Monday, February 06, 2012

Look out, Kenya! Here we come....

Sophia and I are very excited to announce that we'll be headed to Nairobi, Kenya this summer to lead a team of UIS students on a mission trip with Jump for Joel! I've served on the J4J Board for a couple of years now, and our family sponsors a little girl through the organization, so we had been praying for a way we could make it happen. At the same time, our 11 year old, Sophia, has felt God tugging on her heart to do missions, and this has worked out for both of us!

Raising money for both of us to go is a little daunting, but we're confident the one who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10) can make it happen!

Check out Sophia's very first support letter below....she'll be sending it out this week. Annd would you pray about partnering with us?

February 6, 2012

Dear Friends,

I want to tell you about something really exciting that God is doing in our life and in our family! My name is Sophia Magruder, and I am in the 6th grade at Rochester Intermediate School this year. This summer, my mom and I have the opportunity to go to Kenya, Africa June 25-July 13 to work with an organization called Jump For Joel (, which was started by some alumni of the campus ministry we work with.

I've been interested in going on this trip for over a year. I've grown up hearing about the cool ways the college students at UIS get to serve God around the world, and we have sent teams of students there for the last 4 summers. I love kids, and that ministry is focused on caring for orphans at Gathiga Children's Hope Home. Our family sponsors a child at Gathiga - Mariam is a 6 year old girl living in Gathiga. Our sponsorship makes sure that Mariam gets to go to school, has food and clothing, and that she has people in her life who know who she is and love her.

While we're there, we'll be playing with the kids, doing chores and helping out with special projects around the orphanage. We'll also be spending some time in a Nairobi slum, helping with a feeding program there. The kids who attend this feeding program often only get 1 meal every couple of days.

First, I'm looking for at least 7 people who will be on our prayer team as we prepare, and while we're in Kenya. I'll send out emails and give you some specific things you can be praying for.

Next, we really need people who want to be a part of our trip - - maybe not by going to Africa with us, but who can give money to help us get there. The total cost of the trip is $3,500 each, which means mom and I need to raise $7,000. Our first deadline is on February 25th when we need $4,400 to buy our plane tickets. If this was my own idea, I'd be pretty worried about how we're gonna come up with that money, but I know this is God's idea, so that takes some of the pressure off! Last summer I won $250 in our town's 4th of July Talent Show, and I decided then that all of that money would go into my savings account to help pay for this trip.
We are praying that there are people like you who will partner with us in loving these kids in Kenya! Could you commit to being a prayer partner, or donate something to help us reach our goal?
Jump for Joel is a non-profit organization, so any gift you give is tax deductible. Gifts can be sent to: Jump for Joel, PO Box 9736, Springfield, IL 62791. Please put my name on a piece of paper in the envelope so the staff knows it's for mom and I. Please get ahold of my mom if you have questions about out trip or how you can help: or (217) 414-9198.

I can't wait to tell you all about it when we get back. I can't wait to see what God shows us on this trip!

Sophia Magruder
201 Deer Creek Rd
Rochester, IL 62563


Lindsey said...

Wow Gretchen... your little girl is all grown up! This letter sounds like it was written by an adult! So excited for you guys and would love to help a bit! miss you all!

Gretchen Magruder said...

haha...well, I will admit to doing some parental editing :)

Todd Magruder said...

Sophia! I am so excited for you! You and your mom are going to have a great experience serving the kids at the orphanage! You are quickly becoming a woman of faith!! WOW!

Jen said...

Is there any way to donate online?

Gretchen Magruder said...

Jen, I'm checking on that...I'll update when I know!