Chelsea business owner visits Kenya on mission

Published 5:18 pm Wednesday, February 4, 2009

When Casey Morris is at Ekklesia Coffee Shop, which he co-owns, he uses the intoxicating brew to help sell the message of Christ.

Last month, he took his work for Christ beyond the bounds of Chelsea by going on a mission trip to Kenya.

Morris and his wife, Rachel, were gone for 10 days. During that 10 days, they brought some of Christ’s love to the lives of 27 African children in the Pavilion Village orphanage in Karatina, Kenya.

“We had a great time. It was a blast,” Morris said. “I’d never seen kids that were so happy and well-behaved. It wasn’t a fake kind of happy – it was real. I believe (the happiness) was from God.”

There were about 16 people on the trip, Morris said. The group split into two; one group was medical personnel who worked with the sick, while the other group worked with the orphanage.

Morris’ group built a henhouse for the orphanage, essential so the orphanage workers could keep more chickens.

While the trip-goers were there to spread the love of Christ, they didn’t preach too much. They were more focused on hard labor, Morris said.

“It was more of a meet-their-needs type of mission trip,” he said. “There was a need over there that needed to be met. As God’s people, that’s what we’re supposed to do, and that’s what we did.”

The last two days of the trip, Morris and his group got to see some of nature’s beauty on a safari through the wilds of Africa. While the safari was amazing, Morris said it just brought Kenya’s real situation into focus.

“You see the slums of Africa and then the plains and the Serengeti,” he said. “It’s beyond poor. There’s no sanitation, no garbage system. They just burn their trash.”

Because of that poverty, children in the orphanage are actually in the best situation possible.

“Kenya has strict adoption laws right now. Only other Kenyans can adopt them,” Morris said. “To try to adopt kids from this orphanage, you would be making a mistake, because you’d be taking them from something good.”

The trip cost Morris and his wife $6,000, but family and friends helped send them on their way by raising much of the money for them.

This was the couple’s first overseas mission trip, but it likely won’t be their last.

“We’ll definitely go on more,” he said. “We feel like one every year would be good. We’ll mix it up and do some here in America and some overseas, depending on what comes up.”