02.16.10 – from Nairobi to Migori

We woke up on Friday morning and I took a quick walk around the premises to see it in daylight. The warm morning reminded me of Hawaii. This is when I tweeted this video.

The team ate a breakfast of pancakes, with a room full of other missionaries, Jess said it reminded her of a YWAM base.

Brian led us in a quick devotional before we left for the airstrip.

This was our pilot Amanda. I took the picture mainly because I thought it was funny that she was using a Garmin GPS.

Why is Devo looking so smug? Well he just saved all of our lives. As our pilot was speeding down the runway ready to take off she suddenly aborted the take off. She thought the “door ajar” light was malfunctioning. It was not, when we started for take off the back door flung open and Devo closed and latched it.

A view of Nairobi from the air.


When we landed in Migori, which was an airstrip not even on the GPS, we were met by Bishop John Okinda, his wife Pamela, almost 300 elementary and middle school students, the high school students, the teachers college and local pastors and congergants. We had over 500 people waiting for us when we hit the ground.

Many of the kids had never seen a plane before. So the Amanda the pilot allowed Bishop John to choose some kids to sit in the plane.

There was a ton of pushing and shoving as kids wanted to get on the plane.

We were welcomed with various songs and skits by the different groups. Click here to see a short video of this performance. This performance brought me to tears, and made me feel like I was actually in Africa.

JIM baker

JStanfordFebruary 16, 2010 - 8:07 am

awesome photos man. Glad you could have a great experience there.

PS – Garmin makes airplane avionics packages too…so probably all that instrumentation was made by them, not just the gps :)

LeisaFebruary 16, 2010 - 1:30 pm

I’m enjoying the pictures and videos- looking forward to more!

jim bakerFebruary 18, 2010 - 10:37 am

@ jeff and @ Leisa – THANKS!!!

The RainwatersFebruary 21, 2010 - 4:36 am

Jim, First hope you get feeling better. :( Second, we are staying in the Mayfield house our first night in Kenya too…that is so awesome and it was cool to see your pictures to know what it looks like! ๐Ÿ˜€

jim bakerFebruary 21, 2010 - 7:00 am

rainwaters! thats so awesome, what a small world!

George was our driver, from Mayfield, if you see him, well I highly doubt he’ll remember me because he brings in a ton of missionaries every day… but nonetheless George is a real cool guy.

take your malaria meds k? :)

02.15.10 – Okay finally a BIT more about Africa and some pictures

The Africa team and some of the staff gathers at Praise Fellowship on Wednesday Jan 27th to pray and say goodbye to family.

A shot from the window of one of our 3 flights. Which I don’t remember.

Brian Adelgren getting his Kenyan phone set up in the Nairobi Airport.

Jess, Arielle, and Heather waiting patiently as our driver pulls up to take us to the AIM Mayfield Guest House.

The guys room complete with mosquito nets. Make sure you use those!

The dinner they served us at the guest house. It tasted more Mexican than African.

I’m going to try to go through the trip day by day with pictures and captions so you can get a feel for the trip a little better. We had 3 flights. Buffalo to Newark. Newark to London/Heathrow. And then London Heathrow to Nairobi.

The Newark to London flight was on a newer 777 and had individual touch screen tvs in the back of the headrests. Jess loves movies and long flights so she stayed up the whole flight and watched movies. I snoozed a bit and watched one movie. On this flight they served us chicken tikka massalla. I was pretty stokked about that.

The travel wasn’t bad at all. Rick told me to avoid caffeine on the flights and drink tons of water and get up from time to time and move around and sleep when I could. Staying hydrated on the flights made them a lot more enjoyable. We arrived at the Mayfield Guest House in the dark. A few of us ate some dinner and showered and went to bed.

I’ll write more about the day after this one tomorrow!

JIM baker

lillypadcbFebruary 15, 2010 - 5:34 am

Even though we talked to you and you told us about your trip, I am excited to hear the story with pictures as you journal your trip through the days. LU

joanFebruary 15, 2010 - 6:05 am

So excited to see your trip begin. I’ll be there with you all the way. LU G&G

The RainwatersFebruary 15, 2010 - 6:41 am

Jim, jim, jim…stop teasing us..I want the real pictures….(these are good, but your holding back on me man,) I’m DYING to see what you got!!!

The RainwatersFebruary 16, 2010 - 2:54 am

I didn’t actually read where you had said you were putting the pictures in order, sorry…just excited to see all of what you got! ๐Ÿ˜€

jim bakerFebruary 16, 2010 - 3:29 am

thanks everyone!

and yes rainwaters… patience, more pics are coming

02.12.10 – quick post

Hey everyone…

Jess and I are in Columbia Maryland visiting my parents. Its been a great time of rest. My mom and dad have looked through all 4,427 photos from Africa. Only my parents and grandparents get the privilege of seeing EVERY picture. I try to be good about only putting my best work out there.

The trip here was crazy. Maryland is getting a ton of snow fall and they aren’t used to it. While I was on RT 70 and had just passed the Maryland line a semi passed me on my left and my car spun out and I hit a snow bank. I was stuck facing the wrong direction and had to be towed out. It was pretty scary. Minimal damage to the car.

I’ve tried to sit down and write a blog about Africa a couple of times and just haven’t been able to do it. I was going to on Wednesday but the internet cut out and yesterday I just could not conjur up a blog. I’m going to try my best to do things chronologically and take you day by day through Africa.

I got my facebook account back.

And Jess and I are headed out in a few to go meet up with Cory Pampalone.

My first pictureless blog.

JIM baker

02.09.10 – another early morning and some side notes

saw this in a gift store, shot with my iphone

After talking to some people back here, I’m not convinced that I really had malaria… I’ve heard that there is an incubation period and the doctor there diagnosed me with malaria only after being in Africa for a few days. I do know however I felt like I was the sickest I’ve ever been, I think it was just the food.

fried tilapia – taken with iphone


While I was in Kenya my facebook got hacked. Someone logged in as me and used chat to tell people I had been mugged in London and needed money transfered immediately. The sad thing is that it seemed a bit more believable because I had just been through the London Heathrow Airport to get to Nairobi. I’ve heard from a few people that were contacted by this hacker and luckily they realized it wasn’t me and didn’t wire him the $1,500 he was asking for.

So facebook deactivated my account and I’m now in the process of starting a new one. I’ve got about a tenth of my friends back. It stinks to be starting over from scratch but whatever. If you’ve got facebook and we’re not friends I THINK this link should take you to my profile.

You can read more about this scam here. I’m still trying to figure out how I got hacked or phished or whatever it’s called. I haven’t figured it out. I am however glad that my password for the e-mail account I use with facebook is different than my password for facebook otherwise the cyber criminal could have taken over my e-mail account as well.

In other news… Robert Park has been released… you can read that article here.

Anyway… no one ever told me if you like the changes that I made to the blog layout… Are you enjoying the twitter feed on the blog? Is it okay to only see the most recent post and have to navigate from there? Leave me comments and let me know what you think.

Sorry if you were waiting for a more detailed Africa post… patience:)

JIM baker

MarcScottFebruary 9, 2010 - 2:32 am

glad you are ok dude. And I’m glad that you are hacker free and malaria free!

jim bakerFebruary 9, 2010 - 3:05 am

thanks marc!

02.08.10 – 3:47am

Jess and me right before we left Masai Mara

Its 3:47am right now, jet lag. At least I’m not up with a stomach ache like I was last night.

Africa was awesome. We were so blessed to be able to go. John and Pamela Okinda are doing AMAZING things for the kingdom of God. Our team was so honored to come alongside them and provide any help we could.

It was a quick ten day trip, but I feel like we accomplished a ton and learned a lot.

While we were there John and Pamela invited another 4 orphans into their own personal home. They now have a total of 12 orphans living with them.

I’ll write more about the things we did in future posts. Consider this an introduction.

* * * * *

From a photography standpoint…

I took 4,427 photos while we were there. Most of them, portraits for sponsorship of the nearly 300 students that John has.

I set out to take 10,000 pictures, or 1,000 a day, but wound up getting diagnosed with malaria last monday and spent quite a bit of time in bed.

The 5dm2 and the 24-105 treated me real well, I’m VERY glad I was able to get the new camera before I went.

Masai Mara is AMAZING. I seriously highly recommend going if you ever have the chance to go. It was a great way to end our trip. I had no clue that you actually got THAT close to the animals.

I’ll post soon about more photography thoughts I had while in Africa.

JIM baker

joanFebruary 8, 2010 - 3:37 am

Looking forward to reading more. Happy to hear it was a successful trip. Hope your feeling better every day. Lv, G & G

jim bakerFebruary 8, 2010 - 5:46 am

thanks grandma! happy belated birthday!

The RainwatersFebruary 9, 2010 - 5:51 am

Jim, I am SOOOO jealous…you got to fly in!! We went in an old van, which I was too car sick by the time we got there to really enjoy the animals ;p I’m glad your feeling better! :)

jim bakerFebruary 9, 2010 - 5:53 am

yup we flew… felt like a rockstar, this lady was taking pictures of us when we flew out i think she just assumed we were famous, i mean who flies into masai mara on a private plane?

jess and i weren’t feeling 100% on the safari either but that wasn’t because of car sickness just other tummy stuff…

i always travel now with motion sickness tablets in my camera bag after a gnarly bus trip from Comitan Mexico to Cancun where one of the girls on my team puked in a pringles can…

pumped that you guys are going to kenya soon excited to see what you all bring back in the way of photo and video

01.27.2010 – off to kenya

a graphic my dad made for us:)

Jess and I are off to Kenya today. Please be praying for us. We return in 10 days.

Wanna read about what we’ll be doing there? Click here.

If there’s internet where we are I’ll do my best to keep you all updated, but no promises. Check the twitter feed below for the most recent updates.

JIM baker

The Moldy CannoliFebruary 7, 2010 - 4:05 pm

I hope you guys are warm in Kenya because here in Maryland we are all freezing in a record breaking blizzard! Brrrrrrr……

jim bakerFebruary 7, 2010 - 11:31 pm

hey jihan, we’re back now… its cold here in NY too. we hanging out this upcoming weekend?

The Moldy CannoliFebruary 8, 2010 - 7:34 am

yeah, if I can dig my way out of the house!

jim bakerFebruary 8, 2010 - 10:26 am

haha… i’ll e-mail you about when we’re coming in.

01.22.10 – why a vision statement is important

out and about with the 5dm2 // jamestown NY // jan 2010

In a previous post I asked other youth pastors if they could sum up what they were trying to do in 5 sentences or less. We had an awesome ongoing conversation with 26 comments. It challenged me to think about a lot, and it made me realize how blessed I am to be in such an awesome network of people.

While I’m not impressed with grand vision statements if there is no real evidence of those things getting done, I think that having a tangible vision statement helps put parameters and borders on what we do. We can examine everything we do with, “does this help us achieve the things we’ve set out to achieve?” A vision statement helps keep us focused and on track. In a world where there are pushes, pulls and well meaning suggestions in every direction, we could use some parameters.

I’m still working on my 5 sentences. They need to be given more thought because I want you to hold me accountable to them. I encourage you if you have a vision statement for your ministry or for your life share it with us and ask yourself if the things you’re doing are in line with that.

JIM baker

LisaJanuary 22, 2010 - 1:34 pm

Jim, i love how you constantly challenge, yet want to be challenged yourself. I’m excited to read your vision statement when you finish it and should consider one for myself more seriously.

jim bakerJanuary 22, 2010 - 4:39 pm

thanks lisa, yeah personal “life statements” are pretty cool, i’ve never done one but I’m really impressed with people that do haha… i’m thinking that to do all of this I’m going to need a full day retreat.

LisaJanuary 22, 2010 - 6:35 pm

mmmmm. a full day retreat sounds like an incredible idea! maybe i’ll do one when i go to VA.

jim bakerJanuary 23, 2010 - 10:02 am

awesome!

01.21.10 – layout changes and twitter

Jason approves:)// dec 2009 // 20d

So as you’re looking around you probably notice some things… the header image changed… its still an image from our engagement shoot by Pranee Loffer though.

I added a twitter feed below so you can see what’s going on most recently.

If you tweet add me @jimjessbaker

I’m only displaying the main post, you can click on old posts at the bottom of the page. Below that you can see posts categorized by labels. (didn’t like the way it looked so i removed it)

I’ve been thinking about making the dive into twitter for a while now and made the jump last nite. My friend Phil Cunningham tweeted a video of him in Cambodia shot on his iphone, which showed up as his facebook status with a link.

The whole point of me buying this phone was to keep in better touch with people so be looking for more pic and video correspondence soon.

Let me know what you think of the changes in the comment section.

I’m using echofon as my iphone twitter app as reccomended by Phil.

JIM baker

01.20.10 – one week till we leave for KENYA!

The Africa Team! Photo Courtesy of Josiah Blick.

Jess, Jim, Anne, Heather, Dave, Arielle, Brian and Devonne.

Next week at this time we will all be on a plane headed for half way across the world to Migori Kenya.

So here’s a little bit more detailed post about what we’ll be doing while we are over there.

photo courtesy of Rick Rohlin

John Okinda runs an orphanage, a training school for Christians, a high school, and a teachers college. One of our main objectives in going over is to get a headshot portrait of each of the 200 orphans so that we can find sponsors for them.

Along with meeting with the District Commissioner of Migori, Mr. Julius Mutul, we will have opportunities to teach, preach, love on and most of all learn from the people of Migori, Kenya.

Our team is made up of 3 different parent/teen pairs. As the youth pastors of the congregation sending us, we are truly honored to be a part of such an experience that will deepen these family relationships for a lifetime.

Here’s John’s website. And here is a satellite view of where we will be staying.

Thank you to everyone for your prayers and financial support!

JIM baker

LisaJanuary 20, 2010 - 2:42 pm

Definitely excited to hear about waht God does and see pictures (yay) of your trip. Expecting good things! God is incredible!

jim bakerJanuary 20, 2010 - 2:43 pm

thanks lisa!

Rick RohlinJanuary 21, 2010 - 5:05 am

Hey, I took that picture of those cute kids. :-)

jim bakerJanuary 21, 2010 - 7:04 am

you did and not Anne? alright… i’ll change the photo credit sorry, Anne gave it to me and I just assumed that Anne took it… I see how this is working… and Anne is already asking for my photos from the trip on cd… is she going to try to steal my work too? ๐Ÿ˜‰