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In 1964, Joel Weaver’s father purchased 18 acres on Thika Road which was used for a church, college and a Christian literature building. In the late ’90s, 15 of these acres were given to Thika Road Baptist Church and School. The remaining 3 acres had 2 homes which had been used in the past for missionaries and also for the college. In 2000-2001 Joel was able to find a buyer for the 3 acres. With the money from the sale of these 3 acres, he went out of town to the Lukenya area and bought 100 acres with money to spare!
Joel Weaver grew up in Kenya as a missionary kid. He and his wife Mary Ann have ministered together in Kenya since 1978, raising their four sons there. Joel is the camp administrator and one of their sons, Paul, is working with them now as the camp director. Another son Jared is planning to return sometime in the future to begin an orphanage. Dan and Angie Huffstutler will soon be on deputation to re-start a Bible college there on the 100 acres.
Teams were sent in April 2004, January 2005 and December 2005 to assist in establishing philosophy, program and camp structure.
Camp Reports / Testimonies
The facility at Camp Lukenya is a resort by the standards of the country. The cabins are roomy and clean, the dining hall is well designed and equipped, and the landscaping is tastefully arranged. Across the highway looms Mount Lukenya, and climbing is always part of the program of camp. Adjacent to the campsite is a huge game ranch, home to all kinds of African wildlife: giraffe, gazelle, zebra, ostrich and even a couple of cheetahs. What a wonderful place to enjoy God’s creation!
All told we saw 12 young people trust Christ and 7 surrender their lives to the Lord during the first week of camp ever held at Camp Lukenya. Others made decisions on music, purity, friends and a variety of other good steps.
Ken Collier’s chapel messages on Daniel were simple, interesting and applicable for the young people. One little girl, Nelly, said in a testimony,
I never knew that there were just two choices on the shelf. Now I know that I can please God rather than pleasing myself.
The change in James, an orphan from across the street, was remarkable throughout the week. As Ken said, he was figuring out how to respond to love — something he had never had before. Paul told James, “When you first came you looked like this (scowling), by Wednesday, you looked like this (expressionless), by Thursday, you looked like this (grinning).” James just grinned. And when he smiles, it lights up his whole face. He was the first one to stand up in front of everyone to commit to serve the Lord with all of his heart.
The second week of camp at Camp Lukenya was rather special: 106 young people from the ages of 12-15 were sponsored for the week at $13 each. All of these young people live in Mathare Valley, one of the slums of Nairobi. Many of them had never been out of their neighborhood.