to each one of you who made this ministry possible.

If you would like to match the sacrificial offering of $71.45, you may do so at or at

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Sensible Shoes Mkondoni

Our Sensible Shoes program for today was nothing short of a divine appointment. Another program was delayed and I was determined to get some time with the little ones whose feet needed some sensible shoes. Who but Pastor Emmanuel is online at 6:00 in the morning. And, he already had an appointment to pray for Standard 8 leavers at Mkondoni Primary as they prepare for upcoming exams. Head Teacher Christine urged him to bring me and arranged for the lovely teachers to serve the children together. With this mass of children, I don't think we've ever been so well organized.

With only 100 pair of shoes, we agreed the first served would be those without shoes. Classes kindergarten through primary 3 were loved on today, because of you. Though we couldn't serve everyone, the teachers and children were grateful. While the exciting part of our ministry time for the children is receiving the shoes, our favorite part is praying over them.

We provide sensible shoes because it opens doors to talk about what it means to walk in love (Ephesians 5:1-2) in a very practical way. Every place you set your foot, remember to walk in love. But for Surprised by Hope, our vision is much bigger. Our vision goes beyond 20, 30, and 40 years. We pray freedom from poverty of body, mind, and spirit. We pray the future of these children into reality. We pray they would be trained up in the Lord, that they would become mentors to others who need the Lord. We pray they would have healthy families who do what is right, that they would become leaders in the churches guiding many toward Christ-likeness. We pray that they would have good jobs and influence many people, and we pray that one among the would become president and lead the whole country in the ways of the Lord.

Please take a moment and pray the same prayers for these children who are growing up under some very difficult circumstances. God bless you for making this ministry a wonderful, fruit-filled reality!

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